Parent Category: FAQs
Our Green ancestor was from Germany so most likely number 4 below.
1. English: one of the most common and widespread of English surnames, either a nickname for someone who was fond of dressing in this color (Old English grene) or who had played the part of the ‘Green Man’ in the May Day celebrations, or a topographic name for someone who lived near a village green, Middle English grene (a transferred use of the color term). In North America this name has no doubt assimilated cognates from other European languages, notably German Grün (see Gruen).
2. Jewish (American): Americanized form of German Grün or Yiddish Grin, Ashkenazic ornamental names meaning ‘green’ or a short form of any of the numerous compounds with this element.
3. Irish: translation of various Gaelic surnames derived from glas ‘gray’, ‘green’, ‘blue’. See also Fahey.
4. North German: short form of a habitational name from a place name with Gren- as the first element (for example Greune, Greubole).
Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508137-4