GRIEP/GRIP from Norway
A Norwegian family, with possible roots in Sweden and Rostock
In 1801 a census was held in Norway. According to that census there were two households in Bergen that carried the name Griep:
The first one was that of Hendrick Griep and his wife Else Margaretha von Tangen.
The second was Herman Griep, his wife Johanne Catrina Mechelenborg, and their three daughters Catrina Johanne Grip, Maria Dorthea Grip and Begitha Grip.

Also in the communities of Voss, Bolsøe and Tingvold there were households by the name of Grip.

  • Knut Bryn from Molde (Norway) let us know that the first ancestor of this family is Claus Grip. He came from Rostock (now in Germany) to practise as a doctor in Bergen and got his burgess letter on February 16, 1632.
  • Alf Arne Harjo adds to that, that the Grip family came from Sweden via Rostock to Bergen. The family was very active in shipping and trading with Germany and the Netherlands.

Further north, near Kristiansund, there is a small off-shore group of island called Grip. They have an important place in the history of this part of Norway. Since the Middle Ages till now there have been a community of people living on the islands.

The reason for the habitation of these islands is certainly fish. There are very rich and stable fishing banks around Grip.

The origin of the name Grip is still uncertain. There is a possible connection with the Norwegian verb 'gribe', witch means 'to catch'. The next step to a place to catch fish is close.

On several places along the Norwegian coast there are islands and island groups by the name of 'Grip' or 'The Grips'. The Grip islands mentioned above are one of them. This name is not very old; earlier they were called 'Gripar'.

The first time these islands were mentioned, is in a document from 1338, which states that they are owned by the archbishop of Trondheim.


A painting, from 1830, showing Grip >>

About the possible origin of the name Grip, Knut Bryn from Molde (Norway) says to bear in mind that many people in Norway have surnames deriving from farm names.
In Norway there are several farms with names that have got Grep-, Greip-, or Gref- as first syllabe. These names are most often said to derive from the mediaeval male name Greip or Greipr which was quite common in those days.
For the time being, that is all that a quick research after the origin of the names Griep and Grip in Norway could made known.
Without any doubt, there are genealogists in Norway who knows much more about the history of this names. Hopefully, this website will help to get in contact with them.
As soon as this has brought up more results, these will be published on this page.
Some years later there was a Grip from Norway that moved to live in the Netherlands. Jörgen Grip was his name, and he was born in Bergen on May 24, 1815, as the son of Rudolph Grip and Helena Allen.

In 1835 he settled in Amsterdam, on the address Bethlehemgang 303, and his occupation was 'scheepstoetuiger' (ship-supplier). On May 10, 1854, he married at Amsterdam with Hendrika Helena ter Haar from Deventer. They had two children: Jurgina Helena Griep, born in 1851, and Rudolph Adolf Griep, born in 1855.

Jörgen died at December 21, 1865, in the lunatic asylum of Bloemendaal. In the official document of his burial, his name was already written in the Dutch way as 'Griep'.

Do you have any information about the Grip's and Griep's from Norway, or are you one of them yourself?
Please look on the page
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Last update of this page (
on May 30, 2002 by ©
Jan Griep, Katwijk aan Zee, The Netherlands.