This interesting surname recorded in the spellimngs of Grimwood, Grimwade, and bearing an association with the surname Grimshaw, which has exactly the same meaning and origin, is English. It has two possible origins. The first is locational from a locality in Suffolk called 'Grimwoods. whilst Grimshaw may originate from an area called Grimshaw Park, near Blackburn, in Lancashire. The meaning is both cases is 'the wood belonging to Grimm', the latter a popular personal name of the pre 8th century. The second possible origin is Norman-French from a personal name 'Grimward' introduced after the 1066 Invasion. This is composed of the elements "grim" meaning a helmet, and "ward", a guard, hence "helmet guard". The earliest examples of the surname recording are those of Robert Grimward of Lincolnshire in the Fines Lists of the year 1247, and Adam de Grymschawe of Lancashire in the Hundred Rolls of 1273. Other examples of the name recording taken from surviving charters and registers of the mediavl period and later include: Mary Grimwade, who married Robert Castell on March 5th 1521, in London, whilst William Grymwade is recorded in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk in 1524. Richard Grimshaw of Clayton on the Moors, Lancashire, is recorded in the Will Register of Chester in 1575, whilst Ann Grimwood, who was christened at St. Mary Whitechapel, London on November 10th 1615. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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