Lieutenant Francis Griswold

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Francis Griswold

Also Known As: "Lt Francis /Griswold/"
Birthplace: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, England
Death: Died in Norwich, New London County, Connecticut Colony
Cause of death: Sudden attack of disease
Place of Burial: New London County, Connecticut, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Edward Griswold of Killingworth and Margaret Griswold
Husband of Mary Griswold and Sarah Griswold
Father of Mary Tracy; Thomas Griswold; Hannah (Anna) Clark; Deborah Crane; Mary Cooley and 8 others
Brother of Francis Griswold; Sarah Griswold; George Griswold; Lydia Griswold; Sarah Pinney and 10 others

Managed by: Erica
Last Updated:

About Lieutenant Francis Griswold

Lt. Francis Griswold was born abt 1635 in Kenilworth, Warwickshire Co., England. He died in Norwich, Connecticut on 6 Oct 1671 “cut down apparently by some sudden attack of disease, leaving seven children varying in age from infant of days to eighteen years.” Thomas Adgate and John Post, Sr. acted as guardians to the young children. He is buried in Post-Gager Cemetery, Norwich, New London, CT.

Parents: Edward Griswold (<1607-1691) and Margaret Hicks (1610-1670)


  1. 1652 Mary (Possibly the daughter of Lieutenant Thomas Tracy; buried in Post Gager Cemetery, Norwich CT) probably in Saybrook CT. See "Perhaps Mary Tracy" section.


  1. Sarah was born March 28, 1653 in Saybrook and died April 7, 1692. She married Robert Chapman on June 27, 1671
  2. Joseph was born June 4, 1655 in Saybrook and died in July 31, 1655
  3. Mary was born August 26, 1656 in Saybrook and married(1) Jonathan Tracy on July 11, 1672 (2) Eleazer Jewett on September 3, 1717
  4. Hannah was born December 1, 1658 in Saybrook and married William Clark on March 7, 1678
  5. Deborah was born May 1661 in Norwich married Jonathan Crane on December 12, 1678
  6. Lydia was born in June 1633 in Norwich and died in 1664
  7. Samuel was born in September 16, 1665 in Norwich and married (1) Susannah Huntington on December 10, 1685 (2) Hannah
  8. Margaret was born in Norwich in October 1668 and married Thomas Buckingham on December 16, 1691
  9. Lydia was born in Norwich in October 1671

a man of capacity and enterprise

Lieut. Francis Griswold, the Norwich proprietor, was a son of Edward Griswold and Margaret, born about 1632. He appears to have been a man of capacity and enterprise, and took an active part in the affairs of the plantation, serving as representative to the General Court for eleven sessions, beginning Oct. 1644 and ending May 1671. His wife's name is not found in the records of Saybrook or Norwich. In Saybrook the following children are recorded: Saraw, 28 Mar 1653; Joseph, 4 Jun 1655, died the latter end of Jul same year; Mary, 26 Aug 1656; Hanna, 11 Dec 1658. From Norwich records: Deborah, May 1661; Lydia, Jun 1663 and died in 1664; Samuel, Sep 1665; Margaret, Oct 1668; Lydia, Oct 1671. Lieut. Griswold died the same month, Oct. 1671, of a sudden attack of disease. Thomas Adgate and John Post, Sen. acted as guardians to the younger children.

known to be of kindly disposition

Came from England to Dorchester, Mass., and removed to Windsor 1635. Mary d. Apr. 4, 1708. George made his home in Poquonoc 1649 where he purchased land from the Indians. Poquonoc then was about six miles from Windsor and those families venturing out to this settlement had no protection from any danger that might come or from the Indians; however, from the records, we find this family was never molested. Probably from the fact that he dealt honestly with the Indians and treated them fairly, they respected him; he was known to be of kindly disposition. Made freeman 1669; was a large land owner and a man of high respectability. A sturdy active citizen, but did not aspire to political office. Died Sept. 3, 1704. His estate, Hartford Probate, Vol. VII, 108; Vol. IX, 10, 11; Manwaring, 11, 70. Inventory Oct. 2, 1704. An agreement made by the widow and children for the settlement of the estate is recorded. This agreement also mentions his grand-daughter Abigail Griswold and daughters Mary Cooley and Deborah Moore. 1685 he was mentioned in Windsor Patent. 1676 contributed to the poor of other colonies. 1679 had a warehouse on the north side of the Rivulet near the ferry. Trade with England and West Indies.

perhaps Mary Tracy

Francis and perhaps Mary (Tracy) Griswold

Francis Griswold was born in England in 1629 (or 1635 by another source), the son of Edward Griswold and his first wife Margaret, emigrating in 1639 with his parents, first to Windsor, Connecticut and then to Saybrook. Perhaps he married in 1652 Mary Tracy, the daughter of Thomas Tracy and his wife Mary, widow of John Mason. (Note: This marriage info comes from Fifty Puritan Ancestors by E.T. Nash, but isn’t verifiable in colonial records.)

