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Greenwood Family History

This famous surname is of Olde English pre 7th century origins. It is particularly popular in the county of Yorkshire, and whilst believed to be a topographical name for someone who lived in a forest, may have originated from a now "lost" medieval village in the county called Greenwood or similar. The name derives from the words "grene" meaning literally the green sward, and "wudu", a wood. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The surname dates back to the late 13th Century (see below), and early recordings include those of Johanna de Grenewod and Ricardus de Grenewod both in the Poll Tax records of Yorkshire in the year 1379...

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