Origin of the Name Greaves
The origin of the name Greaves
was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives.
Over the centuries Surnames developed a wide number of variants. Different spellings of the same name can be traced back to an original root. Additionally when a bearer of a name emigrated it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books at their new location. Surnames were also often altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another.
Variants of the name Greaves
include Greeves and Greeve. This is a locality name meaning 'at the greave' from the old English word 'groefe', meaning a brush-wood or thicket. This name is of English descent and is found in many ancient manuscripts in that country. Examples of such are a John Greaves of County Oxfordshire who was recorded in the 'Hundred Rolls', England , in the year 1273. A Mary Greaves was baptised in St. Dionis Backchurch, London, in the year 1610. An Agnes de Greves was recorded in the 'Poll Tax' of the West Riding of Yorkshire in the year 1379. Names were recorded in these ancient documents to make it easier for their overlords to collect taxes and to keep records of the population at any given time. When the overlords acquired lands by either force or gifts from their rulers, they created charters of ownership for themselves and their vassals. In Ireland the name Greaves is often of immigrant origin, especially in Ulster Province where it was introduced by settlers from England and Scotland during the seventeenth century. It is also on record as early as the fourteenth century in County Cork .
The Greaves coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all Greaves descendants.