Name: William Griffin I
Birth: 19 OCT 1628
Death: 1684 in Old, Rappahannock, Virginia, USA
ANCESTRY - THE GRIFFINS OF OLD RAPPAHANNOCK COUNTY, VA
*** I have not yet been able to establish the relationship of William Griffin to Thomas Griffin. I think it would be a fair assumption to say they were part of an extended kin group.
The following are references to Samuel and Thomas Griffin (brothers) who are the first documented Griffins on the Rappahannock.
The Virginia magazine of history and biography, Volume 1 By Virginia Historical Society
"The first of this Griffin family in Virginia was Thomas Griffin who receives various grants of land Rappahannock county from 1651. (Edward Bradshaw in his will Lancaster County, 1675 "makes bequest to my countryman Thos Griffin and to his ___T. ___G daughter Winifred Griffin....married Sarah and died on or before 1660. His widow married secondly Samuel Griffin of Northumberland county children: 1. Colonel Leroy of Rappahnhannock born 1646...."
Chronicles of the Boit Family and Their Descendants and of Other Allied Families By Robert Apthorp Boit
The Griffin family of Virginia was founded by Thomas Griffin who took up various grants of land, from 1651 on the Rappahannock River in Virginia. Thomas and his brother Samuel came to America from Wales. They left their eldest brother in Wales who possessed an estate of 600 pounds sterling annum. He died without issue and Samuel went back to Wales to look after the estate. He died before his business was finished. Thomas then sent over an agent to collect the revenue of the estate. Thomas Griffin never left Virginia. His wife's maiden name is not known. Her baptismal name is Sarah. Their eldest child was Colonel Leroy Griffin, Justice of Rappahannock County 1680-1695 married Winifred, daughter of Colonel Gawin Corbin. The oldest son of Colonel Leroy and Winifred Griffin was Thomas Griffin of Richmond County Virginia who was a member of the House of Burgess for Richmond County from 1718-1723.
Documents, Chiefly Unpublished, Relating to the Huegenot Emigration and the Settlement at Manakin-Town - Virginia Historical Society
R. A. Brock, 1886
“The tradition of the Griffin family is that it is of Welsh extraction. There are grants of 1,155 and 1,046 acres of land to Samuel Griffin in Rappahannock County, in 1660 and of 1,000 acres to William Griffin in Northhampton County in 1662, of record in the Virginia Land Registry.”
Virginia Colonial Abstracts
Farnham Creek, adj. Leroy Griffin, Thomas Griffin, Wit. Toby Smith, Howell Powell, 8 July 1652. p 7
Glascocke, Mr. To pay levy on 3 tytheables to Mr. Griffin. 7th Dec 1655 p. 236
Griffin, Alex of G.W. par Buys 100 acres from Corderoy Ironmonger. 20 Dec 1667
****Although land records record the Thomas and Samuel as early as 1651, there is no clear record of when they actually arrived in Virginia. There were several Thomas Griffins who came to Virginia dated for example in 1623-a Thomas Griffin-indentured servant of Alexander Lake (this Thomas Died), in 1642 another Thomas Griffin, 1649 and again 1651. By 1651, Thomas had already aquired some 800 acres so I would lean toward 1642 just to give time to aquire the land but there is nothing to prove that.****
WILLIAM GRIFFIN - HISTORY
Some state William Griffin is the Immigrant of our line arriving with his family in 1638.
If this were the case, it would imply that there were other Griffin's on the Rappahannock at that time (not Thomas and Samuel as we've already established they were not likely there until later...unless they came from somewhere else in Virginia).
My ggAunt Lela (90+) said she was told that the Griffins originally came into New York and then to Virginia. I did find a story about 3 Griffin brothers who went to NY and then 1 went to Virginia. Perhaps this is our Griffin, can't find any proof of it.
Anyway, looking at immigration records, and if William was only 10 when they arrived, the only other Griffin's traveling at that time period who could have accompanied a child is:
VA immigration records
George - a servant (not likely) 1638
Edward - a servant (not likely)
and John 1638.
Since our William names his second son John. I lean toward John as his father. Named his first son for himself, his second for his father. Just a guess.
Further, since there are no other Griffin's in Rappahannock in 1638, I would propose that they came from another settlement or perhaps as the "story" states, from NY to the Rappahannock.
