One Name Study of Gronow / Gronnow / Goronwy

One Name Study of Gronow / Gronnow / Goronwy

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Family Surname Varients

When researching your family history, you might have to look a little bit further for that elusive ancestor. In broad terms a lot of these variants have come about because of the quality of the writers ability to record what they have heard. If the speaker had a regional dialect, or if the scribe was English & the speaker Welsh, then the potential for 'mistakes' became even greater. Fashion also plays it part. Towards the end of the 19th Century some Gronow families changed their surname to Goronwy in a statement of Welsh Nationalism, looking back to the old Welsh spelling.

Over the years the way in which the parish clerk and clergy have recorded the surnames of the parishioners has varied substantially. It was not until the advent of universal literacy that the spelling of surnames became standardised. When the bride and groom could not read, they were not able to insist on a standard spelling of their surnames.

When my Grt.Grt.Grt.Grandfather married the clerk thinking he had misspelled his name crossed it out and re-wrote what he thought it should be.

 However James went on to sign the document in the style he had be brought up to do it & indeed the same way two generations previously had.
Today descendants of those generations still spell their name with 'nn' with virtually all the modern instances belonging to the same family group.

Below you will find a selection of spellings I've come across, during my research, look out for them next time your having trouble locating your ancestor.

Gronnow    Gronowe   Grono Gronew Gronoe Gronou Gronoue Gronos Gronoway Gronnoue Gronous Gronw Groneu Goronow Groan Grohn Grone Gronon Gronus Grounow Grownow Groenow Gronowe Gronons Gronoy Gronwy Gronne Gronnon Gronaw Grona Grony Gronrow Gorono Granow Grenow Gromowa Gronway Grunow Groney Gronna Goronowy Grunnow

Sunday, November 25, 2012

DEATH FROM INHALLING SEWER GAS.- William Gronow [sic], an expert drainer, with two other men, commenced to open an old drain, which was supposed to have not been opened for the last forty years, on the premises of Mr George Parker, in the occupation of Messrs. Oaks and Griffiths at Farndon. Starting at the mouth on the 13th of March, where it was shallow, and deepened as they crossed the road to the end of it to twelve feet, W. Gronow [sic] was the principal, and worked at the bottom until the work was finished. He was taken ill on Saturday, March 22nd, and attended by Dr. Parker who pronounced it to be blood poison from sewer gas, until his death which took place on the 26th ult., and he was buried on Sunday.

William Gronnow was born in 1838 in Farndon and buried in St. Chads Church, Farndon Cheshire on the 30th March 1884. William is my 3rd cousin 3x removed.

 It is well known that gases such as ammonia, carbonic oxide, carbonic acid, and sulphuretted hydrogen — which are frequently found in sewer air — are highly poisonous, and have, in consequence, when inhaled, an injurious influence upon health, the degree of which seems to depend on the amount so taken into the system. If the dose is small, then the poisoning is of a mild form ; but if the dose is large, then the poisoning is frequently very acute, and instantaneous death may be the result. It is greatly to be regretted that the statistical information concerning the health of sewermen is generally very incomplete. No proper continuous records appear to have been kept anywhere, and, when required, facts and figures have had to be collected probably years after the dates to which they refer, and that, too, in a somewhat haphazard manner. The results of such enquiries are therefore in most cases- not based upon a proper system of notification, and must be received with a certain amount of caution.

In cases of this kind the death of the workman is frequently instantaneous. He enters the sewer or cesspit and collapses there all at once as if he had been hit by a bullet. Sometimes it has also been observed that the workman has uttered a cry and then had severe convulsive fits, with vomiting and spontaneous secretion of faeces and urine ; foam covered the mouth, and the patient either died at once or remained unconscious for a long time.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

John Price Gronow

John Price Gronow was born in 1859 in Jericho, Dinas Pembrokeshire. Wales, the son of John Gronow & Elizabeth Price. born into a seafaring family John was called by the sea from an early age, as Henry Longfellow says "“My soul is full of longing for the secret of the sea, and the heart of the great ocean sends a thrilling pulse through me.”

