(This is the work of Joyce Hetrick)

The Graves Family History

NANCY” ANNE-7 GRAVES’ father was JOHN GRAVES, Sr., the 6th generation from their first ancestor on Colonial shores, CAPTAIN THOMAS GRAVES-1. JOHN GRAVES-6 also lived in Caswell County and died there in 1792, leaving a will. He had come there from Spotsylvania County, Virginia.

CAPTAIN THOMAS GRAVES-1, born about 1580 in England, came to the Jamestown Colony on the second supply ship. The lineage of Captain THOMAS GRAVES-1 has been exhaustively researched by many amateur and professional genealogists. Some items are almost completely agreed upon by most researchers, while some items are matters of pure conjecture or argument. The following report is a mixture of both these. This author independently researched this line before learning of the Graves Family Association and came to many of the same conclusions as the majority of researchers. That doesn’t mean that there are no mistakes, but reinforces the conclusions drawn from the known data.

There are several hundred people who are descended from this man who have researched the genealogy and documentation. In the following narrative, long quotes are in italics, spelled as the original. The letters “U” and “V,” which the old records seem to use interchangeably, have been modernized for clarity. Each generation will have a number designation after the name, and the author’s direct ancestors are in “All Caps.” Both old and new dates are given. Many excerpts are taken from the British Copies of the Virginia Company’s Records, published in 1909.

Though there are several direct references to CAPT GRAVES in the records of the colony, the author has attempted to add additional information about what was going on with the colony and possibly fill in gaps between direct references to him. The intent was to give the reader an overall picture of the conditions through which our ancestor lived. No license has been taken to invent events.

Some of the early Virginia colonists were reprobates of the worst sort; some were men of worth and character. Some were lazy, back-biting, back-stabbing, drunken “gentry.” Others of “lower class” were much better men when viewed by today’s standards. What we know of THOMAS’ character, we must read between the lines. We don’t know if he was one of the slackers that Captain John Smith told to work or starve, or if he was one of Smith’s industrious supporters. We do know that when Virginia elected its first representative body, THOMAS-1 was one of the men elected to office. Whether by reason of birth, money, position, power, personal worth, or skullduggery, he rose to positions of importance in his community that seem to speak well of the man’s ability---either at honest administration or “election fixing.” At the very least, he participated in a unique experience of his day and must have had enterprise. Considering the risks he took and the day in which he lived, he lived to be a relatively “old” man, probably being at least between 50 and 60 years of age when he died. He was a member of the church vestry and, therefore, we know that he most likely held the religious beliefs of the state-sanctioned Church of England, and was not likely a dissenter.

During the times he was in the colony, most of the colonists perished of either famine, disease, or Indian attacks. [Don’t you wish he could see America now?]

Captain Thomas Graves-1 [1580-1736]

Captain Thomas Graves-1; John-2; Thomas-3; John-4; Thomas-5; John-6; Ann-7

In an article printed in the Graves Family Newsletter, Volume 15, number 89, page 101, an article by Theron L. Smith, summarizes the lineage as “The most likely lineage from Thomas-1 to Thomas-5 can now be summarized as: Capt. Thomas-1 Graves, John-2 Graves, Thomas-3 Graves of York Co., VA, John-4 Graves of King and Queen Co., VA, Thomas and John-5 Graves of Spotsylvania Co., VA”

Jamestown Colony, Virginia, 1608

CAPTAIN THOMAS GRAVES-1 was the first person with the surname of “Graves” to come to these shores. THOMAS-1 was one of the original “adventurers” and “planters” of the Virginia Company of London who established the Jamestown Colony in Virginia.

King James I of England had granted a patent [charter] to the privately-funded Virginia Company for the establishment of the “plantation,” or colony, in Virginia on April 10, 1606. Funds were raised by selling shares in the company for 12 pounds, 10 shillings each. Later, the Company held lotteries to raise additional funds. The king did not financially support the venture, but gave it his blessing, in hopes of a rich reward to his reign. The investors, or “adventurers,” invested their funds in the hope of a quick return in products such as gold and silver, as the Spanish had made in Mexico. At first, land and goods produced in the colony were to be held in common, but would later be divided into privately-held estates. An investor of funds would get his share and a “planter,” or personal adventurer, would also receive a share for his personal services, and/or for transporting other colonists at his expense.

The “ancient” [first] “planters” [settlers] had arrived with Captain John Smith and landed on the shores April 26, 1607 [Virginia Chronology, pg. 2]. The trip had been a rough one from the standpoint of foul weather and poor planning. The problems of the voyage and settlement upon the hostile shore were compounded by political back-stabbing, and the skull-drudgery and factional fighting for position in the proposed colony. John Smith was actually in chains for most of the first voyage from England to the shores of Virginia. He was not released and sworn in as a member of the Council until June 10, 1607. [Virginia Chronology, pg 3.]

During the time between June, 1607, and the arrival in January, 1608, of the Second Supply ship, John Smith had been up river and had been held captive by Powhatan. After having secured his release, he had returned to Jamestown, only to find that while he was gone, the Councilors, Ratcliffe, Smith, and Martin, had deposed the fourth, Wingfield, and made Captain John Ratcliffe President. When Smith arrived back in Jamestown, he was immediately tried and condemned to die for the loss of two of his companions. The arrival of Newport and his supply ships saved Smith’s life. [Virginia Chronology, pg 4.].

The colony established a tenable base on land among the cunning and hostile Indians. By the time Captain Newport arrived with the Second Supply in January 2, 1608, which included 70-odd persons who would stay in Virginia, the surviving people of the colony were experiencing hard times, indeed. John Smith said that out of the original 105 men on the first settlement, only 38 remained. The Indians had killed many, and starvation, disease, and hardship the rest. An additional 70 mouths to feed was a mixed blessing at best, as the new colonists were not equipped by strength or training for the hard manual labors of establishing a self-sufficient colony. The “gentlemen” were apparently not used to hard manual labor.

Though some of the records from the earliest dates have been lost, there are enough surviving records of the London Company and Virginia [local] court records, that a fairly complete picture of the early Jamestown and Virginia settlements can be pieced together. Several men also left letters, maps, and other documents that add to our information about the early colony.

One of the early settlers, master George Percy, stated, concerning the first colonists in 1607:

The fifteenth of June [1607] we had built and finished our Fort, which was triangle wise, having three Bulwarkers, at every corner, like a halfe Moone, and foure of the fire pieces of Artillerie mounted in them; we made our selves sufficiently strong for these Savages. We had also sowne most of our corne on two mountaines. It sprang a mans height from the ground. This countrey is fruitfull soile, bearing many goodly and fruitfull trees, as Mulberries, Cherries, Walnuts, Cedars, Cypresse…in great abundance.

Captaine Newport being gone from [for] England, leaving us verie bare and scantie of victualls; furthermore in warres and in danger of the savages. We hoped after a supply, which Captain Newport promised within twentie weeks.

There were never Englishmen left in a foreigne Countrey in such miseries as we were in this new discovered Virginia. We [stood] watched every three nights, lying on the bare cold ground, what weather soever came; warded [worked?] all the next day; which brought our men to be most feeble wretches. Our food was but as small can of barlie sod [soaked] in water, to five men a day. Our drinke cold water taken out of the river; which was, at a floud [high tide] verie salt; at low tide, full of slime and filth; which was the destruction of many of our men.

Thus we lived for the space of five months in this miserable distresse, not having five able men to man our bulwarkes upon any occasion. If it had not pleased God to have put a terrour in the savages hearts, we had all perished by these wild an cruell pagans, being in that weake estate as we were; our men night and day groaning in every corner of the fort most pittiful to heare. If there were any conscience in men, it would make their harts to bleed to heare the pittiful murmurings and out-cries of our sick men without relief, every night and day, for the space of six weeks some departing out of the world, many times three or four in a night; in the morning their bodies trailed [dragged] out of their cabines like dogges to be buried. In this sort did I see the mortalities of divers of our people.” [Smith, Travels & Works, Part I, pp 1xx, 1xxii, 1 xxiii]


The First Supply, in the ship, John and Francis, was brought back to Jamestown by Captain Newport on January 8, 1607/8 [OS/NS]. Virginia Chronology gives the date as between January 2, 1608 and January 7, 1608 [new system.].

All this time, our cares were not so much to abandon the countrie but the treasurer and Councell in England were as diligent and carefull to supplie us. Two tall ships they sent us with neer 100 men, well furnished with all things could be imagined necessarie, aboth for them and for us. The one commanded by Captaine Newport. The other by Captaine Nelson an honest man and expert mariner; but such as the leewardnesse of his ship, that by stromy contrarie windes, was forced t farre to see as the West Indes was the next land for the repaire of his masts, and relief of wood and water.

Captain Newport arrived at Jamestown.

Where this New Supply being lodged with the rest, accidentally fired the quarters and so the Towne; which being but thatched with reeds, the fire so fierce as it burnt their pallizadoes, with ther armes, bedding, apparell, and much private provision. Good Master Hunt, our preacher, lost all his library, and al that he had but the cloathes on his backe, yet none ever see him repine at his losse. This hapned in the winter, in that extreame frost 1607[8].

“with the extreamity of the bitter cold aire, more than halfe of us died, and took our deathes, in that piercing winter. [Smith, Travels. & Workes. Part 1, Chapter 111, pg, 100, 103, 104.]

The spring approaching and the ship departed, Master Skrivener and Captaine [John] Smith divided betwixt them the rebuilding of our towne, the repairing our pallisadoes, the cutting down trees, preparing our fields, planting our corne, and to rebuild our church, and recover our storehouse.

Al men thus busie at their several labours, Maister Nelson arrived with his lost Phoenix. [on April 20, 1608]. [Smith, Travels and Works Part I, Chapter IV, pg. 105.]

Captain Newport had left before the Phoenix got in, and arrived back in England at Blackwell on May 21, 1608, on his return from the First Supply voyage. We don’t know exactly when he started back toward Virginia with the Second Supply, but we think about August, 1608. He certainly must not have tarried long in England, but quickly refitted the ship and turned back for Virginia. The trip took about 20 weeks both ways, depending on the weather. We do know that he started back in the late summer or early fall of 1608.

The Second Supply to Virginia

We may imagine THOMAS-1 on the small ship looking over the rail toward the west as the ship approached the wild Virginia coast after the long voyage. What a hearty welcome the weary travelers must have received from the colonists on the shore when they finally landed. THOMAS-1 and his shipmates were probably equally glad to feel tera firma under their feet again and anxious to explore the new lands.

THOMAS-1 arrived about October of 1608 aboard the Second Supply ship, the Mary and Margaret, whose captain was Christopher Newport. No one is sure where or exactly when THOMAS-1 was born. Most of the men on the first ships were from London, or at least England. One contemporary reference, however, lists THOMAS-1 as “from Dublin, of the relm of Ireland.” Some research has been done in Irish records for mention of THOMAS-1, or other Graves families, and there appears to be little evidence that he came from Ireland at this time. The first Irish family named “Graves,” for whom records have been found, appears to have been established in 1649. [Graves, Graves, Twelve Generations, Some Descendants and Kin, pg 23-4.] It is possible, however, that he may have moved to Dublin, Ireland, for business or lived there at some time in his life. Also, it is possible that the entry is totally in error.

THOMAS’-1 date of birth can be estimated at 1580 [plus or minus 10 years], especially since only young and strong men were able to make the journey to Jamestown. He obviously had some financial means as he invested in the company for 25 pounds, or two shares of the Adventure. Whether THOMAS-1 had this money by inheritance or had earned it himself, it was a goodly sum of money, equal to the wages of a laboring man for five or six years. THOMAS-1 may have been a merchant or tradesman, and at some point was called by the title, “Mister.” He was unlikely of any “noble” blood, however.

THOMAS-1 is referred to in several places as a “gentleman” and also as “Captain,” which might have been a militia title. These titles were reserved for men of some means and standing, above the tradesman class.

Now the building of Ratcliffes pallastaide, as a thing needlesse; the church was repaired, the storehouse, recovered; building prepared for the supply we expected….The boats trimmed for trade, which in their journey encountered the Second Supply, that brought them back to discovere the country of Monocan [Smith, T & W., Vol. I, Chap. VII, pg. 121.]

The ship having disburdened her selfe of 70 persons, with the first gentlewoman and woman servant that arrived in our colony Captaine Newport with al the councell, and 120 chosen men, set forward for the discovery of Monacan’; leaving the president at the fort with 80- to relade the shippe.

