Griggs History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Scotland, the ancestors of the Griggs family were part of a tribe called the Picts. The name Griggs is derived from a diminutive form of the personal name Gregory. The Gaelic form of the name was Griogair, which was borrowed from the Latin name Gregorius. This in turn came from the Greek name Gregorios, a derivative of the word gregorein, which means to be awake or to be watchful.

Early Origins of the Griggs family

The surname Griggs was first found in Fife and "along the east central coast. In old parish records the name is spelled Greag (1689), Greg, Grege (1536), Gregg, Grieg, Grig (1508) Walter Greg witnessed a charter by Malcolm, earl of Fife, c. 1214-1226 (RHM., II, p. 1). Patrick Grige was admitted burgess of Aberdeen, 1488 (NSCM., I, p. 33), and John Grige held land there, 1493 (REA., I, p. 334). Johannes Greg was chosen common councillor in Aberdeen, 1502." [1]

Early History of the Griggs family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Griggs research. Another 291 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1379, 1214, 1488, 1522, 1567, 1739, 1803, 1502 and are included under the topic Early Griggs History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Griggs Spelling Variations

The appearance of the printing press and the first dictionaries in the last few hundred years did much to standardize spelling. Prior to that time scribes spelled according to sound, a practice that resulted in many spelling variations. Griggs has been spelled Gregg, Greig and others.

Early Notables of the Griggs family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Griggs Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Griggs family to Ireland

Some of the Griggs family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 59 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 Griggs migration to the United States +

The expense of the crossing to the North American colonies seemed small beside the difficulties of remaining in Scotland. It was a long and hard trip, but at its end lay the reward of freedom. Some Scots remained faithful to England and called themselves United Empire Loyalists, while others fought in the American War of Independence. Much of this lost Scottish heritage has been recovered in the last century through Clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important, early immigrants to North America bearing the name of Griggs:

Griggs Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • George Griggs, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1636 [2]
  • Tho Griggs, who arrived in Virginia in 1637 [2]
  • Thomas Griggs, who arrived in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1639 [2]
  • Xtopr Griggs, who landed in Virginia in 1650 [2]
  • Robert Griggs, who landed in Virginia in 1653 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Griggs Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Eliza Griggs, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [2]
  • Thomas Griggs, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [2]

Canada Griggs migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Griggs Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Simon Griggs U.E. who settled in Shefford Township, Eastern Townships, Quebec c. 1784 an association of Capt. John Savage [3]

Australia Griggs migration to Australia +

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

Griggs Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Griggs, English convict from Sussex, who was transported aboard the "Anson" on September 23, 1843, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [4]
  • John Griggs, aged 44, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Duke of Wellington" [5]
  • John Griggs, aged 44, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Duke Of Wellington" in 1849 [5]
  • Mary Griggs, aged 37, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Duke Of Wellington" in 1849 [5]
  • Mary J. Griggs, aged 14, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Duke Of Wellington" in 1849 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Griggs 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:

Griggs Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Elizabeth Griggs, (b. 1848), aged 19, British nursemaid travelling from London aboard the ship "Glenmark" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th November 1867 [6]
  • Daniel Griggs, aged 22, a plumbers labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Golden Sea" in 1874
  • Catherine Griggs, aged 21, a servant, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rangitikei" in 1884

Contemporary Notables of the name Griggs (post 1700) +

  • Winston Griggs, American Democrat politician, Chair of Henry County Democratic Party, 2003 [7]
  • William Griggs, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Indiana, 1972 [7]
  • Thomas C. Griggs, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Richwood, West Virginia, 1900-01 [7]
  • W. R. Griggs, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Oklahoma, 1948 [7]
  • Samuel Griggs, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Steuben County, 1838 [7]
  • O. H. Griggs (b. 1884), American politician, Member of Minnesota State Senate 61st District, 1915-18 [7]
  • Nathan K. Griggs, American politician, Delegate to Nebraska State Constitutional Convention, 1871; Member of Nebraska State Senate, 1873-75 [7]
  • Joyce Marie Griggs, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Georgia 1st District, 2000 [7]
  • Joseph C. Griggs, American politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Union, 1830-31 [7]
  • John William Griggs, American Republican politician, Member of Missouri State House of Representatives from Jasper County 1st District, 1929-30 [7]
  • ... (Another 34 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Anson voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1843 with 499 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/anson/1843
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The DUKE OF WELLINGTON 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Duke%20of%20Wellington.htm
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, June 10) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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