Cray Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Cray Family Coat of Arms

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Cray Coat of Arms Meaning

Cray Name Origin & History

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Cray Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Cray blazon are the chevalier, bend and cross engrailed. The three main tinctures (colors) are gules, azure and or .

The bold red colour on a heraldic shield is known as gules. It has a long history within heraldry, it is known that one of those who besieged the scottish castle of Carlaverock in 1300 was the French knight Euremions de la Brette who had as his arms a simple red shield.1The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 2Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313. Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron 3Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53, perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.

The bright, strong blue color in Heraldry is known in English as azure, and similarly in other European languages – azul in Spanish, azurro in Italian and azur in French. The word has its roots in the Arabic word lazura, also the source of the name of the precious stone lapis lazuli 4A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure. Despite this, those heralds who liked to associate colours with jewels chose instead to describe blue as Sapphire. According to Wade, the use of this colour symbolises “Loyalty and Truth” 5The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36.

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.6Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa 7A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.8Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53.

Heraldry is a human art, by and for people and it is not surprising that people themselves are frequently depicted in arms 9Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P174. Often these are images of knights and men-at-arms, or individual limbs, such as the “three armoured right arms argent” shown in the arms of Armstrong 10Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 60. As well as the nobility however, we also see both the mundane, ploughmen, fishermen and reapers; and the exotic in the form of club wielding savages and the Moorish or Saracen gentleman with his decorative wreathed turban 11A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P168. The knight is a typical example of this use of the human figure.

The bend is a distinctive part of the shield, frequently occuring and clearly visible from a distance – it is a broad band running from top left to bottom right 12Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 39-40. Indeed, so important is the bend that it was the subject of one of the earliest cases before the English Court of Chivalry; the famous case of 1390, Scrope vs Grosvenor had to decide which family were the rightful owners of Azure, a bend or (A blue shield, with yellow bend). 13A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P22. The bend is held in high honour and may signify “defence or protection” and often borne by those of high military rank 14The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P49.

No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross 15Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47. Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, typically involving patterning along the edges 16Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67. The pattern engrailed is a series of scalloped indentations with the points facing outwards – and should not be confused with invected, which has the points facing inwards! Wade believes that both of these indented forms represent “earth or land”, and one perhaps can indeed see the furrowed earth embodied in them.

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Cray Name

Cray Origin:

Ireland

Origins of Cray:

It is an interesting and uncommon surname, of Irish source with different spelling forms such as Creevy, Creevey, and Creavagh. It is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic “O’Craoibhe” which means “offspring of Craobhach,” a nickname which means “curly (-headed)” or “prolific” (from “craobh” which means “section, bough”). The surname dates sometime back to the mid-17th Century. Parish recordings contain examples such as John, son of Patrick and Elizabeth Crevey, who was named in December 1759, at Lying-in Hospital, Endell Street, London, James Creevey married Ann Edwards in August 1811, at St. James’, Westminster, and John James, son of George and Mary Creavey, named in May 1813, at St. Saviour, Southwark. John Creevey married Elizabeth Deleney in May 1822, at St. Luke’s, Old Street, Finsbury. A Royal symbol given to a Creevey family which contained a silver field with black horizontal and vertical lines all over with a red crescent in every part. At the Crest being a gryphon sejant (sitting) parted vertically silver and black with gold fur.

Variations:

More common variations are: Craye, Caray, Coray, Creay, Curay, Chray, Cgray, Crray, Cwray, Craey.

England:

The origins of the surname Cray was found in Brugaundy, an administrative and historical area of east-central France, where people held a family seat from early times.

The very first recorded spelling of the family was shown to be that of Cravy, dated about 1656, in Petty’s “Census.” It was during the time of Commonwealth, dated 1649-1660. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England.

Ireland:

Many of the people with surname Cray had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.

United States of America:

Individuals with the surname Cray settled in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 17th, 18th, and 19th. Some of the individuals with the name Cray who landed in the United States in the 17th century included Tonis Cray at the age of 42, landed in New York in 1643. Myles Cray, who arrived in Virginia in 1661. Teunis Cray, who landed in New York in 1664. Henry Cray, who landed in Virginia in 1664. John Cray, who arrived in Virginia in 1666.

People with the surname Cray who settled in the United States in the 18th century included Paul Cray settled in Virginia in 1732. Jacob Simon Cray settled in 1772.

The following century saw many more Cray surnames arrive. Some of the population with the name Cray who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included John D Cray at the age of 28 landed in New York in 1812. John S. Cray settled in New York City in 1822.

Australia:

People with the surname Cray who settled in Australia in the 19th century included Peter Cray arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship “Brightrnan” in 1840.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Cray: United States 2,808; England 694; Australia 295; Germany 202; Ireland 120; Canada 114; France 110; Northern Ireland 107; Brazil 79; Wales 79

Notable People:

Seymour Roger Cray was born in September 1925 and died in October 1996. He was an American electrical engineer and supercomputer designer who designed a series of computers that were the fastest in the world for many centuries, and created Cray Research which formed many of these machines, he was called “the father of supercomputing.” He was believed to have created the supercomputer industry.

Robert William Cray was born in August in the year 1953. He is an American blues guitar manufacturer and musician. A five-time Grammy Award champion.

Eric Shauwn Brazas Cray was born in November in the year 1988. He is a Filipino American track and field sportsman, who took part in rushing and hurdling events. He represented his country for the 2013 World Championships, participating in hurdles. He got gold medals at the Southeast Asian Games in the year 2013 and 2015.

Cray Family Gift Ideas

Browse Cray family gift ideas and products below. If there are multiple coats of arms for this surname, you will see them at the top of this page and can click on the various coat of arms designs to apply them to the gift ideas below.

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) Notes: (Kent). Blazon: Gu. a cross engr. or, over all a bend az. Crest—A chevalier on horseback in armour holding a sword in pale, all ppr.
2) Notes: None. Blazon: Ar. on a bend betw. three crosses crosslet fitchee gu. an escallop of the field.

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References   [ + ]

1. The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180
2. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313
3. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
4. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure
5. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
6. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
7. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
8. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
9. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P174
10. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 60
11. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P168
12. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 39-40
13. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P22
14. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P49
15. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 47
16. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P67