John Griffin

John GRIFFIN(G) (1641 – 1688) was Alex’s 9th Great Grandfather; one of 1,024 in this generation of the Shaw line.  He was also Alex’s 10th Great Grandfather; one of 2,048 in this generation of the Miller line.

John Griffin(g) was born about 1641 in Ipswich, Mass.  His parents were Humphrey GRIFFIN and Elizabeth ANDREWS.  He married Lydia SHATSWELL on 17 Sep 1663 in Haverhill, Mass.  John died 27 Mar 1688 in Bradford, Mass

Lydia Shatswell was born about 1647 in Haverhill, Mass.  Her parents were Theophilus STATSWELL and Susannah BOSWORTH.  Lydia died 21 Dec 1729 in Bradford, Mass.

Lydia Shatswell Griffin Headstone Ancient Burying Ground Bradford, Essex County, Mass.

Children of John and Lydia:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Lydia Griffin 21 Jun 1664
Haverhill, Mass.
Martin Ford
21 Mar 1684
William Knowlton?
1709? – Salem, Essex, Mass
2. Theophilis Griffin 2 Feb 1665/66
Mary Colby (daughter of John COLBY)
17 Mar 1688
3. Elizabeth GRIFFIN 14 Oct 1667
Bradford, Mass
21 Apr 1694
Haverhill, Mass
Haverhill, Mass
4. John Griffin 13 Jun 1671
Mary Green
1694 Haverhill, Essex, Mass
Mrs. Mary (Capen) Baker
11 Aug 1730
23  June 1739
Amesbury, MA
5. Hannah Griffin 13 Jun 1671
Daniel Morrison
9 OCT 1700 Newbury
6. Ebenezer Griffin 26 Oct 1673
Mary (Harris) Hubble
10 Feb 1702
New London, Conn.
distribution of estate
17 July 1725
7. Susannah Griffin 1 Sep 1675
Capt. Christopher Bartlett
9 Sep 1703
c. 1717 Haverhill
8. Samuel Griffin 27 May 1678
9. Nathaniel Griffin 1680
Hannah Barker
6 Jan 1709
10. Abigail Griffin 1684 Bradford Daniel Way
10 Jul 1710
Bradford, Mass.
30 SEP 1718 New London, CT.

The family name was sometimes spelled Griffing in records of the time.

John and Lydia settled in Haverhill at the time of their marriage. He was deputy constable of the town in 1664; served on the trial jury in 1666 and 1667; was deputy marshall of the county in 1666; and kept the Haverhill ferry across the Merrimac river in 1669.

John Griffin operated a ferry across the Merrimack River in Haverhill, Mass in 1669.

According to Davis (p. 147) ‘In 1669 John was a witness against John Godfrey who was suspected of witchcraft, testifying that when he started on a journey from the Merrimac river to Andover on horseback he saw Godfrey setting out on foot and yet, although he ran his horse, Godfrey was comfortably seated by the fire in Goodman Rust’s house when he arrived there. Much other testimony dealt with Godfrey’s ability to be in two places at one time.

John Godfrey was tried three times for witchcraft – 1659, 1665 & 1669.  He apparently was a roving herdsman who demanded jobs and threatened people when he did not get them. He also caused accidents to happen to these animals, but was never caught doing it. He was also accused of arson, suborning witnesses and theft. He did not limit his activities to extra legal and illegal acts. He also liked to sue people. He usually won, but that did not stop other people from suing him.

Griffin later served on a committee designated for setting up a meeting-house in the town of Bradford; served as deputy marshall and a selectman of Bradford in 1680; and was a member of the committee to settle Rev. Zachariah Symmes in the pastorate of the Bradford church.

Bradford is a former town in Essex County, Massachusetts. The name currently refers to the area on the south side of the Merrimack River in Haverhill, Massachusetts that was once Bradford. Bradford still has its own post office and zip code: 01835.

Bradford was originally part of the town of Rowley, and was called “Rowley on the Merrimack”, “Rowley Village by the Merrimack”, “Merrimac Lands”, or just “Merrimack” before the name was changed to Bradford at a town meeting held January 7, 1672. It was named in memory of Bradford in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England, from which some of the settlers had emigrated, and first paid colonial tax on October 13, 1675.

The original meeting house was located where the Old Bradford Burying Ground is at 326 Salem St. This first church was replaced in 1705.

