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William Griffith (abt. 1657 - abt. 1699)

William Griffith
Born about [location unknown]
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married about 1687 (to about 1698) in Anne Arundel County, Marylandmap
Descendants descendants
Died about at about age 42 in Anne Arundel County, Province of Marylandmap
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William Griffith resided in the Southern Colonies in North America before 1776.
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1660 Birth and Parents

William Griffith's parents are unknown. Many unsourced online trees show him as the son of Samuel Griffith and Elizabeth Evans. He has been detached from them due to lack of evidence.

Marshall estimates William Griffith's birth about 1660 in Cardiganshire, Wales. [1] Marshall has not attempted to identify parents.

1675 Arrival in Maryland

William Griffith, as a British lad, was transported into the Province by Michael Stuppel and Stepehen Bernard. Theses two entereprisers on June 18, 1675 applied to His Lordship Land Office at St. Mary's City for 1750 acres of land for transporting into the Province to inhabit thirty-five persons among whom was William Griffith. [2]

Came from England to Maryland before Jun. 18, 1675 as a settler transported by Michael Stuppel and Stephen Bernard. He was probably a minor, for he remained unmarried until about 1687, and did not receive a land warrant until 1694. [3]

He was probably a minor, for he remained unmarried until about 1687 and did not receive his first warfrant for land util 1694.[2]

The above account would be consistent with the William Griffith recorded by Skordas who was transported to Maryland in 1675 as an indentured servant. [4]

"William Griffith was British, transported in 1675 while still a lad into the province of Maryland by Michael Stuppel and Stephen Bernerd, who applied June 18, 1675, for 1,750 acres for transporting 35 persons. [5]

Immigrated 1675 per the AA Co. Maryland Genealogical Society. [6]

Founders of Anne Arundel & Howard Co. MD; Warfield The Early Settlers of MD; Skordas IGI files LDS Lib ship s Captain requested land for bringing William & 34 others to MD to settle, dated 18 Jun 1675

1687 Marriage

In 1687 in Middle Neck, Anne Arundel County, he married Sarah MacCubbin, b. 1671, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, d. 22 Apr 1716, St. Anne's Parish, Anne Arundel County, Maryland [1]

He settled in Middle Neck Hundred and there he marreied Sarah, the daughter of the Scotch Quaker, John Maccubin, by his second wife, Eleanor.[2]

1694 Land

His first grant of land was surveyed November 4, 1694, under the name of "Griffith's Lot", containing 197 acres, which lay between South and Severn Rivers. He also acquired from Neale Clark, "Clark's Luck": at Hogg Neck on the north side of South River.[2]

William owned land between the South and Severn Rivers in Anne Arundel Co., Maryland. His will dated Aug. 31, 1699, and probated Oct. 23, 1699, names his wife Sarah and the four children. Some descendants show his birthplace as Cardigan, Wales, England. [3]

Will, Death, Estate

He died before 23 October 1699 in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, the date his estate was probated. [1]

He executed a brief will on August 31, 1699, by which he bequeathed his wife the dwelling and plantation (presumably "Clark's Luck" and to Charels and Sophia equal portions of "Griffith's Lot. He devised Orlando a horse. The instrument was probated on October 234, 1699.[2]

Summary Will

Griffith, William, A. A. Co.,31st Aug., 1699; 23rd Oct., 1699. [7]

  • To wife Sarah, dwelling plantation and personalty.
  • To son Charles and dau. Sofleh, "Griffith's Lot" equally.
  • To son Olandey, personalty.
  • Ex. not given.
  • Test: Wm. Maccubbin, Wm. Ridgely, Thos. Macaly. 6. 302.

MD Calendar of Wills Vol II 1685-1702 William Griffith--Anne Arundel MD--31 Aug 1699--23 Oct 1699 [6]

  • To wife Sarah, dwelling plantation & personalty.
  • To son Charles & dau Sofieh, Griffith s Lot equally.
  • To son Orlandey, personalty.
  • EX: not named
  • Test: Wm. Maccubbin, Wm. Ridgely, Thos. Macaly 6.302

Complete Will

William's will was dated Aug. 31, 1699, and was proved at Annapolis, Maryland Oct. 23, 1699:

