Origins Available: English
The history of the name Greif begins with the Anglo-Saxon
tribes of Britain. It is 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
, 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
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 Greif also referred to manager
as an occupational
Early Origins of the Greif family
The surname Greif was first found in Derbyshire
where they held a family seat
from very early times.
Early History of the Greif family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Greif research.Another 217 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1379, 1784, 1600, 1612, 1676, 1602, 1652, 1st , 1608, 1680, 1605 and 1673 are included under the topic Early Greif History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Greif Spelling Variations
The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations
are common among early Anglo-Saxon
names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Greif has been recorded under many different variations, including Grieves, Grieve, Greve, Greves, Greeves, Greaves, Greave, Griveson, Greaveson, Greavson and many more.
Early Notables of the Greif 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 Greif Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Greif family to Ireland
Some of the Greif 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.
Migration of the Greif family to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England
made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Greif or a variant listed above:
Greif Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Philips Jacob Greif, who landed in New York in 1709 CITATION[CLOSE]
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)
Contemporary Notables of the name Greif (post 1700)
- Eric Greif (b. 1962), American lawyer and entertainment personality
- Avner Greif (b. 1955), American economics professor at Stanford University
- Stephen Greif (b. 1949), English actor
- Jean-Jacques Greif (b. 1944), French journalist and writer
- Olivier Greif (1950-2000), French composer
- Gideon Greif (b. 1951), Israeli historian
The Greif Motto
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.