Recorded as Grimley, Grimlee, Grimbly, Gremley, Grymley, Grymly, Gromley and Grumley, this is an English surname. It is locational from a place called Grimley in the county of Worcestershire, and recorded as "Grimanleh" in the famous Domesday Book of 1086. The placename derives from the pre 7th century personal name and means "Grima's farm". Locational surnames are usually "from" names. That is to say names given as easy identification to people who had left their original villages to move somewhere else. Spelling being at best erratic and local dilaects very thick often lead to the development of "sounds like" spellings. In this case recordings of the surname from various surviving church registers include Margarett Grimley, who was christened on January 19th 1581, at Harborough Magna, Warwickshire, Morgan Grumley who married Rose Hewett at St Margarets Westminster, on June 5th 1656, in the "reign" of Olver Cromwell, and Sarah Gromley who married John Beckham at the church of St Clement Danes, Westminster, on September 2nd 1799. 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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