This interesting surname recorded as Greenaway and Greenway, is of pre 7th century Anglo-Saxon and Olde English origins. It is either topographical for one who lived by a "road through the grassland or village green", or it was locational from any of the three places called Greenway in the counties of Gloucestershire, Glamorgan and Somerset. The derivation in both these instances is from the Old English word "grene", meaning green, but literally referring to grasslands used for grazing, and "weg", a road or path. The intrusive "a" in Greenaway is a dialectal addition introduced for euphonic purposes or to make for easier pronunciation. The spelling as Greenway is recorded in the Wills Records of the city of Chester for the period 1545to 1620. Early examples of the church register recordings include the christenings of Samuel Greenaway on December 27th 1646 at St. Botolph's church, Bishopsgate, and Thomas Greenway on February 12th 1639 at St. Margaret's, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Greneweie, which was dated 1214, in the Curia Regis rolls of the county of Kent. This was during the reign of King John, known by the nickname of "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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