A Giffin Family History by John (Jack) Howard White


This web page is dedicated to my Uncle Jack White who passed away on November 20, 2006. This document was written by my uncle, John (Jack) Howard White, who lived in Deep River, Ontario. He was the eldest in his family of originally seven children, now two. The numbers you see to the left of a person's name, such as "39 Simon Giffin", represents my uncle's own id numbering system. The roman numerals beside someone's name represent the birth order in the family. I have edited some of the content for consistentcy of province and state abbreviations, and spelling. The source for people down to about Dwight Giffin is the book "Simon Giffin and His Descendants". Thereafter it's our White family history and various sources that I have noted.

I have added some notes based on the 1900 Census of Canada which I helped index at www.automatedgenealogy.com, and on the US Censuses indexed at www.ancestry.com.

Geoffrey Wyght, Cincinnati, OH

39 Simon Giffin, born circa 1711, Northern Ireland, died Halifax, Lower Canada (Nova Scotia), 9 Sept. 1774. The intent of Simon Giffin to marry Jennett Lechman, born 1718, Boston MA. was published on 24 Dec. 1739, Boston MA. Simon Giffin and Jennett Lechman were married at Boston by The Reverend John Moorehead, Presbyterian Minister. Jennett Lechman died 27 Dec. 1752. Simon married a second time at Bridgewater MA. to Jennet (Miller) Brown widow of David Brown. She died 8 Dec. 1777. After the death of his first wife, Jennet Lechman, the children were sent to Boston to be raised by their Grandmother Lechman.

Simon Giffin and his wives are buried in the old burial ground of St. Pauls Church, Halifax NS. St. Pauls Anglican church, the first church in Halifax was patterned after Marleybone Chapel, later known as, St. Peters, Vere Street, London England. The church frames were constructed in Boston and shipped to Halifax, The church could seat nine hundred and was one of the few buildings not destroyed in the explosion of 6 Dec. 1917.

Simon Giffin is believed to have sailed from Belfast Northern Ireland before 1739 and resided in Boston until 1749 when he left to live in Halifax. His occupation in Boston is not known. In Halifax he was a Distiller and owned considerable property in Halifax and in the towns of Chester and Hardwick MA. Simon Giffin's will dated 21 June 1768 and probated 15 Sept. 1774 left his estate to his wife Jane Giffin.

Children of Simon Giffin Sr. and Jennett Lechman.

40 i George Giffin, baptized, 3 Feb. 1740, Boston MA.died 13 May 1821, Enfield, CT. He was a Shoemaker and an accomplished musician, and fought in the first battle of Bunker Hill, 17 June 1775.

41 ii Simon Giffin Jr. Bapt. 5 July 1741, Boston MA.

42 iii Elizabeth Giffin, Bapt. 13 April 1746, Boston MA. Died 30 Oct. 1824, married John Morrison.

43 iv John Giffin, Bapt. 28 Feb. 1748, died 6 July 1767, age 19 years. Buried in the old burial grounds, St. Pauls Church, Halifax NS. No children from the marriage of, Simon Giffin Sr. and Jennett (Miller) Brown.

41 Simon2(Simon1)Giffin, Bapt. 5 July 1741,by Rev. John Moorehead, Pastor of, The Presbyterian Church of The Strangers, Boston,  MA. died at Wethersfield Conn. 6 Nov. 1820, married, at Hardwick MA. 24 Mar. 1761, Abigail Higgins, born, 29 July, 1737, at Eastham MA. daughter of, Elisha Higgins Jr. and his wife Hannah(Atwood)Doane, daughter of, David Doane and Dorthy Horton. Simon Giffin and Abigail Higgins resided at Hardwick MA. until, 1767/8 when they legally separated. He married2, at Wethersfield Conn. by Rev. Barrage Meriam, 12 Dec. 1771, Lydia Crane, born, at Wethersfield, 23 May, 1741, Bapt. 13 June, 1745, Lydia Crane, daughter of, Sergeant John Crane and his wife, Lydia(Curtis) Crane.

