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Grinnell Lore

Stories about famous and infamous Grinnells.

Kohatu - The New Zealand Connection PDF Print E-mail
Written by William Carter   
Sunday, 01 May 2011 23:10

By William Carter

WILLIAM HENRY GRINNELL was born about 1834 in either New Bedford or Tiverton, Rhode Island. I believe he was one of three sons of Moses Hicks Grinnell and his first wife Susan Russell, and half-brother to Moses’s second wife’s son Charles. Hopefully, an American Grinnell with better resources to research may be able to confirm that parentage. (Larry Grinnell’s note: Exhaustive searches of our records seem to dispel the belief that William Henry Grinnell is the son of Moses Hicks Grinnell. We are still attempting to find out where in the Grinnell line this individual fits.)

Last Updated ( Sunday, 11 September 2011 11:20 )
Arlington National Cemetery and the Grinnells PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marj Murray   
Sunday, 01 May 2011 23:04

By Marjorie Grinols Murray

Webmaster's note: The 1997 edition of the Grinnell genealogy is out of print and no longer available. A new edition is in the works and plans are to publish in late 2011 or early 2012.

If you have been to Arlington Cemetery then you know that only twIf you have been to Arlington Cemetery then you know that only two presidents of the United States are buried there: JFK and William Howard Taft. Perhaps you don’t realized that there are also two Grinnells buried there: Henry Walton Grinnell (this was noted in Ed Grinnell’s 1984 book) and Robert H. Grinnell. Henry Walton was easy to locate. I knew he was Henry W. Grinnell, had died on September 2, 1920. The source of these details was the cemetery office at Arlington, secured by our daughter Heather on her trip to Washington in 1995. I simply looked him up in the new (1997) Grinnell book’s index and found him on page 107!

I love the format of this new 3-part book. Each person in the family has a number and his or her line is noted right there in the same paragraph. A little bit of detective work does the rest as names are searched for. The easiest way to do this is to go back to Matthew and follow the line forward to each generation. It helps to record it like this:

1. Matthew GREENELL p. 1
7. Daniel GREENELL p. 3
13. Richard GRINNELL p. 5
46. Daniel GRINNELL P. 11
206. Cornelius GRINNELL p. 29
828. Henry William GRINNELL p. 59
1895. Henry Walton GRINNELL p. 107

Our Henry is buried in Section 3, Grave 4202. A map is given at the office to make it easier to find the gravesite. We will have to do this on a future trip (I love pictures of headstones!) NOTE: In September, 1998 when my two other daughters, Kelly Cezik and Brenda Warren, visited Arlington looking for the Grinnells in question, they were unable to obtain any information about Henry and Robert because they did not have the death year dates. Perhaps this is now required, so remember to be well informed with as much data as possible when searching for relatives in ANY cemetery.

On to Robert. Known: his name was Robert H. Grinnell and he died on May 18, 1936. Buried Section 25, Grave 941. When I returned to the Grinnell book index and looked on page 81, I could find only two Robert H.’s, both of whom were born too late to be the one I wanted: Robert Hall Grinnell b. 1939 and Robert Halley Grinnell b. 1944.

BACK TO SQUARE ONE. So the big question is - do any of our readers know of this particular Robert? If so, please submit your information to the editor and we will publish it in the next newsletter.

Last Updated ( Monday, 09 May 2011 23:35 )
The Legend of Richard “Pirate Dick” Grinnell PDF Print E-mail
Written by Richard W. Gifford   
Sunday, 01 May 2011 22:59

By Richard W. Gifford

Editor’s note: I found this piece on the Internet recently, and was so amused, I thought I should share this with the membership. Thanks so much to Mr. Richard Gifford for granting us the permission to use this story.

I am not a Grinnell descendant, but growing up in Little Compton R.I. was fascinated by the legend of “Pirate Dick” Grinnell. His lineage, according to Benjamin Franklin Wilbour’s Little Compton Families was Richard3, Daniel2, Matthew1. Several succeeding generations, along with other collateral Grinnells, lived in Little Compton.

Now to the legend. It is said that Pirate Dick sailed with Captain Kidd --- right away reality poses a bit of a problem, since I believe Captain Kidd was hung before Pirate Dick was born --- and in his voyages captured a ship bearing a young princess (in legends, the princesses are always young), who was accompanied by her prized white horse (in legends, the horses are usually white). Anyway, according to the legend the princess gave Pirate Dick some lip, he being focused on procuring her jewels and riches and all, and in retaliation Pirate Dick raised his sword and lopped of the head of her white horse. At that point the princess, deprived of her jewels (and horse) but not of her supernatural powers, placed a curse on Pirate Dick and swore that his family would bear a curse through seven generations.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 11 September 2011 11:22 )
Grinnell Flying Cloud PDF Print E-mail
Written by Larry Grinnell   
Saturday, 30 April 2011 01:04

There is a plan afoot to place monuments to this famous ship at opposite coasts – one in San Francisco and the other in the New York harbor. Sound decisions can be made if we are well informed, so here is some background on the history of its building and purchase. This project will be discussed with the membership at the Providence reunion.

Grinnell, Minturn & Co. was one of the leading NYC transatlantic shipping companies in the middle 19th century. It is probably best known today as being the owner and operator of the Flying Cloud. The Flying Cloud was purchased at launching for $90,000. It was the most famous of the extreme clipper ships built by Donald McKay in East Boston MA, intended for Enoch Train of Boston, who paid $50,000 for her construction. which represented a huge profit for his company. Within six weeks she sailed from New York and made San Francisco around Cape Horn in 89 days and 21 hours under the command of Captain Josiah Perkins Cressy. In 1853 she beat her own record by 13 hours, a record that stood until 1989. In the early days of the California Gold Rush, it took more than 200 days for a ship to travel from New York to San Francisco, a voyage of more than 16,000 miles. The Flying Cloud’s record would not be broken for 136 years!

Last Updated ( Sunday, 11 September 2011 11:22 )
George Bird Grinnell & Glacier National Park PDF Print E-mail
Written by Larry Grinnell   
Saturday, 30 April 2011 00:54

A tireless and lifelong public advocate for the setting aside of wild places and wild animals, George Bird Grinnell, the editor of Forest and Stream, had a personal dream: to save a parcel of Montana on the Canadian border. For a quarter of a century he explored and mapped the mountainous terrain, made friends with, and some say traded on his friendship with, the Blackfeet natives, and in 1910 saw his dream come true when Glacier National Park was created. It would be “ruined” for him by tourists, he noted wistfully, but saved forever for the benefit of the people. In 1883, the Northern Pacific Railroad was finally completed, bringing tourists from the East to Yellowstone in relative comfort and speed. Attendance increased five-fold in that first year.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 11 September 2011 11:24 )
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