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Home: Surnames: Griffin Family Genealogy Forum

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East Tennessee, Griffin's
Posted by: Todd Layman, Date: June 16, 2001 at 17:12:48
  of 9772

Thank you for your reply. I live in Knoxville, Tn. I was raised in Cocke Co., Tn. and have been researching my lines for about 25 years now. So I've been working on how the Griffin's migrated through Tennessee to see if it gave me any clues. Nearly every family that came to Tennessee in the late 1700's came by 3 routes. The main route was the Shenandoah Valley Route from Virginia through upper East Tennessee ( Washington, Greene, Carter County) areas. These are also the main counties that imigrants came in from North Carolina & South Carolina. The third area was from Kentucky into Hawkins, Granger and Sullivan Counties.
                  The first real city area as far as goverment was concerned was Greeneville in Greene County, pretty much everyone went through there to stock up on supplies and register their land grants. The seats of goverment rose as follows:
Greeneville in Greene County, Dandridge in Jefferson County, Knoxville in Knox County and Kingston in Roane County. So this was the general migration route used.
                  Now if you look at a map of Tennessee Counties you will see that Carter County (formed from Washington County) is very close to Greeneville and that Grainger County borders Jefferson County.
                  I spent the day at the McClung Library here today reseaching the early records and found some interesting things.
                 I searched everything I could get my hands on and there is only one listing for a Griffin in Greene County, a Susan Griffin that married Jessee Bacon there on 3-27-1821. since there are no Griffin families in Greene Co. she was probably from a neighboring County. Carter Co. is a neighboring county. No other neighboring counties to Greene have any Griffin's except Carter.
                 Washington County has one record, the registering of William Griffin's land grant there in 1782. This is the earliest land grant for a Griffin in Tennessee, and it is for land on Roans Creek in what was later taken from Washington County and turned into Carter County. This early grant also means it was probably for Rev War service.
                 There are many listings of Griffin's in Carter County between 1796 & 1818. About 22 to be exact. Now there is no 1790 through 1820 Census for Carter County. And there is no Griffin's in the 1830-40-50 Carter Co. census. Griffin's do not appear in Carter Co. again until 1850. So they did not stay there long.
                  The Griffin's listed in the 1796-1818 records are:
                         William, listed on tax lists, buying and selling property. All the property he is involved in (some 12 deed transactions) are all for property on Roan's Creek. So this is the William that got the first Griffin land grant that is registered in Washington Co. The last reference to William is in 1810 and he is listed as being of Pulaski Co., Ky.

                         Elizabeth Griffin that married Thomas McWilliams, 7-22-1796, William was her bondsman, and this is the only Griffin marriage in Carter Co.

                         Solomon Griffin that bought land from William Griffin and is listed in 5 deed transactions. Last reference to him is in 1818.
                          Squire Griffin that witnesses a land transfer. Now I'm not arguing that his name was or was not Squire. But Squire was also a name used as we use Mr. or Dr. in that time period. So Squire Griffin could also have been a legal term to describe a person of standing and a large property owner. Squire was often used to describe a person that dealt in land. I throw this in only because there is no other listing except as a witness to a land transfer, so it could have been a reference to William.

                         John Griffin that bought land from William and had another land transaction. Last reference to him is in 1812.

                 Carter County is also near the Kentucky border, also next on the general migration route is Jefferson Co. that borders Grainger Co. Grainger is also about 1 county away from Kentucky.
                  I bring up Grainger & Jefferson County's for 4 reasons:
                       1. It is the next area down the usual migration route.
                       2. There is not a group of early Griffin's in any of the other counties.
                       3. It is within traveling distance to Kentucky. Only about 3 to 4 counties away from Pulaski County.
                       4. The main road at that time went from Greene County to Jefferson County to Knoxville. With Grainger & Jefferson bordering each other. Jefferson would have been the main city and trade area for Grainger County.

               Anyway the next large group of Griffin's is in Grainger County and drifts into Jefferson County.
                        Now there are no census records for Grainger or Jefferson until the 1830 Census. But there are several listings in Grainger County for Griffin's early on.

                    William Griffin, George Griffin & Spencer listed in the court records several times in deed transactions and as a jurors in Grainger Co. in the published book of records from 1796-1802.
                    The Grainger County marriage records from 1796-1835 list 11 Griffin marriages.
                  Anyway, I'm loosing my train of thought:
                      William disappears from Carter County by 1810. Now I assume that William was the father of Solomon, Elizabeth & John in Carter County. He sells Solomon & John both land in 1804, John on 1-18-1804 and Solomon on 1-20-1804. So we know they were both of legal age by 1804. So they would have been born at least by 1780ish. This would put William born about 1760ish.
                  There is a William in the 1830 Grainger Co., Census.
                  William Griffin
                   1 male 10-15 years                  1 female 5-10 years
                   1 male 60-70 years                  1 female 30-40 years
                                                                 1 female 60-70 years
                   This William was born 1760-70.

                   There is no William listed on the 1840 Grainger County Census. But there is one listed in neighboring Jefferson Co.

                    1840 Jefferson County, Census
                    William Griffin
                    2 males 5-10 years                 1-female 15-20
                    1 male 70-80                          1 female 40-50

                   I think this is our William, I think his wife from the 1830 census died and he is being cared for by the daughter or daughter in law that is the 30-40 year old in the 1830 census that becomes the 40-50 year old in the 1840.
                  There are also 2 deeds where William bought land in Jefferson County in 1809, this is very close to the 1810 date that William disappears from Carter County, and it is the first Jefferson County land bought by any Griffin.
                  Anyway just some stuff to think about, let me know what you think.

This is from an e-mail I sent to another Griffin researcher, I copied it to place here for other researchers.


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