Recorded as Theays, Trates, Tray, Trayes, Trays, Traise, Traies, Troy, Troyes and others, this is an unusual English surname. According to the International Genealogical Index it could possibly be a form of, or fused with, or cognate with, no less than twenty seven other surnames! It is true that anything is possible with surnames, and that probably most have a surprise somewhere. In our opinion though for most spellings as listed above, this is a surname which is ultimately French, and one that was introduced into England and later Scotland, after the famous Conquest of 1066. We believe that a study of the surname development would suggest that it was locational from the town of Troyes in the departement of Aube. This surname is first recorded in England in the year 1199 with that of Elyas de Troie, in the pipe rolls of Berkshire, whilst Copyn de Troys appears in the London registers for 1276. Later recordings for the city of London include Barbara Traise, christened at the church of St Mary at Hill, on September 29th 1566, John Tray who married Sarah Ellis at St Michaels Cornhill, on December 8th 1698, and John Trays, a christening witness at Christ Church, Southwark, on April 10th 1836.
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