The name GROOMS came from England in the form of GROOM, GROOME, and GROOMS. The root word GROOME is Old English, meaning servant to a nobleman. The New Dictionary of American Family Names, by Elsdon C. SMITH, gives the name GROOMS, GROOM and GROOMES (English), as a serving man, a man servant, sometimes a boy servant; one who took care of sheep; a shepherd.
The GROOMS shield has silver background with three red triangles, meaning unity, below a blue cross stripe, meaning a belt of honor.
Research thus far (1985) indicates the GROOMS family migrated from England and Ireland in early 1700. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index indicates they landed in the new world between 1739 and 1868. First traceable proof indicates they landed in Maryland and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Many were descendants of the yeoman class in England who migrated from Virginia to North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia.
Some of their parents had been indentured servants, convicts or felons transported to Maryland as objectionable British subjects. They were known as "Seven-Year" criminals. Having served their indenture they were free to work for themselves, and in order to avoid any reference to their past status, they often changed their names, which makes it almost impossible to trace their ancestors.
The name GROOMS has been found in Gunpowder Falls, Maryland as early as 1739; in Harrison County, West Virginia in 1792, in Haywood County, Caswell County, and Swain County, N.C. in 1760; Cocke, Sevier, Washington, Lawrence, Bedford, Wilson and Williamson counties, Tennessee in 1800; Edgefield, Pickens, Oconee, Anderson, Cherokee, and Spartanburg counties, S.C., in 1785.
Census reports, marriage licenses, deeds, wills, family records, etc., indicate there were many GROOMS in South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee in the late 1700's and early 1800's which are not included because of the distant blood line from the family line being traced.
In the early to mid-1800's some of the GROOMS, both male and female, inter-married with the Cherokee Indians in Haywood and Buncombe Counties of North Carolina, and the northern part of South Carolina in the Smoky Mountain area, according to information obtained from GROOMS family relatives, marriage records, census reports, and the book Song of Life in the Smokies, by Ella V. COSTNER, pp. 304-06.
This history is as it was researched by the Hall of Names Ltd London England
The history of the most ancient Anglo/Saxon surname of GROOMS reaches far into the Chronicles of the Saxon race. The Saxon Chronicle, compiled by monks in the 10th century, now reposes in the British Museum.
History researchers have examined reproductions of such ancient manuscripts as the Domesday Book (1086), the Ragman Rolls (1291 - 1296), the Curia Regis Rolls, The Pipe Rolls, the Hearth Rolls, Parish registers, baptismal, tax records and other ancient documents. They found the first record of the name GROOMS in Suffolk where they were seated from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke WILLIAM at Hastings in 1066 A.D.
Different spellings were encountered in the research of your surname. Throughout the centuries your name, GROOMS, occurred in many records, manuscripts and documents, but not always with your exact spelling. From time to time the surname included the spellings GROOME, GROOMS, GROOM, and these variations in spelling frequently occurred, even between father and son. Scribes and church officials, often traveling great distances, even from other countries, frequently spelt the names phonetically. As a result the same person would be recorded differently on birth, baptismal, marriage and death certificates as well as the other numerous records recording life's events.
The Saxon race gave birth to many English surnames not the least of which was the surname GROOMS. The Saxon's were invited into England by the ancient Britons of the 4th century. A fair skinned people their home was the Rhine Valley, some as far north east as Denmark. They were led by two brothers, General/Commanders Hengist and Horsa. The Saxon's settled in the county of Kent, on the south east coast of England. Gradually, they spread north and westward and during the next four hundred years forced the Ancient Briton's back into Wales and Cronwall in the west and Cumberland to the north. The Angles occupied the eastern coast, the south folk in Suffolk, north folk in Forfolk. Under Saxon rule England prospered under a series of High Kings, the last of which was Harold.
In 1066, the Normans invaded from France and were victorious at the Battle of Hastings. In 1070, Duke WILLIAM took an army of 40,000 north and wasted the northern counties, forcing many rebellious Norman nobles and Saxon's to flee over the border into Scotland. Meanwhile the Saxon's who remained in the south were not treated well under hostile Norman rule, and they also moved northward to the midlands, Lancashire and Yorkshire away from the Norman oppression.
Nevertheless, this notable English family name, GROOMS, emerged as an influential name in the county of Suffolk where they were recorded as a family of great antiquity seated at Rattlesden with manor and estates in that shire. John GROOME held the manor and estates and was recorded in that county. The family branched to Cambridgeshire and Yorkshire. Notable amongst the family at this time was John GROOME of Suffolk.
The surname GROOMS flourished during the turbulent middle ages, contributing greatly to the cultural development of England. During the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th centuries England was ravaged by plagues, famine, and religious conflict. Protestantism, the newly found political fever of Cromwellianism and democratic government, and the remnants of the Roman Church rejected all non believers, each jealously claiming adherents to their own cause. The changing rule caused burnings, hangings, and banishments of all sects and creeds, first one then another. Many families were freely "encouraged" to migrate to Ireland or to the "colonies". Some were rewarded with grants of lands, others were banished.
Some families were forced to migrate to Ireland where they became known as the Adventurers for land in Ireland. Protestant settlers "undertook" to keep their faith, being granted lands previously owned by the Catholic Irish. There is no evidence that the family name migrated to Ireland, but this does not preclude the possibility of their scattered migration to that country.
The new world offered better opportunities and some migrated voluntarily, some were banished mostly for religious reasons. Some left Ireland disillusioned with promises unfulfilled, but many left directly from England, their home territories. Some also moved to the European continent.
Members of the family name GROOMS sailed aboard the huge armada of three masted sailing ships known as the "White Sails" which plied the stormy Atlantic. These overcrowded ships such as the Hector, the Dove and the Rambler, were pestilence ridden, sometimes 30% to 40% of the passengers list never reaching their destination, their numbers reduced by dysentery, cholera, small pox and typhoid.
Amongst the first settlers in North America, which could be considered a kinsman of the surname GROOMS, or a variable spelling of that family name was Nicholas GROOME. Ship's Captain, settled in Mass. in 1630 and wrote a book called "A Glass for the people of the northeast" describing the people and the coast of New England; Anne and Charles GROOM settled in Maryland in 1739, with their daughter Mary; Daniel, Edward, George, James, John, Patrick, Roger, Terrence, Thomas and William GROOM, all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860; Samuel GROOME settled in New England in 1650.
From the port of entry many settlers made their way west, joining the wagon trains to the prairies or to the west coast. During the American War of Independence, many loyalists made their way north to Canada about 1790, and became known as the United Empire Loyalists.
Contemporary notables of this surname, GROOMS, include many distinguished contributors: Sir Reginald GROOME, Australian; Air Marshall Sir Victor GROOME.
During the course of our research we also determined the many Coat of Arms granted to different branches of the family name.
The most ancient grant of a Coat of Arms found was:
Ermine with three blue pennants each with a gold cross and on a red stripe at the top two knights helmets.
The Crest was: An arm holding a gauntlet.
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