Grimshaw Origins and History

Welcome to the Website on the English Family of Grimshaw!


A Grimshaw coat of arms from about 1567 is shown above. A description is provided further down on this webpage..


Please note: After a long period of inactivity, the Grimshaw Origins website is being developed again, starting in August 2020! Because of other life priorities, little has changed since 2016. You will notice a number of “irregularities” as the website is modified and upgraded. Please be patient!


The Grimshaw surname originated in Lancashire in the northern part of England, apparently around 1000 A.D. There appear to be few records of Grimshaw family lines for the first 200 to 250 years. It is highly probable that the family’s roots are connected to the town of Grimsargh, which is a short distance northeast of Preston. The earliest recorded Grimshaw so far was Gilbert, father of William Grimshaw, who held the Manor of Grimsargh in thenage in 1242.

The Grimshaw surname originated near Preston, which is in northern England. Preston’s location (indicated by the orange circle) is shown in relation to Liverpool, Manchester, Blackburn and Leeds, all of which were important in Grimshaw family history. Map source: Bing Maps.


Website Introduction

This website seeks to tell portions of the “Grimshaw story”. A few highlights are presented on this homepage. There are a total of more than 370 webpages on this website covering various aspects of the Grimshaw story. More information on this Grimshaw Origins website may be found on a companion webpage, “About This Website”. The search tool in the upper right corner of each page may help find a specific person or topic of interest. The tool is also shown below for convenience.


The “Grimshaw Origins” website was started in mid-2000 to make the results of research into the beginnings and development of the Grimshaw family widely available. Its main objective is to collect, organize and post information for the benefit of Grimshaw researchers everywhere. Development of the Grimshaw Origins website is a hobby of the author, who receives no monetary compensation for the effort. The website is maintained and expanded as information becomes available.

Most of the webpages are still in preparation in order to post a webpage as soon as possible after any information is obtained on the individual, family, or topic becomes available. The webpage is then completed later when more details (or time) permit. It should be noted that even when a webpage no longer has the “In Preparation” notation, it will continue to be upgraded as more information becomes available. Progress on website development is posted on a “Whats New” webpage. A Grimshaw Origins site on Facebook also provides information on the Grimshaws as well as updates on website development.

The author of this website is an American Grimshaw whose research in his own origins grew into a larger range of interests in the entire Grimshaw family line. More information on the author may be found on a companion webpage

How to Make Contributions of Information

One of the main ways that the interesting story of the Grimshaws is being assembled is through the generous contribution of information and images from many sources, mostly be emails. The website author is deeply indebted to each of these contributors. A “hall of fame” for website contributors is being prepared on a companion webpage.

Would you like to add Grimshaw information to this website? If so, please send an email to the website author at the following address:

Major Grimshaw Topics

Many branches have emerged in the Grimshaw family in the decades and centuries after its origination. A number of Grimshaws participated in the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution, which got its start in cotton weaving in this part of Lancashire. Many Grimshaw descendants contributed to the waves of emigration to the New World and other parts of the globe. Numerous fields in the arts and sciences – and the spiritual realm – have benefited from the talents of Grimshaw descendants, including evangelism, painting, history, engineering, and entomology.

The six topics shown below are generally of greatest interest to Grimshaw researchers. Click on on the ones that interest you for more information on various aspects of Grimshaw origins and history.

  1. Origins of the Grimshaw Surname

  2. Early Grimshaw Family Lines in England and Ireland

  3. Involvement of Grimshaw Family Members in the Industrial Revolution

  4. Grimshaw Immigrants to the New World and Around the Globe

  5. Prominent Grimshaw Individuals and Families

  6. Miscellaneous Grimshaw Individuals and Information

Each of these webpages contains links to other specific webpages on the topic.

Highlights of the Grimshaws and Their History

As noted above, this homepage introduces some of the most significant or interesting aspects of the origins and history of the Grimshaw family. More detail on the following topics can be found further down on this homepage. Additional information may then be found by using links in each topic.

Earliest Grimshaws around Preston and Blackburn

The name “Grimshaw” probably started about the time surnames were beginning to be used in England. As noted above, the first Grimshaws apparently lived in an area near the present community of Grimsargh, which is located a few miles northeast of Preston and northwest of Blackburn in Lancashire. Two of the earliest Grimshaws — both with the first name Walter — were apparently contemporaries (mid 1200s) but lived at different locations. One of the Walter Grimshaws was located at Eccleshill southeast of Blackburn, and the other was at Edisford, near Clitheroe (northeast of Blackburn). Many descendants of Walter Grimshaw of Eccleshill have been recorded, but none have yet been found for Walter Grimshaw of Edisford.

