Grenewell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestry of the name Grenewell dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived as dwellers beside the green grassy hill or body of water. The name comes from the Old English words "green," and "well." No doubt, the first to use this surname were a family who lived on lush green ground near a well, spring or stream. As such, the surname is classed as a topographic surname, one based on physical features near the residence, such as hills, streams, churches, etc.

Early Origins of the Grenewell family

The surname Grenewell was first found in Durham where they held a family seat from very ancient times, as Lords of the manor of Greenwell in the parish of Walsingham, and are descended from Gulielmus the Presbyter who held those lands in 1183. His son James assumed the name of the lands, Greenwell. [1]

"Greenwell is a very ancient Durham surname. The Greenwells of Stobilee, who carry their pedigree back to the beginning of the 16th century, seem to have been one of the principal stocks in modern times; the property of Broomshields has been for four centuries in the possession of a branch of this family." [2]

Early History of the Grenewell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Grenewell research. Another 96 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Grenewell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Grenewell Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Grenewell have been found, including Grenwell, Greenwell, Greenwall, Grenwall and others.

Early Notables of the Grenewell family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Grenewell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Grenewell family

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Grenewell, or a variant listed above: Acton Greenwell who settled in New England in 1775; Francis Greenwell who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1862; Richard in 1852; another Richard in 1855.



  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.


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