John Griffiths

John Griffiths[1, 2]

Male 1801 - 1881  (79 years)

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  • Name John Griffiths 
    Born 23 Aug 1801  Richmond, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Loss of Livestock 25 Aug 1826  Launceston, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Newspaper article printed in the Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser, Hobart, Friday 25 Aug 1826 on page 2 states that Mr John Griffiths lost several hundred sheep by the sudden rise of the lake river. See article for full details. 
    Loss of Sheep - John Griffiths
    Loss of Sheep - John Griffiths
    Newspaper article printed Friday 25 Aug 1826 in Colonial times and Tasmanian Advertiser on page 2 reporting John Griffiths loss of sheep
    Launched Ship 17 Mar 1827  Port Dalrymple, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    30 ton vessel named "Henry"see attached newspaper article. 
    Launch of 30 ton vessel named 'Henry'
    Launch of 30 ton vessel named "Henry"
    Newspaper article that appeared in the Hobart town Gazette on Saturday 24 March 1827 on page 5. Announcing the launching of the 30 ton Vessel called Henry at Port Dalrymple, Tasmania by John Griffiths
    Died 02 Jan 1881  Launceston, Tasmainia, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Will 25 Mar 1881  Last Will and Testament Find all individuals with events at this location 
    The Last Will and Testament of John Griffiths 
    Last Will and Testement of John Griffiths
    Last Will and Testement of John Griffiths
    Last Will and Testement of John Griffiths (b.1801)
    Notes 
    • About GRIFFITHS, John
      John Griffiths often known as Captain John Griffiths learnt his ship building skills from his father and the skills of a seaman from his brother in-law George Plummer. He was also often referred to as "John Griffiths Speculator". While some of his brothers farmed the rural grants, John stayed close to the wharf, the shipyard, and the sea in the early and late part of his life. In his twenties he commanded small ships which scouted the seal-rich headlands of Bass Strait and Kangaroo Island and in his early thirties he waited in Launceston while employees of his like John Hart and William Dutton mined the same coast land and the same harbours for skins and oil and whalebone`. It was Hart (later a Premier of South Australia) and Dutton who were to give information to Henty and also to Colonel Light`s expedition to settle South Australia. Jonathan Griffiths (who had been through Bass Straight since 1817) and son John Griffiths would also have aided the new settlements. In the 1830`s that John status as a `Speculator` started and with his brother in-law George Plummer was apparently closely associated with Thomas Henty, John Fawkner`s and John Batman `known as the founder of Melbourne`. Thomas Henty was the pioneer of the sheep industry at Portland bay, his wool shed was claimed to be the first building erected in the state of Victoria, Thomas and his sons became well known to the Griffiths and owned several ships in conjunction with them. Griffiths/ Plummer had built the`Rebecca`. It was in this ship that John Batman sailed from Launceston to Port Phillip landing on the Twenty -sixth day ofMay 1835. John Pascoe Fawkner later charted the `Enterprise` andsettled in Port Phillip October 1835, It was from this beginning that Melbourne grew. One of John`s largest undertaking was a one third share in the Launceston Fishing Company, with separate running accounts for Port Fairy and Portland Bay (the other shares were held by James Henty and Michael Connolly). John`s impact on the new colony of Victoria can not be under estimated.Port Fairy (known as Belfast) was the 2nd larges shipping port for the colony until the late 1800's. John had used Port Fairy as fishing and sealing base for a number of years but on 10th May 1836 he sailed from Launceston with building materials.Within a fortnight of arrival at Port Fairy, a two-storied pre-fabricated weatherboard house was erected on Griffiths Island; it was long known as `Government House`. The existing boatsheds were repaired, new huts, a bake house and cooperage built. Soon after, Jonathan Griffiths erected the first substantial house (of four rooms) on the mainland, beside the Moyne River The township of Port Fairy itself had begun in a non-whaling sense. And further then 1837 Jonathan Griffiths supervised the growing potatoes .... and had raised a bumper crop which sold for Twenty Pounds a ton in Adelaide. Thenon-whaling crop raised by Jonathan Griffiths and his sons brought the first fruits of independent agriculture to Port Fairy. John Griffiths and his partners continuous pastoral and agricultural activity began on a substantial scale from Spring 1836 and by Autumn the following year, there were 1,500 sheep atthe Port Fairy establishment, months before the Henty`s pushed their flocks inland towards the Wannon and years before the general squatter advance into the Western District. Not all John`s ventures proved successful and in the depression of 1842, John was reputed to have lost Seventy Thousand Pound, 10,000 sheep , the whaling station and most of his ships at depression prices. He also lost six ships at see during the 1830`s He soon recovered, however , as the following April (1843) he was building the Steam Flour Mill at Belfast (Port Fairy) and lived in a cottage facing the Moyne River in Gipps Street (between Coxand Banks Streets). Thus John can be credit with growing the first crop (potatoes) and establishing the first flour mill in Victoria as well as being a major contributor to the newsheep/wool industry in Victoria. John moved his back to Tasmania and continued his shipping and farming interest there. Here opened his shipyard and 1850 the barque `Sydney Griffiths`,368 tons, came off the slips (reputedly) to carry the first cargo of wool direct from Port Fairy to London. In 1853 the `Sydney Griffiths` was later(1880`s) lost with all hands. Also in 1851 he built the Tamar brewery with his son-in-law John Scott, The beer they brewed sold as ` the King of Beers XXX`,son Thomas was the Managing Director for twenty-Four years of the thirty-two years he spent with the Company. Thomas was to die in April 1891 and the business continued to trade, under newmanagement, until after the First World War when it was taken over by Boag`s Brewery. In 1858 John returned to Port Fairy to aided in the erection of a Lighthouse on Griffiths Island. Sadly at the Tamar Regatta on March 8th. 1859 his sons John and Harry were drowned so in 1863 John moved from the Tamar to Port Sorell and opened a shipbuilding yard. Several vessels were built there including the `Bitter Beer` (in which John lost two sons) Later he established a shipyard at Formby (now called Devonport),opening on the Mersey River. He also built the first five shops in the main street of Devonport and the first wharf In all he would have built over 50 ships many in partnership with his brother in-law George Plummer and in later times his son Sydney who was to take over the management of Griffiths shipbuilding after John`s death in 1881. (Jonathan Griffiths Australian Heritage)
      [5]
    Person ID I6357  Tucker Family Tree | The Descendants of Jonathon Griffiths
    Last Modified 17 Feb 2013 

