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Mirabel (maybe) Griggs Thompson of Assington, Suffolk, England

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Assington, Suffolk, Englandmap
Surnames/tags: Griggs Thompson
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Page to collect research about the Mirabel Unknown, possibly Griggs, wife of John Thompson early immigrant to Stratford, Connecticut.

Wills of this family referencing family members and property in Buxhall, Ipswich, Sudbury and environs, Pentworth and Cavendish. The name Ambrose is used multiple times.

Wills from UK National Archive

  • Ambrose Griggs, Saymaker of Great Cornard, Suffolk probate 16 Jan 1637 PROB-11-173-57 written 28 Jul 1636 to the poor of G.C., to my loving wife Mirable Griggs, after her death to three sons Ambrose, John & Robert, all three under 21, and "daughter Tomson". The probate lists wife Mirable Griggs and (at least) sons Ambrose and Robert and seems at the end to list "Mauribilo uxor Tommissionix" i.e. Maribile wife of Tomson. This is almost certainly the Ambrose Giggs buried 29 Jul 1636 at Great Cornard (findmypast.co.uk citing the National Burial Index). Maribel Griggs married John Tompson 27 Apr 1636 4 miles away at Assington, Suffolk just 3 months before her father wrote his will.
No direct relation of this man to the wills below has been found yet.
  • PROB-11-200-656 John Griggs, Yeoman of Pentlow, Essex 2 Jun 1647: written 8 Oct 1645 (20 Charles), bequeathed to poor of Pentlow & Cavendish, to nephew William Griggs (son of brother Thomas Griggs & his wife Elizabeth), also to children of brother Thomas "Hugh Griggs, William Griggs, Martha Griggs, Margaret (last name may be different, married?)", also separately to Thomas Griggs' daughter Temperance Griggs to brother Ambrose Griggs (testator of 1659? Glemsford 2 miles from Pentlow), bequeathed to wife Alice (testator of 1654 who also had no children?), to Margaret Griggs, "one of the daughters of my said brother Ambrose", a tenement in Cavendish so he owned property there. Also bequeaths to William Griggs "the son of William Griggs my brother" so he had two nephews William Griggs, to "Thomas Griggs of Ipswich, Apothecarie", to John "Brownrigg" brother-in-law, to Matthew Griggs of Glemsford "my kinsman" (same Matthew supervisor of will of Alice Griggs, testator of 1654? Seems likely), to "Raphe" (maybe) Griggs, brother, to sister "Phillipp Broag". A codicil revised this Thomas Griggs of Sudbury had deceased but in this codicil he says "Thomas Griggs the son of my Cozen Thomas Griggs, formerly of Sudbury", to John Mason which seems to prove that Alice testator of 1654 was this widow.
  • PROB-11-236-352 Alice Griggs, widow of Cavendish, Suffolk 6 Mar 1654: written 26 Jan 1563, bequeaths to mother Alice Mason, brother John Mason's daughters Mary & Ann, his son John, her brother John's children, appoints "brother" Michael Houghton executor, appointed a Mathew Griggs of "somewhere" supervisor. no apparent children.
Note: this is the widow of John-656
  • PROB-11/212/519 Ambrose Griggs, Tallow Chandler of Sudbury, Suffolk written 10 Jul 1648, bequeathed to wife Johan/Joan messuage in parish of st. peter, sudbury, to son Ambrose, to Alice Griggs widow of my late brother John Griggs (i.e. the Alice-352 and John-656), to daughter Elizabeth Barnwith, son Thomas Griggs, daughter Margaret Griggs, property in Cavendish, to the poor of Sudbury
Note: this is the brother of John-656 who bequeathed to "Margaret the daughter of my brother Ambrose"
