Show ContentsGrosvenor History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Grosvenor family migrated to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The surname Grosvenor is 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 Grosvenor family

The surname Grosvenor 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 Grosvenor family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Grosvenor 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 Grosvenor History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Grosvenor Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Grosvenor family name include Grosvenor, Grosvener and others.

Early Notables of the Grosvenor 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 Grosvenor Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Grosvenor Ranking

In the United States, the name Grosvenor is the 16,523rd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [7]

United States Grosvenor migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Grosvenor family to immigrate North America:

Grosvenor Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Grosvenor who settled in New England in 1630
  • John Grosvenor, who arrived in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1691 [8]
Grosvenor Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • E. C. Grosvenor, who settled in Savannah, Georgia in 1826
  • Albert Grosvenor, who landed in Colorado in 1883 [8]

Australia Grosvenor migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Grosvenor Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Joseph Grosvenor, English convict who was convicted in Birmingham, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Bangalore" on 28th March 1848, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) from Bermuda [9]
  • Edward Grosvenor, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Susannah" in 1849 [10]

Contemporary Notables of the name Grosvenor (post 1700) +

  • Charles Henry Grosvenor (1833-1917), American politician, brigade commander in the Union Army during the American Civil War, multiple-term U.S. Representative from Ohio
  • Charles Grosvenor (b. 1952), American film director
  • Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor (1875-1966), American father of photojournalism, first full-time editor of National Geographic Magazine (1899 to 1954)
  • Gilbert Melville Grosvenor (b. 1931), American editor of the National Geographic Magazine from 1903 to 1954, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • William Grosvenor Jr., American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Army Air Forces, during World War II, credited with 5 aerial victories
  • Richard Grosvenor KG, PC, (1795-1869), 2nd Marquess of Westminster, English politician, landowner, property developer and benefactor
  • Hugh Lupus Grosvenor KG, PC, JP, (1825-1899), 1st Duke of Westminster, English landowner, politician and racehorse owner
  • Luther James Grosvenor (b. 1946), English rock musician
  • Robert Grosvenor KG (1767-1845), 1st Marquess of Westminster, English Member of Parliament
  • Robert Grosvenor (1895-1953), British World War I flying ace credited with 16 aerial victories
  • ... (Another 8 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Grosvenor 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)
  7. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  8. 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)
  9. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th September 2020). Retrieved from
  10. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SUSANNAH 1849. Retrieved from on Facebook