Greevile History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Greevile reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Greevile family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Greevile family lived in the place named Grenneville in the barony of St. Denis de Gaste, Normandy. [1]

Another source claims the family originated at Griuil, or Greville, a castle on Cotentin. [2]

The family name Greevile was brought to England after the Norman Conquest, when William the Conqueror gave his friends and relatives most of the land formerly owned by Anglo-Saxon aristocrats. The Normans frequently used the name of their estate in Normandy as part of their name. The surname Greevile was established by Norman landholders in the county of Buckinghamshire.

Early Origins of the Greevile family

The surname Greevile was first found in Buckinghamshire where they held a family seat soon after the Norman Conquest. They are believed to be from Grenneville in the barony of St. Denis de Gaste in the Cotentin in Normandy.

Accompanying the Conqueror at Hastings in 1066 the family, father William and son Robert, became under-tenants of the Giffards in Buckinghamshire. Richard, son of Robert, married Isabel, daughter and heiress of Gautier Giffard, Earl of Buckingham, thus inheriting the title which would later become the Duke of Buckingham. Although the Harleian Society claims there is no relationship to the west country Grevilles in Gloucester, a branch which emerged about 1250, we find this most unlikely.

The similarity of the Coat of Arms of each of these families is more than conclusive evidence that the Grevilles of Gloucester were directly related to the Grenvilles of Buckinghamshire, although it must be admitted there was a noble family of Lagravol or Greville in Montfaucon-du-Velay in Forez also emerging in the 13th century.

"They were seated at Drayton in Oxfordshire (the adjoining county to Bucks) which Leland calls " the veri ancient house of the Gravilles": and their ancestor, John Greville (or Grenville) appears to be the same who is mentioned by Collins as of Wotton in 1308, and whose father John, son of John de Grenville, was living in 1305." [2]

Early History of the Greevile family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Greevile research. Another 156 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1250, 1267, 1554, 1628, 1607, 1643, 1628, 1658, 1643, 1658, 1677, 1720, 1699, 1701, 1701 and 1705 are included under the topic Early Greevile History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Greevile Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Greville, Grevill, Graville, Gravill, Gravell, Gravelle, Gravel, Grevil, Grevile, Gravile and many more.

Early Notables of the Greevile family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Fulke Greville first Lord Brooke (1554-1628), English poet, only son of Sir Fulke Greville, by Ann, daughter of Ralph Neville, earl of Westmorland, was born at the family seat, Beauchamp Court, Warwickshire; Sir Edward Greville of Milcote; Robert Greville, 2nd Baron Brooke (1607-1643), an English Civil War Roundhead General, the cousin and adopted son of Fulke...
Another 64 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Greevile Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Greevile family

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Greevile name or one of its variants: Ffrancis Grevill, who came to Virginia in 1620; John Grevill, a bonded passenger, who arrived in America in 1740; John Gravell, aged 16, who settled in Jamaica in 1685.



  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. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3


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