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    Of the original of the House of Greene we have no certain information, but it is apparent they assumed their Name and Arms from an allusion to their principal and beloved lordship, which was Buckton, or the Town of Bucks, in the county of Northampton, being in the Hundred of Spelho, a place memorable for the excellency of its soil and situation and a spacious and delightful green upon which, at the desire of the Lords, was yearly held and exercised a Fair with particular and extraordinary privilege. Hence they were called "Greene" or "of the Greene."

    And from Buckton or the town of Bucks they have assumed for their Arms in a field azure Three bucks trippant, or.

    In the first mention of the family, we find it in a very flourishing condition, possessed of the Manor of Buckton from which the Lords thereof did take their usual style as also of the lordships of Heyborne, Heydmoncourte, Dadington, Ashby Mares and Grene's Norton, the latter whereof was held by particular obligation of holding up the lord's right hand toward the King upon Christmas day wherever he should be at that time in England.

    And of these was Lord Sir Thomas of Buckton, or Sir Thomas Grene of Buckton who lived in the reign of King Edward the first. Of these Grenes we find divers to have been qualified by their riches and power and the esteem they held for the principal employments in the counties where they lived. Among the other advantages of this House the great blood of which it was participant did honor it very much, it having had the fortune to ally itself to the great Houses of Stafford, De La Zouche, Mauduit, Talbot, Ferrers of Chartley and Rosse, all of the illustrious and old nobility. But at last, coming to the fortune of all transitory things, it concluded in Sir Henry Grene who, being without issue male, the Arms, blood and inheritance of this family came by a daughter to the Veres that were Lords of Addington and from them by another heir to the present Earl of Peterborough.----Halstead.


    The following memorandum attached to, or a part of the parchment pedigree of the "House of Greene" presented to the Boston Athenaeum Library in 1881 by William Batchelder Greene, was possibly made by Mr. Burt, the compiler of the chart. The theory as to the origin of the name Grene or Greene is well worthy of consideration, and the three points upon which the connection of Sir Henry Grene, Lord Chief Justice of England, is based, are certainly sufficiently strong to awaken the interest of all those who bear the name in America.


    On origin: "The name of this family is not of Saxon or Scandinavian origin as its present form might suggest, such as Wood, Vale, Green, etc., names taken from localities and found in almost every country of modern Great Britain. During the 12th & 13th centuries flourished a number of minor Barons (i.e., not possessing more, or as much as, thirteen knight's fees and a quarter) bearing the name of Dela Greene (or Grene) in Co. Northampton.

 Sir Henry Greene, Lord of Buckton, may be counted with these by three facts; First, that on one of his seals attached to an Indenture now in the archives of the British Museum, is found the inscription---'Sigill (Henri) ci Grene, Milit,' (this in old English characters); Secondly, that  the said Sir Henry held his lands in capite by the same service as the feudal lords before mentioned, i.e., by lifting up the right hand on Michaelmas Day wherever the King should be in England (Harl. MSS.); Thirdly, all these claim much the same family alliances (as found on their various records and on their tombs). Tracing the name further back, we find the name De la Grene replaced by Del Grene (the latter seems to have been one of the latest of the Lords of the township of Newsholm) and before the Norman Conquest the name of Greene disappears all together and we are said to find Grini or Del Grini in counties York and Northampton. This would show the great antiquity of the family as well as suggest a Latin origin. It is worthy of note that a patrician family existed at Rome, shortly after the Roman conquest, of the same name, and that the name is still borne by certain nobles in the northern part of Italy near Belluno.

    In addition to the above memorandum are a few notes on the opposite upper corner of the chart; the first giving names and baptisms of the children of John Greene, who emigrated to the American colonies, and others referring to General Nathanael Greene of the Revolutionary Army and descendant of said John; also to that line of his descendants who settled in New Hampshire (records now partially erased); and to the Gardiner Greenes and Copley-Greenes of Boston. In another handwriting is a note relating to the Greenes of Ireland on the authority of Burke, being endorsed, "signed by Sir Bernard Burke." It has special interest in connection with the recently published pedigree following "Greene's Norton, Northamptonshire," where descent is claimed by this Irish branch from the Northamptonshire family, though proof is not conclusive.

(Another version)
13 Dec 1999

     Green is one of the most common names in England, the English rendering of several Gaelic family names, due to similarity in sound and literal translation of the Gaelic word into its English equivalent.

     The Norman DeGrene, family who settled in Ireland, mainly in the Dublin, Waterford and Limerick areas, was gaelicized as DeGraoin.  Their lives merged into those of their Celtic friends and neighbors.

     Greene is the anglicization of an ancient Irish family name O'Huaithnin, who were a Dalcassian family of Thoromond.  It is also the English rendering of another Gaelic family name of O'Huainidhe, a County Cork clan who were leigemen and followers of O'Leary of Corca Laoighdhe. An entirely distinct Ulster Clan, whowe Gaelic name was McGlashan, had this Irish surmane rendered in English as Greene.