Simon Giffin Jr. served in the revolutionary war against England , 1776-1783, he enlisted, 28 Feb 1777 and was promoted to, Sergeant Major, 12 April 1778, became, Quarter Master Sergeant of, Samuel B. Webb's 3rd Connecticut Regiment from, 23 May, 1779 to 6 June, 1783. He was placed on pension, 12 May, 1818. Simon Giffin was a manufacturer of spinning wheels while he resided in Wethersfield. He and his wife Lydia Crane are believed to be buried in the Crane family plot, Wethersfield, CT.

Children of Simon Giffin Jr. and Abigail Higgins, all born, Hardwick MA.

41a Edward Giffin,born, 30 Dec. 1761/2

41b ii James Giffin, born, 22 Feb. 1764.

41c ii David Doane Giffin, born, 8 Sept. 1766.

Children of Simon Giffin and Lydia Crane, all born, Wethersfield CT.

41d iv George Giffin, born, 19 May, 1772.

41e v Ann Giffin, born, 19 Nov. 1774.

41f vi John Giffin, born, 6 Feb. 1777.

37 James7(Abigail6Higgins,Elisha5Higgins,Elisha4Higgins,Elizabeth3Rogers, Joseph2Rogers,Thomas1Rogers)Giffin, son of Abigail Higgins and Simon Giffin Jr. born,, 22 Feb, 1764, Hardwick, MA. died, 3 Sept. 1823, near Maitland Upper Canada, married, 28 Sept. 1786, at Palmer, MA. Lucy Hamilton, born, between 31 Jan. and 10 Feb. 1763, at Brookfield, MA. daughter of Lieutenant John Hamilton and his wife Joanna Woolcott. Lucy Hamilton's Grandparents were, John Hamilton and his wife, Mary Wheeler, Captain, Nathaniel Woolcott and his wife, Deborah Walker.

Children of James Giffin and Lucy Hamilton.

42 i James Giffin, born, 9 July, 1787/8, served in the American forces, war of 1812/13, also in Mexico, later went to France.

43 ii Dwight Giffin, born, 18 Sept. 1790.

44 iii Asa Giffin, born, 9 Mar. 1792, buried, Blue Church, cemetery, Prescott,

45 iv Abigail Giffin, born, 28 Mar. 1795, Fort Ann, N.Y. died, 5 Jan. 1868, married, Abraham Albert, born, 25 Aug. 1763, Rhinebeck, N.Y.

46 v Horatio Giffin, born, 5 June, 1801, died, 1856, Peekskill, N.Y.

47 vi Morgan Giffin, born, 12 Dec. 1796, died, 8 Dec. 1843, Kingston ON Can.

48 vii Lucinda Giffin, born, 1803,died, 30 Jan. 1879, married,1Nathaniel Brown, married2, Rev. Isaac Puffer.

49 viii John Giffin, No information

Dwight8(James7Giffin,Abigail6 Higgins,Elisha5Higgins,Elisha4Higgins,Elizabeth3 Rogers,Joseph2Rogers,Thomas1Rogers)Giffin, born, 19 Sept. 1790, Bennington Vermont, died, 5 Mar. 1881, Leeds Co. ON married1,Elizabeth(Betsy)Bates, born, 1797, died, 10 May, 1854, Leeds Co. ON both buried, Athens village, cemetery, Leeds, Co. married2, before, 13 Mar. 1851, Wealthy (Bradshaw)Clow, widow of Abel Coleman Clow.

His will dated, 13 Mar. 1850 mentions, my four sons, Ninian, Dorcas, Franklin, James, daughter, Sarah Botsford and his beloved, Wealthy, as his Executors. Dwight Giffin came to Upper Canada, Ca. 1817 and purchased land about three miles from Athens village.

Elizabeth Bates, daughter of, Captain, George Bates, UE, born, 1766, Stamford, CT.(Darien)US, son of, John Bates and Sarah Bostick, he was the brother of Walter Bates, UE. born, 14 Mar. 1760, died, 1842, Kingston.

