Recorded in a number of spellings including Greaser, Greuser, Gracia, Grasa, Grasha, Greiser, Graser, Graeser, Grezer and possibly Grasch, this is a surname of 14th century German or East European origins. It derives originally from Graz, formerly Gratz, the suffix "er" when it occurs, signifying an inhabitant from this Austrian town. The original word of Gratz has several meanings including greed, coveteous, and rude! It maybe that sometimes the name may have been a nickname for a "loud" person, or possibly given the robust humour of the medieval period, - the opposite! The spelling form in Europe in the 20th century is usually Greiser or Greuser, but not so in the USA. When the original German settlers reached America in the late 18th or early 19th century, the name was often anglicised to a "sounds like" spelling, the port officials of the day being unable to pronounce or spell the German names. Early examples of the surname taken from recordings in its native lands include Hensel Greuser of Kattenburg, Germany, in the year 1414, and Hans Gras from Eglisau, also Germany, in 1439. Later recordings include Lemart Grezer of Palatine, Montgomery County, New York, on February 10th 1805, Susanna Grasch, who married George Steidel at the First German Presbyterian church, Madison Street, New York City, on February 4th 1860, and Joseph Grasa, who married Anna Gabek at the same church, on May 30th 1869. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Jesco Greuser, of the city of Brunn, Germany, in the year 1345.
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