House of Griffin or Griffin dynasty (  German: Greifen; Polish: Gryfici) was a [a] dynasty ruling the Duchy of Pomerania from the 12th century until 1637. The name "Griffins" was used by the dynasty after the 15th century and had been taken from the ducal  coat of arms. Duke Wartislaw I (died 1135) was the first historical ruler of the Duchy of Pomerania and the founder of the Griffin dynasty. The most prominent Griffin was Eric of Pomerania, who became king of the Kalmar Union in 1397, thus ruling Denmark, Sweden and Norway. The last Griffin duke of Pomerania was Bogislaw XIV, who died during the Thirty Years' War, which led to the division of Pomerania between Brandenburg-Prussia and Sweden. Duchess Anna von Croy, daughter of Duke Bogislaw XIII and the last Griffin, died in 1660.
Name of the Dynasty
The dynasty is known by two names,
Pomerania, after their primary fief, and Griffin, after their coat of arms, which had featured a griffin since the late 12th century: the first verifiable use of the griffin as the dynasty's heraldic emblem occurred in a seal of Casimir II, Duke of Pomerania, which showed the imaginary beast within a shield, and was attached to a document dated 1194.  The name  Pomerania comes from Slavic po more, which means "[land] along the sea".
Origins and branches
The origins of the Griffins are not clear. Most theories derive them from either local
Slavic nobility or a cadet branch of the Polish house of Piasts.  Medieval Polish chronicler  Jan D?ugosz connected them with Polish noble family of ?wiebodzice from the south province of Poland named the Lesser Poland, who also used a griffin as their coat-of-arms and who in turn might also have been a cadet branch of the Piasts. At any rate, chronicler Gallus Anonymus in his calls the Griffins "close cousins" of then-contemporary Gesta principum Polonorum Boles?aw III of Poland, directly implying a close dynastic relationship with the Piasts.
In the 17th century, the Griffins derived their roots from legendary beings from
Sorb mythology called Gryphus or Baltus.
The first known members of the Griffins were the brothers
Wartislaw I and Ratibor I. Wartislaw would be the ancestor of the line of dukes that ruled the Duchy of Pomerania until 1630; Ratibor would be the ancestor of the Ratiborides branch of the Griffins, that was to rule the lands of Schlawe and Stolp until the line became extinct and the area was incorporated in the Duchy of Pomerania. The first known member of the Swantiborides branch of the Griffins, notable as castellans of Pomeranian cities, was Wartislaw (II) Swantiboriz.
Wartislaw I to Bogislaw IV and Otto I
Wartislaw I (+ between 1134 and 1148)
Bogus?aw I (* about 1130; + 1187) ? (I) Walburgis (+ 1177), daughter of Valdemar I of Denmark; (II) Anastasia, daughter of Mieszko III of Poland and Eudoxia of Kiev
(I) Ratibor (* 1160; + 1183) ? Salome, daughter of
Mieszko III of Poland and Eudoxia of Kiev (I)
Wartislaw II. (* 1160; + 1184) ? Sophia, daughter of Boles?aw IV. of Poland (II)
Bogislaw II. (* um 1177; + 1220) ? Miroslawa (+1233) , Daughter of Mestwin I of Pomerelia and Swinislawa
Woislawa (+ 1229)
Barnim I (* ca. 1217/19; + 1278) ? (I) Marianne, Daughter of William of Lüneburg and Helene of Denmark (II) Margarete of Brunswick (III) Mathilde (Mechthild) (+ 1316), Daughter of Otto III, Margrave of Brandenburg and Beatrix of Böhmen
(I) Anastasia (* 1245; + 1317) ?
Henry I of Mecklenburg (1230-1302) (II)
Bogislaw IV (*1258; + 1309) -> Pomerania-Wolgast ( see section below) (III)
Barnim II (* about 1277; + 1295) (III)
Otto I (* about 1279; + 1344) -> Pomerania-Stettin ( see section below) (III) Miroslawa (+ 1328) ?
Nikolaus I of Schwerin (III) Beatrix (+ 1300 or 1315) ?