    Father Jonathan Griffiths,   b. 04 Mar 1773, Stone, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Nov 1839, Port Fairy, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 66 years) 
    Mother Eleanor McDonald,   b. 1770, Dublin, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 01 Mar 1831, Richmond, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 61 years) 
    Married
    • Jonathan and Eleanor met at Norfolk Island Penal Colony, but never married.
    Notes 
    • Jonathan Griffiths and Eleanor McDonald met each other at Norfolk Island. Both had been transported to Australian and sentence to 7 years. Jonathan Griffiths arrived on the second fleet in 1790. Eleanor McDonald arrived in Australia one year later.
    • Eleanor is recorded in the earliest documents as "Elinor" and later as "Eleanor". She will be referred to as Eleanor.
      Eleanor McDonald was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1770. Of her early life or family nothing is known. On 27 October, 1790 Eleanor is recorded as being sentenced at the Quarter Sessions (Court) at the Tholsel, Dublin. The record states:-
      "found guilty of stealing a metal watch, chain and locket - value six guineas - the property of Thomas Dalton. Sentenced to be transported".
      A copy of the record is attached. The record is written in "olde English" - where the letter "f" stands for the letter "s". Some of the sentences of other persons that can be made out on the record, make for interesting comparisons.
      Eleanor left Ireland from the Cove of Cork as a convict aboard the "Queen" ("Queen Anne" in some records) and arrived at Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) on 26 September, 1791, as part of what has been historically designated as the Third Fleet.
      A complete list of prisoners aboard "Queen" from Dublin and other counties is attached. The list shows
      McDonald, Eleanor
      Age:- 20 years
      Date of Trial:- October, 1790
      Sentence:- 7 years

