This interesting and unusual name, recorded in Kent church registers from the mid 16th Century under the variant spellings Greedyer, Greder, Greedier, greater etc., is of occupational origin for a dyer of wool or other material with a grey colouring substance. The derivation is from the old English pre 7th Century "graeg", meaning "grey", plus "deag" from "deagian", to dye. On October 13th 1567, Amys Greedyer and Henry Clarcke were married in Bekesbourne, Kent; John, son of Thomas Greder, was christened in St.Mary the Virgin, Dover, on March 3rd 1593, and on March 31st 1605 Anne Gredier, an infant was christened in Margate. On April 4th 1608, the marriage of Agnes Greater and Benjamyn Earlden took place in St. George the martyr, Canterbury, and on April 21st 1659 Richard Greader married A Margarett Harlowe in St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Greedyer, (christening), which was dated November 15th 1558, in Bekesbourne, Kent, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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