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Gray


GRAY/GREY: Authorities differ on the origins of this name, for some derive it from the town of Gray in Haute Saone in France, while others aver that it originates as a 'by-name' for a person of sallow complexion. Whatever origin, the name enjoys widespread use throughout Britain, and Scottish ancestry should not be presumed without evidence of such genealogical of geographical links. In support of the former proposal, a 'de Gray' of Norman descent, is recorded in Roxburghshire during the 13th century whose descendants, by adherence to King Robert Bruce, gained lands in the Carse of Gowrie. Although other lands were possessed by the family it was here that they held most influence. Their continued support of the Crown enhanced their wealth and, in 1437, Gray of Fowlis was created a peer of Parliament as Lord Gray. The Master of Gray, eldest son of the 6th Lord, and a favourite of James VI, was the go-between acting for King James and Queen Elizabeth during Queen Mary's imprisonment in England. This family were Hereditary Sheriffs of Forfarshire and built substantial properties including Broughty Castle (14th cent.), Castle Huntly (15th cent.) and Kinfauns, near Perth, in 1822. Castle Huntly, sold to the Lyons in 1615, returned to the Grays in 1777. Grays also held the lands of Carntyne, Glasgow, and others had lands in Ayrshire. North of Inverness, the Grays of Skibo, Sordell and Ardinsh, are said to descend from a son of a Laird of Fowlis who fled thence after murdering the Constable of Dundee and, by these holdings, some Grays are considered 'septs' of the Clan Sutherland. The Highlands names of Glas(s) and MacGlashan are equated with Gray, - the latter being common in Atholl, where it is linked with the Stewarts of Ballechin, of whom a younger son on renouncing his name after a family feud, took the name MacGlashan. Despite family ties to the Stewarts of Atholl his descendants appear to have allied with the Clan Donnachaidh (Robertsons). Many MacGlashans, on migration to the Lowlands, changed their name to Gray. 


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