Greeff History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Greeff is a name of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from the baptismal name Reeve where as a surname it refers to son of Reeve. In Old English, patronyms were formed by adding a variety of suffixes to personal names, which changed over time and from place to place. For example, after the Norman Conquest, sunu and sune, which meant son, were the most common patronymic suffixes. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the most common patronymic names included the word filius, which meant son. By the 14th century, the suffix son had replaced these earlier versions. Surnames that were formed with filius or son were more common in the north of England and it was here that the number of individuals without surnames was greatest at this time. The surname Greeff also referred to manager or overseer as an occupational surname.
Alternatively, the name could have originally been a Norman name descending from Walter de Grava (De la Grave) which was found in Normandy before the Conquest and still there as late as 1198. 
Early Origins of the Greeff family
The surname Greeff was first found in Gloucestershire where Osbert de Grava or De la Grave was found in 1203. From this first entry, the Graveses of Mickleton, Gloucester, ancestors of the gallant admiral Lord Graves, and the Baronets Graves-Saule descend. 
The source "Testa de Nevill, sive Liber Feodorum" lists Geoffrey de la Grave, Gloucestershire, (temp. Henry III-Edward I) and the "Placita de Quo Warranto" lists Sibilla de la Grave, Gloucestershire, 20 Edward I (during the 20th year of Edward I's reign.) 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included the following early listings of the family: Edith de la Grava, Oxfordshire; Henry de la Grave, Oxfordshire; Hugh de la Grave, Somerset; and John de la Grave, Wiltshire. 
"Greaves, which is a characteristic name of the midland counties, has long been a Worcestershire name. The old family of Greves held some position in the county." 
The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed the following as holding lands there at that time: Johannes Grave; Adam Grayf; Johanna Grayf; and Robertus Grayff. 
Early History of the Greeff family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Greeff research. Another 138 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1669, 1784, 1600, 1600, 1607, 1604, 1612, 1676, 1602, 1652, 1608, 1680, 1605, 1673, 1677, 1729, 1677, 1715 and 1804 are included under the topic Early Greeff History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Greeff Spelling Variations
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Greeff have been found, including Grieves, Grieve, Greve, Greves, Greeves, Greaves, Greave, Griveson, Greaveson, Greavson and many more.
Early Notables of the Greeff family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include Thomas Greaves (fl. 1604), English musical composer and lutenist to Sir Henry Pierrepont, belonging probably to the Derbyshire family of Greaves; Thomas Greaves (1612-1676), an English Orientalist, a contributor to the London Polyglot; John Greaves (1602-1652), an English mathematician, astronomer and antiquary, eldest son. of the Rev. John Greaves, rector of Colemore, near Alresford in Hampshire; Sir Edward Greaves, 1st Baronet (1608-1680), an English physician...
In South Africa, the name Greeff is the 617th most popular surname with an estimated 11,175 people with that name. 
Migration of the Greeff family to Ireland
Some of the Greeff family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Migration of the Greeff family
Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Among the first immigrants of the name Greeff, or a variant listed above to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were : Captain Thomas Graves, who traveled on the first ship to Jamestown, Virginia in 1607; Jane Grieves purchased land in Delaware in 1682; Admiral Greaves settled in Savannah, Georgia in 1823.
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Spes mea in Deo
Motto Translation: My hope is in God.