What is the origin of

> [Nederlands]

  Griep, Grip, Grijp and Gryp -- four different ways to write the same name -- are names that can be found especially in the countries around the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. This is also the region where the mythological Griffin bird ("grijp" in Dutch) is often used as an heraldic symbol.

These facts raise questions like: does this name have a common origin and meaning, and can some of the families that carry these names be related? This hasn't to be so unlikely at all. From the 14th century on, shipping and trade has been quite intense between the countries of the North and the Baltic Seas.

> This website has been seeking to answer the questions that are stated above, and
has been active from 2000-2022.
For more information: contact jan.griep@planet.nl.



  • In THE NETHERLANDS, the name Griep is mentioned for the first time in 1468. Most Grieps that now live in the Netherlands originates from Jan Adriaenszoon Griep, born in 1666 in the province of Zeeland. Besides them, there is also a much smaller Griep-family from the Twenthe region.
  • In GERMANY the name Griep is mentioned for the first time in 1539, when Carsten Griep (also written as Grip or Gryp) was mayor of Kiel in Holstein. In 1648 it appears in the part of Pomerania that is now Polish, and later on also in Posen(Poznan). The name Griep also can be found in the Emsland and Altmark regions, Ostfriesland, and generally in the regions along the North and the Baltic Seas.
  • In NORWAY a census was held in 1801. The name Griep appeared in the records of the communities Bergen and Voss.

Grijp - Gryp

  • As far back as 1216, the name Grijp was noted in the THE NETHERLANDS. In that year a man by the name of Arnoldus Grijp appears in Twenthe as a witness in an official document.
    From 1434 on, the name Grijp also appears in the western province of Holland and in 1476 Nikolaas Grijp founded the village of Grijpskerk in the province of
    Groningen. In 1577 a man by the name of Johannes Grijp appears in a registry of life-annuities, in the city of Goes in Zeeland.
  • In Flanders, now a part of BELGIUM but in those days a province of the 'The Netherlands', the name Grijp is first noted in 1382: Gillis Grijp at Dentergem. Around 1570 north and south of the Netherlands became separated. In later centuries Gryp's immigrated to the USA.
  • In GERMANY the name, written as Gryp, first appeared in 1334, when Bernardus Gryp is a chaplain in Vreden. In 1415, the daughter of the knight Arend Gryp sold her estate at Calveslage. In Nordhorn and also elswhere in the countship of Bentheim, form the 16th century families by the name Grijp are living. Around 1600, Hans Grijp comes from Ostfriesland, and in 1693 Haico Gryp from Ostfriesland became a student at Franeker.

Grip - Gripp

  • Arnoldus Grijp, mentioned above, is also noted in the year 1207 in  THE NETHERLANDS. At that occasion, his name was then written as Grip.
  • Bo Jonsson Grip, in SWEDEN, builded Gripsholm Castle in the year 1380. Other Swedish families by the name Grip live in the regions Morkala and Uppland.
  • From 1689 on there are also Grip's in FINLAND. Probably the name was introduced there by Swedish soldiers.
  • In the 1801 census in Norway, the name Griep was also often written as Grip. That name still can be found in NORWAY.
  • Coincidence  or not, in FRANCE the name Grip appears mostly in Normandy, a region that has for centuries been habited and ruled by Vikings from Scandinavia.
  • In the year 1400 in the Emsland in GERMANY, a man called Herman Grip bought himself free from serfdom. And from 1526 on, farmers bij the name of Gripp (also written as Griep or Gryp) were living in Borstel and surrounding villages in Holstein.


  Looking at all those families with their similar names, it is quite obvious to presume, that many of them could be related in some way. From the 14th century on there were intensive shipping and trading contacts between the counties along the North and the Baltic Seas. Also must be kept in mind that in those days the language from the Netherlands ('Nederduits' or Dutch) served as common factor in and around the coastal areas. In many of those regions the Dutch had their settlements, so it is not unthinkable that also Dutch surnames were introduced.

But making this presumptions is one thing, really proving it in a genealogical way is quite something else. In this case it is the more difficult, because many archives in these areas have been lost or destroyed in the Second World War.

Besides that, it is of course also possible that on different places names as Griep/Grijp/Gryp/Grip/Gripp etc. did originate independently of each other.

In the regions around the North and Baltic Seas, the mythological griffin bird ('Grijp' in Dutch) does often appear on coats if arms. Whether this has some meaning in respect to these surnames or is completely coincidental, is also something that is ready for research ...


Home --  Around the North and Baltic Seas -- The Griffin bird
Gryp from the Netherlands -- Gryp from Flanders -- Griep from Germany -- Griep in the USA
Grip from Sweden --  Grip from France -- Griep as immigrant

Last update of this page (https://www.gryep.nl/Algemeen/Introductie-EN.html) on January 23, 2008,
Jan Griep, Katwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands. Further updating has been terminated.