Detailed map of area around Preston and Blackburn showing the location of Grimsargh northeast of Preston. Other locations of importance to the family history (Clitheroe, Grimshaw Location, Clayton-le-Moors) are also indicated.  Map source: Bing Maps.


The place name “Grimshaw” remains at Eccleshill to the present but this is not the case at Edisford. The Eccleshill location of Walter Grimshaw is now marked by Higher Grimshaw Farm (shown below) and Grimshaw Brook Mill, an envelope factory and closed-down paper mill. More detail on the Grimshaw location is provided further down on this webpage.

Higher Grimshaw Farm. The hill behind the farm is Yate and Pickup Bank, with the community of Belthorn clearly visible at the top of the hill.


The plaque pictured below is near the entrance to the farmhouse in the above photo.


Edisford Hall is located located just across the Ribble River from Clitheroe. It consists of several buildings at the location.

Edisford Hall. The hall is well marked at the entrance. 


The plaque shown below is on the corner of the house in the upper photo. 


More Detail on the Grimshaw Location

The place name “Grimshaw” is in Eccleshill, about three miles southeast of central Blackburn (see map above). Walter Grimshaw and his descendants apparently lived here for five generations, until the about 1370, when a move was made to Clayton-le-Moors. The location is on a stream called Grimshaw Brook, which forms the boundary between two ancient, small townships — Eccleshill to the west and Yate and Pickup Bank to the east. It has had an eventful history. Grimshaw Brook provided a source of water power, and mills for various purposes have been constructed. Currently the site is occupied by a closed-down paper mill and a small factory for paper envelops. Click here for the Eccleshill Grimshaw webpage.

Grimshaw location in Eccleshill (center of photo). Grimshaw Brook flows from left to right across the middle of the photo. The site is now occupied by an envelope factory (brick building to the right of center) and a closed-down paper mill (left of center). The farmhouse and barn near the left side of the photo are on “Higher Grimshaw Farm”. The photo was taken to the southwest and down a steep hill (Yate and Pickup Bank) from Belthorn. Photo taken by website author in May 2000.


The Grimshaw location was greatly affected by development during the Industrial Revolution. As noted, the original facility constructed there was a cotton mill called “Grimshaw Bridge Factory”. The site now has an envelope factory and closed-down paper mill.

Grimshaw Brook Mill, an envelope factory, with a former paper-making cylinder in front. Photo taken by the website author in March 1999. The closed-down paper mill was behind the website author when he took this photo.


“Higher Grimshaw Farm” (also shown further up on this webpage) is located above (southwest of) Grimshaw Brook, near the road that leads into the envelope factory.

Northeast view of front side of Higher Grimshaw Farm. The village of Belthorn is visible on the horizon, at the top of Yate and Pickup Bank. (The photo of the Grimshaw location shown above was taken from Belthorn.) Photo taken by the website author in April 1999.


1826 Power Loom Riots at the Eccleshill Location

The power loom riots of April 24 to 26, 1826 reached the Grimshaw cotton mill in Eccleshill, as described in the following newspaper article.

Report of attacks on Grimshaw mill in April 1826. Source: Salem, MA, Essex Register, v. 26, issue 46, page [3] (June 8, 1826).


Descendants of Walter Grimshaw of Eccleshill

Thomas Dunham Whitaker, in his “History of Whalley”1, did a remarkable job of recording early Grimshaw families and is perhaps the foremost author for Grimshaw history. He developed an excellent descendant chart for the Walter Grimshaw of Eccleshill, who lived around 1250 AD. Other early Grimshaw families, such as William Grimshaw of Grimsargh and Walter Grimshaw of Edisford, have not been mapped out with such thoroughness. The upper portion of Whitakers descendant chart for Walter Grimshaw of Eccleshill (shown below) includes the first 10 generations (after Walter). Click here for the Eccleshill Grimshaw webpage.

Upper portion of Whitaker’s descendant chart for Walter Grimshaw of Eccleshill showing 10 generations. The lower portion of the chart (not included here) shows an additional four generations.