Smith’s Travels and Works of John Smith, Part II, lists the passengers of the Mary and Margaret as: Captaine Peter Winne and Captaine Richard Waldo—appointed to be of the Council; Master Frances West, brother of the Lord La Warre [Lord Delaware]; THOMAS GRAVES-1, Raleigh Chroshaw, Gabriel Beadle, John Beadle, John Russell, William Russell, John Cuderington, William Sambage, Henry Leigh, Henry Philpot, Harmon Harrison, Daniel Tucker, Henry Collings, Hugh Wooleston, John Hoult, Thomas Norton, George Yarington, George Burton, Thomas Abbay, William Downman, Thomas Maxes, Michael Lowick, Master Hunt, Thomas Forrest, John Dauxe—all gentlemen.

Tradesmen [artisans] were: Thomas Phelps, John Prat, John Clarke, Jeffrey Shortridge, Dionis Oconor, Hugh Winne, David ap Hugh, [probably a Welch name meaning “son of Hugh”],Thomas Bradley, John Burras, Thomas Lavander, Henry Bell, Master Powell, David Ellis and Thomas Gibson.

Laborers were listed as Thomas Dawse, Thomas Mallard, William Tayler, Thomas Fox, Nicholas Hancock, Walker, Williams, Floud [Flood] Morley, Rose, Scot, Hardwyn. “Boyes” were listed as Milman and Hillard. In addition, there were “Mistress Forrest and Anne Burras, her maide, eight Dutch Men, and Poles, with some others, to the number of seaventie persons.” Newport’s arrival with the Second Supply did little to gladden the heart of Captain John Smith. Newport set up a “tavern” trade on his ship with the colonists and Indians for furs and other goods. He collected for himself, privately, goods to trade and sell when he reached England. Newport also set out in a smaller boat with 120 men to attempt to go up the river to the falls to discover gold, a passage to the south sea, or whatever was to be found. It was an impossible and futile task. Smith later wrote that “500 men” could not have taken the boat up river, much less the 120 men Newport took. What little stores had been brought, Smith said “not over 20 pounds worth” were not consumed by the ship and sailors during their too-long stay in Virginia, for Newport’s private gain. In fact, the Colony had to provide some corn out of their own small stores to victual the ship for the homeward trip.

In a letter sent back with Newport’s ship when it left, Captain John Smith wrote to the “Treasure and Councel of Virginia” in London requesting that more tradesmen and laborers be sent, instead of the “gentlemen.” He also complained of Captain Newport’s self-serving trade and the wages paid to Newport for “bringing news.” Smith suggested that another Captain, who would not charge such wages, could be hired to make the voyage, and save Newport’s wages for supplies for the colony. Smith was sending “Capt. Radcliffe, now called Sicklemore, a poore counterfeited imposture I have sent you him home, least the company should cut his thoate…if he and Archer returne again they are sufficient to keep us always in factions.”

How right Smith was in these predictions was proven, ever so conclusively, in the months to come. Radcliffe did come back; and the Indians did kill him. Smith’s opposition toward the political “in-set” would cause him great grief for the rest of his life. Smith was “right,” as history has proven, but his was not the popular view.

THOMAS-1 was labeled a “Gent.” in the several records, so he may have been one of those men with whom Smith was having problems getting to work.

The first Christian wedding in Virginia took place shortly after the Second Supply, with THOMAS-1 aboard, arrived. Ann Burras, the lady’s maid, married John Laydon, a carpenter, who had been in the Colony from the beginning. This was also a time, on Smith’s part, of frantic attempts at trading with the Indians for corn. Several of the Second Supply went with Smith on his junkets. The Indians were not cooperative at first and Smith was frustrated. He finally agreed to build a house for Chief Powhatan and trade him a grindstone, 50 swords, and some guns, a cock and hen [chickens], some copper and beads. Many of the company used whatever excuse they could to not go on the trading trips. Captain Smith apparently spent as much time fighting the laziness of his colonists as he did fighting the cunning Indians. Smith seemed one of the few, maybe the only one, to grasp the truth of how fragile was the colony’s grip on the new land and on their very lives.

In mid- to late-December, Smith set off in the Discovery Barge with several men and soldiers. The Pinnacle, with George Persie, brother of the Earl of Northumberland, Francis West, brother of Lord Delaware, and several others, set off shortly behind him to trade. THOMAS-1 was not listed in either of these groups, so he may have stayed behind on this trip. On another trip, however, THOMAS-1 did go, because he was captured by the Indians, who intended to kill him. His rescue by Thomas Savage is recorded, but no other details are known about the capture or exactly when or where it took place.

Smith’s voyage up river in the freezing cold, with the river frozen a half-mile from shore, did not bring quick results. By January 12, he was still not able to induce the cunning Indians to trade. At the end of six weeks, they finally managed to return with about 290 bushels of corn.

One of the men on the trading expedition wrote, concerning the condition of the colony upon their return from the expedition:

When the shippes [had] departed [November 1608] al the provision of the store but that the president [Smith] had gotten was so rotten with the last somers rain, and eaten with rats and wormes as the hogs would scarsely eat it, yet it was the soulders diet till our return [after the trip to trade with Powhatan] so that wee found nothing done, but victuall spent, and the most part of our toole, and a good part of our armes convayed to the savages. But now, casting up the store and fiinding sufficient till the next harvest, the feare of the starving was abandoned; and the company divided into tennes, fifteens, or as the business required, four houres each day was spent in worke, the rest in pasttimes and merry exercise.

Smith did not think that this four hours of work a day was sufficient, and called an assembly where he spoke to the colonists.

Countrymen, the long experience of our late miseries, I hope is sufficient to perswade every one to a present correction of himselfe; and think not that either my pains, or the adventurers purses will ever maintaine you in idlenesse and sloth. I speake not this to you all; for diverse of you, I know, deserve both honor and reward better than is yet here to bee had; but the greater part must be more industrious, or starve. [In other words, work or starve!]

Several of the Dutchmen who had come aboard the Mary and Margaret had escaped the colony and gone to live with the Indians. They had connived some way to get powder, shot, swords, and tools for the Indians. The colony knew it was happening, but not how, “until it was too late.” The Dutchmen also instructed the Indians in the use of firearms, which Smith had been careful about not letting the Indians know how to use. The Dutchmen, with 40 of Powhatan’s Indians, set an ambush for Smith, which turned out to be a failure. Thomas Mallard, who had come on the ship with THOMAS-1, had, at first, been involved with the traitors, but had finally informed Smith of their actions in time to avert total overthrow of the whites by the Indians and the white traitors. Eventually, the Indians killed the traitors. They were so vile that neither side could trust them.

In 1609, instructions and orders were given to Sir Thomas Gates, Knight, the new Governor of Virginia, on how the colony’s daily life should be conducted.

…you shall take principal order and care for the true and reverent worship of god that his worde be duely preached and his holy sacraments administered according to ye constitucons of the church of England in all fundamental pointes, and his ministers had in due observance and respecte agreeable to the dignity of their callinge. And that all atheisme prophanes Popery or Schisme be exemplarity punished to the honor of god and to the peace and safety of his church, over which, in this tenderness and infancy, you must be especially solicitious and watchefull.

He was also instructed to divide the men into companies for work and war, and require reports from the “captains.” The men were to be messed [fed] together at reasonable hours. He was also instructed to keep the men working to attempt to discover mines, so that the ships would not return to England empty. Apparently, neither of these edicts were followed in spirit or practice to a practical degree. This might be where “THOMAS GRAVES, Gent.,” became “Captain” THOMAS GRAVES-1.

Early products returned to England with the returning supply ships were potash, soap ashes, and lumber, as well as tar and pitch. The virgin forests provided abundant supplies of trees which were felled, piled according to kinds and burned. The pines produced tar and pitch which were sent for ship building. Ashes from other trees were made into potash and soap ashes, or lye. The Company at home was anxiously demanding a return on their investment. Natural lye, which is obtained by pouring water through hardwood ashes was used in soap making. England had been buying this from European countries at quite a high price and did not have sufficient trees to use for the purpose. It is remarkable today, to see what products the colonists found that were valuable enough to be shipped back to England---who would have ever thought wood ashes would have been among the valuable products worth shipping from these shores!

In fact, Captain Newport had threatened the colony and John Smith with abandonment if his ship were not laden with products equal to the inflated cost of the Second Supply voyage, above 2,000 British pounds. Smith hated Newport for the self-serving bloodsucker that he was. In his letters, Smith pled with the Company to be patient with the colony and let them establish themselves self-sufficiently, before expecting a quick profit. Many investors, apparently, had dreams of treasures like the Spanish gold mines, and looked at the venture as a get-rich-quick scheme. Smith saw the colony as a much bigger project, with bigger returns in the long run. Much effort was wasted in getting an immediate return on the investment. That effort should have been invested in the long run.

Thomas Graves Captured by Indians

THOMAS-1 must have been active in the discovery trips made by the early settlers, looking for mines and trading with the Indians for food. He had been captured by the Indians on one of these trips. Thomas Savage, who had come on the first supply ship was successful in rescuing THOMAS-1, and in doing so, made enemies of one tribe of the local Indians because he shamed them in front of another tribe during the rescue.

Hee told us also Opechancanough had imployed Onianimo to Kill Savage; because he brought the trade from him to the Easterne shore, and some disgrace he had done his sonne and some thirteen of his people before one hundred of those Easterlings [Indians] in rescuing THOMAS GRAVES-1 whome they would have slaine; where he and three more did challenge the thirteene Pamavnkes to fight but they durst not; so that all those Easterlings so derided them, that they came there no more. [Smith, Travels and Works, Part II, pg. 568-9.]

After the arrival of the second supply, the colony ….quietly followed our business that in 3 monthes, we made 3 or 4 last of pitch, and tarre, and sope ashes; produced a trial of glasse; made a well in the forte of excellent sweet water, which till then was wanting; built some 20 houses; recovered our church, provided nets and weares for fishing; and to stop the disorders of our disorderly theeves and the savages, built a blocke house in the neck of our isle, kept by a garrison, to entertaine the savages trade, and noe to passe or reasse, salvage or Christian with[out] the president’s order; 30 or 40 acres of ground we digged and planted; of 3 sowes, in one year increased 60 and od pigges, and neer 500 chickens brought up themselves, without having any meate [food] given them; but the hogges were transported to hog isle where also we built a blocke house with a garrison to give us notice of any shipping; and for their exercise, they made clapboard, wainscot and cut down trees against the ships coming.

Thomas Savage, who had come with Newport on the first supply, had been left with the Indians to learn their language. He was only about 13 years old when he came to Virginia. Newport left him “whom he gave as his sonne,” with Chief Powhatan to learn the language. Savage had returned to Jamestown several years later. It is said that he was spoken of as “Thomas Newport” as late as 1628. [Smith, Travels and Works of Captain John Smith.] He may have been an illegitimate son of Newport’s.

Savage served the Jamestown Colony for the rest of his life as interpreter. In 1623, he was listed on the “Eastern Shore” near where THOMAS GRAVES-1 lived. At the same time that this man lived in Jamestown, there was another man by the same name, but designated as “Thomas Savage, Carpenter.” They are not father and son, and if there is a connection, it is unknown. [Barlow, “Thomas Savage, Carpenter of the Virginia Eastern Shore.”]

Preparing ground for planting was very labor-intensive, as the preparation was done with a heavy hoe, and not with a plow, even an ox-drawn one. This three-month period was quite productive for the colony. While this was going on in Jamestown, Smith was upriver on a trading expedition with the Indians. It is most likely that THOMAS-1 was in Jamestown, since he is not on the list of those with Smith.

We built also a fort for retreat, neare a convenient river upon a high commanding hill, very hard to be assaulted, and easier to be defended; but ere it was halfe finished this defect cause a stay.

In searching for our casked corne, we found it halfe roten and the rest so consumed with the many thousand ratts, increased first from the ships, that we knew not how to keep that little wee had. This did drive us all to our wits end; for there was nothing in the countrie but that nature afforded.”

…but this want of corn occasionaed the end of all our workes, it being worke sufficient to provide victual.

Shortly after this, Smith returned, after an extended period of time away from the colony, with a supply of corn traded from the Indians, to find that the colony had stopped work and were afraid of starving, spending all their efforts to find food, but none to improve the colony’s lot. Smith’s corn met the immediate need of the colony for food, so they set back to work but for only a few hours a day. They spent most of their time in recreation and idleness. Shortly, food was again in short supply, and it was decided to divide the colony into different companies to forage.

60 or 80 with Ensine Laxton were sent downe river to live upon oysters and 20 with leiftenant Percie to trie for fishing at point Comfort, but in 6 weeks, they would not agree once to cast out their net. Master West with as many, went to the falles; but nothing could bee found but a fewe berrie and acornes. Of that in the store, everyone had their equall proportion.

We don’t know which group THOMAS-1 was with, but we know that at this time the entire colony was in great want of food. [Smith, Travels and Works, Part I, Chapter XI, page 154-5 .]

