Name: Orlin GRIFFES 1
Birth: 30 OCT 1804 in Pompey Hill, Onondaga County, New York 2
Death: 11 FEB 1858 in Concord Township, Erie County, Pennsylvania
Burial: FEB 1858 Concord Township, Erie County, Pennsylvania 3
Residence: 1830 MacHias, Cattaraugus, New York 1
This was going to be the PREFACE of the family history book, "Orlin Lov ed Susan," that I had begun to write in 1987 and had planned to have publi shed. However, since four more generations before Orlin were discover ed in 1991, and since we have found many more branches of our family and m any, many more descendants, I am not going to write and publish a book. I nstead, I will include the stories and notes, that were already writt en by myself and others in this online family history.
- Lois Emorene (GRIFFES) KORTERING
Just as I was beginning to feel "Chosen," and that my ancestors were speak ing to me from Beyond, I was jerked into reality by a famous New York Gene alogist, who spoke at the Annual Michigan Genealogical Council Semin ar in Muskegon, Michigan in October of 1988.
Dr. George K. SCHWEITZER, dressed in full Dutch costume of the 18th centu ry and speaking in a Dutch accent, began his speech something like this, " You all wonder how you ever got into this genealogy project, right? So me of you even think that you were destined, or "Chosen," to write your fa mily history, right?"
Well, Dr. SCHWEITZER went on to explain that, "Many years ago, your great- great-great-grandfather loved your great-great-great-grandmother very muc h, so they got married and had lots of kids. One of those kids was your g reat-great-grandfather, who grew up and fell in love. He married your gre at-great-grandmother, and they, too, had lots of kids of their own. The n, one of their sons, who was your great-grandfather, grew up and fe ll in love with your great-grandmother. They got married, and they, to o, had lots of kids. A whole lot of love went into your family history!"
Then, the New York Genealogist told us the real reason we were designat ed to write our family histories, "Well, all of those people are dead, no w, and that is why you are writing your family history. They are dead b ut you are still living!"
Ever since Dr. SCHWITZER'S speech, I no longer feel "Chosen," but, sometim es, I still believe that my ancestors are speaking to me from Beyond!
All of the stories and many of the notes in this online family tree were g oing to be in a family history book entitled "Orlin Loved Susan," becau se my book was going to include only the descendants of Orlin Mitchel GRIF FES and his wife Susan (STILWELL) GRIFFES. Instead of publishing a fami ly history book, I am incorporating the stories and notes into my online f amily tree, which now includes all branches of our family tree.
I still dedicate this family history to my first cousin, Carl Everest OLSO N, who considered his work on the GRIFFES family history a "Labor of Love ." Carl had fought the big battle against cancer, and many of us belie ve that God had extended his life by eight years, not only to allow him mo re time with his family, but to continue his dedicated efforts on the GRIF FES genealogy. Since Carl's death on 13 September 1987, there have been m any more families added to our family history, and four more generatio ns of the ancestors of Orlin GRIFFES have been found by Alice (FRAZIER) WA LKER of Kansas.
James Griffes, Jr. and his wife "Cyntha," (Unknown maiden name) were the p arents of Orlin and his siblings.
James Griffis, Sr., who surname was spelled with "IS" at the end, and h is wife Hannah (SIMMONS) were the parents of James GRIFFES, Jr. and his si blings.
Thomas GRIFFIS and his wife Sarah (BORDEN) were the parents of James GRIFF IS, Sr. and his siblings.
John GRIFFEE, whose surname ended with two "EE" on most documents, and h is wife Isobel (Unknown Maiden Name) WILLEY were the parents of Thomas GRI FFIS. John and Isobel were my 7th-great-grandparents.
Isobel and John had three children:
1. John GRIFFEE/GRIFFIS: Research on John has not been done by our famil y, and
nothing is known about him.
2. Thomas GRIFFIS, born about 1695 in Haddam, Connecticut, married 12 Feb ruary
1718/19 Sarah BORDEN, daughter of John and Marah/Mary (TILLOTSON)
BORDEN. Thomas died 05 September 1758 in Cornwall, Connecticut. Thom
and Sarah had nine (9) children and they were my 6th-great-grandparents.
3. Mehetable GRIFFIS: Research on John has not been done by our famil y, and
nothing is known about her.
May Carl's family read and treasure this online family history, knowing th at Carl had put so much of himself into the endeavor. Had it not been f or Carl's persistent efforts, this family history might have taken a lot l onger to be compiled and published, or shared with the world. Not many mo nths ago, Carl's widow told me that he would have enjoyed researching fami ly history on the internet and would have enjoyed finding more generatio ns of ancestors. It was important for Carl to tell our GRIFFES family his tory in story form.
