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Photo montage of ancestors

Welcome to the Griffis Family Blog: Selected Stories of Past Generations.

This blog is intended for family members and those interested in family genealogy. It provides an accessible forum of short narratives on a variety of topics involving my family research. The narratives or stories highlight various individual family members, their families, and life experiences that I have been able to document through my family research. Rather than simply provide a family tree with names and dates, I wish to ‘bring to life’ some of the facts surrounding family members. Some of the stories are fragments, limited by the lack of documentation while other stories are rich with historical background, facts, photos and other documentation. I also wish to share the process of discovery that I experienced while documenting the past.

While I provide documentation and sources for my research, my intent is not to provide detailed, scholarly research. My intent is to share the results of my research to those that are interested by presenting “facts and informed hunches” in a form akin to oral story telling.

Family members may recall stories or have stories of their own regarding members of past generations. These stories that compose our family oral history are valuable and treasured. Based on my research, I also want to create new stories of family members that otherwise have been hidden in the past. I hope to infuse ‘life’ and meaning into what are otherwise merely census facts, shards of paper or a photograph.

I also have a substantial collection of family photographs and artifacts. While I consider the preservation of these family artifacts to be important, it is equally important to share access or provide visibility to these material artifacts to my family and other interested parties. I will try to utilize these photographs and artifacts in various stories and share them in photo galleries.

Learn more or if you have any questions or comments →

Additional Information and Acknowledgements

The Griffis family is merely a starting point. My family in the United States starts in the colonial era in the New York state area and includes other ‘family branches’ of the tree.

You can also find additional information on other surnames that may be found in future stories.

You can also view a detailed list of family surnames in my Griffis family tree.

The photograph at the top of the home page is an undated photograph taken in the 1870’s of a glove factory in Gloversville, NY. On back of the photo is an hand writtern inscription: “Littauer’s Paying Off Room, the shop floor”, glove making. (date unknown). John Wolfgang Sperber is in the center with arms folded. John Sperber is a descendant from the maternal side of Harold Griffis.

The second photograph that appears with the ‘Acknowledgements’ page was taken around 1911 and includes Ira Lee and his wife Fanny Griffis, in their ‘new’ store in Hudson Falls, New York.

The collage of photographs at the top of this page contain left to right: a formal portrait of Squire Dutcher (Evelyn Dutcher’s father), a photograph of Evelyn Dutcher Griffis as a young child, Charles Knopf (married to Rose Sperber), Littauer’s Paying Off Room, Charles Griffis (father of Harold Griffis) and young Harold, Fannie Griffis (Charles’ sister) and Charlotte Weatherbee Griffis (mother of George Griffis – Harold’s step father who actually was his 2nd cousin once removed, that will be a future story).

Acknowledgements

I wish to acknowledge Jane Scribner McCrary’s influence on my creating this blog. Through our mutual passion for family research, we discovered through our efforts to document facts related to the Hart family that we are distant cousins. Jane is resolute in her efforts to document family discoveries. I have learned and continue to learn the art of patience, disciplined research, and creativity through her efforts.

I also wish to thank Susan Montagne who provided documents that allowed me to push the ‘wall’ back a generation on the family surname and discover a host of Griffis(th)(es) family members in Canada and the United States! I did not realize there were so many!

I also am grateful for my grandparents and parents for keeping photographs, yearbooks, and other family documents in their possession. All of these documents and artifacts become building blocks to create narratives of our family history.