Grifforthe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Grifforthe 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 Grifforthe family

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

Early History of the Grifforthe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Grifforthe 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 Grifforthe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Grifforthe Spelling Variations

There are relatively few surnames native to Wales, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. Early variations of Welsh surnames can be explained by the fact that very few people in the early Middle Ages were literate. Priests and the few other literate people were responsible for recording names in official documents. And because most people could not specific how to properly record their names it was up to the individual recorder of that time to determine how a spoken name should be recorded. Variations due to the imprecise or improper recording of a name continued later in history when names originally composed in the Brythonic Celtic, language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, were transliterated into English. Welsh names that were documented in English often changed dramatically since the native language of Wales, which was highly inflected, did not copy well. Occasionally, however, spelling variations were carried out according to an individual's specific design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations could be indicated by minor variations. The spelling variations of the name Grifforthe have included Griffith, Griffiths, Gryffudd, Gryffuths and others.

Early Notables of the Grifforthe 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 Grifforthe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Grifforthe family to Ireland

Some of the Grifforthe 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 Grifforthe family

During the latter half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, the people of Wales journeyed to North America to find a new life. They made major contributions to the arts, industry and commerce of both Canada and the United States, and added a rich cultural heritage to their newly adopted societies. A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Grifforthe: 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.



  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)


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