Greenhowe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Greenhowe surname lived in Greenhalg in Kirkham and Greenhalg Castle in Garstang. The surname Greenhowe originally derived from greene as n the village greene which was the center or main square of each region. Many inhabitants in various counties adopted this surname as part of their family's nomenclature. The surname Greenhowe is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. As a general rule, the greater the distance between an individual and their homeland, the larger the territory they were named after. For example, a person who only moved to another parish would be known by the name of their original village, while people who migrated to a different country were often known by the name of a region or country from which they came.

Early Origins of the Greenhowe family

The surname Greenhowe was first found in Shropshire where Richard de Grenhal was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1230. A few years later, William de Grenol was listed in the Assize Rolls for Lancashire in 1246, as was Matill de Greenhalgh, William de Grenolf, de Grenholl in the Subsidy Rolls for 1332. [1]

One branch originated in Greenhalgh (now known as Greenhalgh-with-Thistleton), a civil parish on the Fylde in Lancashire or possibly Greenhalgh, now Greenhalgh Castle, in Garstang parish, Lancashire, (spelt Greenhaugh) [2]

"The Greenhalghs, who are best represented in the Middleton district, derive their name from a Lancashire township. During the 15th century, the Grenehalghs of Brandlesome were hereditary bailiffs of Tottington, and during the two succeeding centuries they gained and retained the position of gentry. The name of Thomas Greenhalgh occurs in the list of intended Knights of the Royal Oak, amongst those of other Lancashire gentlemen, the annual value of his estate being there placed at £1,000: this Order, however, which Charles II. intended as a reward for his followers, was never founded." [3]

Early History of the Greenhowe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Greenhowe research. Another 269 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1246, 1576, 1584, 1613, 1672, 1635, 1591, 1661, 1791, 1810, 1591, 1671, 1611, 1658, 1648, 1652, 1655, 1658, 1615, 1679, 1669, 1740, 1646, 1708, 1644, 1676, 1644, 1651 and 1599 are included under the topic Early Greenhowe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Greenhowe Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Greenhowe are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Greenhowe include: Greenhalgh, Greenhow, Greenhough, Greenhall and others.

Early Notables of the Greenhowe family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include William Greenhill (1591-1671), an English nonconformist clergyman from Oxfordshire, independent minister, and member of the Westminster Assembly; Thomas Greenhill (1611?-1658), an English colonial administrator, one of the early pioneers of the East India Company and the Agent of Madras for two terms (1648-1652) and (1655-1658); Elizabeth Greenhill, (1615-1679), who bore 39 children alive, and baptised, the last of whom was Thomas Greenhill (1669?-1740), English surgeon to Henry Howard, 7th Duke of Norfolk; Henry Greenhill (1646-1708), Agent-General at...
Another 83 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Greenhowe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Greenhowe family

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Greenhowe or a variant listed above: William Greenough, (another variant), a sea Captain from Lancashire, settled in Boston in 1669; Adam, Edward, James, John, Joseph, Peter, Robert and William Greenhalgh all settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1832 and 1880.



  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Baines Thomas & William Fairbairn, Lancashire and Cheshire, Past and Present History of Counties London: William MacKenzie, 1867, Digital, 4 vols
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.


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