This German and Ashkenazic Jewish surname of GRUBER was a nickname for a boorish individual. The name was derived from the German and Yiddish word GROB, meaning coarse or crude. As a Jewish name it may also have denoted a fat man. Surnames having a derivation from nicknames form the broadest and most miscellaneous class of surnames, encompassing many different types of origin. The most typical classes refer adjectivally to the general physical aspect of the person concerned, or to his character. Many nicknames refer to a man's size or height, while others make reference to a favoured article of clothing or style of dress. Many surnames derived from the names of animals and birds. In the Middle Ages ideas were held about the characters of other living creatures, based on observation, and these associations were reflected and reinforced by large bodies of folk tales featuring animals behaving as humans. The name is also spelt GRUB, GRUBMAN, GROB, GROBB, GROBMAN, GROBERMAN, GROWE, GROVEMAN, HRUBY, HRUBES and KROB. Hereditary surnames were originally imported from France into England during the Norman Conquest of 1066. In the two centuries or so after the Conquest surnames were acquired by most families of major landholders, and many landed families of lesser importance. There appears to have been a constant trickle of migration into Britain between about the years 1200 and 150O, mostly from France and the Low Countries, with a small number of migrants from Scandinavia, Germany, Italy and the Iberian peninsular, and occasional individuals from further afield. During this period groups of aliens settled in this country as for example, the Germans who from the late 15th century onwards settled in Cumbria to work the metal mines. Immigration during this time had only a small effect on the body of surnames used in Britain. In many cases, the surnames of immigrants were thoroughly Anglicised. The late sixteenth century saw the arrival, mostly in London and the south-coast ports of large numbers of people fleeing from the war regions of France. A notable member of the name was George GRUB (1812-92) the Scottish church historian, born in Aberdeen. He was librarian to the Society of Advocates in Aberdeen (1841) and lecturer in Scots Law at Marischal College, Aberdeen (1841) and professor from 1881. He was the author of an 'Ecclesiastical History of Scotland' (1861) from the Episcopalian standpoint.
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