George Bates came to Upper Canada, 1791 from Nisconny NY (on the CT. line). As a Loyalist he aquired seven hundred acres of land on the eighth line, rear of Escott and Yonge townships, Leeds Co. He married, Patience Churchill, UE. born, 1768, Tribes Hill, Mohawk Valley, N.Y. daughter of, Israel Churchill and his wife, Hannah. George Bates and Patience were the parents of fourteen children, eleven living to maturity.

Children of Dwight Giffin and Elizabeth Bates.

50 i Lucy Giffin, born, 10 Aug. 1818, died, 12 July, 1882, at Lyndhurst, Ontario, married, Roland Stafford. 5 children.

51 ii Dorns(Dorcas) Giffin, born, 20 Oct. 1819, died young.

52 iii Charles Ninian Giffin, born, 8 Dec. 1820, Athens ON resided, New York City, later Michigan.

53 iv Hamilton Giffin, born, 20 May, 1824, Athens ON died, 10 Feb. 1904, buried, Methodist church cemetery, Lyn Ontario, married, Mary Jane Clow, daughter of Abel Coleman Clow and Wealthy Bradshaw. 5 children.

54 v James Giffin, born, 25 Mar. 1826, Athens Ont, died, 1898, Athens, married, Elizabeth Cio, 2 children.

55 vi Sarah Giffin, born, 16 April, 1828, Athens ON died, 1898, Athens, married, Horace Botsford, born, 25 Mar. 1826, died, 1895, 7 children.

56 vii George Giffin, born, 3 June, 1830, died young.

57 viii Franklin Giffin, born, 28 May, 1832, Athens, Leeds Co. ON died, 19 Mar. 1902. Athens ON buried, St. James Catholic church cemetery Trevelyan, Leeds Co.

58 ix George Doras Giffin, born, 5 Aug. 1839, Athens, said to have lived in Arkansas.

57 Franklin9(Dwight8Giffin,James7Giffin,Abigail6Higgins,Elisha5Higgins,Elisha4 Higgins,Elizabeth3Rogers,Joseph2Rogers,Thomas1Rogers)Giffin, born, 28 May, 1832, Leeds Co. Ontario,(near Athens ON), died, 19 Mar. 1902, buried, St James Catholic church Cemetery, Trevelyan, Leeds Co. ON married (1), Julia Hudson, daughter of, Michael Hudson born, 1792/3, died, 15 Feb. 1871, and his wife, Julia Ann Hudson, buried, St. James Cemetery, Trevelyan, Leeds Co. Franklin Giffin married (2), Sarah Slack, born, 14 Feb. 1841, died, 31 MA. 1928. There isn't any evidence of Franklin Giffin in the 1901 Census of Canada.

Here is the marriage record of Franklin Giffin and Sarah Slack:

2415-75 (Frontenac Co) Francis GIFFIN, 38, farmer, Yonge, Gananoque, widower, son of Dwight GIFFIN & Elizabeth BATES, married Sarah SLACK, 36, Yonge, Gananoque, daughter of Benjamin SLACK & Sarah KEAGH?, witness: Rev. W. LARKIN, Kingston, 24 June 1875, Kingston

Children of Franklin Giffin and Julia Hudson.

59 i John Giffin, born, Leeds Co. before,1863, died, probably California, after 1919. He is known to have been in California as early as 1892. A letter dated, Feb. 1892, from his wife to her sister-in-law, Lucy(Giffin)White stated " John left for Central America, 28 Jan. (1892) and we do not expect to hear from him for six weeks " It was believed that John Giffin was engaged in excavation of ruins in the Yucatan and may have benefitted from discoveries there. John Giffin corresponded with his sister, Lucy Giffin until the time of her death in 1919, from his home in San Bernadino CA. The 1920 US Census has a George D. Giffen in the Santa Clara township, Santa Clara county, California. He is a roomer, a widow, 59 at his last birthday, emigrated in 1891. His occupation is a foreman at a mill.

