Griswold family

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Griswold Family
Griswold Family Crest.JPG
Ethnicity English, Possibly Germany
Current region United States, England
Place of origin Solihull, England, United Kingdom
Members Matthew Griswold, Roger Griswold, John Augustus Griswold
Connected families Wolcott, Forbes, Bradford
Estate(s) Malvern Hall, Blackhall, John N. A. Griswold House

The Griswold family (/ˈɡrɪzwɔːld, -wəld/)[1] is an American political family from Connecticut and New York of English descent. The family's fortune originates from the 19th Century industrial and merchant pursuits.

Family origins[edit]

The first members of the family to arrive in America were the brothers Edward and Matthew Griswold, landing initially at Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1639 and continuing on as part of the group of colonists settling Windsor, Connecticut.[2] In 1646, Matthew married Anna Wolcott and moved to Old Saybrook, Connecticut and was later Deputy and Commissioner of Lyme, Connecticut, quickly amassing thousands of acres of land and become one of the richest men in the colony.[3] Edward Griswold remained in Windsor and played pivotal roles in the early politics of the colony. Many of his descendants moved west to New York following the American Revolution and founded the New York branch of the family, of whom Congressman John Augustus Griswold is descended from.

Legacy and accumulation of wealth[edit]


John Augustus Griswold of the New York branch of the family made a considerable fortune in the iron and steel industry, forming the Albany and Rensselaer Iron and Steel Works of Troy, New York. During the American Civil War, Griswold financed at his personal expense the USS Monitor and later engaged his iron business in the production of other Monitor class ironclad ships.[4] Griswold later become president of the Troy and Lansingburgh Railroad, of the Troy and Cohoes Railroad and of the New Orleans, Mobile and Texas Railroad.

Matthew Griswold, grandson of governor Roger Griswold, founded the Griswold Manufacturing Company of Erie, Pennsylvania.

China trade and shipping[edit]

Members of the Connecticut branch of the family moved to New York City around the turn of the 19th Century and engaged with the China Trade. George Griswold Jr operated clipper ships to China and amassed a great fortune; setting up residence on Fifth Avenue.[5] John Griswold, brother of George Jr, was responsible for building the John N. A. Griswold House in Newport, Rhode Island.[5]

Notable family members[edit]

Noted as businessmen[edit]

Noted as politicians and activists[edit]

Many Griswold family members were influential in politics in the states of Connecticut and New York.

Art and culture[edit]




  1. ^ "Griswold". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.
  2. ^ Salisbury, Edward (1892). The Griswold Family of Connecticut. New Haven: Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor. 
  3. ^ Salisbury, Edward (1892). The Griswold Family of Connecticut. New Haven: Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor. p. 132. 
  4. ^ "John A. Griswold Papers, 1848-1894". New York State Library web site. New York State Library. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Major, Judith (2013). Mariana Griswold Van Rensselaer: A Landscape Critic in the Gilded Age. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press.