Griffith History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Griffith is from the rugged landscape of Wales. It is a Celtic name that was 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 most prominent of these was Griffith ap Cynan, the King of North Wales and the founder of the first Royal tribe of Wales; he was the eldest son of Rhodri Mawr, the first recorded King of Wales.

Gruffydd ab Llewelyn (d. 1063), King of the Welsh, was the son of Llewelyn, the son of Seisyll. His father, who, according to a late authority, had married Angharad, daughter of Maredudd, son of Owain, a descendant of Hywel Dda (Gwentian Brut, sub an. 994), had been a vigorous ruler over Gwynedd. [1]

Gruffydd ab Rhydderch (d. 1055), king of the South Welsh, was the son of Rhydderch, son of lestin, who in 1023 had assumed the government of the south after the death of Llewelyn ab Seisyll, and was killed by the Irish in 1033. [1]

Gruffydd ab Cynan (1055?-1137), King of Gwynedd or North Wales, was, through his father Cynan, son of Iago, a descendant of Rhodri Mawr and of the ancient royal line of Gwynedd. [1]

Gruffydd ab Gwenwynwyn (d. 1286?), was Lord of Cyveiliog, Upper Powys, or, as it was called from his father, Powys Gwenwynwyn, was the son of Gwenwynwyn, the son of Owain Cyveiliog. [1]

Early Origins of the Griffith family

The surname Griffith was first found in Chirk, where Gruffyd ap Madog Vnyon was listed in 1392. [2]

Early History of the Griffith family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Griffith research. Another 248 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1392, 1332, 1558, 1570, 1637, 1570, 1553, 1601, 1666, 1622, 1700, 1640, 1646, 1599, 1665, 1599, 1618, 1628, 1567 and are included under the topic Early Griffith History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Griffith Spelling Variations

Compared to other ancient cultures found in the British Isles, the number of Welsh surnames are relatively few, but there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations. These spelling variations began almost as soon as surname usage became common. People could not specify how to spell their own names leaving the specific recording up to the individual scribe or priest. Those recorders would then spell the names as they heard them, causing many different variations. Later, many Welsh names were recorded in English. This transliteration process was extremely imprecise since the Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh used many sounds the English language was not accustomed to. Finally, some variations occurred by the individual's design: a branch loyalty within a family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The Griffith name over the years has been spelled Griffith, Griffiths, Gryffudd, Gryffuths and others.

Early Notables of the Griffith family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was Mauirce Griffith, Griffyth or Griffyn (d. 1558), Bishop of Rochester, born in Wales, and educated in the south suburb of Oxford, among the Dominicans. [1] Edmund Griffith (1570-1637), was Bishop of Bangor, born at Cevnamlwch in Lleyn, the promontory of Carnarvonshire, in 1570. [1] John Griffith or Griffin ( fl. 1553), was a Welsh monk of the order of Cistercians in the, monastery of Halesowen in Worcestershire. [1] George Griffith (1601-1666), was Welsh bishop of St...
Another 81 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Griffith Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Griffith family to Ireland

Some of the Griffith family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 62 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Griffith migration to the United States +

Many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in the 19th and 20th centuries, searching for land, work, and freedom. Like the many other immigrants from the British Isles, they made a significant contribution to the development of Canada and the United States. The Welsh and their descendents added a rich cultural tradition to the newly developed towns, cities, and villages. An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Griffith:

Griffith Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Ambrose Griffith, who landed in Virginia in 1623 [3]
  • George Griffith, who arrived in New England in 1631 [3]
  • Jo Griffith, aged 20, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [3]
  • Edward and Joe Griffith, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • William Griffith, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Griffith Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Elizabeth Griffith, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1701 [3]
  • Elizabeth, Griffith Jr., who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1701 [3]
  • Judith Griffith, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1701-1703 [3]
  • Samuel Griffith, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1701-1703 [3]
  • Hugh Griffith, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1704 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Griffith Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Aiex Griffith, who arrived in New York, NY in 1804 [3]
  • Richard Griffith, who arrived in Maryland in 1804 [3]
  • Robert Griffith, who arrived in New York, NY in 1804 [3]
  • Daniel Griffith, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808 [3]
  • Robert Griffith, who arrived in America in 1810 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Griffith Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • William Griffith, who landed in Alaska in 1900 [3]

