Civil War - Griffis Family

Daniel Griffis and his wife Belinda Croy, raised a family of 4 children in Cambria, Niagara County, NY. All of Daniel Griffis' sons who grew to manhood enlisted into the Civil War to serve their country. It must have been a trying time for the parents, knowing that so many of the soldiers were dying and the likelihood of all 3 coming home was not very great. Their youngest was only 16 when he entered the war, though he stated he was 18. However, although one of their sons was captured twice, they all did come home at the close of the war! All 3 boys were born in Cambria, Niagara County, NY, though the family moved to Batavia prior to their enlistments. This is their story!

1. Daniel N. Griffis was born about 1803 in NY (possibly Rensselaer County). He was married to Belinda Croy about 1833. Daniel d. 10 Aug 1870, at the age of 67 and is buried in lot no. 528 in the old Batavia Cemetery. His wife, Belinda, died on 20 Nov 1880 and is buried in the same lot. Cemetery records online provide their surname mistakenly as Grice.

"Gazetteer and Biographical Record of Genesee County, New York," F. W. Beers, J.W. Vose & Co., Publishers, Syracuse, N. Y. 1890

The Griffis family are of Welsh descent. Daniel N. Griffis was born in Vermont about 1803, and came with his parents to Cambria, Niagara County, N. Y., and to Batavia in 1861. About 1833 he married Belinda Croy, of Troy, N. Y. and they had five children, of whom John J. died in infancy, and four grew to adult age,, viz.: Charlotte E., George W., Daniel W., and John O.

Batavia Daily News, Sat. 27 Nov 1880

In Memoriam

Again it is our painful duty to record the death of an aged and highly esteemed lady who has gone to her rest. We refer to the demise of Mrs. Belinda Griffis, mother of George and John Griffis of this village, which occurred at the residence of her daughter at Hartland Corners, Niagara county, Thursday night last.

Mrs. Griffis was born in the town of Hoosic, Rensselaer county, in the year 1806, consequently was in her 75th year at the time of her death. In 1826 deceased, accompanied by her husband, moved to the town of Cambria, Niagara county, this State, where Mr. Griffis carried on the business of farming until his death occurred in 1869. For a period of 62 years Mrs. Griffis has been a faithful member of the Methodist church and the intelligence of her death will be received with sincere regret by those who knew her. The four children, three sons and one daughter, have the sympathy of the entire community. The funeral services will be held at 2 o'clock to-morrow from the residence of George Griffis on Main street.

It is likely that Belinda was born in Vermont and that Daniel was born in Troy, NY; the reason being that census records state that Daniel was born in NY, the 1855 census stating in Rensselaer county, and that his wife, Belinda, was born in Vermont.

Daniel N. Griffis is found in Cambria, Niagara, NY in the 1830 census (surname is Griffiths) with 1 male age 20-29, 1 female age 20-29 and 1 female age 60-69. There is also a Peter Griffiths age 40-49 in the same census and location.

Daniel N. Griffis is found in Cambria, Niagara, NY in the 1840 census with 1 male under 5, 1 female under 5, 1 male 30-39 and 1 female 30-39. There is also a John M. Griffis age 20-29 in the same census and location with a female age 40-49 as part of the household, who is likely Peter's wife (age 30-39 in 1830) and who is in the 1850 census, Margaret Griffis, a widow, age 55, living with John M. Griffis.

1850 Newfane, Niagara, NY
Daniel N. Griffis, 47, farmer, NY
Belinda Griffis, 44, NY
Charlotte Griffis, 15, NY
George Griffis, 10, NY
Daniel Griffis, 6, NY
John Griffis, 4, NY

1855 E.D.1, Lockport, Niagara, NY
log home
Daniel N. Griffis, 52, Rensselaer, 1st marriage, 9 yr resident, farmer, does not own land
Belinda Griffis, 48, wife, VT, 1st marriage, 9 yr resident, farmer
Charlott E. Griffis, 19, child, Niagara, 9 yr resident, farmer
Daniel W. Griffis, 11, child, Niagara, 9 yr resident, farmer
John O. Griffis, 9, child, Niagara, 9 yr resident, farmer

1860 Newfane, Niagara, NY
Daniel N. Griffith, 57, farmer, NY
Belinda Griffith, 54, VT
George M. Griffith, 20, farm laborer, NY
Daniel W. Griffith, 16, NY
John O. Griffith, 14, NY

It appears that they moved before the 1865 census to Genesee County as they are not found in Niagara county and the 1865 census for Genesee county are not online. So, they likely moved in 1861 as stated in the previous biography and certainly before 1862 when their sons enlisted in Batavia and Le Roy for service in the Civil War.