     This accounts for the wide distribution of the name in Ireland, as well as its numberical frequency in the United States and Canada.

     Irish Pedigrees, Colume 1, page 856, by John O'Hart, gives the MacUaithnin name as being modernized to:  MacHoneen, Green, Greene, Tonyson, Tennyson, page 857 gives the O'Hooneen name as being modernized to:  Greene.

Charlotte Green Haag


03/16/2003 10:47:31 AM


Occasionally I ask people what their surname means. If they ask me, my answer for Green is not as good as I would like. Do you all ask or answer that question? When I was copying the map for you all, I noticed the following in the book & had
forgotten about Green Man entirely. I don't recall ever reading of Green Men. Anyway this goes along with our surname project -- the origin of our various Green Y-chromosomes with the various men who took the surname. There is something like this in Halbert's book, but I think this is better. Have you all seen more on this subject -- something else -- another origin of our surname? Here is what "the Green Family" 1972 book says:
"The surname Green as used in America today has evolved from two origins: village life in medieval England, and the immigration to the United States of many central European Jews after our Civil War. "Some of the variants brought by the Jewish immigrants include Greenberg ("green mountain"), Greenblatt ("greenleaf"), Greenstein ("green stone"), Greenwald ("green forest"), Greenbaum ("green bough"), and Greenglass (which means what it sounds like, and no doubt originated with a man who manufactured green-colored glass). Most of these families Anglicized their names from the Germanic Grun-forms; many went further and spelt them simply Green or Greene. "In England, most Green names stem from forests, fields, and the primitive magic of growing things. Three main associations are clear. "A green was a large, open meadow owned in common by a whole village and used for grazing sheep and other livestock. Many people took their names from nearby landmarks; de la, which often prefixed early surnames, means "of the" Thus, Robertus de la Grene, who appears on thirteenth century tax records, was Robert of the Green' or, very likely, 'Robert who lives at the Green.'

"A second possible origin is in the medieval Mayday celebration of spring. In most English rural communities there were spring festivals dating back to an older, pagan feast in which Druid priests blessed the soil, the animals, and the populace, and enjoined them all to be fruitful. In some villages the master of ceremonies of this spring fertility rite was called "the Green Man." The village's handsomest, most virile young man, he dressed all in leaves and brandished a sprouting branch. The Green Man personified spring, vitality, and rebirth, just as certain figures have in other religions and mythologies. Some Green ancestors may have taken their name from this important role in the spring revels. 

"A third link with the name Green is the legendary figure of Robin Hood. Norman census records seem to document the legend: Ward (guardian) of the Green, Robertus de la Grene, Robertus Hood, fugitive even Ricardus filius Parvi Johannes ("Richard the son of Little John").  Whatever the actual story was, we do know that by the late thirteenth century Robin Hood, dressed in his Lincoln green, supplanted the original Green Man in May festivals, and Greenman became an English surname meaning 'forest warden.'"


James W. Green III/172 Agnew Rd/Winnsboro SC 29180 CSA

home: 803-635-9236 http://members.FortuneCity.Com/jgreen
http://Genealogy.Org/~green & working on:


Family Name History

(Still another version from down under)



The surname Green originally was used as a regional appellation. Regional surnames stem from place names including rivers, countries, and man made features such as buildings, crossroads and many other objects. A person could be given a name indicating a place which was readily recognised. An individual living near or on a hill would be so designated, perhaps one living or working by a church would have been given the name Church. In this case the surname was used for a person who lived at the green. This was a grassy plat used by the village as a common.

Early records of the surname Green or a variant show Deonisia ate Grene and Warin de Grene in the Hundred Rolls. The Hundred Rolls, which until the 19th Century was a unit of English Government detailing the citizens of a given area. This system of local legal jurisdiction was introduced by King Edmond I 939-946 AD. To provide details which were used partly as a system to gather revenue for the crown. These records contain no less than 70,000 names.

Petrus del Grene, Adam del Grene and Willelmus del Grene all appeared in the Poll Tax of Yorkshire in the year 1379. This tax was instrumental in causing a revolt in 1380. As the tax did not discriminate between rich and poor and was therefore viewed as unfair. The amount was levied on each person regardless of their position in society. The leader of this peasants revolt was one Wat Tyler. This uprising was the main reason for the demise of this form of taxation.

A mantua maker by the name of Ann Green was convicted and sentenced at a court in Old Bailey, London to transportation and imprisonment for 7 years at the age of 28 years. She then was transported to Australia aboard the convict ship Lady Penrhyn as one of seven hundred and seventy eight convicts which formed the First Fleet that departed England in May 1787 to establish a penal colony in New South Wales in 1788.

Blazon of arms :Azure three bucks trippant or

Translation : Azure indicates the colour blue which represents fidelity and veracity.

Crest : Out of a ducal coronet a buck's head all proper.

Motto : Virtus semper Viridis.

Translation : Always flourishing.


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