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

Origins Available: English, French, German


The history of the Gross family name begins in the German province of Bavaria. Gross is a nickname surname, a class of German names derived from eke-names, or added names, that described people by a personal characteristic or other attribute. Gross is a name for a large person. This family name is derived from the German word gross, indicating prodigious size.

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The surname Gross was first found in Bavaria, where this family name became a prominent contributor to the development of the district from ancient times. Always prominent in social affairs, the name became an integral part of that turbulent region as it emerged to form alliances with other families within the Feudal System and the nation. Guenther Gross, founder of the Bavarian line von Trockau, appeared as early as 1097, when he fought under Gottfried von Bouillon against the infidels; after his period of service he settled in Franconia.

Many cultural groups lived in the German states in medieval times. Each had its own dialect and traditions, and unique variations of popular names. Low German, which is similar to contemporary Dutch, was spoken in Westphalia. German names are characterized by additions such as regional suffixes and phrases that tell something about the origin or background of its original bearer. Further contributing to the variation in German names was the fact that there were no spelling rules in medieval times: scribes recorded names according to their sound. The recorded spelling variations of Gross include Gross, Grose, Groes, Grosse, Groess, Groesse and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gross research. Another 188 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1501 and 1783 are included under the topic Early Gross History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Gross Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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European migration to North America began in the mid-17th century and continued unabated until the mid-20th. Many Bavarians made the long trip to escape poverty or persecution based on their religious beliefs. The chance for tenant farmers to own their own land was also a major drawing card. They settled all across the United States in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. Many came to Canada also, settling in Ontario and the prairie provinces. Analysis of immigration records has shown some of the first Grosss to arrive in North America, and among them were:

Gross Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Sampson Gross, who arrived in Virginia in 1637

Gross Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Johan Gross, who arrived in New York in 1709
  • Johan Jorg Gross, who landed in New York in 1709
  • William Gross, his wife and two children came to America in 1709
  • Hendrick Gross, who arrived in New York in 1709
  • Conrad Gross, who arrived in America in 1712


Gross Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • G A Gross, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1802
  • Fred Wilch Gross, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1802
  • Frederic Gross, aged 40, arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1804
  • Hannah Gross, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1804
  • Johann Gross, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1806


Gross Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Leo Gross, who arrived in Mississippi in 1902
  • Fred Gross, who arrived in Alabama in 1913

Gross Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Maria Gross, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1757
  • Ms. Catherine Gross U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on December 13, 1783 was passenger number 524 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on November 14, 1783 at East River, New York
  • Ms. Elizabeth Gross U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on December 13, 1783 was passenger number 523 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on November 14, 1783 at East River, New York
  • Ms. Mary Gross U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on December 13, 1783 was passenger number 522 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on November 14, 1783 at East River, New York

Gross Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Matilda Gross, aged 30, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Thetis"

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  • Michael C. Gross (1945-2015), American artist, designer, and film producer, perhaps best remembered for designing the logo for the movie Ghostbusters
  • Rita Gross (1943-2015), American Buddhist feminist theologian and author
  • Sarah "Sally" Gross (1933-2015), born Sarah Freiberg, an American postmodernist dancer
  • Brigadier-General Merwin Eugene Gross (1900-1946), American Commandant of the Army Air Force Institute of Technology (1946)
  • Major-General Charles Philip Gross (1889-1975), American Chief of the Transportation Corps (1942-1945)
  • Major-General William Milton Gross (1908-1972), American Director of Transportation, Air Force Logistics Command (1963-1964)
  • David Jonathan Gross (b. 1941), American particle physicist and string theorist awarded the 2004 Nobel Prize in Physics
  • A. J. Gross, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Kentucky, 1884
  • Barbara J. Gross, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 1980, 1996, 2000
  • Ben F. Gross, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1964

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  • A Family History and Genealogy; The Descendants of Johannes Fluck...Philip Christian Gross...John A. Greup...Giving Primary Consideration to the Lines of Their Descendants by Laura Lydia Trumbower Price.
  • The Family History of Friedrich Gross 1853-1968 by Charles and Eugenia Gross.
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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. Oswald, G. Lexicon der Heraldik. Leipzig: 1984. Print.
  3. Göbel, Otto. Niederdeutsche Familiennamen der Gegenwart Wolfshagen-Schäbentz. Franz: Westphal, 1936. Print.
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  5. Tobler-Meyer, Wilhelm. Familiennamen der Ostschweiz. Zürich: 1894. Print.
  6. Bahlow, Hans. Abhandlungen zur Namenforschung und Buchgeschichte. 1980. Print. (ISBN 978-3768690522).
  7. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  8. Rupp, Daniel L. A Collection of Upwards of Thirty Thousand Names of German, Swiss, Dutch, French and Other Immigrants to Pennsylvania from 1727 to 1776. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 2000. Print. (ISBN 978-0806303024).
  9. Gritzner, M. Handbuch der heraldischen Terminologie in zwölf Zungen. Nürnberg: 1890. Print.
  10. Preuss, Otto. Die Lippischen Familiennamen mit Berücksichtigung der Ortsnamen. Detmold: Meyer'sche Hofbuchh, 1887. Print.
  11. ...

The Gross Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Gross 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 27 February 2016 at 12:55.

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