With food running low and their inability to secure enough food, either by trade with the Indians or foraging in the country, the colony began to murmur against Smith. Smith took charge and informed the settlers that each well man must forage for himself. The remaining stores would be divided among the sick. He also promised to hang any that ran away, and to banish any man that did not gather as much as he [Smith] did each day. Many of the colony thought this a very harsh order, but they must have believed that Smith would make good on his promise because they immediately began to gather food. He that should not work, should not eat was Smith’s policy.

Third Supply Ship to Virginia

July 23, 1609, a little less than a year after THOMAS-1 arrived, a fleet of seven ships, carrying about 500 [300?] persons arrived. The trip had been traumatic for the fleet which had lost many persons from a plague. The Sea Venture, one of the ships, had been wrecked in the Bahamas. On board were Sir Thomas Gates, the new Governor, Sir George Somers, and Smith’s old enemy, Captain Newport. Seven of the remaining vessels arrived in Jamestown “in a miserable estate.”

Captain Smith was not expecting these ships’ arrival. In fact, he thought they might be invading Spaniards and prepared to do battle with them. It might have been better for the Jamestown Colony if they had been hostile Spaniards. A new charter had been issued in England succeeding Smith’s government. The principles were on the wrecked Sea Venture, so Smith’s power was not officially succeeded. However, Ratcliffe, Martin, and others immediately began to plot mutiny and take over the running of the Colony. They took over the Colony in a series of factions. Ratcliffe was the same man Smith had sent home earlier for making trouble.

About the time of the arrival of the fleet, John Smith was on a voyage about 100 miles upriver. His powder bag exploded and he was injured. He had jumped overboard into the freezing waters to put out the fire, but was badly burned. Besides his immediate injury, Smith was mortally “tired” from his sojourn in the new land and the continual problems, from within and without, that the colony had faced.

Not only had the accident, which left a hole in Smith’s side nine by ten inches in size, tormented Smith, but a plot to murder him was hatched by Martin, Ratcliffe, and Archer. An unnamed person of the three, who was to pull the trigger, lost his nerve at the last second. So the men decided to band together and usurp the government from Smith. Smith’s loyal old soldiers pleaded with him to allow them to execute the men in revolt, but Smith “sent for the masters of the ships and took order with them for his return to England.”

Smith decided to return to England for treatment of his wounds, from which many of the company expected him to die. He recounted in his Historie the conditions of the colony at the time he left, and that there were about 500 persons left in the colony at that time. Many of the newer arrivals, however, were totally unfit for conditions in the colony, being “younger sons” sent off to seek their fortunes, slackers, and people of ill-repute, gladly sent out of England by their friends and family.

The Starving Time

Smith later wrote that at the time of his departure, the colony was relatively well provided for with:

3 ships, 7 boates, commodities ready to trade, the harvest newly gathered, 10 weeks provision in the store, 490 and odde persons, 24 peeces of ordinances, 300 muskets snaplatches and fire lockes, shot powder and match sufficient, …100 well trained and expert soulders, nets for fishing, tooles of all sortes, 6 mares and a horse 5 or 600 swine, as many hens and chickens, some goates, some sheep

With Smith gone, however, every malcontent in the group came forward with his complaints against Smith, and the leaders consumed the victuals without thought of tomorrow. It appears that even before Smith’s departure, the colony went into an immediate orgy of sloth and consumption [According to Richard Pott’s testimony.] In addition to their own problems, as soon as Smith left, the Indians began attacking the colony frequently and in great force. They slaughtered many of the settlers.

With Smith’s departure, and the factions within the leadership, stores were soon gone and the colony experienced the “starving time.” Out of about 500 persons in the colony at the time Smith departed, only 60 managed to survive the winter. They even ate the hides of the horses. THOMAS-1 must have left and returned to England on one of the ships, but returning about the same time Smith did, as he obviously was not there during this time.

Now we all found the loose [loss] of Captain Smith, yea his greatest malingers could now curse his loose, as for corne provision and contribution from the salvages, [savages] we had nothing but mortal wounds, with clubs and arrows; as for our hogs, hens, goats, sheep, horse or what lived, our commanders, officers and salvages daily consumed them, some small proportions sometimes we tasted, till all was devoured; then swords, armies, pieces,[guns] or anything wee traded with the salvages, whose cruel fingers were so oft imbrued in our bloods, that what by their cruelty, our Governors indiscretions, and the loose of our ships, of five hundred within six months after Captain Smith’s departure there remained not past sixty men, women and children, most miserable and pore creatures; and those were preserved for the most part by roots, Herb’s, acorns, walnuts berries now and then a little fish, even the very skins of our horses. Nay, so great was our famine, that a salvage we slew and buried, the poorer sort took him up again and eat him; and so did divers one another boiled and stewed with roots and Herbs; and one amongst the rest did kill his wife, powdered [salted] her and had eaten part of her before it was for which hee was executed as hee well deserved; now whether shee was better roasted, boyled or carbonado’d I know not; but of such a dish as powdered wife I never heard of. This vile to say, and scarce to what we endured.” [Dr. Simmon’s Oration, Generall Historie of Virginia by Captain Smith, 1624, The Fourth Booke.]

Dr. Simmons” was actually Smith writing under a pen name, though for what reason we don’t know. Since we know he was not there during the Starving Time, he might have used the pen name so that he could write in the first person. His attempt at “gallows humor” with the comment about the “powdered wife” comes across as a little bit tongue-in-cheek, but nevertheless, the time was truly horrible, and if the cannibalism did actually take place, it would not be surprising. Without Captain Smith to drive the colony to tasks necessary to survive, nearly 80% of them died in the space of six months. [Records of the Virginia Company of London.]

Smith’s own “Briefe relation written by Captain Smith to his Majesties Commissioners for the reformation of Virginia, concerning some aspersians against it.” Gives a brief overview of his own view of the colony.

Being enjoined by our Commission not to unplant nor wrong the salvages, because the channell was so neer the shore, where now is James Towne, then a thick grove of trees; we cut them down, where the salvages pretending much kindnesse as could bee, they hurt and slew one and twenty of us in two hours. At this time our diet was for the most part water and bran, and three ounces of little better stuffe in bread for five mean a meale; and thus we lived near three monthes; our lodgings under boughes of trees, the salvages being our enemies, whome we neither knew nor understood; occasions I think sufficient to make men sick and die.

Necessity thus did inforce me with eight or nine, to try conclusions amonst the salvages, that we got provisions which recovered the rest being sicke. Six weeks [this should read three] I was led captive by those Barbarians, though some of my men were slaine, and the rest fled; yet it pleased God to make their great kings daughter the means to returne me safe to James Towne, and releeve our wants, and then [January 2, 1608] our common-wealth was in all eight and thirty, the remainder of one hundred and five.

The first supply brought an additional 120 settlers. In the meantime, Smith relates that he had made the Indian kings subject to him. [Though the Indians were still untrustworthy, they had a great personal fear of Smith himself, rather than of white men in general.]

All those conclusions being not able to prevent the bad events of pride and idlenesse, [among the settlers] having received another supply of seventie [the Second Supply on which THOMAS-1 came] we were about 200 in all, but not twentie work-men; in following the strict directions from England to doe that was impossible at that time; so it hapned, that neither wee nor they had anything to eat but what the countrey afforded naturally; yet eighty who lived upon Oysters in June and July [1609] with a pint of corne a week for a man lying under the trees, and 120 for the most part living upon sturgion, which was dried til we pounded it to powder for meale, yet in ten weeks but seven died.

…not withstanding we sent home ample proofes of pitch, tar sope ashes, wainskot, clapboard, silke grasse, iron ore, some sturgion, and glasse, saxefrax, cedar, cypris, and blacke walnut, crowned Powhatan, sought the Monacans Countrye, according to the instructions sent us, but they caused us [to] neglect more necessary workes; they had better have given for pitch and sope ashes one hundred pound a tun in Denmarke; we also maintained fire or six several plantations.

James towne being burnt, wee rebuilt it and three Forts more; besides the church and storehouse, we had about fortie or fiftie several houses to keep us warme and dry invironed with a palizado of fourteen or fifteen foot, and each as much as three or four men could carrie. We digged a faire well of fresh watr in the fort…

…not long after came in severn ships, with about three hundred people, but rather to supplant us then to supply us; their admirall with their authoritie being cast away in the Bermudas, very angry they were we had made no better provisions for them. Seven or eight weekes we withstood the indundations of these disorderly humors, till I was neere blowne to death with Gunpowder, which occasioned me to return to England.

In the year 1609, about Michaelmas I left the countrye as is formerly related…” [Smith, T & W.]

He goes on to tell the well-stocked condition of the colony upon his departure. He then describes his own expenses and labors in attempting to settle the Virginia Colony, and the lack of return he has received for his labors, as well as the fact that others are in possession of the fruits of his labors. Though one can understand his frustration, the oration does sound a bit like whining and sour grapes.

Several questions were placed to Smith about the problems and the restructuring he would recommend in Virginia. He attributed the problems of the “Starving Time,” right after his departure, to “idlenesse and carlesnesse.” When asked why only tobacco was grown, he replied that corn was two-shillings and six-pence a bushel, and tobacco was three-shilllings a pound. He went on further to say that when the prices were reversed, corn would be the primary crop.

Survivors Rescued

After Smith and the fleet left the colony, and the starving time commenced, the group that was shipwrecked in the Bermudas from the Sea Venture, built a boat and traveled on to Virginia. This group arrived with about 150 people, just in the nick-of-time to save the few remaining colonists alive after the “starving time.” They took the 60-surviving wretches aboard and decided to abandon the colony. Some of the colony wanted to burn the buildings on their way out, but it was decided not to. Early the next morning, Lord Delaware who was coming as the new governor to the colony, arrived from England with relief, so the people returned to the colony on June 10, 1610.

Lord Delaware arrived as the second governor-for-life, replacing Gates, and began blaming the colonists themselves for their plight, but before long was taken sick himself. While he placed blame, he didn’t offer many reasonable solutions. He remained for only about nine months. Then he departed, his health broken, and whining his way back toward England. When he left, he said there were about 200 left in the colony. During Delaware’s brief stay, almost half the population had died. Gates became deputy governor.

No mention is made of THOMAS-1 returning to England about the time Smith left, before the “starving Time,” but it is imagined that he must have gone back to England at least once, and maybe more than once. Ships came and went at regular intervals, and more supplies and settlers came and went with each ship. Mention is made of several people who came and went from Virginia several times, so it is likely that THOMAS-1 was one of these. For him to have lived through all the horrible times would have been unlikely. Those indications, plus the fact that all but one of his children were born in England, indicates that he traveled back and forth at least once, and most likely several times.

The best guess is that he was an unmarried teenager or young man when he first came, and he returned home for some period of time, married, and several of his children were born in the British Isles. THOMAS-1 may have had business interests to attend to in England as well. It is not likely that he left everything behind when he first came to Virginia. We know that only the youngest child, born about 1630, was born in Virginia. Since 50 acres of land was claimed for each of the children, except the youngest son born after 1630, we are assured that all of the other children were born in the British Isles. Since the land allotment was 50 acres each, we can also know that the family didn’t actually come to the colony before 1616, when the allotment for a headright was reduced from 100 acres to 50 acres each. The best guess of the date of arrival of THOMAS’ family is probably about 1625, but possibly as early as 1619. This later arrival might have saved the lives of THOMAS-1, KATHERINE, and their children, for between 1619 and 1625 at least 400 people were murdered by the Indians. The vast majority of the early settlers died untimely deaths, leaving but little besides unmarked graves to show for their labors. THOMAS would have been a prudent man to have left his wife and children at home until conditions improved.

Mortality of the early settlers was up to 75%. For a time, it seemed the malaria-laden Tidewater Virginia Colony would fail due to the deaths of so many. The low marshy ground swarming with mosquitoes, the hot sun, filthy drinking water, dysentery, yellow fever, scurvy, and plague all combined to produce a ghastly train of suffering and death.

In addition to the malaria, which was imported into the colony by the settlers, there was the rat, the cockroach, and the black fly which were also imported scourges. Each new ship brought new diseases and problems with them.

Sir Thomas Dale, the new governor in 1610, established severe martial laws in the colony, but made improvements in the lot of the colonists. He did what John Smith had not been able to accomplish.

When the colonists first arrived, they had worshipped under a sail on the beach. Then, a little while later, they built a timber church. It was burned in January, 1608, shortly after the supply ship arrived. They rebuilt it during the bitter winter. In 1614, a frame church served the colony. In 1617, a frame church outside the fort was built. That frame church was where the first elected officials of the colony met. THOMAS GRAVES-1 was one of those men. It wasn’t until 1639 that the frame church was razed and a brick church built on the site. Today, there is a Memorial Church built on the site and part of the original church’s foundation can be seen.

