What is the origin of the last name Greene?

The last name Greene originates from the Middle English word "grene," meaning green, and was most likely an occupational surname for someone involved in the cultivation or sale of green produce, such as vegetables or grass. Additionally, the name could have also been used to describe someone who lived near a green meadow or a village with the word "green" in its name. Notably, variations of the name, including "Grene" and "Graene," have been found in medieval records throughout England.

Countries of origin for the last name Greene

The last name Greene has historical and genealogical significance for individuals of American descent. Here are the facts known about this particular surname:

1. Origin: The last name Greene is of English origin, deriving from the Middle English word “grene” which means “green”.

2. Occupational Name: The surname Greene is classified as an occupational name, indicating that it was originally associated with a particular occupation or trade. In this case, it is believed to have been used to describe someone who worked as a dyer or seller of green cloth or materials.

3. Variations: Different variations of the name Greene exist, such as Green, Greenebaum, Gren, and Groen. These variations may have emerged over time due to regional or dialectal differences.

4. Geographic Distribution: The surname Greene can be found across the United States, with concentrations in states such as New York, California, Texas, and Illinois.

5. Famous bearers: Over the course of history, several notable individuals have carried the surname Greene. One such example is Nathanael Greene, a major general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. His strategic leadership played a crucial role in the success of the American forces.

6. Additional Etymology: While the primary meaning of the surname Greene relates to the color green and its association with the dyeing industry, it is worth noting that in some cases, the name could also be associated with a person’s character. In this context, “green” refers to someone who is inexperienced, young, or naive.

Considering the known facts, the last name Greene offers a glimpse into the occupational history of individuals who carried it. The association with the color green and the dyeing industry suggests that their ancestors may have been involved in the production or trade of green cloth. Beyond its occupational meaning, the prevalence of the surname across the United States indicates the wide dispersal of individuals bearing this name and their descendants.

Historically, the surname has been borne by notable figures like Nathanael Greene, further enhancing its significance. While the name’s meaning primarily lies in its occupational origin, as with any surname, it is crucial to acknowledge the potential for additional layers of meaning and interpretation.

The analysis of the last name Greene presents a comprehensive view of its etymology and historical significance, shedding light on the occupational heritage of its bearers. It invites us to reflect on the diverse paths and potential stories that connect individuals with this particular surname, weaving a tapestry of genealogical understanding and exploration.

Interesting facts about the last name Greene

  • The surname Greene is derived from the Middle English word “grene,” which means “green.”
  • It is one of the most common surnames in the English-speaking world and can be traced back to various origins.
  • Greeene is a variant spelling of the surname.
  • The Greene surname has its roots in England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales.
  • Some of the earliest recorded instances of the Greene surname date back to the 13th century.
  • The name is often associated with the color green and symbolizes freshness, fertility, and youth.
  • Notable individuals with the surname Greene include American Revolution general Nathanael Greene, author Graham Greene, actress Ashley Greene, and singer Al Green.
  • The surname has different variants in different languages, such as Grün in German, Verde in Italian, and Vert in French.
  • The Greene surname is also found in other countries like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, due to immigration and colonization.
  • Genealogical research indicates that individuals with the surname Greene have connections to various noble and aristocratic families throughout history.

Name Rank


There are around 126101 people with the last name Greene in the US

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