Lewis Wyman Griffin, Jr.
Primary Genealogist for the
Culpepper Connections! Family History Website
a native Alabamian, born and raised in Leeds, AL, near Birmingham, but have
lived in Florida, Louisiana, Texas, and both southern and northern California
before moving to Phoenix, AZ in July 1995. From 1984 - 2000 I worked for
Santa Clara University as database administrator and consultant. My wife Cathy
and I married in April 1992. Cathy was a librarian at the Arizona State Library.
My connection to the Culpeppers is through my great grandmother, Clarissa
Eugenia Culpepper, who married William Henry Griffin in 1867, Clarissa lived to
the ripe old age of 99, and died Clay County, AL, in 1948, a few months after I
was born. Both of her parents were Culpeppers by birth. Her father, Lewis Peek
Culpepper (who lived to be aged 98), married his second cousin, Sarah Ann
Culpepper, in 1839 in Pike County, GA. Lewis was the son of John and Nancy
(Gillespie) Culpepper of Richland and Edgefield Districts, SC. His wife was the
son of Joseph Richard Culpepper, son of Joseph Culpepper of Richland, Lexington,
and Abbeville Districts, SC. Both lines go back to Robert Culpepper who
died in 1743 in Norfolk Co. VA.
My interest in family history goes back a few years. I first learned about my
connection to the Culpeppers when I was thirteen years old (about 1961). It was
about that time that I saw a letter from my great grandmotherís brother Joe
Culpepper (1840-1920), the first historian in my branch of the family, who said
"they say there were two Lord Culpeppers, and we are descended from one of
them." This sparked my interest in family history. After all these years I
still have not been able to prove Uncle Joeís statement, but it has been fun
I really began to pursue my Culpepper ancestry (and all my other
lines as well) as a serious hobby in October 1976. As a student at UC /
Irvine, I used to drive to the Federal Archives branch at Laguna Niguel,
CA (Orange County) and look at census records on microfilm. Since then Iíve
done a considerable amount of correspondence: early on through the U. S.
mail; and later on the Internet. I was a frequent visitor to
the Federal Archives branch in San Bruno, CA, when I lived in northern
California. After moving to Phoenix in 1995, I did a good bit of
research in census records at the LDS library in Mesa, before these
records became available online.
My research on the early Culpeppers has all been done in the Family
History Library in Salt Lake City. From 1976 until 2004, I spent a week
every year, sometimes more, searching their more than two
million rolls of microfilm, for details or clues on our Culpepper family
and its ancestry.
By both correspondence and personal research, I have accumulated records on
most early Culpepper families in America, and thousands of their descendants, at
least down to the 1900-1940 time period. Over the years Iíve also located over
17,000 descendants of my ancestor John Culpepper (1774-1855) including
descendants of all surnames.
In 1997, our friend Fred Gleaton put Warren Culpepper and I in touch
with each other, and we each soon realized that by working together, we
could accomplish something important. I had 20 or more years of
family history research under my belt, at that time, but didn't have the
time or the inclination to start a web site. Warren, back then,
was relatively new to Culpepper research. But he was a successful
entrepreneur, the CEO and founder of Culpepper and Associates http://www.culpepper.com/
So a new "startup" site on the Internet, this time on
family history, was just what Warren was good at, and he accepted the
challenge. Warren provided the Internet address, gen.culpepper.com,
as well as a significant amount of his personal resources, in terms of
multiple high powered computer servers which were often upgraded, excellent
technical support, and his own expertise in designing and developing the
web site itself. Our Culpepper web site began in April 1998,
and was all thanks to Warren Culpepper.
Initially, I contributed all the data, from my many years of
research, and Warren designed the web site and published my material, as
well as providing all the physical hardware needed to support our
Since our initial collaboration in April 1998, Warren took an
interest in Culpepper research, and much of the new content at our web
site until 2014 was the result of Warren's efforts.
For instance, Warren took an interest in the early English
Culpeppers, and he became an expert on these early lines. He
visited many of the old manors in England, which our Culpepper relatives
once owned there.
As of January 2004, Warren Culpepper took over
responsibility for the Culpepper mailing list, as well as assuming duties for
all incoming correspondence to our Culpepper web site.
Over time, Warren took an interest in census records,
and in addition to updating our family tree with census records going
back to 1790, he spearheaded the effort to add the new information
in the 1930 and 1940 censuses to our Culpepper family tree.
After a little prodding from me, Warren took an interest in
DNA, and headed our Culpepper DNA project, which provided useful
results, thanks to his leadership.
Below is an old photo of me, on the beach at Carmel, CA, taken in 1992 by my wife Cathy.
is a family historian in her own right, and may well be a Culpepper
descendant as well. She has a Ward line in early Edgecombe County,
lived near the Culpeppers and which may have been descended from
Elizabeth Culpepper Ward, the daughter of the Robert Culpepper who died
in Norfolk County, VA, in 1743.
24 Sep 2020