An American Family History

The Griffin Family of Leeds County, Ontario


Brockville, Ontario was called Elizabethtown. The area was first settled by English speakers in 1785, when Americans who had remained loyal to the crown fled to Canada after the American Revolution.

  also spelled Giffen, Griffen  

Brockville 1830 census:

Mrs. Giffin 2 men, 2 boys, 2 women, 2 girls


Leeds County, Ontario, Canada was first surveyed in 1792 in preparation for the United Empire Loyalists settlers. In 1850, Leeds County merged with Grenville to create the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville.

Charles Griffin was born about 1728. He was the son of Jonathan Griffin and Mehitabel Mallory.

He married Catherine Wisebury on December 4, 1751 in Oxford, New Haven County, Connecticut. She was the daughter of Anthony Wisebury and Tabitha Wooster.

Charles and Catherine's children probably included:

Katherine Griffin Wolcott (1753, married Abner Wolcott (1749-1833).
Huldah Griffen Clark (married Isaac Clark),
John Griffin (1758, married Sarah Stanclift),
Andrew Griffen (1767),
Freegift Griffin (1772).
David Griffin
Joseph Griffin

During the American Revolution, Charles remained loyal to the Crown. His son-in-law, Abner Wolcott wrote that he

joined the King's army in 1777 with a carriage and three yoke of oxen and his service.

Another source said he

. . . took up arms at Castleton in 1776 and was detained and confined for two weeks at Rutland. The rebels forbade all millers to grind for him. In 1777 he left home and joined the Army at Skenesborough with his son who was killed at the Battle of Bennington. Falling sick, the claimant was allowed to go to live with his brother in Connecticut but was taken to Hartford Gaol where he lay ill for six months. He then joined his brother at Derby, in Woodbury. (from American Migrations 1765-1799 by Peter Wilson Coldham)

His lands in Vermont were confiscated.

The State of Vermont.
In Council of Safety 29 Aug. 1777.
The following contains a list of Tories of this State and the several Crimes with which they Stand Charged.
Acknowledge they Voluntarily joined the Enemy, and were Taken in Action the 16th Instant [Battle of Bennington] . . .Stephenson Bethel, Charles Griffin, Isaac Carrier.... (from Loyalists of Chaleur Bay – State Papers of Vermont)

An Act to Prevent the Return to this State [Vermont] of certain Persons therein named, and others, who have left this state, or either of the United States, and joined the Enemies Thereof passed February 26, 1779...Asa Landon, Charles Griffin, and Daniel Culver....(from Vermont State Archives)

Charles Griffin married his second wife, the widow Mary Richardson, on January 23, 1783 in Charles Griffin was born about 1728. Mary was probably Abigail Richardson. mother. Abigail married Levi Comstock.

In 1784 Joseph Griffin appeared on the provisioning list for disbanded troops as a member of the Loyal Rangers. He was mustered in Elizabethtown (now Brockville), Leeds County, Ontario.

On September 18, 1820,William LaRue wrote

Charles Griffin having a certificate from General Haldimand for two hundred and fifty acres of land,
then Griffin exchanged this certificate with Enoch Mallory and Jeremiah Mallory, for their lands, which they had improved,
then Enoch Mallery drew Lot No. 22 in Escott in his own name by virtue of Griffin's certificate and Mallory is on the plan of Escott for Lot no. 22 Broken Front and first Concession,
then Mallory sold this said Lot. no. 22 to William LaRue. . .

Dutchess County, New York patriots forced colonists loyal to the British government to flee north into what became Ontario.

During the American Revolution a Tory or Loyalist was used in for those who remained loyal to the British Crown.


Charles Griffen married the widow Mary Richardson.

Mary had a daughter, Abigail Richardson. Abigail married Levi Comstock.

Charles and Mary's children included:

Charles Griffin.


On February 7, 1813, the American army raided Elizabethtown (present day Brockville, Leeds County, Ontario). The Americans crossed the frozen St. Lawrence River and seized equipment, freed American prisoners, and captured Canadian men.

Samuel Griffin (1768) married Susannah Elliott.

Samuel and Susannah's children probably included:

Charles Griffin,
Gilbert Griffin (1796, married Polly Buell and Polly Wickware),
Ester Griffin (married Joseph Jervis),
Margaret Ann Griffin (married Derrick Cain),
Isaiah Griffin (1788, married Emily Gardiner), and
Matilda Griffin (married Philip Wickware).

In 1791, Samuel signed a petition in Thurlow, Hastings County, Ontario requesting that the township be laid out in lots.

Samuel was assessed in Yonge Township in 1805.

Gilbert Griffin was with the 1st Regiment Leeds Militia during the War of 1812.

The first European settlements in Ontario were after the American Revolution when 5,000 loyalists left the new United States.


The Battle of the Windmill was in November, 1838. Loyalists defeated an invasion attempt by Hunter Patriots, led by  Nils von Schoultz, who were attempting to overthrow British rule. The battle was at a windmill two miles east of Prescott.

  Emeline Griffin (1819) married Henry Mallory  


Colonial Maryland
Colonial New England
Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
Quakers & Mennonites
New Jersey Baptists
German Lutherans
Watauga Settlement
Pennsylvania Pioneers
Midwest Pioneers
Jewish Immigrants

©Roberta Tuller 2019
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