  • "The last will and testament of William Griffith of the County of Anne Arundel, in the Province of Maryland. Planter, made the 31st day of August in the year of our Lord God, 1699, in manner and form following, being weak of body, but of perfect memory.
  • First, I bequeath my soul to God, that gives it to me, in hopes of a joyfull resurrection, in and through the merits of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in whom I trust to have remission of all my sins, and as for my body, I commit it to the ground, to be decently burried at the discretion of my Executors hereafter named, and as for my worldly goods, I dispose of them in manner and form following.
  • I give and bequeath to my wife Sarah Griffith, my home plantation and personal Estate, to her and her disposal.
  • I give and bequeath to my son Charles and Sofiey my daughter, the land lying at ___?____ called "Griffiths Lot," to be equally divided between them.
  • I give to my son Orlando one horse."
  • William (his mark) Griffith (seal)
  • Sealed, signed and delivered in the presence of us: William Maccubin, William Ridgely Jr., Thomas Macaley.[8]


William Griefeth 20.128 I AA £59.7.1 Feb 18 1700

  • Appraisers: E. Ramney, John Enackerlen (?).
  • List of debts: George Ashman,, William Smith, Charles Grayham.

Remarriage of Widow

His widow on April 22, 1716 married Thomas Reynolds, High Sheriff of Anne Arundel County. [2]

wife, Sarah MacCubin Griffith, mar.2 Thomas Reynolds (30 Nov 1699-St.Ann s Parish-4AA-372).


  1. Orlando Griffith, b. 17 Oct 1688, St. Anne's Parish, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, d. 26 Apr 1757, St. Anne's Parish, Anne Arundel County, Maryland - Probate [1] Orlando Griffith, born Oct 17, 1688, married Katherine Howard.[2]
  2. Sophia Griffith, b. 27 Apr 1691, St. Anne's Parish, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, d. 19 Apr 1730, Prince George's County, Maryland [1] Sophia Griffith, born April 27, 1691, married Benjamin, son of Mareen and Susannah Duvall.[2]
  3. Charles Griffith, b. 20 Jan 1693, St. Anne's Parish, Anne Arundel County, Maryland, d. 17 Oct 1771, Anne Arundel County, Maryland - probate [1] Charles Griffith, born Jan 20, 1693, married Mary (Wolden) Mercer and Catherine Baldwin[2]
  4. William Griffith, b. 15 Apr 1697, St. Anne's Parish, Anne Arundel County, Maryland , d. 28 Jul 1757, Frederick County, Maryland [1] William Griffith, born April 15, 1697, married Comfort Duvall.[2]

(William Jr. is only two yrs old when William I dies & is not mentioned in his father s will.)

Griffith children are named in a list of orphans from the records of Anne Arundel, MD as being with Thomas Reynolds

MD Rent Rolls-Baltimore & AA Co p224: Griffith s Lot, 197ac, surveyed 4 Nov 1694 for William Griffith bet South & Severn rivers, possessor Thomas Reynolds for Griffith orphans

Research Notes

Was William Griffith born in Wales?

National Flag of Wales
William Griffith was born in Wales.

An 1849 letter from one J. Howard Griffith to his grandmother mentions an old bible in the line of Joshua Griffith which recores the first Griffith that came to America was William. He was kidnapped in Wales & brought in company with William McElfresh to then British Plantations and landed in Maryland, about the year 1655 in the 12th year of his age. [9]

Some descendants show William's birthplace as Cardigan, Wales, but none seem to have any information to support that.

Speculations about Ancestors

The history of the Griffiths, of Wales, forms an exciting review of the feudal splendor of Griffith, Prince of Wales, but that history is too voluminous for quotation here. Their descendants in Maryland fought valiantly for American independence as did their sires in Wales. [5]

William Griffith took for his wife a daughter of another distinguished house in Scotland. She was Sara Mackubin, daughter of John Mackubin who came from the Lowlands, and claimed descent form the McAlpines, of the Highlands, who back to Kenneth II, the first King of Scotland. (Mackubin is the same name as McAlpin--Mackubin in the Lowlands and McAlpin in the Highlands.)" [5]

Were there additional children?

William and Sarah may have had a first child named Henry, who married Sarah Warfield, though Henry is not named in his Elinor Howard's will.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Mike Marshall. Early Colonial Settlers of Southern Maryland and Virginia's Northern Neck Counties. Profile for William Griffith Accessed 5 June 2022 jhd
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Harry Wright Newman. Anne Arundel Gentry: A Genealogical History of Twenty-Two Pioneers of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, and their Descendants. Maryland Pioneer Series, 1933. Griffith Family, 153-188
  3. 3.0 3.1 This material came from a post by "Dan" on Rootsweb. The person who entered the material on WikiTree states, "Whether or not the text is original with this poster, I cannot say." The Rootsweb still works, but no longer contains the information cited. ~~~~
  4. Gust Skordas. Early Settlers of Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1968. Page 196, Referring to Liber18, folio 329.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 World Family Tree 3300, CD 9
  6. 6.0 6.1 Find A Grave: Memorial #205391247 Memorial for William the Immigrant Griffith. Accessed 5 June 2022 jhd
  7. William Griffith's Will. Early Families of Southern Maryland, Volume 1, page 204. Cited by Marshall.
  8. Complete Will of William Griffith: Book H, folio 302, Annapolis, Maryland
  9. John Beverley Riggs. The Riggs Family of Maryland; a genealogical and historical record, including a study of the several families in England 1939, pg. 105.

