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William Griffith I (abt. 1657 - abt. 1699)

William Griffith I
Born about in Cardigan, Cardiganshire, Walesmap [uncertain]
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married about 1687 (to about 1698) in Anne Arundel County, Marylandmap
Descendants descendants
Died about in Anne Arundel, Marylandmap
Profile last modified | Created 8 Oct 2009
This page has been accessed 4,186 times.


National Flag of Wales
William Griffith I was born in Wales.


All below, this section, with the exception of the indented paragraph beginning "Note:," can be found on Rootsweb, in a post by "Dan." Whether or not the text is original with this poster, I cannot say:

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. 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.

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.

From WFT tree 3300, CD 9: "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. 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. 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 cAlpin--Mackubin in the Lowlands and McAlpin in the Highlands.)"

Consider the notes above about the 1675 date of William's arrival: The book titled The Riggs Family of Maryland; a genealogical and historical record, including a study of the several families in England, by John Beverley Riggs, 1939, on pg. 105, has a note that quotes an 1849 letter from one J. Howard Griffith to his grandmother which mentions an old bible in the line of Joshua Griffith that says "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." We think the above accounts showing the year 1675 are accurate, and are consistent with Maryland land records. We note that some descendants show William's birthplace as Cardigan, Wales, but none seem to have any information to support that.

Note: The last sentence above is the reason for marking the birthplace as uncertain. Cardigan was located in Cardiganshire at the time of his birth. Cardiganshire was abolished in 1974 and became Ceredigion in 1996 (Wikipedia: Cardigan, Ceredigion).

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. Children

  1. Orlando GRIFFITH b: 17 OCT 1688 in Middle Neck,Anne Arundel Co.,Maryland
  2. Sophia GRIFFITH b: 27 APR 1691 in Middle Neck,Anne Arundel Co.,Maryland
  3. Charles GRIFFITH b: 20 JAN 1693 in Middle Neck,Anne Arundel Co.,Maryland
  4. William GRIFFITH b: 15 APR 1697 in St. Ann's Parish,Anne Arundel Co.,Maryland

William's will was dated Aug. 31, 1899, 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. (Book H, folio 302, Annapolis, Maryland)

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.

William Griffith I. [1]


  1. Source: Cheshire Bishop's Transcripts.
  • 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:

"Find A Grave Index," database, FamilySearch ( : 6 August 2020), William "The Immigrant" Griffith, ; Burial, Annapolis, Anne Arundel, Maryland, United States of America, Saint Anne's Cemetery; citing record ID 205391247, Find a Grave,

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with William by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line. It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with William:

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Comments: 2

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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
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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Categories: Cardiganshire, Emigrants to United States | Cardigan, Cardiganshire