Greatus History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Greatus surname comes from the Old English words "great" or "large" and "heafod," meaning "head." It is supposed that this was originally a nickname for someone with a large head, which was later taken on as a surname. [1]

Early Origins of the Greatus family

The surname Greatus was first found in Berkshire where John Gretheved was listed in 1278. Later Thomas Gretehed was listed as Whitby, Yorkshire in 1351. [2]

Agnes Gretheyed, was listed in Lincolnshire, temp. Edward I and Peter Gretheyed, was listed in the Close Rolls, 17 Edward III (during the 17th year of King Edward III's reign.) The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 had two listings of the family: Hugo Grethed; and Willelmus Gretehed. Both held lands there at that time. [3]

One source claims the name is from "Graithwaite; a location name in Lancashire." [4]

Up in Scotland, "Matthew Gietheuith or Greatheued was alderman and provost of Aberdeen between 1271 and 1281. In 1271 he appears as Matthew Grossetechte (for French Grosstete) and in a charter of c. 1281 as Grethenith, an error for Gretheuith." [5]

Early History of the Greatus family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Greatus research. Another 105 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1343, 1345, 1541, 1619, 1755, 1813, 1831, 1835, 1837 and 1838 are included under the topic Early Greatus History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Greatus Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Greathead, Greathed, Greathouse, Greatus, Grethed, Grethouse and many more.

Early Notables of the Greatus family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Rev. Samuel Stephenson Greatheed, born in Somersetshire on Feb. 22, 1813. He received his first instruction in harmony from Mr. W. Chappell Ball, organist of St. Mary's, Taunton. In 1831 he entered at Trinity College...
Another 40 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Greatus Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Greatus family

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: settlers who were recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..



  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  5. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)


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