Gregory Surname Genealogy

surname Gregory
from a personal name that was popular throughout
Christendom in the
Middle Ages. The Greek original Gregorios
came from the word gregorein meaning
“to be watchful.”
This Greek name was borne by sixteen Popes, starting with
Gregory the Great in the sixth century.The Crusades of the
11th and 12th century gave the name another boost. It was the
fashion for
returning warriors from the Holy Land to christen their children with
or saintly names, particularly those that were associated with the
church. Gregorie was an early spelling.

Gregory Resources on

Gregory Ancestry

England. The Gregory surname was found from early times in the Midlands,
notably in Derbyshire and Leicestershire.

Derbyshire. Henry Gregory was recorded
at the village of
Eyam in 1295 and the name there has continued untilmodern times. One line has been traced from John Gregory
who married Elizabeth Bishop in Eyam in 1683, having survived the great
there twenty years earlier.

By that time the Gregory name had spread to
neighboring villages in the Derwent Valley such as Calver, Curbar,
Froggatt and
Stoney Middleton and also to Baslow and Hope.
The Gregory mine in Ashover, owned by the Gregory family at
farm, was in the late 18th century one of the most productive lead
mines in

Leicestershire. Gregorys
here, perhaps less numerous, have had a longer and probably more
history. They were recorded as the lords
of Asfordby in the late 1100’s and subsequently held manors there and
Freseley nearby in Warwickshire.

Thomas Gregory moved to Coventry as its town
clerk in 1528 and the family became sizeable landowners in that
area. His son
Arthur took possession of Stivichall House in 1563.
This house remained with the family until
1909 when Major F.H. Gregory died childless.

A later Thomas Gregory moved to
Ireland with Cromwell in the 1640’s and started the Anglo-Irish Gregory
line. From another line that had left for
Lancashire and then to Nottinghamshire were Henry and Goodie Gregory. Their son John was an emigrant to the New
colony in America around the year 1639.

Elsewhere. The Gregory name in
Buckinghamshire dates
back to the 1300’s when Richard Gregory held Gregory’s Manor in
Beaconsfield. John Gregory, born in
Amersham in 1607, was a Biblical scholar who died young.
A later Gregory family were millers at Amersham
from 1746 to 1863.

Sometime in the 1430’s William Gregory from
Mildenhall in Suffolk came to London where he prospered as a skinner. He was its Lord Mayor in 1451 and is
remembered today for his written work The Chronicle
of London

1465 William Gregory made his will by which it appears that he had been
times married (his wives being named Joan, Julian, and Joan
respectively) and
had nine grandchildren, seven by one daughter and two by another.”

In Cornwall the spelling could be Gregor. The
earliest recorded here was John Gregor at
Tregew in Fiock in a marriage settlement of 1342. These
Gregors in Cornwall
rose to some prominence in the 16th and
17th centuries
as merchants in Truro. Their principal
home was Trewarthenick House which remained with the family until 1909.

would appear to have been a north-directing trend for Gregorys during
the 19th
century. By the time of the 1881 census,
almost 20% of the Gregorys in England were located in Lancashire. There was at that time a particular
concentration in the area around Bolton, in villages such as
Westhoughton and

Scotland. Gregorius
appeared in early 12th century registers, Gregorie in 16th century
records. Today the Gregory surname is
most prevalent in NE Scotland.

James Gregorie, a saddler,
had married Margaret Barber in Aberdeen.
Their son John, born in 1598, became a minister at Drumoak and
was the
forebear of the famous Gregory
family of
which extended through the generations for nigh on two
years. The main lines went through:

  • John’s elder son David who inherited the
    family estate at Kinairdry.
  • and a
    younger son James, a famous mathematician who is credited with the
    discovery of

The Gregor name in Scotland
came from clan Gregor, the MacGregor Highland clan.
Some clan members changed their name to
Gregory when that clan was proscribed and outlawed in the 18th century.

Thomas Gregory from Asfordby served with Cromwell in Ireland and
his family
remained there. His great grandson Robert
went out to India in the 1750’s and made his fortune
as an East
India Company merchant. On his return in
1768 he purchased the Coole Park estate in Galway.

