This rare surname is of medieval English origin and is a dialectal variant of the topographical name Grinston. The derivation is from the Middle English "geene", green and "stan" a stone, thus a stone perhaps covered in moss, which may have been a landmark. Topographical names are some of the earliest to be created, as topographical features, both natural and manmade, provided obvious and convenient means of identification. This is further supported by the occurrence of name recordings in various parts of Britain, rather than in one region, only one such recording found in Derby is of the marriage of Martha Crinson and Daniel Revell on September 22nd 1693 at Old Brompton and in Whitby, Yorkshire, the marriage of Ann Crinson and John Matthews on February 10th 1801. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Grinnston, which was dated September 13th 1604,in St. Katherine-by-the-Tower, during the reign of King James 1 of England and 111 of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. 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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