[ Return to Index ] [ Read Prev Msg ] [ Read Next Msg ]



Posted By: Robert D. Walker (email)
Date: 10/28/2005 at 18:04:02



Before we can confront the history of Hezekiah King GRIFFIS, we must realize that his grandfather was also named Hezekiah K. GRIFFIS and that his grandmother was named Sarah. The senior Hezekiah was born in Wales in about Nov of 1789. From the Richard E. GRIFFIS biography by Chapman Brothers Publishers, the senior Hezekiah came from Wales to America with his parents, initially settling in Maryland, then Virginia, where he met and married a Sarah A. (LNU) probably around 1813. Their first child, William GRIFFIS, (Hezekiah and Richard E.’s father) was born in about 1814, probably in Virginia. There is a 1820 Census of Elksburg Twp, Lewis Co, Kentucky, which is not far from the border of Virginia, that shows Hezekiah K. GRIFFIS and wife with four children in the household (one male and three females, all under ten years). Then in the 1830 Census of Lewis County, Kentucky, he is shown with his wife and nine children in the household. It is firmly believed that Harvey J. GRIFFIS is another of his sons, born 3 May 1829 in Lewis Co, Kentucky. There is on IAGenWeb for Lee Co, a biographical sketch on Harvey J. GRIFFIS that somewhat parallels, the data in the Chapman bio on Richard E. GRIFFIS. The family in the 1830’s then moved to Louisville, Kentucky, and then in early 1840 they migrated north to Clay Co, Indiana where they lived until 1851. The 1840 Census of Indiana, Clay County, Van Buren Twp shows Hezekiah and wife with eleven children. (Note – In the 1830 & 1840 census, his name is spelt GRIFFITH). The 1850 Census of Indiana, Clay County, Van Buren Twp, shows the senior Hezekiah (62 yrs) and Sarah (63 yrs) with two children, John (29 yrs) and Sidney (18 yrs), living next to his son, Harvey (21 yrs) and his wife Eliza (19 yrs) and one child, (1 yr). The senior Hezekiah and son Harvey, in 1851 moved next to Lee County, Iowa for about a year then to Des Moines Twp, Jasper County, Iowa where Hezekiah in 1852 and 1853, purchased 80 plus acres of land in Township 78 North. The 1860 Census for Iowa, Jasper County, Vandalia shows the senior Hezekiah at age 70, living with what appears to be his second wife, Rebecca (50 yrs). (Sarah having died in 1855). They are next door to his son Henry and family. Hezekiah and his wife Sarah and Harvey and wife Eliza, are all four buried in the Griffis Cemetery located just 5 miles south of Prairie City, Des Moines Twp, Jasper Co, Iowa.

The following info I believe pertains to this Griffis family. The published bio on Richard E. GRIFFIS reads as follows: “Richard E. GRIFFIS, a highly esteemed resident and farmer of Cedar Township, was born in Kentucky, Oct 10, 1836. His father, William GRIFFIS was also a native of the same state, and his grandfather was a native of Wales, who came to America with his “parents” at an early period in the history of this country, and located in Kentucky, etc.” His grandfather is the senior Hezekiah that we describe above. The “ parent ” and great grandfather, I believe to be another “Hezekiah GRIFFIS”. The 1820 census for Ohio, Gallia, Gallipolis shows a Hezekiah GRIFFIS (age – over 45 yrs) with a wife (age 26-45) and eight children, (1 male 0-10), 1 male 10-16), (1 male 26-45), 2 female 0-10), (1 female 10-16), (1 female 16-26), (1 female 26-45). His census could not be located for either 1810 or 1830.

Hezekiah (b. prior to 1775), his wife and up to eight children, came to America from Wales, landing probably in Maryland then settled in Virginia, more than likely on the western side. He could have had several of the eight children in Virginia, however, we know that his son Hezekiah (b. 1789) was born in Wales, and married his wife Sarah in Virginia. By 1820, the main family had moved to Gallipolis, Gallia County, Ohio while the son Hezekiah and family had moved a bit farther west to Elksburg, Lewis County, Kentucky.



