|OUR GRIFFIN FAMILY|
|........ OVER 225 YEARS|
|Our ancestors in the Griffin family have taken us on a journey which is far from complete. Jonathan Griffin was born in 1777 in Connecticut, the year that the flag made by Betsy Ross was adopted by the Continental Congress. His wife was Rachel Sharp. She was born in 1787, at Huntersville, in Bath Co., Virginia. (later part of Pocahontas Co.) Rachel's maternal and paternal grandparents had each been killed by Indians, leaving her father, William Sharp, and mother, Mary Meeks, and their siblings, as orphans. William Sharp and Mary Meeks married, and William became a pioneer of the Bath County area. Another descendant has written an account of William Sharp and wife, Mary Meeks, where he is described as "a scout, spy, and soldier against the Indians and the British."
We have much circumstantial evidence to show that Jonathan Griffin, is son of Benoni
Griffin Jr. of Simsbury, CT. This Benoni was married several times and migrated to
Virginia near the Green Bank area. This Griffin line has been said to trace to Yorkshire,
England, and back to Wales. The repeating names of Benoni, Abraham, Levi, Samuel
and more among Jonathan's descendants seem to refer to the Benoni and Abrahams of
the Connecticut Griffin families. We are discovering land records which give further
evidence of Benoni as Jonathan's father.
Click the image of Revolutionary Rally to read more about Connecticut and its part
in the founding of our country, when Jonathan was a young boy.
In 1800, Jonathan is found as a taxpayer in the personal property tax rolls of Bath County, VA. I do not see his name as a land owner, but he was an adult and probably owned a horse and other property which was taxed. He married Rachel Sharp in 1806.
The Bath County Marriage Bonds book lists the following:
Aug 12, 1806: Bond for Jonathan Griffin and Rachel Sharp.
Surety, Robert Gay. Return filed Sept. 1 by Jeremiah Burns.
Robert Gay was a justice of the peace. This may be the Robert Gay who married Rachelís niece and namesake, another Rachel Sharp. Jeremiah Burns was a Methodist Episcopal minister. I believe that Jonathan's father, whoever it may be, was no longer living, or not living in the area, otherwise, he would probably have signed the marriage bond.
Jonathan and Rachel must have lived with family after marriage as they are not found in 1810 Census records. Jonathan made purchases at the Bath County estate sale, of John Drennan, in 1815. This is recorded in Abstracts of Wills and Inventories of Bath Co. VA 1791-1842 - Bruns. Possibly he and Rachel were ready to set up housekeeping with their young family.
"Historical Sketches of Pocahontas County West Virginia,"
by Price, [written about 1900] states:
"Rachel Sharp, daughter of William Sharp, was married to
Jonathan Griffin, and lived near the head of Stony Creek, on the
farm now owned by Levi Gay . Her children were Abraham,
Benoni, Jonathan, and Mrs. Charles Ruckman [Rachel]." [We
know there were more children: Margaret, William, and Samuel.]
In 1813, we find Jonathan making a large purchase of land on Stony Creek (near present day Edray, WVA.) He also owned land on the east side of the Greenbrier River in the Green Bank area where we now find the National Radio Telescope, not far from the area where the first Griffins (from CT) are found in this county. Maybe these land records will give us clues as to Jonathan's ancestry.
We find through census and other records that there are other children: sons, William [our ancestor] and Samuel, and another daughter, Margaret, who married Isaac Hamrick. The ages of these children show up in the 1820 census record, although only the head of a household is listed, prior to 1850, with the number of people and ages in the household
An article from "Moccasin Tracks & Other Imprints" by W. Dodrill:
"Pioneer School Teachers"Ö
"In 1850, Robert Gregory built a school house near the present site of the St. Mary's school house. The school building was of the most primitive kind. Among the early pioneer school teachers were the following: William Kain, William and Samuel Given, Israel Clifton, Jonathan Griffin, Joseph Woods and Timothy Holcomb." [ The Holcombs also came from CT with marriages to Griffins.] The Jonathan Griffin mentioned may have been the son of Jonathan and Rachel Griffin. He lived in Webster County in 1850s.
Residents of Webster County have related that
the St. Mary's school house (and thus the Gregory
school) were located "on the road going over Point
Mountain from Webster Springs towards Elkins,
between the Barton (Curtin) Road and Bergoo Rd."