Clayton Hall, Location of the Grimshaw Family for Over 350 Years

The Grimshaw family lived at the Grimshaw location in Eccleshill from its origins until at least the mid-1300s. Because of a fortuitous marriage into the Clayton family by Adam Grimshaw sometime after 1368, the family relocated to Clayton Hall in Clayton-le-Moors, northeast of Blackburn (see map above). The family lived there for many generations until the heirs ran out in about 1715 and the estate passed to the Lomax family. Clayton Hall was demolished in 1977, One of the reasons for its demise was reported to be subsidence resulting from collapse of coal mine voids beneath the hall that had weakened the structure. There was apparently an earlier Clayton Hall that was replaced the one shown below. Click here for the webpage on Clayton-le-Moors and the Grimshaw family that lived there.

Photo of former Clayton Hall from Pollard, 1978. The view is northward on the south side of the hall.


A portion of Clayton Hall has been re-constucted in recent years at the original site. This would therefore be the third Clayton Hall at this location.

Front view of the new Clayton Hall, a facsimile of the previous one that was torn down in 1977. The photo was taken northward from south side, the same angle as the above photo of the previous Clayton Hall. Photo taken by the website author in May 1999.


Robert Eaton, a retired schoolteacher living in the Clayton-le-Moors area, provided a “guided tour” of the Clayton Hall grounds to the webpage author and several others in May 2000. He described the history and features of the hall and related how he had grown up in the area when the manor was an abandoned derelict and had spent many happy hours as a youth playing in the old “haunted house.”  Robert made many sketches and paintings of Clayton Hall not long before it was demolished in 1977.

Example of Robert Eaton painting of Clayton Hall, now in the possession of Jack Frane, who kindly provided the following image of the painting. The view of Clayton Hall is generally to the northwest.


Grimshaw Coats of Arms

Members of the Grimshaw family have had coats of arms since the Clayton Hall days, always with a griffin as the central feature. One of the most attractive renditions of a Grimshaw coat of arms appears in the Harleian Manuscripts at the British Library in London. This rendition is displayed at the top of this webpage. Click here for the webpage on Grimshaw coats of arms.

Grimshaw coat of arms from Folio 1468, which includes “Pedigrees of the Lancashire Gentry, as registered (narratively) in the Visitation-book of that County, made in A.D. 1567 by William Flower Norroy.” 


The earliest head of the Grimshaw family recorded during the 1567 visitation was Henry, born in 1467 and married Alice, daughter of Richard Tempest. Whitakers descendant chart for of the original Grimshaw family go back eight generations before Henry, to Walter, who was living in about 1250.

The Leeds and Liverpool Canal in Clayton-le-Moors

A major geographic feature in Clayton-le-Moors is the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, an artifact of the Industrial Revolution that runs very close to Clayton Hall. Click here here for the webpage on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

Westward View of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal from Highway A678 Bridge. Clayton Hall is located just out of view on the right side of the photo. Pendle Hill can be seen on the horizon above the canal. Photo taken by the website author in May 2000.LeedCanl

The Grimshaw Serpent and Ooze Castle Wood

The Grimshaw family kept their land holdings in Eccleshill after they relocated to Clayton-le-Moors in the mid-1300s. According to a 1742 publication by Charles Owen, a Grimshaw living at Clayton Hall was traveling to the family’s holdings in Eccleshill when he performed a valuable community service by killing a large serpent in Ooze Castle Wood, about a mile southeast of the Grimshaw location.

Upper portion of the title page of Charles Owen’s “An Essay towards a Natural History of Serpents”, which makes reference to a Grimshaw having killed a large serpent.


A good candidate for “Griom’s Ark”, the purported den of the serpent, has been located in Ooze Castle Wood. Ooze Castle Wood and the candidate for Griom’s Ark are shown in the photos below. The small reservoir in the upper photo can be found on the lower left map above, just east of Waterside and southeast of Belthorn. Click here for the webpage on the Grimshaw Serpent.

A potential candidate for Griom’s Ark as described in Owen’s 1742 article on the “Grimshaw Serpent”. The opening is in Ooze Castle Wood and is a crevice in a sandstone block that is part of a slump (earth movement) on the bank of Means Brook. Photo of the website author taken by his spouse in May 2000. 


Yate & Pickup Bank (southward view). The rock crevice that may be Griom’s Ark is in Ooze Castle Wood adjacent to the small reservoir. Shooter’s Hill forms the horizon on the left half of the photo. Photo taken by the website author in May 2000.


