Origin of Name:
Recorded as Gray, Graye, Grey, Greye, de Grey, MacGray, McGray, McGrah, McGreay, McGrey this ancient Anglo-Scottish surname has at least two possible origins. The first was Old English and a nickname or personal name for a man with grey hair or beard, from the pre 7th century word "graeg", meaning grey.
The second separate origin is French and locational. As such it is from the village of Graye in Calvados, Normandy, and was introduced into the British Isles after the famous Conquest of 1066. The Grays were closely allied with the Royal house of England and were near the throne. Edward IV. married Elizabeth Gray the widow of Sir John Gray who was slain at the second battle of St. Albans, 1461.
The Greys/Grays were from Hertfordshire - Tewin/Watton/Datchworth.
Associated families were also from Hertfordshire.
Members of the Grey family married into the Shadbolt family, some of whom were transported to a Penal Colony in Tasmania.