The surname of GREENWALT was of the baptismal group of surnames 'the son of Grimbald' a once familiar personal name in England. Grimbald, a Saxon saint, was a monk of St. Omer, but placed at Oxford by King Alfred early in the 10th century. Grimbald of Plessis joined a rebellion against Duke William during the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name is also spelt GRUENWALD and GRUNEWALD. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment which enveloped him. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. Other instances of the name mention Warin Grunwelle, County Suffolk in 1273, and Matilda Grymbald appears in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. The name was also occasionally used as a nickname for one who was fond of dressing in the colour green, or one who had played the part of 'The Green Man' in the May Day celebrations. It was also a habitation name for someone who lived near a village green. Later instances of the name mention Elizabeth, daughter of William Grymbolde, who was baptised at St. Michael, Cornhill in 1585, and Anne, daughter of William Grymbold was baptised at the same church in 1586. Isaak GRUNEWALD (1889-1946) was the Swedish painter, born in Stockholm, a leader of Scandinavian Expressionism. His wife Sigrid, (1885-1946) was also a painter.
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