Fay Sampson’s Family History
This site is a work-in-progress. There is a massive amount to cover. I have included both male and female lines, and some go back 30 generations. Keep coming back for more.
I have numbered the generations working backwards from my own as (1)
ARNULF DE GRAYE (34)
ARNULF DE GRAYE. We can trace our Gray ancestry back to the earliest Normans in northern France.
The Normans were originally Vikings, who invaded the north of France from the 8th to the 10th century. In 911, King Charles the Simple ceded territory between the mouth of the Seine and Rouen to the Viking leader Rollo. In return, Rollo undertook to cease his raids and to defend the French against attacks by other Vikings. He also accepted Christian baptism. He became the first Duke of Normandy, which took its name from these Norse settlers.
Such were the depredations of the Vikings that the original population of the area around Caen and Bayeux mostly fled.
Arnulf’s family were amongst these early Normans.
Arnulf’s son is thought to have been born around 925. This would make Arnulf’s birth date around the beginning of the century. This makes it likely that his father was among the Viking followers of Rollo who first established permanent settlement in Normandy.
Arnold and his family made their home near the village of Graye-sur-Mer, on the Channel coast north of Bayeux. We do not know whether the village was named after them, or whether they took their surname from it.
“Arnulf” is a compound of the Norse words for Eagle and Wolf.
We do not know the name of Arnulf’s wife.
We know of one son, Turgis, Sire du Lac and de Graye. Turgis means “Thor’s hostage”. The Normans were converted to Christianity, but continued to favour names of their old Germanic gods.
Today, Graye-sur-Mer is known for its part in the D-Day landings.
Grey, or De Grai, from Gray, Normandy, near Caen. Arnulph was Lord of Gray, c. 970, and his son Nigel de Gray witnessed a charter c. 1020 (Lobineau, Hist. Bret. ii. 171). Turstin succeeded as Baron of Gray and Dounville, near Caen. In 1082 Gisla, his daughter, granted, with consent of her nephew Turstin de Gray (son of Turgis), lands to Holy Trinity, Caen 
NEXT GENERATION: 33. GRAY