This is an international surname, although specifically associated with Germany, and the Brothers Grimm, and to a lesser extent, England and France. Recorded in several spellings in all countries including Grim, Grimm, Grimme, Grimek, Grimbach, Grimar, the German dialectal Crim, and patronymics such as Grimmelsen and Grimel, the derivation is from the ancient pre 8th century Norse-Viking personal name "Grimr", meaning "The Fierce One". Perhaps not surprisingly, given this early translation, the name was popular throughout Northern Europe in the period known in history as "The Dark Ages". This was the 6th to the 10th centuries a.d., when names which commemorated war, honour, and surprisingly, religion, were all the rage. The surname is 12th century, and one of the first recorded. It achieved its greatest popularity in Germany, but was almost equally popular in England, having been introduced there by the conquering Norman-French after the invasion of 1066. Early examples of the surname recordings taken from the ancient rolls and charters of Europe include Mako Grim of the city of Hamburg in the year 1266, Alexander Krymelsen of Marbach in 1492, and in England William Grym of the county of Suffolk in 1327. The first recorded spelling of the family name anywhere in the world is believed to be that of Hugo Grim, which was dated 1171, in the charters of the town of Ursberg, Germany. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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