  • PROB 11/322/78 Thomas Griggs, Apothecary of Ipswich 12 Oct 1666 referenced above so probably the brother of John. Bequeathed messuages & tenements in St. Mary's parish, Ipswich to wife Elizabeth, to Thomas Griggs, son of brother Edmund Griggs of Buxhall, to John & Mary Griggs, children of my brother "Simon" (maybe), several partial shares in different ships of Falmouth, to John Griggs, son of brother William Griggs, to "Danarius" (it's probably not that but I can't read it) Griggs, daughter of brother John Griggs, ten pounds each to sister Mary Griggs and brother John Griggs, to brother Edmund Griggs, to brother Robert Griggs, to brother in law Captain Daniel Dale (husband of the testator's sister Rebecca Griggs), grand-son Unknown Ward, son of late son-in-law Samuel Ward, brother in law John Greene supervisor.
Note: this likely is the brother of John-656 who bequeathed to his brother Thomas & wife Elizabeth and again to apparently the same Thomas Griggs as "apothecary of Ipswich".
  • PROB-11-145-264 William Griggs of Glemford sentence, 16 Feb 1625, mentions Ambrose Griggs & Robert Brownrigg (as above) and George Griggs.
Note: this is likely the brother of John-656 who bequeathed to "William the son of my brother William" indicating that William (his brother) was already deceased in 1647 when John-656 wrote his will.
  • PROB-11-311-409 3 Jul 1663 Glemsford, Suffolk:Thomazine (Bull) Griggs, widow of Uncertain Griggs, mother of Ambrose Griggs (under 21), and Thomazine Waterbury, listed severall Bull siblings (Judah? Samuel, Hannah etc).
  • PROB-11-295-367 21 Sep 1659 Glemsford, Suffolk: written 4 Jul 1659, Ambrose Griggs, clothier, bequeaths to b-i-l George Sandwood or Underwood & Ruth his wife; to unborn child of loving wife Thomazine Griggs; to brother Abraham Griggs, to daughter-in-law Thomazine Waterbury...so this would seem to be the husband of the above Thomazine Griggs?? But the 1663 will seemed to call her a "child" of the testator...bequeathed to servant Elizabeth Everett, an Everett was listed in the 1663 will too...so the under-age Ambrose she listed was possibly the child she was pregnant with in 1659. Will proved the next day, 22 Sep 1659
  • PROB-11-201-359 William Griggs, 26 Jul 1647 died aboard ship (name golden something), testimony of undersigned that he left his belongings to widowed mother Jane Griggs, no location stated
  • PROB-11-162-394 Thomas Griggs, 9 Oct 1632, in the good ship London no locations specified of benficiaries, sister Ayned Walker & two children, very poor man.
  • PROB-11-160-263 Thomas Griggs, yeoman of Cavendish, 19 Jul 1631, written 20 Dec 1629, to Bridget my wife property;messuages in Pentlow, after her death to my son George Griggs...other property equally to sons William (executor), Edmund, Ambrose and "Hinholard" (totally unsure what this name is), daughters Agnes, Rose and Susanna
  • PROB-11-108-61 1606 will too old
  • PROB 11/372/503 Susana Griggs, Single Woman of Clare, Suffolk 26 Apr 1683, Clare is near Sudbury, John Dakins of Cavendish as executor, brother in law William Summers (maybe) husband of sister Sarah Griggs, to their son Jeremiah (under 21) her house & grounds in Cavendish, contingent to Jeremiah's sisters Sarah & Susanna (both under 21), money to their eldest brother Thomas Summers (also under 21)
  • PROB-11-166-264 Sara Griggs, Widow of Cavendish, Suffolk 26 Sep 1634 written 5 Sep 1634, named late husband Ambrose Griggs and described him as son of John Griggs (one of the older probates) to daughter Casper or Cospa (first name not given, wife of William Cospa) of Clare (maybe), Suffolk, to grandchild Sarah Casper/Cospa, son in law Robert Reason executor, son John Griggs, grandchild Elizabeth "Easonforde", grandchild William Griggs son of William Griggs. Very possibly the Sarah Brown who married Ambrose Griggs in 1592 at Somerton Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk (findmypast.co.uk citing Boyd's marriage index)