Hezekiah King GRIFFIS was born in Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky on 5 Apr 1835, the son of William GRIFFIS and Ruth ELSEN. William and Ruth, and their three children, Hezekiah K, Richard E, and James B, moved in about 1840 from Louisville, Kentucky to Clay County, Indiana. (From the bio on Richard, it is believed that they accompanied their parents and several of Richard’s siblings to Indiana) Then in 1849, now with five children, (John Wesley and Mary Ann) they went to Clark County, Missouri, remaining for about one year before moving the short distance north to an area just north of Fort Madison in Washington Twp, Lee County, Iowa.

The 1840 Census for Indiana, Clay County shows William (age 20-30) and wife (age 30-40) with three male children, ( one 5-10 yrs, (Hezekiah) and two under 5 yrs,(Richard and James).). The 1850 Census for Iowa, Lee, Ft. Madison shows William (40 yrs) and Ruth (44 yrs) with five children, Hezekiah, (15 yrs), Richard (13 yrs), James (12 yrs), John (8 yrs) and Mary (4 yrs). The 1860 Census for Iowa, Lee County, Washington Township, shows William (46 yrs) and Ruth (53 yrs) with four children, Richard (23 yrs), James (21 yrs), John (19 yrs) and Mary Ann (15 yrs). (Hezekiah had married just two years prior to this census). The 1870 Census for Iowa, Lee County, Washington Township, shows William (55 yrs) and Ruth (60 yrs) living with his son John (28 yrs) and John’s wife Senora Snapp GRIFFIS (21 yrs) and a farm laborer from Prussia, Frank STRUNCK (17 yrs).

Hezekiah began his family life in Fort Madison, Lee County, Iowa, where he married Sarah Maria SAWYER on 3 Apr 1858. Sarah was born in Fort Madison, Lee Co., Iowa on 28 Feb 1839, the eighth child of John SAWYER and Jemima SAWYER (They were cousins).

Hezekiah’s first three children were born in Fort Madison, Lee County, Iowa. The family lived on a farm just west of the town of Fort Madison in Jefferson Twp. Clara Velnetta, the oldest was born 3 Feb 1859. Next came Morse who was born 5 Dec 1862 and Franklin 24 Dec 1864 (Franklin died 24 Mar 1871, at the age of 6 years, in Sterling, Johnson County, Nebraska)

The 1860 Census for Iowa, Lee County, Jefferson Township, shows Hezekiah (25 yrs) and Sarah (21 yrs) with one child, Clara (2 yrs).

The family then moved all the way across Iowa to Pacific Junction, Mills County, Iowa where Clyde was born 17 Feb 1867. These trips and all others were made by covered wagon. The next stop was a short trip to an area situated adjacent to the North Fork of the Nemeha River near Sterling, Johnson County, Nebraska called Latrobe, where Nathaniel George was born 7 Dec 1869, then John Bertrand on 20 Aug 1872.

The 1870 Census for Nebraska, Johnson County, Western Precinct, Latrobe Post Office, shows Hezekiah (35 yrs) and Sarah (31 yrs) with five children, Clara (11 yrs), Morse (9 yrs), Franklin (5 yrs), Clyde (3 yrs) and Nathaniel (6 mo). Also living in the household was a farm laborer, Nathaniel G. Sawyer (22 yrs), Sarah’s younger brother.

Myrtle Mabel was born 10 Jan 1875, after their move to Germantown, Smith County, Kansas. The last two children were born after their move north across the border to Republican City, Harlan County, Nebraska. Eugene George was born 12 Apr 1877 and Dora Ethel 22 Aug 1879.

The 1880 Census for Nebraska, Harlan County, Republican City, shows Hezekiah (45 yrs) and Sarah (41 yrs) with seven children, Morse (17 yrs), Clyde (13 yrs), Nathaniel (10 yrs), John B. (7 yrs), Myrtle M. (5 yrs), Eugene (3 yrs) and Dora (1 yr). Living next door is their first child, Clara and her husband William Spencer.

Their first child, daughter Clara Velnetta, was the first to get married to William SPENCER, a blacksmith from Wisconsin, in Republican City, Nebraska on 3 Apr 1879. William and Clara settled in Republican City, Harlan County, Nebraska and raised seven children, two sons and five daughters.

In early 1887 the family, consisting of Hezekiah and Sarah and children, Morse, Clyde, Nathaniel, John, Myrtle, Eugene and Dora, moved from Republican City to the Nine-Mile Ranch about 7 miles southwest of Custer, Custer County, South Dakota. Here, they seemed to prosper for the next ten or so years, as there is a picture of all of the family except Clara, taken on the front porch of a large fine looking farm house.

