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John Gilmore Griffin

Eleanor "Nellie" Sarah Pelan
Born: October 23, 1858 Corrinary*, Co. Monaghan
Born: December 1863 in Lurgen, Co. Armagh
Died: July 16, 1912, Goragh, Co Armagh Died: February 16, 1955 in Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Father: Philip George GRIFFIN Father: John PELAN
Mother:Margaret GILMORE Mother: Eleanor HAZELTON
Married: April 16, 1888 in Londonderry

*According to an account by one of their grandsons, Fred Griffin of Canada, he may have been born at his mother's childhood home at Liscalgot, a townland just outside Crossmaglen: grandmother had come home to Liscalgot to bear the twins, Father and Uncle Richard, walking miles of country road to reach there in an exhausted state.. Her parents were Samuel GILMORE (17895-1868) and Jane COULTER (1801-1866). John GRIFFIN (1858-1912) had a twin brother, Frederick Richard GRIFFIN (1858-1890) who married Mary JACKSON (1844-1921) of Urker.

NOTE:: The first clue that I had that John Gilmore GRIFFIN and Frederick Richard GRIFFIN were brothers.was in a letter from Frederick to his future wife, Mary MENARY née JACKSON.. Both brothers lived at Corrinary, and more to the point, Frederick mentions his brother "Johnny". Photographs of both of them are also part of the archive. See May 5 1886 lettert: Frederick Richard GILMORE to Mary MENARY

Now here is another intriguing possibility to open things up even more. Sarah JACKSON (1774-1828) married a Phil GRIFFIN and they had a son whose name I don't know. But the name "Phil" is intriguing since the father of John Gilmore GRIFFIN was Philip George GRIFFIN. Mary (MENARY) JACKSON was the great-grand-niece of Sarah JACKSON and if my hunch proves out, then Frederick Richard GRIFFIN would be the great-grand nephew of Phil GRIFFIN. Are you with me? This is complicated without the tree in front of you (although you can see my tree at: Rootsweb which might help). The intriguing thing is that this kind of looping back and intermarrying within the same family was very common in this time and place and class.

Sharon Oddie Brown, June 24, 2005. Updated July 6. 2016 - more to come.

NOTE: I am indebted to Walter Richardson who recently passed on information relating to dates and ancestry shown above. SOURCE: Email from Walter Richardson, February 20, 2004.

See also Griffin Family Photos and Griffin Family Tree

Eleanor S. GRIFFIN widow of John Gilmore GRIFFIN emigrated to Canada in 1912 with her 6 sons. Lived at Laurel Apartments, 104 Kippendavie Avenue, Toronto, Canada.


From left to right (my best guess, going from later photos of them): John "Jack" Pelan Griffin, Sydney Herbert Griffin, father John Gilmore Griffin, Frederick Gilmore Griffin, Gerald Walter Griffin, mother Eleanor S. Griffin, Victor Ernest Griffin, Philip "Pat" George Griffin. The photo likely dates from about 1907 (given the age of Gerald - the youngest).
Sharon Oddie Brown, December 31, 2003.

Identifications updated January 10, 2007 thanks to Victor GRIFFIN.

Frederick Gilmore GRIFFIN was born March 5th, 1889 in Newry, Co. Armagh and died 1945 in Toronto, Canada at age 56 (A heart attack sustained after shovelling snow.) He was the author of “Soviet Scene” & “Variety Show”. Jeannie MOORHEAD's memorabilia box contained a full page newsclipping relating to his death, another relating to his daughter Mary who was in the R.C.A.F. wireless school, as well as a copy of a letter from the Prime Minister of condolences to his wife.

Niagara Falls Gazette Jan 17 1946 HEART ATTACK FATAL: Frederick Griffin, for 30 years a top-ranking newspaper writer, who suffered a heart attack at his home in Toronto, Ont., and died at the age of 56. He was overseas for five years, covering nearly every phase of Canada's fighting forces Born near Newry, Co Down, Ireland, he came to Canada at the age of 23.
Thanks to transcription by Nan Brennan

John "Jack" Pelan GRIFFIN of Toronto The following newsclippings were scanned at Gilford Castle.

