Early Grimshaw Origins Research Reports

Antecedents to the Grimshaw Origins Website

(Note: Webpage in preparation)

After learning the high points of his Grimshaw ancestry in the late 1990s, the website author became interested in the “Grimshaw story” more broadly. Continued research into the Grimshaw surname and family was documented first in a report on Grimshaw origins and then in two more reports on Grimshaw immigrations to the U.S. and on Grimshaw entries in U.S. censuses. The second and third documents resulted from the author’s growing interest in the Grimshaws that came to the New World, the families they brought or started there, and the descendants of these families. Copies of the three reports, which were prepared in 1999 and early 2000, have been made (in PDF format) for this webpage. The experience gained in preparing the three reports, combined with the increasing availability of the Internet at the time for posting information, led the website author to the decision to create the Grimshaw Origins website, which was started in July 2000.


Webpage Credits

Grimshaw Origins in Lancashire County, England with Selected Family Lines, August 1999

Grimshaw Immigrations to the United States, March 2000

Grimshaws in the United States Census Indexes, April 2000


Webpage Credits

Thanks go to Hilary Tulloch for providing excellent feedback on the first of the three reports.

Grimshaw Origins in Lancashire County, England with Selected Family Lines, August 1999

The original “Grimshaw Origins” report was based primarily on library research and trips to the Grimshaw location and surrounding area near Balckburn. A visit was also made to Wolfe Island, Ontario, where the author’s ancestors lived. The report is in two parts, as indicated in the title of the report.

Click here for Part A. Origins and History

Click here for Part B. Selected Family Lines

The report is described in its Preface as follows:

Grimshaw is an English name extending back to the time when surnames were just beginning to be used. Grimshaw descendants have had a very interesting history going back to those origins, possibly as early as 1000 AD. Two aspects of the Grimshaw family are interesting to many of us with this unusual surname -the origins and history of the name (and family) locally in Lancashire County, and the “radiation” of the family within England and throughout the world as expressed in its many family lines. This report includes two parts to address both aspects.

The information and references in this report come from many sources, some of the most important of which are as follows:

The University of Texas Library, Austin, TX

Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.

– Latter-Day Saints (LDS) Library, Salt Lake City, UT

Libraries at Blackburn, Darwen, Accrington, Halifax and Keighley

LDS Family History Centers in Austin

Purchases from used book outlets

Information available on the Internet

Texas State Genealogical Library

Networking with other Grimshaw researchers

Limited local interviews

The information on Grimshaws presented in this report provides a framework. I am confident that much additional detail will be uncovered -it will be included in future versions of this report. In particular, there is a great deal of opportunity for further investigation of the family lines, fitting them together, and connecting them back to the original Grimshaw family line.

My grandfather Grimshaw, Walter, died in South Dakota (where I was born) even before my father, Claude, was born, and I grew up having no contact with Grimshaw relatives. Thus my learning about this very interesting family has come later in life. My first research foray occurred in about 1970, when I visited the Library of Congress and discovered the booklet by Skeet (see Section 26 of this report). I gathered more information at the LDS Library in 1975. I made a brief, half-day visit to the Grimshaw location in 1987, and a second visit of several days in April, 1999. It was during this second visit that I found many of the references cited in this report. I also had the privilege of visiting Wolfe Island in the “dead of winter” in January 1999 with Barbara Bonner.

But the main insights that I have gained into the Grimshaw family history have come from discussions with, and materials provided by, other Grimshaw researchers. I owe them a great debt. In particular, I want to thank Barbara Bonner and Terry Grimshaw Micks for their help and information on the Wolfe Island Grimshaws. Carol Anderson and Rosemarie Karlen not only provided information, materials, and insight into the South Dakota branch of Grimshaws, but also steered me in the right direction to Wisconsin and Wolfe Island in the first place. Their aunt, Lyra Hodgin, was the “family chronicler” for the South Dakota Grimshaws before her death in 1996; she provided initial information on the history my immediate Grimshaw family in the mid-1980s. Bob Grimshaw, in California, and Red Grimshaw, in North Carolina, both have been very insightful and have provided much information. So have Barbara Alteman and Jerry Brewin, both in Alberta.

