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Gravenor History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Gravenor was brought to England in the wave of migration that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. It is a name for a person in charge of hunting on the Lord's estates. Further research showed the name was derived from the Anglo Norman French gros, which means great, or chief, and veneor, which means hunter.

Early Origins of the Gravenor family

The surname Gravenor was first found in Warwickshire where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Gravenor family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gravenor research.
Another 113 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1585, 1645, 1604, 1665, 1655, 1700, 1693, 1732, 1695 and 1755 are included under the topic Early Gravenor History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gravenor Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Gravenor include Grosvenor, Grosvener and others.

Early Notables of the Gravenor family (pre 1700)

Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gravenor Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Gravenor family to the New World and Oceana

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Gravenors to arrive on North American shores: John Grosvenor who settled in New England in 1630; Louis Grosvernor settled in Boston in 1822; E.C. Grosvenor settled in Savannah, Georgia in 1826.

Contemporary Notables of the name Gravenor (post 1700)

  • Mr. Gravenor, English "successful apothecary" in Ipswich and politician; he and his family were subjects of a Thomas Gainsborough portrait entitled The Gravenor Family (c. 1755), now in the Yale Center for British Art
  • Kristian Gravenor, Canadian news reporter and city columnist in Montreal
  • Colin Gravenor (1910-1993), English-born, Canadian real-estate developer and public-relations pioneer from Bridgwater, England, father of JD Gravenor and Kristian Gravenor
  • Denys Gravenor Rhodes (1919-1981), English writer, best known for his novel The Syndicate which was adapted into a 1968 film, his second wife was The Honourable Margaret Elphinstone (1925-2016), a first cousin of Elizabeth II

The Gravenor Motto

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Virtus, non stemma
Motto Translation: Virtue, not pedigree.

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