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Family spelling variants includes Grene, Greene

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GREEN Family History


Recorded in the spellings of Green and Greene, this is one of the most widespread of English, and occasionally Irish, surnames. It is usually of pre 7th century origins, and derives from the word "grene" meaning green. As such it may be topographical for a person resident by a village green or even a place called Green, or as a status name for a young man who played the part of the mystic and fertile "Green Man" sometimes known as "Jack in the Green", in the May Day fertility celebrations. In this context "green" was symbolic of youthful ardour, spring, and the re-growth of nature...


1) From the locative name, Middle English 'grene'- village green; 2) Middle English 'grene' for colour, as a nickname for a young or inexperienced person; 3) From a number of Irish surnames, Ó hUaithnín, containing root 'uaine'- green, Ó Fathaigh by mistranslation, Mac Giolla Ghlais from root 'glas'- grey, green and Ó hUainidhe (same root as first Irish above); later 4) also an anglicisation of German and Ashkenazic Jewish surname Grün & c. with same colour etymology as the English name.

Early forms of 1) are Geoffrey de Grene in Kent, 1181 (Pipe Rolls); Geoffrey atte Grene in Oxfordshire, 1350 (Feet of Fines); 2) Johannes le Grene in Norfolk, 1379 (Poll Tax); 3) Roger Grene, 1569 (Fiants) may be an Anglo-Norman (and thus 1. or 2. rather than 3). but William Greighan, 1601 (Fiants) is most probably native Irish.  4) Levi Ephraim Green, born in Holland, in London in the 1851 Census; Hyman Green, born in Poland, in Middlesex in the 1881 Census.

In the 1881 Census the surname was widespread, but in heavy concentrations (descending order) in London, Lancashire, West Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, the South-East and Lincolnshire/Norfolk.  In 1891 the frequency of Green was 88,772 in England and Wales; and of Greene 917. In the same census the highest frequency of the surname was in London with 12,683 and in Lancashire with 11,984.

To take Kent in the south east of the country, in the 1881 Census the surname Green ranked 28th in the county with a frequency of 2, 297. 

In Scotland the frequency in 1891 was 2,136 and the highest numbers found in Lanarkshire.

There were 152 birth entries (105 Green, 47 Greene) on the Register for Ireland in 1890: Ulster 54, Leinster 39, Munster 37, Connacht 22. The main counties were Dublin, Galway, Tipperary and Clare.

The majority of bearers of this surname followed the occupations of agricultural labourer and farmer in the 1891 Census.

Solomon Green from Dorset was transported to Van Diemen's Land, Australia aboard the "Albion" on 17th May, 1823.


1851, 1881, 1891 Census

Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890

Special Report on Irish Surnames, R.E. Matheson. Dublin 1901/9

Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall, P. Woulfe, Dublin 1913

Dictionary of American Family Names, P. Hanks, OUP 2003/13

The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain 7 Ireland, Hanks, Coates, McClure, 2016







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Diane Machnik

My great great grandfather was Gerald “Jerry” Green. I think he was born in Ireland around 1820. He came to the United States and settled in Houghton and Keweenaw counties in Michigan maybe around 1837. He and his wife were killed in mid 1860’s or early 1870. He was married and had three children. One was called Rose, she ended up being a teacher. One was called Abram or Abraham (my great grandfather), and there was another boy. Both boys were adopted after their parents deaths. I am thinking Rose may have been older because she was taken in by a family but not adopted. Does anyone have any information to this Green family. I don’t know anything about his parents, etc. or the wife’s name.


My Great Grandfather was Arthur Green. He was a sagar maker I the potteries. He emigrated to the US in the late 1800’s. I think he was from Shropshire

Frankstephane Ouellette

Esther Green mother of Marguerite McCabe (canada) Esther born 26 avril 1829 Esther is a wife of John McCabe born 11 avril 1827 Marguerite born 21 juillet 1872 Chertsey,Montcalm, Quebec

Jeremy Green

Looking for information on the green name from Portland Indiana...Cletus Green was my Grandfather..

Sheryl Green

My name is Sheryl Green. I don't know anything about my Green family. My grandfather's father disappeared early in his life. No one knows anything about him. I think that my grandfather's full name is Billy Junior Green. I believe his father married a Cherokee girl ( I believe in Kentucky, USA) and had my grandfather. We don't know if my great grandfather died or just disappeared.

Anthony Barrett

(Part 1 of 3) The Green name is found in the British Isles, but one of its origins according to DNA is from the north-west coast of the Emerald Island. One Green story [dominated by DNA tribal marker R1b-L513, Subgroup A1] can trace their origins to the Finn Valley in Donegal, Ireland from 50 BCE. Perhaps the journey begins with the Clanna Dedad; Deda, son of Sen or Deda Mac Sin. This Green surname origin is from a Northern Ui Neill [R1b-L513] tribe. The Cenél Eoghan and the tribes of Donegal conquered much of Ulster (Derry and Tyrone).

Anthony Barrett

(Part 2 of 3) Cenél Eoghan will expand across northern Ireland with their cousins Cenél Conaill and the Northern Ui Neill between 500-800 BCE. The clans of Finn Valley have the same DNA as people from Gwened in Brittany. But how could this be? Recent discoveries from DNA testing are unlocking the migration patterns of Celtic tribes as late as 800 CE to 1200 CE. The Green story begins in pre-history Ireland then moves to Scotland as they form part of the Dalriada. Descendants of their tribe will then travel to Brittany, France during the Dark Ages.

Anthony Barrett

(Part 3 of 3) Discover their newly found untold story and how forgotten texts bring their story back to life. From the ebook, “The Tribe Within” learn how DNA unfolds this amazing tale and if you look in the right places, how history narrates this evidence. There is another written account of their story, but it is camouflaged in smoke and myth – it will become the tales of King Arthur. Come follow in the footsteps of Deda Mac Sin and visit


My grandfather was Robert Rennie Green born on February 25, 1898 in Derry City, Londonderry County, Ireland. His father was Young Rennie Green born January 14, 1869 in Belfast No. 4, Ireland and his mother was Margaret Jane Patterson born December 1, 1874 in Belfast, Ireland. Young Rennie and older children immigrated to Canada in 1908 and his wife Margaret and younger children followed in 1910. Does anyone have connections to these Green family ancestors?


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