Groevenor History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Groevenor is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest in 1066. It is a name for a person in charge of hunting on the Lord's estates. Further research showed the name was derived from the Anglo Norman French gros, which means great, or chief, and veneor, which means hunter, collectively "the chief or royal huntsman." [1] [2]

"This noble house [Westminster] traces its descent in the male line to a family which is stated to have flourished in Normandy for a century and a half before the conquest of England, and obtained its surname from having held the high and powerful office, in that principality, of le Grovenour." [3]

Another source gives more details: "Le Gros Veneut- 'the great or chief hunter' - that office having been hereditary in the family under the dukes of Normandy. The family descend from an uncle of Rollo the founder of Normandy; and the first settler in England was Gilbert le Grosvenor, nephew of Hugh Lupus, earl of Chester, who was nephew of the Conqueror. This illustrious name is properly Latinized Magnus Venator, but sometimes, absurdly, De Grosso Venatore." [2]

"The ancient seat of the Le Venours appears to have been Venables, near Evreux. Three brothers of this family came to England with Hugh Lupus: 1. Gislebert Venator, or De Venables, ancestor of the barons of Kinderton, of whom Gislebert Venables of Cheshire is mentioned in Normandy 1180 as 'Gislebert Venator' (Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae). The French line of Le Venur, descended from him." [4]

Sir Robert Grosvenor (d. 1396), the English knight, was the "defendant in the case of Scrope and Grosvenor, having descended from Gilbert le Grosvenor, nephew of Hugh Lupus, earl of Chester, in the time of William I. Sixth in descent from Gilbert was Sir Ralph Grosvenor of Hulme, Cheshire, who died in or before 1357, leaving his son Robert under age. " [5]

Early Origins of the Groevenor family

The surname Groevenor was first found in Lancashire where Robert le gros Venour was listed c. 1200. [6]

"Robert Grosvenor 1178 witnessed a charter of John, Constable of Chester, for Stanlaw Abbey. Ralph, his son, temp. John, was ancestor of the Grosvenors of Cheshire." [4]

Early History of the Groevenor family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Groevenor research. Another 113 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1585, 1645, 1604, 1665, 1655, 1700, 1693, 1732, 1695, 1755, 1676, 1758, 1676, 1710, 1712 and 1716 are included under the topic Early Groevenor History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Groevenor Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Grosvenor, Grosvener and others.

Early Notables of the Groevenor family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Richard Grosvenor, 1st Baronet (1585-1645); Sir Richard Grosvenor, 2nd Baronet (c.1604-1665); Sir Thomas Grosvenor, 3rd Baronet (1655-1700), an English Member of Parliament; Sir Richard Grosvenor, 4th Baronet (1693-1732); and Sir Robert Grosvenor, 6th Baronet (1695-1755), English Member of Parliament. Benjamin Grosvenor, Gravenor or Gravener (1676-1758), was a "dissenting divine, born in London on...
Another 61 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Groevenor Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Groevenor family

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Groevenor name or one of its variants: John Grosvenor who settled in New England in 1630; Louis Grosvernor settled in Boston in 1822; E.C. Grosvenor settled in Savannah, Georgia in 1826.



The Groevenor Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Virtus, non stemma
Motto Translation: Virtue, not pedigree.


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Burke, John and Burke, Sir Bernard, C.B. LL.D Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage . London: Harrison, 59, Pall Mall, 1865, Print.
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  6. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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