This interesting name is of English locational or topographical origin. If the latter, it denoted residence by or on a conspicuous "green hill", derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "grene", green, and "hyll", hill. The same derivation and meaning applies to any of the places called "Greenhill" in England which may have been the sources of a locational surname, there is a "Greenhill" in the parish of Corningham in Norfolk, for instance, and another in Harrow in Middlesex. However, "Greenhill" in Worcestershire has a different meaning. It is first recorded as "grimeshyll" in 816, and as "Gremanhil" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and means "the hill haunted by a ghost or spectre", from the Olde English "grima" ghost, plus "hyll". The modern surname has two forms, "Greenhill" and "Grinnell". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Grenehill, which was dated 1200, in the "Pipe Rolls of Bedfordshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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