Show ContentsGreanhay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient roots of the Greanhay family name are in the Anglo-Saxon culture. The name Greanhay comes from when the family lived at the green way or road. The surname Greanhay is derived from the Old English words grene, which means green and weg, which means road. Therefore the original bearers of the Greanhay name lived by the grassy path or road. [1]

Early Origins of the Greanhay family

The surname Greanhay was first found in Devon but we must look to Oxfordshire where to find the first recorded reference of the name as Robert Greneway who was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. [2]

In Kent, William de Greneweie was found in the Curia Regis Rolls of 1214 and later, John atte Grenewey was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Somerset in 1327. [1]

Again in Somerset, John Grenewey, and John atte Grenewey were both listed there 1 Edward III (during the first year of the reign of King Edward III.) [3]

"Several of the old clothiers of Tiverton [Devon] made good use of their wealth. Among earlier benefactors to the town, connected with the same industry, was John Greenwaye, who erected the Greenwaye chapel and a set of almshouses, about the year 1517, the chapel being the most elaborate and notable portion of the Church of St. Peter. With John Greenwaye was associated his wife Joan. And so another set of almshouses were built by ' John Waldron and Richoard his wyfe,' in 1579. " [4]

Early History of the Greanhay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Greanhay research. Another 52 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1491, 1563, 1635, 1563, 1580, 1584, 1597, 1597, 1598, 1603 and are included under the topic Early Greanhay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Greanhay Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Greanhay has appeared include Greenway, Greenaway, Greenhay, Greenwaye and others.

Early Notables of the Greanhay family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Richard Greenway, High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1491. Oswald Tesimond, alias Greenway, (1563-1635), "the English Jesuit, also known as Philip Beaumont, born in Northumberland in 1563, entered the English College at Rome for his higher studies on 9 Sept. 1580, and joined the Society of Jesus on 13 April 1584 by leave of the cardinal protector...
Another 61 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Greanhay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Greanhay family to Ireland

Some of the Greanhay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 81 words (6 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 Greanhay family

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Greanhay arrived in North America very early: John, Mary, Catherine, Susannah Greenway, all settled at Nantasket in 1630; Ursula Greenway settled in Boston in 1635; William Greenway settled in Barbados in 1685.

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  4. Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital on Facebook