Graves / Family History
The ancient origin of the name Graves
was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. Meaning 'at the grove', Graves is a locational name from someone who lived near a grove or thicket. Variants of the name include Grove, Grover, Grave and Greaves. This name is of Anglo-Saxon descent spreading to the Celtic countries of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales in early times and is found in many mediaeval manuscripts throughout these countries. Examples of such are a Willelmus del Grove who was recorded in the 'Poll Tax', of the West Riding of Yorkshire, England, in the Year 1379. A George Groves and Dorothy Waterson were married at Saint James Clerkenwell in the Year 1668. A Samuel Grove was baptised at Saint Dionis Backchurch, London, in the Year 1699.
Names were recorded in these ancient documents to make it easier for their overlords to collect taxes and to keep records of the population at any given time. When the overlords acquired land by either force or gifts from their rulers, they created charters of ownership for themselves and their vassals. It was by the method of creating and updating these old reference books that they were able to maintain their authority and enforce laws.
In Ireland this name and its variants were introduced into Ulster Province by settlers who arrived from England and Scotland, especially during the seventeenth century. During the 'Plantations of Ireland' in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Ireland was colonized by the English Crown with this period marking the end of Gaelic supremacy in Ireland. This period brought an influx of settlers into the country but, unlike the earlier Anglo-Norman invasion of the twelfth century that resulted in a full integration into Irish society of the new arrivals, the same never occurred with the Ulster Planters who maintained their own distinct identity.
The name has also for centuries been associated with Counties Cork, Offaly and Tyrone.The Graves
family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Graves