Griswold says that many writers claim that Francis' wife was a TRACY; a fact he disputes based on the lace of any record of a Mary TRACY. Whoever his spouse, the Saybrook records "Children of Francis Grisell - Saraw b. 28 Mar 1653; Joseph b. 4 June 1655, d.the latter end of July, the same year; Mary b. 26 August 1656; Hanna b. 11 December 1658". The Norwich records cite the births of Deborah, Lydia (includes her death), Samuel, Margaret and Lydia II and the marriages of Sarah, Mary, Hannah, Deborah, Margaret and Samuel. These records refer to Francis as Lieutenant Griswold and indicate that he died Oct 1671 of "apparent disease" leaving seven children including an 18 day old infant. Thomas Adgate and John Post, Sr. were appointed guardians.

a first proprietor of Norwich

Francis removed to Norwich with the Rev. James Fitch, becoming one of the first proprietors of Norwich in 1660; Deputy to General Court, 1661 through 1671; formed Court of Commission in 1662; Lieutenant of Norwich Train Band in October 1666; committee for the Stonington Indians in 1666.

the first sawmill in Windsor

Francis Griswold, was in Windsor in 1649 and he was one of the first settlers at Windham, erecting the first sawmill in town. By trade he was a blacksmith.

Francis appears to have been a man of capacity and enterprise, and took an active part in the affairs of the plantation, serving as representative deputy to the General Court for eleven sessions, beginning October 1664 and ending in May of 1671. During this time frame his home lot was on West Town Street. He was a freeman 1657, was on the Committee for Stonington Indians in October 1666. and was called Lieutenant although no record of his commission has been found and in May 1668 received a colonial grant for 100 acres.

Saybrook Land Records Book 1 Page 48 says: “Horses in the year 1660 Francis Griswold carried away two mares from Seabrook this 14th day of November 1660 one mare a Chestnut Collor 4 black hoofs two white foot locks a crop on the near ear 7 year old, the other mare two years old and upwards of a sorrie color with a star in the fore head and two slits on both sides the right ear”

History of New London Connecticut from the first survey of the coast in 1612 to 1852 says:

“A short digression respecting the early inhabitants of Lyme may not be inappropriate in this connection. Lyme was originally a part of Saybrook; the first grantees were the inhabitants of Saybrook town plot, and among the earliest proprietors names are found belonging to that company of Saybrook, which removed in 1659 and 1660, to Norwich: viz., Thomas Adgate; Thomas Bliss, (whose Lyme land was sold to Richard Smith;) Morgan Bowers; Francis Griswold, (an early proprietor on “Bride Plaine;”) John Holmsted; Simon and Christopher Huntington, (the latter sold to John Borden;) Captain John Masion; John Reynolds, (who sold Dec. 3d, 1659, to Wolston Brockway,) and Richard Wallis. These original proprietors of Lyme were all afterward of Norwich.”

the sale of a cow

Griswold's genealogy includes a letter from Benjamin Brewster to his Wetherill brother-in-law which mentions Francis in connection with the sale of a cow (The letter contained no punctuation .. I have added such for ease of comprehension):

Loveing Brother Wetherill My love comended to you with my sister. if Gorge and you dele for his cow then yo must make a very puntuall barginn with him for he is trading with severall for hur. goodman Grissill expects the cow and therefore if you dele, make aright with him and when he comes up let him make delevere of the cow to me for you and dele thus for prise that what the buccher will gife, that you will give; and if you dele then send me word what your mind is. whether I shall hur or not and you take butter, you may have som. Now rest. Your assured Loveing Brother Benjamin Brewster"



  • The Founders Of Saybrook Colony and Their Descendants
  • The Boston Transcript, August 6, 1923 #817
  • A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England – James Savage
  • One Bassett Family in America – Buell Burdett Bassette
  • History of Norwich, Connecticut – Frances Manwaring Caulkins
  • Colonial Record of Connecticut
  • Saybrook Land Records Book
  • Biographical Record of Tolland and Windham Counties, Connecticut
  • New London County, Connecticut: A Modern History Page 160
  • Colonial Families of the United States of America, vol. 5
  • History of New London, Connecticut: From the First Survey of the Coast - Francis Manwaring Caulkins

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is a descendant of Lt Francis Griswold

This is not Francis Griswold....but Kent, Griswold, and Tracy are family names so I want to save it here. LW


