This ancient surname is of English. It is locational from the two places called Greenham in the counties of Berkshire and Somerset. The former place name, recorded as Greneham in the famous Domesday Book of England in 1086, is composed of the pre 7th century elements "gren", meaning green and "ham", a village or homestead. The place in Somerset is recorded as "Grindeham" in the Domesday Book, and derives its name from "Grinde", a local river name. This originates from "grindan", meaning to grind, hence the river and place name means "a river that grinds its bed". The second element of "ham" is as before. The surname itself is first recorded in the mid 13th century as shown below, whilst another early recording is that of Ralph de Greneham in the Hundred Rolls of Suffolk in 1275. The surviving church register recordings of the Elizabethan period for the city of London include the marriage of Jefforie Grenam to Johan Kyrton on June 5th, 1560 at St. Mary at Hill; and the christening of Ellen, daughter of William and Ann Grinham on January 16th 1621 at St. Andrews Holborn. The Ulster Office in Ireland granted a coat of arms to the nameholders in 1661. This blazon depicts a barry of ten red and silver, on a red chief, three gold cinque-foils. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Simon de Gryndham. This was dated 1268 in the Assize Rolls of Somerset, during the reign of King Henry 111rd of England, 1216 - 1272. 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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