Monday, June 17, 2013
A search of census, church and city records seem to indicate that Harry Allen Griffin was the father of 10 children. Harry’s primary occupation was as a sailor a heritage from his father. Local histories suggest that the ships from the coast of Connecticut mainly plied their trade in the Long Island Sound and on to the Caribbean islands. If this were true Harry could have been gone for extended periods but in all likelihood he did not take long sea voyages of months or years duration. Nevertheless I think his life as a sailor is the reason that his family is not found in the Connecticut records. There is no record of him in the 1820 or 1840 census records. His lack of permanence or church connections means there is very little documentary evidence for his children. There is a death record for a unnamed child in Guilford but the only other family connections we have comes from families who have traced their family tree backward to Harry Allen Griffin. One of these family trees traces their linage back to Harry and his wife Ursula Wright Dickinson’s daughter Jane Ann Griffing. In the archives of the New Haven Palldium there is a notice of the marriage of Jane Ann Griffing to John Curtis Bradley December 4, 1846. In the New Haven town records is the record of her death. She is identified as Bradley, Jane A. Her maiden name Griffing, wife of John Bradley, parents, Harry and Ursula. The date, December 20, 1890 at the age of 61 years, 8 months and 20 days that calculates to a date of birth on about April 1, 1829. The location of her birth is given as Madison. In the same town records is the death notice for her husband John, dated March 9, 1893, John C Bradley, birth: Cromwell (Middlesex County, Connecticut), occupation: agent, parents: John and Sarah, Ireland. John’s parents later made their home in Wallingford, New Haven County. Jane and John raised their family in Gilford. John is referred to in most records as a peddler or agent. My translation is that he made his living selling a specific line of products for a company. We find the birth records for all of their children except Angeline in the Guilford town records. Ellis, born December 7, 1849------ Ida, January 10, 1854------Etta, February 11, 1855------ John Bertrand, April 10, 1859------ The first 4 children are identified as the children of John Bradley and Jane Griffing, the remainder as the children of John. ------Susan, born December 17, 1861 the record also notes her death February 21, 1863------ George, May 30, 1866------ Jennie, November 7, 1867. We also have a death record for George from the New Haven records . George died on November 13, 1893. The record names his parents John and Jane. We also have a copy of John Bertrand’s marriage record. There is not a record for the birth of Angeline in the Guilford records. We do however have a birth record for her 1st child Benjamin. His parents are identified as Odell Stevens and Angeline A. Bradley. The transcripts from the Meeting House Hill Cemetery in North Guilford lists a family plot for part of the family. “Ellis D. Bradley, son of John & Jane A., died May 15, 1863, age 14.” Sgt. John Bradley. Co. F. 7th Regt. C.V.. died March 10, 1893, Civil War-State Stone”. “Susie I. Bradley, daughter of John & Jane A., died Feb 20, 1862. Age 2 yrs. 3 mos.” Some of the dates in the transcript differ from other records. The definitive work on this family tree was done by Ellen Wright. She lists the family as ; Angeline A. 1848-1949------Ellis Dexter 1849-1864------Ida Jane 1853-1934------Etta M. 1855------John B 1859------Susan Irene 1861-1863------George 1866-1893------Jennie Ursula 1867.------Jane Ann / Harry Allen / Edward / James / Samuel Griffin.------Here are a few documents from the life of Jane Ann Griffin; 1-2- Her death record. 3-4- John Bradley’s death record. 5-6- George’s death record. 7-13- Birth records for all of her children except Angeline. 14- Marriage record for John. 15- Birth record for Angeline’s son Benjamin. Click on images to enlarge.