The view in this photo is looking down at the
town of Curtin from an overlook spot on the Point
The last census record where we find the elder Jonathan Griffin is the 1850 Census, Pocahontas VA. Jonathan is shown as age 72, born in Pennsylvania. [This is the only time that Pennsylvania is mentioned. See other notes that say b. CT. I believe the latter is correct.] Also in 1850 census in the same county, we find members of the Sharp, Waugh, Duffield families, and sons Abraham, William, and Benoni Griffin and their families.
By 1860, all the children of Jonathan and Rachel were married, except for Samuel who never married.
Abraham b. 1808 in Bath County VA, married Nancy Waugh, daughter of James Waugh, Jr.
Margaret b. 1810 in Bath County VA, married Isaac Hamrick, son of William F. Hamrick
William b. 1812 in Bath County VA, married Elizabeth M. Rodgers, dau. of James Rodgers
Benoni b. 1814 in Bath County VA, married Nancy Hamrick, dau. of William F. Hamrick
Rachel b. 1820 in Bath County VA, married Charles Ruckman, son of D. L. Ruckman
Jonathan b. 1826 in Bath County, VA, married Margaret Rader, dau. of John H. Rader
Samuel b. 1828 in Bath County, VA, never married
We believe that Jonathan, Sr. died sometime in the early 1850s possibly in Braxton Co. We find that his son Jonathan bought property in 1852, possibly using his inheritance. Benoni Griffin and his wife, Nancy Hamrick, also moved away from Pocahontas in 1852. Abraham and his family probably stayed on or near the home place. By 1860, Rachel Sharp Griffin, and son, Samuel, are living in Webster County, West Virginia, with close family friends, Caroline and William Tracy. In 1870 she is about 84 years old, living with daughter, Margaret Hamrick and her husband, Isaac, in Fork Lick, Webster County, West Virginia. The photo above is from Point Mountain, near the Hamrick home. We believe that Rachel died between 1870 and 1880. Her grave is found in the Isaac Hamrick Cemetery, marked Rachael Sharp Griffin, no dates.
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CHILDREN OF JONATHAN AND RACHEL GRIFFIN
Each family of Rachel and Jonathan's married children will be touched on here, although we do not have complete descendancy lists.
1. ABRAHAM GRIFFIN, B. 1808, D. AFTER 1880. Married at about age 21.
Records show - Abraham Griffin and Nancy Waugh, married 29 Oct 1829, Pocahontas, Virginia.
Nancy was the daughter of James Waugh, jr., and Rebecca McGuire.
1. Jonathan James Griffin, sometimes called James, b: 1829 in Pocahontas, VA, married
Lucinda Fleming at age 30, d. unknown after age 50.
2. Malinda Griffin b: 1831 in Pocahontas, VA, never married, d. unknown, after 1920. Some glimpses of her
life are recorded in the works of West Virginia Poet Laureate, Louise McNeill, in whose family
"Aunt Malindy" spent her last years.
3. Dianna Rachel Griffin b: 22 Dec 1836 in Pocahontas, VA; At age 19, married 1) Jacob L.
Buzzard, 2) Mr. Moorten ; d. 1912, WA.
4. Eliza B. Griffin, b. about 1839 , in Pocahontas, VA, married William Pritt at age 28; died
after 1920, leaving many descendants in the Little Levels area.
5. Matthias "Potts" Griffin b: 1842 in Pocahontas, VA, d. 1862 in Confederate service at Sharpsburg
6. Sarah Griffin b: 1844 in Pocahontas, VA, died at about age 16.
7. Margaret Griffin b: 1847 in Pocahontas, VA, married Claiborne McNeel; d. 1926. She was step mother
to Nathan C. McNeel, State Senator of West Virginia.
Abraham and Nancy and most of their family lived in Pocahontas County all their lives, farming near Edray P. O. probably on the land he purchased in the 1830s on Swago Creek. Nancy died before 1880, possibly in Buckeye, and Abraham may have lived even longer, as the last time we find him in census , he is 72 years old.
2. MARGARET GRIFFIN, B. ABOUT 1810, D. ABOUT 1903. Married at about age 29.
7 Dec 1839 Bond: Isaac Hamrick, of Nicholas County, & Margaret Griffin. Surety, Isaac (x) Hamrick &
William Griffin. Jonathan Griffin consents for daughter. Teste, Abraham Griffin & William Griffin. William
Hamrick makes oath his son, Isaac, is 21 years of age. Teste, William Griffin & Benomi [sic] Griffin.