Ministers of Bradford were: Rev.Zechariah Symmes 1682 to 1707, Rev.Thomas Symmes 1708 to 1725, Rev.Joseph Parsons 1726 d.1765, Rev. Samuel Williams 1765 to 1780, Rev. Jonathan Allen 1781 d.1827, Rev. Ira Ingraham 1824 to 1830, Rev Loammi Ives Hoadly 1830 to 1833, Rev. Moses Searle 1833 to 1834, Rev. Nathan Munroe 1836 to 1854, Rev. James T. McCollom to 1865, Rev. John D. Kingsbury.

John was a veteran of King Philip’s War.  In 1676 Thomas Kimball, son of Richard KIMBALL was killed by Indians in Bradford during King Philips War.

NEW ENGLAND GENEALOGICAL REGISTER (Oct. 1894), p.414; Davis, Walter Goodwin,

7 April 1709 –  “Know ye that we whose names are mentioned, viz:– Lydia GRIFFIN , widow, (of) Bradford, and her children:  John, Ebenezer, Samuel and Nathaniel Griffin,— Daniel Morrison , in behalf of his former wife, Hannah Griffin; and daughters Lydia, wife of William Knowlton ; Elizabeth, wife of Thomas STAPLES, Susanna, wife of Christopher Bartlett, Jr. and Abigail Griffin,” for 105 pounds sold to Stephen Barker , one hundred seventy-eight acres, given the widow Griffin by her father Theophilus SHATSWELL.  The land was on the north side of the Merrimack river in Haverhill. –

1 Mar 1643 – WILL OF Robert ANDREWS.
Robert Andrews was John Griffin’s Grandfather through his mother Elizabeth ANDREWS.  His grandmother was also named Elizabeth.

In ye name of God Amen. I Robert Andrews of Ipswich in New England being of perfect understanding & memory doe make this my last will & testiment.

Imprimis, I commend my soul into the hands of my mercifull Creator & Redeemer and I doe commit my body after my departure out of this world to be buryed in seemly manner by my friends &c.

Concerning my estate, Imprimis, I doe make my eldest son,
John Andrews my executor.

Item, I give unto my wife Elizabeth Andrews forty pounds, & to John GRIFFIN the son of Humfrey GRIFFIN sixteen pounds to be paid unto him when he shall be twenty one years & if he shall dy before he comes to that age, it shall return to my two sonnes John & Thomas Andrews.

Item, concerning my son Thomas Andrews my will is that he shall live with his brother John Andrews 3 years, two of which he shall be helpfull to his brother John Andrews in his husbandry, & the last of the 3 years he shall go to scole to recover his learning, & if he shall go to the University, or shall set himselfe upon some other way of living, his brother John shall allow him ten pounds by the yeer for four yeers & then fifteen pounds by the yeer for two yeers succeeding after.

Item, concerning the fourscore pounds, which is to be paid unto my son in law Franklyn’s daughter, Elizabeth Franklyn, my will is that if she dy before the debt is due, it shall be thus disposed of, ten pounds of it shall go to my son Daniel Hovey’s child, Daniel Hovey my grandchild, & the other seventy pounds shall be divided between my two sonnes John & Thomas Andrews & if those my two sons should dy, then thirty pounds of it should be divided between my 3 kinsmen John, Thomas & Robert Burnam by equal portions & twenty more should go to Humfrey Griffins two other sonnes & the other twenty shall go to Daniel Hovey.

And because my son John Andrews is yet under age. I doe commend him unto Thomas Howlett as his guardian untill he shall come of age.

Witnesses hereof
William Knight
John Whiffle
Thomas Scott
Joseph Metcalfe
This will was proved in ye court held at Ipswich 26th of ye first month 1644.


1. Lydia Griffin

Lydia’s first husband Martin Ford was born 1661 in Bradford, Essex, Mass. His parents were Robert Ford and Mary Kent. Martin died around 1694 in Bradford, Essex, Mass.

Lydia’s second husband William Knowlton was born 1642 in Ipswich, Essex, Mass. His parents were John Knowlton and Elizabeth Welch. He first married 28 Oct 1666 in Ipswich, Essex, Mass to Susannah Whitridge (b. 20 Apr 1648 in Ipswich – d. 3 Mar 1695 in Mass.) William died 16 Mar 1718 in Wrenham, Essex, Mass.

Lydia married Mathew Martin Foard or Ford on 25 Mar. 1684 in Bradford, Essex Co., MA.  The vital records of Bradford. in the notation for the birth of their daughter Lydia in 1686, terms Matthew “a Frenchman” His name is given sometimes as Martin and sometimes as Matthew in the Vital Records.   He disappears from any records around 1694.There isn’t a single marriage listed for any of the children under any variation of spelling in the Bradford vital records.

