Greanwell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Greanwell is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is a product of when the family lived 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 Greanwell family

The surname Greanwell 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 Greanwell family

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

Greanwell Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Greanwell has been spelled many different ways, including Grenwell, Greenwell, Greenwall, Grenwall and others.

Early Notables of the Greanwell family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Greanwell family

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Greanwells to arrive in North America: 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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