This is one of those curious English locational names which seem to derive from a well known place, that everybody has heard of at some time. In fact if there ever was such a place as Grimald's Farm (tun), which seems quite logical, no trace has been found in the lost medieval village lists, or the Victorian and later Gazetteers. The name nevertheless is Olde English, deriving from "Grima" translating as "mask", and was originally a baptismal name given to male children. It is believed that "Grima" was a byname of the od Woden, and bestowing this name helped to bring the god's protection. Locational surnames were given either to the original lord of the manor, or to former inhabitants as a means of identification when they voluntarily or otherwise moved to another area. In consequence the further the original inhabitants moved, the greater the variations in the surname spelling. This is borne out in this case, the first six recordings in the London Register all being different spellings. It is probable that the name originates in East Anglia; Grimoldby, Grimsby, and Grimblethorpe, being surviving placenames with the prefix. The name recordings include William Grimbaldstone, christened at St. Bartholomew the Great, London, on June 22nd 1697, whilst William Grimbaldson married Mary Chetwood at St. Mildred's, Bread Street, London, on June 12th 1718. On February 25th 1775, John Grimbaldeston married Anne Griffiths at the famous church of St. Clement Danes, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mary Grymbalson, which was dated April 10th 1686, christened at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London, during the reign of King James 11, known as "The Last Catholic Monarch", 1685 - 1689. 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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