Grether History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Grether surname comes from the Old English words "great" or "large" and "heafod," meaning "head." It is supposed that this was originally a nickname for someone with a large head, which was later taken on as a surname. [1]

Early Origins of the Grether family

The surname Grether was first found in Berkshire where John Gretheved was listed in 1278. Later Thomas Gretehed was listed as Whitby, Yorkshire in 1351. [2]

Agnes Gretheyed, was listed in Lincolnshire, temp. Edward I and Peter Gretheyed, was listed in the Close Rolls, 17 Edward III (during the 17th year of King Edward III's reign.) The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 had two listings of the family: Hugo Grethed; and Willelmus Gretehed. Both held lands there at that time. [3]

One source claims the name is from "Graithwaite; a location name in Lancashire." [4]

Up in Scotland, "Matthew Gietheuith or Greatheued was alderman and provost of Aberdeen between 1271 and 1281. In 1271 he appears as Matthew Grossetechte (for French Grosstete) and in a charter of c. 1281 as Grethenith, an error for Gretheuith." [5]

Early History of the Grether family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Grether research. Another 105 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1343, 1345, 1541, 1619 and 1755 are included under the topic Early Grether History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Grether Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Greathead, Greathed, Greathouse, Greatus, Grethed, Grethouse and many more.

Early Notables of the Grether family (pre 1700)

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


United States Grether migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Grether Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Gustav Grether, aged 24, who settled in America, in 1892
  • Albertine Grether, aged 22, who immigrated to the United States, in 1893
  • Carl W. Grether, aged 24, who landed in America, in 1894
Grether Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Caroline Grether, who immigrated to the United States, in 1903
  • Chas. C. Grether, aged 24, who landed in America, in 1908
  • Anna Grether, aged 62, who landed in America, in 1910
  • Helen Grether, aged 23, who immigrated to the United States from Basel, Switzerland, in 1914
  • Elsa Grether, aged 3, who settled in America from Lorach, Germany, in 1914
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Grether (post 1700) +

  • Harris Grether, American politician, Independent Candidate for Presidential Elector for Michigan, 1984 [6]
  • Oscar Grether, co-founder of Doetsch, Grether & Cie AG, a personal care and health care provider in Basel, Germany in 1904
  • Nicole Grether (b. 1974), German badminton player at the 2004 Summer Olympics


  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  5. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 14) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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