Gravelle History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought much change to the island nation, including many immigrants with new names. Among these immigrants were the ancestors of the Gravelle family, who lived in the place named Grenneville in the barony of St. Denis de Gaste, Normandy. [1]

Another source claims the family originated at Griuil, or Greville, a castle on Cotentin. [2]

The family name Gravelle was brought to England after the Norman Conquest, when William the Conqueror gave his friends and relatives most of the land formerly owned by Anglo-Saxon aristocrats. The Normans frequently used the name of their estate in Normandy as part of their name. The surname Gravelle was established by Norman landholders in the county of Buckinghamshire.

Early Origins of the Gravelle family

The surname Gravelle was first found in Buckinghamshire where they held a family seat soon after the Norman Conquest. They are believed to be from Grenneville in the barony of St. Denis de Gaste in the Cotentin in Normandy.

Accompanying the Conqueror at Hastings in 1066 the family, father William and son Robert, became under-tenants of the Giffards in Buckinghamshire. Richard, son of Robert, married Isabel, daughter and heiress of Gautier Giffard, Earl of Buckingham, thus inheriting the title which would later become the Duke of Buckingham. Although the Harleian Society claims there is no relationship to the west country Grevilles in Gloucester, a branch which emerged about 1250, we find this most unlikely.

The similarity of the Coat of Arms of each of these families is more than conclusive evidence that the Grevilles of Gloucester were directly related to the Grenvilles of Buckinghamshire, although it must be admitted there was a noble family of Lagravol or Greville in Montfaucon-du-Velay in Forez also emerging in the 13th century.

"They were seated at Drayton in Oxfordshire (the adjoining county to Bucks) which Leland calls " the veri ancient house of the Gravilles": and their ancestor, John Greville (or Grenville) appears to be the same who is mentioned by Collins as of Wotton in 1308, and whose father John, son of John de Grenville, was living in 1305." [2]

Early History of the Gravelle family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gravelle research. Another 156 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1250, 1267, 1554, 1628, 1607, 1643, 1628, 1658, 1643, 1658, 1677, 1720, 1699, 1701, 1701 and 1705 are included under the topic Early Gravelle History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gravelle Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Gravelle were recorded, including Greville, Grevill, Graville, Gravill, Gravell, Gravelle, Gravel, Grevil, Grevile, Gravile and many more.

Early Notables of the Gravelle family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Fulke Greville first Lord Brooke (1554-1628), English poet, only son of Sir Fulke Greville, by Ann, daughter of Ralph Neville, earl of Westmorland, was born at the family seat, Beauchamp Court, Warwickshire; Sir Edward Greville of Milcote; Robert Greville, 2nd Baron Brooke (1607-1643), an English Civil War Roundhead General, the cousin and adopted son of Fulke...
Another 64 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gravelle Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Gravelle migration to the United States +

The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Gravelle arrived in North America very early:

Gravelle Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Joseph Gravelle, who arrived in America in 1792 [3]
Gravelle Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • R. L. Gravelle, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1806
  • R. L. Gravelle, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1806
  • R. L. Gravelle, who settled in Philadelphia in 1806

Contemporary Notables of the name Gravelle (post 1700) +

  • Gordon Carr Gravelle (b. 1949), former American NFL football offensive tackle
  • Robert Gravelle, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1964 [4]
  • Emile Gravelle (1855-1920), French individualist anarchist and naturist activist, writer and painter
  • Joseph Gerard Leo Gravelle (b. 1925), Canadian retired professional ice hockey player
  • Israel Jean Orval "Orville" Gravelle (1927-1997), Canadian ice hockey player
  • Michael Gravelle (b. 1949), Canadian politician, Minister of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry
  • Claude Gravelle (b. 1949), Canadian politician

Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. William  Gravelle, Canadian resident from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [5]


  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
  3. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 1) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  5. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance


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