Grene History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Grene name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having lived on the Isle of Grain in Kent, or possible from the French, Graine; a personal name. [1] Two other sources note the Kent [2] [3] connection, but we need to explore the possible French influence more. The Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae lists Richard de Grana in Normandy 1180-1195 [4] and so this may be the source for some of the family.

Early Origins of the Grene family

The surname Grene was first found in Yorkshire where William del Greyn was listed as holding lands in the Subsidy Rolls of 1297. Years later, John atte Grelne was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1327 and William Grayne was found in the Assize Rolls for Yorkshire in 1362. The name literally means "dweller at the inlet, or at the fork of a river.' [5]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 also include many entries for the name in the Grayneson form: Willelmus de Grayne; Walterus Grayne; Thomas Grayne; Johannes Grayneson; Ricardus Grayneson; Robertus Grayneson; and many more. The Howdenshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included: Willelmus Grayne, husband; and Alanus Grayne, orewster. [6]

Early History of the Grene family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Grene research. Another 119 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1362, 1379, 1455, 1487, 1616, 1667, 1629, 1697, 1616 and 1667 are included under the topic Early Grene History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Grene Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Grene has undergone many spelling variations, including Grain, Grayne, Grayn, Graynson, Grainson, Granson and others.

Early Notables of the Grene family (pre 1700)

Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Grene Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Grene family to Ireland

Some of the Grene family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 62 words (4 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 Grene family

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Grene were among those contributors: the name represented in many forms and recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..


Contemporary Notables of the name Grene (post 1700) +

  • Sir Charles Grene Ellicombe (1783-1871), British general, Royal Engineers, son of the Rev. William Ellicombe, rector of Alphington, Devonshire [7]


  1. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Charnock, Richard, Stephen, Ludus Patronymicus of The Etymology of Curious Surnames. London: Trubner & Co., 60 Paternoster Row, 1868. Print.
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  7. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020


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