This long-established surname belongs to that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. These nicknames were originally given with reference to a variety of personal characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, and mental and moral characteristics. The derivation, in this instance, is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "grim", ultimately from the Old High German "grimm", stern, severe, denoting a dour and forbidding person; however, he Old Scandinavian personal name "Grim", recorded as "Grim, Grimus" and "Grimmus" in the Domesday Book of 1086, may also have given rise to the surname. One Grim de Leuertona was noted in the 1175 Pipe Rolls of Nottinghamshire, and a Bernard Grim appears in the 1183 Pipe Rolls of Cambridgeshire, while in 1327, a Peter le Grim was recorded in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex. On December 11th 1597, Bathasen, son of Bathasen and Elisabeth Grim, was christened in Rheinland, Germany, and on August 5th 1652, Robert Grim, an infant, was christened at St. Margaret's, Westminster, London. A notable early namebearer was Edward Grim, eye-witness of Becket's murder, who wrote a "Biography of Thomas Becket", circa 1175. The family Coat of Arms depicts three gold crosses tau or bequilles de Saint-Antoine, on an azure shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edricus Grim, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Suffolk, during the reign of King William 1, known as "William the Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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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