If surnames are to serve as the archeology of genealogy than no one should be satisfied with a superficial explanation of the meaning of the name.
The author of one of my reference books on the subject, for example, laments in the book the fact that someone laid the connection between the surname Van Grieken with Griekenland (Dutch for Greece). It may add an exotic feeling to one’s origin but it certainly does not do justice to the subject.
Grieken is actually the name of a hamlet that now belongs to the western Dutch town of Rijnsburg. A hub of Dutch floral culture today, Rijnsburg has a history going back over a thousand years!
The hamlet of Grieken could be as old as well but was simply ‘overgrown’ by its neighbour.
Anyone with the surname Van Grieken wanting to know where the earliest Van Griekens are from, may want to focus their roots exploration on that Rijnsburg vicinity connection.
Any research on surnames starting with a “Van” should start with focussing on place names, including hamlets, villages, towns in the Netherlands, Belgium but also Germany, and, to a lesser degree, beyond. I hope to get back to the “Van” Something subject with more research suggestions.