The name of Grimes or Grymes is believed to be of Scandinavian
origin and to have been derived from the ancient Anglo-Saxon baptismal name of
Grim, being adopted as a surname by the sons of one so called. It is found in
Ancient British and early American records in the various spellings of Grim,
Grims, Gryms, Gryme, Grime, Grymes and Grimes, and others, of which the form
last mentioned is most generally used in America today.
Families of this name were to be found at early dates in the English counties of
Cambridge, Norfolk, Surrey, York, Warwick, Chester and London. Records indicate
that they were, for the most part, of the landed gentry of Great Britain.
While it is not definitely known from which of the many limes of the family in
Great Britain the early immigrants of the name to America were descended, it
appears from old records that bearers of the name Grymes or Grimes were among
the earliest British Colonists in the New World.
Among the first of the name in America were John and Walter Grimes of James City
County, Virginia, in 1635. William Grimes or Grymes of the same County in 1638;
Arthur Grimes of Charles River County, Virginia, in 1638; Samuel Grimes of
Boston, Massachusetts, before 1639; and the Rev. Charles Grymes of York County,
Virginia, in 1644.
Descendants of these and other early Grimes immigrants to America have in the
course of time spread to all parts of the country and have made relatively.
large contributions to the advancement of American civilization. They are in the
maim a hardy, energetic, shrewd, conservative and self-reliant race. Favorite
names for male progeny are John, William, Henry, Charles, George, Benjamin,
James Joseph, Thomas, and Robert.
Descendants of one branch of the Rev. Charles Grimes family are discussed in a
book, "The Grimes Family" by Mary A. Grimes, published by Lund Press, Inc.,
Minneapolis, Minn., 1946. In this book it is pointed out that Lucy Grimes, a
great granddaughter of the Rev. Charles Grimes, married Henry Lee of Virginia
and became the mother of "Light Horse Harry Lee" and the grandmother of Robert
E. Lee. It is also stated in this book that several descendants of the Rev.
Charles Grimes immigrated to Georgia with their slaves, soon after the
Revolutionary War. It is quite possible, though there is no proof, that some of
these may have attached themselves to the small colony of white settlers from
North Carolina and Virginia, then forming around Nashville, and later moving
into Maury and Wayne Counties, Tennessee.
The name Grimes appears among the first white settlers in Tennessee. James,
John, and Henry Grimes were recorded as members of the "Wautauga Settlement"
formed by immigrants from Virginia and the Carolinas in the extreme northeastern
part of Tenn. in 1772.
In Middle Tennessee, in what later became Montgomery County, was William Grimes
in 1788, while Frank Grimes was recorded on Brush Creek in Robertson County in
Maury County was established about 1807, and six families by the name of Grimes
are listed in the U. S. Census reports for 1820 as living in this county. They
William Grimes, over 45, who had two daughters and five sons.
Three of the sons and one of the daughters were between 16 and 26 years of
age. One of the sons was probably
William Grimes, under 26, with a wife and a young daughter.
James Grimes, under 26, with a wife and a young daughter.
John Grimes, over 45, with a wife and no children.
John Grimes, under 45, with a wife and six children, two boys
under ten, four girls under 16.
John H. Grimes, under 45, with a wife and three sons under
Wayne County was created by an act of the Legislature in 1817
and two families, by the name of Grimes, are listed in the 1820 census reports
for this county. They are Henry Grimes, under 45, with a wife, two grown sons, a
grown daughter and seven slaves; and Isaac Gore Grimes (403) under 45, with a
wife, one young son and one slave. Other Grimes, who are known to have settled
in Wayne County in early days, are Wilson Grimes in 1826 and John
Grimes about 1835.
John Grimes was b. in Williamson County, Tennessee, about 1814. He later settled
on Mill Creek in Wayne County and in 1836 m. Elizabeth Stubblefield, b. 1817, in
Georgia. They were the parents of the following children: Sarah, James, Robert,
John, Jr., Martha, Mary, Amanda, Millard, Henry, Benjamin, and Eliza. John was a
son of William and Sallie (Little) Grimes who - according to Williamson County,
Tennessee, marriage records - were married in Williamson County, Tennessee,
April 15, 1813. William came to Tennessee from South Carolina. He d. 1855. John
Grimes and Wilson Grimes though neighbors on Mill Creek were probably not
related. John was a republican and was of Irish descent. Several of his sons
fought in the Federal army. Wilson was a democrat and probably of English
descent. His sons served in the Confederate army. Some of the John Grimes
descendants married into the Hollingsworth family. Anderson Grimes, Luther
Grimes, and several of the Hollingsworth relatives were living on Mill Creek in
1910. Luther who never married was the only son of John Grimes, Jr., and a
grandson of John Grimes. Land records show that Henry Grimes, above, entered
land in Range eleven, Section 5, adjacent to the John L. Cook (182) farm on Hardins Creek, and in Range eleven, Section one, adjacent to the Nathaniel F.
Johnson (382) farm.