- This is an English locational name from Greaves in Preston (Lancashire) or from residence by a thicket or grove. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century "graefe" meaning "brushwood" or "grove" and is first recorded at the beginning of the 13th Century. One, Walter in the Greve appears in the 1220 Staffordshire County Records. Alternate spellings of the name have included:- del Greyes (1246) and del Grefes (1314). In 1610 one, May, daughter of John Greaues, Pewterer, was baptised in St. Dionis Backchurch, London. (Note "u" for "v"). In the modern idiom, the name has four spelling variations:- Greaves, Greeves, Greves and Greve. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey de la Greue. which was dated 1203, in the "Pipe Rolls of Leicestershire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland" 1199 - 1216. 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.
Surnames reference. 2013.