John married Ann Williams on the 21st March 1882 at the Baptist chapel, Pontardawe, Swansea Glamorganshire. He died the 8th May 1935 at Spring Gardens, Dinas. Pembrokeshire. He is interred with his wife in Macapela Cemetery, Spring Hill. Dinas Cross. Pembrokeshire.

Of his life at sea, He rounded Cape Horn 48 times. Served in the copper ore trade in the brig 'Mary Sproat' of Swansea. The 'Inverness-shire' was dismasted in the Australian Bight but they reached Tasmania. In the wooden barque 'Marquis of Worcester' the coal cargo caught fire off the Horn; ship still on fire on arrival at Valparaiso in 1880. The coal caught fire in the 'Lodore' in 1898 on a passage from Barry to Vancouver, but they discharged at Buenos Aires and returned to Cardiff. On the 'Terpsichore' in 1917 the coal caught fire and she was towed into Rio all ablaze, but eventually repaired. Served on the 'Carnedd Llewellyn' just before she was lost. Served 50 years in sailing ships. Died 8 May 1935. Biography in 'S.Breezes' vol 19, 1934, p226].  Suffered greatly from hiraeth, took Welsh cakes with him which he did not eat, but liked to know they were there.

He was survived by 4 daughters, having lost his only son in 1891 & his wife in 1907.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Recently aquired certificates:


Elizabeth Gronow March Qtr. 1856 Bridgend Vol.11a page 482.
Catherine Gronow June Qtr. 1870 Wandsworth Vol.1d page 792.
Margaret Gronow March Qtr. 1874 Kensington Vol.1a page 120.
Adam Gronow December Qtr. 1881 Hendon Vol.3a page 237.
Elizabeth Gronow March Qtr. 1886 Cardiff Vol.11a page 334a.
Joseph Gronow September Qtr.1903 Woolwich Vol.1d page 2343.
Edith Gronow September Qtr. 1911 Kensington Vol.1a page 437.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

St. Bridget's, St. Brides Major.

While staying for a few days in Sourtherndown I took the opportunity to visit the Church of St. Bridget in St. Brides Major, & the small hamlet of Pitcot. My interest lies in the progeny of William Gronow & his wife Joan Hardee, although there are no Gronow MI's left in the churchyard I did see some Hardee memorials of a much later date. The earliest Gronow mention is a marriage in 1725.

St Telio's Church, St. Fagans National History Museum

I have been on the road again, this time in South Wales. I had wanted to visit the  Church of St. Teilo's and in particular the Gronow Chapel therein for some considerable time and so a visit to St. Fagans National History Museum was high on the list.

Originally situated outside Pontarddulais. near Swansea and built in stages from around 1100 to 1250. The Welsh place-name Llandeilo Talybont, "the church of St. Teilo at the head of the bridge" refers to the first crossing point of the river with its ancient settlement alongside, near the Roman fort of Leucarum (Loughor), whereas the situation of the old church itself, in a tidal marsh on the river Loughor, gives it its locally known name 'the Church of St. Teilo on the Marsh'.

 Two small transepts or chapels were added to the north and south of the building in the late 14th century, and linked by arches to the chancel. The north chapel was known as the Gronow Chapel presumably after its benefactor. A will of 1559 thus describes "" tenement of lands in the occupation of JOHN WILLIAM GROWMOWE" The tenement was called 'Llodre Morte' and is now known as Llandremor in the parish of Llandeilo Tal-y-bont.

Some 323 years later & Gronow's were still being buried at St. Telio. This report from a Swansea Newspaper.  

Death of Mr William Rees Gronow.- We regret to have to announce the death of Mr Wm. Rees Gronow, of Swansea, which took place on Saturday. A week ago the deceased left home to spend a few weeks with his wife's friends at Smart's-green, North Nibley, Gloucestershire. He however, caught cold in passing over the Channel, and at the end of his journey had to take to his bed. Congestion of the lungs set in, and the illness was such as to cause great anxiety to his friends. Mrs Rees Gronow telegraphed for Mr. G. H. Gronow, who reached North Nibley on Saturday, but not until his brother had expired. Deceased was connected with her Majesty's Customs at Swansea for about 37 years and for some time acted as chief clerk. He filled the office of churchwarden at St. Mary's Church several times, and was at the time of his death a sidesman. In consequence of his long connection with the town he had made many private friends, and was greatly respected. He was in his 57th Year. The body will be brought to Swansea to-day (Monday) for interment.

