This interesting and unusual name is of English origin. It is locational from a now "lost" medieval hamlet called Grindrod near Huddersfield in the county of Yorkshire. The derivation is from the pre 7th century word "grene", meaning cleared or green lands with "rod," a clearing. Over the centuries the name spellings have included Greenrod (1617), Greenrode (1623), Greenroad (1671), and Greenroyd. During the Middle Ages when it was becoming increasingly common for people to migrate from their villages to seek work elsewhere, the custom evolved that they adopted the place name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name.For some reason the surname is closely associated with Rochdale in Lancashire, and early recordings from there include Abenezar Grindrod christened on 2nd February 1692, and Mary Greenrod who married Robert Milne on 6th June 1694. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Rychard Grenerowde. This was dated 1541, in the Pipe Rolls of Salford, Lancashire, during the reign of King Henry V111th, and knownto some as "Good King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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