Show ContentsGrizzell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Grizzell surname is thought to be derived from the Middle English word "grice," which is in turn from the Old French "gris," meaning "grey." It was most likely originally a nickname for a grey-haired man. Although, there was also a Middle English word "grise," which meant "pig." [1]

While this etymology is typical, we must take the time to point out the Norman origin which is just as likely as the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae lists Richard de Grisy, as holding lands there in 1180. [2]

Early Origins of the Grizzell family

The surname Grizzell was first found in Norfolk where conjecturally they were, in 1066, Lords of the Manor of Brockdish, the King's land, whose feudal Lord was William de Noyers, Count of Nevers seated originally at Poitevin and St-Cyr de Nevers in Normandy. Sir William also held Grayhurst Manor through Bishop Odo from King William of Normandy. From this family also descend the Lords Monson and Viscounts Castlemaine. The original estates were sold in 1327. The village now consists of a church, St. Edmunds, which has both Saxon and Norman windows, obviously predating the Norman Conquest by many years.

The parish of St. Mawes in Cornwall has an interesting entry. One source asserts that the lands of St. Mawes including the castle "was first given to Sir Robert Le Grice, a Spaniard, by whose son, in the reign of Elizabeth, it was sold to Hannibal Vyvyan, Esq. of Trelowarren." [3]

Early History of the Grizzell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Grizzell research. Another 149 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1555 and 1651 are included under the topic Early Grizzell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Grizzell Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Grice, Gryce, Gryse, Grise, Grisewood, DeGrice, Grycie and many more.

Early Notables of the Grizzell family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Grizzell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Grizzell family to Ireland

Some of the Grizzell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 33 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Grizzell family

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Charles Grice, who was on record in Braintree, Massachussetts in 1651; Thomas Grice, who came to Virginia in 1665; Arthur Grice, who arrived in Virginia in 1683.

Contemporary Notables of the name Grizzell (post 1700) +

  • Steve Grizzell, American executive producer, known for his work on the Narrow Boat documentaries (2005 and 2006)
  • Bryant Grizzell, American sound engineer, known for his work on Brick (2005), The Last Don (1997) and Dirty Love
  • Di'Jonn Grizzell (b. 1989), birth name of Jonn Hart, an American R&B singer from Oakland, California
  • Emily Grizzell, English soloist at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet

  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. 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)
  3. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print on Facebook