An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The name Grimsley was brought to England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Grimsley family lived in Worcestershire as Lords of the manor of Grimley.
The surname Grimsley was first found in Worcestershire at Grimley, a village and civil parish now in the Malvern Hills District, originally in the union of Martley, Lower division of the hundred of Oswaldslow. An ancient Saxon stronghold, the first listing of the place name was in the 9th century when it was listed as Grimanleage. By the Domesday Book of 1086, the place name had evolved to Grimanleh and consisted of a mill and one half of a fishery of eels.  The place name literally means "wood or glade haunted by a spectre or goblin," from the Old English words "grima" + "leah." 
Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Grimley, Grimly, Grimleigh, Grimlie, Grymley and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Grimsley research. Another 155 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 189 and are included under the topic Early Grimsley History in all our PDF Extended History products.
More information is included under the topic Early Grimsley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Grimsley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 103 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Grimsley or a variant listed above:
Grimsley Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
The Grimsley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Grimsley 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 11 September 2015 at 19:36.