Greeves History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The name Greeves has a rich and ancient history. It is an Anglo-Saxon name that was originally derived 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 Greeves 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. [1]

Early Origins of the Greeves family

The surname Greeves 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. [1]

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. [2]

"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." [3]

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. [2]

Important Dates for the Greeves family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Greeves research. Another 138 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1669, 1784, 1600, 1600, 1607, 1612, 1676, 1602, 1652, 1608, 1680, 1605 and 1673 are included under the topic Early Greeves History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Greeves Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Greeves include Grieves, Grieve, Greve, Greves, Greeves, Greaves, Greave, Griveson, Greaveson, Greavson and many more.

Early Notables of the Greeves family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Thomas Greaves (1612-1676), an English orientalist, a contributor to the London Polyglot; John Greaves (1602-1652), an English mathematician, astronomer and antiquary; Sir Edward Greaves, 1st Baronet (1608-1680)...
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Greeves Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Greeves family to Ireland

Some of the Greeves family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Greeves migration to the United States

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Greeves Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Greeves, who landed in Virginia in 1650 [4]
  • John Greeves, who settled in Virginia in 1650
Greeves Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mary Greeves, who settled in Rappahanock Virginia in 1741
Greeves Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John G Greeves, who arrived in Louisiana in 1810 [4]
  • Agnes Greeves, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812 [4]
  • Wm. Greeves, aged 30, who settled in America, in 1892
Greeves Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Fred Greeves, aged 24, who immigrated to the United States from Fermanagh, in 1900
  • William Greeves, aged 41, who immigrated to the United States from Southampton, England, in 1908
  • Ridgray Greeves, aged 36, who landed in America from Belfast, Ireland, in 1909
  • William Greeves, aged 54, who landed in America from Worcester, England, in 1917
  • Rosanna Greeves, aged 35, who immigrated to America, in 1921
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Greeves (post 1700)

  • Teri Greeves (b. 1970), American Kiowa-Comanche-Italian beadwork artist
  • Marion Janet Greeves MBE (1894-1979), née Cadbury, English politician, the first one of two female members of the Senate of Northern Ireland
  • Major-General Sir Stuart Greeves (1897-1987), British Commanding Officer 80th Indian Brigade, Burma (1942) [5]
  • Major-General Sir Stuart Greeves KBE CB DSO and Bar MC and Bar (1897-1989), British Indian Army officer
  • Edward Goderich "Carji" Greeves Jr (1903-1963), Australian rules footballer, eponym of the Carji Greeves Medal
  • Oscar Bertram "Bert" Greeves MBE (1906-1993), British engineer, founder of Invacar Ltd (1942), Greeves motor cycles (1953)
  • Augustus Frederick Adolphus Greeves (1806-1874), Australian politician, former Mayor of Melbourne, Member of Parliament for Melbourne

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  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  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. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2015, December 10) Stuart Greeves. Retrieved from
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