In about 1898, Hezekiah and Sarah accompanied by their youngest, Dora Ethel and their son John Bertrand and his wife Maud Tanlin GRIFFIS, made the move from South Dakota to Green Cove Springs just south of Jacksonville, Clay County, Florida. This was prompted by Sarah Maria's health which was quite frail.

The 1900 Census for Florida, Clay County, Green Cove Springs Village, shows Hezekiah K. (65 yrs) and Sarah M. (61 yrs)

Prior to Hezekiah and Sarah’s move to Florida, Morse had married Nellie THOMPSON in Custer, South Dakota on 10 Apr 1893. They had three sons and two daughters.

Clyde Eugene married Bertha Lillian DOUGLASS, daughter of William Eugene and Bertha Newbury DOUGLASS, in Edgemont, South Dakota on 12 Jan 1896. They had three daughters and one son before they were divorced in 1912.

Myrtle Mabel married Barnard “Barney” KORTHAUS, son of George Bernard and Anna Elizabeth Eggenberger KORTHAUS, in Germantown, Kansas on 24 Mar 1897. Myrtle and Barney were the parents of four sons and three daughters.

Dora was married in Green Cove Springs on 15 Dec 1898 to Charles Lincoln SPRAGUE, son of Alfred Lewis and Laura McMaken SPRAGUE. Dora and her husband Charles moved to Beatrice, Nebraska in late 1899 or early 1900. They were the parents of five children, all daughters.

Nathaniel George married Barbara CURRIE, daughter of John and Annetta “Annie” McDonald CURRIE, in Ridge, Montana on 25 Dec 1901. Nate and Barbara had eight children, three boys and five girls.

Eugene George married Anna Rosina KORTHAUS, daughter of George and Anna Elizabeth Eggenberger KORTHAUS, on 2 Jan 1904 in Bakerville, South Dakota. Gene and Anna had one son.

Then in about 1904 or early 1905, Hezekiah and Sarah moved back to a ranch on Bull Flats, about 10 miles west by southwest of Custer, South Dakota. Sarah died on 16 June 1905, in the hospital at Edgemont, South Dakota and Hezekiah died at their ranch in Bull Flats on 1 July 1905. They were both buried in the Buffalo Gap Cemetery, located about one mile south of Buffalo Gap, South Dakota.

John Bertrand’s wife Maud, died in 1899 and he also moved back from Florida, to the area around Edgemont, South Dakota probably about 1900. John married his second wife, Ellen Gertrude PRESTON, daughter of Albert and Viola Liscom PRESTON, in Bowman, Bowman County, North Dakota on 16 Dec 1911. Bert and Gertie had two daughters.

Morse’s first wife Nellie THOMPSON died 12 Jun 1902, just nine days after the birth of their fourth child, Ralph Morse GRIFFIS. On 24 Apr 1907, Morse married Roxanne Louisa BOWER, daughter of Israel and Maria Riddle BOWER, in Dane, Dane County, Wisconsin. Morse and Roxy had two daughters and three sons.

IAGenWeb, Lee Co. & Jasper Co. Iowa
Griffis Family by Mary Niehaus
Griffis Family by Alberta Konieczki
Griffis Family by Thomas Irwin
Sawyer Gedcom by Sallie Henry
Obituary – Morris Griffis
Obituary – Roxana Louisa Bower
Obituary – Clyde Eugene Griffis
Obituary - Bertha Lillian Douglass
Obituary – John Bertrand Griffis
Obituary – Ellen Gertrude Preston
Obituary – Myrtle Mabelle Griffis
Obituary – Dora Ethel Griffis
Obituary – Charles Lincoln Sprague
U.S. Federal Census –1820 to 1930
LDS Ancestral File & IGI – Familysearch.org
Richard E. Griffis, A Portrait & Biographical Album by Chapman Brothers– Lee Co. Iowa

URL - http://worldconnect.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?db=reklaw2

Written by Robert D. Walker

1021 E Cambridge Rd

Kaysville, UT 84037


Lee Biographies maintained by Sherri Turner.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen

[ Return to Index ] [ Read Prev Msg ] [ Read Next Msg ]