Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Other Children of John T. Griffin

George Roscoe Oliver Rutherfurd, as a child

In my previous post, I discussed the brief marriage of Anne Amelia Dickson and John T. Griffin, resulting in their son, my great-grandfather, George Roscoe Oliver Rutherfurd. Here, I’ll share a little more about John’s children from his first marriage to Ellen Pearsall. These children were the half-siblings of George Rutherfurd, although they did not live together, and in fact these children may not have even known of George’s existence.

The children of John Griffin:

Ella May Griffin was born 7 Jun 1862, in New York. She married Hiram Palmer, Jr. and spent her married life living in Chicago. The 1910 census lists her occupation as dressmaker. Ella May and Hiram had only one child, Kennetha T. Palmer. Kennetha was born February 1889 in Illinois. She married Albert William Opel and they had five children, Ella May Opel (b. 1912), Harry Palmer Opel (b. 1921), Kennetha Opel (b. 1922), Jessie Opel (b. 1924) and Albert Opel (b. aft. 1924). Ella May Palmer died 16 Oct 1949, in Chicago. The Chicago Daily Tribune listed the following obituary on October 17:

PALMER, Ella May Palmer, late of 6830 S. Lowe avenue, beloved wife of the late Hiram, loving mother of Mrs. Albert W. Opel, grandmother of Mrs. E.D. Nix, Harry Palmer Opel, Kennetha Edwards, Jessie Tatter, Albert W. Opel, Jr., great-grandmother of eight, sister of Harry P. Griffin of Detroit, Mich. 

Howard B. Griffin was born about 1864 in New York.  Despite claims that Howard married Annie Dupuis on 10 Feb 1884 in Amherstburg, Ontario, I think the Howard who married Annie may not be our relative.  Our Howard married Charlotte Estelle Pearsall in 1882.  She was his first cousin, the daughter of his mother's brother, Daniel Wellington Pearsall.  They spent their early married life in Canada and Detroit, but later returned to New York, where they lived the rest of their lives.  Their children were Purcaval Griffin (b. 1884), Florence Griffin (b. 1886), Winifred Pearsall Griffin (b. 1892), Howard Griffin (b. 1894) and Arthur Griffin (b. 1897). Howard died in New York in 1918.

Clarence Griffin, was born about 1866, likely in New York. He died prior to his sister Ella’s death in 1949. There is very little information about Clarence in civil records, which raises the possibility that he may have died young.

Milton A. Griffin was born about 1876, Ontario, Canada. He married Melitta Becker on 3 Jun 1889 in Detroit, Michigan. Elizabeth Rice and John Griffin were witnesses to the marriage. They had a daughter, Ella M. Griffin, born April 1900, in New York. The 1900 census for New York shows Melitta and baby Ella living with Melitta’s parents, William and Ellen, with Milton’s whereabouts unknown.

Harry Pearsall Griffin was born 25 Jul 1879 in Ontario, Canada. He married Leah H. Bache on 24 Dec 1907 in Detroit, Michigan. Harry’s date of death is unknown, but per sister Ella’s obit, he was still alive at the time of her death in 1949. It is believed that Harry and Leah had no children.

I am hoping to contact the descendants of these individuals to see if they may have inherited any photos of John T. Griffin, or any documents or family histories that would tell us more about John.

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