This unusual and interesting name is of Olde Norse origin, and is a variant form of the more familiar surname "Grime(s)". The derivation is from the Olde Norse personal name "Grimr", in Olde Danish and Olde Swedish "Grim", which was popular in those areas of England influenced by Scandinavian settlements, particularly the north western and eastern counties. The Norse word was equivalent to the Olde English pre 7th Century "grima", mask, and was one of the Norse god Woden's names meaning "masked person" or "shape-changer" and may have been given to male children to encourage the god's protection. Some modern name-bearers may derive from the other Olde English sense of "grim" as "fierce", as in "Peter le Grim" (1327, Sussex). The plural forms of the surname are patronymics, meaning "son of Grim". One Ellis Chrymes is recorded in London in 1552, and Katherine Crimes was married to Thomas Burchill on the 20th September 1640 at Frodsham in Cheshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godwin Grim, which was dated 1170, in the "Norfolk Pipe Rolls", during the reign of 0King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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