The land was held in common, with community efforts to clear land, plant and sow crops. The colony depended upon the Virginia Company corporate form of government in the early years. In the Charter of 1609, it was provided that land should be conveyed by majority vote of the Virginia Company, and consideration should be given to the amount invested by the Adventurer, as well as “special service, hazard expoit, or merit of any person.”

The Planter, or the person who went to Virginia, had his “personal adventure” equated to one unit of investment, or one share, which the Adventurer could purchase for money. Both the Adventurer and Planter were promised a proportionate share of any land or profits. THOMAS was both an “adventurer” [he had purchased two shares for a little over 25 pounds] and an “ancient Planter” [he had personally come to the colony.]

Before 1616, land was used under a tenant farm policy under Sir Thomas Dale. “Three acres of cleared ground were given to men of the old settlement, who in effect, were tenants of the company and required to give one month’s labor each year and two and a half barrels of corn on the ear to the common store.” In 1616, there were 351 people, with 81 farmers or tenants. [Graves, Graves Twelve Generations, pg 15.]

Smyth’s Hundred

In 1616, the Company treasury was low and the population of the Colony still very low, so the promised private division of lands was delayed. In 1617, hoping to expand the population, the company encouraged private or voluntary associations organized on a joint-stock basis to establish settlements in the area.

Since few adventurers had the cleared land or resources to go it alone, the company granted a patent to contiguous areas of land according to the shared number of shares of stock possessed by the group. Smith’s Hundred [later called Southampton Hundred] was organized in 1617 by Sir Thomas Smith, Sir Edwin Sandys, and the Earl of Southampton. CAPTAIN THOMAS GRAVES-1 was also included in this organization. Smith’s Hundred was an 80,000-acre plot on the north side of the James River.

In “A letter to Sir Edwin Sandys,” Governor Yeardley wrote, reporting on the state of affairs at “Smyth’s Hundred, ” also called “Plantacon of Acchawmacke” stated:

There hath lately hapned a misfortune done by him who comanded there Mr. Eps who I found chief in the business at my coming Mr. Haull and Mr. Neman being dead, Mr. Eps being a hopefull young gentleman I constituted Captayne over the people and comitted the business wholly to his disposing in my absence as he should receave directions from me, but so it fell out one of the 30th of May last that one Capt. Stalling employed hether by Sir ffardinando George, coming to Smithes Hundred some difference ffell between the[m] and drunkeness which of late hath bin to common stiring them farther to malice and blowes, so that Epps let drive at Stalling and with his sworde but scabered and all, yet the blow was so fforcible that he cleft him to the scull and next day he died thereon, this matter is not yett tryed in regard I have bin troubled with these businesses of Capt. Argalls, in the mean he is committed to the provost Mareshalkls and in his stead I have entreated Capt. GRAVES an antient officer of this company to take charge of the people and workes.” [Records of the Virginia Company of London, 1619 Vol. III, 1607-1622, p. 121.]

By this we know that THOMAS-1 was back in Virginia and was associated with Smythe’s Hundred. Land division in 1618 was established by the Virginia Company as:

All grants of ____in Virginia to such adventurers as have heretofore brought in their money here to the treasury for their several shares being of twelve pounds 10 shillings the share be of one hundred acres the share upon the first division and as many more upon a second division when the land of the first division shall be sufficiently peopled. And for every person which shall transport thither within seven years after midsummer day one thousand six hundred and eighteen if he continue there three years or dye in the meantime after he is shipped it be of fifty acres the person upon the first division and fifty more upon the second division of the land the first being sufficiently peopled without paying any rent to the company for the one or the other [Records of the Virginia Company, Vol. III, p. 107.]

Indentured servants were being brought in. The land for their transportation went, not to the servant, but to the “master,” who brought the servant in at his expense. At first, only white Englishmen and women were brought in, but due to economic conditions and the need for cheap labor, black slaves-for-life began to be brought into the colony in 1619. We know of eight indentured servants that THOMAS-1 brought at his expense [at about 6 English pounds each.] We have no record of THOMAS-1 bringing black slaves. We also know that THOMAS probably employed some of these servants himself. Shortly after THOMAS died, a servant of “Mrs. Graves” was brought up on charges of theft.

In some instances, it was many years after a person was imported before the land was actually claimed for them.

The First Elected Legislature

In 1619, tobacco cultivation was begun and the right to have its own legislature was given to the colony. THOMAS-1 was a member of that legislature, representing Smythe’s Hundred.

The first day they gathered in the church choir and called roll. Each took the Oath of Supremacy and entered the assembly. The speaker read to them the commission for establishing the council of estate and the general assembly, wherein their duties were described. He read to them the great charter orders as well as the laws sent by Sir George Yeardley out of England. Committees were formed to peruse the four books of the great charter. THOMAS-1 was on the committee for the second book.

After looking over the books, the various committees made recommendations on land division, petitioning the Company for more settlers, and considered rent [tax] collections. The records of these proceedings were very well kept, and also pretty dry reading, but they give us almost a picture of our ancestor sitting there in the church choir.

Laws and regulations concerning the organization of the colony were passed and a requirement that ministers in the colony collect the names of births, marriages, christenings, burials, etc., and report them each March.

THOMAS-1 had bought two shares of the Adventure, for an investment of about 25 pounds. He also transported his wife and several children after 1616. If it had been before 1616, he would have gotten 100 acres each for them. However, after 1616, the amount of land given for a person transported was 50 acres. The records of the Company list a patent for THOMAS GRAVES-1 “of Doublin in the Realm of Ireland, Gent.” This is the only known reference to THOMAS’s place of residence before he came to Virginia. Louise Graves believes that this reference is a clerical error. It is also possible that THOMAS-1 might have been sent to Ireland by James I with the other Scots and English “Undertakers” to settle the lands recently taken from the Celtic Irish. We do know that there were no families in Ireland named “Graves” until a generation later. If he did live in Ireland before coming to Jamestown, he was almost certainly of English extraction.

THOMAS-1 moved from Jamestown to the Eastern Shore of Virginia. We don’t know the exact date he moved, but we know it was after 1619 when he lived at Smyth’s Hundred. It was probably after 1622 when the Indian massacre took place. In 1622,

a Barbarous Massacre in the time of peace and league treacherously executed by the Native Infidels upon the English, the 22 of March last … took place.

Smythe’s Hundred, later called Southampton’s Hundred, was part of the area struck and several persons were killed. In all, more than 300 people were killed, and the iron smelter was destroyed.

George Sandys wrote that the plague which followed the Indian massacre had been twice as fatal as the massacre itself, which means that there could have been no more than 300 English left in Virginia in 1623, despite the fact that perhaps as many as 5,000 had been brought in during the past three years. [Virginia Chronology, pg 10.]

A List of Names: of the Living In Virginia February 16, 1623” shows THOMAS-1at the Eastern Shore.” [The Original Lists taken from Mss Preserved in the State Paper Department of Her Majesty’s Public Record Office in England, James Camden Hotten.] THOMAS-1 either moved after the 1622 massacre or survived it, if he had moved there earlier. The 1625 census showed a total population of 1,232 whites in Virginia. [Virginia Chronology, pg. 11.]

Patent Book Number 1, page 72, Land Register’s Office, Richmond, Virginia, records CAPTAIN THOMAS GRAVES’ patent for 200 acres on the Eastern Shore. This was for his two shares of the Adventure. It was recorded March 14, 1628.

Patent of Captain Thmoas Graves, First Generation

To all to whome these presents shall come I John Pott Esqe Governor and Capt Generll of Virginia send greeting in our Lord God Everlasting. Whereas by the orders and constitution formerly made and established for the affairs of this Colony it hath been ordered and appointed that all devidents of land any way due or belonging to any adventurers or planters of what condition whatsoever should be laid out and assigned to them according to the several conditions in the same mentioned. Now know yee that I and the said John Pott with the consent of the Councell of State give and grant unto Capt. Thomas Graies an antient Planter and to his heirs and assignes for ever by these psents two hundred acres of land as his first divident and on a second division to be augmented and doubled to him and his said heires and assignes when he or they shall sufficiently have peopled and planted the land situate and lying on the Easternside of the shoare of the bayt of Chesepeake and abutting southerly on the land of Capt Henry Fleete and thence extending Northerly along the bankes by the water side one hundred poles westerly upon the said Bay and Easterly directly striking into the Maine Woods. The said two hundred acres accruing by virtue of an Adventure of five and twenty pounds paid by the said THOMAS GRAVES into Sir Thomas Smith late Treasurer for the Company of Virginia. To have and to hold the said two hundred acres of land with the appurtenances and with his due share of all mines and mineralls there in contayned and with all rights and priviledges of hunting fishing fowling and others within the premises and upon the borders of the same to the sole and espress use benefitt and beoofe of him the Said Thomas Graves his heirs and assignes forever. In as large and ample manner to all intents and purposes as is expressed in the said orders and constitutions or by consequences may justly be collected out of the same or out of maities Letters Patents whereon they are grounded. Yeilding and paying for every fifty acres of land herein by these presents given and granted yearly at the feast of St. Michaell the Archangell the fee rent of one shilling provided alwaies that if the said Thomas Graves his heires or assignes do not plante and seate uon the said lands within the time and course of three yeares now next ensuing the date hereof that then it shall and may be lawfull for any andenturer or planter to make choice of and seat upon the same.

In witness, etc….

In 1625, a new census of the Eastern Shore listed only 51 people, along with the year of their arrival and the ship on which they came. THOMAS GRAVES-1 is listed along with his ship, the Mary and Margaret. Neither THOMAS’ wife, KATHERINE, nor their children, were listed on this census, so we may presume that they came later. We don’t know KATHERINE’s maiden name, but it has been suggested by several sources, specifically within the Graves Family Association, that it might have been “Crowsher.” However, this author has no documentation to offer.

We know from the patent of his son, JOHN-2, in 1637, the names of the people that THOMAS-1 imported at his expense. They were: Henry Singleton, Thomas Edge, Robert Phillips, Thomas Griggs, Thos Phillips, Franc. White, Wm. Symber, Jone Packett. John-2 received the 50-acres-per-head in right of his rights as “heir at law” of his father. His sisters’ lands for their transportation were allotted to their husbands, thus proving that they had not been born in the colony. Apparently, most of THOMAS-1and KATHERINE’s children were born in England. Probably, they had spent much of their married life separated by the ocean. Possibly, he delayed bringing them here until he was more sure of their survival.

In 1625, Captain Eppes was to take charge of the settlement of Accawmack and have full power and authority to administer the oath and settle petty differences [Whitelaw, Colonial Records of Virginia.]

After Captain Epps departed, apparently for killing a man in a drunken brawl, CAPTAIN THOMAS GRAVES-1 took over his commission for the Plantation of Accawmack. [Minutes of Council and General Court of Colonial Virginia.]

The minutes of the council at James City, February 8, 1624, states:

Gilbert Peppett swore and examned sayeth yt he asked Capt GRAVES why the tobacco was soe badd, to which he replied it was the best yt he could gett. And that some of them said it was good enough to pay dewties. And yt Mr. How asked CAPT GRAVES how ye [the] tobacco cam to be so bad he being so curious in the making of hitt. Then CAPT GRAVES brought in a bundle of good tobacco about 30 or 40 saight, and said he paid that in himself for Mr. How and John Wilkins, and this examinat sayeth that he took exception against the rest of the tobacco when he received it and said it would be burnt when it came to James Cytie. [Virginia Magazine History and Biography, Vol XXII, Jan 1914, N.1]

In September 1632, Capt. Wm. Claiborne, CAPT THOS GRAVES, Capt Edmund Scarburgh, Chas Harmar, Gent, Obedyence Robins, Gent, John Howe, Gent, and Rober Sanders, Gent were appointed commissiners for the Plantacon of Acchawmake. [Whitelaw.]

CAPTAIN THOMAS GRAVES was one of the Burgesses to the Assembly for the 1629-30 and for the 1632 sessions.

Records of these sessions show THOMAS-1 attending meetings in 1632-1633 and in 1634-1635. Since several of these meetings do not list him, it is possible he was sick or out of the country.

During the 1630s, the Burgesses, though realizing that their very existence might depend upon their compliance with the King’s wishes, refused to accept all his proposals. In 1635, the people elected Sir John Harvey and sent him back to England. The council leaders took the lead in this step, but could hardly have gone to these lengths without the support of the majority of small planters. Their chief grievance against the Governor was his refusal to send the King a petition of the Burgesses, which the Governor considered offensive, because they “made it a popular business, by subscribing a multitude of hands thereto.” In other words, they tried to practice democracy. THOMAS-1 must have been part and privy to all this political infighting, though we don’t know which side he favored. The fact that he was repeatedly elected to positions of honor, responsibility, and power within the community would indicate that he held the “popular” beliefs of the colony. Though the colony swore that they had no “democratic” leanings, even in those early days it appears that the King feared democracy in even tiny forms.

