Grimm History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The prestigious family surname Grimm 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 Grimm 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.

Early Origins of the Grimm family

The surname Grimm 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.

The Brother Grimm, Jacob Ludwig Karl Grimm (1785-1863) and Wilhelm Carl Grimm (1786-1859), were German academics, philologists and cultural researchers, born in the town of Hanau in Hesse-Cassel. Their "fairy tales" or "folk stories" were complied in seven editions with many revisions in each edition. The collection included "Cinderella" ("Aschenputtel"), "The Frog Prince" ("Der Froschkönig"), ("Die Gänsemagd"), "Hansel and Gretel" ("Hänsel und Gretel"), "Rapunzel", "Beauty and the Beast", "Little Red Riding Hood", "The Wolf and the Seven Young Goats", "The Three Little Pigs" and many more.

In England, Edward Grim ( fl. 1170-1177), was a biographer of Becket, a native of Cambridge, a clerk, and had attained the degree of Master at some university before the end of 1170, when he visited Thomas Becket on the latter's return to Canterbury. "On the fatal evening, 29 Dec., Grim accompanied Thomas into the church, stood by him during his altercation with the knights, and shielded him from their violence, till, his own arm being nearly cut off by a stroke aimed at the primate, he fell to the ground, but was able to crawl away to the altar where the archbishop's other clerks had taken refuge, and thus escaped with his life." [1]

Early History of the Grimm family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Grimm research. Another 96 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1792, 1859, 1785, 1863, 1786, 1859, 1828 and 1901 are included under the topic Early Grimm History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Grimm Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the Grimm family (pre 1700)

Prominent bearers of the family name Grimm during this time period were Jacob (1785-1863) and his brother Wilhelm Grimm (1786-1859), born in Hessen, who were the founders of folklore as well as historians of...
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Grimm Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Grimm migration to the United States +

Much of German history has been shaped by the state of Prussia. It was an enduring military power until after the Second World War. At that time, the state was abolished altogether and its land divided between the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany and West Germany. While some Prussians were content to remain in those countries, others moved away, many of them migrating to North America. They entered the United States mostly through Philadelphia, moving on to Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Others went to Canada, settling on the prairies and in the province of Ontario. Among those of this surname listed in various historical records were:

Grimm Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Elsie Jam Grimm, who landed in New Netherland(s) in 1664 [2]
  • Otto Grimm, who arrived in New Netherland(s) in 1664 [2]
Grimm Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Egideus Grimm, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1727 [2]
  • Johann Georg Grimm, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1733 [2]
  • Johann Conrad Grimm, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1736 [2]
  • Andreas Grimm, who settled in Philadelphia in 1736
  • Martin Grimm, who landed in America in 1738 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Grimm Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Frederic Grimm, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1840 [2]
  • Auguste Grimm, who landed in Texas in 1840-1850 [2]
  • Johann Friedrich Grimm, aged 49, who landed in America in 1844 [2]
  • Joseph Grimm, who settled in Texas in 1846
  • Friedrich Grimm, who landed in Texas in 1846 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Grimm migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Grimm Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Margerite Grimm, who landed in Red River, Canada in 1821

New Zealand Grimm migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Grimm Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mary Ann Grimm, aged 15, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Oriental" in 1840
  • Miss Mary Ann Grimm, (b. 1824), aged 15, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Oriental" arriving in Port Nicholson, Wellington, New Zealand on 31st January 1840 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Grimm (post 1700) +

  • Stephen Grimm, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 37th District, 1976 [4]
  • John Murchison Grimm (b. 1866), American Republican politician, Linn County Attorney, 1893-98; Justice of Iowa State Supreme Court, 1929-32; Appointed 1929 [4]
  • John Grimm Jr., American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1904, 1908, 1912 [4]
  • Jacob Grimm, American politician, Candidate for Missouri State House of Representatives from St. Louis City 6th District, 1920 [4]
  • J. H. Grimm, American politician, Member of Nebraska State Senate, 1879 [4]
  • J. A. Grimm, American politician, Burgess of Vandergrift, Pennsylvania, 1933-37 [4]
  • Henry A. Grimm, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Windsor, 1940 [4]
  • Harriette Grimm, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Delegate to Michigan State Constitutional Convention from Wayne County 10th District, 1961 [4]
  • Fredric A. Grimm, American politician, Circuit Judge in Michigan 14th Circuit, 1977; Defeated, 1968 [4]
  • Fredric A. Grimm, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Michigan State Senate 23rd District, 1951 [4]
  • ... (Another 11 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Bismarck
  • Heinz Grimm (1919-1941), German Maschinengefreiter who served aboard the German Battleship Bismarck during World War II when it was sunk heading to France; he died in the sinking [5]
Flight TWA 800
  • Miss. Julia Danielle Grimm (1981-1996), from Montoursville, Pennsylvania, USA, American student from Montoursville flying aboard flight TWA 800 from J.F.K. Airport, New York to Leonardo da Vinci Airport, Rome when the plane crashed after takeoff ; she died in the crash [6]


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, July 22) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  5. ^ Bismarck & Tirpitz Class - Crew List Bismarck. (Retrieved 2018, February 06). Retrieved from https://www.bismarck-class.dk/bismarck/crew/bismarck_crew.html#crew_details
  6. ^ The Washington Post Passenger List TWA Flight 800. (Retrieved 2018, February 15th). Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm/twa800/list01.htm


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