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 Mehitable Mallory

He married Catherine Wisebury, 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

Charles Griffin married his second wife, the widow Mary Richardson, on January 23, 1783 in Amenia, Dutchess County, New York. 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.

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


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