My wife, JoAnne, has not only been very supportive (or at least tolerant!) of my fixation on this topic for the past several months, but also provided invaluable assistance during our April 1999 research trip to Lancashire County.

I prepared, and distributed to several interested Grimshaw researchers, an earlier report about the origins of the Grimshaw name. I believe that many of them found it helpful. I knew that it was “naive” when I wrote it (and, thankfully, said so in the report); I just didn’t know how much! But, then, that’s “how it is” in pushing back ignorance, step by step. Nevertheless, I can’t help but wonder how, in the months and years ahead, ignorant I will feel then that I still am now.

Thomas W. Grimshaw

1308 Shannon Oaks Trail

Texas 78746



August, 1999

The phone number and email address have changed since the Preface was prepared to thomaswgrimshaw@gmail.com and 512.784.1078. The contents of Parts A and B of the report are as follows:

Part A. Origins and History
1. Origin of the Grimshaw Surname
2. Location of Grimshaw Origins in Lancashire County, England
3. The Earliest Recorded Grimshaws and Their Descendants
4. The Grimshaw Serpent Tale -A Romantic (But Untrue) Explanation ofthe Origin ofthe Grimshaw Surname
5. The Grimshaw Coat of Arms and Crest
6. Brief History of the Eccleshill and Clayton-Ie-Moors Area
7. Geologic Context of Eccles hill and Clayton-Ie-Moors
8. Grimshaw History at Eccleshill
9. Industrialization and Coal Mining At and Near the Grimshaw Location in Eccleshill
10. Did The Grimshaw Serpent Live In An Old Coal Mine?
11. Grimshaw History at Clayton-Ie-Moors
12. The Industrial Revolution at Clayton-Ie-Moors
13. Coal Mining at Clayton-Ie-Moors
14. Clayton-Ie-Moors under the Lomaxes
15. Clayton-Ie-Moors in About 1790
16. Clayton Hall and Dunkenhalgh in 1999
17. Publications By and About Grimshaws
18. References Cited Author’s Biography
Excerpt A. Summary of Grimshaw History at Clayton-Ie-Moors as Presented in Ainsworth, 1928
Excerpt B. The Moorfield Pit Disaster of 1883

Part B. Selected Family Lines
19. Overview of Selected Grimshaw Family Lines
20. The Oakenshaw Family Line of Grimshaws
21. The Pendle Forest Grimshaw Family Line
22. The Pendle Witches: How Much Did The Grimshaws Know?
23. An “Irish” Grimshaw Line
24. The Shuttleworths of Gawthorpe -A Major Family Descended from a Grimshaw Female
25. William Grimshaw of Haworth (and His Brother, John)
26. Grimshaws of Audenshaw
27. Was There a Line Of Grimshaws Who Were Mariners?
28. Wolfe Island Grimshaws: William and Mary Ann Blair Grimshaw
29. How the Town of Grimshaw, Alberta, Canada Got Its Name
30. Wolfe Island Grimshaws: George and Charlotte Menard Grimshaw
31. The Zepheniah Grimshaw Family Lines
32. Conjectures about William, George and Zepheniah Grimshaw Family Connections
33. The Duckworth Grimshaws -A Mormon Grimshaw Family Line
34. The William Robinson Grimshaw Family Line
35. John and Mary Jane Hutton Grimshaw -Progenitors of a Canadian Family
36. The Edward and Dorytye Raner Grimshaw Line
Excerpt C. The Story of the Sinking of the Emigrant Ship, Caleb Grimshaw
Excerpt D. The Duckworth Grimshaw Records

Grimshaw Immigrations to the United States, March 2000

Part A. Description of Records and Delineation of Immigrants

Click here for Part A, first portion.

Click here for Part A, second portion.

Part B. Copies of Records

Click here for Part B, first portion.

Click here for Part B, second portion.

Click here for Part B, third portion.

Grimshaws in the United States Census Indexes, April 2000

[In preparation.]

Part A. Grimshaws in the Census Indexes

Click here for Part A, first portion.

Click here for Part A, second portion.

Click here for Part A, third portion.

Part B. Copies of Census Indexes

Click here for Part B, first portion.

Click here for Part B, second portion.

Click here for Part B, third portion.




Webpage History

Webpage posted May 2011