      The Transport "Queen" was the first convict transport that sailed direct from Ireland to New South Wales and comprised 133 men, 22 Women and 1 boy aged 11 years.
      A Copy of the "Queen" indent (list) of prisoners showing Elinor McDonald, is attached.
      Eleanor was also sent to Norfolk Island where she arrived on 223 April, 1792. The first recorded association with Jonathon Griffiths as a "family" was there and a record noted in "Norfolk Island - The People and their Families - 1788-1813" is attached. Eleanor served the balance of here sentence at Norfolk Island.
    Family ID F0037  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Elizabeth Burnett,   b. Abt 1806, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 23 Sep 1839, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 33 years) 
    Married 27 Jul 1824  Launceston, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Children 
     1. Martha Griffiths,   b. 1824, Windsor, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [Birth]
    +2. Henry Griffiths,   b. 07 Nov 1826, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 20 Jul 1876, Constitution Dock, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 49 years)
     3. William John Griffiths,   b. 1828, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. C 1831  (Age 3 years)
    +4. Elizabeth Griffiths,   b. 10 Apr 1830, Launceston, Tasmainia, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 May 1918, South Yarra, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 88 years)
     5. William Harold Griffiths,   b. 1832, Launceston, Tasmainia, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 08 Mar 1859, Mersey Regatta, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 27 years)
    Last Modified 15 Feb 2013 
    Family ID F1975  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Driver Martha Ann,   b. 1821,   d. 8 Apr 1856, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 35 years)  [7
    Married 15 Nov 1840  Launceston, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [8, 9
    Children 
     1. John Griffiths,   b. 2 Aug 1840, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 Mar 1859, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 18 years)  [Birth]
    +2. Frederick Griffiths,   b. 17 Feb 1842, Launceston Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Dec 1870, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 28 years)  [Birth]
    +3. Sydney Pyrmont Griffiths,   b. 11 Sep 1845, Port Fairy, Victoria, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Mar 1906, New St, Annandale, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 60 years)  [Birth]
     4. Charles Griffiths,   b. 9 Feb 1849, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 15 Apr 1849, Launceston, Tasmania, Australai Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 0 years)  [Birth]
     5. Tasman Griffiths,   b. 11 Dec 1851, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1917  (Age 65 years)  [Birth]
     6. Emily Kate Griffiths,   b. 1854, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [Birth]
     7. Lewis Griffiths,   b. 6 Mar 1856, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1 May 1876, Formby, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 20 years)  [Birth]
    +8. Thomas Griffiths,   b. 1844,   d. 20 Apr 1891  (Age 47 years)
    Last Modified 15 Feb 2013 
    Family ID F3593  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 3 Maria Lane Windeatt,   b. 1821,   d. 29 Nov 1874, Port Sorrell, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 53 years) 
    Married 12 Dec 1857  Launceston, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [10, 11
    Notes 
    • Maria Lane Windeatt age 21 married Fredrick Smith age 29 on 11 Dec 1841 at Launceston Tasmania. She later married John Griffiths on 12 Dec 1857 at Launceston Tasmania.
    Children 
    +1. Percy Smith Griffiths,   b. 19 Jul 1858, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 May 1948, Port Sorrell, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 89 years)
     2. Anne Maria Griffiths,   b. 16 Jul 1860, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. Eveline Mary Griffiths,   b. 19 Dec 1862, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1937  (Age 74 years)  [Birth]
     4. Leslie George Griffiths,   b. 26 Mar 1866, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [Birth]
    Last Modified 15 Feb 2013 
    Family ID F3594  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 23 Aug 1801 - Richmond, New South Wales, Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 27 Jul 1824 - Launceston, Tasmania, Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsLoss of Livestock - Newspaper article printed in the Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser, Hobart, Friday 25 Aug 1826 on page 2 states that Mr John Griffiths lost several hundred sheep by the sudden rise of the lake river. See article for full details. - 25 Aug 1826 - Launceston, Tasmania, Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 15 Nov 1840 - Launceston, Tasmania, Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 12 Dec 1857 - Launceston, Tasmania, Australia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 02 Jan 1881 - Launceston, Tasmainia, Australia Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    John Griffiths
    John Griffiths
    John Griffiths is the son of Jonathon Griffiths and
    Eleanor McDonald
    Pictures of the Scott and Griffiths Tammar Brewary
    Pictures of the Scott and Griffiths Tammar Brewary
    An advertisement and drawing of the Scott and Griffiths Tammar Brewary which John Griffiths built in 1851