May all of the descendants of John and Isobel (?) WILLEY GRIFFEE, as we ll as, the descendants of Orlin and Susan (STILWELL) GRIFFES, enjoy learni ng about their family history and, especially, about their ancestors who h ave gone before us.
Lois (GRIFFES) KORTERING
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The birth dates were obtained from Laura Hazel (Blood) Aiken Ellsworth, yo ungest daughter of the three daughters of Amy J. (Griffes) and James L. Bl ood. Amy was the second-born of the four children of Laura (Litchfield) a nd Orson Mitchel Griffes. Laura worked on the Griffes family history f or many years.
* * *
I am guessing that, since Orlin's older brother Johnathan was born in Pomp ey Hill, Onondaga County, New York, and his younger brother Austin was bo rn there, then Orlin was probably born there, as well.
Descendancy of Orlin GRIFFES and Susan STILLWELL
Sometime in the 1820s Orlin met Susan, and he loved her so much that he ma rried her and together, they brought ten children into the world. Those t en children blossomed into The Family Tree of Orlin GRIFFES and Susan STIL LWELL. Another GRIFFES falls in love each day, and another GRIFFES ba by is brought into the world each year. The decision, as to when I wou ld begin writing this book for publication, was based on putting Orlin GRI FFES, my great-great-great-grandfather, into a family with parents who lov ed each other and brothers and sisters who cared.
The name of Orlin's siblings are known to be correct, and their name s, as well as the names of their spouses and children, are listed at the b eginning of the family history. It is true, that the name of Orlin's fath er was James, because the death certificate of Orlin's youngest brother Al anson showed the name "James" as his father.
We know that Orlin's mother's name was Cyntha, not Cynthia, because Johnat han's death certificate has "Cyntha" as the name of his mother, as we ll as "James" as the name of his father. In fact, Orlin and Susan might h ave named their fourth-born child (Cynthia) after Orlin's mother, and like wise, their fifth-born child (James Walter) after Orlin's father.
Since this family history tells the love story of Orlin and Susan, and on ly their story, the family histories of Orlin's brothers and sisters wi ll probably be told by someone in each of those families. You can be cert ain that the author of each of the other family histories will be someo ne who feels "chosen!"
If more information is desired about the families of Orlin's sibling s, or other GRIFFES families who are not yet proven to be related to Cynt ha and James GRIFFES, please feel free to contact me via E-mail.
* * *
Excerpt from the book "Orlin Loved Susan" by Lois E. KORTERING:
The Truth Is...
When there is a question about the truth or its source, then photo-copi ed proof and documented evidence are necessary. Also, an author nee ds to give credit when statements are borrowed from another author's wor k. Whenever possible, permission should be sought in order to use anoth er author's writings or publications.
However, sometimes there seems to be more than one version of the trut h. This is the very reason for going public, or publishing, a family gene alogy. After printing a family history for everyone to read, someon e, at sometime is going to question some of the truths in the book. The n, perhaps that person will continue searching until documented proof is o btained.
Since errors can be found in census reports, such as "drunkenness of the c ensus-taker," or whatever, and even in newspaper obituary notices, th en we have to rely on the version of truth that we receive from family mem bers.
Sometimes, errors occur when researchers or genealogists transfer informat ion from one source to another. At times, it is just a matter of differe nt versions of the truth.
For instance, the same 1850 hand-written census report, when read from a p oorly lighted microfiche film viewer, was deciphered differently by my cou sin Carl Olson, than by myself. One of Orlin's daughter's names appear ed to be "Olin" in my eyes; whereas Carl read the same name as "Elise ." It was most likely "Ellen," because Orlin and Susan had a daughter w ho was named "Margaret Ellen." On that 1850 census report, the name "Olin ," or "Elise," was in the proper birth order for "Margaret Ellen."
Recently, I thought I had discovered "the truth" about "Ellen," as we ll as one of her sisters. Neil STUART had sent me some pictures that he f ound in Marna WARNER'S home soon after her death. Marna was the younge st daughter of Eleanor and Marion Ellis GRIFFES.
In two very old pictures, taken in 1907, there were two elderly women pict ured along with James Walter GRIFFES, who was the fifth-born of Susan (Sti lwell) and Orlin Griffes. The names on the back of the picture identifi ed the two elderly women as "Aunt Ellen GRIFFES" and "Aunt Marya, or Miria h, GRIFFES." Since I knew that James Walter's only son Marion Ellis h ad no sisters, I guessed that the two elderly women were really "Margar et Ellen" and "Susan Maria," daughters of Orlin and Susan, as well as sist ers of James Walter GRIFFES.
I thought I was doing some great detective work! Wow! If the two siste rs were unmarried at the time of the picture, then they probably never d id get married or have any children. Oh! Then we can stop looking for a ny descendants for those two daughters of Orlin and Susan. However, late r, I received marriage dates on all of the daughters of Orlin and Susan fr om Wilma HENGST from California.