Owen made a connection between this serpent and the griffin on the Grimshaw coat of arms, but the exact nature of the connection was extremely vague. The serpent-killing event, perhaps at least partly a legend, would have happened between 1350, when the Grimshaws moved to Clayton Hall, and 1613, when the arms were sanctioned by the kings’ herald. Thus the griffin preceded the serpent in Grimshaw history by at least 300 years.

Competing Theories on the Origin of the Grimshaw Surname — Celtic or Viking

There are two competing theories concerning the original derivation of the Grimshaw name. The earlier Celtic derivation is based on the hyothesis that the terms “grim” and “grin” are forms of the one root word (that) signify the sun, when the term is used for that celestial luminary as a divinity, or as the object or symbol referred to in divine worship. These terms were given by the Angles and Saxons when they occupied lowlands that they had seized from the Celts (Segantii). If this theory is true, then most likely the very original Grimshaw location is west of Pendle Hill, perhaps not far from Grimsargh. Click here for the webpage on the earlier Celtic origins of the Grimshaw surname.

The theory for a later Viking derivation is based on the hypothesis that Grimshaw refers to “Grim’rs wood”, where the Grimr, a recurrent personal name in Viking place names, had ambivalent overtones. Sometimes it seems to have signified the god Odin, thought to go about disguised in a grim mask. At other times it seems to stand as a nickname for the devil. No location (aside from the Eccleshill site) has been identified for the location under this theory. Click here for the webpage on the later Viking origins of the Grimshaw surname.

Early Grimshaws at Cliviger

Cliviger is located a short distance southeast of Burnley in Lancashire. Grimshaws apparently arrived there quite early in the family’s history, probably around 1300 A.D. Research by Mavis Long indicates that two Grimshaws, Richard and Adam, were identified as tenants at Cliviger in 13104. Mavis hypothesizes that these two Grimshaws were brothers and were the sons of Walter de Grimshaw, head of the earliest recorded Grimshaw family line. Click here for the webpage on the early Grimshaws at Cliviger.

Mavis’ hypothesis that Adam and Richard were the sons of Walter de Grimshaw is illustrated in the descendant chart of the earliest recorded Grimshaw family Dunham’s “History of Whalley”3 (described above on this homepage):


The Pendle Forest Line of Grimshaws

One of the most important Grimshaw lines to originate from the oldest recorded Grimshaw family tree was the “Pendle Forest” line, which was located at Heyhouses on Pendle Hill and in the area on the east side of the hill. An extensive descendant chart was published in Whitaker’s “History of Whalley”1. The Pendle Forest Grimshaw line is junior to the earliest recorded Eccleshill and Clayton-le-Moors line, but the connection was not clearly indicated in Whitaker’s work. This connection has now been established, at least on a preliminary basis, as a result of research for this website. Click here for the webpage on the Pendle Forest line of Grimshaws.

The following image of the coat of arms for the Pendle Forest line of Grimshaws was included in Whitaker’s descendant chart for the line as published in his “History of Whalley”. The coat of arms consists of two images of a ducally crowned griffin. 


The Audenshaw Grimshaw Line

This line is referred to as the “Audenshaw” line because that was how it was referred to in a well-known reference5 because of it’s geographic location southeast of Manchester. Subsequent research has added substantially to the descendant chart in that reference. The earliest known progenitor was George Grimshaw who was born in 1600 and married Emme Telier or Taylor. Connection to more senior Grimshaw lines, such as that at Clayton-le-Moors, has not yet been established. George Grimshaw, earliest recorded progenitor of the Audenshaw line, had a birthdate of 1600, He would therefore have been a contemporary of approximately the 13th generation of Grimshaws descended from Walter de Grimshaw (Thomas, John, Ann, Nicholas, Robert, Thomas, Mary, Jane, Margaret, Anne, Elizabeth, Eleanor, Katherine) in Whitaker’s descendant chart (described above). Click here for the webpage on the Audenshaw line of Grimshaws.

The Griffin in the Grimshaw Coat of Arms appears prominently in a plaque in a church near Audenshaw. The plaque is dedicated to the memory of John Grimshaw, a descendant in the Audenshaw line of Grimshaws.


