Recorded in several spellings including Greatbach, Greatback, Greatbatch, and the dialectals, Greatbank and Greatbanks, this is an English locational surname. All appear to share the same locational origins of which we believe there are two possibilities. The first is the village of Great Barugh, near Pickering, in North Yorkshire. The local pronunciation in medieval times being as 'Great Bach'. Secondly, and if this is not the case, then the name probably derives from a 'lost' medieval hamlet of which the only reminder today of its existence, is the surname. Locational surnames were usually given to people after they left their former homes, this action in itself being a source of mis-spelling. Examples of early surname recordings include: Thomas Greatbach at St Mary Aldermary, London, on February 6th 1630, whilst on April 5th 1632, at the same church, the same Thomas is recorded as 'Greatbatch'. In Lancashire the name is first recorded in the same period when Elline Greatbach of Bolton le Moors, married John Lister on September 29th 1641. On February 24th 1799, at Manchester Cathedral, we have what seems to be a new surname development, when Hannah, the daughter of John Greatbank is recorded, whilst on June 30th 1830 Letitia Greatbanks married John Price. Thereafter through the 19th Century this surname is associated with the cathedral. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Anne Greatbatch. This was dated May 14th 1599, at the church of St Mary Aldermary, London, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, 1558 - 1603.
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