This personal name and very popular surname is one of many variant forms of the ancient Greek personal name "Gregorius", meaning the watchful one. In Christian mythology it is associated with the Latin form "grex" meaning flock, and by folk transference, The Good Shepherd. The name was first borne in the 4th Century by St. Gregory of Nazianzene circa 325 - 390, and by St. Gregory of Nyssa circa 311-390. In the many centuries which have followed it has been the name chosen by no less that sixteen popes - hence the spread of the name throughout christendom. These surnames forms vary enormously and range from Gregoire, Gregorio, Grigore, Grog, Groger and many others to Regorz, Grelak and Grzeogorczck! The surname can be prefixed by G, R, K or even H; as in Hrynczyk for the Ukraine! The popularity of the name seems to have really accelerated after the famous Crusades to free the Holy Land from the Muslims in the 12th century. There were twelve such expeditions, and all failed, but they created a great swell of religious fervour in Northern Europe, now known as The Christian Revival. This was also combined with the introduction of surnames into common useage. Surnames became really necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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.

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