Will of George Griggs, Boston, Massachusetts, 4 May 1655

George Griggs was my 10th great-grandfather, and takes the line “back to the boat.” He was from the village of Lavendon, in Buckinghamshire, England.

George, his wife Alice Siptharpe (or Sipthorpe) and their children emigrated to the American colonies as part of the Great Migration of Puritans that took place from 1630-1635. They traveled with a group associated with the Reverend William Worcester of Olney, Buckinghamshire, on the ship, Hopewell, arriving in Boston in 1635.

One of the tracts of land mentioned in the will below can be located on this 1635 map of Boston. George Griggs held Lot 110. I am not at all familar with Boston, but by comparing this map to Google Maps, I believe Griggs lived in what is now the South End neighborhood.

1635 Map of Boston
Click to enlarge and view Lot 110, near “Fort Field.”

One of George’s daughters, Anne Griggs, married Captain Robert Latimer. He is often cited as being another passenger on the Hopewell, but he is not listed on the manifest. He may have been a sailor aboard that ship. His origins are unknown. Robert later became a shipmaster of another ship named Hopewell. He was reportedly lost at sea about 1671. The will of their son, also named Robert Latimer, is posted here.

George Griggs’ will is transcribed from a copy entered into court records which can be found in Suffolk County, MA will book 1 (page 368) at Family Search. His estate inventory (vol 3, page 330) lists many of the “working tools” mentioned in the will. They indicate some form of carpentry, so George was likely a “joiner,” millwright, or cooper.

The Last Will and testament of George Griggs of Boston this 4th of ye 5th month 1655 being now sicke in Body but in good understanding doe Constitute and make my Loveing wife Alice Griggs my sole Executrix therein doe give unto her my house & ground about it with all ye app’urces ye two accres of Land at Long Island be it more or Lesse, as also my household stuffe dureing yet time of hir naturall life.

& After ye decease of my wife, It is my will ye my sonne James Griggs shall have ye house & ground about it, with the two accres of Land at Long Island he paying out of it to my daughter Anne Joanes five pounds & to my daughter Mary Brookes fortie shillings & to my Daughter Sarah King tenn pounds,

Also I doe give unto ye said James a feather bed & boulster, a blankett & coverlid ye is greene & white after his mother’s decease

I doe also give him all my working tools at my pr’sent decease in witness hereof I have set to my hand this 4th July 55.

George Griggs

Witness to these
Will Colbron
James Penn

Elder Wm Colbron deposed before ye Court 3rd August 1660 ye having subscribed his name to this paper he was present & saw ye said George Griggs signe & publish this same to be his last will & testament & was of a sound & disposeing mind when he so did.

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