Greanwall History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Greanwall comes from the family having resided as dwellers beside the green grassy hill or body of water. The name comes from the Old English words "green," and "well." No doubt, the first to use this surname were a family who lived on lush green ground near a well, spring or stream. As such, the surname is classed as a topographic surname, one based on physical features near the residence, such as hills, streams, churches, etc.

Early Origins of the Greanwall family

The surname Greanwall was first found in Durham where they held a family seat from very ancient times, as Lords of the manor of Greenwell in the parish of Walsingham, and are descended from Gulielmus the Presbyter who held those lands in 1183. His son James assumed the name of the lands, Greenwell. [1]

"Greenwell is a very ancient Durham surname. The Greenwells of Stobilee, who carry their pedigree back to the beginning of the 16th century, seem to have been one of the principal stocks in modern times; the property of Broomshields has been for four centuries in the possession of a branch of this family." [2]

Early History of the Greanwall family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Greanwall research. Another 96 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Greanwall History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Greanwall Spelling Variations

Greanwall 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: Grenwell, Greenwell, Greenwall, Grenwall and others.

Early Notables of the Greanwall family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Greanwall Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Greanwall 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 Greanwalls to arrive on North American shores: Acton Greenwell who settled in New England in 1775; Francis Greenwell who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1862; Richard in 1852; another Richard in 1855.



  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.


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