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Gray Family History

Gray Name Meaning

English: nickname for someone with gray hair or a gray beard, from Old English græg ‘gray’. In Scotland and Ireland it has been used as a translation of various Gaelic surnames derived from riabhach ‘brindled’, ‘gray’ (see Reavey). In North America this name has assimilated names with similar meaning from other European languages. English and Scottish (of Norman origin): habitational name from Graye in Calvados, France, named from the Gallo-Roman personal name Gratus, meaning ‘welcome’, ‘pleasing’ + the locative suffix -acum. French and Swiss French: habitational name from Gray in Haute-Saône and Le Gray in Seine-Maritime, both in France, or from Gray-la-ville in Switzerland, or a regional name from the Swiss canton of Graubünden.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

Similar surnames: Ray, Grau, Gay, Pray, Fray, Garay, Graf, Gram, Dray, Bray

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Where is the Gray family from?

You can see how Gray families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Gray family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Gray families were found in USA in 1880. In 1891 there were 4,984 Gray families living in London. This was about 16% of all the recorded Gray's in United Kingdom. London had the highest population of Gray families in 1891.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Gray surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Gray ancestors do for a living?

In 1939, General Labourer and Unpaid Domestic Duties were the top reported jobs for men and women in the United Kingdom named Gray. 6% of Gray men worked as a General Labourer and 66% of Gray women worked as an Unpaid Domestic Duties. Some less common occupations for Americans named Gray were Bricklayer and Private Means. .

View Census Data for Gray | Data not to scale

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations In 1939

  • General Labourer
  • Builders Labourer
  • Incapacitated
  • Bricklayer

Top Female Occupations In 1939

  • Unpaid Domestic Duties
  • Unpaid Domestic
  • Housewife
  • Private Means
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Gray family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 1 million census records available for the last name Gray. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Gray census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search Australian census records for Gray

Passenger Lists

There are 207,000 immigration records available for the last name Gray. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in Australia, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

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Draft Cards

There are 284,000 military records available for the last name Gray. For the veterans among your Gray ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

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What is the average Gray lifespan?

Between 1940 and 2004, in the United States, Gray life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1940, and highest in 2000. The average life expectancy for Gray in 1940 was 36, and 73 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Gray

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