This is a surname of Anglo-Scottish origins. It derives form the pre 6th century word "groefa" and describes a farm or estate manager, known as "The Grieve". The surname in its original form is found in Scotland as early as the 13th century, but soon thereafter moved South, and in various forms has remained relatively popular in the Yorkshire region in particular. The patronymic styles which include Grieves, Greaves, Grievson etc were recorded earlier in Yorkshire than in Scotland, although in some cases there may be a locational confusion with the village of Greviston in Traquair parish, Scotland, the home of the Grieves. Certainly the nameholders have always held rank in their homeland, although not always with happy results. In 1783 John Grieve, the Provost of Edinburgh, was publicly horsewhipped by some "roughs" for placing ladies of easy virtue in the stocks! The patronymic nameholders of Yorkshire do not appear to have suffered similar experiences, and examples of their recordings include Alice Greeveson of Thirsk on May 24th 1590, Henery Greveson of Bradfield on November 1st 1594, and Tamar Grieveson, daughter of Christopher Grieveson, christened at Marske in Cleveland on December 27th 1719. A later recording is that of John Grieveson who married Elisabeth Ellwoood at Barningham, on May 15th 1822. The epi-centre of the name in its various forms is very much the North Riding of Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Emma Grefeson, which was dated 1379, in the Poll Tax Rolls of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Richard 11 of England, 1377 - 1399. 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