George Duffield was born on July 4, 1794 in Strasburg, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States. He was the grandson of Rev. George Duffield, and son of George and Faithful (Slaymaker) Duffield. His father was for many years comptroller of the state. In the strict Presbyterian circle in which the younger George grew up he was considered “wayward ” but outside that circle he probably would not have been regarded as displaying any particularly wicked tendencies.