This name derives from the Olde French "grue" meaning a crane, and was originally given as a nickname to one thought to resemble the bird in some way, perhaps a tall slender person. The surname is first recorded in the early half of the 13th Century, (see below). One, Gerard la Grue appears in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire, dated 1246. The following list of provisions drawn up during Henry III's Christmas visit to York in 1250 runs: "7000 Fowis, 1750 Partridges, 125 Swans, 115 Grues etc...". In 1379 Johannes Grewe was recorded in the Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire. Interesting namebearers were Obadiah Grew (1607 - 1689) P.P. Oxford, 1651, who was appointed Vicar of St. Michael's, Coventry in 1645 where he founded a Presbyterian Congregation in 1672. Nehemiah, his son, (1641 - 1712), F.R.S., 1671 was a vegetable physiologist of renown. His work, "The Anatomy of Plants" was published in 1682. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger le Grue, which was dated 1230, in the "Pipe Rolls of Somerset", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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