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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Where did the German Gries family come from? What is the German Gries family crest and coat of arms? When did the Gries family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Gries family history?

The history of the Gries family name begins in the German province of Bavaria. Gries is a nickname surname, a class of German names derived from eke-names, or added names, that described people by a personal characteristic or other attribute. Gries is a name for a large person. This family name is derived from the German word gross, indicating prodigious size.


One can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames: in early times, spelling in general, and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized; and later, spellings would change with branching and movement of families. Variations of the name Gries include Gross, Grose, Groes, Grosse, Groess, Groesse and many more.

First found in Bavaria, where this family name became a prominent contributor to the development of the district from ancient times. Always prominent in social affairs, the name became an integral part of that turbulent region as it emerged to form alliances with other families within the Feudal System and the nation. Guenther Gross, founder of the Bavarian line von Trockau, appeared as early as 1097, when he fought under Gottfried von Bouillon against the infidels; after his period of service he settled in Franconia.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gries research. Another 188 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1501 and 1783 are included under the topic Early Gries History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Gries Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


European migration to North America began in the mid-17th century and continued unabated until the mid-20th. Many Bavarians made the long trip to escape poverty or persecution based on their religious beliefs. The chance for tenant farmers to own their own land was also a major drawing card. They settled all across the United States in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Many came to Canada also, settling in Ontario and the prairie provinces. Analysis of immigration records has shown some of the first Griess to arrive in North America, and among them were:

Gries Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Hans Jurg Gries, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1753

Gries Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Albert Gries, aged 24, landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1854
  • Friederike Louise Gries, aged 31, landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1854
  • Friedrich Gries, aged 33, landed in Baltimore Maryland in 1854


  • Walter Friedrich Gries (1892-1959), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1952; Member of Michigan State Board of Education, 1953-59


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  7. Bahlow, Hans and Edda Gentry. Translation Dictionary of German Names 2nd Edition. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 2002. Print.
  8. Kneschke, Dr. Ernest Heinrich. Neues allgemeines Deutsches Adels-Lexicon 9 Volumes New General German Aristocracy Lexicon. Leipzig: Friedrich Voigt, 1859. Print.
  9. Göbel, Otto. Niederdeutsche Familiennamen der Gegenwart Wolfshagen-Schäbentz. Franz: Westphal, 1936. Print.
  10. Brechenmacher, Josef Karlmann. Deutches Namenbuch. Stuttgart: Verlag von Adolf Bonz & Comp, 1928. Print.
  11. ...

The Gries Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gries Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 14 October 2015 at 09:30.

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