The English surname Jay is of early medieval English and French origin. The name Jay is a nickname from the Middle English and Old French term jay(e),meaning “ a jay bird” , probably referring to an idle chatterer or a showy person. One Thomas Jay was an early emigrant to the new World, leaving London on the "Constance" in October 1635, bound for Virginia. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gilbert Jai, which was dated 1202, in the "Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire."
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