Greanhan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Greanhan comes from the family having resided in the chapelry of Greeham in the parish of Thatcham in the county of Berkshire. The place-name is derived from the Old English Greenham, which refers to either a green river-bed or a green homestead. [1]

Alternatively, the name could have been derived from Greenham, a tything, in the parish of Ashbrittle, union of Wellington, hundred of Milverton in Somerset. [2]

Greenan Castle is a 16th century tower house, around 2.5 miles south-west of Ayr in South Ayrshire, Scotland

Early Origins of the Greanhan family

The surname Greanhan was first found in Somerset, where Simon de Gryndham was listed in the Assize Rolls for 1268. [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Ralph de Greneham, Suffolk and Ralph de Grenham was also listed in Suffolk, 20 Edward I: Placita de Quo Warranto, temp. Edward I-III. [4]

Early History of the Greanhan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Greanhan research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1535, 1594, 1535, 1559, 1564, 1567 and are included under the topic Early Greanhan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Greanhan Spelling Variations

Greanhan has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Spelling variants included: Greenham, Greenam, Greenum and others.

Early Notables of the Greanhan family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Ralph Greenham of Suffolk; and Richard Greenham or Grenham (1535?-1594), an early Puritan Minister, at Dry Drayton, Cambridgeshire. He "was probably born about 1535, and went at an...
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Greanhan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Greanhan family to Ireland

Some of the Greanhan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Greanhan family

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Greanhans to arrive on North American shores: Richard Greenham who settled in New England in 1768.



  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


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