Griffin (surname)

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Griffin
Family name
Griffin Surname Distribution Map.png
Griffin surname map
Meaning"descendant of the Griffin-like"
Footnotes: [1]
 
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Griffin
Family name
Griffin Surname Distribution Map.png
Griffin surname map
Meaning"descendant of the Griffin-like"
Footnotes: [1]

Griffin was the 75th most common surname on the island of Ireland in 1891.[2] In Wales, Griffin has been established as the 65th most frequent Welsh surname.[3] It was estimated in 2000 that Griffin is the 114th most common surname in the U.S., with a population in the order of two hundred thousand.[4]

Griffin in Ireland[edit]

The surname "Griffin" has two primary Gaelic sources in Ireland, which pertain to the towns of Ballygriffey in Co. Clare, and Ballygriffin in Co. Kerry. The spelling "Ó Gríobhtha" is associated with the Co. Clare family, whose surname was also anglicised as "O'Griffey" or "Griffey". "Ó Gríofa" translates to English as "descendant of the Griffin-like". The "Mac Grífín" spelling belongs to the Kerry family. In Ireland, the name can also be associated with the Welsh surname "Griffith", but to a much lesser degree.[5] The surname Griffin is of patronymic origin.

Griffin in Wales[edit]

The surname "Griffin" in Wales, generally speaking, is a variant of the surname "Griffith", or other similar Welsh names.

Griffin in Sweden[edit]

In Sweden, the griffin Coat-of-Arms gave one actually used surname, Grip, and belonged to three somewhat distinct medieval noble families, to each of which such a surname is retrospectively dubbed:

All these may have represented different branches of a clan descended from legendary Geatish local chieftains. This historical noble name (or word) "Grip" has then, in later centuries, been used as surname of some other Swedish families.

The family of Aspenäs whose Arms is called "lejonörn" (lion-eagle) and who may have descended from early justiciars of Västergötland (no surname was contemporaneously used of this family which went extinct in the 15th century) had the escutcheon, lion-eagle, squarely opposite of griffin: Lion-eagle is formed of eagle's hindparts and lion's head.

Notable people with the Griffin surname[edit]

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Fictional characters surnamed Griffin[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 1990 Census Name Files
  2. ^ Matheson 1891
  3. ^ Williams 1996
  4. ^ U.S. Census Bureau 1990
  5. ^ O'Laughin 1997

See also[edit]