This name, with variant spellings Greenhow(e) and Greenough, is of English locational origin from a place in Northumberland called Greenhaugh or from Greenhow, places in the North and West Ridings of Yorkshire. The latter two were first recorded as Grenehou circa 1180 in Early Yorkshire Charters, and the former as "le Grenehalgh" in 1326. The first element, in all cases, is the Olde English pre 7th Century "grne", meaning "green", plus "hoh", a hill or mound or "haga", an enclosure, hence, "the green mound or enclosure".In some instances, the name may be topographical from residence in a green enclosure, (see first recorded spelling). One, Geoffrey de Grenhou, witness, appears in the 1219 "Assize Court Rolls of Yorkshire", and a Robert de Grenehowe in "The Subsidy Rolls of Cumberland", dated 1332. On February 12th 1583, Ann Grenehaughe and Thomas Geyven were married in Berwick upon Tweed, Northumberland, and on May 6th 1616, one Abraham Greenhough married an Alice Dufton in Heptonstall, Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Toka in Grenehoga, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book, Norfolk, during the reign of King William 1, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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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