Henry II of Werle (?) Dobroslawa ? Jaczo of Salzwedel (II)
Casimir II (* c. 1180, + 1219) ? Ingardis of Denmark
Wartislaw III(* c. 1210; + 1264) ? Sophia Elisabeth (+ 1222) (II) Dobroslawa (* before 1187, + c. 1226) Casimir I. (* after 1130; + 1180) ? Pritolawa
Ratibor I (+ 1156) -> Ratiborides Swantibor -> Swantiborides
Bogislaw IV to Bogislaw X (Pomerania-Wolgast, -Barth, and -Stolp)
Bogislaw IV (*1258; + 1309) ? (I) Mechthild (+ vor 1309), Daughter of John I of Brandenburg and Jutta of Saxony (II) Margareta, (Daughter of Wizlaw II of Rügen and Agnes of Brandenburg
Euphemia of Pomerania (1289–1330) ? Christopher II of Denmark (II) Margareta (1287–1337) ? (I)
Nikolaus of Rostock (+ 1314), (II) John of ?cinawa (+ 1365) (II)
Wartislaw IV (* before 1290; + 1326) ? Elisabeth of Lindau-Ruppin (?)
Bogislaw V-Stolp (* c. 1318; + 1373/74) ? (I)  Elisabeth of Poland, daughter of  Casimir III of Poland and Aldona of Lithuania (II) Adelheid of Brunswick-Grubenhagen, daughter of  Ernest I of Brunswick-Grubenhagen and Adelheid of Everstein
Casimir IV (* c. 1351; + 2.1.1377) ? (I) Johanna (Kenna) (+ 1368), daughter of  Olgierd of Lithuania and Mary of Witebsk (II) Margareta (+ 1409), daughter of Siemowit III of Masovia and Eufemia of Toppau (I)
Elisabeth of Pomerania (* 1347; + 15.2.1393) ?  Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor  (I) Daughter 2
Wartislaw VII (* 1363/64; + 1395) ?  Maria of Mecklenburg, daughter of  Henry III of Mecklenburg
Eric (Bogislaw) of Pomerania (* 1382; + 1459) ? Philippa, daughter of  Henry IV (England). Catherine of Pomerania (* c. 1390; + 4.3.1426) ?  John of Pfalz-Neumarkt
Christopher III of Denmark (II)
Bogislaw VIII (* c. 1364; + 11.2.1418) ?  Sophie of Holstein
Bogislaw IX (* 1407/10; + 7.12.1446) ?  Maria of Masovia, daughter of  Siemowit IV of Masovia and Alexandra of Lithuania
Sophia (* c. 1435; + 24.8.1497)
?  Eric II, Duke of Pomerania-Wolgast  Alexandra (II)
Barnim V (* 1369; + 1402/04)  (II) Margareta
Barnim IV (* 1325; + 22.8.1365) ? Sophie, daughter of  John II of Werle
Wartislaw VI (* c. 1345; + 1394) ? Anna, daughter of John I, Duke of Mecklenburg-Stargard
Barnim VI (* c. 1365; + 1404) ? Veronica of Hohenzollern
Wartislaw IX (* um 1400; + 1457) ? Sophia of Saxe-Lauenburg, daughter of Eric IV
Eric II. (* c. 1425; + 1474) ? Sophia (+ 1497), daughter Bogislaw IX of Pomerania-Stolp
Bogislaw X (* 1454; + 1523)
Casimir VII. (VI.) (* c. 1455; + 1474)
Wartislaw XI (after 1465–1475) Barnim (+ 1474)
Elisabeth, Priorin in Verchen abbey (+ 1516)
Sophia, (* 1460, + 1504) ?
Magnus II of Mecklenburg Margarete (+ 1526), married to
Balthasar of Mecklenburg
Catherine (ca. 1465-1526), ? Duke Henry IV of Brunswick and Lunenburg (1463-1514), Prince of Wolfenbüttel Mary, Äbtissin of Wollin (+ 1512)
Wartislaw X (* c. 1435; + 1478) ? (I) Elisabeth (+ 1465), widow of Joachim of Pommern-Stettin, daughter of John of Brandenburg-Kulmbach (II) Magdalena of Mecklenburg, widow of Count Burkhard of Barby
(I) Swantibor (+ 1464)
(I) Ertmar (+ 1464) Elisabeth
Barnim VII (* um 1390; + 1450) Elisabeth, Äbtissin of Kammin
Wartislaw VIII ? Agnes of Saxe-Lauenburg, daughter of Eric IV of Saxe-Lauenburg
Barnim VIII. (* c. 1406, + 1451) ? Anna of Wunstorf
Agnes (1434–1512) ? (I) 1449 Frederick of Altmark ( the Fat) (II) 1478 George II of Anhalt-Zerbst Sophie ? Henry I of Brunswick
Bogislaw VI Elisabeth ? Magnus I of Mecklenburg Wartislaw V (II) Jutta (1290–1336), Äbtissin in Krummin abbey
(II) Elisabeth (1291–1349) ? Eric I of Saxe-Lauenburg
Otto I to Otto III (Pomerania-Stettin)
Otto I (* c. 1279; + 1344) ? Elisabeth (*1281), daughter of Gerhard II, Count of Holstein-Plön and Ingeborg of Sweden
Barnim III (before 1300; + 24.08.1368) ? Agnes (1318-1371), daughter of  Henry II, Duke of Brunswick-Lunenburg (Grubenhagen)
Casimir III (* before 1348; + 1372) 
Swantibor I (III) (* ca 1351; + 21.6.1413) ?  Anna of Hohenzollern, daughter of Albrecht of Nuremberg ( the Pretty)
Otto II (* c. 1380; + 27.3.1428) ? Agnes, daughter of  John II, Duke of Mecklenburg-Stargard and Wilheida of Lithuania
Casimir V (VI) (* after 1380; + 12.4.1435)  ? (I)  Catherine of Brunswick-Lüneburg (+ 1429), daughter of Bernard I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Celle) (II) Elisabeth (+ 1451), daughter of Eric I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Grubenhagen)
(I) Joachim the Elder (* um 1424)
(I) Anna (+ 1447) ?
