Grevile History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Grevile was brought to England by the Normans when they conquered the country in 1066. The ancestors of the Grevile family lived in the place named Grenneville in the barony of St. Denis de Gaste, Normandy. [1]

Another source claims the family originated at Griuil, or Greville, a castle on Cotentin. [2]

The family name Grevile was brought to England after the Norman Conquest, when William the Conqueror gave his friends and relatives most of the land formerly owned by Anglo-Saxon aristocrats. The Normans frequently used the name of their estate in Normandy as part of their name. The surname Grevile was established by Norman landholders in the county of Buckinghamshire.

Early Origins of the Grevile family

The surname Grevile was first found in Buckinghamshire where they held a family seat soon after the Norman Conquest. They are believed to be from Grenneville in the barony of St. Denis de Gaste in the Cotentin in Normandy.

Accompanying the Conqueror at Hastings in 1066 the family, father William and son Robert, became under-tenants of the Giffards in Buckinghamshire. Richard, son of Robert, married Isabel, daughter and heiress of Gautier Giffard, Earl of Buckingham, thus inheriting the title which would later become the Duke of Buckingham. Although the Harleian Society claims there is no relationship to the west country Grevilles in Gloucester, a branch which emerged about 1250, we find this most unlikely.

The similarity of the Coat of Arms of each of these families is more than conclusive evidence that the Grevilles of Gloucester were directly related to the Grenvilles of Buckinghamshire, although it must be admitted there was a noble family of Lagravol or Greville in Montfaucon-du-Velay in Forez also emerging in the 13th century.

"They were seated at Drayton in Oxfordshire (the adjoining county to Bucks) which Leland calls " the veri ancient house of the Gravilles": and their ancestor, John Greville (or Grenville) appears to be the same who is mentioned by Collins as of Wotton in 1308, and whose father John, son of John de Grenville, was living in 1305." [2]

Early History of the Grevile family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Grevile research. Another 156 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1250, 1267, 1554, 1628, 1607, 1643, 1628, 1658, 1643, 1658, 1677, 1720, 1699, 1701, 1701 and 1705 are included under the topic Early Grevile History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Grevile Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Grevile are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Grevile include Greville, Grevill, Graville, Gravill, Gravell, Gravelle, Gravel, Grevil, Grevile, Gravile and many more.

Early Notables of the Grevile family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Fulke Greville first Lord Brooke (1554-1628), English poet, only son of Sir Fulke Greville, by Ann, daughter of Ralph Neville, earl of Westmorland, was born at the family seat, Beauchamp Court, Warwickshire; Sir Edward Greville of Milcote; Robert Greville, 2nd Baron Brooke (1607-1643), an English Civil War Roundhead General, the cousin and adopted son of Fulke...
Another 64 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Grevile Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Grevile family

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Grevile, or a variant listed above: Ffrancis Grevill, who came to Virginia in 1620; John Grevill, a bonded passenger, who arrived in America in 1740; John Gravell, aged 16, who settled in Jamaica in 1685.



  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3


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