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), Monday, May 22nd 1882 Issue 4065.William was buried on the 24th May 1882, at the Church of St. Telio on the Marsh, Llandeilo Talybont, to rest with his Mother & Father & six other brothers and sisters.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Annette Victoria Gronow

In Remembrance:

Annette Victoria Gronow (nee Hooley)
Passed away peacefully at home on the 25th July 2012, with her family. Service on the 2nd August at St. Davids Church, Ely Cardiff, followed by interment at Western Cemetery Cardiff. 

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Recently Aquired Certificates:


Thomas J. Gronow June Qtr. 1945 Meriden Vol.6d page 1599.
Ronald W. Gronow June Qtr. 1947 Pontypridd Vol.8b page 1324.
Ronald W. Gronow June Qtr. 1948 Ilford Vol.5a page 869.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

In Remembrance 2012

In Remembrance:

Elizabeth Doreen Lewis (nee Gronow)
1918 - 2012
Daughter of David and Mary Gronow.Died peacefully on Wednesday, May 9th at Singleton Hospital, Swansea, Elizabeth of Rose Cross House, Penlan, Swansea and formerly of Princess Street, Gorseinon. Beloved wife of the late Raymond J. Lewis, much loved mother of Beverly, dear mother-in-law of Robert, loving nan of Stuart and Caryl and a cherished great Nan of Ewan and Rhys. Funeral on Friday, May 18th, service for family and friends at Swansea Crematorium at 11.00a.m.

Peter Clevely Gronow

Who passed away Easter Monday 9th April 2012 at the Royal Gwent Hospital, Peter of Tranch Pontypool. Loving partner of Doreen, a much loved father of Wayne, Jacqui and Lesley, father in law of Neil and Jason. Beloved Grandfather of Jenna, Craig, Kathryn and Sophie, brother of Anne. The Funeral Service will take place on Thursday 26th April, 10.30am at St. Cadoc's Church, Trevethin followed by interment at Panteg Cemetery.

William Gronow
Died 28th March 2012

beloved husband of Margaret & father of Kevin and Janet.
Funeral, Tuesday 10th april 2012 with a service at Coychurch Crematorium at 1.45pm

Adrian David Gronow

of Glasgow, Scotland.
Died 15th March 2012
Much loved son of  David & Joan Gronow, brother to Beverly.
Funeral service was on Monday, 2nd April, at the Linn Crematorium,Glasgow.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

News of an exciting new area of research, for those tracing the family histories of Gronow families.

The Gronow DNA Project welcomes all participants. We encourage you to join today!.
Our project is just getting started, and we expect to have many exciting discoveries.
Participating is an opportunity to uncover information not provided in the paper records, which will help with your research of your family tree. We will also discover which family trees are related. As the project progresses, the results for the various family trees will provide information on the evolution of the surname.
The surnames in this DNA Project are researched as part of the Gronow one-name study. You can learn more about this significant research, and the the associated family trees, by visiting the GRONOW DNA web site.

The Y DNA test tells you about your direct male line, which would be your father, his father, and back in time. You must be male to take this test, and you should have one of the surnames shown. If you believe there is a Gronow or variant in your direct male line, although you have a different surname, you are also welcome to participate. If you are female, you will need to find a direct line male in your family tree to participate and represent your tree.
We encourage males to order a Y-DNA test for 37 markers, if possible. If you order less markers, you can upgrade later, though this costs a little more.
Both males and females may also be interested in learning about their direct female line, which would be their mother, their mother's mother, and back in time. Both men and women inherit mtDNA, although only women pass it on. To explore your direct female line, you would order a mtDNA test. For matches in a genealogical time frame, order the mtDNA Plus test.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

In Remembrance:

Megan Morris (nee Gronow)
10th February 2012
Beloved wife of William L. Morris
Interment at Capel y Crwys, Three Crosses on Friday 17th February.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Anatomy of a street name

The Anatomy of a street name

Gronow Street, Michigan USA, takes it's name from  the person who subdivided the land on what is now along the north side of Engleman St. and both sides of Gronow Street between Van Dyke and Lawrence St.  According to the subdivision plot recorded on May 12, 1913 his name was Dr. Adolph A.Gronow and his wife's name was Rose Agnes Gronow.

