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GRISARD/ GRISSARD/ GRIZZARD families of VA and NC, beyond
Posted by: David Fletcher (ID *****0634) Date: August 27, 2008 at 08:26:47
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Huguenot emmigration to VA, either directly from France or via England, has been widely discussed. I've been curious for years about the ultimate origins of my GRIZZARD line. After years of research, the earliest mention I can find of the family in VA is that of John GRISARD, who had a warrant out for his arrest in Surry Co., VA, in May 1708 (Surry Order Bk 6, p. 103). He appeared again in 1727 as a witness to the will of Mary BRIGGS of Isle of Wight Co., VA (IOW WB3, p. 33). As Nottoway Parish, IOW Co., was separated to form the county of Southampton, and Albemarle Parish, Surry Co., was separated not long after to form Sussex, it is logical to assume that John GRISARD of those older counties was a progenitor of the next two early GRIZZARDs to appear, William (1) and Ambrose (1), both of whom begin to appear in the records of Southampton Co. in the mid-1700s, and who held land that straddled the border of Southampton and Sussex Cos. in SW Southampton Co. From there, they pushed into Sussex, neighboring Greensville Co., VA, and Northampton Co., NC. GRIZZARD researchers abound with ties to this large family group, which spread to GA, AL, TN, and points south and west.

My experience with Huguenot emmigration lists is limited, but I'd venture that the leap from the French "Grissard" (pronounced usually as "greeSAHR") to the Anglicized GRIZZARD (rhyming with gizzard, as my grandmother used to tell me), could have happened within a generation in ca. 1700 VA. I'd be interested in any firm information that Huguenot researchers can offer concerning the above. To date, I've not found John Grissard/Grisard/Grizzard on any emmigration list, or anyone else with this surname, during the late 1600s/early 1700s timeframe. GRIZZARDs can be found in England during this period as well, so it's not entirely certain whether or not this family had French vs. English roots. The search continues!

David Fletcher
Richmond, VA
3rd gr-grandson of William & Mary Hay Grizzard of Sussex & Greensville Cos., and David & Elizabeth Williams Grizzard of Sussex Co.


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