Religious Life

In 1635, William Cotton, Minister, who was married to THOMAS’s daughter, and THOMAS were appointed vestrymen for Hungars Parish. Hungars Parish Episcopal Church is located about seven miles north of Eastville, on the north side of Hungars creek. Church attendance was compulsory. In 1623, the Council had ordered that any man found absent from church was to be punished by a fine of one pound of tobacco for a first offense, or 50 pounds for absence for a month. A man was also required to bring his arms [weapons] to church. These laws, and many other “blue laws,” were enforced strictly as the court minutes prove. It wasn’t until about the time of the Revolution that the strictness of the enforcement was somewhat relaxed, at least as far as the laboring classes were concerned.

Offenses of a “moral” nature were considered not only to be offenses against the law but against the church as well. Anyone caught “sinning” might be put up on a stool in front of the congregation to do penance. Usually, the most humiliating punishments were reserved for the “lower” classes. A rich man or gentleman would be fined; a poor man or a servant would be whipped. A literate person convicted of a crime that required branding might be branded with a “cold iron,” or he might read the “neck verse” from the Bible, and have his punishment remitted. A poor [and, thus, illiterate] man could not avail himself of this since he could not read.

Jamestown was not founded for religious reasons or to seek religious freedom, or in any way to go against the established church, as the Puritans of new England did. The Virginians were generally of the establishment. The few dissenters in their midst, and the early Quakers, were not well tolerated. The first vestry was elected by the parishioners, but subsequent vacancies in the vestry were to be appointed by those vestrymen remaining. The vestry was made up of the most influential men in the community and many times were also Burgesses.

The vestry had oversight of the minister, chose the minister, could dismiss him, collected his salary, provided for his glebe, cared for the poor, and looked after the morals of the community. THOMAS’s appointment to this post testifies to his orthodox standing in both the church and the community.

In November, 1635, THOMAS witnessed a deed. This is the last direct reference we have to him. A couple of months later, on January 5, 1635/6 [OS/NS], reference is made to “Mrs. Graves” in a lawsuit brought against her. If THOMAS had been alive, the suit would have charged him instead. The lawsuit against “Mrs. Graves and her servant” was quite interesting. [Adventures of Purse and Person, “Graves,” pp. 188-189, & Fleet, Virginia Abstracts, V. 18..] So by this, we know that THOMAS GRAVES died between November, 1635, and January 5, 1635/6. [OS/NS].

KATHERINE’s servant, John Culpepper, and another man had been conspiring together and lying up overnight in KATHERINE ‘s barn, eating stolen pumpkins. John Culpepper had also been persuaded by the other man to kill a hog and eat it. John was sentenced to be given 30 lashes, and Mrs. GRAVES had to replace the hog with one “sow of one year and a half old.” In England, he might have been hanged for the same offense. At this time in the colony, it is not unlikely that the servants were actually in great want of food.

Whippings for very minor crimes was the common punishment in the colonies, as it was in Britain. Colonial punishments were not usually as harsh as the ones “at home.” The concept of long-term imprisonment for crimes, except political crimes and debt, was not routine in England at this time.

By 1635, the colony was still short of rations for the colonists, and people were still dying from disease and malnutrition at an accelerated rate. KATHERINE’s servant probably would not have risked a whipping to steal pumpkins unless he were actually hungry. Killing the hog for meat was probably more understandable. It is doubtful that the servants had much, if any, meat furnished to them.

Funerals in Colonial Virginia were social and solemn occasions for the planters and others above servant status. If the weather permitted, messengers were sent around the country to gather friends and family members. The English custom of the funeral feast was kept, an much of the company would be from a distance. The funeral expenses found in the estate records of a man who died only a few years after THOMAS-1 included a “steer about four years old, a barrel of strong beer, which together cost 960 pounds of tobacco”---nearly four times as much as the coffin, which cost 250 pounds of tobacco. Powder spent for the funeral gunfire, which seems to have been a regular part of the ceremony, was worth 24 pounds of tobacco. Funeral sermons were also part of the usual fare and might last for hours. The entire gathering might last for days. Mourning dress was usually dictated by custom and depended upon the estate of the family, whether rich enough to afford the mourning clothes, and somewhat upon the will of the deceased. Servants were probably buried with little ceremony during this time.

Funerals were generally held at the home of the deceased. The body would be washed and wrapped in a shroud, which might have been a large cloth sack with a draw string at the top. The coffin and body would be watched over, night and day, to prevent animals and rodents from molesting the body while it was above ground. The funeral would have been held quickly if the weather were warm, but might be delayed a few days if the weather were cold and could preserve the body. Since the bodies were not embalmed, in the summer time, even within a day, the odor of the decomposing body might be quite strong within the home of the deceased during the funeral. Since THOMAS apparently died during the colder months of the year, the family may have had time to gather friends from afar for the funeral festivities. Funerals were a time of social cohesion and for visiting friends and family and strengthening bonds within the community.

We don’t know if THOMAS-1 died in Virginia, or while on a trip to England, but we may imagine that if he died in Virginia, a man such as he, would have had a large funeral. We don’t know where THOMAS-1 is buried, but might imagine it would be at the Hungars churchyard if he was in Virginia at the time of his death.

A patent issued to THOMAS’s son, JOHN GRAVES-2, on August 9, 1637, recites that the 600 acres was granted to him in Elizabeth City was “due in right of descent from his father THOMAS GRAVES who transported at his own costs; himselfe, KATHERINE GRAVES his wife, JOHN GRAVES patentee and Thomas Graves-2 Jr. and 8 pers.” [Cavaliers & Pioneers, Nugent.] These “eight persons” apparently did not come at the same time as the family, but probably earlier.

Inheritance in Virginia mirrored English law. The wife was entitled to “dower,” or one-third part of the estate lands for her lifetime, but the heir-at-law of an intestate, usually the oldest son of a man who had children, got the bulk of the lands entailed. This custom remained in Virginia until the Revolution.

THOMAS-1 had received lands for his personal adventure, land for his investment, and land for importing his family and himself. JOHN-2 received the latter land. THOMAS-1 had sold some of the lands prior to his death.

JOHN GRAVES-2 was engaged in a lawsuit in Accawmack County February 19, 1634/5, when he sued John Parramore [Northampton County Orders, Wills, Deeds 1, 1632-40, page 43.] Some researchers believe this indicates that he was at least 21 years old in 1634, which would have meant he was born at least by 1613. JOHN-2 died in 1640, outliving his father by only a few years.

A vestry meeting held May 20, 1636, mentions the lands of “Mrs. KATHERINE GRAVES” as a boundary. That is the last mention of her. This lets us know that she was living on the old plantation as late as May, 1636, and had not remarried as of that date. The youngest son was about six years old at the time of his father’s death. Some of the older sons may have reached, or nearly reached, their majority, but probably several of the children were still at home. KATHERINE may have been approaching middle age by this time, but we can assume, since she had a child as young as six, that she was probably not too old to remarry. We have no proof that she remarried, however.

The eight persons mentioned as transported by THOMAS-1, as well as himself, KATHERINE, and the two oldest boys, did not include mention of the daughters. The lands claimed for them were claimed by their husbands.

By the time of THOMAS-1’s death, the colony was growing. In the year 1635, fully 2,000 indentured servants were landed in the colony. By the end of the century, at least 100,000 Englishmen had come to Virginia. Though the death rate had taken its toll by the end of the century, most servants were living to serve out their indentures.

Virginia’s tobacco plantations became the “gold mine” that had been sought by earlier settlers. Tobacco became the currency of the settlement. The price and trade of this “gold mine” was regulated by the Crown for its own benefit, not the benefit of the planters. The planters were allowed to sell only to England, and the prices of the goods which the planters imported was very high. The regulations, restrictions, and taxes placed on the crop caused much vexation. As the supply of tobacco became larger, the price went down.

During the British Civil War years, when Cromwell had beheaded King Charles, the Virginia colonists used the British problems in order to trade with the Dutch. Ships pushed their prows into every river outlet to take up clandestine trade. Though they violated the tax and trade laws, the Virginians were generally loyal to the Crown.

The children of Captain Thomas Graves-1 and Katherine

Captain Thomas Graves-1; John-2; Thomas-3; John-4; Thomas-5; John-6; Ann-7

  1. JOHN GRAVES-2, was born probably between 1605 and 1616 in England, and died circa 1640 in the colony.

  1. Thomas Graves-2, was born about 1617, and died circa 1674.

  1. Verlinda Graves-2, died March 3, 1674/5.

  1. Ann Graves-2, was born circa 1620, and died circa 1683.

  1. Katherine Graves-2, was born before 1621, and was probably the youngest daughter.

  1. Francis Graves-2, was born in Virginia about 1630, apparently the only one of their children who was born in Virginia, and died August, 1691.

Due to the use and reuse of the names John and Thomas Graves, and almost each son naming sons John and Thomas, the names of the offspring became confusing very quickly.

Hundreds of people have researched the existing records on the various descent and assent charts and there is some disagreement on which John and which Thomas is the father of which John and which Thomas! This researcher has tried to assess the various possibilities, read as much previous research as possible, and then draw conclusions based on the latest and best material available. A Graves Family Association generally agrees that the descent of our line is THOMAS-1, JOHN-2, THOMAS-3, JOHN-4 of King and Queen County; THOMAS-5, who married ANNE DAVENPORT, Spotsylvania County; JOHN-6 of Spotsylvania County and Caswell County, North Carolina. It is possible that the line might go, Thomas-1, Thomas-2, Thomas-3, John-Glouchester-4, etc.

Captain Thomas Graves’ Children

Anne Graves-2


Ann Graves was born about 1620, probably in England, and died about 1683. She married, in succession, three rectors of Hungar’s Parish, Accomack County, on the Eastern Shore, in Virginia. Many of the early rectors and ministers were accused by some sources of being the “lowest of the low” with only a few good men among them. The missionary spirit was not in the Church of England in the early 1600s. On paper, the church paid lip service to the intent to convert the heathen infidels, but in reality, the hardship of the Colonial life and the low pay discouraged most men of quality and ability from venturing to the colonies.

Anne’s first husband was William Cotton, the son of Andrew and Joan Cotton of Banbury, Cheshire, England. They were married before July 10, 1637, when a patent was issued to him for 50 acres each for importing himself, Anne, and several other people. They had three children, two of whom died in infancy. Ann was pregnant when William died and his will was dated August 20, 1640.

After his death, Anne married the Reverend Nathaniel Eaton. In November of 1642, Ann Eaton assigned her deceased husband’s lands. A widow’s dower passed to her subsequent husband for his life and her new husband controlled anything the wife had. Nathaniel was the first master of the school that later became Harvard. He was fired for cruelty to students and apparently deserted Ann and the children and ran away back to England leaving debts in the colonies. Ann possibly had two children by Eaton, Samuel and Alexander Eaton. After he left, she returned to the Eastern Shore and lived with her sister Verlinda.

In June of 1657, Anne entered into a marriage contract with Reverend Francis Doughty, and moved to Rappahannock County where her new husband was rector of South Farnham Parishe. Eaton had escaped to England, where he reportedly didn’t die until 1674. How Anne remarried with a living husband is unknown. Virginia was one Colony where divorce was almost impossible.

Anne apparently moved to Charles County, Maryland, where she wrote a will dated December, 1682, and it was probated July 18, 1683 [Will Book 4, page 210, Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland.]

Verlinda Graves-2

[Before 1620-1675]

Verlinda Graves’ exact date of birth is not known, but she was probably born in England. She married Captain William Stone between 1635, when he claimed land for himself and his brother, but not for a wife, and 1640, when the will of William Cotton mentioned Mr. Stone as his brother-in-law. William was the first Protestant governor of Maryland in 1648. His will was signed December, 1659, in Charles County, Maryland. Verlinda’s will was made July 13, 1675, and named her children.

Katherine Graves-2

[Circa 1621-1668]

Katherine Graves was believed to be the youngest daughter, born between 1621 and 1622. She died at least by July 4, 1668, in Calvert County, Maryland. Her husband was William Roper, as evidenced by a land grant to him “due for the transportation of his wife and one servant.”

Francis Graves-2

[Circa 1630-1691]

Francis Graves, the youngest son of THOMAS-1 and KATHERINE GRAVES, was born in Virginia about 1630. He was still a minor and described as "orphan of Captain THOMAS GRAVES-1 decd" in 1642. Francis Graves married Jane Maouffey, a widow, by 1678 and deeded land to her three children. He lived in Rappahannock County. He had sons Francis-3, Richard-3, Thomas-3.

Francis was deceased by August, 1691, and his widow married John Doughty.