The earliest US Census records I could find with a listing of Adolph Gronow were in 1920 and 1930. Working backwards in time I was able to verify that Adolph's original surname was Gronkowski.

According to the 1900 and 1910 US Census Records, Adolph GRONKOWSKI was born in April 1870 in Germany and his wife Agnes was born 2nd October 1876 in Warren, Macomb, Michigan. In 1900 Adolph GRONKOWSKI was living on Bellevue Street in Hamtramck Township, which would soon be incorporated into the city of Detroit. He claimed to have immigrated from Germany in 1889 and was a naturalised  citizen whose occupation was "Librarian". The 1903 Detroit City Directory shows Adolph A. GRONKOWSKI living at 974  Bellevue and employed as a teacher at Eastern High School. In 1910 Adolph GRONKOWSK was living on Center Line Road (now Van Dyke Ave)  in Warren Township, which  would become the village of Center Line in 1926. From the other names on  the record, it is clear that he and his family were living with his  mother-in-law Margaret Engleman in the Engleman home on Van Dyke near what is now Gronow Ave. He claimed to have  immigrated from Germany in 1890 and was a naturalised citizen whose  occupation was "Teacher-High School". Since it was clear that Margaret was still married in 1910 and a widow on the 1920 census record, I wondered  where her husband was living in 1910.  I did some searching and discovered  that her husband Hieronymus passed away in 1918 and in the 1910 US Census he was shown as an "inmate" living at the Michigan Soldiers Home in Grand Rapids, Mich., which was a nursing home for US Civil War veterans.

The 1916 Detroit City Directory listed Adolph A. GRONOW as "Physician and Surgeon, Office Hours 1 to 3 PM and 6:30 to 8:00 PM (Sunday by appointment), 1910 Gratiot Ave., Tel Ridge 150, home: Center Line, Mich."  1910 Gratiot Ave.(renumbered to 8338 Gratiot in 1921) was near the  intersection with Iroquois St., about a one-half mile walk from the home he apparently owned at 1221 Townsend Ave. where some of his
adult children were living at that time. According to the 1880 US Census, Adolph's wife Agnes was born about 1877  to Hieronymus and Margaret Engleman.  According to the 1895 plat map of  this area, the Engleman home and and 13 acres of farm land match the area of land that was subdivided in 1913 by  Agnes and her husband, Adolph Gronow.

It turned out Adolph had married previously to Antonia Kremser by license in Wayne Michigan on the 20th May 1893 under his original name of Gronkowski. They had a son Joseph P.Gronkowski born the 17th March 1896 in Detroit. In 1898 Adolph married Agnes Rose Engelmann in Wayne Michigan. They had the following children; Norbert Gronkowski, Edith Gronkowski, Esther MarieGronkowski (9th Nov.1901), Frederick Gronkowski, Anthony Gronkowski,  & James Edward Gronkowski, (9th July 1906)

My thanks for permission to use the photograph above, and help with the research behind the street name goes to Mike Grobbel who is Webmaster for:
"Through the Years - a Photographic History of Center Line, Michigan"
& some more information regarding
Gronow Street in Michigan.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Congratulations to
Owen J. Gronow
for being selected to sail on the Stavros S Niarchos a British brig-rigged tall ship owned and operated by the Tall Ships Youth Trust.
He hopes to get the Royal Yachting Association Start Yachting qualification on the voyage.