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Harry Allen Griffin was born in Killingworth, now Clinton, Connecticut probably in 1782. He is numbered as a child in the household of Edward Griffin in the 1790 census for Killingworth. Harry was the first child born to his parents Captain Edward Griffin and his wife Submit DeWolf. Harry was given the middle name of Allen in memory of his father’ s brother who had died at a young age. By the time of his father’s death in 1802 the family had moved across the river to Madison. His father’s house was described as one of the finest in town. Within the folklore of Madison is a story of an incident that happened at sea where an angry Edward threw Harry overboard his life saved by the crew. Edward’s story is part of the annual town pageant held in Madison. This story underlines the apparent enmity between father and son. Edward’s children enjoy a very substantial inheritance from their father all except Harry. Edward goes to some length to limit Harry’s inheritance. He identifies him as Harry Allen Griffin leaving him a legacy of twenty dollars. Later in the will he makes arrangements for on additional one-hundred dollars to be made available for Harry’s education. He then writes “ These two sums constitute all that I direct to be paid to my son Harry at any time or on any condition”. Harsh words for his oldest son.------ After the death of her husband Submit in about 1806 moves the family to Colebrook, Litchfield County, Connecticut to be near her brother Daniel. Edward’s will had made arrangements for the purchase of a large working farm for his wife’s welfare. In the 1810 Federal Census Submit has a household that included four of her children. Living next door is Harry Griffin with a family of three children a son under the age of 10 and two girls also under the age of 10. I suspect that Harry’s mother had involved him in the family farm. The “Griffin Farm” was for a long time a Colebrook landmark. Harry had married Percia Segar in 1805 in Colebrook. From the research of Roberta Lader we have the following information, “In the Connecticut Herald, Tuesday, May 21, 1805, there is a marriage notice for Fanny ( Fanny Griffin, Harry’s sister) and Lyman Doud as well as Harry Griffin and Percia Seger:” At Guilford by the Rev. John Elliott, Mr. Lyman Doud to Miss Fanny Griffin, Mr Harry A. Griffin to Miss Percia Seger, of Colebrook.” Roberta traces her roots back to John Lucius Griffin who according to family records is the son of Harry and Percia born March 15, 1815. In a volume published in 1895, concerning the prominent men of Suffolk County, New York, John Griffin’s father is identified as Harry Griffin, father and son both having been born in Connecticut. John married a Griffin girl Hannah Amanda Griffin. John followed his father to the sea but eventually ending up in Flanders, Suffolk County, New York where he settled down to a life farming and raising a family. Roberta is seeking documentation on the birth of her grandfather John Griffin. Flanders is located across the Long Island Sound from Guilford. In the Book of Mortality from Guilford we find the following entry dated for the year 1820, “ Aug 17, Harry Griffin, wife, 37”. On the next line “Sept 13, Harry Griffin, child, O”. My interpretation is that Percia died after a difficult childbirth the child dying soon after.------ At some time after the 1810 census Harry had moved his family back to the Guilford/ Madison area. It is in the Guilford records that we find an entry for his second marriage to Ursula Dickinson. “This may certify that Harry A. Griffing & Ursula Dickinson both of Guilford were joined in marriage on the 7th day of October A. D. 1821”. The marriage is also noted in the Congregational church records in Madison. This was a 2nd marriage for both with Ursula using her married rather than her maiden name. We get an insight into Ursula’s identity from a deed we stumbled across in Killingworth. The deed notes the sale of an acre lot by Harry A. Griffin and Ursula Griffin “his wife”. The piece of property is identified as “share of real estate which came by distribution to the said Ursula from the estate of her father & mother Nathan Wright and Lucy (Gray) Wright”. We find Harry and Ursula listed in Guilford for the 1830 census with a family of four children. A boy under the age of 5, a boy under age 10, a girl under age 5, and a girl under the age of 10. These dates do not seem to account for any of the children born in Colebrook including John Lucius unless he was already at sea. By 1830 the Colebrook children could already be married. ------There are a number of families that trace their ancestry back to a Jane Ann Griffing born about 1829/30 who married John Curtis Bradley. Jane was probably the girl under the age of 5 from the 1830 census. Her death is recorded In the New Haven town records. It lists her name as Jane A Bradley, maiden name: Griffing, wife of John Bradley, name of parents: Harry and Ursula. Most of the information we have for Jane comes from Alan Downs who has a very detailed family tree on Ancestry.Com. The connection between Jane and her father is traced to a marriage record. Alan notes that most of the work on this line comes from Ellen Wright. From an e-mail from Alan “with regard to the marriage of daughter Jane Ann Griffing and John Curtis Bradley, Ellen writes “Account of wedding in the New Haven Paladian page 578”. I do not have a copy of that document, but I have been assuming that it mentions Jane’s father”. I think logic demands that Alan’s conclusion is correct another conformation for the connection of Jane Griffing to her father Harry A Griffing.