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A few Grinnell men of New Bedford and their connections to the whaling trade Part 2 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Laura G. Prescott   
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 22:28

Here's Part 2 of Laura Prescott's excellent history of the Grinnells in New Bedford.-- the Webmaster

by Laura G. Prescott (

When we last visited the Grinnells of New Bedford, the whaling industry was waning. As the leviathan became harder to find, and petroleum was discovered in Pennsylvania, the period 1840 to 1860 heralded a time of economic transition for New Bedford. While it was losing its reputation as the whaling metropolis of the world, New Bedford was gaining prominence in other areas. As the city prospered, so did the Cornelius Grinnell family.

As immersed as the Grinnells were in whaling, the family had diversified into plenty of other commercial enterprises. They built their fortunes around related industries and continued to thrive as the age of the railroad reached its prime and New England's textile industry flourished.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 11 September 2011 11:35 )
A few Grinnell men of New Bedford and their connections to the whaling trade Part 1 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Laura G. Prescott   
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 22:21

We want to thank Laura for granting permission to republish a two-part article that first appeared in the Grinnell Family Association newsletter in 2006.--the Webmaster

by Laura G. Prescott (

When Cornelius Grinnell left his home in Little Compton, Rhode Island, for New Bedford, Massachusetts, he likely had little idea that he would father a dynasty whose descendants would create historical and commercial successes in Massachusetts and the nation. His heirs were famous, successful, and wealthy, profiting from the New Bedford whaling trade through its many connected industries. Yet there were many others of Grinnell descent who made their livelihood by directly pursuing the leviathan on the world's oceans.

According to the Grinnell genealogy (When I use the phrase "the Grinnell genealogy" in this article, I refer to the publication The Descendants of Matthew and Rose (French) Greenell, published in three parts, by The Grinnell Family Association of America, 1997.), Cornelius (#206, 1758-1850) "left Little Compton as a boy to apprentice in the hatter's trade, in New Bedford, MA." Had he pursued that occupation, instead of being swept up in the whaling and maritime industries then just beginning in the fledgling port town, the history of the Grinnells in New Bedford might have been quite different. Instead, he founded an influential legacy with family members ultimately involved in a number of prominent corporations, including Grinnell, Minturn and Co. (formerly Fish and Grinnell), the Marine Bank, Wamsutta Mills, the New Bedford and Taunton Railroad, and the Grinnell Corporation (now known as SimplexGrinnell).

Last Updated ( Sunday, 11 September 2011 11:34 )
The Story of my Ancestors Beginning with Matthew Greenell PDF Print E-mail
Written by Chuck Ketchum   
Sunday, 08 May 2011 10:57

Here's a great example of how you can blend your personal history into the Grinnell genealogy. We encourage you to write your own stories and if you would like to share those stories with us through this website, all the better.
Larry Grinnell -- Webmaster

by Charles L. Ketchum, Jr.

This is my story of Matthew Greenell and his descendants, primarily emphasizing the lineage which has led to my family. Early records do not give much information on the early generations of the family.

Matthew Greenell was probably born in England about 1590, which was around the same time as Edward Katcham/Catcham. Matthew married Rose French on August 27, 1615 in St. Leonard's Church, Lexden, Essex County, England. He was admitted as a resident to Newport, RI (probably closer to Portsmouth), on August 6, 1638, and died sometime after. His widow Rose remarried twice afterward. First to Anthony Paine, and then to James Weeden.

Matthew's parents are not known, but I theorize along with Edsel W. Grinnell, one of the organizers of the Grinnell Family Association, that Matthew was the son of Thomas Grinnell and Joan Gee, whose names were found on Latter Day Saints Church Records, of being married on September 19, 1586 at St. Alban's Church, Hertsfordshire County, England.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 11 September 2011 11:36 )
The Grinnell Family Association of America Welcomes You PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Webmaster   
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 15:09

Welcome to the new Grinnell Family Association of America, Inc. website. This site has gone through a lot of changes over the last month or two, and we are pleased to present a completely redone website for our loyal visitors and members.

We're adding new content nearly every day. You will find most of it under the Blogs menu, where we have set up a number of interesting topics, and plan to add many more for your reading enjoyment. The Blogs area will eventually be a place for members of the GFA board and select individuals to submit their own articles for posting on the GFA website. More about this in a few weeks.

The forum will also be returning soon. I hope that this time, it will be a bridge to all the other Grinnell (Grinols, Grennell, Grenell, Grinold, etc.) descendants who have knowledge and are willing to share it with others. Before that is done, I need to configure things for the best possible security, mainly to prevent the bane of all websites, rampant spam. I'm still trying to decide the best way to give non-members privileges on the forum. More info will be posted when I figure out how to deal with this problem.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 11 September 2011 11:36 )
We Visit Lexden & Colchester, England PDF Print E-mail
Written by Larry Grinnell   
Monday, 18 April 2011 21:51

by Larry Grinnell, GFA Secretary and Webmaster

When I decided to spend Christmas 2005 in London, I planned a day trip to visit the site of the earliest documented evidence of the American branch of the Grinnell family. I found the website for St. Leonard’s Church in Lexden, England, and made contact with a representative of the church, who agreed to meet me and show me the church as well as St. Botolph’s Church in Colchester.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 23 April 2011 16:46 )