This interesting name is Scottish in origin, and is a diminutive form of the given name "Gregory", which is from the Greek "Gregorios", a derivative of "Gregorein", to be awake or watchful. Later, in its Latin form of "Gregorius", the name came to be associated by folk etymology with "grex", "gregis", meaning "flock" or "herd", and thus was interpreted as the christian image of "the good shepherd". The name generated a great many variant forms in different areas of Europe, "Greig" and "Grieg" in Scotland and "Gregg" or "Grigg" in England, for instance. "Greig" is a common surname in Fifeshire and along the east central coast, whilst Grieg is the Norwegian from descended from John Grieg of Fraserburgh. Sir Samuel Greig (1735 - 1788) became admiral of the Russian navy, by appointment of Tsarina Catherine the Great. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Greg, Charter witness, which was dated circa 1214 - 1226, in the "Charters of the Earldom of Morton", Scotland, during the reign of King Alexander 11, known as "King of Scotland", 1214 - 1249. 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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