The following sources were used to construct the above chart:

Steve Chadwick email message
Roxane Chadwick interview
Kathleen O'Neill Hepburn &/or Wayne Hepburn personal knowledge
J Walter Chadwick email message 2007
Social Security Death Index
Indiana Marriage Collection,1800-1941 (Provo, UT:, 2005)
Periodical - Ft Wayne Journal 1907 03 16, Township graduates 1906 by Arlene Goodwin World Tree - Willson, Flint & Griffith of NY by M Steffens [Son b 1886 listed as "Male Giffith"]
Family Data Collections at
1830 US Census - New York - Erie, Concord
1840 US Census - New York - Erie, Concord
1850 US Census - New York - Erie, Concord
1860 US Census - New York - Erie, Concord
1900 US census - Concord, Erie NY, Vosburg household
1920 US Census - Concord, Erie NY - Frank = Head
1930 US Census - Concord, Erie NY - Frank = Head
Morse Road Cemetery - []
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The Search for Hezekiah's Ancestors Extensive article on Wales at

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Griffith Surname Origin, Meaning, Arms  

Griffith Surname Origin
Welsh and Cornish British: One who has strong faith, from Cryf, Welsh, strong, and ffyd, faith.

Family Name

Meaning "strong grip", "chief"/"lord"
Region of origin Welsh
Related names Griffiths
Griffith is a surname of Welsh origin. The prefix Griff is thought to mean "strong grip" and the suffix, (i)udd, means "chief"/"lord". The earliest recorded surname was "Gryttyth" in 1295.

In places:

Griffith, Indiana, United States, town in northwest Indiana, and suburb of Chicago
Griffith, New South Wales, city in Australia
Griffith, Australian Capital Territory, suburb of Canberra, Australia
Division of Griffith, parliamentary electorate in Queensland, Australia
from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Welsh surname Griffiths (and variants).
As in the case of many Welsh surnames this was originally a forename. In Old Welsh it was spelled "Grippiud".
According to Morgan and Morgan, this would have become Griffudd and then Gruffudd on the way to its modern Welsh form of Gruffydd.

Medieval scribes of English or French origin spelled the name "Griffith" and this form ultimately gained acceptance. The form Griffin was also commonly used, especially in Latin documents where it was better suited to take Latin case endings. (A recent report from America of "Griffing" may well indicate early emigration from Wales.) When the name became used as a surname a final "s" was often added, giving us the version most commonly found today. Many variants have been noted. A glance at the 2000 telephone directory for Newport and South East Wales reveals the following:
Griffiths - around 700 entries
Griffin - around 120
Griffith - 25
Griffths - 4
Griffis - 2

Older documents provide Gryffyth, Gryffyd, Gruffuth (13th century) and versions such as Griffyt, Graffit, Griffit, Griffeth, Greeffethes, Greffet and even Gripthis! The authorities think that names such as Gittoes and Gittins derive from the pet forms of Gruffydd, namely Guto and Gutyn.

John Weston / Data Wales 2001

Welsh: Anglicized form of Gruffudd or Griffudd, Old Welsh Grip-(p)iud. The second element of this means “lord, prince”, but the first is extremely uncertain. Gruffydd ap Llewellyn (d. 1063) was one of the most able rulers of Wales in the Middle Ages, scoring some notable victories over the English until he was eventually defeated by King Harold in 1063.
Short form: Griff.
A Dictionary of First Names, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0192800507 at

Griphiud is the old Welsh form of this name, “iud,” meaning chief.

We also note in 1392 Gruffydd ap Madog Vnyon.

Although there are now many families with this name the armorial bearings illustrated represent one only. One very ancient family Griffiths derive from one of the most distinguished lines in Cambrian genealogy.

Deducing descent from no less a person than Tudor Trevor, Lord of Hereford, Bromfield, Thirk, both the Maelors and Oswestry.

The Welsh surname Griffith is patronymic in origin, belonging to that category of surnames derived from the forename of the original bearer’s father. In this instance, the surname signifies the “son or descendant of Gruffydd”. Noted early Welsh bearers of the name include Griffith ap (son of) Cynan who was the king of north Wales and the founder of the first Royal Tribe of Wales while Gruffydd ap Llewllyn (d. 1063) was one of the most able rulers of Wales in the Middle Ages, scoring some notable victories over the English until he was eventually defeated by King Harold in 1063. Other early Welsh references include one Blethin ab Gryffydd who appears in the Subsidy Rolls of 1295 while Gruffydd ap Madag Dynon is recorded in The Extent of Chirkland in 1392. June Gryffydd is listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk in 1524 while John ap Griffith, of Bangor is listed in the Bills ab Chester in 1585. Edward ap Griffith, of Halewood is recorded in the same records in 1581. Records relating to the arrival of bearers of the name to the “New World” include one Owen Griffith who settled in Virginia in 1666 while in Gillen’s, “Founders of Australia” one John Griffiths (1758-1844) is recorded. He served at Port Jackson in the company of Captain James Meredith, arriving in New South Wales on board the “Friendship”. He was sent to Norfolk Island in 1789 where he held nearly one hundred acres of land.

BLAZON OF ARMS: Gules, three lioncels passant in pale argent armed azure. Translation: Gules (red) signifies Military Fortitude and Magnanimity. Argent (white) denotes Peace and Sincerity. Azure (blue) signifies Truth and Loyalty.

CREST: A lion passant sable.

MOTTO: Le bon temps viendra [Translation: The good times will come.]

ORIGIN: WALES [by Max Griffith]

The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of David Gryttyth, which was dated 1295, the Lordship of Oswestry, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation.
...medieval scribes who were not Welsh generally wrote "Griffith", as being the closest phonetic spelling within their writing system.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2007

IRISH Variant

O'Griffy, Griffin (and sometimes Griffith although these are usually of Welsh origin). Original family name was O Griobta. Blazon: Sable a griffin segreant or, langued and armed gules

1st = drawn by WH from blazon at [by Max Griffith]
2nd = at for Griffith.
3rd = at for Griffiths Anglesea Wales.
4th = at web site.
5th = country of Wales
6th = Irish variant at
7th = other online for Irish surname variant.

Comparing the armorial bearings is instructive. The first and second are the same except the crest is not shown at, which is usually the case. The one drawn by me, the author of this site, uses a tint of gray to represent the argent in the blazon because argent is silver, not white.

The third, though notably different, still employs three lion, rampant rather than passant, while the fourth is a significant departure depicting a single rampant lion. How their designers arrived at this design is not known. No blazon found online states a single lion whether rampant or passant.

Fifth is the Wales national arms. Note it display four lions, armored [claws] but no griffin or wyvern as on the flag.

The last two are understood to be the Irish version. It depicts a griffin which is extremely similar to the wyvern on the flag of Wales, perhaps denoting Welsh ancestral origins for the Irish family.

Griffith Factoids  

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