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

The prestigious family surname Grim originated in the lands which eventually became the modern German state of Prussia. This territory was known for its beautiful landscape, its advanced technology, and its military power. However, in the medieval era, Prussia was fragmented and inhabited by numerous barbarian tribes who fought amongst themselves for control of the land. The borders of the Barbarian kingdoms, which were established after the fall of the Roman Empire, changed repeatedly. The region that came to be known as Prussia was roughly divided among the territories of Brandenburg-Prussia, West Prussia and East Prussia. The Grim family emerged in Brandenburg- Prussia, which is essentially the birthplace of modern Germany. By the 19th century, Brandenburg-Prussia had incorporated East Prussia, West Prussia and many other German territories. Moreover, in the late 19th century, it led the German states in the unification of Germany.


The surname Grim was first found in Prussia, where the name became noted for its many branches within the region, each house acquiring a status and influence which was envied by the princes of the region. In their later history the name became a power unto themselves and were elevated to the ranks of nobility as they grew into this most influential family.

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 Grim include Grimm, Grim, Grimme, Grimmen, Grimmer, Grimer, Grymm and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Grim research. Another 220 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1785, 1786, 1792, 1828, 1859, and 1863 are included under the topic Early Grim History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 67 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Grim Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


The state of Prussia was a great influence on the shape of modern Germany. After the Second World War, Prussia's land was divided among the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany and West Germany and the state was abolished. Some Prussians remained in those countries after the war, while many others migrated to North America in search of a new start. Philadelphia was their primary point of entry to the United States, after which many of them moved on to Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. A large number of Prussians also migrated to Ontario and the prairie provinces as United Empire Loyalists. Analysis of immigration records has shown some of the first Grims to arrive in North America, and among them were:

Grim Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Egidius Grim, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1728
  • Hans Jerick Grim, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1733
  • Andries Grim, aged 18, landed in Pennsylvania in 1736
  • Johan Hendk Grim, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1737
  • Carl Grim, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1741

Grim Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Andreas Grim, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1804
  • Bryan Grim, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1816
  • Joseph Grim, who landed in Galveston, Tex in 1846
  • Frederick Grim settled in Texas in 1846
  • John Grim, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1855


  • Robert "Bobby" Grim (1924-1995), American racecar driver
  • Robert Lee Grim (b. 1945), former American football player
  • John Helm Grim (1867-1961), 19th century American Major League Baseball player
  • Emanuel Grim (1883-1950), Polish Catholic priest, writer and journalist
  • Johann Georg Friedrich "Fred" Grim (b. 1965), retired Dutch football goalkeeper
  • Sir Harold Grim, West Lancashire newspaper Editor and writer


  • Pennsylvania-German Settlers in Nebraska: Charles T. and Barbara Grim by Jane Howard Dein.

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  1. Jones, George F. The Germans of Colonial Georgia 1733-1783 Revised edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0806311614).
  2. Kapff, Rudolf. Schwäbische Geschlechtsnamen. Stuttgart: Verlag Silberburg, 1927. Print.
  3. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  4. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  5. Zoder, Rudolf. Familiennamen in Ostfalen. Hildesheim: Geog Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1968. Print.
  6. Bahlow, Hans. Deutschlands geographische Namenwelt Etymologisches Lexikon der Fluss- und Ortsnamen alteuropaischer Herkunft. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1985. Print.
  7. Strassburger, Ralph B. German Pioneers The Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia 3 Volumes. Baltimore: Picton Press, 1992. Print. (ISBN 978-0929539980).
  8. Oswald, G. Lexicon der Heraldik. Leipzig: 1984. Print.
  9. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  10. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  11. ...

The Grim Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Grim 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 22 August 2014 at 16:09.

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