Thomas Graves-2

[1617 1674]

Thomas Graves-2, was born about 1617 and was the second son of THOMAS-1 and KATHERINE GRAVES. He was most likely born in England and came to Virginia after 1625 with his mother, brothers, and sisters when he was a small child. He was probably in his late teens when his father, THOMAS-1 died about 1635.

He patented 55 acres in Abingdon Parish, Gloucester County, about a mile beyond the head of Timberneck Creek, beginning at a tree dividing this land and the tract of Christopher Abbot, and 240 acres "in a swamp between Severn and the Indian Path in Abingdon Parish, Gloucester County March 20, 1637/8." [Nugent's Cavaliers & Pioneers Vol. 1, p. 358.]

He also got an additional 300 acres in Westmoreland in March, 1656, and on March 20, 1661/2, he obtained from Governor Moryson 700 acres in Lancaster upon the easternmost branch of Corotoman River. He sold that land in 1662.

There is no known indication when or whom Thomas Graves-2 married, though we do have indications of the children. Land records indicate the approximate date of his death and the names of at least some of his sons who survived him. Thomas-3 was one of the sons to whom Thomas’-2 land was confirmed. Jeffrey-3 was another son. There may have been another son, William-3

. The third generation contained three men named Thomas Graves-3 who were grandsons of the Captain THOMAS GRAVES-1. This starts to confuse the records from this point on.

Imitation of English life and dress took early root in the Jamestown Colony. In England, each new reign brought changes of fashion in dress, furniture, and household goods. These were more quickly imitated in the Colonies than in the areas outlying London. Colonials waded through their crude mud streets in the same gaudy outfits worn in the cobbled streets of London.

In an illustration of Smith's Historie that represents Smith taking the King of Pamunkey prisoner, his hat is turned up in front and has a feather hat band. He wore a sleeveless jacket of leather over his doublet for protection in fights. This was called a buff jerkin. Baggy hose and smooth fitting stockings were worn below the knee and fastened at the side with rosette trimmed garters. Hair and beard were worn short. Smith's Historie also gives us a list of what was considered necessary for the colonists: a monmouth cap, three falling bands, three shirts, one waistcoat, one suit of canvas, one of frieze, one of broadcloth, three pairs of stockings, four pairs of shoes, and a dozen "points." The monmouth hat was worn by seafaring men for protection. A “point” was made of lace ribbon for fastening clothing together and for decoration. Frieze was a coarse woolen material used for every day work clothes. A suit of light armor, a sword, and a gun were also usual. In 1624 to 1625, the census lists 342 complete sets of armor in the colony, 260 coats of mail. As late as 1654, an inventory of an estate lists "one suite of armor."

Wigs, too, soon became the fashion in the Jamestown Colony and this continued well past the American Revolution. The man shaved or closely cropped his hair to make a closer fit. White was the most desirable color for wigs. This was because a women's average age span was 45 years or less, and thus the white hair was difficult to obtain.

Extravagance in dress in the lower classes was frowned upon by the lawmakers of the very early days. The assembly passed a law in 1619 that every bachelor would be assessed according to the value of his own clothing and every married man according to the dress worn to church by himself and his family. John Pory wrote a letter to England in which he said:

Our cowe keeper here of James City, on Sundays, goes accountred all in fresh ffiaming silke, and a wife of one that had in England professed the blacke arte not of a chollier but of a Collier, weares her rought bever hatt with a faire perie hatband and silken sute there to correspondent.

In 1621, the English authorities directed Governor Wyatt "not to permit any but the Counsil... to wear gold or silke until they make it themselves."

The "gentry" of early Virginia, however, wore finery second-to-none in the world. They waded through the crude mud streets in high heels, velvet, and lace. The cavaliers prided themselves on their dress. Distinctions of rank and dress were carefully preserved in Virginia.

Clothes were items frequently willed from father to son, mother to daughter, or to sisters and brothers. Children were dressed as miniature adults rather than in juvenile fashions specific to their ages.

By the time Thomas Graves-2 died in 1674, about age 57, sanitary conditions had improved in the Colony to the extent that 80% of the indentured servants brought over completed their terms [of four to seven years] and lived to be freemen, whereas, earlier mortality was up to 75% dead within a year of arrival.

John Graves-2

[before 1616-1637]

Captain Thomas Graves-1; John-2; Thomas-3; John-4; Thomas-5; John-6; Ann-7

JOHN GRAVES-2 was the oldest son of THOMAS-1 and KATHERINE GRAVES. His birth date is estimated as early as 1605 but no later than 1616. He was "of age"  i.e. at least 21   by February 19, 1634/5     because he sued a man in Acchawmacke Court on that date [Fleet, Virginia. Colonial. Abstracts. Vol. XVIII p 26.]

Little is known about JOHN-2 except what the court and land records reveal. He had land in Elizabeth City County in 1636. His will was probated in 1640, only a few years after we suppose his father died. JOHN-2 left five children we know of and probably died a fairly young man, leaving a young family. During this period of time, there was an average of about two and one-half years between the births of children. If that were the case, JOHN-2 had been married about 12 years when he died. This and other information would indicate that he was well on the sunny side of forty years old when he died.

Children of John Graves-2

  1. Ralph Graves-3

  2. William Graves-3


  4. Sarah Graves-3

  5. Unnamed daughter-3.

JOHN-2 owned land in Elizabeth City County and died intestate there between 1639 and 1640. In 1637, he had patented 600 acres that was due in right of his father, and named the people his father had imported. This patent is proof that the family had not come to the colony until after 1616 [at least] because they would have gotten 100 acres each instead of 50.

The land JOHN-2 owned was very near the York County line, and almost directly opposite Hunger’s Creek in Northampton County [formerly Accawmacke] on the Eastern Shore, where his father had lived and where his sisters still lived at that time. JOHN-2 also got land for bringing in three people himself.

Since the names "John" and "Thomas" seem to be passed from generation to generation in the Graves family, it isn't out of line to speculate that these names might have also been handed down for several generations before THOMAS-1 named his own sons. We may wonder if THOMAS-1’s father or favorite brother were named "John." Perhaps future research will bear this out.

Thomas Graves-3

[Circa 1640]

Captain Thomas Graves-1; John-2; Thomas-3; John-4; Thomas-5; John-6; Ann-7

There is little doubt among researchers that this line's third generation member was THOMAS GRAVES-3. Whether the line is THOMAS-1 THOMAS-2, THOMAS-3, or whether it is THOMAS-1, JOHN-2, THOMAS-3, is not entirely conclusive, though most researchers favor the second line. It is possible, but not likely, that the line could be THOMAS-1, FRANCIS-2, THOMAS-3, but those are the only three lines possible at this point in the line of descent.

Theron L. Smith states in a Graves Family Newsletter article, [October, 1992, Volume 15, Number 89, pg. 99, ISSN 0146-0269.]:

The connection between THOMAS-3 and JOHN-4 and that between JOHN-4 and the 5th generation has to be based on preponderance of evidence cases but, as wil1 be seen, the cases for both connections are very supportable.[pg 99]

It should be noted in law as well as in Genealogy, where prima facie evidence or proof does not exist or has been lost or destroyed then circumstantial evidence or secondary evidence or the best evidence obtainable in conjunction with logic and reasoning or the logical and reasonable deductions there from is considered by all experts in the fields of both law and genealogy as having proved the contention or allegation. [Ibid. pg. 101]

THOMAS GRAVES-3 of York County, Virginia, is by geography and age supposed to be the father of JOHN GRAVES-4 of King and Queen County, Virginia. There is no direct proof that he had sons, or what their names were, but his area of residence seems to point to him as the father of JOHN GRAVES-4 of King and Queen.

John Graves-4

[Circa 1667]

King & Queen County Virginia

Captain Thomas Graves-1; John-2; Thomas-3; John-4; Thomas-5; John-6; Ann-7

This generation is as far back as can be absolutely proven in the ascendancy to this line of GRAVES, except by a “preponderance of evidence.” “In every question of pedigree as is well known to genealogists, one of the greatest difficulties is the proving of identity of persons of the same name belonging to a particular line…J. P. Earwaker, MA, FSA: [Stevenson, Genealogical Evidence, page 121.]

In compiling a preponderance-of-evidence case, bits and pieces, that are taken together to show that a “reasonable man” would decide that the evidence proved the case with a reasonable certainty. The term means “great weight.” Each case must be taken on its own merits and each piece of evidence weighed against the probability of its validity vs. the probability of its falsehood.

The JOHN GRAVES-4, of King and Queen County, who deeded 100 acres in King William County to his son is, however, the only logical John Graves to be the father of THOMAS-5 and John, Jr.-5." [Graves, pg. 49.]

...there is reasonable certainty that they descended from the old captain, however the exact line of descent may run. There is no evidence to indicate that Thomas Graves[5] of Spotsylvania belonged to any other Graves family unrelated to the Captain.: [Graves, pg. 50.]

There were several men named John Graves in this generation. There is contention about which John Graves-4th generation was the father of THOMAS GRAVES-5. The Graves Family Association, and Louise Graves, both think that “John-4, of King and Queen, Straton Major Parish,” is the winning candidate, and that there is a reasonable certainty, due to JOHN-4's son, THOMAS-5 naming his nephew, Joseph-6, as administrator of his estate. Joseph-6 has been proven by deeds to be the son of John-5, who has been proven to be a son of JOHN-4 by deeds, therefore if A=B and C=B then A=B=C...thus proving that John-5 and THOMAS-5 were brothers; since John-5 was a son of JOHN-4, then his brother, THOMAS-5, was a son of JOHN-4 of King and Queen County.

JOHN GRAVES-4 of King and Queen County, [later King William County] has been proven to be the father of THOMAS-5 by a deed recorded June 1, 1704, from John Clayborne of the Parish of St. John, King William County, to JOHN GRAVES-4 for 100 acres of land for 3,500 pounds of tobacco. In March 1706/7 JOHN-4 signed over right to this same land to "My son John Graves Jr.-5"

This same John Graves-5, with his wife, Frances, gave his son, Joseph-6, a deed of gift for this land.

Later THOMAS GRAVES-5, in his will, names this same Joseph-6, his nephew, as executor. This proves, beyond reasonable doubt, that THOMAS-5 and John-5 were brothers and that both are the sons of JOHN-4.

We are fortunate that THOMAS-5 named Joseph-6 executor. We are also fortunate that he stated the relationship in his will. Without this single reference, we might never have unraveled the connection between "our" JOHN-4 and THOMAS-5.

The Quit Rent rolls of 1704 Virginia list two men named John Graves. Either of these could, of course, be the John-4 we are seeking. Robert Graves, probably the son of Thomas-3, of Glocester, also lived in King and Queen County, close to the two Johns. One of the Johns is probably the grandson of Ralph, who lived in York, but owned land in King and Queen.

Our JOHN-4 of King and Queen County apparently didn't leave a will, but deeds can be pieced together to tell us the names of at least two of his sons.

Little else is known about these men except the records of their land transactions. They were probably successful planters with moderate estates, but not part of the ruling elite. Graves Family Association Newsletter gives JOHN-4’s date of death as circa 1737 but, in any case, we know it is after 1704 when he is found on the Quit Rent Rolls. We do know that John Graves-5, brother of THOMAS-5, had sons Thomas-6, James-6, John-6, and Joseph-6. John-5 didn't leave a will, but deeded them property up until at least 1772, so we know that he lived to be an old man and probably outlived THOMAS-5 by a few years. John-5 was referred to in records as "Jr." which may have meant "son of" or may have meant "the younger of two."

Thomas Graves-5

[1691 1768]

Captain Thomas Graves-1; John-2; Thomas-3; John-4; Thomas-5; John-6; Ann-7

Exactly when THOMAS GRAVES-5 came to Spotsylvania County isn't known, but his ownership of land probably antedated the formation of the county from Essex, King William, and King and Queen County in 1721, so he may not have "moved" at all.

THOMAS-5 purchased and patented a great deal of land. He bought land in several counties and deeds have been found as early as 1722. In 1729, he and several other men patented 12,000 acres in Goochland. Though he bought land in various counties, he maintained his residence on the Pamunkey River in Spotsylvania County and is described in the records as "Thomas Graves, Pamunkey," to distinguish him from other men named “Thomas Graves.”

A disputed will, of which he was witness, gives his birth date as 1691 [Car OB 1745 54 p. 362.] We are fortunate that in the counties where men bore the same name, even in the county records, the men might be designated "John Smith, Bear Creek" and "John Smith, Wolf River." The names of the area or river on which they lived distinguished them. Today we have social security numbers to distinguish people with the same names and can be more sure of our identifications in records. [At least Genealogists can be, but I'm not sure about the IRS or insurance companies!]

