John Griggs was born on a Monday to 39 year old James Smith and 35 year old Mary Ellen Caton Flanagan near Bakerton. John was the eighth child of the couple and the fourth son. John was named after his Uncle, John Griggs Flanagan and his paternal great-grandfather, John Griggs.
November 29, 1899Death of Family Member
At only 13 years old, John lost his mother, Mary Ellen Caton, on a Wednesday unexpectedly to a sudden illness of only two days. The family buried their mother in Elmwood Cemetery at Shepherdstown.
June 21, 1900Census
14 year old John is enumerated in his newly widowed father's household. It is noted that he can both read and write, and attended school for 9 months out of the year. His father, 52 year old James, notes that he is a farmer, and was married for 30 years.
April 20, 1910Census
A 22 year old John is enumerated in his father's household near Bakerton. He is currently working as a laborer at the Bakerton Lime Works. His oldest sister, Martha, and his youngest brother, Oscar, are the only remaining siblings in the household. His father lists himself as a 63 year old widowed farmer.
October 12, 1910Marriage
At 25 years old, John married 21 year old Miss Ruth Estella Moler on a Wednesday at St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal Church, Hagerstown by the Rev. R. L. Wright. Both parties were residents of Bakerton at the time of their marriage. The couple may have used their wedding date as a nod to John's sister's marriage. Maggie Flanagan and Thomas Welsh were married on October 12 exactly 20 years earlier.
December 4, 1916Death of Family Member
September 12, 1918Draft Registration
John registered for the draft in Baltimore. He is listed as a 32 year old white, native born living at 2106 Penrose. He lists his occupation as assistant foreman for the Bartlett Hayward Company, located at Scott & McHenry in Baltimore, listing his wife as his nearest relative. John was tall, of a slender build, and had brown eyes. He is listed as being partly bald.
January 3, 1920Census
33 year old John is enumerated at 2106 Penrose Ave. in Baltimore City. He notes that although he owns his home, it is mortgaged. He is currently employed as a blacksmith for the railroad. His wife and two sons are also living in the home.
April 8, 1930Census
In the 1930 census, 44 year old John is enumerated with his wife and two sons at 21 Sanford Ave. East, Catonsville. The couple owns their home and values it at about $6,000. He is currently employed with the B&O Railroad as a blacksmith. Both of his sons are employed by a grocer as a salesman.
April 7, 1940Census
May 20, 1942Draft Registration
For the second draft, John is listed as residing at 21 Sanford Ave. in Catonsville, Baltimore County, Maryland with a telephone number of Catonsville 861M. He notes that he is 56 years old and was born in Bakerton, West Virginia. His wife, Ruth, is listed as his closest relative. John was currently working for the B&O Railroad at the Mount Clare Shops on Pratt St. and Arlington Ave. John is listed as being 6" 1', 185 pounds, with blue eyes, brown hair, and a light complexion.