This interesting surname is of Old Norman origin, introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066. The derivation is from the Norman personal name "Grimier", composed of the Germanic elements "grim", mask, helmet, and "heri, hari", army. In some instances the surname may be of medieval Germanic origin, and would have been a nickname for a stern person, from the Old High German "grimm", stern, severe. The creation of surnames from nicknames was a common practice in the Middle Ages, and many modern-day surnames derive from medieval nicknames referring to personal characteristics. Godwin Grim is noted in the Pipe Rolls of Norfolk (1170), and Alan Grime is listed in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire (1279). The surname can also be found as Grimm, Grimme, Grime and Grimes. Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the marriage of Jone Grimmer and George Butterfeild, on April 15th 1623, at St. Peter Cornhill, London; the marriage of Anne Grimmer and Edward Wigg on January 10th 1662, at All Saints, Norwich, Norfolk; and the christening of Joseph, son of John and Elizabeth Grimmer, on January 20th 1666, at Norwich Cathedral, Norfolk. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family depicts three gold crosses tau on an azure shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edricus Grimma, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Suffolk, during the reign of King William 1, known as "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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