The wife of THOMAS-5 was named ANNE, probably DAVENPORT. [One researcher thinks ANNE’s surname was Clark and that she was born about 1696.] She survived him, as noted in his will. We presume that she was the mother of his children by the fact that she was left "so much" in the will which was dated October 17, 1767, and probated June 6, 1678. THOMAS-5 lived a long and apparently prosperous life, being about 77 years old when he died.

According to an entry in the Graves Family Association Newsletter, ANNE's parents were possibly WILLIAM DAVENPORT and ANN WOODRUFF. At this time, this author has no confirmation of this source, but it might be a place to start looking.

One group of researchers descended from THOMAS-5 through his daughter, Eleanor, who married Thomas Kimbrow, state in their conclusions that THOMAS had a "first wife" named Eleanor, and that ANNE DAVENPORT was a second wife. No distinction was made by those researchers as to which children belonged to Eleanor and which to ANNE. Presumably, the daughter, Eleanor, was from wife Eleanor. I have been unable to ascertain the source for this conclusion, so it is given simply for "information" purposes only to assist any further research.

Children of

Thomas-5 and Anne [Davenport?] Graves

Captain Thomas Graves-1; John-2; Thomas-3; John-4; Thomas-5; John-6; Ann-7

  1. JOHN GRAVES-6, was born about 1712 in Spotsylvania County, Virginia; and died about 1792 in Caswell County, North Carolina. He left no will, but his estate is of record in Caswell County naming his widow and most of his children. He probably had two wives, the name of the first one being unknown.

  1. Thomas Graves-6, who was probably the second son, born by 1721, died in the fall of 1801 in Fayette County, Kentucky, where his will is of record. His wife was Isabel, the daughter of William Bartlett and his wife Susannah [Crozier, Spots. Rec. p. 30]; “With no known challenges, Thomas-6 has been placed as a son of Thomas-5 Graves of Spottsylvania Co. b. about 1691; M. Ann Davenport. Specifically supporting this connection is the article by Mrs. P. W. Hiden in Tyler’s Magazine v. 19, #3 176ff, esp 183-4, and Brodie’s Southside Virginia Families, v.1. 205-206….both of these are sound for generations 6 and 5, and Mrs. Hiden’s for generation 4.”…Brodie incorrectly identified the father of Thomas-5 as the John who married Susannah Dickens… [From a letter by Theron L. Smith, Ft. Worth, Texas, May 2, 1992, to Lt. Col. Clifford H. Pohl, USA Ret., Cincinnati, OH, used with permission.]

  1. Rice Graves-6, born about 1729, died in Louisa County, Virginia, 1814; his wife was Jane Young. [Graves Family Association, Vol. 15, No. 89, pg 100.]

  1. David Graves-6, died about 1808, possibly in Shelby County, Kentucky. His wife was named Agnes.

  1. Richard Graves-6, was probably born about 1725, and married about 1750.

  1. Solomon Graves-6, born about 1723, may have moved to Surry, later Sussex County, Virginia, where he resided until his death. His will was probated 1785; his wife’s name was Sarah.

  1. William Graves-6, born 1724; took the oath of allegiance in Henry County, Virginia, in 1777. His wife’s name was Mary.

  1. Susannah Graves-6, married Col. William Pettus in 1759. Her husband bought some of the Spotsylvania land of her father from the estate.

  1. Eleanor Graves-6 was married by 1747 to Thomas Kimbrough and moved to Caswell County, North Carolina. Thomas Kimbrough died in 1777 and in his will [Caswell County] lists his children and his father in law. [See the TURNER connections.]

10.Daughter, given name unknown, may be Katherinne, married William Lea.

11.Daughter, given name unknown, married Thomas Pulliam.

12.Daughter, given name unknown, married John Spencer.

13.Mary Graves-6, married a Mr. Campbell.,

14.Jonathan Graves, was also thought to be a son, probably died about same time as his father.

Will of Thomas Graves-5

Written October 17, 1767, Probated June 6, 1768

I THOS GRAVES-5 of Spots County thru the abundant mercy and goodness of God the weak in body yet of a sound and perfect understanding and memory do make ordain and constitute this my last will and testament as followeth. In primis, I commend myself and all my whole estate to the mercy and Protection of almighty God, etc. I will and ordain that the funeral of my body be only such as shall beseem a Christian at the direction of my Exors. hereinafter named. I 1end to my beloved wife ANNE GRAVES for and during her natural life two Negro slaves Daniel and Margery. I also lend to her all my tract of land whereon I now live in Spotsylvania County, likewise one third part of the profits arising from my mill, she paying one third part of repairing the sd. mill. I also lend my said wife one-third part of my stocks of cattle horses, hogs, etc. I also lend my said wife all my stock of household and kitchen furniture during her life and after my sd. wife's death my will and desire is that what I have here lent to her be equally divided amonst all my then surviving children or the heirs of such as shall be dead. As I have already given part of my estate to some of my children and nothing to some of the rest, my will and desire is that those that have not received any first be made equal with those that have received. Then the remainder of my estate both real and personal of whatsoever kind or wheresoever it lives be equally divided amonst all my surviving children, or the heirs of such as shall be dead. Son Thos. Graves, son in law Wm. Pettus and my nephew Joseph Graves. exors. Wit: Francis Meriwether, Jas. Smith, John Graves, Jr.[6?,] Jos. Smith, Dr. Wil1iam McGeehee.

THOMAS'-5 widow, ANNE, outlived her husband about 14 years. During the American Revolution she furnished supplies to the Continental troops. Her name appears among the service claims of Spotsylvania County [Archives Division Virginia. State Library & M R Patriot Index.] She was obviously well supplied with the wherewithal to survive her widowhood in some comfort. It was apparent, though, that her sympathies lay with the Revolutionary forces. ANNE died about 1782, before the Revolution was entirely over. Several of her sons and sons in law fought actively with the Revolution, as well as several grandsons.

After ANNE's death, for some unknown reason, final settlement of the estate was not made until 1802, nearly 20 years later! By this time, their son JOHN-6, who was first executor of THOMAS'-5 estate, was himself dead. Final payment was made to JOHN's executor.

John Graves-6

[1712 1792]

Captain Thomas Graves-1; John-2; Thomas-3; John-4; Thomas-5; John-6; Ann-7

From references in several sources, we can be fairly sure that THOMAS-5’s oldest son, JOHN GRAVES-6, moved with a wife and at least one child, probably more, from Spotsylvania County, Virginia, to that part of Orange County, North Carolina, that became Caswell County, North Carolina, about 1754. The Kimbrough family, with whom they had intermarried, went to the same area probably about 10 years later. BARTLETT YANCEY-8, JOHN-6's grandson, wrote: [North Carolina Historical Review, Vol. 5, October 1928, No. 4 pp. 421 429.]

This County was first settled about the year 1750; from that time until 1754 or 5 there were about 8 or 10 families in that part of the county now known by the name of Caswell....The Lea's, Graves, Peterson and Kimbros came to this County about 1753 5; they came from Orange and Culpepper...The object of the first Settlers was to possess themselves of fertile land and good pastures. I am told by the first settlers that cane was so plentiful that their cattle went through the winter without feedin'....The Country line land, so called from a creek of that name, which empties into the Dan River, near where the counties of Caswell and Person join the Virginia line, is generally esteemed of the first quality in the County....

BARTLETT YANCEY may have been partly in error in attributing the settlers origins to Culpepper and Orange County, Virginia. Although JOHN GRAVES-6 appears to have leased land in Orange County, Virginia, from Lewis Davis Yancey, it is possible this might be another John Graves. In light of the later connections of the YANCEY and GRAVES families though, it is very possible that the families were connected by marriage or vicinity prior to coming to Caswell County. The Kimbroughs owned land in Orange and Louisa Counties in Virginia. Spotsylvania appears to be where the families resided, however.

There is no doubt which JOHN GRAVES-6 is being spoken of in the records, as it mentions his residence in North Carolina and gives other family connections. There is no doubt that JOHN GRAVES-6 of Caswell County, North Carolina is the son of THOMAS-5 of Spotsylvania, Virginia.

There are frequent references to JOHN GRAVES-6 in the court record of land transactions in both Virginia and North Carolina, and some associations and kinships are noted. In November 22, 1782, it records:

JOHN GRAVES of North Carolina, eldest son and heir at law of THOMAS GRAVES of Spotsylvania County, Virginia to William Pettus of Virginia. Whereas sd. THOMAS GRAVES by his last will and testament, after certain legacies were paid, directed the remainder of his estate equally divided among all his children or their heirs, but did not empower his executors to convey the same, the title so far, therefore remains vested in the said JOHN GRAVES as eldest son and heir at law, etc. and it being found necessary to sell and convey certain tracts of land in Spots. County, whereof said THOMAS-5 GRAVES died, seized, etc. this indenture witnesseth the sd. JOHN GRAVES for the sum of L 451 gold or silver, to be pd by the sd. Pettus to the Executors of the said THOMAS-5 GRAVES the sd. JOHN hereby conveys to the sd. Pettus 399a in Spotsylvania County, etc. Witness Joseph Graves, Jno. Graves, A. Graves Jr. Jon. Arnold, Jno. W. Pettus April 17, 1783 [Spots.County Rec. Deed Bk. K 1782 1785 p. 372, Crozier.]

When he got to Orange [what would become Caswell County, North Carolina,] JOHN-6 bought 640 acres [in Orange County] from Hugh Dobbin in June of 1757. He was also granted 21 acres [Grant Bk 14, p. 404] March 6, 1762, on the head of Ready Fork; 394 acres, [Grant #8, Bk. 14, pg. 403] March 6, 1762, on the Country Line Creek; and 457 acres [Grant #50 Book 14 pg. 407] October 13, 1761, on the south fork of Country Line Creek. After Caswell County was formed from that part of Orange County in 1777, there were several grants all in this same area to "John Graves" some of which are to JOHN-6 and some to his son, John Herndon Graves-7. Since both men were large landowners, it would take a very careful search to untangle just who owned what! John Herndon Graves was not born unti1 1746, so was old enough by 1767 to have business transactions of his own.

Some researchers believe JOHN-6 had children by at least two wives. Martha Hiden, a noted and skillful researcher, believes his first wife probably died sometime about 1749, before the family came to North Carolina. Some researchers think there may have been three wives. Some Lea [Lee] family researchers think that Isabella Lea's mother, Ann, was surnamed Herndon and that there was only the one wife, and they make a good case for this. It would account for the son of JOHN-6 being named John Herndon Graves. The Graves, Leas, and Herndons had been connected for several generations. The name Herndon, as a given name, passed on in the Graves lines, but only in those from John Herndon Graves, so there may have been several Herndon connections in the Lea/Graves lines.

If, indeed, JOHN had only one wife, and she was Isabella Lea, the daughter of James and Ann [Herndon] Lea, then these people would also be our ancestors. [Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 5:99 106]

Older group of Children of John Graves-6

First wife, unknown.

Captain Thomas Graves-1; John-2; Thomas-3; John-4; Thomas-5; John-6; Ann-7

  1. James Graves-7 was born before 1740 in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, and died apparently unmarried and without issue in Caswell, North Carolina, about 1790. His estate named his siblings.

  1. Thomas Graves-7 was also born in Spotsylvania County, and died in 1799 in Caswell County, North Carolina. His first wife was named Miles, and the second, Hannah Simmons. His children were: John Graves-8; Jacob Graves -8; James Graves -8; Nancy Graves -8, who married William Moore; Azariah Graves -8; Major Graves -8; Thomas Graves -8; Isbel-8; Patsy Graves -8; and Lewis Graves -8. Both his and Hannah's wills are found in Caswell. Interestingly enough, the use of the given names of Major and Isbel by Thomas-7, one of the older children, and presumably, not the son of Isabelle Lea, points toward her actually being his mother.

  1. NANCY “ANNE” GRAVES-7 was the only girl in the older group; she married BARTLETT YANCEY, Sr. None of the children of this lady bore the given name Herndon, though she apparently used many other heirloom names among her children.

  1. John Herndon Graves-7 was born in September 1749[1746?] in Virginia, and died in October, 1829, in Caswell County, North Carolina. John H.-7 married Nancy Slade in 1770. He fought in the Revolution and was a Captain in the North Carolina Militia. He attended the Hillsborough Constitutional Convention in 1788 and the Fayetteville Convention when North Carolina voted to adopt the Constitution. Another of VIRGIE's relatives, David Wilson, was also there. John Herndon Graves and Nancy's children were: Catherine Graves -8, who married Groves Howard and moved to Kentucky; Elizabeth Graves -8, who married Thomas Kimbrough; Delilah Graves -8, who married David Womach first and second, Abner Miles; Ann-8 [Nancy] Graves married her cousin Bartlet Yancey, Jr.; [the son of her Aunt ANNE GRAVES-7 YANCEY], Mary-8, married James Melbane; Thomas Graves -8 moved to Georgia; William Graves -8; General Barzillai Graves -8; Azariah Graves -8 and Elijah Graves -8. John H. Graves -7 had 57 grandchildren. Nancy Slade Graves died before 1808, when John H. Graves married Elizabeth Coleman, the widow of another Revolutionary soldier. He and his last wife had no children together.

