Floundering in a Pool of Griffins

December 31, 2014 in Griffin, Maiden Name Project

It’s murky water I’m in right now.  I had the bright idea to go through my tree and give last names to all the women who don’t have one.  Back when I first started keeping a tree on Ancestry, I would rather have no last name for a woman than her husband’s.  Well, that strategy didn’t work very well for me and now I’m trying to clean up the mess I made for myself.  When I started this project yesterday, I had *three* pages of no-last-name women.  I’m up to the “Es” now.  And I’ve found quite a few maiden names, too!  That’s cool.  I can’t stop myself from searching if the woman was born or died in Michigan or Ohio.  Those are rich states indeed for mining maiden names.

This morning I started on “Eliza Abbott”.  She was the mother of Rosella Davis, who was the sister of my Edith Ruby’s husband.  Edith was the sister of Rosa Emeline Ruby who married Cyrus Meredith.  I’ve written of the Merediths before.  They married into the Griffin family of New York state and moved into Canada as Loyalists to the King of England during the Revolutionary War, or something.  The details are as murky as the rest of the water I’m flailing in right now.  But I do know that Griffins were UEL’s.  I think that means United Empire Loyalists.

So somehow or other as I’m searching for Rosella Davis’ mother Eliza’s maiden name, I discover that Rosella’s husband was Robert Henry Griffin.  Ah ha!  So of course I have to start tracing his family down and discover his father was Abram (Abraham) Griffin, born in Canada in the 1830’s, just the right time to be part of my whole Griffin-Meredith mess.  But there are so many Griffins!  The first documented Griffin on my side is Richard Griffin, born in New York in 1732.  He was married to Mary Smith.  I spent a lot of time trying to find Mary Smith’s family.  Her father was Abraham Smith and he left a will which named Mary Griffin and his other daughters.  I think (though I cannot prove) this Abraham Smith was married to one of Knapper’s Knapps: Mary Knapp.  (And this is a whole other can of worms best opened on a different day.)

Richard Griffin and Mary Smith had at least 10 children, probably more.  One of them was Miriam Griffin who married Charles Meredith, which is the start of my Grandma Lemon’s line.  And of the at least 10 children that Richard and Mary had, at least 7 of them were males.  Yeah.  I can feel that you feel my pain.  It’s very hard to research the people who lived in the 1700’s on a computer.  Most of the documents I need are slowly decaying in ancient courthouses and brightly lit museums far, far away from where I am.  But I do believe that Abraham Griffin, father of Robert Henry Griffin, husband of Rosella Davis Griffin, sister of George E Davis, husband of Edith A Ruby, sister of Rose Emeline Ruby Meredith, mother of Rebecca Jane Meredith Herr, mother of Clara Herr Lemon, mother of Russell R. Lemon, Sr., father of me, is a distant branch on my family tree in more ways than one.