Cynthia, another daughter of Orlin and Susan, died just seven short mont hs after marriage, but if we could find the married names of Eliza and Emi ly, as well as "Aunt Ellen" and "Aunt Maria," and if we could find the fam ily of Sarah, who married David CLARK, then we might find five more famili es of GRIFFESes! (Written by Lois Griffes KORTERING in 2000.)
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On 08 January 2003 Alice STUBLI of Palmyra, Michigan sent me a link to t he McCray Cemetery in Concord Township, Erie County, Pennsylvania and ask ed the question, "Are the Orlin and Susan Griffes on the site below your a ncestors?" There was no doubt in my mind that she had found the burial pl ace of both, my great-great-great-grandfather, Orlin Griffes, and his wi fe Susan (Stilwell) Griffes. The McCray Cemetery records were destroy ed in 1952 Mr. and Mrs. Wilson Durham made an index of the McCray cemete ry in Concord Township, Erie County, Pennsylvania and some stones were unr eadable at that time.
Then, McCray Cemetery list was compiled again by Dennis R. Davis in 199 1. He wrote that there were seventeen stones that were unreadable. Th is was the entry for Orlin: Griffes, Orlin, died February 11, 1857. Di ed in his 52nd year. This was the entry for Susan: Griffes, Susan, di ed May 18, 1843. Wife of Orlin Griffes. In her 17th year. Since the ston es in the McCray Cemetery are old and some are illegible, it probably say s, "In her 47th year."
The Transcript of the Orlin Griffes Family Record by A.J. Orton, Concor d, Erie County, Pennsylvania, 28 February 1873 recorded that Orlin was bo rn 30 October 1804, married on 01 August 1826, and died on 11 February 185 8.
In 1952 Mr. and Mrs. Wilson Durham made an index of the McCray cemete ry in Concord Township, Erie County, Pennsylvania and some stones were unr eadable at that time.
Then, McCray Cemetery list was compiled again by Dennis R. Davis in 199 1. He wrote that there were seventeen stones that were unreadable.
Even though the death date for Orlin on the McCray cemetery listing is 185 6, instead of the date that I obtained from family records of Theron E. Gr iffes, son of Marion E. Griffes, who was the only son of James Walter Grif fes, I believe that it is my great-great-great-grandparents who are buri ed in the McCray Cemetery in Concord Township, Erie County, Pennsylvania.
Directions To the McCray Cemetery:
McCray Cemetery is located on the East side of Route 89, two miles Sou th of Route 6N
and the Route 89 intersection, between Stewart and Nancy Hill Roads, not f ar from the
small village of Elgin. The Cemetery surrounds the church there.
Father: James GRIFFES , Jr. b: 30 MAY 1773 in Cornwall, Litchfield County, Connecticut
Mother: Cyntha UNKNOWN b: ABT 1780
Susan STILWELL b: 3 APR 1807 in Buffalo, Erie County, New York
1 AUG 1826
in Westfield, Ontario County, New York
[Griffes Family by Lois E Kortering.ftw]
The marriage date of Susan (Stilwell) and Orlin Griffes was obtained fr om family records of Theron E. Griffes, son of Marion Ellis Griffes, execu ted by A.J.. Orton, Concord, Erie County, Pennsylvania, dated 28 Februa ry 1873.
- Orson Mitchel GRIFFES b: 19 AUG 1827 in Ellicottville, Cattaraugus County, New York
- Eliza Esther GRIFFES b: 25 AUG 1829 in , , New York
- Sarah Ann GRIFFES b: 5 APR 1831 in Machias, Cattaraugus County, New York
- Cynthia GRIFFES b: 6 JAN 1833 in , , New York
- James Walter GRIFFES b: 10 MAY 1835 in Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York
- Margaret Ellen GRIFFES b: 31 MAR 1837 in Cattaraugus County, New York
- Susan Maria GRIFFES b: 3 MAR 1839 in , , New York
- Emily Belinda GRIFFES b: 30 DEC 1842 in , , New York
- Myron Austin GRIFFES b: 8 DEC 1843 in , , New York
- Orlin Albert GRIFFES b: 5 JUL 1845 in , , New York
- Title: 1830 United States Federal Census
Publication: Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004
Note: United States of America, Bureau of the Census, Fifth Census of the United States, 1830, Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1830
Text: Online publication - Ancestry.com. 1830 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2004.Original data - United States of America, Bureau of the Cen sus. Fifth Census of the United States, 1830. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1830.M19, 201 rolls. MacHias, Cattaraugus, New York, roll 85, page 172, image 339.
- Title: Alice (Frazier) Walker of Kansas
- Title: The McCray Cemetery Listing, Concord Township, Erie Couty, Pennsylvania