Monday, January 23, 2012

In Remembrance
Elizabeth [Meg] Gronow
{nee Thomas}
January 13th 2012
Wife of the late Clement John Gronow
Interment was at Bridgend Cemetery on Friday 20th January 2012.
Survived by her children, grandchildren & great grandchildren.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tudur ap Goronwy

Tudur ap Goronwy is the hero of one of the best known of all stories about any medieval Welshman. It relates that he assumed the honour of knighthood and that Edward III summoned him to his presence to explain 'with what confidence he durst invade his prerogative by assuming the degree of knighthood, without his authority'. Tudur replied that 'by the laws and constitution of King Arthur' he possessed the three necessary qualifications. 'First, he was a gentleman. Second, he had a sufficient estate, and thirdly, he was valiant and adventurous; adding this withal, If my valour and hardiness be doubted of, lo, here I throw down my glove, and for due proof of my courage, I am ready to fight with any man, whatever he be.' The story continues that the king, admiring his spirit, confirmed him in the rank he had assumed. The tale was first printed by William Wynne in his History of Wales, published in 1697;1 it is not found in Powel's Historie of Cambria (1584), which was the basis of Wynne's work. It was, presumably, one of the additions which Wynne claimed in his Preface to have taken 'out of the notes of that late great antiquarian Mr. Robert Vaughan of Hengwrt'. The catalogue of the Peniarth collection now in the National Library of Wales, and which includes the Hengwrt collection, offers no clue to the source of the tale, though a Mostyn manuscript compiled about 1572 seems to contain its germ. So much for the legend. The known facts of his career are few and on the whole less favourable to his memory. Iolo Goch and Gruffydd ap Maredudd ap Dafydd sang his praises and mourned his death, but the quantity of positive information they provide is small, once the conventional material is dismissed. Both confirm that his home was Trecastell; neither refers to the story of his knighthood and one cannot help feeling that it would have provided them with very acceptable material had it been true. Both speak vaguely of his military prowess and his fondness for wearing armour, but neither suggests that he had been engaged in the French wars.
Goronwy's French campaigning was probably done in the time of the Black Prince and the offices he occupied in North Wales at the time of his death in 1382 suggest that he had been rewarded for his services. He was Forester of Snowdon and he also held the stewardship of the Bishop of Bangor's Anglesey manors. On 18 March, 1382, he was appointed constable of Beaumaris castle, an office only once held by a Welshman before his time. He only lived a few days to enjoy his new honour for he died, as the escheator of Anglesey reported, on 22 March, 1382. His possessions in Penmynydd and Dinsylwy Rees, to the net value of £12 a year, were held of the king in chief 'by service of going with the lord King in his wars, within the march of Wales at his own proper costs and without the marches at the cost of the lord King and by suit of the county court of Anglesey'. These were, of course, the terms on which his father and uncle had held their lands in 1352. His son and heir, Tudur, was a minor and his Anglesey lands, were delivered to his widow, Myfanwy, pending a decision as to the king's rights in the property. The pedigrees do not name Goronwy's wife, but she was undoubtedly Myfanwy, daughter of Iorwerth ap Ednyfed Gam of Pengwern in Flintshire. Bardic evidence shows that he died by drowning in Kent. Iola Goch in his elegy says that he would not have been surprised had he been drowned in the Menai or the English Channel, the implication being that he frequently crossed both; but to drown in Kent seemed a strange end to his career. Gruffydd ap Maredudd and Llywelyn Goch confirm the cause of death, although more obscurely. Iolo and Gruffydd add that his body was brought from London and buried at the Franciscan friary of Llan-faes. It is generally accepted that the magnificent alabaster altar tomb now at Penmynydd church is that of Goronwy and Myfanwy and that it was moved from Llan-faes at the dissolution of the monasteries. Representing as it does the most costly and elaborate type of monument of the period, it suggests vividly the prestige which Goronwy enjoyed in his day. Less is known of Ednyfed, but he undoubtedly died about the same time as his brother Goronwy, possibly of the same cause. Iolo Goch's elegy is to both brothers and, although the language is obscure, it clearly implies the death of both. In his case, again, his wife is not named in the pedigrees, but the family of Mostyn in Flintshire claim that she was Gwenllian, daughter of Dafydd ap Bleddyn Fychan, descended from a branch of the same family. A daughter of this marriage was to marry Ieuan ap Adda of Pengwern, himself a nephew of Myfanwy, wife of Ednyfed's brother, Goronwy.