Show ContentsGrenow History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Grenow is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once having lived at the green way or road. The surname Grenow is derived from the Old English words grene, which means green and weg, which means road. Therefore the original bearers of the Grenow name lived by the grassy path or road. [1]

Early Origins of the Grenow family

The surname Grenow was first found in Devon but we must look to Oxfordshire where to find the first recorded reference of the name as Robert Greneway who was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. [2]

In Kent, William de Greneweie was found in the Curia Regis Rolls of 1214 and later, John atte Grenewey was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Somerset in 1327. [1]

Again in Somerset, John Grenewey, and John atte Grenewey were both listed there 1 Edward III (during the first year of the reign of King Edward III.) [3]

"Several of the old clothiers of Tiverton [Devon] made good use of their wealth. Among earlier benefactors to the town, connected with the same industry, was John Greenwaye, who erected the Greenwaye chapel and a set of almshouses, about the year 1517, the chapel being the most elaborate and notable portion of the Church of St. Peter. With John Greenwaye was associated his wife Joan. And so another set of almshouses were built by ' John Waldron and Richoard his wyfe,' in 1579. " [4]

Early History of the Grenow family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Grenow research. Another 52 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1491, 1563, 1635, 1563, 1580, 1584, 1597, 1597, 1598, 1603 and are included under the topic Early Grenow History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Grenow 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 Grenow family name include Greenway, Greenaway, Greenhay, Greenwaye and others.

Early Notables of the Grenow family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Richard Greenway, High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1491. Oswald Tesimond, alias Greenway, (1563-1635), "the English Jesuit, also known as Philip Beaumont, born in Northumberland in 1563, entered the English College at Rome for his higher studies on 9 Sept. 1580, and joined the Society of Jesus on 13 April 1584 by leave of the cardinal protector...
Another 61 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Grenow Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Grenow family to Ireland

Some of the Grenow family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 81 words (6 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 Grenow 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 Grenow surname or a spelling variation of the name include: John, Mary, Catherine, Susannah Greenway, all settled at Nantasket in 1630; Ursula Greenway settled in Boston in 1635; William Greenway settled in Barbados in 1685.

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  4. Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital on Facebook