1870 Batavia, Genesee, NY
Griffis, Daniel W., 27, farmer, 5000/1000, NY
Griffis, Harriet C., 24, keeping house, NY
Griffis, Guy E., 2, at home, NY
Flanders, William W., 16, laborer, attended school, NY
Reynolds, Electa, 46, at home, NY, Insane
next dwelling:
Griffis, Daniel N., 67, farmer, NY
Griffis, Belinda, 65, keeping house, VT

1880 Batavia, Genesee, NY
Griffis George W., 40, Sheriff, NY, --, VT
Griffis, Anna, 33, wife, keeping house, NJ, NJ, NJ
Griffis, Frederick W., 11, son, at school, NY, NY, NJ
Griffis, George D., 9, son, NY, NY, NJ
Griffis, Eva Irene, 7, daughter, NY, NY, NJ
Griffis, Laura E., 4, daughter, NY, NY, NJ
Griffis, Belinda, 73, mother, widowed, at home, VT, NY, NY
Alpaugh, Mary, 47, wife's sister, single, at home, NJ, NJ, NJ

Daniel and Belinda had 5 children:
1.1. Charlotte E. Griffis, b. Jul 1835, d. 1918, m. David Hosmer, resided in Hartland, Niagara, NY.
1.2. George W. Griffis, b. 8 Oct 1839, d. 1 Apr 1882
1.3. John J. Griffis, perhaps "????, Johnnie, d. Jul 1841, age ??" buried in Budd Road Cemetery, Cambria, NY.
1.4. Daniel W. Griffis, b. 22 Aug 1844
1.5. John O. Griffis, b. abt 1846

1.2. George W. Griffis was born on 8 Oct 1839 in Cambria, Niagara, NY and died on 1 Apr 1882 in Batavia, Genesee, NY. He was married to Ann Alpaugh and they resided in Batavia. Ann was born in 1846 and died on 23 Jun 1897. He and his wife are buried in the old Batavia Cemetery. The online cemetery records provide his name as Grice, rather than Griffis.

Regimental Rosters

105th NY Infantry
Griffith, George W. - age 22 years. Enlisted, December 22, 1861, at Le Roy, to serve three years; mustered in as private, Co. D, December 24, 1861; promoted sergeant, March 25, 1862; captured in action, August 30, 1862, at Bull Run, Va.; paroled, February 13, 1863; transferred to Co. K, Ninety-fourth infantry, March 10, 1863.

94th NY Infantry
Griffis, George W. - Sergeant, Co. D, One Hundred and Fifth Infantry; transferred to Co. K, this regiment, March 10, 1863; returned to ranks, no date; promoted sergeant, September 15, 1864; discharged December 24, 1864.

NY Town Clerk's Records of returning soldiers

Batavia, Genesee County, NY
Griffis, George W., reside Batavia, b. 1841, Cambria, Sergt 105 Inf, Pri, son of Daniel N and Belinda, farmer, twice a prisoner

"Gazetteer and Biographical Record of Genesee County, New York," F. W. Beers, J.W. Vose & Co., Publishers, Syracuse, N. Y. 1890

George W. Griffis was elected sheriff of Genesee County in 1879, and served three years. He was under sheriff for six years previous to that time. He died April 1, 1882. Mr. Griffis married Anna Alpangle and had four children. He was born in Niagara County, October 8, 1839.

The Daily News, Batavia, Monday, 3 Apr 1882


Death of Ex-Sheriff George W. Griffis

The death of George W. Griffis occurred at his home on West Main street Saturday evening, after an illness of several weeks. Mr. Griffis was born in Cambria, Niagara county, on the 8th of October, 1839, and was therefore, in his forty-fourth year. His boyhood was spent in Niagara county with his parents where he attended school. Subsequently, in 1860, his parents removed to a farm in the southern part of this town. Mr. Griffis went into the late war enlisting in the 105 Regiment, under Col. Fuller, and served three years truly and faithfully for his country. Upon his discharge from the army he returned to Batavia and entered the employ of M. Dailey as a clerk in his grocery and crockery store. A few years later he became associated with D. W. Fargo as a partner in the grocery business. Whem George Robertson was elected Sheriff in 1872, Mr. Griffis was appointed Under-Sheriff which position he held during John H. Ward's term as Sheriff. In 1878, Mr. Griffis was elected Sheriff, his term expiring on the first of January last. He was a prominent Mason, a lieutenant in the 14th Separate Co., N.G.S.N.Y., and a member of the Veterans' Association. He was widely known throughout the county and every one who knew him was his friend. Mr. Griffis was a man of strict integrity, generous in his nature and devoted to his family. His wife and four children, as well as two brothers, D. W. and John O., and a sister, Mrs. David Hosmer of Hartland, survive him.

