This most interesting surname has two possible origins. Firstly, it may be of early medieval English origin, from the Middle English "gribbele", crabtree, blackthorn, and hence a topographical name for a dweller by a crabtree or blackthorn. According to another source, however, the surname may be of Old German origin, from an Old Germanic personal name, "Grimbald", meaning helmet-bold, composed of the elements "Grim", mask, helmet, and "bald", bold, brave, which was introduced into England by the Normans after the Invasion of 1066. Variants of the surname in the modern idiom include Grimble, Grumbel, Grumell, Gribble and Gribbell. The Norman personal name was recorded as "Grimbald" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Grimbaldus, Grumbaldus" in 1272, in Forssner's "Continental-Germanic Personal Names in England". The surname itself first appears in the mid 12th Century (see below), and William Grimbald was mentioned in the Curia Rolls of Northamptonshire in 1207. The Hundred Rolls of Suffolk record one Warin Grimboll in 1275, and Walter atte Gribbele was listed in 1330 in the Subsidy Rolls of Devonshire. William Gribble married Elizabeth Shelton on December 6th 1597, at St. Botolph Bishopgate, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Grimbald, which was dated 1153, in the "Records of the Templars in England in the 12th Century", during the reign of King Stephen, known as "Count of Blois", 1135 - 1154. 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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