10 Dec 1839 Return: Isaac Hamrick & Margaret Griffin by John W. Osborne.
The family lived on Point Mountain, four miles above Webster Springs, in Webster County (formed in 1860 from Braxton, Randolph Co.) See picture of Point Mountain above. We have at least one picture of Margaret Hamrick. More about this family in another file:
1. Jonathan Griffin Hamrick, b. 1846, Nicholas Co., VA, married Rebecca Jane Hamrick,
daughter of Peter Hamrick. Jonathan lived on Point Mountain where his
father lived, then moved to St. Petersburg, FL.
2. Mildred J. Hamrick, b. 1852, Nicholas Co., VA, married Robert A. Lilly of Randolph Co.
3. Nathan Hamrick, b. 1855, Nicholas Co., VA, married Isabel Harrah.
4. Levi Hamrick, b. 1848, Nicholas Co, VA, married Almarinda Cogar, a daughter of George Cogar.
He also raised his family and lived for a number of years near the home of his father.
5. Rachel Ellen Hamrick, b. 1843, Nicholas Co., VA, married Alfred R. Miller
Raised their family on the Back Fork of Elk River in Webster County.
6. Andrew Hamrick, died when young.
Isaac Hamrick died 11 February 1893, and is buried in a private cemetery near the Pleasant Grove Church. His wife, Margaret, who died about 1903, at the age of 93 years, is buried beside him.
3. WILLIAM GRIFFIN, B. 1812, D. 1889, EDMOND OKLAHOMA. Married at about age 26,
Pocahontas County, Virginia. We have a copy of the certificate, October 22, 1838, William Griffin m.
Elizabeth M. Rodgers. Read the interesting story of this family here. William Griffin Pages.
Children: Information comes from family Bible and census records. More about this family in another file.
1. Joseph N. Griffin b. 2 Aug. 1839, VA; may have died during Civil War. Or just after.
2. Samuel Young Griffin , b. 23 Sept 1840, VA; Union Soldier, Ohio Vols.; d. 1891,
Sycamore, Montgomery Co., KS; married Elizabeth "Lizzie" Terry
3. James M. Griffin b. 7 Jan. 1842, VA; Union Soldier, Died in Service, 1862
4. Levi J. Griffin, b. 8 Aug. 1843, VA; Union Soldier, Died in Service, 1864
5. Adam Bland Griffin , b. 1844-1845, Sutton, Braxton Co., VA; d. 1925, Caldwell, KS;
married Sarah Ann Wiggins
6. Andrew W. Griffin, b. 3 Oct. 1846, VA; married Zarah E. Mayfield; d. 1917, KS
7. Sarah A. Griffin, b. 22 Feb. 1848, VA; married Hugh McNutt; d. after 1920, CA
8. Robert O. Griffin, b. 23 Oct. 1849, VA; died before 1891
9. Adonijah Harris "Nije" Griffin, b. 6 Aug. 1851, VA; married 1) Mattie 2) Ida
Groseclose; died after 1915
10. William F. Griffin, b. Jan 1853, Ohio; married Ellen Davis; d. after 1891
11. John Luther Griffin, b. 24 April 1855, VA; married Clara Odessa Piersol;
d. Jan 25, 1925, Everett, WA
12. Rachel J. Griffin, b. 22 Oct. 1856 , VA; d. about 1868
13. Alpheus Griffin, b. 1 Jan 1859, VA; d. before 1870
14. Peter Charles Griffin, b. 20 Aug. 1860; never married; d. April 25 1934, Edmond, OK
4. BENONI GRIFFIN, B. 1814, D. 1888. Married at about age 20. His wife was Nancy Hamrick.
"Descendants of William Hamrick" says of William's daughter, Nancy:
"Nancy Hamrick, born March 17, 1815, married Benoni Griffin in 1834. [They] lived in Pocahontas County
until 1852, when [they] moved to Wainville [near Laurel Creek] in Webster County. In 1862, [they]
moved to Salem, Harrison County, where she was living at the time of her death." Benoni died Nov. 29, in
1888 and Nancy died Mar. 13, 1891. They are buried at the 7th Day Baptist Cemetery, Salem, Harrison Co.,
The date of the family's move to Webster County coincides with the death of Benoni's father, Jonathan Griffin. Then the move in 1862 was probably because of the fact that they were Union sympathizers in a county where they were not welcome. The following is from "History of Pocahontas County",
"Griffin, Benoni, b. 1814 in Nicholas Co., VA, d. in Harrison Co., WV. He lived at Laurel Creek in Webster, West Virginia until 1862. He was a Unionist and fought in the Federal Army during the Civil War. On 29 December 1861 he led a unit of the Union Home Guard on raids to Laurel Creek from Sutton. Several of his neighbors were wounded and killed and farms and homes burned."
