Wray Family History
Wray Name Meaning
English (northern):: from Middle English wra (Old Norse vrá) ‘nook corner of land’ a topographic name for someone who lived at or by a nook corner of land or isolated place or a habitational name from a place so named such as Wray in Tunstall (Lancashire) Wrea in Kirkham (Lancashire) and High and Low Wreah in Hensingham (Cumberland). The name was taken to Ulster by a Yorkshire family in the reign of Elizabeth I and was used interchangeably in the counties of Derry and Donegal with Raw Ray Rea and occasionally McRae . common post-medieval spelling of Ray Rae or Ree . in Devon a variant of Wrey either a habitational name from Wray Barton (Devon) which takes its name from the river Wray which probably derives from Old English wearg ‘felon’ + ēa ‘water’ perhaps referring to a stream where felons were executed by drowning. Alternatively perhaps a nickname meaning ‘the twisted crooked one’ from Middle English wry(e) ‘awry’ a derivative of Old English wrīgian ‘to turn’.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022