Recorded in the spellings of Grisdale and Grisedale, this is an English surname. However spelt it is of pre 7th century Old Scandinavian origins, and is locational. There are several possible sources all in the famous Lake District of England. It may originate from Grisdale, a now lost hamlet, or from Grisedale Pike, a mountain near Keswick, Grisedale Glen near Ullswater, or Grisedale Beck, a stream rising in the mountains of the Lake District and flowing through Grisedale Tarn and into Goldrill Beck. The placename is composed of the Scandinavian element "gris", meaning a wild boar, and dael", a steep valley, and possibly relates to areas where wild boar hunting took place. "Dale" is a common placename element, most frequently found in the districts of England influenced by the Norse word "dalr" or the Swedish "dal". Grisedale Pike was recorded as "Grisedal" in wills charters known as the "Inquisitiones Post Mortem" of 1323, whilst early examples of the surname recordings include William de Gresdale, in the register of the Freemen of the City of York in 1359, and William de Grisdale, recorded in the same source in 1526. Other recordings taken from early surviving church registers fro the region include Christopher Grisedale who married Agnes Greenhowe on September 16th 1571, at Greystoke in Cumbria, and Jane, the daughter of Michael Grisdale, who was christened on September 23rd 1663, at Matterdale, also Cumbria. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Simon de Grisdale. This was dated 1332, in the Subsidy Rolls of Lancashire, during the reign of King Edward 111rd of England, 1327 - 1377. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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