  John Kent came to Marshfield from Scituate in 1709.   He was the son of John Kent, who came from England to Dedham, Mass., in 1645.
  John,1 mar. Hannah Griswold, Mch. 21, 1662.   They afterward moved from Dedham to Charlestown, where John2 was born in 1668.
  John,2 b. 1668.   Mar. Sarah Smith of Charlestown (who was a great aunt of Abigail Smith Adams), Dec. 22, 1692.   He was a ship builder in Scituate from 1698 to 1709, when he removed to Marshfield and purchased land of Charles Little at Rexhame, now owned by Ray T. Ames.   In 1709-10 he was chosen on a commission to divide the common and undivided lands of Marshfield.   In 1724-25 he was sent as Representative to the General Court.   In 1725-26 he was one of the Selectmen of Marshfield. 


  I. Sarah.3   II. John.3   III. Hannah.3   IV. Elizabeth.3   V. Ebenezer.3   VI. Benjamin.3   VII. Sarah.3   VIII. Samuel.3   IX. Ezekiel.3   X. Nathaniel.3   XI. Elisha.3   XII. Joseph.3   XIII. Mercy.3   XIV. Abigail.3 


  Elisha.3   From Elisha are descended all the Kents now living in Marshfield.   Mar. Susanna Ford, a dau. of Peleg and Alice Warren Ford.   (Alice Warren Ford being a dau. of Capt. James Warren of Plymouth, a grandson of Richard Warren of the Mayflower.)   He purchased a farm of Thomas Tracy in 1743.   This place has been occupied until recently by his descendants.   He was a leader in public affairs during the Revolution, having been appointed on the Committee of Correspondence in 1776.   He was a Selectman of the town in 1776-77-80-81. 

LIEUT., FRANCIS GRISWOLD (Edward2, George1) died October 1671 in Norwich, New London County, Connecticut. He married SARAH ?.


  1. SARAH GRISWOLD b 1653. Married Robert Chapman.
  2. JOSEPH GRISWOLD, b. June 4, 1655, Saybrook, Middlesex County, Connecticut; d. July 1655, Saybrook, Middlesex County, Connecticut.
  3. MARY GRISWOLD, b. August 26, 1656, Saybrook, Middlesex County, Connecticut; d. April 24, 1711, Preston, New London County, Connecticut; m. JONATHAN TRACY July 11, 1672 Norwich, New London County, Connecticut; son of Thomas Tracy and ?; b. 1646, Saybrook, Middlesex County, Connecticut.
  4. ANNA GRISWOLD, b. December 11, 1658, Saybrook, Middlesex County, Connecticut; d. February 20, 1687, Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts; m. WILLIAM CLARK March 7, 1678.
  5. DEBORAH GRISWOLD, b. May 1661, Norwich, New London County, Connecticut; m. JONATHAN CRANE December 19, 1678, Norwich, New London County, Connecticut.
  6. LYDIA GRISWOLD, b. June 1663, Norwich, New London County, Connecticut; d. April 1664, Norwich, New London County, Connecticut.
  7. SAMUEL GRISWOLD, b. September 1664, Norwich, New London County, Connecticut; d. December 2, 1740, Norwich, New London County, Connecticut; m. (1) SUSANNAH HUNTINGTON December 10, 1685; daughter of Christopher Huntington and Ruth Rockwell; b. August 1668, Norwich, New London County, Connecticut; d. March 6, 1727, Norwich, New London County, Connecticut; (2) HANNAH BACKUS; daughter of William Backus and Elizabeth Pratt; d. February 25, 1752.
  8. MARGARET GRISWOLD, b. October 1668, Norwich, New London County, Connecticut; m. THOMAS BUCKINGHAM December 16, 1691 Saybrook, Middlesex County, Connecticut.
  9. LYDIA GRISWOLD, b. October 1671, Norwich, New London County, Connecticut; d. January 1752, Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts; m. (1) JOSEPH BARTLETT June 6, 1692; (2) JOSEPH HOLMES, JR. June 24, 1704.


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Lieutenant Francis Griswold's Timeline

Kenilworth, Warwickshire, England
May 19, 1633
Age 1
May 19, 1633
Age 1
., Kenilworth, Warwickshire, England
May 19, 1633
Age 1
Kenilworth, Warwicks, England
May 19, 1633
Age 1
Kenilworth, Warwicks, England
May 19, 1633
Age 1
Kenilworth, Warwickshire, England
May 19, 1633
Age 1
Kenilworth, Warwickshire, England
May 19, 1633
Age 1
May 19, 1633
Age 1
Age 3
Kenilworth, Warwickshire, England