This interesting surname is of Norse-Viking origins, although it is also an import from France during the 17th century Huguenot period. It derives from the ancient pre 7th century word "grautr" which literally translates as "porridge" but presumeably would have referred to a maker of coarse meal. The name therefore describes a miller of some kind. Perhaps a quarter of all surnames have a background of a nickname or metonymic, deriving from the persons original occupation, and as "milling" was an essential sector of medieval society, the translation would seem to be logical. However medieval society was extremely robust, and it is possible that the 13th century meaning would have been quite different. What is certain is that in its many spelling forms the name has been well recorded back to the earliest times, at the very beginnings of surnames in the 12th century. These recordings include Geoffrey Grut in the Pipe Rolls of Lincoln for 1199, Robert Groute in the 1297 Court List of Berkshire and Robert Groute in the records of the Duchy of Cornwall in 1447. Later recordings include Anne Gruet, daughter of Jean Gruet, christened at the French Huguenot Church, Threadneedle Street, London on February 21 1726, Elen Growte who married Robert Randale at St Margarets, Westminster on August 7th 1747, and Catherine Grote, who married Richard Gresley at the famous church of St Mary Le Bone, London, on May 22nd 1800. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edwin Grut, which was dated 1086, The Domesday Book for Essex County, during the reign of King William 1, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017