Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Frank Griffin

Every day is a day to make a new discovery. If I hadn't ordered another monthly subscription to I might not have made this find. I use the one for about $50.00/month that includes a subscription to Fold3 (Database of military records) and

I believe I found the mother and father of Frank Griffin.

As i've said before, Frank Griffin (My mother and grandmother have called him Benjamin Franklin Griffin, yet he comes up on census records as "Frank Griffin", even with the correct info for all of the other household members.), is my great grandfather on my grandmother's side. I previously was having trouble searching for the Griffin side. But I used some of my crafty ingenuity to at least narrow things down to a few names.

For the most part, unless a family is wealthy enough to accrue the cost of travel, a few generations ago most families tended to stay in one place. Not necessarily the same house but quite often the same county or town.

So I searched for a "Frank Griffin" born in 1902 in South Carolina anywhere near either "Saluda" or "Ward", South Carolina (I didn't narrow it down to those names, but I was consciously looking for that connection).

Since a lot of the (Accepted) information I had already found came up under the regular search (All census'), I decided to narrow down my search to just the 1910 Census. Thankfully only a few Frank Griffins came up with the exact info that I needed.

 I know that he wouldn't have even been on the census in 1900s, not having been born, so I scratched that one off immediately.

Some of the Frank Griffins were white, black, and at least one mulatto. But only 3 were born near Ward, South Carolina.

The Frank Griffin who is listed as a mulatto was listed as having been born in Saluda.
His info:  1920 Census (Born in 1905) - Township 7, Saluda, South Carolina

 While a Frank Griffin listed as black is listed in the 1910 Census (Born in 1904) for Wise, Edgefield, SC

I ended up choose another Frank Griffin who was listed as black and lived in 1910 at:

Ward, Edgefield, South Carolina
Which is about 2 hours and 10 minutes from Ward, Saluda. (Where he and Dora Griffin lived with their children). 

I also found mention of him in the 1920 census in which, unsurprisingly he is still living at his parents house. He was born to an Elbert and Virginia Griffin.

Most interestingly in the 1920's his last name is spelled "Griffins". Even though it is the same person in the 1910 census. Even more interesting, my ancestor's last name (Also Frank Griffin) is also spelled "Griffins" in the 1930 census. I believe that this is a mistake that was never rectified. But might have helped me to retrace his footsteps.

For example on the census, Frank Griffin's name is presented as:
Frank Griffin
[Frank Griffins]

P.S I'm going to have to do some more research cause i'm not sure if it's him. Though I believe I am close.


  1. Playing the name game can be frustrating but I can see you're determine to fit the pieces of this puzzle together. I really enjoyed reading your post. Can't wait to see where your search leads you. Great job!

    1. Thank you Bernita. It is frustrating indeed. But I know that he (Or someone he knew/somewhere he went) must have a paper trail somewhere...

  2. Yes, the names can through you for a loop. The ancestors will guide you. Sometimes I will look at the surrounding families to see where they show up. This may give another clue. Thanks for sharing your story.

    1. Thanks J. Looking for paper trails around the person of interest is a great idea.

  3. Welcome! Thank you for sharing your story. I can certainly relate to the frustration of trying to find an ancestor among people with the same name and those who just misspelled the name. Looking forward to hearing more about your ancestors .Great post! :)