Whatever the case, William appears in Old Rappahannock, which was the territory of the Rappahannock indians, powerful members of the Powahtan Confederacy.
WILL OF WILLIAM GRIFFIN I
Wills of Rappahannock County, Virginia 1656-1692 By William Montgomery Sweeny
William Griffin of Cittingborne Parish in the County of Rappa, Planter
January 1 1683
5 November 5 1684
To son William 225 acres of land I bought of Mr. Mott and to have it next to the river and the rest of that tract being 125 acres to son John. Also to son John 75 acres bought of James Jackson which makes the number given to my son John equal to that of William. If either of my son's die without issue, the survivor to enjoy the whole estate. To sons John and William two-thirds of my personal estate and the other third to my wife. My sons to remain with my wife until they are twenty one if she remains a widow but if she remarries my will is that they be free at the age of eighteen. Wife Jane, executrix.
Wit. James Harrison, James Jackson, Page 37
From: The Three Rivers Chronicle
Publication of the Three Rivers Historical Society at Hemingway, S.C. 29554
Volume VII March, 1987 No. 1
TOTUSKEY CREEK, RAPPA RIVER
The settlers along Totuskey Creek and Rappahannock River were planters. They grew tobacco, corn, peese, and garden vegetables. They all had a few cows and hogs and several horses if they were fortunate. The animals all ran loose in the swamps and each planter had his own mark or "crop" on each one so they could recognize them. In reading the Virginia Court records, there were many law suits in those day too. The settlers concentrated on growing tobacco, and had their problems in that too; mostly with the prices of their tobacco. I read that they transplanted the tobacco plants between the stumps the first week in May. Then it bloomed; they pinched off the blooms and harvested the tobacco in Fall, and hung the leaves up to dry. When the weather turned wet, they gathered it up in "Hands" and "Prized" it by packing it tightly in barrels called Hogsheads. When the time was ready they simply rolled it over the Indian paths to the plantation landings where it was put on boats for Europe. But, after some years without fertilizer, the land was depleted and the prices dropped, and they had to look for new land.
Farnham Creek was named for Farnham, the plantation of Colo. Moore Fautleroy. It is a goodly sized creek that flows into the north side of the Rappahannock River about a half mile below Sharp's Wharf. Land holders on Farnham Creek included Samuel and Thomas Griffin, John Williamson, Luke Billington and John Suckett besides Col. Fautleroy.
ABOUT RAPPAHANNOCK COUNTY (Later Essex and Richmond)
Rappahannock County was short lived. It was formed from Old Lancester County in 1656 and abolished in 1692. It was a big county, covering all that territory on both sides of the river that was drained by the river. By 1692, a separation was necessary. In the fourth year of Reign of King William and Queen Mary of England it was enacted that Rappahannock County be divided into two counties, "So that Rappahannock River divides the two, and that part which is on the North side be called by the name of Richmond County, and that part on the South side be called Essex County...., That the records belonging to the county seat of Rappahannock before, shall be kept in Essex County, that belonging to Their Majesties, and the other to the proprietors of the Northern Neck...." The name of the new county of Richmond was put in the County Court Records on the 12th Day of May, 1692.
ABOUT SITTINGBOURNE PARISH
Sittingbourne Parish (Old Rappa., 1661-1692; Essex, 1692-1704; Richmond, 1692-1732) a.k.a. Sittenburne Parish, was formed from Farnham Parish in 1661, with each lying on both sides of the Rappa. River, with Sittingbourne being the western (a.k.a. "frontier") parish. In 1677, Sittingbourne was divided and St. Mary's Parish was formed (See Next), with both still on both sides of the Rappa. River, but with St. Mary's now being the westernmost parish. In 1704, Sittingbourne was again divided with the north side of the river retaining the name Sittingbourne, but the south side becoming St. Anne's Parish. Sittingbourne was abolished in 1732 when that part of the parish in Richmond and King George counties was divided between Hanover Parish in King George and the new parish of Lunenburg in Richmond County.
Father: William Griffin b: 26 MAY 1596 in West Pennard, Somerset, , England
Mother: Margaret Hatch b: 1600 in County of, Somerset, , England
Jane b: 1649 in Steeple, Wiltshire, , England
- William Griffin II b: 1665
- John Griffin b: 1667