This is a very confusing surname. In origin it could and can be, either English or Scottish, the various spelling forms overlapping and fusing over the centuries. In general when recorded as Grew, Grewe, Grewes, Grow, Grower, Grouer, Grouen, these are English whilst as Greuer, Grewar, Grewer, Grayer, Grier, Greer, these are generally Scottish. In all cases the origins are medieval. If we take the apparently English forms first. These are occupational and originate from the pre 7th century word 'growan' meaning to grow, and hence a farmer or perhaps a market gardener.If Scottish there are two origins. The first is from the Gaelic MacGruar, also recorded as MacGruer, MacGruder, MacGrewer and others, the second as a form of MacGregor, MacGrigor, MacGreigor. MacGruar actually means 'The brewers son', whilst MacGregor means 'The son of Gregory', a name intorduced to Scotland by Norman French in the 12th century, and one given to several popes. Early examples of surname recordings include John Grewr of Fortour in Culpar-Angus in 1520, Richard Grew at St Giles Cripplegate, in the city of London on April 2nd 1580, Rebecca Grouer at St Margarets Westminster, on May 16th 1649.
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