History of your Surname
Get access to Gray family records.Start a free trial

Gray Family History

Gray Name Meaning

English Scottish and Irish (especially Eastern Ulster; of Norman origin): habitational name from Graye in Calvados France named from the Gallo-Roman personal name Graec(i)us meaning ‘Greek’ + the locative suffix -acum. This is probably the chief source of the surname in Britain. English: nickname for someone with gray hair or a gray beard from Middle English grey (Old English grǣg grēg) ‘gray’. In Ireland it has been used as a translation of various Gaelic surnames derived from riabhach ‘brindled gray’ including Mac Giolla Riabhaigh; see McGreevy . In North America this surname has assimilated names with similar meaning from other languages. French: habitational name from Gray in Haute-Saône or Le Gray in Seine-Maritime.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022

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

Search for a relative to learn more about your family history.

Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

Black & white image of a young woman scientist

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 1911 there were 2,805 Gray families living in Ontario. This was about 48% of all the recorded Gray's in Canada. Ontario had the highest population of Gray families in 1911.
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 1921, Farmer and Stenographer were the top reported jobs for men and women in the Canada named Gray. 30% of Gray men worked as a Farmer and 11% of Gray women worked as a Stenographer. Some less common occupations for Americans named Gray were Carpenter and Income. .

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 1921

  • Farmer
  • Labourer
  • Laborer
  • Carpenter

Top Female Occupations In 1921

  • Stenographer
  • Housekeeper
  • Teacher
  • Income
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 Canadian 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 Canada, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Gray immigration records

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.

View all Gray military records

You've only scratched the surface of Gray family history

Discover More

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

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Gray family tree

Explore Your Tree

Browse profiles of historical people with the Gray last name

Search for another surname
Enter last name/surname
Start a 14-Day Free Trial