The “Yorkshire” Line of Grimshaws

An important Grimshaw family, in terms of descendant family lines, was the family of Edward Grimshaw and Dorytye (Dorothy) Raner, who were married in 1602. They started a line of Grimshaws in Yorkshire that is one of the largest, and best documented, in the world. The connection of this line to the Eccleshill/Clayton-le-Moors line or Pendle Forest line has not been established. The Yorkshire Grimshaw line had strong Quaker connections going back to the early 1600s. The family lived at Ivy House, starting with Abraham Grimshaw, son of Edward and Dorothy. He was a clothier and had a small farm and became discontent with the English church. Many descendants of this line of Grimshaws emigrated to America, perhaps seeking greater religious freedom. Click here for the webpage on the Yorkshire line of Grimshaws.

Early members of the Yorkshire line of Grimshaws became Quakers and lived at Ivy House, apparently for more than 300 years. This photo of Ivy House was taken by Enid Sheldon in 1996.


The “Irish” Line of Grimshaws

Nicholas Grimshaw was from Blackburn and apparently emigrated to Ireland in about 1776. Nicholas and Mary Wrigley were married in Manchester in 1768. Nicholas was the son of Nicholas and Susan (Briercliffe) Grimshaw and the grandson of Nicholas Grimshaw and Anne Grimshaw (of Oakenshaw), who are described in the Pendle Forest line of Grimshaws in Whitaker’s “History of Whalley”. Whitaker also included a separate (and extensive) descendant chart for Nicholas and Mary (Wrigley) Grimshaw. The Irish line of Grimshaws has included some of the more prominent members of the Grimshaw family. Click here for the webpage on the Irish Grimshaw line.

Nicholas Grimshaw started the cotton textile industry in Ireland when he built the first cotton twist mill in 1784. 



Whitaker, Thomas Dunham, 1872, An History of the Original Parish of Whalley, and Honor of Clitheroe (Revised and enlarged by John G. Nichols and Ponsonby A. Lyons): London, George Routledge and Sons, 4th Edition; v. I, 362 p.; v. II, 622 p. Earlier editions were published in 1800, 1806, and 1825.

2Pollard, Louie, 1978, Great Harwood Gleanings: Lancashire County Library and Leisure Committee, unk p.

3Ainsworth, Richard, 1928, The Old Homesteads of Accrington & District, Embracing Accrington, Baxenden, Stonefold, Oswaldtwistle, Church, Clayton-le-Moors, Great Harwood, Rishton, Hapton, Huncoat, Read, Simonstone, Altham, Whalley: Accrington, Wardleworth Limited, unk p.

4Farrer, William & J. Brownbill (eds), 1911, Victoria County History of Lancaster, Volume 6, p. 478-487. Online. Available: Date accessed: 13 May 2008.

5Skeet, F.J.A., 1906, A History of the Families of Skeet, Widdrington, Wilby, Murray, Blake, Grimshaw, and Others: London, Mitchell, Hughes and Clarke, 179 p.

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Homepage Chronology

Shown below is the chonology of events in the development of the Grimshaw Origins homepage.

Webpage posted July 2000 – start of “Grimshaw Origins” website. Updated December 2003. Updated and reorganized June 2004. Google search tool added November 2004. Hit counter added Fall 2006. Webpage updated March 2007 with addition of maps, descendant chart, Walter Grimshaw of Edisford information, and Celtic and Viking hypotheses for origin of Grimshaw surname. Slightly reorganized December 2009. Reorganized and reconfigured as part of overall website organization initiative – April 2011. Updated and reorganized in February 2013. Moved from FrontPage to WordPress and updated in April 2016. Upgrade of hompage (and all of the website) initiated in September 2020.

About the “Grimshaw Origins” Website (Duplicate Entry, for now)

Answers to Some Basic Questions…

The “Grimshaw Origins” website was started in mid-2000 to make the results of research into the beginnings and development of the Grimshaw family widely available. The main objective of the website is to collect, organize and post information for the benefit of Grimshaw researchers everywhere. Development of the Grimshaw Origins website is a hobby of the author, who receives no monetary compensation for the effort. Progress on website development is posted on a “Whats New” webpage. A Grimshaw Origins site on Facebook also provides information on the Grimshaws as well as updates on website development.

How is the Website Organized?

How Is the Website Being Developed?

How Can You Contribute to the Emerging “Grimshaw Story”?

Who Has Already Contributed?

Website Technical Stuff

How Did the Website Get Started?

Who is the Website Author?

Website Credits


How is the Website Organized?

