Grenhan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Grenhan is a name whose history is connected to the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Grenhan family once lived in the chapelry of Greeham in the parish of Thatcham in the county of Berkshire. The place-name is derived from the Old English Greenham, which refers to either a green river-bed or a green homestead. [1]

Alternatively, the name could have been derived from Greenham, a tything, in the parish of Ashbrittle, union of Wellington, hundred of Milverton in Somerset. [2]

Greenan Castle is a 16th century tower house, around 2.5 miles south-west of Ayr in South Ayrshire, Scotland

Early Origins of the Grenhan family

The surname Grenhan was first found in Somerset, where Simon de Gryndham was listed in the Assize Rolls for 1268. [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list Ralph de Greneham, Suffolk and Ralph de Grenham was also listed in Suffolk, 20 Edward I: Placita de Quo Warranto, temp. Edward I-III. [4]

Early History of the Grenhan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Grenhan research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1535, 1594, 1535, 1559, 1564, 1567 and are included under the topic Early Grenhan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Grenhan Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Grenhan family name include Greenham, Greenam, Greenum and others.

Early Notables of the Grenhan family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Ralph Greenham of Suffolk; and Richard Greenham or Grenham (1535?-1594), an early Puritan Minister, at Dry Drayton, Cambridgeshire. He "was probably born about 1535, and went at an...
Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Grenhan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Grenhan family to Ireland

Some of the Grenhan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 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 Grenhan family

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Grenhan surname or a spelling variation of the name include: Richard Greenham who settled in New England in 1768.



  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


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