Canada Griffith migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Griffith Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Henry Griffith, who settled in St. John's Harbour, Newfoundland, in 1703 [4]
  • Fenton Griffith, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Thomas Griffith, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Dorcas Griffith, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1778
  • Mr. Hester Griffith U.E. who settled in Belle Vue, Beaver Harbor, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Griffith Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Margaret Griffith, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1831
  • Ellen Griffith, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Zephyr" in 1833
  • William Griffith, aged 60, a farmer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Charity" from Kinsale, Ireland
  • Patrick Griffith, aged 21, a farmer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Charity" from Kinsale, Ireland
  • James Griffith, aged 20, a farmer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Charity" from Kinsale, Ireland
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Griffith migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Griffith Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Griffith, (b. 1813), aged 21, English convict who was convicted in Somerset, England for life for robbery, transported aboard the "Augusta Jessie" on 27 September 1834, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [6]
  • Mr. Thomas Griffith, English convict who was convicted in Chester, Cheshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Barossa" on 27th August 1841, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [7]
  • Emma Griffith, aged 16, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Florentia" [8]
  • Maria Griffith, aged 21, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Rodney" [9]
  • Mary J. Griffith, aged 19, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Lismoyne"
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Griffith migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Griffith Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • J Griffith, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1842
  • Mary Griffith, aged 23, a servant, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Halcione" in 1870
  • Ellen Griffith, aged 26, a nurse, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hudson" in 1879

Contemporary Notables of the name Griffith (post 1700) +

  • 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
  • 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; he was one of the founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
  • María Aline Griffith Dexter (1923-2017), Countess of Romanones, Spanish-American aristocrat, socialite, and writer
  • William Riley Griffith, American Republican politician, Kansas superintendent of public instruction, 1861-62 [10]
  • William Michael Griffith, American Republican politician, Candidate for West Virginia State House of Delegates 41st District, 2010 [10]
  • William M. Griffith, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Arizona Territory, 1884, 1908; Member of Republican National Committee from Arizona Territory, 1896 [10]
  • William M. Griffith, American Republican politician, Chair of Queens County Republican Party, 1910 [10]
  • William B. Griffith, American politician, U.S. Attorney for Mississippi, 1822-28 [10]
  • William Griffith, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Maryland, 1900 [10]
  • W. H. Griffith, American Democrat politician, Chair of Mineral County Democratic Party, 1917 [10]
  • ... (Another 109 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Flight TWA 800
  • Ms. Jo-Anne S. Griffith (1957-1996), aged 39, from Brooklyn, New York, USA, American off-duty TWA employee flying aboard flight TWA 800 from J.F.K. Airport, New York to Leonardo da Vinci Airport, Rome when the plane crashed after takeoff ; she died in the crash [11]
  • Ms. Donna Lynn Griffith (1959-1996), aged 37, from Westhampton, New York, USA, American passenger flying aboard flight TWA 800 from J.F.K. Airport, New York to Leonardo da Vinci Airport, Rome when the plane crashed after takeoff ; she died in the crash [11]
Halifax Explosion
  • Gladstone Fitzgerald  Griffith (1917-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [12]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. George Griffith, English Second Waiter from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [13]


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  5. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th August 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/augusta-jessie
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/barossa
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) FLORENTIA 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Florentia.htm
  9. ^ South Australian Register Wednesday 21st February 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Rodney 1855. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/rodney1855.shtml
  10. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, June 10) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  11. ^ The Washington Post Passenger List TWA Flight 800. (Retrieved 2018, February 15th). Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm/twa800/list01.htm
  12. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  13. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 10) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


Houseofnames.com on Facebook
Shipping
Fastest Delivery Possible

Digital Products on Checkout, all other products filled in 1 business day

Money Back
Money Back Guarantee

Yes, all products 100% Guaranteed

Support
BBB A+ Rating

The Best Rating possible

Payment
Secure Online Payment

Entire site uses SSL / Secure Certificate