It is rare to be able to pinpoint the exact location of the origin of a surname, but it is almost unique to be able to give the exact date and place. In this case although two places called 'Gringley' exist in England, and both were recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as 'Greneslai' (the green pasture), neither as far as is known, were responsible for the production of surnames. In fact 'Gringley' has developed as a result of a mistake by the church registrar at the village of Churton Heath in Cheshire.It seems that on May 25th 1746, the year of the 'Bonnie Prince Charlie' invasion, (and he must have passed close by) a son was born to one William Grindley, and he in turn was christened William. However his surname was entered as 'Gringley' and the fathers name as 'Grindley or Gringley', suggesting that nobody knew the correct spelling. They should have done even in an age when spelling was problematical, because as shown below, William Grindley (the father) was recorded as marrying Mary Harrison at the same church four years earlier. Curiously the village name of 'Grindley' is also recorded in Cheshire, and it has exactly the same meaning as 'Gringley', both deriving from the Olde English pre 7th century 'Gren-leah'. The usual spelling form is Grindley, but Grinley is equally popular in the North Midlands, whilst Grindlay is a rare variant. The very imposing coat of arms has the blazon of a blue field charged with a cross between four pheons (spear heads), all gold. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Grindley, which was dated February 13th 1742, who married at Churton Heath, Cheshire, England, during the reign of King George 11, known as the last soldier king, 1727 - 1760. 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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