This interesting surname of English origin is derived from a Norman personal name Grimward, composed of the Germanic elements "grim" meaning "mask", "hemlet" plus "ward" " guardian" hence "helmet guard". The surname dates back to the mid 13th Century, (see below). Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Grimwade, Grimwad, etc.. One, Mary Grimwade married Robert Castell on March 5th 1521, in London. William Grymwade is recorded in "The Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk" in 1524. Robert Grimwade married Mary Hopkins on April 13th 1601, at St. Matthew, Friday Street, London, and Ann Grimwood was christened at St. Mary Whitechapel, London on November 10th 1615. Elizabeth, daughter of William and Elizabeth Grimwood, was christened at St. Dunstan, Stepney on February 16th 1644. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Grimward, which was dated 1247, in the "Fines and Offerings, Lincolnshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman" 1216 - 1272. 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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