GRIP from Sweden
A name of a family that has in Sweden a very noble sound

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The story about Grip from Sweden has two extremes in it.

On the one hand there was the old noble family of Bo Jonson Grip, who has played such an important role in the history of Sweden. Although they have died out, their name lives on in many places, like in that of Gripsholm castle, not far from Stockholm.

On the other hand there were the soldiers Grip. When a humble Swede with a too common name entered the army, he sometimes was given the name Grip to distinguish him from his comrades. Later on, some of them passed this name on to their descendants.

Whether that's the only explanation of the fact that Grip still exists as a family name, is not sure. Maybe their is more to be said about their origin and a possible relationship between them and the other Griep's and Gryp's around the Baltic Sea...




Within the mediaeval family Grip, there is a distinction to be made between the 'old' and the 'young' branch. Ancestor of the 'old' branch, that has a Griffin head in his coat of arms, is Tomas Jonson.

Ancestor of the 'younger' branch is Bo Jonson Grip. He was governor, large landowner and castle owner. In his times, he was one of the wealthiest man of Sweden and the largest landowner ever: he owned one third of Sweden and the whole of Finland. He founded Gripsholm castle, but since 1367 he himself lived at Bjärkaholm castle. After he died, the Swedish king Albrecht of Mecklenburg tried to get hold of his heritage, which led to much unrest among the Swedish nobility.

His son Knut Bosson (Grip) draw the attention in 1395, when he claimed his fathers rights on Finland. In 1399 he gave up this claim at a meeting with the queen in Stegeholm castle. His daughter Katarina Knutsdotter (Grip), married to Nils Erengislesson, passed the name Grip on to her son, the 'riksråd' Bo Grip. Three generations later, baron Moritz Birgersson Grip (Till Vinäs och Tärnö) was the last male member of the family. He lived at Björstter castle, later renamed Mauritsberg castle, and died in 1591 in Finland.

See for more about them: the noble Grip-family.




It could be coincidental, but in both Swedish provinces in which the Grip family lived -- Östergötland with Stegeholm castle and Södermanland with Gripsholm castle -- a Griffin ('Grip') appears in the coat of arms.

The same goes for the arms of the province of Stockholm, established in 1968 as a amalgamation of the city of Stockholm and the surrounding region.

The southernmost province of Skåne has, just like the 'old' branch of the Grip family, a Griffins head in their coat of arms. The origin, though, is different. It is derived from the arms of Malmö. Malmö itself was granted the griffin in his coat of arms in 1437 by King Eric, son of Vratislav of Pomerania. So, the griffin of Skåne is in fact a Pomeranian one.






When, in the 18th century, the original Grip family has died out, the name Grip becomes more or less 'up for grabs' to anyone. Several times, when an army commander had to rename soldiers with too common names, they were given the name Grip. In this way a number of Swedish Grip families have gotten their surname:

  • Lars Grip ( from Stockholm has the following knowledge about his family:
    Our family came from Småland, a woody area in Götaland. As I heard, my ancestor Nils Samuelsson Grip, born in 1806 in Flodhult, was a simple soldier who just was given the name Grip by his superiors. His son, Anders Peter Grip, was born in 1843 in Frödinge and he had a son named Axel Werner Grip, born in 1881 in Hycklinge. This Axel Werner Grip, Lars his grandfather, lived a double life. He had his family, wife and 5 children, in Malmö, but he spend most of his life in Portland (Maine) USA. He even might have some children over there. Lars his father, Stig Grip, is born in 1915 and Lars himself in 1948.
  • Hans Grip from Söderhamn let us know:
    The oldest ancestor I know is my grandfather Johan Arvid Grip. He was born in 1878 in Nyköping, where his father had a transport-company. When he was 23, he moved to Eskilstuna and later on to Södertalje. He had many children, and my father Johan Arvid Grip is his oldest son.
  • Svante Grip ( tells us about the Swedish Grip families:
    The noble Grip family, descendants of Bo Jonsson Grip, has dies out in the 18th century. After that, the name was 'up for grabs' for anyone. His branch of the family, from Stora Åby near Jönköping at lake Vattern, got the name by 'renaming' drafted soldiers with similar common names: they were elevated from a Forsberg to a Grip!
  • A forefather of Mats Grip ( also got this name a long time ago, when he served in the army.


  • In 1797 in Maglarp, small town in Swedens southermost province of Skåne, Niels Joranson Grip was born. In 1820 he married to Hanna Larsdotter. In 1846 he died. They had a son:
  • Lars Nielson Grip, was born in 1836 in Trelleborg. He was a sailor and he married in the year 1869 at the Dutch island of Vlieland to Aafje Bruijn. One of their children was:
  • George Grip, born in 1882 at Rotterdam. This George, also a sailor, had eight children; the oldest of which was:
  • Lars Nielson Grip, born in 1906 at Rotterdam and also a sailor.

So a Swedish seaman from Skåne became the ancestor of a Grip family at Rotterdam.

Gerda Grip from Rotterdam is a granddaughter of Lars Nielson Grip. She is very curious to hear more about her Swedish ancestors. Her address: Hijkerveld 52, 3085 Rotterdam, tel: +31 6 21424391.


Do you have more information about the Grip's from Sweden, or are you one of them yourself?Please look on the page 'how to participate' how you can contribute
to this project or send an email to

Griep/Grijp from the Netherlands -- Griep from Germany -- Griep in the USA -- Grip from France -- Gryp from Flanders
Grip/Griep from Norway -- Grip from Finland -- Around the North and Baltic Seas --
The noble Grip family -- Grip from Glostorp en Maglarp -- Grip from Höganäs -- The soldiers Grip
Last update of this page ( )
on October 22, 2007, by ©
Jan Griep, Katwijk aan Zee, Netherlands.