The Irish and English surname Grimes is derived from the Old Norse personal name Grímr, which remained popular as a personal name in the form Grim in Anglo-Scandinavian areas well into the 12th century. It was a byname of Woden with the meaning ‘masked person’ or ‘shape-changer’, and may have been bestowed on male children in an attempt to secure the protection of the god. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godwin Grim. This was dated 1170, in the "Pipe Rolls" of the county of Norfolk. In Ireland the name Grimes is predominantly found in counties Mayo, Down and Tyrone. The name was brought from Ireland to Barbados in the 17th century and many descendants of the original Irish settlers still live there today. Today there are more than 50,000 bearers of the surname Grimes living in The United States.
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