Sunday, May 22, 2011

William Jackson Griffith & Catherine Sigmon

We're now entering the somewhat murky waters of my family history.  The information you find below HAS NOT been completely sourced.  I'm posting it in hopes someone out there knows anything that may help.  Because of the prevalence of the name "William Griffith" and "William Jackson Griffith" (and it's variations) during this generation AND the previous generation, tracking has been very tedious, and at times, downright impossible.  It doesn't help that during this and the previous generation, migration to other states was HUGE.  I'll include what I have, what I know, what I speculate, and appreciate any corrections/errors or additional information that you'd like to point out and share.  This is where the "elusiveness" of my Griffith's begins.

Willam J. and Catherine GRIFFITH are my 5th paternal great grandparents.

William Jackson GRIFFITH
        b. 22 Apr 1774 Kent County Maryland
                            *I have also seen 22 Apr 1778 (DAR)
        d. 22 Nov 1861 Switzerland County, Indiana
                             *Also 1866 Hendricks County, Indiana (DAR)
Father: William Jackson GRIFFITH
Mother: Ann "Hannah" UNKNOWN
*Based on information from other researchers, it is thought "Hannah" is actually a cousin who's name is Hannah Griffith Griffith.  However, I've also seen references to his wife being "Ann Blackson/Blackiston/Blakiston"  More on this will be listed on William the Firsts page.

married 1799 Franklin County, Virginia to

Catherine SIGMON
        b. 1783 Franklin County, Virginia
        d. 24 Jun 1846 Switzerland, Indiana
Father: Peter SIGMON
Mother: Mary Hale KATONA
*Peter's first wife was speculation - Indian woman or European woman, by either the name Mary Hale or Mary Katona/Katonka.  I have not verified this information as I have not researched this connection.  5/22/2011.

Interesting Note About This Marriage
I found yesterday, a snippet on the Leffew Family Genealogy Forum at that referenced this William Jackson.
Recently exchanged messages with Carol Adams who has queried this forum. This got me interested in the Leffew family and I started looking in my books for information and happened to find an interesting tidbit in FRANKLIN COUNTY VIRGINIA 1786-1986, A Bicentennial History by John S. and Emily J. Salmon, page 174. "Although singleness was looked at askance, marriage, as most texts for wedding ceremonies point out, was not an institution to be entered into lightly. Neither were engagements, as Jackson Griffith found out when he jilted Rebecca Quigley in 1799 to marry Catherine Sigmon. In Aprill 1800 Quigley sued Griffith for breach of contract; a jury awarded her 18 (pounds) in damages. She married Elias Leffew about 28 June 1802." The footnote is given as: Franklin County Suit Papers, Acc. 23707, Apr 1800, Rebecca Quigley, Spinster v. Jackson Griffin (Griffith).
This little tidbit should help further my research because it gives me 1.) where William Jackson was in 1799 and 2.) name variations he used or was recorded as. 

There is also a wonderful book out there called "The Sigmon's of Virginia" by Juanita Sigmon Halstead that mentions my William Jackson and his father William Jackson (Google book search showed a snippet of it).  The closest copy to me is in Madison, Wisconsin, and sadly, they do not library loan their genealogical materials.  I'm hoping to find a copy, or at least find an index then ask them to copy relevant pages for me.  What's interesting, and unverified since I can't get my hands on the books, is the following:
From Juanita Sigmon Halstead's THE SIGMONS OF VIRGINIA, and from ABSTRACTS OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY DEED BOOKS FRANKLIN COUNTY, VIRGINIA, Volume 1, Deed Book I (1786-1789) and Deed Book II (1789-1793), prepared by Sara Motisher BECK, Franklin County History Project, 1978, I find that Peter SIGMON ... and had judgment levied against him in 1800 in lieu of William Jackson GRIFFIN (presumably his son-in-law), who was said to have fathered a bastard child with Rebecka QUIGLEY.
The page where I found the above quote is here.  I really need to find that book so I can verify this information.

Children of William and Catherine:
1.) William Jackson GRIFFITH
        b. 1794
        d. 1829
        m. Mary JACKSON(unverified)
2.) Benjamin S GRIFFITH
       b.1807/1808 Shelby County, Kentucky
       d. Sep 1880 Pittsboro, Hendricks, Indiana
       b. 1808 Shelby County, Kentucky
       d. 1831
4.) Thomas J. GRIFFITH (click me!)
5.) Joshua D. GRIFFITH
        b. 1822/1823 Ohio/Iowa
        d. 1898/1905 Schuyler, Illinois
        m. Catherine VERNON
This guy is puzzling me.  He is Uncle to my Joshua D b. 1854, but I have 2 conflicting birth dates/locations and 2 conflicting death dates, though the death location is the same.  This man was a highly respected baptist Reverend in Switzerland County, Indiana.  The only other option is that there are actually TWO of them, though the chances of them both dying in the same place 7 years apart are highly unlikely.  I will update his information once I sort it out.
6.) Susan GRIFFITH
        b. 1822
        d. 1860

1820 US Census
1850 US Census
1860 US Census
DAR Genealogical Research System


  1. Hi! I have a copy if the Sigman family tree. We are related though I'm not exactly how yet. I'm trying to find info on katonka and her native heritage. Crazy, I used to live in Madison wisconsin lol. Please email me if you see this. thank you!!!

  2. Hi! I have a copy if the Sigman family tree. We are related though I'm not exactly how yet. I'm trying to find info on katonka and her native heritage. Crazy, I used to live in Madison wisconsin lol. Please email me if you see this. thank you!!!