Although I don't know the specifics of your family line, I have run across the Griffin/Martin folks while researching and would suspect a connection. I would have to research more to see how they fit together.
In general, I believe a good many of the Griffin's in early Alabama and Georgia are related distantly and again it all goes back to some critical historical events. Prior to their arrival in GA and later The Mississippi Territory from VA and some from NC, the Great Awakening (a huge religious revival movement) seems to have affected a great many of them and appears to be a discerning factor among two historical Griffin lines.
To illustrate, when I found our family bible, in it were several odd "clues". (Bare with me here). There was some circled scripture and a torn out section of a poem. Upon researching that little bit of scripture and the poem, it turned out that the poem was an excerpt from The Dream of Eugene Aram written by Thomas Hood. The poem was published in 1831. Thomas Hood lived 1799-1845 and was a prominent Methodist poet. The poem is a telling about the guilt experienced by a murderer named Eugene Aram. Eugene Aram was a real person who was hung for murder in 1791. The poem was reviewed/published in the 1860 Methodist Quarterly. So, it's likely my 4th Great grandmother got the Methodist Quarterly at church and clipped the poem and stuck it in her bible.
The scripture that was circled turned out to be the primary scripture quoted by John Wesley in one of his landmark sermons (Sermon 33). http://new.gbgm-umc.org/umhistory/wesley/sermons/33/
In any event these two items and the fact that I knew that my 4th great grandparents had been members of the Hill County Methodist Church in Texas and that some lines of our family passed down the first name Wesley, told me there was a strong Methodist connection somewhere which seemed odd because most Griffin's I met were Baptists.
So googling Methodist + Griffin + Alabama, I came across Rev. Thomas Griffin. Rev. Thomas Griffin was one of the earliest circuit preachers who rode the Mississippi Territory circuit all along the Tombigbee settlements. If you search google books you can find: A Complete History of Methodism as connected with the Mississippi Conference. His journals are also published. In his journals, he references visiting other Griffin relatives in the Tombigbee settlements. These early Griffin's along the Tombigbee are shown on an early map in the book "A Conquering Spirit" as mentioned in my prior post.
Anyway, his journals explain that his father was a Baptist but at the point when his family moved to Wilkes County GA (note my Benjamin Griffin also moved from VA to Wilkes County GA at the same time) there were Methodist preachers (possibly John Wesley himself when he visited Oglethorpe) preaching the Gospel and many Griffins became "converted to Methodism". So, now I had an explanation for the two lines of Griffins" The Baptist Griffin's and the Methodist Griffins.
As another odd coincidence, the bible of Rev. Thomas Griffin's parents (John Thomas Griffin Sr. and Mary Ann Andrews) is the same type of bible as our 1848 Bible in that it is an early Episcopalian bible which included at that time the Apocrypha (like Catholic bibles do now).
Turns out that Thomas Griffin's line tracks back to William Griffin II and Rebecca mentioned in my prior post. So my Benjamin Griffin and Rev. Thomas Griffin would have been 3rd Cousins. Although we don't know our third cousins alot these days. Folks back then would have. In most cases they moved in groups of extended family members, not alone. So, I think that when Rev. Thomas Griffin started preaching, many of the Griffin's of his extended line were already pushing west into the fringe settlements along the border of GA/the Mississippi Territory (The Creek Nation).
By the early 1800s they were all along the Tombigbee, Tensaw Districts and later in the Coosa River valley.
There was even a place called "Griffin Village" settled by "Friendly Creeks". Friendly Creeks = Indian Countrymen
GRIFFIN VILLAGE. A small and unimportant community in Marshall County settled by friendly Creeks by permission of the Cherokees about the time of the Creek War of 1813-14. It was located west of Brown"! Creek on the old "Bill Griffin" place, about 2% miles south of Warrenton, and 4 miles north of Brown's Village. Its Indian name, If any, has not been ascertained.
REFERENCES.—O. D. Street, in Alabama History Commission, Report (1901), vol. 1, p. 418; Ala. Hist. Society. Transactions, 1899-1903, vol. 4, p. 193.
But as the Creek war heated up, especially after the Fort Mims massacre, many of the mixed White + Indian families (which I believe were our folks) fled back to GA for a period until after the Battle of Horeshoe Bend. The Redsticks wanted to kill the "Indian Countrymen" (white + Indian families) because they aligned too strongly with Andrew Jackson's "Plan of Civilization" for the Indians.
Eventually, as we all know, sadly the Indians were forcibly removed to Arkansas (first) then Oklahoma. Among the early removal records is a listing for one James Griffin (a white man) with Indian family members. This family was in the first wave moved and associated with the Eastern Band of the Cherokee. As removal progressed, it appears some mixed families chose to leave and others (because some were quite wealthy and influential in the community) were allowed to stay.
General Winfield Scott’s Cherokee Indian Removal Enforcement Orders
Cherokee Agency TN
May 17, 1838
“White men and widows, Citizens of the United States, who are or have been intermarried with Indians and thence commonly termed “Indian Countrymen”; also such Indians who have been made denizens of particular states, by special legislation, together with the families and properties of all such persons, will not be molested or removed by troops until a decision is made on the principles involved can be obtained from the War department. And like indulgence, but only for a limited time, and until further orders, is extended to the families and property of certain Chiefs and head men of the two great Indian parties (on the subject of emigration) now understood to be absent in the direction of Washington on the business of their respective parties. "
As time went by, it became increasingly unpopular to be a mixed Indian family and prejudicial laws even came into play. For this reason, I believe a good many Griffin's who by this time showed little outward characteristics of their earlier (colonial period) Indian heritage, simply gave up their history or covered it up. Others, like my line went to Texas which at the time was more tolerant and later described themselves to their descendants as "Black Irish". Others, as we know....went to Oklahoma by force. There are hundreds of Griffins on the Cherokee rolls. Whatever the case, perhaps the reason many of us on these lines get "stuck" in ALabama and GA and can go no further back is because of the exact politics of the period which dictated that their history be lost. Sorry this is such a long post. Truly hope it is helpful. A video of all my research as it pertains to this line of Griffins of Texas, ALA, GA and VA is can be viewed here: http://www.vimeo.com/10996733
. Historical photos and scans of the bible and pages from our "family box" can be viewed here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/visualmediaworx/collections/721...
Anyway, I'll spend a little time and see if I can find anything pertaining to your line. If not, I hope some of this information may help you connect a dot or two.