Greenough History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Greenough family goes back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from the family living in Greenhalg in Kirkham and Greenhalg Castle in Garstang. The surname Greenough 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 Greenough 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 Greenough family

The surname Greenough 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 Greenough family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Greenough 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 Greenough History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Greenough Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Greenough include Greenhalgh, Greenhow, Greenhough, Greenhall and others.

Early Notables of the Greenough 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 Greenough Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Greenough Ranking

In the United States, the name Greenough is the 14,895th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [4]


United States Greenough migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Greenough or a variant listed above:

Greenough Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • William Greenough, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1656 [5]
  • William Greenough, (another variant), a sea Captain from Lancashire, settled in Boston in 1669
  • William Greenough, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1684 [5]
Greenough Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Robert Greenough, who landed in Rowley, Massachusetts in 1701 [5]
Greenough Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • C Greenough, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]

Canada Greenough migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Greenough Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Daniel Greenough, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Mr. Moses Greenough U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [6]

Australia Greenough migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Greenough Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Greenough, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Adamant" on March 16, 1821, settling in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • James W. Greenough, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Stebonheath" in 1849 [8]
  • Joshua Greenough, aged 37, a miner, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Standard" [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Greenough (post 1700) +

  • Richard Saltonstall Greenough (1819-1904), American sculptor
  • Peter Greenough (1917-2006), American journalist and editor, husband of opera singer Beverly Sills
  • Horatio Greenough (1805-1852), American sculptor
  • William Bates Greenough (1866-1956), American Republican politician, Rhode Island State Attorney General, 1905-12; Presidential Elector for Rhode Island, 1916; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Rhode Island, 1924 [10]
  • Frederick L. Greenough, American Democratic Party politician, First Selectman of Trumbull, Connecticut, 1957 [10]
  • George Bellas Greenough (1778-1855), English geographer and geologist; his father, whose name was Bellas, was a proctor in Doctors' Commons, and died in 1780 [11]
  • James Bradstreet Greenough (1833-1901), United States classical scholar
  • Chester Greenough Atkins (b. 1948), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Massachusetts State House of Representatives, 1970-72; Member of Massachusetts State Senate, 1972-84; Massachusetts Democratic State Chair, 1977- [12]

Halifax Explosion
  • Miss Rita Mary  Greenough (1909-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [13]
  • Mr. John  Greenough (1914-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [13]
  • Mr. Herbert  Greenough, Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [13]
  • Mr. John  Greenough (1915-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the explosion but later died due to injuries [13]
  • Miss Dorothy Estella  Greenough (1901-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [13]


  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.
  4. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  5. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  7. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Adamant voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1821 with 144 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/adamant/1821
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) STEBONHEATH 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Stebonheath.htm
  9. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) STANDARD 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/standard1852.shtml.
  10. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 13) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  11. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020
  12. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 11) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  13. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance


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