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Where did the Griffith coat of arms come from? When did the Griffith family first arrive in the United States?

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Coat of Arms > Griffith Coat of Arms

Griffith Coat of Arms
 Griffith Coat of Arms

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Origin Displayed: Welsh

Origins Available: Irish, Welsh-Alt, Welsh

Spelling variations of this family name include: Griffith, Griffiths, Gryffudd, Gryffuths and others.

First found in Chirk where they were seated from very ancient times, descended from the ancient Princes of Wales.

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Henry Griffith, who settled in St. John's Harbour, Newfoundland, in 1703; Edward and Joe Griffith settled in Virginia in 1635; Griffith Griffiths settled in Virginia in 1663.

(From www.HouseOfNames.com Archives copyright © 2000 - 2009)

Some noteworthy people of the name Griffith
  • Andy Samuel Griffith (1926-2012), American actor, director, and producer perhaps best known for the 1960s situation comedy, The Andy Griffith Show and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Melanie Griffith (b. 1957), award-winning American movie actress
  • Colonel John Sharpe Griffith (1898-1974), American World War I flying ace credited with seven aerial victories
  • David Llewelyn Wark "D.W." Griffith (1880-1948), pioneering American film director, best known as the director of the controversial and groundbreaking 1915 film The Birth of a Nation
  • Hugh Emrys Griffith (1912-1980), Welsh film, stage and television actor who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Ben-Hur (1959)
  • Sir John Griffith (1784-1878), Irish geologist and civil engineer
  • Arthur Griffith (1872-1922), Irish journalist, and politician, co-founder of Sinn Féin
  • Francis Llewellyn Griffith (1862-1934), English archaeologist and Egyptologist
  • Sir Samuel Walker Griffith GCMG, QC (1845-1920), Australian politician, Premier of Queensland, Chief Justice and a principal author of the Constitution of Australia
  • Gladstone Fitzgerald  Griffith (1917-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917


Learn More About Welsh Surnames



Most Welsh surnames are patronymic; that is, they are derived from a personal name of an ancestor. In the Middle Ages, the prefixes ap, ab (son of) and ferch (daughter of) were commonly found in Welsh surnames. Welsh names used to include strings of patronymics going back through the generations, until the 16th century when people began to use fixed hereditary surnames. However, some surnames' prefixes can still be found today in many Welsh surnames, such as Prince, Probert, Bowen (ap Owen), and Beddoes. Henry VIII frowned upon this nomenclature and thus began the great change in Welsh surnames



The Black Prince, or Edward, Prince of Wales, (1330-76), is thought to have gained his nickname due to the color of his armor -- jet black. However, this claim cannot be verified. Contrary to popular conceptions, period illustrations typically depict him in silver or gilt armor, not black. He may have gained this moniker because he wore a black surcoat with a silver plume. Yet a more fantastic notion also circulates. Many hold the opinion that he was labeled black because of his skill as a knight or because he was often merciless towards the vanquished. His sacking of the town of Limoges in 1370 gives some credence to the latter notion. After taking the town, all its inhabitants were slaughtered, with no consideration to age or gender.



Writers and historians have long been divided on the truth of the many different tellings of the stories of Arthur, the great Welsh king of Britain. Although many now think that there is some truth underlying the widely varying accounts, the hard facts surrounding Arthur's reign are almost completely obscured in a mist of myths and legends. Like all legends, these tales evolved over many centuries. Their telling and retelling over those years, while it may have left them somewhat lacking in truth, has emphasized and expanded their most compelling parts, making the Arthurian saga as glorious and prolific a body of stories as any, in fact or fiction.


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This page was last modified on 2 February 2015 at 06:30.

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