Griffith History

The name Griffith is of Welsh origin, the first form being Cruffyydd, a combination of two Welsh words “Cruff” and “ffyd,” meaning strong faith.  A Griffith was of great faith.

The earliest orthography of the name runs something like this:  Griffiths, Griffyth, Griffith.  The first records invariably carried the termination “s.”

The old and honorable family has a distinction of claiming as it’s ancestor, Rhys ap Tudor Mawr, a Griffith, a Prince of South Wales in 1077.

Another account of the origin of the family is that it is descended from Llewellyyn, the last King of Wales.

One of the Griffith founders of the family in America was William, of Cardigan, Wales, who settled in New York State in 1721.  The Welsh family of Griffith in Pennsylvania has always been prominent.  Thomas Griffith was Keeper of the Great Seal of Pennsylvania and was living in Philadelphia in 1715.  He was a Provincial Councilor and Mayor of Philadelphia.  William Griffith was one of the founders of the Pennsylvania Hospital.

Virginia furnished a number of Griffith officers in the Revolution.  The coat of arms illustrated on the main page of this website was borne by William Griffith, the immigrant to New York, mentioned above.