Show ContentsGreanwude History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Greanwude is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the Old English words meaning "green" and "wood." No doubt, the first family to bear this name lived in or near a dense forest or "whose abode was 'the merrie green-wood.' " 1

Early Origins of the Greanwude family

The surname Greanwude was first found in Yorkshire where the name is "a well-known Yorkshire name. Of course other spots might give rise to the surname. But it is absolutely certain that some small spot between Huddersfield and Slaithwaite has given birth to the Greenwoods, who have ramified so marvelously in that county." 2

As one might expect, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379, list Johannes de Grenewode et Agnes uxor ejus, ffarmour de Graunge in Huddersfield; Johanna de Grenewoode; and Ricardus de Grenewode. 2

The Greenward variant is an interesting one. In this case, the name literally means "keeper of the village green" from the Old English word "weard" and the first record of the family was Adam Grenewerde who was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1276 in Yorkshire. The same rolls also listed John de Grenewode and also holding lands in Yorkshire at that time. 3

Early History of the Greanwude family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Greanwude research. Another 143 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1275, 1558, 1561, 1592, 1593, 1609, 1711 and 1737 are included under the topic Early Greanwude History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Greanwude Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Greenwood, Greenwoode, Greanwood, Greenewood, Grunewood, Greenwude, Greenewude, Greenwud and many more.

Early Notables of the Greanwude family

Distinguished members of the family include John Greenwood (died 1593), an English clergyman and religious reformer, executed in 1593. "On 5 Dec. 1592 Greenwood and Johnson were arrested shortly after midnight at the house of Edward Boys in Fleet Street, and taken to the Counter in Wood Street, Cheapside, and in the morning the archbishop recommitted Greenwood to the Fleet. On 11 and 20 March Greenwood was examined, and confessed to the authorship of his books (Egerton Papers, pp. 171, 176). On 21 March Greenwood and Barrow were indicted, and two days later Sir...
Another 93 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Greanwude Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Greanwude family

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Nathaniel Greenwood who settled in Boston, Massachusetts in the year 1654. He had arrived in the New World on the "Increase" the previous year. Samuel Greenwood also arrived in Boston in the year 1670. Both families had come from the English county of Norfolk, just south of Yorkshire. John Greenwood was banished to Barbados in 1679.

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  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. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X) on Facebook