60 ii Lucy Giffin born 13 July 1863, Leeds Co. ON, died 19 Sept. 1919, Smiths Ont, buried in the White family plot, St. Francis de Sales Roman Catholic Cemetery, Smiths Falls ON., married 12 June 1883, St. Francis Xavier, Catholic Church Brockville ON John Thomas White, son of Nicholas White and Ellen Powers, The 1871 census of Leeds Co. records that Lucy Giffin was living with the Slack family, Sarah Slack was residing at the same residence, no evidence of Franklin Giffin.

61 iii Albert Giffin, born Leeds Co, ON married, Brockville ON Mary Coleman.

62 iv Elizabeth Giffin, born, 1856, died, 1886, buried, Catholic cemetery, Trevelyan, Leeds Co. married, James Flood, The 1871, census of Leeds Co. records she was living with a Dodds family.

Children of Franklin Giffin and Sarah Slack.

Mary, aged 5 in the 1881 Census. Mary was born June 19 1876 and died on December 17 1881 of diptheria. 63 i George Edward Giffin, born Feb. 1 1878, Farmersville, Leeds Co. ON died, Belleville ON 1949, married, Mary Ellen Fenton, she died, Belleville, 1940. George Giffin and family resided in Belleville ON

64 ii Francis Brock Giffin, born, 10 Dec. 1881, Leeds Co. died, 26 April, 1948, Brockville, married, 10 Oct. 1905, Margaret MacDonald, born, 1880, daughter of, James MacDonald and his wife Margaret O'Connor. Margaret MacDonald died, 1955, both buried, Catholic cemetery Brockville ON

Here is the marriage record of Francis Brock Giffin and Margaret MacDonald:

#012095-05 - Francis James TIFFIN (or Giffin), 24, section man, Gananoque, same, son of Francis TIFFIN (or Giffin) & Sarah MACK, married Margaret MACDONALD, 23, Lansdowne, same, daughter of James MACDONALD & Margaret O'CONNOR, witness James LYNCH & Ann MCDONALD, both of Lansdowne, 10 Oct 1905 at Gananoque, RC

65 iii Margaret Ella (Nellie) Giffin, born November 12, 1879 (source 1900 Census of Canada) Leeds Co. married, Ulysses Riches, resided, Alexandria Bay, N.Y. USA. In 1900, Nellie was a domestic in a Brockville family (East Ward, B-2). In the 1900 Census of Canada, Ulysses is recorded as Ulisses Riches, a lodger in Brockville South Ward, d-1, page 12. He was born on April 6, year not recorded, but his age at last birthday in the 1900 census, was 27. The 1910 US Census records that they emigrated to the US in 1902. They lived in Jefferson County where Ulysses was a farmer.

Children of Ulysses Riches and Nellie Giffin.

Daughter Florence age 4 at last birthday in 1910, daughter Madeline age 14 at last birthday in 1920, son Harford age 5 at last birthday in 1920, son Howard age 6 at last birthday in 1930, daughter Gertrude age 4 10/12 at last birthday in 1930. All born in New York. Florence and Madeline are probably the same person. There is a Madeline F. Riches buried in the Church St. Cemetery in Alexandria Bay, New York. Born 8 May 1905 died 27 Jan 1955. This correlates well with the Florence and Madeline census entries. Source: TOWN OF ALEXANDRIA CEMETERY INSCRIPTIONS There is also a Harold C. Riches in the same cemetery with dates born 17 Aug 1912, died 4 Oct 1912. There are several Riches buried in Grove Cemetery, Orleans, Jefferson County, New York state. They include:

There is a Frank Riches in the 1900 Census of Canada in Brockville, South Ward, d-2 living with a brother George Riches. Frank was a widow at this time. Ulysses is probably a cousin to Frank and George but I have no proof of that. Frank was born October 7, 1867. In the 1910 US Census of Alexandria Bay, Jefferson County, New York, there is a Frank Riches who emigrated from Canada in the late 1890's or 1902, depending on which US Census you read. His wife is Anna, 38 at last birthday in 1910, born in Canada. Daughter Leila 6 at last birthday in 1910. By the 1930 US Census, Frank is a widow. It is recorded that Frank was 24 when he was married. There is a Frank P. Riches buried in the Plessis Cemetery in Alexandria Bay, New York. Born 1867, died 1954, married 11 Oct 1901. There is an Anna Riches (ne Wright) buried in the Plessis Cemetery in Alexandria Bay, New York. Wife of Frank P. Riches, born 17 Sep 1871, died 15 Jul 1929. Source: TOWN OF ALEXANDRIA CEMETERY INSCRIPTIONS

John and Lucy White resided in Lyn, Ontario for several years where five of their children were born. They moved to Westport on the Rideau Lakes, then moved to Smiths Falls. John White was employed at the Frost & Woods Foundry as a Pattern Maker. He continued as an employee until his death.

Children of Lucy Giffin and John Thomas White.

66 i Albert Leonard White, born, Lyn, Leeds Co,ON 1885 , died, Smiths Falls, 18 May, 1913.

67 ii Francis Bernard White, born, Lyn Leeds Co. 23 April, 1886, died,Smiths Falls, ON 6 Feb. 1973.

68 iii George Clifford White, born, 4 Aug. 1888, Lyn ON bapt. 15 Sept. St. James Catholic Church, Trevelyan, Leeds Co. died, 17 Jan, 1929.

69 iv John Elmo White, born, Lyn, 1890, died, Smiths Falls 1975.

70 v William Arthur White, born, Lyn, 8 Oct. 1893, died, Frankford ON 9 Oct. 1924.

71 vi Leo White, born, 1896, Westport ON died young.

72 vii Mary Gwendolyn White, born, Westport, , died, 3 Aug. 1901.

73 viii Edward Harold White, born, Smiths Falls ON 3 Aug. 1901, died, Belle Meade NJ 12 Oct. 1990.

74 ix Helen White, born, Smiths Falls ON 1903, died, 1905, Smiths Falls.

75 x Marguerite White, born, Smiths Falls, 1 July 1907, died, Smiths Falls, Ontario, 4 September1965.

Children of George Edward Giffin and Mary Ellen Fenton

76 i Kathleen Giffin, born, 1914, died, 1979, Belleville ON married. 1935, John Donovan.

77 ii Harold Giffin, born, Ca. 1915/16, died, 1958, resided, Belleville Ontario, married, Mary Hall, No issue.

78 iii Marguerite Giffin, born, 1919, died, 7 Jan. 1991, married, 1947, Harry Boyd, Ontario, Provincial Police Officer, Retired, resides, Morrisburgh, Ontario.

Children of Kathleen Giffin and John Donovan. Available by request.

Children of Marguerite Giffin and Harry Boyd. Available by request. 

Children of Judith Boyd and Bruno Borovoskis. Available by request.

Children of James Boyd and Claudette Daigle. Available by request.

Children of Francis Brock Giffin and Margaret T. McDonald.

91 i Donald Giffin, born, Lansdowne ON July, 1906, died, 1952, married, Betty ---, born, 1910, died, 1938. resides, Brockville.

92 ii Marguerite Giffin, born, Lansdowne, ON 1908, died, 1914.

93 iii Edgar Giffin, born, Lansdowne, 15 Jan. 1915, married, Sarah McCoy. resides, Brockville ON

94 iv Leonard Giffin, born, Lansdowne, 4 Oct. 1913.

95 v Madeleine Giffin, born, Lansdowne, Ont, 11 July, 1916, married, Ernest McKaig. resides, Brockville ON

96 vi Bernard Giffin, born, Brockville, 29 Mar. 1920, married, Ruth Valeau.

97 vii Jack Giffin, born, 13 Mar. 1922. resides, Brockville.

Children of Donald Giffin and Betty -----  Available by request.

Children of Edgar Giffin and Sarah McCoy. Available by request.

Children of Bernard Giffin and Ruth Valeau. Available by request.

The descendants of Simon Giffin Jr. are eligible for membership in the following societies.

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