Since 1980, the Grinnell Family Association of America, Inc., an IRS-registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, chartered in Rhode Island, honors the memory of immigrant Matthew Greenell and his wife, Rose French. Matthew was admitted as a resident of Newport, Rhode Island in 1636. Research, so far, has uncovered nearly eighty variations on the Greenell surname--Grinnell being the most common, but is also strongly represented by families with Grenell, Grennell, Grenelle, and Grinols spellings.
While perhaps best known for their seafaring history in and around New Bedford, MA, Grinnells have come from every walk of life, including that of: congressmen, naturalists, educators, industrialists, military leaders, not to mention farmers, salespeople, tradespeople, and every other profession you can imagine.
Many Grinnells can proudly claim among their ancestors (mainly through connections to the Howland and Alden families) passengers of the Mayflower. Additionally, countless Grinnells distinguished themselves, serving proudly in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and numerous other wars, battles, skirmishes, etc... Grinnell descendants have also distinguished themselves in the Kuwait liberation of the 1990s, and the current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Grinnell Family Association members are often eligible for membership in prestigious ancestral societies such as the Mayflower Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, Sons of the American Revolution, Grand Army of the Republic, and many more.