Grayling Births and Christening Records

I am still gathering data on the Grayling surname but I have, so far, gathered a significant amount of information from online sources about UK births.

So far I have 1,313 separate births identified from 16 sources.  The earliest record found so far is from the 1561 in Ticehurst, Sussex and the most recent from 1974.  The counties where I have birth records are shown below:

All % Births
Sussex 303 23%
Kent 243 19%
Middlesex & London 226 17%
Essex 220 17%
Suffolk 68 5%
Surrey 49 4%
Other Counties 186 14%
Unknown 18 1%
Totals 1,313

Broken down by century we can see a more detailed pattern emerging:

Grayling births by century

From here we can see that the earliest records found are in mostly in Sussex, however I have very few 16th century records and the numbers will be distorted due to record availability.  In the 17th and 18th centuries the records are predominantly in Sussex, Kent and Essex.  There is still a potential distortion due to record availability in the 17th century, but the majority of 18th century records are available.  In the 19th century, Graylings had started to both move to Middlesex and spread across the country.  By the 20th the numbers born in the three original counties had dropped considerably and Graylings were largely in the London area.

Looking more closely at the 19th century (below) we can see that there were a large number of births in Kent in the 20s and 30s.  These then tailed off abruptly.  There was a shift in the 40s to a range of other counties and the numbers born in Middlesex/London significantly increase in the second half of the century with most Grayling births in the 1890s recorded there.

Grayling births 19th century

But how much weight can we give to these incomplete figures?  First, it should be noted that the in any Grayling family research we are dealing with small numbers where the movement of one family can make an impact.  For example if we take the movement of one family only: John Grayling, born in Folkestone, Kent in 1807, who moved to Woodbridge in Suffolk where he worked as a Coastguard. He had at least 11 children, the first two were born in Kent, the rest in Suffolk.  This counts for a large proportion of the 1840s & 50s “other” county births.  His children grew up in Suffolk and most settled there.  In total, including his descendants, at least 40% of the Suffolk Grayling births in the 19th and 20th centuries can be traced from this one move.

There is, therefore, no statistical significance to these figures.  As I gather more data, I might find similar moves that will change the picture.


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