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Surname McCray - Meaning and Origin

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Q. McCray

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McCray: What does the surname McCray mean?

McCray is a surname of Scottish and Irish origin. The name is derived from the Gaelic "Mac Raith" or "Mac Raibh," which translates to "son of grace" or "son of prosperity." The prefix "Mac" or "Mc" in Celtic names often denotes "son of,” thus McCray can mean the 'son of grace' or the 'son of prosperity.' The name is quite widespread across Ireland and Scotland but is also found in England, Wales, the United States, Canada, and Australia. The surname McCray underwent many spelling variations due to the translation between Gaelic and English, including McCrea, MacCrae, MacCraith, and several others. Like many surnames, the exact origin and meaning can vary based on regional interpretations and family history.

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McCray: Where does the name McCray come from?

The last name McCray is of Scottish origin, derived from the Gaelic Mac Rath, which means "son of prosperity or grace". Over time, various spellings of the name emerged, including McCray, MacRae, MacRaith and others. McCray and its variations are most commonly associated with clans in the Scottish Highlands, particularly Clan MacRae from the regions of Ross and Cromarty.

Today, the surname McCray is prevalent in various parts of the world due to the diaspora from Scotland during the 19th and 20th centuries. It is particularly common in the United States, where many Scottish immigrants settled. The name can also be found in other English-speaking countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. Overall, the McCray name is widespread among countries that have experienced significant Scottish immigration.

Variations of the surname McCray

The surname McCray stands as a variant of the Gaelic name MacCrae, MacRae, or Mac Rae which has been anglicized over the centuries. This surname has several spelling variations including McCrae, MacReagh, McReagh, among others possibly due to family migration and their adaptation to new cultures and languages. MacCrea, MacCraith, and MacCrie are also considered as other forms.

The prefix 'Mac' or 'Mc' in Scottish and Irish surnames means 'son of', indicating the name may originally have been used to denote the son of a man named Rae or Crae. Variations of these, such as Rae or Ray, may also share the same origin as McCray.

Although less common, it may also be found under the Irish spelling of Mag Raith or Magrath, which has the same root and similar meaning. The variation in its spelling and pronunciation over time has led to the creation of similar surnames such as Gray and even Creagh. Despite these differences in spelling, they all share the same Gaelic origin.

Surname equivalents in the female line like MacRath or Rath are also seen. In summary, variants and possible surnames of McCray root from Gaelic origin, primarily influenced by geography and regional dialects.

Famous people with the name McCray

  • Rodney McCray: Former professional basketball player, NBA champion.
  • Janel McCray: Also known as Janel McCarville, former professional basketball player.
  • Erik McCray: American artist and painter.
  • Natalie McCray: American businesswoman, founder of the Knot Standard.
  • Audra McCray: American singer and songwriter.
  • Maddie McCray: American actress, known for her roles in "Deadbeat" and "Our House."
  • Robert McCray: Professional football player.
  • Chris McCray: Former professional basketball player.
  • Mark McCray: Radio personality and voice actor.
  • Bill McCray: Renowned jazz saxophonist.
  • Nikki McCray: Former professional basketball player and current coach.
  • Jack McCray: American jazz musician and historian.
  • Stanford McCray: Renowned surgical oncologist.
  • Fred McCray: Professional football player.
  • Rudy Ray Moore: Born Rudolph Frank Moore, also known as Dolemite, was an American comedian, singer, actor, and film producer. He adopted the surname "McCray" during his early comedy career.
  • Gerald McCray: Professional boxer.
  • Ann McCray: Noted for work in fashion and philanthropy.
  • Catherine "Mama Cat" McCray: American civil rights activist.

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