The surname of GREENTREE was of the locational group of surnames 'of the greentrees' from residence nearby. The name was originally derived from the Old English word 'grene-tree'. Habitation names, which are by far the largest group, usually denoted where the original bearer of the name held his land, and where he actually lived. These local surnames derive (with occasional exceptions) from English, Scottish or French places, and were originally preceded by a preposition such as 'atte' or 'bye'. The earliest local surnames of French origin are chiefly from Normandy, particularly from the departments of Calvados, Eure, Seine-Inferieure and La Manche, although some Frenchmen, arriving in England early acquired surnames from English places. Local names may derive from the manor held, the place of residence, and occasionally from a sign like an Inn or Tavern, or a particularly unusual shape of rock, hill, tree, stream or river. The earliest of the name GREENTREE appears to be a certain William Grentree who was documented in the year 1185 in County Lancashire. A later instance of the name mentions William Greentree and Hannah Turner, who were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1762. When the coast of England was invaded by William The Conqueror in the year 1066, the Normans brought with them a store of French personal names, which soon, more or less, entirely replaced the traditional more varied Old English personal names, at least among the upper and middle classes. A century of so later, given names of the principal saints of the Christian church began to be used. It is from these two types of given name that the majority of the English patronymic surnames are derived and used to this day.
The associated arms depicted here have been quartered with Green and Trees. Both the arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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