During the first 10-plus years of its life, the focus of Grimshaw Origins has been on information collection and webpage preparation. Webpages have been posted as information has become available in a somewhat random order. Approximately 350 pages have been posted in various stages of development so far. The webpages are listed, generally in reverse chronological order of posting, on the “Whats New” webpage. The topics of these webpages have been found to fall into six general categories of potential interest to Grimshaw researchers.

Origins of the Grimshaw Surname and Family

Early Grimshaw Family Lines in England and Ireland

Involvement of Grimshaws in the Industrial Revolution

Grimshaw Immigrants to the New World and Around the Globe

Prominent Grimshaw Individuals and Families

Miscellaneous Grimshaw Individuals and Information

Six webpages for these categories have therefore been prepared with introductions (and hyperlinks) for the webpages falling within the purview of each category. The overall structure of the Grimshaw Origins website can be depicted in a conceptual manner as follows:


The organization of the website in this way was initiated in April 2011 and may be expected to take a number of months to complete. Concurrently, additional webpages will continue to be added to the website as information becomes available.

How Is the Website Being Developed?

As noted, webpages are added, or amplified, as information becomes available. Grimshaw information comes generally from four or five major sources.

Contributors. By far the most interesting and important information comes from Grimshaw researchers who are willing to paticipate in telling the “Grimshaw story” on this website. This input most often comes by email exchanges (including attachments of documents) or by surface mail. It has included family narratives, descendant charts, portrait photos, drawings and sketches, scanned images of documents, and photos of homesites, graves and other relevant materials. A “Hall of Fame” webpage recognizes the paramount importance of contributors and salutes their efforts. Contributions
are always attributed to the source of the material.

Internet Search. As the web has grown and matured and people have posted family history information on websites, it has become increasingly valuable as a resource for the “Grimshaw Origins” website. When such information is found and incorporated on a webpage, a link to the source webpage is provided. The LDS FamilySearch website and several commercial sites have also been valuable sources, particularly the Grimshaw family inquiry pages and forums. Tim Halstead’s Grimshaw Group on Yahoo Groups is especially useful to descendants of the Yorkshire line of Grimshaws. Many Grimshaw items of interest have been found on Ebay and purchased for additions to webpages.

Site Visits. Many of the locations of importance to Grimshaw individuals and families have been visited for local research, contact with key individuals, and taking photos. These visits are one of the most enjoyable and interesting aspects of the Grimshaw research hobby. Brief visits have been made to Grimshaw sites in both England and the United States, including the Grimshaw location southeast of Blackburn and elsewhere in Lancashire.

Library Search. The Mormon Family History Library in Salt Lake City is unsurpassed as a source for Grimshaw information and has been visited many times for research for this website. The British Library in London has also been an excellent source, especially for information on England and Lancashire that can’t be found anywhere else. The library at The University of Texas at Austin and local libraries that were often visited during Grimshaw site visits have also been of critical importance. Local libraries often have site-specific information that cannot be accessed without an actual on-site visit. The local libraries at Blackburn and surround communities have been particularly helpful for Grimshaw research.

When information is found or contributed, it is added to an existing webpage or a new webpage is created. Almost all of the substantive webpages developed incrementally as more contributors come forward or additional research is performed. The month and year of webpage opening or additions are noted near the bottom of each webpage. Activities and accomplishments are posted month by month on the What’s New webpage.

How Can You Contribute to the Emerging “Grimshaw Story”?

If you have information on individuals, families, locations or other aspects of the Grimshaw family, you are encouraged to contribute it for addition to this website. Please contact the website author using the information at the bottom of this webpage. Contributions have taken many forms in the past, including family history narratives, scanned documents, portrait photos, and pictures of homesites, gravesites and other locations. Most
contributions are by email exchange with attachments, but surface mail may also be used.

Credit is given to all who contribute, as can be seen on the individual webpages. Also, a short booklet on “Grimshaw Highlights” (about 20 pages long) will be sent to contributors (as a token reward) if they indicate they want one and are willing to provide a mailing address for a hard copy to be sent. The website author receives no compensation for the Grimshaw Origns website hobby and therefore cannot offer any other form of compensation.

Website Technical Stuff

The Grimshaw Origins website has evolved since it was initiated in 2000. It has always been in Microsoft FrontPage 2000, but the hosting service was changed to Lunarpages a few years after the project was started and is still being used. A webpage template based on a FrontPage-provided template was adopted at the onset utilizing widely recognized parameters for technical reports (text with figures and tables). This template has continued with minor modifications through the life of the website. The template includes the phrase “Webpage in preparation”, which is retained until a webpage has reached an adequate level of development to remove it. The objective has been to post information as quickly as it becomes available and to add detail and explanatory text subsequently when time (or more complete information) becomes available. As a result, the 350 webpages on the website are in various stages of development.

