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Origins of the Graham surname

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What does the name Graham mean?

The Graham surname has a number of origins, but has been found in England and Scotland as early as the 1100s. The first supposed origin of those with this name is geographic, relating to the Old English 'grasgham' (grey home), those who are from the town that later became Grantham, Lincolnshire. A notable Norman knight William de Graham of this area moved to Scotland in around 1128 and is thought to be an early progenitor of the name in the country. Graham is also thought to be a descriptive name from 'Graeme', an Anglo-Saxon word for 'grim' or 'gloomy' and would describe those who were particularly sullen or fierce, and their descendants.

Alternative variations of the name Graham

Graham, Grahame, Graeme, Graem, Grame

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Where do most Grahams live?

In 1921, most Grahams lived in North East.

Census records trace your ancestors through each generation, so you can follow where your relatives lived through each decade.

Interesting facts about Grahams

How common is your surname?

101st most common surname in the UK

We have 313,000 records for the Graham surname. The oldest one dates back to 1100.

Who were Grahams most likely to marry?




Our Marriage record sets tell us which families married Grahams.

What are the most common Graham first names?

  • John
  • William
  • Mary
  • Elizabeth

Our birth record sets tell us the names of Graham family members

Common jobs for Grahams

Men and women often performed different types of jobs, so these are displayed by gender to maintain their historical accuracy.

Common Female occupations for Grahams in 1921


Domestic Servant




House Servant


Cotton Weaver


Common Male occupations for Grahams in 1921
Coal Miner


General Labourer








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