Robert’s line continued through his third son
William, who served as Civil Under-Secretary for Ireland, and William’s
grandson Sir William, appointed Governor General of Ceylon. Sir William’s second wife Augusta, Lady
Gregory, became more famous than her husband.
She embarked on a literary career and was one of the central
figures of
the Irish literary renaissance. Coole
Park was sold in 1927, just before her death.

America. John Gregory, a shoemaker
by trade, had come
to the New Haven colony and, around 1655, was a founding settler of the
town of
Norwalk, Connecticut. His 19th century
descendants in Norwalk included:

  • Francis Hoyt Gregory, an officer in the US Navy from the War of 1812 to the
    Civil War.
  • and Ira Gregory, a physician and state legislator. His
    son James was Surgeon General for Connecticut in 1882,
    granddaughter Alyse a writer and suffragette.

Gregorys in the South.
However, many more Gregorys were to be found in the South. Their numbers included old John Gregory of
the Piscataway Baptist church in New Jersey who had moved with his sons
to South Carolina by the 1740’s. Samuel
Gregory of this family moved to Georgia in 1799.

Richard Gregory from London had come to
Flowerdew Hundred in Virginia sometime in the 1630’s.
His descendants stayed in Virginia or
migrated to Tennessee after the Revolutionary War.
Two other Gregory families in Virginia,
unrelated, moved to Union county,
in the late 1700’s.

John Gregory, born in Virginia, moved to
Missouri in the 1830’s and farmed in Lewis county.
His son Alexander headed to Texas after the
Civil War and then to Oklahoma at the time of the land grab there. Edward Gregory from Virginia meanwhile had
settled in Wayne county, Kentucky by the early 1800’s.

Another Gregory line began with the birth of
Jesse Gregory in Onslow county, North Carolina in 1791.
He moved to Gadsden, Florida in 1824. His
son Jason started a tobacco and cotton
plantation at Ocheesee Landing in the 1840’s.

“The Gregory House at
Ocheesee was started in the fall of 1847 and finished two years
later. It faced
the river and sat on eight-foot brick pillars to keep it above the
water when
the river got out of its banks. The
house was built in the Greek Revival style, as were many of the
houses of the time.”

After the Civil War Jason managed to keep the
plantation going until 1873 when he moved the Gregory family to
Gainesville. He and most of his family
perished from the yellow fever that struck Florida in 1888.

John Gregory from London was a pioneer fur trader in Canada,
there in 1773 and soon becoming active in the Canadian West. He joined the NWC trading company in 1790 and
lived in some style in Montreal until his death in 1817.

Joshua Gregory from Nottinghamshire, in poor health after his
from the British army, was an early settler in Western Australia in
1829. He died there nine years later. But he left five sons, two of whom – Augustus
and Francis – became famous Australian explorers.

Two Gregory convicts who came to Australia

  • Henrietta Gregory from
    London who arrived in Sydney in 1814, but only lived another five years. Her son Edward, brought up in an orphanage,
    was the progenitor of the remarkable Gregory
    cricketing family
  • and William Greaves alias Gregory from Derbyshire who was
    transported there in 1833. A resident of
    Newcastle, NSW after obtaining his Ticket of Leave, he was one of the
    of Australia’s Mid North Coast.

Gregory Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Gregory Names

William Gregory was Lord Mayor of London
in 1451 and is remembered today for his The
Chronicle of London
. James
was a 17th century Scottish mathematician, credited with
discovery of calculus. He was a
contemporary and friend of Isaac Newton.
linthus Gregory was an English mathematician, author and editor
in the early 19th century. He was one of
the founders of the Royal Astronomical Society.
and Frank Gregory
were intrepid explorers of the Australian outback
in the
mid-19th century.

Dick Gregory
was an African-American comedian
and civil rights activist prominent in the 1960’s

Select Gregorys Today

  • 39,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Lancashire)
  • 34,000 in America (most numerous in California)
  • 13,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)




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