William Hamrick [father of Nancy] started the first school in Webster County, West Virginia along with his brother Benjamin and James Dodrill and built a log school house on Benjamin Hamrick's land. Benoni Griffin was the first teacher.
Full Context of West Virginia Prominent Men :
Griffin, Benoni, Pocahontas County, Beech Bottom, House of Delegates 1863-'64.
Griffin, Isaac H., Webster County, Webster C. H., House of Delegates 1871. [Son of Benoni.]
1. Jane Griffin, b. 1836; d. about 1860 at age 24. She was unmarried.
2. William Griffin, b. 1838; d. about 1856, at age 18. He was unmarried.
3. Isaac H. Griffin, b. 1839; d. in 1914. He was a Union Soldier.
4. Rachael C. Griffin, b.1842; d. at the age of 2 years, in about 1844.
5. Charles R. Griffin, b. 1844; d. at the age of 18 years, in about 1862.
6. George C. Griffin, b. 1846; killed in action Union Service, 1863, at about age 17. He was unmarried.
7. Elizabeth R. Griffin, b. 1848; was unmarried.
8. Jonathan S. Griffin, b. 1850; was unmarried.
9. Newton J. Griffin, b. 1852; married Jane Haskins.
10. Vanlinden S. Griffin, b. 1855; married Susan Haskins.
11. Mary E. Griffin, b. ; died at age 17. She was unmarried.
12. Matthew W. Griffin, b. 1857; married a Miss Elliott.
5. RACHEL S. GRIFFIN, B. 1822, D. AFTER 1880, OHIO.
Married Charles Ruckman. He was a scholar, teacher, and Methodist minister. They moved to Ohio,
because he did not approve of his brothers' support of the south during the Civil War. In his later years
became a rheumatic invalid. It is believed that there are no living descendants.
1. Julia Ruckman, b. about 1842; d. after 1920. She was an unmarried schoolteacher, Sharon, Ohio.
2. Leonidas T. Ruckman, b. about 1845; d. after 1910. He was an unmarried schoolteacher, Sharon, Ohio.
3. Morgan W. B. Ruckman, b. about 1855; died 1870-80.
4. Jonathan D. Ruckman, b. about 1857; died 1870-80.
6. JONATHAN GRIFFIN, B. 1826, D. AFTER 1910. Married Margaret Rader.
Quote from website: "Jonathan Griffin, another son-in-law of John Rader, first settled at the Jack Paugh
place on Mill Creek, after several years, he sold to his wife's brother, Adam Rader, who married a Riddle."
1. Nancy "Nannie" R. Griffin, b. 1861; d. bet. 1920-30. Married Solomon "Low" V. Hickman.
2. Laura Griffin, b. May 1855; d. ? Married James C. Ruddell.
3. Sarah Griffin, ?
7. SAMUEL GRIFFIN, B. 1828, D. AFTER 1880. (never married)
*List of references for above information.
*Back to top.
*Contact Daneille Griffin Grimes, descendant of Jonathan Griffin and Rachel Sharp.
|Jonathan Griffin and Rachel Sharp|
1820 Census, Bath Co. VA
(West Virginia, where this county is now
located, was not a state to itself until 1863.)
2 males under 10 [b. 1810-20] [probably Benoni
1 m. 10 to 16 [b. 1804-10] [probably Abraham]
1 m. 26 to 45 [b. 1775-1794] [Jonathan]
1 female under 10 [b. 1810-20] [ probably Margaret]
1 f. 26 to 45 [b. 1775-1794] [Rachel]
2 engaged in farming
Image 4, Roll M33-129, p. 63
[Neighbors: Benjamin Cackley, Henry Casebolt,
1840 Census, Pocahontas Co. VA
[Pocahontas Co. was formed in 1821 from parts
of Bath, Pendleton, & Randolph Counties, of
2 males 10-20 [Samuel and Jonathan]
1 male 60 - 70 [Jonathan Sr.]
1 female 10 - 15 [unknown]
1 female 20 - 30 [Daughter, Rachel]
1 female 50 - 60 [Rachel]
[Same page as James Sharp (probably Rachel's
brother,) Andrew Duffield, & Benoni Griffin,
Jonathan's son. Area is near above mentioned
Stony Creek, on the West side of Greenbrier River.]
| Clicking the Bible image will take you
to info on the Methodist Church
in early day West Virginia.
|Current Day Farm on Griffin Land, Stony Creek, West Virginia|
|Views of Stony Creek|