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