Gresen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Gresen is a name whose history is connected to the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Gresen family once lived in the village of Gresham in the county of Norfolk.   
Early Origins of the Gresen family
The surname Gresen was first found in Norfolk at Gresham, a parish, in the union of Erpingham, hundred of North Erpingham. "Gresham gave name to the family of which Sir Thomas [Gresham] (c. 1519-1579), the founder of the Royal Exchange and of Gresham College, was a member." 
The same Sir Thomas is again mentioned in the same source in Battisford, Suffolk. "The framework of the late Royal Exchange, London, erected by Sir Thomas Gresham, was made here; Sir Thomas residing in the adjoining parish of Kingshall, and having considerable property in this." 
Another family seat was found at Barnby-Upon-Don in the West Riding of Yorkshire. "The church [of Barnby-Upon-Don] is a well-built structure of very ancient date, with a chancel the property of the Gresham family, which contains some handsome monuments to their ancestors and others." 
Ancient rolls give typically give a glimpse of the many spellings in use over the years, but this name is the exception as William de Gresham was registered in the Pipe Rolls for Norfolk in 1199 and Thomas Gresham was recorded in the Assize Rolls for Lancashire in 1446. It wasn't until the 16 century to find a variant, that of Richard Gressam listed as a Freeman of York in 1551. 
Early History of the Gresen family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gresen research. Another 186 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1537, 1776, 1549, 1495, 1556, 1485, 1549, 1519, 1579, 1627, 1696, 1649, 1709, 1660, 1718 and 1626 are included under the topic Early Gresen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Gresen 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 Gresen family name include Gresham, Gressam and others.
Early Notables of the Gresen family (pre 1700)
Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir John Gresham (1495-1556), an English merchant, courtier and financier who worked for King Henry VIII of England, Cardinal Wolsey and Thomas Cromwell, Lord Mayor of London and founded Gresham's School, Holt, Norfolk; Sir Richard Gresham (c.1485-1549), an English mercer, Merchant Adventurer, Lord Mayor of London, and Member of Parliament who was descended from an ancient family which long resided in the village...
Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gresen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Gresen 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 Gresen surname or a spelling variation of the name include: Edward Gressam who settled in St. Christopher in 1635; Joe Gressam settled in Virginia in 1635; Ed. Gresham settled in Virginia in 1650; Andrew Gresham arrived in Philadelphia in 1858..
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- Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)