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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: Irish-Alt, Irish

Where did the Irish Griffin family come from? What is the Irish Griffin family crest and coat of arms? When did the Griffin family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Griffin family history?

The Griffin surname is derived from the Welsh personal names Griffin, Gruffin, or Griffith. These were pet-forms of the Middle Welsh name Gruffudd, which was borne by many Welsh princes. The name came to Ireland in the 12th century with the Anglo- Norman invasion of Strongbow. There was also a native Irish line whose name originally appeared in Gaelic as O Gríobhtha, which is derived from the word "gríobhtha," which means "griffin-like." It is thought that most of the bearers of the Griffith variant of the name are of Welsh ancestry.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Griffin, O'Griffin, Griffen, O'Griffen, Griffith, Griffey, Griffy, O'Griffy and many more.

First found in the province of Munster, where they had been granted lands by Strongbow after the Anglo Norman invasion into Ireland in 1172.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Griffin research. Another 161 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1st , 10, and 1710 are included under the topic Early Griffin History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 35 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Griffin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Griffin Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Reginald Griffin, who landed in Virginia in 1621
  • Rise Griffin, aged 24, arrived in Virginia in 1621
  • Richard Griffin settled in Virginia in 1623
  • George Griffin who settled in St. Christopher in 1633 and later moved to Virginia
  • Elias Griffin, who arrived in Virginia in 1634


Griffin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Owen Griffin, who landed in Virginia in 1701
  • Humphrey Griffin, who landed in Virginia in 1712
  • Henry Griffin, who arrived in Virginia in 1713
  • Ambrose Griffin, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • Andrew Griffin, who landed in Virginia in 1715


Griffin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Lady Christina Griffin, who arrived in Virginia in 1807
  • Daw Griffin, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • Benjamin Pitt Griffin, aged 27, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Jeremiah Griffin, aged 35, landed in New York in 1812
  • Geo Griffin, aged 19, landed in Key West, Fla in 1837


Griffin Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Mr. John Griffin U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on October 26, 1783 was passenger number 154 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on September 28, 1783 at Staten Island, New York
  • Mr. Joseph Griffin U.E. who settled in Elizabeth Town [Elizabethtown], Leeds County, Ontario c. 1784
  • Mr. Obadiah Griffin U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784
  • Mr. Richard Griffin U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784
  • Mr. Thomas Griffin U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784


Griffin Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Mary Leasy Griffin, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1822
  • Catherine Griffin, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1830
  • Horatio N Griffin, who arrived in Canada in 1830
  • Ellen Griffin, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1833
  • Thomas Griffin, aged 30, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the ship "Ward" from Limerick


Griffin Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Henry Griffin, English convict from Berkshire, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • Rosina Griffin arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Henry Porcher" in 1838
  • C. Griffin arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Asia" in 1839
  • Ann Griffin arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Sir Charles Forbes" in 1839
  • Henry Griffin, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Anson" on September 23, 1843, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia


Griffin Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • John Griffin landed in Nelson, New Zealand in 1840
  • John Griffin, aged 19, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Sir Charles Forbes" in 1842
  • Oliver Griffin, aged 25, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Shamrock" in 1856
  • Eliza Griffin, aged 21, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Shamrock" in 1856
  • Kate Griffin, aged 2, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Shamrock" in 1856


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  • Walter Burley Griffin (1876-1937), American architect and landscape architect; he designed Canberra, Australia
  • Kenneth W. "Ken" Griffin (1909-1956), American organist
  • Kenneth C. Griffin (b. 1968), American hedge fund manager
  • Donald Redfield Griffin (1915-2003), American professor of zoology
  • Cedric Leonard Griffin (b. 1982), American NFL football cornerback for the Washington Redskins
  • Cyrus Griffin (1749-1810), American lawyer and judge, the last President of the Continental Congress
  • James Arthur Griffin (1943-2005), American Academy Award winning singer, guitarist, and songwriter, best known for his work with the 1970s rock band Bread
  • John Arnold Griffin III (1928-2008), American bop and hard bop tenor saxophonist
  • Archie Mason Griffin (b. 1954), former American football running back
  • Robert Lee Griffin III (b. 1990), American NFL football quarterback for the Washington Redskins, winner of the 2011 Heisman Trophy

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  • Gershom & Phoebe Griffin, Their Ancestors and Descendants by Elaine Washburn Olney.
  • A Griffin and Related Families History by Paul E. Griffin.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Ne vile Velis
Motto Translation: Wishing nothing base.

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  1. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  2. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  4. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  5. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  6. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  7. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  9. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  10. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  11. ...

The Griffin Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Griffin Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 8 August 2015 at 21:26.

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