John V of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (I) Joachim the Younger (* after 1424; + 1451) ?  Elisabeth (* 1425; + 1465), daughter of John of Brandenburg and Barbara of Saxe-Wittenberg
Otto III (* 29.5.1444; + 10.9.1464)  Albrecht
Margareta Bogislaw VII (*before 1355; + 1404)  Mechthild (+ 1331) ? John III of Werle (+ 1352)
Bogislaw X to Bogislaw XIV
Bogislaw X (* 1454; + 1523) ? Anna (1476–1503), daughter of Casimir IV. of Poland
Sophie of Pomerania (* 1498, + 1568) ? Frederick I of Denmark
George I (* 1493, + 1531) ? (I) Amalia (* 1490; + 1525), daughter of Elector Palatine Philip and Margaret of Bavaria (II) Margarete of Brandenburg, daughter of Joachim I of Brandenburg and Elisabeth of Denmark.
(I) Bogislaw (* 1514)
Phillip I (* 1515; + 1560) ? Maria (+ 1583), daughter of John of Saxony
Georg (died early)
Erich (died early)
John Frederick (* 1542; + 1600)
Bogislaw XIII (* 1544; + 1606) ? Clara, daughter of Francis of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Philip II (* 1573; + 1618) ? Sophia, daughter of John II, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg
Francis (* 1577; + 1620) ? Sophia, daughter of Christian I of Saxony
Bogislaw XIV (* 1580; + 1637) ? Elisabeth, daughter of John II, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg and Elisabeth of Brunswick-Grubenhagen
Ulrich (* 1589; + 1622) ? Hedwig of Brunswick (+ 1650) Anna ? Ernest of Croy and Aerschot
Ernest Bogislaw of Croy
Ernest Louis (* 1545, + 1592) ? Sophia Hedwig (1561–1631), daughter of Julius of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Philipp Julius(* 1584, + 1625) ? Agnes, daughter of John George of Brandenburg.
Barnim X (IX)
Casimir VI (IX) (* 1557, + 1605) Amalia (died unmarried)
Margaret ? Duke
Francis II of Saxe-Lauenburg Anna ? Ulrich of Mecklenburg-Güstrow (I) Margaret (1518–1569) ?
Ernest III of Brunswick-Grubenhagen (II) Georgia (* 1531; + 1574) ? Stanislaus Latalski Count of Latochin
Anna (* 1492, + 1550) ? George I of Silesia of Silesia-Liegnitz Barnim (* before 1501, + before 1501)
Barnim IX (* 1501, + 1573) Elisabeth (+ before 1518)
Otto (* before 1503, + before 1518)
Casimir VIII (* 1494, + 1518) Christopher; probably an illegitimate son, as Junker Christopher, Tochof of Schwerin
Members of the Ratiborides (Ratiboriden) branch were most probably descendants of
Ratibor I, a brother of Wartislaw I.
Bogislaw, ? (I) N.N.; (II) a daughter of Mieszko III of Poland
 (I) Bogislaw (III), ? another daughter of
Mieszko III of Poland  (II ?) Ratibor II (either half-brother of Bogislaw III or cousin) 
The Swantiborides (Swantiboriden) were related to the Griffins, but the link remains unclear. Probably they descend from Swantibor, a Pomeranian duke overthrown in a rebellion and expelled to Poland in 1105/06. This Swantibor might have been a cousin of Swantopolk, a Pomeranian duke defeated by Boleslaw III of Poland in a campaign of 1111/12. Yet, these assumptions all remain speculative.
