Michael John Griffith was born on 30 Aug 1853 in Holmes County, Ohio. He was the youngest child of Benjamin Griffith and Mary Griffith (Hites). Both his father Benjamin and mother Mary were likely born in Pennsylvania. According to recollections by Maude Ellen Countryman (Griffith), a daughter of Michael Griffith, Benjamin Griffith died in a tree felling accident when Michael was seven weeks of age, implying that Michael Griffith’s father died on about 20 Oct 1853.
At the 1860 Federal census of Holmes County, Ohio, Michael Griffith, age six years and born in Ohio, was living with his mother Mary Griffith, age 45 years and born in Pennsylvania. In 1860, Benjamin Griffith’s older children were living in various Holmes County households. Elijah Griffith, age 16 years, was living in the Robert Flack household of Holmesville in Holmes County and working as a farm hand. Daniel Griffith, age 19 years was living in the household of Isaiah Jones. By 1870, much of the family was reunited in the Mary Griffith household.
On 1 Jul 1870, the Federal census of Holmesville, Holmes County, Ohio enumerates the household of Mary Griffith (Hites), age 68 years and born in Pennsylvania. Five sons, James, age 26; Elijah, age 27; Daniel, age 30; Letitia, age 24; Silas, age 19; and Michael Griffith, age 16 years. James and Daniel were working as day laborers, and Elijah was working on a farm.
Michael John Griffith and Agnes Leticia Livingston married on 30 Aug 1877 at Fredericksburg in Wayne County, Ohio. Reverend Bailey presided over the ceremony. Michael was 23 years of age, and Agnes Livingston was age 16 years. Agnes Livingston was a daughter and oldest known child of David Ralston Livingston and Sarah Jane Livingston (Bates). Prior to her marriage, Agnes likely was living with her parents at Hardy in Holmes County, Ohio. Aug 1877 was a busy time in the Livingston household. In addition to their daughter's marriage, a daughter, Ella Livingston, was born to David and Sarah Livingston on 19 Aug 1877.
On 6 Nov 1878, Michael Griffith’s mother, Mary Griffith (Hites) died in Holmes County, Ohio at about 76 years of age. Within a year following her death, Michael and Agnes Griffith migrated to Ellsworth County, Kansas. On 25 Feb 1879, their first child, Maude Ellen Griffith, was born at Geneseo in Rice County, Kansas. Maude would later recall:
I was born in a dugout, with only part of a roof, and it was snowing. They put a blanket over the corner of the house. It was just a sod shack.
The 1880 Federal census of Empire in Ellsworth County, Kansas enumerates the Michael Griffith household including Agnes Griffith, age 21 years and Maudy Griffith, age 1 and born in Kansas. Michael Griffith, age 26 years was working as a laborer. The census records both of Michael Griffith’s parents as born in Ohio and Agnes Griffith’s parents as born in Pennsylvania.
On 10 May 1881, a daughter, Sarah A. Griffith, was born to Michael and Agnes Griffith. A third daughter Clara Griffith was born on 2 Mar 1884.
The 1885 Kansas State Census enumerates the household of Michael Griffith, age 31 years, including Agnes Griffith, age 23; Maudie Griffith age 5; Sarah Griffith, age 4; and Clara Griffith, age 1 year. Michael Griffith was working as a farmer. Before the 1895 Kansas State Census, five more children were born to Michael and Agnes Griffith: Elizabeth M. Griffith in May 1886; Mary Jane Griffith on 8 May 1886; Emma Griffith on 11 Aug 1888; Pearl Griffith on 9 Apr 1891; and Truman A. Griffith on 25 Nov 1893. Two additional male children were born before the 1900 Federal census, James M. Griffith on 28 Sep 1896; and Arthur Griffith on 24 Apr 1899. At the time of Arthur's birth, Michael Griffith was 45 years of age, and Agnes was age 38 years.
Before the 1900 census, the Michael Griffith family migrated to Mitchell Township in Rice County, Kansas. The 7 Jun 1900 Federal census enumerates Michael Griffith as 41 years of age and born in Aug 1853; he was working as a laborer. Agnes L. Griffith was age 39 years, and born during Sep 1860 in Ohio. While the 1880 Federal census recorded Michael Griffith’s father as born in Ohio, the 1890 census enumerates his father as born in Scotland.
By 26 Apr 1910, the Michael Griffith family were living in Cement Township of Canadian County, Oklahoma. The 1910 Federal census enumerates the household of Michael J. Griffith, age 57 and born in Ohio, including Michael’s wife Agnes L. Griffith, age 48; Pearl M. Griffith, age 18; Truman A. Griffith, age 16; James M. Griffith, age 13; and Arthur R. Griffith, age 11 years. All children were born in Kansas and the parents of Michael and Agnes Griffith were born in Ohio. At the 1910 census, Michael and Agnes Griffith had been married 32 years.
The census of Oak in Canadian County, Oklahoma enumerates the household of a Michael Griffin, age 63 and born in Ohio. Also living in the household were James Griffin, age 23 and Arthur Griffin, age 20 years. Both James and Arthur Griffin were born in Kansas. Michael Griffin was engage in general farming.
By 11 Apr 1930, Michael and Agnes Griffith were living at El Reno in Canadian County, Oklahoma where the Federal census enumerates M. J. Griffith, age 76, and his wife, A. L. Griffith, age 69 years. The parents of M. J. and A. L. Griffith were born in Ohio.
Michael John Griffith died at age 77 years on 24 Nov 1930 at El Reno in Canadian County, Oklahoma. At the time of Michael Griffith’s death, his wife, Agnes Griffith, was 70 years of age. Michael Griffith is buried in the Enid Cemetery in Canadian County, Oklahoma.
Ministers Performing Marriages, Wayne County Public Library, Wayne County, Ohio.
Pierson, John Russell, Find a Grave, Enid Cemetery, Enid, Garfield County, Oklahoma, 2011. Find a Grave Memorial 77081426.