Other Wills

  • Familysearch.org has a variety of Sucbury wills, probates and indexes available on-site at family history centers.
  • A digital volume of Bury St. Edmunds and Sudbury Archdeaconry wills are available on line at familysearch.org that list Griggs entries.[1] contains the 1646 will of Thomas Wright of mentioning property at Hartsed bought from Henry Griggs and his wife Susan (possibly Martin) on page 188 and also sons-in-law William Griggs, Henry Griggs John Griggs. Wright makes it clear he had a daughter Mary (now married to a Brown and with children) by his first wife (his second wife was also named Mary by coincidence) and this is the only daughter he directly mentions, so possibly these Griggs men married daughters of Mary Wright the wife, by a prior husband?
  • The 8 May 1635 will of Martha Griggs, widow of Boxted (about 20 miles from Great Cornard) lists late husband John Griggs, sons John, Henry and Stephen, daughters Bridget, Mary and Martha (and Martha's son John Stephens) and Elizabeth (wife of Henry Sparke and their children Elizabeth & Henry & John). Probate at Bury St. Edmunds 12 Oct 1635. Possibly related?[2] Various other Griggs/Grigges wills of the area also appear at ancestry.com in this collection (Thomas of Cavendish, William of Bury St. Edmunds etc)

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PS - As you probably know, Raphe was a common spelling of "Ralph" in the 17th century and earlier, so I'm confident of your transcription of that name even without looking at the original. The great composer Ralph Vaughn Williams changed his given name to "Rafe" to match the ancient version. I imagine that the name that you thought might be "Danarius" in the will of Thomas Griggs, the apothecary, could be "Damaris." A Damaris of Athens in mentioned in Acts 17:34, so for Bible-reading Puritans this was an option.
posted by Barry Wood
Brad -- Awesome work! Given the reference in the will of Ambrose Griggs (the saymaker of Great Cornard) to "Mauribilo uxor Tommissionix," there can be no doubt that this was the father in law of John Tomson/Thompson of Stratford, Conn. I note that Great Cornard is less than a mile from the heart of Sudbury and (as you say) just four miles from Assington, so the geographic fit is perfect.

As to Ambrose Griggs' unusual occupation, "A Saymaker was a maker of a say - a cloth of fine textured wool resembling serge but in the 16th century partly of silk" per the Geni profile on Peter Colvin of Colchester, whose son Peter Jr. emigrated to Essex County, Virginia (where I have numerous ancestors, not to my knowledge including him).

The Griggs family continued in this line of work long after Mirabel / Merabella and her husband departed for America. You can read about a Thomas Griggs of Sudbury (1701-1794) at pages 42-43 and 46 of a paper called "Weaving Independence from a Distant Cottage Industry" by Fenella France, https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1297&context=tsaconf. She says that Thomas was a son of Abraham & Sarah Griggs. I am guessing that Thomas' father might be the Abraham Griggs chr. 1 Dec 1671 at Glemsford, son of Thomas & Martha Griggs. Perhaps this Thomas would be the "brother Thomas" mentioned in the will of Ambrose Griggs of Glemsford in 1659, but that's just a guess considering how numerous the extended Griggs family was in that vicinity.

Not to digress too much, but I wonder whether George Griggs who married Alice Sibthorpe in 1618 at Lavendon, Bucks. and came to Boston in 1635 on the "Hopewell" might be kin of these Sudbury-area Griggs. His wikitree page doesn't specify a place of birth or parents.

posted by Barry Wood
Thanks Barry, that was a lucky find for sure. Re: Abraham, you may well be right. One of the wills listed an Abraham, but only one so it wasn't as common a name in the family as Ambrose and it might not be too hard to trace him. I'm not planning on going through more of the wills since I've invested enough time in the family to this point, but there are no doubt more details available to flesh out the Griggs of that area if a descendant is motivated.
posted by Brad Stauf