EARLY GRIGGS FAMILIES OF MASSACHUSETTS
By H. MINOT PITMAN, F.A.S.G. of Bronxvllle, New York
There were four Griggs families in and around Boston before 1640. So far as has been ascertained there was no connection between any of them. Something has been written about each one but in every account there have been omissions or errors. The purpose of this article is to correct these. The research on which this account is based has not been exhaustive in that only published material has been consulted.
THOMAS, b. 1619/20; d. probably unmarried before July 1655 since he was not mentioned in his father's will. Clarence Bowen's History ofWoodstock, Conn., vol. 6, p. 96, states that he married MARY____ and was buried in Roxbury 29 Nov. 1639. A footnote says that according to family records he d. 29 Nov. 1632. All these statements are in error. The person who was buried 29 Nov. 1659 was Mary, not Thomas Griggs (The Vital Records of Roxbury. vol. 2, p. 540), who was the wife of another Thomas Griggs of Roxbury, with which place the family of George Griggs had no connection. Obviously Thomas, son of George, could not have died in 1652 since he came to Boston three years later in 1635.
THOMAS GRIGGS of Roxbury, born perhaps about 1585, died in Roxbury, Mass., 23 May 1646 (Vital Records of Roxbury., Mass., vol. 2, p. 540) where he "lay in a long affliction of sickness and shined like gold in it, greatly magnifying his grace in Christ" (Boston Record Commissioners: Rox bury Church Records, p. 173). He married, first, about 1615, probably in England, MARY who died in Roxbury, Mass., 29 Nov. 1639 (Vital Records of Roxbury, Mass., vol. 2, p. 540). He married, secondly, in Roxbury, 26 Aug. 1640 (ibid., p. 182) Mary GREEN, probably widow of John Green who died in 1638/9. She married (3) in Roxbury, 8 June 1651, Jasper Rawlins.
Thomas Griggs was in Roxbury by 1636 when he owned twelve acres there.
It is suggested by J. W. Linzee, Jr., in his Ancestors and Descendants of Peter Parker and Sarah Ruggles, 1913, p. 475, that Thomas was a son of John and Martha Griggs of Boxted, co. Suffolk, England, born in 1585 whose ancestral chart is reproduced on page 475 from Joseph James Muskett's Suffolk Manorial Families, 1900, vol. 1, p. 265. However, there seems to be no proof whatever of the identity of the two Thomases. It might equally well be claimed that George, son of John and Martha Griggs of Boxted, given in the same chart as born in 1595, was the George, subject of the first part of this article. The age very nearly corresponds. The latter George, however, is given in the shipping list as of Landon, Bucks. A search of the wills or estates of John and Martha Griggs of Boxted might reveal the validity or falseness of either or both of these assumptions.
Clarence Bowen in his History of Woodstock, vol. 6, states that this Thomas Griggs was born in 1603 (which might well he) and that he came to New England in 1635. He claims also that Thomas first wife was Grace Wells (not Mary ). This writer has been unable to determine the source of such statements, but, because much of Bowen s account of the Griggs families is erroneous, not much reliance can be placed on any of the statements about the Griggs families.
Printed from NEHG Register, Volume 123, July 1969,© New England Historic Genealogical Society & Broderbund Software, Inc., Banner Blue Division, May 15, 2001