Griffin (surname)

Griffin
Family name
Griffincoat.jpg
Griffin coat of arms
Meaning "descendant of the Griffin-like"
Footnotes: [1]

Griffin was the 75th most common surname on the island of Ireland in 1891.[2] In Wales, Griffin has been established as the 65th most frequent Welsh surname.[3] It was estimated in 2000 that Griffin is the 114th most common surname in the U.S., with a population in the order of two hundred thousand.[4]

Griffin in Ireland

The surname "Griffin" has two primary Gaelic sources in Ireland, which pertain to the towns of Ballygriffey in Co. Clare, and Ballygriffin in Co. Kerry. The spelling "Ó Gríobhtha" is associated with the Co. Clare family, whose surname was also anglicised as "O'Griffey" or "Griffey". "Ó Gríofa" translates to English as "descendant of the Griffin-like". The "Mac Grífín" spelling belongs to the Kerry family. In Ireland, the name can also be associated with the Welsh surname "Griffith", but to a much lesser degree.[5] The surname Griffin is of patronymic origin.

Griffin in Wales

The surname "Griffin" in Wales, generally speaking, is a variant of the surname "Griffith", or other similar Welsh names.

Griffin in Sweden

In Sweden, the griffin Coat-of-Arms gave one actually used surname, Grip, and belonged to three somewhat distinct medieval noble families, to each of which such a surname is retrospectively dubbed:

  • the family of so-called griphuvud who are known to have been nearly-hereditary justiciars of Västergötland (no surname was contemporaneously used of them and they went extinct in 14th century, but later historiography has dubbed "griphuvud", head of griffin, as sort of name to them); and
  • the two families of Grip av Vinäs, one descended from last female of the other, "Griffin of Vinaes", who are attested to have been related in some (not specifically) way at least with the first (Griphuvud) family (no surname was used of the Grip av Vinäs in the Middle Ages, but this family and its Arms continued until the 17th century, admittedly through one female heiress but the Arms were retained by her issue; and at least one generation before their male-line end this, to baronial rank elevated family certainly was called with the surname Grip, "Griffin".)

All these may have represented different branches of a clan descended from legendary Geatish local chieftains. This historical noble name (or word) "Grip" has then, in later centuries, been used as surname of some other Swedish families.

The family of Aspenäs whose Arms is called "lejonörn" (lion-eagle) and who may have descended from early justiciars of Västergötland (no surname was contemporaneously used of this family which went extinct in the 15th century) had the escutcheon, lion-eagle, squarely opposite of griffin: Lion-eagle is formed of eagle's hindparts and lion's head.

Notable people with the Griffin surname

Contents: Top · 0–9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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F

G

H

I

J

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(Jack Griffin)

Career Guidance Counsellor! Dublin

L

M

N

P

Q

R

S

T

  • Ted Griffin
  • Thelma Griffin, fictional character
  • Thomas Griffin (politician) (1773–1837), politician, lawyer and judge from Virginia
  • Tom Griffin (disambiguation), several people
  • Tyson Griffin
  • Todd Griffin, several people

W

References

  1. ^ 1990 Census Name Files
  2. ^ Matheson 1891
  3. ^ Williams 1996
  4. ^ U.S. Census Bureau 1990
  5. ^ O'Laughin 1997

See also



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