The English surname Grymes 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. The first record of the name in the New World occurs in 1638 when William Grymes settled in Virginia. Today there are approximately 350 bearers of the name Grymes living in the United States.
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