This is one of the patronymic forms of the male given name Greg, itself a diminutive of Gregory from the Greek "gregorein", to be awake or watchful. Later, in its Latin form of "Gregorius", the name came to be associated by folk etymology with "grex" (genitive: "gregis") meaning "flock" or "herd", and thus was interpreted as the christian image of the good shepherd. It was saint Gregory the Great (circa 540 - 604 A.D.), first pope of the name, who spread the name in the west. In 1143 one, Willelmus son of Gregorii, was recorded in documents relating to the Danelaw, London, an in 1234 William Gregge, witness, appeared in "The Fine Court Rolls of Dorset". The patronymic forms of the name emerge in the 14th Century, (see below). In 1332 Richard Gregson was recorded in "The Subsidy Rolls of Cumberland". Other patronymic forms include Grigson, Greg(g)s, Griggs and Gricks. Matthew Gregson (1749 - 1824) renowned upholsterer at Liverpool, was elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquarians for his work on History and Antiquities, published in 1817. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Griggesson, which was dated 1327, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Cambridgeshire", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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