------ A point needs to be made concerning the spelling of Griffin/Griffing. For whatever reason the scribes in Guilford/Madison always used the Griffing spelling for families that used the Griffin spelling everywhere else.------ In the birth records for Jane and John Bradley’s children that were born in Guilford 4 of them are identified as a child of John Bradley and Jane Griffing. the remainder are referred to as the children of John Bradley.----- The 1850 and 1860 census records place Harry and Ursula Griffin in Madison. The 1860 census lists their ages as 78 and 69. The absence of the 1820 and 1840 census records makes it almost impossible to trace what may have happened to Harry’s children. A detailed review of the remaining records for the towns of Colebrook and Guilford has failed to turn up any birth records. We do however find in the Madison town records detailed death records for Harry and Ursula. “Ursula Wright Griffin, 1869 Oct, age 78, married, born Clinton, living Madison, wife of Harry Griffin”. For Harry, “Harry Griffing, Jan 1, 1870, age 88, born Madison, living Madison, Sailor”.------ Harry may have been the father of as many as 10 children. With Percia Seger 1- a son born 1806, 2- daughter 1808, 3- daughter 1810, 4- John Lucius May 15, 1815, 5- child born August 1820. With Ursula Wright Dickinson , 6- girl 1822, 8- boy 1824, 9- boy 1826, 10- Jane Ann 1829/30.------ Note: Would Roberta Lader please contact me at, firstname.lastname@example.org.------ We present here the surviving documents from the life of Harry Allen Griffin who was commonly referred to as Harry A. Griffing. 1-His father uses Harry’s full name in his will “Harry Allen Griffin”. 2-Edward’s will was filed in Norfolk the probate court for Colebrook however there was a probate filed in Guilford at the time of his death. From that probate we have a document with a signature of Harry A. Griffin. 3- 4-There is a newspaper reference to his marriage to Percia Segar in 1805. In a small volume titled “Records of Mortality Guilford” we find the record of Percia’s death along with that of their child. Percia is simply identified as the wife of Harry Griffin 5- This document is the marriage records for Harry and Ursula Dickinson found in the Guilford town records. 6- Marriage record from the Congregational church records in Madison. 7-This document is the deed record from Killingworth which identifies Ursula’s parents as Nathan and Lucy Wright. Documents 8-9 are the death records for Ursula Wright Griffin “wife of Harry Griffin”. 10- Is the record of Harry’s death from the Madison town records. 11-12- Here is the death record for Jane A Bradley maiden name Griffing. These records are written across two pages in a large ledger. On the 2nd page her parents are identified as Harry-Ursula.----- Harry Allen / Edward / James / Samuel Griffin.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Submit DeWolf Griffin was born in Killingworth, Connecticut January 5, 1860 she was the daughter of Elijah DeWolf ,1735-1805, and his wife Submit Wilcox/Wilcoxson, 1736- 1819. Submit met and married Edward Griffin in Killingworth. Census records indicate that most of their children were born in Killingworth but at the time of Edward’s death in 1802 the family was living comfortably in Madison. Edward made provisions in his will for a working farm for his wife’s support she choose to buy property in Colebrook, Connecticut near her brother Daniel. Uncommon for the age Submit never remarried living 44 years as a widow. The Griffin Farm remained a noted landmark for some time in Colebrook. Submit is noted in the Congregational Church Records as a member in good standing. Submit lived out her final days in the household of her daughter Julia and her husband Augustus Elmer. She is buried in the Beach Hill Cemetery in Colebrook near her daughter Julia’s family. Her headstone reads, Submit Griffin / Died / Dec 31, 1846 / Aged 86. The record below for her father Elijah’s family is from the Killingworth town records.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Edward Griffin, 1762-1802, died as a relatively young man. His will was dated July 28, 1802. We have written concerning him previously on the Blog (March 2012) . We present here a full copy of his will. As a ship owner and captain he left a large estate. For presentation purposes we have divided it up into sections instead of presenting it page by page. The sections do however flow consecutively. He names his seven children. Sons: Harry Allen Griffin, Charles Griffin and Edward Hargrave Griffin. Daughters: Polly, Fanny, Submit (Mitte) and Julia. It seems that there had been a falling out between Edward and his son Harry. Edward’s property is divided between all of his children except Harry. The boys received two shares each the girls each one share. To Harry he leaves a legacy of $20.00. Edward also makes provisions for the sum of $100.00 to be made available for Harry’s education. Edward then notes, “These two sums constitute all that I direct to be paid to my son Harry at any time or on any conditions”. Edward / James / Samuel Griffin. Click on each image to enlarge.