First Generation


1. John GRIGGS (*) was born in 1436 in Somerton, Suffolk County, England.1,2,3,4,5,6,7

The Griggs Family Newsletter contained the following quote from the "Genealogy of The Griggs Family," by Walter S. Griggs, of Norfolk, VA, published in 1926 by the Biblio Company, Inc.: "The first legal record of the Griggs name in England is found in Muskett's Suffolk Memorial Families, in which data is given of John Griggs, who died in Suffolk County, 27 April 1497. His son, William Griggs, yeoman of Stansfield, married Catherine Browne. He died in April, 1515, and his wife died 15 June 1520. He left three sons, Robert, William and Edmund."

"The name Griggs comes from Grig, Son of Gregor, who was Son of Scottish Chief Alpin, born A.D. 787. Presumably same origin as the name MacGregor."

. He lived in Suffolk County, England between 1436 and 1497.8,9

Suffolk County is a fairly large county of about 1,500 square miles (almost a million acres) on the eastern side of England (East Anglia). Its southern boundary (with Essex) is a mere 50 miles from central London. Its northern and western neighbors are Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, respectively. The remaining boundary, over 50 miles of coastline, faces the North Sea and Lowestoft Ness, representing England's most easterly point.

About 60% of the land surface in the country is a chalky boulder clay, and this has long been associated with good agricultural productivity. To the northwest lies Breckland, with its light sandy soil stretching toward the Fens. There is another region of light land or Sandlings to the southeast. The margins of the principal rivers--Waveney, Deben, Gipping (Orwell) and Stour, which flow eastwards into the North Sea--are mostly loam with some marshland. Very little of the county apart from its southwestern corner is more than 300 feet above sea level, but it is by no means flat and devoid of relief.

Suffolk County was settled very early with some sporadic evidence from the Paleolithic period onward, but by the Bronze Age there was significant activity in both the Breckland and Sandling areas. This was extended during the Iron Age, and by the time of the Roman occupation virtually the whole county showed obvious signs of civilization in terms of villas and farmlands. The establishment of roads by the Romans was a major step in establishing the local infrastructure subsequently developed by the Saxons and later the Normans. This featured towns, markets, churches, monasteries and castles.

There were at least 500 ecclesiastical parishes dating from this medieval period. Although the first local Bishop was based at Dunwich, the administrative structure did not crystallize until late 11th century, when Suffolk became part of the Diocese of Norwich--a situation lasting until comparatively recent times. Initially, the Suffolk portion of the Diocese was a single Archdeaconry, but this was divided into eastern and western parts in 1125.

In 1080, Suffolk was a county predominantly of villages and freemen, rather than of manors and feudal vassals. Its population was fairly evenly distributed. None of the seven principal towns, which included Ipswich, Bury St. Edmunds, and Dunwich, had over 3,000 residents.

Agricultural output in the form of flax, barley, sheep and cattle led to thriving local industries producing linen, malt for brewing, wool for cloth, and leather. The proximity of the sea made fishing an important resource. The absence of stone, apart from flint, brought about the exploitation of the local clay for the very widespread manufacture of bricks for building materials.

Ipswich, the county's largest town, seems to have been established on the north bank of the River Orwell during the 7th century. It soon became an important industrial and trading center, with a reputation for pottery manufacture which extended well beyond Suffolk. Much later on, it embraced new crafts and skills associated with shipping, the building of dock facilities, engineering, and fertilizer manufacture.

In the west the principal town is Bury St. Edmunds, site of what was, before the Reformation, probably the most influential monastery in the region. Other significant towns in the county include Lowestoft, Stowmarket and Sudbury.

. He died on 27 April 1497 at the age of 61 in Suffolk County, England.5,10

John GRIGGS (*) and Rose DE SUFFOLK (*) were married in 1470 in Somerton, Suffolk County, England.11 Rose DE SUFFOLK (*) was born about 1440 in Somerton, Suffolk County, England.7,12 She died before 27 April 1494 at the age of 54 in Suffolk County, England.11 She was buried on 27 April 1494.11

. Rose signed a will in 1494 in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk County, England. Her will was proved in Suffolk. English records list her name as "Rose DeSuffolk," which means "Rose of Suffolk."

.

John GRIGGS (*) and Rose DE SUFFOLK (*) had the following children:

+2

i.

William GRIGGS Sr. (*).

3

ii.

Margaret GRIGGS was born (date unknown). (This is a picture of a church in Bury St. Edmonds.)