Francis Griswold1,2

(circa 1629 - October 1671)

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Relationship9th great-grandfather of The 3 Tracys
Family Group:Tracy
Trees14 Generations of Our Ancestors
Our Tracy Family Pedigree

Some Background

Francis Griswold was also known as Lieut. Francis Griswold. "He was called Lieutenant, though a record of his commision has not been found", according to Jacobus.4
FatherEdward Griswold3 (26 Jul 1607 - 30 Aug 1690)
MotherMargaret (c. 1610 - 23 Aug 1670)

Birth - Marriage - Death

ChildFrancis Griswold was born circa 1629, in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, England.4
GroomHe married Sarah circa 1650 in Saybrook, New Haven Colony, New England. They were probably married in Saybrook as that is where the births of his four eldest children were recorded.
     There has been considerable confusion regarding the name of Francis' wife, the mother of his children. The article, "MAJOR WILLIAM BRADFORD'S SECOND WIFE: WAS SHE THE WIDOW OF FRANCIS GRISWOLD?," New England Historic Genalogical Register, says in reference to Francis Griswold, "The given name of his wife, who came with him from Saybrook, was Sarah. Her surname has not been ascertained. In spite of persistent claims to the contrary we do at least know that she was not the daughter of Thomas Tracy". Nor Mary the daughter of Stephen Tracy for that matter.
     There is clear, solid information that the wife of Francis Griswold of Norwich was named Sarah, not Mary. The New London County Court records from 17 Sep 1672 show overseers of the estate of Widow Sarah Griswold being appointed. The Griswold Foundation also supports the wife of Francis as being named Sarah.
     Caulkins says, "name of wife is unknown and not named in either Saybrook or Norwich". Jacobus says, "The name of his wife is unknown. The statement that he married Mary Tracy appears to have originated in "Fifty Puritan Ancestors," by E. T. Nash, 1902, but although often repeated since, no evidence has been adduced, and no Mary Tracy has been found who could have been his wife. Lieut. Thomas Tracy had no such daughter. Possibly the statement was due to a confusion of his wife with the daughter Mary Griswold who married a Tracy."5,4,6
DeceasedHe died in October 1671 in Norwich, New London Co., Connecticut Colony, New England, the same month that his youngest child, Lydia, was born. His widow was left to care for seven youngsters aged from just days, for newborn Lydia, to 18 years.7,4

Children with Sarah:

Immigrant Ancestor

In 1639, Francis Griswold arrived in Windsor, Hartford Co., Connecticut Colony, New England, with his parents, Edward Griswold and Margaret Griswold. They, and Edward's brother Matthew, emigrated from the family home in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, England, and probably arrived in New England with the group led by the Puritan minister Rev. Ephraim Huet who settled in Windsor that year. Matthew had removed to Saybrook by 1649 while Edward, who was accompanied by his wife Margaret and their four eldest children (daughter Sarah b. 1631 had died before the family emigrated), remained in Windsor until at least 1662.8,9,10

Founder or First Settler

Francis Griswold, along with Thomas Tracy Sr. was one of the proprietors of Norwich, New London Co., Connecticut Colony, New England, Fall 1659;
     "...the Purchase of sd town was made in ye month of June, 1659 by 35 men." Thomas Tracy Sr., Francis Griswold and Hugh Calkins were among the 35. (As was Thomas' eldest son, John - thought to have been still a minor as he is listed as among a small group of secondary proprietors.) By the fall of 1659, the proprietors had surveyed the township, laid out the town plot, measured and assigned house lots, and even opened a "highway" between Norwich and Saybrook.
     (The three men, Tracy, Calkins, and Griswold, are all ancestors of Our Tracy Family; Tracy and Griswold via the Tracy line; Calkins via the Ohlheiser line. Their neighbor, Thomas Minor is also an ancestor, via the Corkum line.)11

Community Service

Between 1664 and 1671, in Norwich, New London Co., Connecticut Colony, New England, Francis Griswold was elected eleven times to serve as Deputy for Norwich to the Connecticut Colony's Legislature. In 1666 he was on the Committee for the Stonington Indians.12,4

Sources - Citations

  1. [S278] Frances Manwaring Caulkins, History of Norwich Connecticut: From its possession by the Indians to the year 1866 (Hartford: The Author, 1866), pg. 176/7, confirms name of father, mother,.
  2. [S149] Mike Cattin - Compiler, online at (RootsWeb's World Connect Project GEDCOMs), downloaded 23 Jan 2006.
  3. [S774] Donald Lines Jacobus, The Waterman Family, Vol. I of 2 vols. (New Haven, Conn.: Edgar F. Waterman, 1939). ppg. 665 - 671, pg. 665.
  4. [S774] Donald Lines Jacobus, The Waterman Family, pg. 667.
  5. [S769] David Joy Webber, "MAJOR WILLIAM BRADFORD'S SECOND WIFE: WAS SHE THE WIDOW OF FRANCIS GRISWOLD?", New England Historic Genalogical Register v. July 2001, pp 245 - 250.
  6. [S278] Frances Manwaring Caulkins, History of Norwich Connecticut, pgs. 176/7 says wife is unknown...
  7. [S278] Frances Manwaring Caulkins, History of Norwich Connecticut, pg. 177, confirms month and year of death.
  8. [S774] Donald Lines Jacobus, The Waterman Family.
  9. [S278] Frances Manwaring Caulkins, History of Norwich Connecticut, pgs. 176/7 implies immigrated before 1640.
  10. [S192] P. William Filby, Editor, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s (Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale Research, 2012). Online publication - Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc, 2010., Place: New England; Year: 1639.
  11. [S278] Frances Manwaring Caulkins, History of Norwich Connecticut, pg. 60, citing a quotation from manuscript of Rev. Dr. Lord, pastor of the First Church of Norwich.
  12. [S336] Gary Boyd Roberts, English Origins of New England Families: from the NEHGR (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1985), vol. 4, pg 982.
  13. [S278] Frances Manwaring Caulkins, History of Norwich Connecticut, pg. 177, confirms name of father, date and place of birth.
Last Edited8 Dec 2017

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