This interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon and Old French origin, and is thought to be derived from an occupational name which was given to an official in charge of a granary, or perhaps to a grinder of corn, a miller. In some instances it may have referred to someone who ground blades to keep their sharpness, or who ground pigments, spices or medicinal herbs. The derivation of the former occupational name is from the Anglo-Norman French "grentier", introduced by followers of William the Conqueror after the Norman Conquest of 1066, and the latter is derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "grindere", grind. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. In the modern idiom the surname can be found recorded as Grint, Grent, Grinter and Grenter. Recordings from London Church Registers include: the christening of Hester, daughter of Simon and Elizabeth Grinter, on January 20th 1696, at St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, and the marriage of Samuel Grinter and Rachael Hillier on June 21st 1789, at St. Mary's. St. Marylebone Road. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Grint, which was dated October 17th 1583, christened at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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