The major existing records for individuals in the early federal period are legal documents of various kinds. For example, in September 1797 the estate of Samuel Griffith was settled with a sale to John Griffith Sr., Mary Griffith, John Griffith Jr., and Richard Griffith, among others. Presumably this was the brother of our John. Because there were no banks, people lent each other money, and when someone died the records of these loans and debts are mentioned in estate inventories. Samuel Griffith’s estate listed several other estates that had balances due to Samuel’s estate, such as John JOLIFFE’s, LONG’s, and GIBBS’.
On 22 April 1794 the Commonwealth of Virginia granted land to John Griffith on the south side of today’s route 672, a short distance west of Weeltown Pike. There he probably built a house. On 20 December 1805 he conveyed the house and eight acres to Levi SMITH who, in turn, conveyed it to Jonathan WRIGHT on 17 March 1817. The house was said to be still standing in the year 2000, known as the Griffith-Ritter-Strobridge House.
John Griffith lived in Pugh Town, or township, where he was enumerated in the censuses of 1800, 1810, 1820, and 1830. In the first two, John and Mary resided with John’s son John; in the last two censuses they had a separate household. In 1830 John was listed as a male between the ages of 90 and 100 living with one woman aged 60 to 70 and one woman aged 80 to 90 (his wife Mary).
A John Griffith served Hopewell Meeting as an overseer, and was released by his own request on 4 Ninth Month 1812. But I don’t know which John Griffith this was.