The Scottish surname Reay is of Norman origin. The name Reay is a nickname denoting someone who behaved in a regal fashion or who had earned the title in some contest of skill or by presiding over festivities, from Old French rey, roy meaning “king.” The name may also be an anglicized form of the Gaelic name McRae. The first recorded reference to the name was in 1350 in Dumfiesshire, Scotland. The name arrived in the New World in 1746 when immigration records record the arrival of Jane Reay in Philadelphia. Today there are approximately 1,200 bearers of the surname Reay living in The United States.
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