The funeral services will take place at the family residence to-morrow afternoon at two o'clock and will be conducted by the Masonic order.

Griffis - In Batavia, on the 1st inst., of paralysis of the brain, George W. Griffis, aged 43 years, 5 months and 23 days.
Funeral from the family residence on West Main street, Tuesday afternoon at two o'clock
Lockport papers please copy.

Children of George and Ann:
1.2.1. Frederick W. Griffis, b. 6 Aug 1868, d. 22 Sep 1931.
1.2.2. George Dean Griffis, b. about 1871, d. 15 Feb 1955, m. Ida Hoffman
1.2.3. Eva Irene Griffis, b. about 1873
1.2.4. Laura Edith Griffis, b. about 1876, m. 8 Feb 1910 to Philip Neiner

His son, Fred, served in the Spanish American war, enlisting at the age of 29 on 23 Jul 1898 at Batavia to serve for 2 years. He was a private with Co. K, 202nd Infantry Regiment and mustered out with the company at Savannah, GA on 15 Apr 1899. He died in Chicago, IL on 22 Sep 1931 and is buried in the old Batavia Cemetery. Cemetery records online provide his surname inaccurately, as Grice.

1.3. Daniel W. Griffis was born 22 Aug 1844 in Cambria, Niagara County, NY. He was a veteran of the Civil War. On 21 Nov 1867, he married Harriet C. Flanders in Batavia. He died 10 Apr 1927 and she in 1932. They are both buried in Elmwood cemetery in Batavia, NY.

Regimental Roster

115th NY Infantry
Griffis, Daniel W. - age 19 years. Enlisted, August 2, 1862, at Batavia, to serve three years; mustered in as corporal Co. C, October 22, 1862; promoted sergeant, no date; first sergeant, February 14, 1865; mustered out with company, June 26, 1865, near Washington, D. C.

NY Town Clerk's records of returning soldiers

Griffis, Daniel W., reside Batavia, b. 1844, Cambria, 1st Sergt 151 Inf Co. C, enlisted Aug 4, 1862, private, son of Daniel N and Belinda, farmer, promoted Corporal and 1st Sergt Jan 21, 1865

"Gazetteer and Biographical Record of Genesee County, New York," F. W. Beers, J.W. Vose & Co., Publishers, Syracuse, N. Y. 1890

Daniel W. was born in Cambria, Niagara County, August 22, 1844, and was educated in the public schools. August 2, 1862, he enlisted in Co. C, 151st Inf. N. Y. Vols., was made corporal, sergeant, and first sergeant of his company, was discharged at the close of the war, and returned to Batavia. November 21, 1867, he married Harriet C., oldest daughter of Hiram P. Flanders, of Batavia. They have four children, namely: Guy E., born October 30, 1868; Florence E., born February 23, 1872; Raymond, born March 19, 1873; and May E., born April 22, 1876.

The Times, Batavia, NY, Sat. 16 Apr 1927

Daniel W. Griffis

Funeral services for Daniel W. Griffis, former overseer of the poor of the town of Batavia, who died at his home, 6 Walnut street, at 2:30 o'clock Sunday morning at the age of 83 years, were held at his late home at 3 o'clock Tuesday afternoon. Rev. Charles Chalmers MacLean, D. D. of the First Presbyterian Church officiated and the burial took place in Elmwood Cemetery.

Mr. Griffis was born at Cambria in 1843 and moved to a farm three miles southwest of Batavia in 1861. He was a Civil War veteran, enlisting in Company C. 151st New York Volunteers and serving with his regiment until the end of the war. He was promoted to the rank of first sergeant. After being mustered form the service in 1865 he returned to Batavia and married Miss Harriet C. Flanders of Bushville. Mr. Griffis was elected overseer of the poor in Batavia and re-elected at each election until 1897, when he moved back to Bushville. In 1907 he was appointed overseer of the poor again and continued to fill this office for some time.

Surviving Mr. Griffis are his wife, two sons, Guy E. Griffis of Batavia and Raymond of Newark, N.J.; two daughter, Florence E., living at home, and Mrs. Mac Burt, also of this city, and two grandchildren.

"Chronicles of the One hundred fifty-first regiment New York state volunteer infantry, 1862— 1865, contributed by its surviving members." Compiled by Helena Adelaide Howell, A. M. Eddy, printer, Albion, 1911.