Griffin-Govier – June 25, at St. James Square United Church, Toronto, Canada, John Pelan, second son of the late John Gilmore Griffin, Newry, and Mrs. Griffin, Toronto, to Ethel Adella, daughter of the late Mr. And Mrs. R.A. Govier, Clinton Ontario.

John Pelan & Ethel Adella Griffin - photo enclosed in letter of 1928 from Nellie Griffin to Mollie Wright

Gerald Walter GRIFFIN of St. John, NB. b. December 2, 1900.

Griffin-Davidson – October 15 at St. Clement’s Church, North Toronto, by Rev Canon Fidler – Gerald Walter, youngest son of the late John Gilmore Griffin, Newry, and Mrs. Griffin, Toronto, to Marguerite Palmer, daughter of Captain J.R. and Mrs. Davidson, Glen Goval, Methel Scotland. NOTE: Date was likely 1929
GRIFFIN – On 6th October, 1932 at the private Pavillion to Mr. And Mrs. Gerald Griffin (née Marguerite Davidson) 168 Courcelette road, a son, Michael Philip.
Gerald Walter Griffin - photo enclosed in 1928 letter from Nellie Griffin to Mollie Wright

Philip G “Pat” GRIFFIN In a letter from Mary GRIFFIN to Sally WHITESIDE (MCCULLAGH) 17July 1918, “Cecil Major Kathleen, Johnny's daughter's husband is in the thick of it also Russell Jackson and Philip Griffin.” A newsclipping Toronto Star, August 6, 1942 reports: Lieut-Col Philip (Pat) Griffin, who is reported seriously ill overseas. A trooper in the last war, he was commissioned on the field in 1916, served in Canada's armed forces until 1930. He re-enlisted in 1940 and went overseas in 1941. Frederick Griffin, Starr staff writer, a brother, is also in Britain.

Griffin-Atkinson – July 4, 1936 at Shaughnessy United Church, Vancouver, Canada by Rev H. Smith, DD – Captain Philip George Griffin, late Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) son of the late Mr. John Gilmore Griffin, Newry, and Mrs.Griffin, Toronto to Florence Marie Atkinson, R.N. daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W.E. Atkinson, Claresholm, Alberta, Canada.


Sydney H. GRIFFIN, MC. Died April 15, 1941 while commanding internment camp in Quebec. A undated news clipping (likely from the Toronto Daily Star) reports: Major Sydney H. Griffin, M.C. died early today, aged 46 at St. Anne's military hospital, Montreal as the sequel to an attack of coronary thrombosis suffered in December. He was commandant of an internment camp in Quebec. Born in Ireland and known to many veterans as "Paddy" Griffin, he was an "original" of the last war, one of four brotehrs who served at the front in the C.E.F., Victor being killed in action at the SOmme. He went overseas from Toronto in August 1914 as a private in the 3rd Battallion. Given his commission on the field in 1915, he was posted to the 4th Battallion, became adjutant, was mentioned in dispatches, won the Military Cross. For some time after his return from overseas he was second in command of the Toronto Regiment; then, going to live in Montral, gave up army connections. Last year he donned khaki again and was posted to special duty. A brother, Philip G. Griffin, also rejoined the army and is now on active service with the Fort Gary Horse in the armoured division. Surviving are his wife, Mrs. S.H. Griffin, three sons and two daughters, all of 4443 Old Orchard Avenue; and his mother, Mrs. J.G. Griffin, 48 Columbine Ave., Toronto, as well as Frederick and John P. Griffin of Toronto and Gerald W. Griffin of Saint John, N.B., brothers. Word is being awaited of funeral arrangements.

Nellie Griffin is standing at the rear. The man is presumably Sydney Griffin and the children Jack, Desmond & Eleanor. This photo was in the 1928 letter from Nellie Griffin to Mollie Wright

Victor Ernest GRIFFIN b. 1897 d. 15 Sept. 1916, age 19 (see Commonwealth War Graves Commission). Served in the 18th Bn. Canadian Infantry (Western Ontario Regiment) Killed at Courcellette. Memorialized on the Vimy Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. In a letter from Mary GRIFFIN to Sally WHITESIDE (McCULLAGH), 27Jan1917 “Victor Griffin was the only one killed so far. His death was instantaneous being killed by a mine explosion.” He served as a private.




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