Grifforth History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Grifforth 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. 
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. 
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. 
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. 
Early Origins of the Grifforth family
The surname Grifforth was first found in Chirk, where Gruffyd ap Madog Vnyon was listed in 1392. 
Early History of the Grifforth family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Grifforth 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 Grifforth History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Grifforth Spelling Variations
Welsh surnames are relatively few in number, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. There are many factors that explain the preponderance of Welsh variants, but the earliest is found during the Middle Ages when Welsh surnames came into use. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, which often resulted in a single person's name being inconsistently recorded over his lifetime. The transliteration of Welsh names into English also accounts for many of the spelling variations: the unique Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh had many sounds the English language was incapable of accurately reproducing. It was also common for members of a same surname to change their names slightly, in order to signify a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations. For all of these reasons, the many spelling variations of particular Welsh names are very important. The surname Grifforth has occasionally been spelled Griffith, Griffiths, Gryffudd, Gryffuths and others.
Early Notables of the Grifforth 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. 
Edmund Griffith (1570-1637), was Bishop of Bangor, born at Cevnamlwch in Lleyn, the promontory of Carnarvonshire, in 1570. 
John Griffith or Griffin (fl. 1553), was a Welsh monk of the order of Cistercians in the, monastery of Halesowen in Worcestershire. 
George Griffith (1601-1666), was Welsh bishop of St...
Another 81 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Grifforth Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Grifforth family to Ireland
Some of the Grifforth 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.
Migration of the Grifforth family
The Welsh migration to North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries contributed greatly to its rapid development. These migrants were in search of land, work, and freedom. Those Welsh families that survived the long ocean journey were critical to the development of new industries and factories, and to the quick settlement of land. They also added to an ever-growing rich cultural heritage. A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Grifforth: 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.
Related Stories +
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)