Wartislaw (II) Swantiboriz (? 1196), Castellan of Stettin ( Szczecin) ? unknown wife
Bartholomäus (+ 1219), Castellan of
Gützkow ? unknown wife
Wartislaw (* 1175/80, ? 1233), Castellan of Stettin, Herr von Gützkow 1219 ? Dobroslawa, widow of Boleslaw of Poland Prince of Kujavia, daughter of Bogislaw I
Bartholomäus (+ 1206/10, ? 1259/60) Wartislaw (? 1230/32), Castellan of Stettin
Konrad (? 1233), Canon at Kammin Cathedral 1176/1186, provost 1186/1189 and 1208, Bishop of Kammin 1219
Casimir (? 1219), Castellan of Kolberg ( Ko?obrzeg) ? unknown wife
Swietoslawa / Swiatochna (? after 1217)
Swantibor (* 1219, ? 1244) ? unknown wife
Casimir (?1277/1280), Castellan of Kolberg ? Miroslawa, who secondly married Johann Ramel, Castellan of Kolberg and Pomeranian counsellor 1265/1297. daughter 3 ? Czyrnek, Castellan of Kolberg
Griffins Kings and Queens
Eric of Pomerania, son of Wartislaw VII, was King of Norway (1389-1442), elected King of Denmark (1396-1439), and of Sweden (1396-1439). He was the first king of the Nordic Kalmar Union.
Euphemia of Pomerania, daughter of Bogislaw IV, married Christopher II of Denmark and became queen of Denmark.
Elizabeth of Pomerania, daughter of Bogislaw V, was the fourth and last wife of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and king of Bohemia. Her daughter Anne of Bohemia, of Luxembourg and of Pomerania became Queen of England as a wife of King Richard II of England. She was known as "Good Queen Anne". Sophie of Pomerania, daughter of Bogislaw X, married King Frederick I of Denmark and became Queen of Denmark and Norway.
Edward Rymar: Rodowód ksit pomorskich, Szczecin 1995.
Genealogie des pommerschen Fürstenhauses. Veröffentlichungen the landesgeschichtlichen Forschungsstelle für Pommern, Reihe 1, Bd. 5. Leon Saunier, Stettin 1937. Martin Wehrmann:
Geschichte von Pommern. Weltbild Verlag 1992, Reprint der Ausgaben von 1919 und 1921, ISBN 3-89350-112-6 Udo Madsen: Die Greifen - Das herzogliche Geschlecht von Pommern
^ The family is also known as the
Gryf family, the  Greifen family, the  Greifen dynasty, or the  House of Greifen. 
^ a b A. Ma?ecki, Studya heraldyczne [Heraldic Studies], vol. I, Lwów 1890, pp. 268-285; M. L. Wójcik, Ród Gryfitów do ko?ca XIII wieku. Pochodzenie -- genealogia -- rozsiedlenie, Historia CVII, Wroc?aw 1993, p. 39.
^ a b Rodowód ksit pomorskich Edward Rymar Ksinica Pomorska, 2005, page 53
^ According to Jan D?ugosz
^ Gerald Stone,
Slav Outposts in Central European History: The Wends, Sorbs and Kashubs (Bloomsbury, 2016).
^ Nora Berend, Przemys?aw Urba?czyk and Przemys?aw Wiszewski,
Central Europe in the High Middle Ages: Bohemia, Hungary and Poland, c.900-c.1300 (Cambridge University Press, 2013).
^ Robert von Friedeburg,
Self-Defence and Religious Strife in Early Modern Europe: England and Germany, 1530-1680 (Routledge, 2002)
^ E. J. Feuchtwanger,
Prussia: Myth and Reality -- The Role of Prussia in German History (Wolff, 1970).
^ F. L. Carsten,
Origins of Prussia (Clarendon Press, 1954).
^ a b c d e f Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, p.38,
^ Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, p.37,
Kyra T. Inachin, Die Geschichte Pommerns, Hinstorff Rostock, 2008, p.18, ISBN 978-3-356-01044-2
( Der Name Pommern (po more) ist slawischer Herkunft und bedeutet so viel wie ,,Land am Meer". German: Pommersches Landesmuseum)
^ M. L. Wójcik, Ród Gryfitów do ko?ca XIII wieku. Pochodzenie -- genealogia -- rozsiedlenie [Griffin Dynasty Till the End of the 13th Century. Roots - Genealogy - Location], Historia CVII, Wroc?aw 1993
^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z Werner Buchholz, Pommern, Siedler, 1999, p.149,