- This interesting and unusual surname is of medieval origin and is thought to be a variant of an occupational name Grinter, which was given to an official in charge of a granary, or perhaps to a grinder of corn, a miller. In some instances it may have referred to someone who ground blades to keep their sharpness, or who ground pigments, spices or medicinal herbs. The derivation of the former occupational name is from the Anglo Norman French "grentier", and of the latter, the Old English pre 7th Century "grindere", grind. In the modern idiom the variants include Grint, Grent, Grinter and Grenter. Amongst the early sample recordings in London are the following, Ann Grint, the daughter of Thomas Grint was christened on October 3rd 1584 and Edward Grint, son of James Grint on May 1st 1584, both at St. Dunstan's, Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Grint (christening), which was dated October 17th 1583, St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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.