See also:

  • Source: S1662637081 England, Select Cheshire Bishop's Transcripts, 1598-1900 Publication: Operations, Inc.
  • Source: S1662636870 Ancestry Family Trees. User submitted. Online publication - Provo, UT, USA:
  • See the book Genealogy of the Griffith Family: The Descendants of William and Sarah MacCubbin Griffith, by Romulus Riggs Griffith, 1892, 335 pp. We have adhered to that book closely in reporting the descendants of William Griffith. Another reference we have consulted is Our Maryland Heritage Book 33 - The Griffith Families of Maryland, 2002, by William Neal Hurley Jr.
  • In the Westminster Branch of the Carroll Co. Public Library, in Westminster, Maryland was a book, ca 1997, titled Genealogical Notes on the Griffith Family of Anne Arundel Co., Maryland, which we have not examined.

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Comments: 11

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Hi profile managers, Due to the uncertain parentage and plethora of unsourced material relating to this person, the U.S. Southern Colonies Project is being added as a profile manager.
Thanks, Darlene. Poor William Griffith is currently long on discussion and short on citations. I've found that discussions are most easily resolved when every fact has an inline citation, and will see what I can add from my library of colonial Maryland resources.
posted by Jack Day
edited by Jack Day
William I (D.1699) of Anne Arundel was NOT the son of Samuel. I have wasted dozens of hours trying to find proof of this, as many have repeated this lie. However, that's simply what it is. There is Absolutely nothing to connect the two.

Please Correct

posted by Matthew Carter PE
edited by Matthew Carter PE
Hi Matthew, I have added the U.S. Southern Colonies Project as a profile manager. I have also detached the parents with a note (and link to their profiles) in the biography. If you have information and reliable sources to add to this profile, it would be appreciated if you would add them. Thanks.
Thanks Darlene, unfortunately I don't. I have been unable to connect William to anyone or place with concrete evidence, with the exception of those few sources already mentioned. Now I have piles of documentation for prospective in England and Wales but there is very little primary sourced information available. I am hoping your help and that of others may be able to crack this nut as Ken and I have been unable to do thus far.

Ken's idea of a 1635 crossing is very possible however I have found no documentation of him once he landed in Virginia in 1635. I did trace an Edward Griffith (recorded as arriving one day after William of 1635) of similar age whose brother John was on the ship with William. Anther supporting argument for the 1635 Thesis is this Edward was captured by Baltimore and taken to MD in 1637. If William was his relation he could have been with him. Again, just theory at this point

posted by Matthew Carter PE
As we dig up reliable facts for any of these Griffiths, it will be important to house these facts in actual profiless. If all we know is that a William Griffith showed up in Virginia in 1635, that William deserves a profile, with the fact on it. Then as we have discussions about what facts relate to whom, we can be discussing material that is organized and accessible, and once we find connections, can be merged together as appropriate.
posted by Jack Day
I have put together a line of research challenging the accepted birth date, transport date and origin of William Griffith. You may view my research here:

I would appreciate feedback from serious geneologists interested in William Griffith. This discovery could connect the Griffith line back to the old world.

posted by Ken Griffith
Your research looks very interesting and will take some time to digest! The association with Matthew Howard is of interest because Howard himself has been the subject of bogus genealogy which has taken some time to sort out!
posted by Jack Day
edited by Jack Day
Please forward a link to Matthew Howard as it appears he was a very close associate to William. Thank you for your help as it is much needed and greatly appreciated.
posted by Matthew Carter PE
Matthew Howard, the Immigrant is here:

The bogus Matthew Howard is here:

posted by Jack Day
The parentage attributed to William Griffith here is definitely wrong. There are records of William Griffith in Anne Arundel County in 1648 and 1654. He was closely associated with the family of Matthew Howard, who were Puritans from Upper Norfolk, Virginia. He appears to be listed as a passenger on The Globe from London to Jamestown in 1635 as Wm. Griffith, age 18.

Matthew Howard and his sons and other Virginia Puritans were expelled from Virginia by the Governor in the 1640's and helped to found Providence on the North bank of the Severn around 1650.

I believe the error arose from unreadable handwriting in a family bible. William's documented arrival year was 1635. In the family lore he is said to have arrived in 1675 or 1655. Either 7 or 5 could be mistaken for the numeral 3

posted by Ken Griffith

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