    Documents
    Shipping Arrivals and Departures - Tasmania 1803 - 1833
    Shipping Arrivals and Departures - Tasmania 1803 - 1833
    Both Jonathon and His son John Griffiths feature on this extract.
    Hobart Mercury Article on John Griffiths
    Hobart Mercury Article on John Griffiths
    An article printed in the Hobart Mercury 19 January 1988 about John Griffiths
    Newspaper Report reporting on the Mersey Regatta 1859.
    Newspaper Report reporting on the Mersey Regatta 1859.
    A copy of a newspaer report of March 1859 "Town Talk and Table Chat" Reporting on the Mersey Regatta and the Drowning of John Griffiths Sons William Griffiths and John Griffiths

  • Sources 
    1. [S2] A history of the Potts Family, Geoffrey William Potts (Reliability: 2).

    2. [S3] Jonathon Griffiths Australian Heritage, John Griffiths (Reliability: 2).

    3. [S162] Colonial Times and Tasmanian Advertiser, 2 (Reliability: 2), 25 Aug 1826.
      See attached Newspaper clipping.

    4. [S161] Hobart Town Gazette, 4, 5 (Reliability: 2), 24 Mar 1827.
      On Saturday last Mr. John Griffiths launched his beautiful little vessel of 30 tons which he is building at Port Dalrymple, Called the Henry.

    5. [S3] Jonathon Griffiths Australian Heritage, John Griffiths (Reliability: 3).

    6. [S6] Tasmanian Pioneers, Archives Office of Tasmania, (The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Association with the Archives Office of Tasmania) (Reliability: 3), 27 Jul 1824.
      Surname Griffiths, Given Name John, Sex Male, Event Marriage, Spouse Surname Burnett, Spouse Given Name Elizabeth,Registration Place Launceston, Event Date 27 Jul, Event Year 1824, Registration Year 1824, Registration Number 771, RGD Number 36

    7. [S152] John Griffiths (Reliability: 2), 15 Feb 2013.
      Martha Ann Driver b 1821 died 08 APR 1856 launceston Tasmania Australia married John Griffiths 15 Nov 1840

    8. [S152] John Griffiths (Reliability: 2), 15 Feb 2013.
      Martha Ann Driver married John Griffiths 15 Nov 1840

    9. [S6] Tasmanian Pioneers, Archives Office of Tasmania, (The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Association with the Archives Office of Tasmania) (Reliability: 2), 15 Nov 1840.
      Surname Griffiths, given names John, Age 39, Sex male, Event Marriage, spouse Surname Driver, Spouse Given Names Martha, Spouse Age 19, Registration Place launceston, Event Date 15 Nov Event year 1840, Registration year 1840, Registration Number 754, RGD Number 37

    10. [S152] John Griffiths (Reliability: 2), 15 Feb 2013.
      Maria Jane Windeatt Married John Griffiths 12 Dec 1857

    11. [S6] Tasmanian Pioneers, Archives Office of Tasmania, (The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Association with the Archives Office of Tasmania) (Reliability: 2), 12 Dec 1857.
      Surname Griffiths, Given Names John, Age Adult, Sex Male, Event Marriage, Spouse Surname Smith, Spouse Given names Maria Lane, Spouse Age Adult, Registration Place Launceston, Event Date 12 Dec 1857, Registration Year 1857, Registration Number 621, RGD Number 37


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