GRIFFIS, DANlEL W, Born in Cambria, Niagara county, N. Y., August 22, 1843; son of D. N. and Belinda Griffis. Attended school and worked on a farm until he enlisted, August 2, 1862, at Batavia, to serve three years; mustered in as corporal, Co. C, October 22, 1862; promoted sergeant, June 1, 1864; first sergeant, February 14, 1865; commanded brigade of sharp-shooters from July 10, 1864 to February, 1865. Took part in every engagement the Regt. was in; had two brothers in the service; one serving three years and the other three years and three months; mustered out with company, June 26, 1865, near Washington, D. C. Married, in 1867, Harriett C. Flanders; has two sons and two daughters. Mr. Griffis resides in Batavia, N. Y., where he has been proprietor of a flour and feed store. He has held office of Overseer of the Poor, from 1892 to 1897; again, from 1906 to present time. Was census enumerator in 1890 and 1900.

Le Roy Gazette, Wed. 20 Mar 1912

Some 44 years ago George W. Griffis, former sheriff of Genesee county, had in his possession a masonic emblem which was presented to him by his brother, Daniel W. Griffis, of Batavia, who was a veteran in the Civil war. Eventually this emblem disappeared, but one day last week it came back addressed to Patrolman Griffis, a brother of the other two men. His brother Daniel at once recognized it. An unsigned letter was also received saying the emblem came into the writer's possession under sad circumstances. It was on the battlefield of Winchester Va., that Daniel W. Griffis in 1864 took his emblem from the coat of an unknown Confederate soldier. It was of bone, in the shape of a shield and when exhibited to a physician it was found that it had been formed from the bone of a human skull.

Children of Daniel and Harriet:
1.3.1. Guy E. Griffis, b. 30 Oct 1868, d. 1946, m. Kizzie R. Boyce, m. 7 Sep 1905 to Julia Dignin
1.3.2. Florence E. Griffis, b. 23 Feb 1872, d. 1962
1.3.3. Raymond Griffis, b. 19 Mar 1874, d. 24 Nov 1954, m. Anna Glynn
1.3.4. Linda May Griffis, b. 22 Apr 1876, d. 1960, m. Roderick O. Burt

1.4. John O. Griffis, was born 26 Feb 1846. He was a undersheriff under his brother George, when George held the office of Sheriff of the county in 1879-1881. He was later a patrolman/policeman, retiring in 1922. He was married to Caroline about 1875.

Regimental Rosters

22nd Independent Battery
Griffis, John O. - age 18 years. Enlisted, August 30, 1862, at Batavia; mustered in as private, September 4, 1862, to serve three years; transferred to Co. M, Ninth Artillery, February 5, 1863.

9th NY Artillery
Griffis, John O. - age 18 years. Enlisted August 30, 1862, at Batavia; mustered in as private, Twenty-second Battery, September 4, 1862 (which became Co. M, Ninth Artillery, February 5, 1863), to serve three years; transferred to Second Artillery June 27, 1865.

NY Town Clerk's Records of returning soldiers

Griffis, John O., reside Batavia, b. 1846, Cambria, Pri 22 Bat Art, Enlisted Aug 10, 1862, Pri, son of Daniel N and Belinda, farmer

The Times, Batavia, 7 Jan 1922

Veteran Police Officer Requests a Pension

Mayor Mullen and the common council of the city of Batavia have received a request from John O. Griffis, who has been a member of the police force of Batavia for the past 32 years, asking that he be retired on a pension to date from January 1, 1922.

Mr. Griffis is 75 years of age, and is a veteran of the Civil war, having enlisted in Batavia for service in 1862, when he was 16 years of age, in the New York independent battery as a private, and saw three years of fighting. When he returned to Batavia he took up the work of a brakeman on the New York Central railroad. Then from 1878 to 1880 he was under sheriff in Genesee county, under his brother, the late George W. Griffis, and later he became a yard conductor on the New York Central which position he held until 1889 when he was appointed on the police force.

another newspaper issue in Jan:

In the resignation of Assistant Police Chief John O. Griffis the city is deprived of the services of an official who performed his duties in a conscientious manner over a period of over thirty years, having been identified with the police force since 1889. Mr. Griffis in the Civil War saw three years of fighting, serving in the 23d New York Battery. He now retires on a pension from the city at half pay, under the civil service rules. Mr. Griffis, who reides at present in Rochester, for several months has been in ill health and his friends all unite in hoping to soon learn of his complete recovery.

Children of John and Carrie:
1.4.1. Florine Bell Griffiths, b. about 1876, m. 12 Sep 1900 to Charles H. Simpson. They appear to have had no children.