Children of Lydia and Matthew:

i. Lydia Ford (1686 – 1743)
ii. Theophilus Ford (1687 – 1688)
iii. John Ford (1689 – 1753) m1.  1 Jan 1709/10 to Abigail Polley.  Her parents were our ancestors John POLLEY and Mary EDWARDS. m2. Judith Richards
iv. Mathew Forde (1691 – 1769)

2. Theophilus Griffin

Theophilus’s wife Mary Colby was born in 1669 in Amesbury, Essex, Mass. Her parents were John COLBY and Frances HOYT.  Mary died 1688 in Amesbury, Mass

He died soon after his marriage.  Seven months after his death, Mary Colby gave birth to his son Theophilus Griffin Jr. who married Hannah Fisher 18 Dec 1710 in Amesbury.

3. Elizabeth GRIFFIN (See Thomas STAPLES‘s page)

4. John Griffin

John and Hannah Griffin were twins.

John’s first wife Mary Green was born 13 Nov 1673 in Haverhill, Essex, Mass. Her parents were Peter Green (1644 – 1672) and Elizabeth Duston (1648 – 1677). Mary died 16 Mar 1727 in Bradford, Essex, Mass.

John’s second wife Mary Capen was born 1688 in Bradford, Mass. Her parents were Joseph Capen and Priscilla Appleton. She first married 5 Jan 1710 in Topsfield, Essex, Mass. to Thomas Baker (b. 17 Feb 1687 in Topfield – d. 1725 in Boxford) Many sources say Mary died 16 Mar 1728 in Boxford, Essex, Mass., but that conflicts with her marriage date with John Griffin of 11 Aug 1730

5. Hannah Griffin

Hannah and John Griffin were twins.

Hannah’s husband Daniel Morrison was born 1668 in Newbury, Essex, Mass. His parents were Samuel Morrison and Mary Granville. After Hannah died, he married 27 May 1707 in Newbury, Essex, Mass to Mary Folsom (b. 27 Sep 1684 in Exeter, Rockingham, New Hampshire – d. 14 Feb 1711 in Newbury), He married third 8 Nov 1712 in Rowley, Essex, Mass to Abigail Kimball (b. 12 Jun 1669 in Amesbury, Mass – d. 1716 in Wells, York, Maine). Daniel died 10 May 1737 in Rowley, Essex, Mass.

Daniel was a resident of Newbury, Mass, in 1690, where he resided many years, and was a farmer. On May 20, 1695, he and Thomas STAPLES purchased of Abiel Long and wife Hannah, eighteen acres of land. On February 28, 1696, he was one of sixty-four persons taxed for building the West End meeting house. On March 14, 1699-1700, then of Newbury, he bought of Moses Chase of that town, fifteen acres. On February 3, 1706-7, he purchased of Stephen Greenleaf of Newbury, twenty-seven acres, known as the “Rate lott.”

20  Jun 1710 – Daniel Morrison of Newbury, yeoman, having bought in partnerships with his brother-in-law, Thomas STAPLES, May 20, 1695, eighteen acres of woodland of Abiel Long, and it not being mentioned in sd bill of sale what each party should have of sd land, I, sd Morrison say that I am satisfied with 1/3 of sd estate.

9 Jun 1714 – He bought of Sarah Thompson, woodland on the Bradford road.

16 Mar 1726 – Daniel Morrison of Newbury, yeo. for love and affection, made a deed of gift of forty acres, in Newbury, on the Bradford road, to his son John Morrison.

1 Apr 1731 – He sold for £790, to Timothy Morse, 8 tenement of housing and thirty-two acres of land. This was probably his home, as he on Dec 23, 1731, bought of John Stevens of Rowley, for £280, thirty acres in Rowley. He removed from Newbury, and became a citizen of Rowley soon after this date, for on June 6, 1734, Daniel Morrison of Rowley, and wife Mary, for love and affection, “deeded to Roger Chase and his wife Abigail of Newbury, thirty acres in Rowley, with my dwelling house, barn and orchard.

Mr. Morrison married Hannah, daughter of John and Lydia (Shatswell) Griffin of Merrimack Village. She died October 9, 1700.   By implication of the Griffin deed, he had a wife living April 7, 1709. He married 2d, March 27, 1707, Mary, daughter of Deacon John Foulsom of Exeter, N. H. She was born September 27, 1664; died February 14, 1711.  He married 3d, Mary . who survived him. He made a will November 3, 1736, proved May 10, 1737, showing that he died between those dates.

