This most unusual name is of Cornish origin, and has two possible interpretations. Firstly, it may be an example of that interesting group of surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames, given in the first instances with reference to a variety of characteristics, often relating to a person's physical attributes or peculiarities. In this case, the nickname was derived from the Cornish "cryp", crest, comb, and probably referred to someone with a distinctive crest of hair. The second possible derivation of the urname is locational, from the place called Pengreep in the parish of Gwennap; the place is named with the Cornish "pen", head, top, summit, and "gryp", a mutated form of "cryp", used in the topographical sense of "ridge". An old rhyme exists that characterises Cornish surnames : "By Tre- (homestead), Pol- (pool), Pen- (head), Ye may know most Cornish men". Locational surnames were used especially as a means of identification by those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Examples of the surname from Church Registers include: the marriage of John Greep and Barb Cock at Mevagissey, Cornwall, on April 28th 1606, and the christening of Richard, son of George Greep, on March 25th 1669, at Widdecombe-in-the-Moor, Devonshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger Greepe, which was dated May 6th 1539, marriage to Johan (no surname given), at St. Budeaux, Devonshire, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017