This Old German surname has ancient pre 7th Century origins. It derives from "Gron-weg" which literally means "Green-road" but is identical in meaning to the English Medieval "Greenaway" which is to say, that it is habitational for one who was resident by a road through the grazing lands. The earliest and most popular spelling was as "Gronow or Grono", later medieval variants being Gronav, Gronaver and Grunguer, although all have exactly the same meaning. The name is also recorded heraldically for Bales (Switzerland) Silesia and Badeu (Germany). The Coat of Arms being a Red Field, a gold crescent between roses, surmounting a green plant. Examples of the name recording include David Gronow, christened at Rheinhessen in August 1575, (day not known), and Anna Gronav, christened at Neplecken, Ostprussen, Germany, on December 6th 1655. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hans Gronauer, which was dated July 11th 1676, married Eva Wind at Hemsbach, Mannheim, Germany, during the reign of Emperir Leopold 1 of the Holy Roman Empire, 1658 - 1705. 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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