To his wife Mary he gave £10 bills of credit, provided she accept of this my last will and testament. In case she does not accept of this my last will, then I do not give her anything. The reason why

I thus deal with her is because I have given her £40, which she hath disposed of, which money was in Lien of a bargain made between us before marriage. His trusty friends John Case and Joshua Bayley were executors.


i. Daniel Morrison b. in Newbury, Mass., August 1, 1691. Resided in Rowley, Mass.
ii. John Morrison b. in Newbury, March 28, 1693. Bought lands in Stratham, December 9, 1717
iii. Hannah Morrison b. in Newbury, January 27, 1695-6.
iv. Ebenezer Morrison  b. in Newbnry, October 6, 1697. Resided at Stratham, formerly a part of Exeter, N. H., in 1723.
v. Mary Morrison  born in Newbury, March 20, 1699. By Newbury records, were marriage intentions between her and Charles Annis, October 6, 1716, whom she married
vi. Abigail Morrison mentioned in her father’s will as daughter Abigail Chase. She married Roger Chase of Newbury, March 16, 1725.

By second marriage: Two children, stillborn to them April 1 and 2, 1702. Lydia and Beriah, b. February 4, 1710. , (They probably died young as they are not mentioned in their father’s will.)

6. Ebenezer Griffin

Ebenezer’s wife Mary Harris was born 21 May 1667 in New London, New London, CT. Her parents were Gabriel Harris and Elizabeth Abbott. She first married 1693 in Stratford, Fairfield, CT to Ebenezer Hubbell (b.16 Nov 1659 in Guilford, New Haven, CT -d. 1698 in New London). Mary died 27 Jan 1723 in New London, New London, CT.

A distribution of the Estate of Ebenezer Griffin, dated 17 July 1725 names children Lydia, John, Samuel and Mary.  Thomas and Peter, born respectively, June 8, 1705 and June 19, 1707, are not named in the distribution. Thomas was a twin with Samuel (and may have died young).

Their children include:

i John Griffin  m. 1725 Elizabeth Trueman;
ii. Thomas
iii. Samuel (1705-1737) m. 1727 Ann Avery.  Her parents were Thomas Avery (b.1679), son of Thomas and Hannah (Miner) Avery, married 12 July 1704 to Ann Shapley (1685-1751), dau. of Benjamin and Mary (Picket) Shapley .   Ann Avery m. (1) Samuel Griffing and m. (2) Sylvanus Miner.
iv. Peter died Sept. 10, 1722.
v. Lydia
vi. Mary Griffing m. 1731 Nicholas Darrow. –   Wurts’ MAGNA CHARTA, v.5, pp.1368-1370.

7. Susannah Griffin

Susannah’s husband Capt. Christopher Bartlett was born 26 Feb 1679 in Newbury, Essex, Mass. His parents were Christopher Bartlett and Deborah Weed. After Susannah died, he married 11 Feb 1718 in Haverhill, Essex, Mass. to Mary Clement (b. 20 Feb 1681 in Haverhill – d. 10 Oct 1735 in Haverhill). Third, he married 24 Mar 1736 in Bradford, Essex, Mass. to Rachel Atwood (b. 15 Nov 1691 in Malden, Mass – d. 25 Sep 1774 in Bradford). Christopher died 28 Jun 1747 in Haverhill, Essex, Mass

9. Nathaniel Griffin

Nathaniel’s wife Hannah Barker was born 11 Mar 1687 in Andover, Essex, Mass. Her parents were Richard Barker and Anna Kimball. Hannah died 27 Jan 1762 in Andover, Essex, Mass.

10. Abigail Griffin

Abigail’s husband Daniel Way was born 23 Dec 1688 in New London, New London, CT. His parents were Thomas Way and Ann Lester. After Abigail died, he married 1 Mar 1718. to Sarah Smith b. 4 Mar 1691 in Lyme, New London, CT – d. Apr 1767 in New London). Daniel died Mar 1768 in New London, New London, CT.


This entry was posted in 11th Generation, 12th Generation, Historical Monument, Line - Miller, Line - Shaw, Public Office, Twins, Veteran, Witch Trials and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to John Griffin

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  8. Raymond Griffin says:

    I was wonting to trace our family back to Ireland and try to have a relationship with them if any are a live. I have gotten an invation to a family get to gether over there. pls let me know what u find out

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