Why use FrontPage? The answer to this question has two parts – legacy and priority. FrontPage appeared to be the leading web development software when the website was started (appearances can be deceiving!), and the software suited the website authors professional experience in using the standard technical report elements mentioned above – text, figures, tables. Someday the website will be updated with modern software and features, but available time for the website hobby for now must be devoted to adding information and reorganizing the website to make it more “rational” rather than just a (more or less) random collection of webpages.

What is in the webpage template? If you surf on the website, you will see that the webpages contain the following: 1) banner with subhead and, in many cases, a relevant image; 2) link back to the Home Page; 3) introductory and overview text for the content of the webpage; 4) webpage contents with links to subheads further down on the page; 5) webpage credits, with a focus on contributors to the content of the webpage; 6) webpage main body or content, organized with subheads that are referenced in the table of contents; 7) references for published information when applicable – often replaced by links or references in the main body section; 8) information on the date of initiation and updates of the webpage, followed by another link to the Home Page; 9) former banner (when it has been replaced with the new one) and 10) supplementary information, more or less like an appendix to a printed report. Some of the elements are not needed on some webpages.

Why are there two kinds of banners? Unfortunately, the banner provided in FrontPage doesn’t always work properly, and banners sometimes delete the text they are supposed to contain. Therefore (over time), all banners are being replaced with a custom banner developed for the Grimshaw Origins website. The custom banner was designed to be consistent with the template presentation and at the same time to be easier to read and less cluttered than the original FrontPage banner.

How Did the Website Get Started?

In the late 1990s the website author did quite a bit of research on Grimshaw origins immigrants to the U.S., and census records. This research was written up in a series of three reports.

Click here for the three early reports on Grimshaw Origins in Lancashire, immigration records, and U.S. census records.

During this timeframe, personal websites were becoming more popular and easier and less expensive to create, so the author decided to create a website to make the information in these reports widely available to Grimshaw researchers. From these initial postings, the website has grown and developed for over 10 years, resulting in more than 350 webpages on the Grimshaw Origins website. An initiative was begun in April 2011 to add more organization to the website and make it easier to use.

Who is the Website Author?

Thomas W. Grimshaw of Austin, Texas is the author. Tom was born and raised in South Dakota but has lived in Texas for many years. His ancestors lead back five generations to George Grimshaw, who was born in New Hampshire in the 1790s and married Charlotte Menard near Montreal. Georges father was almost (but not quite) certainly William Grimshaw, who was from Canada and fought in the Revolutionary War on the side of the colonials as a member of Hazens Regiment. Information on William Grimshaw’s origins (for example, whether he was born in Canada or immigrated from Lancashire) has not been found to date.

Tom Grimshaw graduated from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology with a degree in Geological Engineering. He subsequently received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Geology from The University of Texas at Austin. After a long career in consulting services for environmental protection, he has recently changed his focus to energy policy. He received a Master of Public Affairs degree (Mid-Career Option) from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. He has been adjunct faculty at the LBJ School and is currently a Research Fellow at the Energy Institute at UT-Austin. Additional information on Tom can be found on LinkedIn.


Tom and his wife, JoAnne, have a residence in southwest Austin.

Contact information (please use this information for making contributions for the Grimshaw Origins website)


Phone: 512.784.1078

Mail: 3571 Far West Blvd, #102, Austin, TX, 78731

Website Credits

Thanks go to the many researchers and contributors who have made this website possible.



Grimshaw Family Overview

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Website Organization

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Origins of the Grimshaw Surname

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Early Grimshaw Family Lines

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Involvement of the Grimshaw Family in the Industrial Revolutio

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Grimshaw Immigrants to the New World and Around the World

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Prominent Grimshaw Individuals and Families

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Miscellaneous Grimshaw Individuals and Information

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Highlights of the Grimshaw Family Story

[In preparation. Coat of Arms and Crest. ]

Earliest Grimshaws around Preston and Blackburn

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The Grimshaw Location in Eccleshill

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Walter Grimshaw of Eccleshill

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More to Come…

About the Grimshaw Origins Website
Answers to Some Basic Questions

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How did the website get started?

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How is the website being developed?

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[More to come…]

List of Site Maps