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Griswold Genealogy and Griswold Family History Information

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About the Griswold surname

Three interpretations of the name 'Griswold' have been made. (1) Graywood, from the Old High German gris "grey" and Anglo Saxon weald "forest"; (2) Pigyard, from Scandinavian gris "pig" and wold "enclosure"; (3) Dr. R. M. Griswold of Kensington, Conn., who has spent considerable time in England in research at Kenilworth and Solihull, presents a third explanation: "In reference to 'John of Kenilworth' who seems to be the first Griswold we have authentic record of, I think I found collateral evidence enough to warrant the belief that his father or grandfather came from Gottinberg or Gottingen in Thuringia, about 1200, and the old German name was Greifswald. Twenty five or more years ago I met a surgeon in Gottingen who was of this name, and who told me it was tradition in his family that his ancestor of about this date went to Englland during the wars, and remained there; that he (the man who told me) had visited Kenilworth and Solihull, talked with various historians there, looked up records, etc., and there was no doubt in his mind that Griswold was originally 'Greifswald'. Hence the name 'Griswold' which is clearly Teutonic, indicates that the remote ancestors of the Griswold clan were among the Anglo-saxon or danish or Norse invaders of England, or perhaps immigrants from Germany. This is all that can be said with certainty as yet concerning the Continental history of the Griswold clan."

BIOGRAPHY: History of Norwich, Connecticut by Frances Manwaring Caulkins, 1866, Hartford, Case, Lockwood and Co.