Origin of Greimann/Greiman surname (provided by Horst Greimann):

1) Variations: Graimans, Graumann, Greijmans, Griemans, Greymans, and Grimans.
2) Language specialists report that these names are all connected and changed from one form into the others.
3) The surname(s) originated from Germanic in northern France and Belgique in the Netherland area.
4) The first Graumann mentioned was in 1245 in Gent, Belgium.
There were several German customs that cause problems when researching family names:
1) Before 1816, the "staette" (home place) name was given to all people who resided on the land regardless of gender and original family lineage. After 1816, some families took the "staette" name and others kept their original family name. The choosing of the name may have been based on which name was higher in status and stature.
2) If a man married a woman landowner (widow or there were no surviving (younger?) sons), then the husband took her family name. The term "genannt" would sometimes be inserted into the family name to signify this situation. The land always remained with the family until sold. If the wife died, then the husband may not have been able to inherit or retain the land.
3) If the "staette" (home place) estate was sold amongst family members, then there were designations for the "grosse" (large) and "kleine" (small) parts. The terms would sometimes be inserted into the family name to signify the ownership.
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