Show ContentsGruenewald History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Gruenewald comes from the Rhineland, an ancient region of Germany. In pre-medieval times, the Germans used only one name, but later they were forced by a growing population to adopt hereditary surnames, so as to remain distinct from others using the same personal (first) name. Local names derived from place names, were often chosen. They originally indicated land ownership, and frequently carried the prefix von, meaning "of" or "from", which is often taken as an indication of aristocratic lineage. Gruenewald was a name for some one lived close to the village green. Gruenewald is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names.

Early Origins of the Gruenewald family

The surname Gruenewald was first found in Rhineland, (Strasbourg) where since ancient times the Grunwald family made significant contributions to the region's feudal society. Subsequently, the family became prominent in local affairs and often merged with other distinguished families, some of whom played important roles in the territorial conflicts of the period.

Early History of the Gruenewald family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gruenewald research. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1460, 1528 and 1694 are included under the topic Early Gruenewald History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gruenewald Spelling Variations

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 Gruenewald include Gruenwald, Gruenewald, Gruenenwald, Grunewald, Gruenwalt, Grunewalt, Grunenwaldt, Grunewalelt, Grunwald, Grunwaldt and many more.

Early Notables of the Gruenewald family

Notables with the name Gruenewald during this period were

  • Mathias Gruenewald (c.1460-1528), who was one of the greatest German painters of the period and the equal of Duerer and Cranach

United States Gruenewald migration to the United States +

Between the 17th and 20th centuries, hundreds of thousands of Europeans came to North America, and many Rhinelanders were among them. They had many various reasons for making the choice: to escape poverty and persecution, for adventure, and for the opportunity to own their own land. Ellis Island, one of the main American immigration centers, saw many settlers as they moved on to the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, and New York. In Canada, they found homes in Ontario, and on the great plains of the Midwestern provinces. The Gruenewald were among of the early German families that came to North America:

Gruenewald Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Nathan Gruenewald, who settled in Philadelphia in 1839
  • Christian Gruenewald, who arrived in St Clair County, Illinois in 1844 [1]
  • Conrad Gruenewald, who landed in St Clair County in 1856 [1]
  • Joseph Gruenewald, who arrived in North America in 1858 [1]
  • August Gruenewald, who landed in St Clair County, Illinois in 1859 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Gruenewald (post 1700) +

  • Gruenewald Rademaker (b. 1905), Brazilian naval officer and politician who became Minister for the Navy and then Vice-President of Brazil (1969-1974)

  1. 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) on Facebook