A story of Wayne Stith's 4th great uncle, Griffin Stith.

By Wayne Stith

Griffin STITH

Clerk of the Northampton County Court from 1743 to 1783 and 4th great uncle of Wayne STITH

Griffin STITH was born on November 28, 1720, in Brunswick County, and christened on July 18, 1721 in Prince George County (Bristol Parish Register). He was a great-grandson of the immigrant John STITH (h/o Jane PARSONS) who came to Virginia before 1656. John was one of two gentlemen disenfranchised by Bacon's legislature during Bacon's Rebellion.

The line runs thus: John STITH --> Drury STITH --> Drury STITH --> Griffin STITH.

Griffin qualified as clerk for Northampton Co. on August 9, 1743. On December 3, 1774, he was elected member of the Committee of Observation for Northampton County. Stith family tradition has it that he read the Declaration of Independence on the courthouse steps at Eastville. I haven't been able to verify this yet, but I have found one tidbit concerning the Stamp Act in the William & Mary Quarterly (which is a goldmine of genealogical data):

The Stamp Act

In the excitement succeeding the passage of the Stamp Act, Virginia "rang the alarm bell for the continent." The resolves offered by Patrick Henry united the people everywhere in opposition. And yet, while there was much official talk and private action, it does not seem that in any colony was there much official action. Northampton court, in Virginia, appears to have been the first public authority to inhibit the operation of the law:


At a court held for Northampton county, Feb. 8, 1766:

On the motion of the clerk and other officers of this court praying their opinion whether the act entitled 'An Act for granting and applying certain Stamp Duties and other Duties in America,' etc., was binding on the inhabitants of this colony, and whether they, the said officers, should incur any penalties by not using stamped paper agreeable to the directions of the said act, the court unanimously declared it to be their opinion that the said act did not bind, affect, or concern the inhabitants of this olony, inasmuch as they conceive the same to be unconstitutional, and that the said several officers may proceed to the execution of their respective offices, without incurring any penalties by means thereof, which opinion this court doth order to be recorded. Griffin Stith, C. N. C."

(William and Mary Quarterly. Vol. II, No. 4. Apr 1894. Series 1. Page 255.)

Griffin received slaves from the estate of his uncle John Buckner (will probated 1748) and was listed as Griffin Stith "of the Eastern Shore of Virginia." I believe he also received some land at Yorktown from him.

In 1769 he was one of those appointed by the legislature to examine tobacco lost by fire and flood. In March of 1773, he was appointed along with several others as trustee for the interests of the Gingaskin Indians, upon whose land whites had encroached.

Griffin was named by the legislature as one of the trustees of a school to be established on the ESVA which was to be called Margaret Academy. The date of the document is October, 1786, which was after Griffin died. Either the document was filed rather late or Griffin's death had not been reported to the legislature.

I believe that this Griffin is the one listed on a tithables list for York Co. for 1763.

On August 19, 1743 Griffin married Mary BLAIKLEY (d/o William BLAIKLEY and Catherine KAIDYEE) in Williamsburg. Their children:

     STITH, Catherine (died as infant)

     STITH, Elizabeth Buckner (m. John STRINGER, Sr.)

     STITH, John Buckner

     STITH, Mary Blaikley (m. Joachim MICHAEL and Thorowgood SMITH)

     STITH, Jr., Griffin (m. Anne STRATTON and Elizabeth SMITH)

     STITH, Drury (m. Mary JACOBS)

     STITH, William (m. Sarah SMITH)was clerk of Northampton County 1783-1791 

     STITH, Susanna (m. Christopher JOHNSON)

     STITH, Lucy (m. Mark U. PRINGLE)

     STITH, Janet Carson

     STITH, Catherine (2) (died as infant)

Griffin died about November of 1784 in Northampton County. His will of March 24, 1783 was proved November 10, 1784 in Northampton County. His home,  Park Hall in Eastville, is still preserved.

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