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Craftsmen Working in Colonial America and the New Republic PDF Print E-mail
Written by David L. Grinnell   
Sunday, 31 January 2016 17:53

by David L. Grinnell (GFA #95)

Three generations of the Dominy family of East Hampton, Suffolk County, Long Island, New York functioned as craftsmen from ca. 1760 to ca. 1850. Nathaniel Dominy IV (1737-1812) was a woodworker and metalworker producing tall case clocks, furniture, and repairing thousands of pocket watches. His son, Nathaniel Dominy V (1770-1852) practiced all forms of woodworking. His activity included work as a furniture joiner, millwright, house carpenter, cooper, and supplier of agricultural tools to farmers in East Hampton township – Sag Harbor to Montauk. Nathaniel V’s son, Felix Dominy (1800-1868) was trained to be a clock and watchmaker. He worked primarily as a maker of tall case clocks and repairer of pocket watches over a short time span of ca. 1815 to 1828 when technological unemployment forced him to forego craft activity and take a job as keeper of the Fire Island lighthouse.

Direct descendants of the Dominy craftsmen kept together and preserved the craftsmen’s shop equipment, tools, and manuscript material on their original site until 1946 thus preserving the only complete record of craftsmen working in colonial America and the New Republic.

The Dominy Craftsmen Collection will contain a revised and enlarged digital edition of With Hammer in Hand by Charles F. Hummel; the extensive collection of Dominy family manuscript material in the Joseph Downs Manuscript and Printed Ephemera Collection, Winterthur Library, Winterthur Museum, Winterthur, Delaware; a video-taped lecture about the Dominy craftsmen; and a brief description of books owned by the craftsmen and members of their families.

(The Dominy Craftsmen Collection

Last Updated ( Sunday, 31 January 2016 18:09 )
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GFA Announces New Officers PDF Print E-mail
Written by Larry Grinnell   
Saturday, 05 September 2015 16:41

At the recent Grinnell Family Association reunion, held at New Bedford, MA this past July, the board met and selected officers for the upcoming year (effective immediately). More details soon:


  • David R. Grinnell, President & Archivist
  • Lawrence J. Grinnell, Vice-president, Secretary, Webmaster & Genealogy Committee
  • Marjorie Grinols Murray, Vice-president, Newsletter Editor & Genealogy Chair
  • Catherine Franczek, Treasurer


  • Bruce D. Grinnell, Legal
  • Sue Grinnell Wilson, Membership Chair
  • Dr. Richard Burroughs III
  • Donald L. Grinnell
  • Laura G. Prescott

Immediate Past President

  • Kathleen L. G. Asbury

More details soon

Last Updated ( Sunday, 31 January 2016 12:54 )
Grinnell Genealogy Progress Report PDF Print E-mail
Written by Larry Grinnell   
Tuesday, 30 June 2015 23:29

by Larry Grinnell, GFA Secretary and Webmaster (and editor of the 2015 edition of The Descendants of Matthew and Rose (French) Greenell)

Well, the reunion is almost here, and unfortunately, the book isn’t – or at least won’t be available at the reunion as I had hoped. In the closing weeks of this project, I encountered a number of technical hurdles that had to be overcome, and in the end, I ran out of time.

As it relates to the new Grinnell genealogy book, here’s what you will see at the reunion:

  • A final draft, printed by our friendly neighborhood Kinkos/FedEx office, using the same files that will be used to print the final book.
  • A general idea of what the cover artwork will look like.
  • A demo of what the final e-pub version (Kindle, Nook) will most likely look like.
  • A presentation of what it took to put this massive project together, at one of the banquets.


Our printer/publisher,, is busily working on the final product. At the time this blog is being written, we expect to be able to make available, within a month or two of the Reunion, an e-commerce website where you can order one or more of the following (prices not yet finalized):

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 30 June 2015 23:50 )
Read more: Grinnell Genealogy Progress Report
GFA New Bedford Reunion Beckons - July 9-12, 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marjorie Murray   
Monday, 16 March 2015 21:43

The time has come for the GFA’s 5-year-interval trip back to New England, where the first Grinnells - Matthew and Rose - settled in the 1630s. Since the inception of the Grinnell Family Association in 1979, and our very first reunion in 1980, we have returned to the Massachusetts/Rhode Island area every 5 years, to celebrate in the land where our ancestors first glimpsed this wonderful New World known as America. This July 9 – 12, 2015, the descendants (that’s us!) gather again as a group of cousins in historic New Bedford, MA, pictured above.

New Bedford is nicknamed ‘The Whaling City’ because during the 19th century, it was one of the most important whaling ports in the world, along with Nantucket, Massachusetts and New London, Connecticut. The city, along with Fall River and Taunton, make up the three largest cities in the South Coast region of Massachusetts. Europeans first settled New Bedford in 1652. Plymouth Colony settlers purchased the land from Chief Massasoit of the Wampanoag tribe. Whether the transfer of the land was legitimately done has been the subject of intense controversy. Like other native tribes, the Wampanoags did not share the settlers’ concepts of private property. The tribe may have believed they were granting usage rights to the land, not giving it up permanently.

And this is part of the history we will be learning about on our eastern trip…

Last Updated ( Friday, 20 March 2015 07:25 )
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GFA Co-Founder Edsel W. Grinnell (1922-2015) Passes at Age 92 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Larry Grinnell   
Sunday, 15 March 2015 13:41

We just received the sad news that one of the original five founders of the Grinnell Family Association of America, Edsel Grinnell, passed away at Medina, NY, on 13 March 2015 at the age of 92. Ed served as president of the GFA for several years in the 1980s. He and his beloved wife Swanie, who passed away on 28 January 2011, were regular and enthusiastic attendees at the Grinnell Family Association reunions.

Last Updated ( Friday, 20 March 2015 07:34 )
Read more: GFA Co-Founder Edsel W. Grinnell (1922-2015) Passes at Age 92
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