this unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a late variant of the more familiar Greenhough, itself a locational name from either of two places in Yorkshire called Greenhow. The one, situated south east of Stokesley in the North Riding of that county, was recorded as "Grenehou" circa 1180 in Early Yorkshire Charters, and the other, near Pateley in the West Riding, appears as "Grenehou" in the 1269 Charter Rolls. Both places share the same meaning and derivation, that is, the Olde English pre 7th Century "grene", green, with "hoh", literally meaning "heel", but used here in the transferred topographical sense of "projecting ridge of land"; hence, "grene hoh".Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Regional and dialectal influences subsequently produced several variations on the original spelling of the name, which, in the modern idiom, is found as: Grenough, Green(h)ow, Greenoe and Greeno. In 1219, one Geoffrey de Grenhou, witness, was recorded in the Yorkshire Assize Rolls, and on May 31st 1724, the marriage of Ann Greeno to Peter Allion took place at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London. 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 of Norfolk, during the reign of King William 1, known as "William 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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