Recorded as Greener, Greenier, Grinyer, and possibly others, this is an English medieval surname. It is either locational, and describes somebody who lived by a "green", an area of common land used by the tenant farmers for grazing, or occasionally it may be job descriptive, for one who maintained "the green". The derivation is from the pre 7th century word "grene", and one of the earliest examples of any surname recording is that of Geoffrey de Grene of Kent, in the year 1188. It is also possible that the name in the early days may have been a nickname for a young person, somebody who was "a bit green". This description was probably applied to Peter Greenii, of York, in the pipe rolls of that city for 1196. The French writer Dauzat in the 13th century, refers to "la verdeur de homme", the green man. This is clearly mean to to be sarcastic, as he goes on about "sa jeunesse, sa vivacite", perhaps an older man jealous of a younger man's sexual prowess! Early examples of the surname recordings include John le Greener, of Worcester, in the Subsidy Rolls of the year 1332, and James Grinyer, a christening witnss at St Pauls Deptford, in Kent, on June 21st 1752.. The first recording is believed to be that of Robert de la Greenore, in the Hundred Rolls of the county of Suffolk, in the year 1275. This was during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, 1272 - 1307.
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