Recorded in several spellings as shown below, this interesting surname is English. It is one of a group which originate from the county of Derbyshire, and are quite specific to the Peak District. We believe that the "root" is the same as the more popular "Greatorex" which is a dialectal corruption or fusing of "The Great Ridge", the name of a famous lead mine. This was was worked from approximately 1550 to 1700 in the Crich area of Derbyshire, and it maybe that the name is from this mine. It does seem that the surname in its various forms, follows the well known locational principle of being given to former residents of an area as their identification, after they moved elsewhere. This also accounts for the wide variation in spelling which includes Gradidge, Grattage, Grudtage, Grittadge, and Gratwidge. There are no absolute certainties in surname origins, not even "Smith," so doubts remain. Early examples of the surname recording include Alice Grittage who married Joseph Withnold at Brailsford in Derbyshire on January 2nd 1721, Thomas Grastwidge, christened at St Lukes, Finsbury, on July 23rd, 1738, John Gratidge, a witness at Sheffield Cathedral on May 31st, 1762, and Thomas and Ann Grattage, who were christening witnesses at Wirksworth, Derbyshire, on July 1st 1804. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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