Children of John Graves-6 & Isabella Lea, the daughter of James & Anne Lea.

  1. Reverend Barzillai Graves-7, born December 12, 1759, and died July 14, 1827; married Ursula Wright; was a Primitive Baptist minister. Children: Solomon Graves -8, Jeremiah Graves -8, Isabella Graves -8, who married Hosea McNeill, Mary Graves -8, who married General Thomas W. Graves, Elizabeth Graves-8, who married James Lea, Margaret Graves-

  2. Isabella Graves-7 married Thomas Slade; their children were Isabella Slade, who married William Russell May 29, 1825; Susan Slade; William Slade; Nancy Slade, who married John Stamps, June 13, 1810; John Slade, and Polly Slade, who married James Graves, April 15, 1800.

  1. Solomon Graves-7, born April 29, 1766, married Ann Smith Brooks in 1789; [Louise Graves states the wife was named Frances Lewis of Virginia] Solomon served in the North Carolina House of Commons in 1795 97. He moved to Newton County, Georgia, about 1819 and received a land grant of 4,000 acres which he called Mt. Pleasant. He died in 1830 and is buried on his plantation. His children were William Byrd Graves-8, Dr. John L Graves,-8 who married Mrs. Martha Williams, daughter of General Azariah Graves; Frances Lewis Graves-8, who married Dr. Wm. P. Graham; Iverson Lea Graves-8, Barzillaia Graves-8, Solomon Graves-8, Sidney Graves-8, Margaret Graves-8, and Mary Graves-8.

  1. General Azaria Graves-7, born October 29, 1768, married Elizabeth Williams on June 3, 1790, and died March 1, 1850. General Azaria Graves-7 was the commander of the 18th Brigade, 13th Division, of North Carolina Militia, and in the State Senate in 1798 and 1805 to 1811. There were several men named Azaria Graves in the Caswell area besides this man. There was Azaria son of Thomas, Azaria son of Azaria, and Azaria son of John Herndon Graves, among others.

  1. Mary Graves-7 born April 3, 1756, married John Kerr, Sr. John Kerr signed the estate of JOHN-6. Mary-7 died February 22 ,1831. Mary-7 and John Kerr's children were Nancy Kerr, William Kerr, Mary Kerr, John Kerr, Brazillia Kerr, Alexander Kerr, James Kerr, Isabella Kerr, Elizabeth Kerr, and Solomon Kerr. [Heritage of Caswell County, pg. 242, and Estate Papers of JOHN GRAVES-6, Caswell County.]

There has been a great deal of speculation among researchers about the number of wives of JOHN GRAVES-6, and just which children are by each wife. If there was a wife [or wives] previous to Isabella Lee, most researchers agree the her name is unknown. One candidate for the honor, though, is a Mary Lee [Lea?], but documentation for any wife except the last is lacking. Some researchers think that there were three wives, others think two, and at least one group thinks Isabella Lea was the only wife. Because JOHN's-6 son was named John Herndon Graves," some researchers think that a first wife was surnamed "Herndon," but as far as this researcher able to find out, there is not any proof.

That the widow who survived JOHN-6 was Isabell Lea Graves is not contested. Some researchers place the birth date of Isabelle Lea as after 1737, the supposed birth date of her older sister, Nancy. If that birth date is correct, then she would indeed have been too young to be the mother of the older of JOHN GRAVES'-6 children. We know that John Herndon Graves was born in 1746, therefore, Isabella Lea Graves was only eight or nine years older than he was.

Isabella Lea was the daughter of James Lea, and his wife, Ann. James Lea died intestate in Caswell County, North Carolina. The evidence, though circumstantial, is overwhelming, that James Lea's wife was Ann Herndon. The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 5, pages 99 106, makes the case for this, first with land ownership, Spotsylvania interests, family names, and genealogical references.

First, the power of Attorney, from James Lea:

State of North Carolina:

Know all men by these presents that I, James Lea, the son and heir of William Lea, dec. of the county of Caswell, have....made, and appointed my true...friend, Thomas Phillips of the County and State aforesaid ...lawfu1 attorney for...a certain tract of land in King and Queen County in Virginia.

The land was part of a 100 acre parcel on the north side of Mattapond River in St. Stephen's Parish, King and Queen, County. William Lea had received a grant for this in 1714. William Herndon had patented some land in this neighborhood in 1673 and Edward Herndon had also purchased a tract in this same area. The last-mentioned parcel was deeded to Edward Herndon, son of Edward Herndon, and fell into Spotsylvania County later.

The Spotsylvania interests noted are that William Lea, father of James Lea, also left a son named John and they are mentioned in Spotsylvania Records.

Apparently, John Lea also married a woman named Ann about 1745, the daughter of George and Elizabeth Carter. The Carters made a deed in February giving 185 acres to the couple "in consideration of the natural love and affection, they the sd. George and Elizabeth, bear unto the sd. John Lea, their son in law." About seven years later, John and Ann Lea were living in Orange County, North Carolina, and they sold that land. James Lea and John Graves [our JOHN GRAVES-6] were witnesses to the deed.

James Lea and Edward Herndon were members of the vestry of St. George's Parish until James Lea left for North Carolina in 1755.

The Graves and Lea lines both frequently use Herndon as a given name. The oldest daughter of James Lea, and his wife Ann, who was named Nancy [nickname for Ann] named her first son Herndon Harlson. The second daughter, Isabella, named a son John Herndon Graves if she were the first wife. James and Ann Lea's second son was named Major Lea. Major Lea named his son Herndon Lea. Herndon was also the given name of many other members of the family.

Mrs. Hiden, the long time researcher of the Graves family of Spotsylvania, cited the use of the name Herndon in JOHN GRAVES-6'S family as proof that JOHN had a wife previous to Isabelle Lea, since some researchers had inappropriately attributed James Lea's wife as Ann "Talbot" instead of "Herndon," but the use of the given name of Herndon in the Lea family proceeding the Graves marriage, pretty well precludes this as valid. The name Major, as a given name, appears frequently in the Lea family, and then passes into the Graves family.

The other children of James Lea and Ann, besides Isabella and Nancy Lea, were Major Lea, Luke Lea, Will Lea, Lucinda Lea, John Lea, and Philadelphia Lea, and maybe another daughter who married Jacob Miles. James Lea founded the town of Leasburg.

The exact date of JOHN GRAVES-6's death is not known but he died intestate. An administration bond was posted with the court January 18, 1792, appointing Azariah Graves-7 and Solomon Graves-7, executors of their father's estate, with John Williams and Jesse Carter named as bondsmen.

An inventory of the estate of JOHN GRAVES-6 is listed in the Caswell County Court records as follows:

Negroes, 17, horses 17 head, cattle 81 head, hogs 169 head, 1 waggon, 1 ditto [stage], sheep 25 head, I still, crop of corn, tote, hemp, etc. Sundry plantation tools, cash in hand money L 270. A riding chair and horse given to the widow by consent of all legaties [extraordinary] also one smiths anvil and bellows given to Barzillai Graves by consent of legatees and quantity cyder.

This may certify that the above mention part of said estate has been divided agreeable to all our satisfactions. Signed: Isabell Graves, Azariah Graves, Thomas Graves, Barzillai Graves, John Kerr, ANN YANCEY, John [Herndon] Graves, Thos Slade, Solomon Graves.

An inventory of the part of the estate lent to the widow during her life is as follows: 4 feather beds, & furniture, one black walnut table, 15 chores, I looking glass, 2 sugar boxes, 2 chests, 3 trunks, parcel old books, I spice porter, I case and bottles, 6 jugs, 2 batter rolls, 17 earthen plates, 4 bottles, 2 sets cupps and saucers. I box iron, I flat iron, fire tongs and shovel, 2 glass tumblers, 1 vinegar cruet, 2 Washington tubes, 4 pails I churn, 2 old cotter wheels, 2 flax ditto, 19 pewter plates 6 pewter dishes 15 spoons, 10 basons, 2 cases knives and forks, I tea kettle, I coffee pot, I small bowl, I pint mug, I black jack, 4 posts, 2 skillets.

An inventory of the part of the said estate that has not been divided   4 new hogs heads, 18 old ditto [hogs heads], 8 cyder casks, 2 small ditto [cider casks], 4 powdering tubs [to salt meat in] 3 small barrels, I iron riddle, I wood ditto [riddle?], 7 sack bags, 5 bee hives, 2 pr. steel yards, 2 small barrels, 2 old shot guns, quanity salt, I grind stone, small barrell nails I pr. money scales, 2 gimbietts, 1 whip saw, 2 cross cut saws I old bearsharo & courter [a gun?], parcel reap hooks, 2 sithes and cradles, parcell old files, I steel trapp, 3 iron wedges, 2 foot adz, smith tongs and hammers 1 old stone hammer, I smiths vise, 2 small hides leather 2 raw hides some bells." [Caswell County, North Carolina, Wills and Court Minutes.]

JOHN's-6 estate inventory shows that he died an affluent man, if not rich; secure in his family and his estates, and respected in his community. The children seemed to be close to each other and to his widow, and the records seem to indicate that there were few, if any, squabbles over the estate.

JOHN's-6 children were the pillars of the Caswell County community, the sons being prosperous landowners, businessmen, military leaders, and ministers, and the daughters marrying men of their brothers' caliber. One of JOHN's-6 sons was a Baptist minister of some note, establishing the "Country Line Baptist'' Church. We don't know which church, if any, that JOHN-6 subscribed to, but probably Baptist would be the best guess.

By the time JOHN GRAVES-6 died in 1792, he already had several great grandchildren, as well as many grandsons in the community. He was probably nearly 80 years old.

Left a widow in early middle age with 10 children, ANNE GRAVES-7 YANCEY never remarried. Most young widows remarried during this time in our history. It was almost an economic and social necessity. The affluent status of ANNE probably decreased her need to remarry. She must have been an independent woman to run her own plantation and household without the help of a husband. Slave ownership was both a benefit to the widowed woman trying to run a plantation, but also a responsibillity for she must oversee the slaves. ANNE may have hired an overseer to assist her with the plantation, or some of her older sons may have assumed that task. James, John and THOMAS YANCEY were almost adults by the time their father, BARTLETT, died, so they were old enough to assist their mother in maintaining the plantation in working order.

Children of Bartlett Yancey-3 and Anne Graves-7 Yancey

Charles Yancey-1; James-2; Bartlett-3; Thomas-4, Yancy Turner-5

  1. James Yancey-4, was born about 1768 and Yanceyville was named for him in 1833. He was a local politician and chairman of the county courts from 1808 to 1829. He, apparently, was a peace maker and assisted the progress of the county in spite of the many factions. His wives were Lucy Kerr and Zilpha Johnson.

  1. John Yancey-4, was born about 1769, married Elizabeth L. Moore, and moved to Giles, Tennessee, where he died in 1819.

  1. Bartlett Yancey-4 was born February 19, 1875, after his father's death. He married a cousin, Nancy Graves-8, the daughter of John Herndon Graves. They had several children, including Bartlett-5. Bartlett-4 was a famous legislator and a member of the United States Congress who worked hard for progress of the state and nation. His home stands today [1997] and is located west of Yanceyville on U. S. Highway 158. According to a real estate flyer, it “sits well back from the road on 15 acres surrounded by gently rolling terrain with productive fields and dense groves of mixed hardwoods. The home retains its original dependencies, unrestored, including his law office, a smoke house, restored as a work shop, and an early tobacco house with diamond notched logs.” It was built between 1808 and 1814, with a Greek Revival ell added in 1856 by his daughter, Ann Elizabeth Yancey-5 Womack, which defines the appearance of the house today. He served in both the United States House of Representatives and the North Carolina Senate. His family Bible also survived and lists the dates of birth for himself and his wife, who died about 1855. The family Bible also contained the dates of birth and names of about 150 slaves born between the early- and mid-1850s.

  1. Mary [Polly] Yancey-4, married John Graves, February 13, 1794, and moved to Giles, Tennessee. In Giles, she later married a Mr. Riddle and was mentioned as both Mary Riddle and Mary Graves in her mother’s will.

  1. Nancy Yancey-4, married Isaac Johnson December 10, 1795. Her legacy from ANNE was placed in trust with her brothers for her benefit.

  1. Isabella Yancey-4, first married Jim [John?] Kimbrough, Jr. [probably a cousin], and then James [Joseph?] Collier. She was listed in her mother’s will as Collier.

  1. Elizabeth Perry Yancey-4, married Nathaniel Slade June 26, 1792.

  1. Sally Yancey-4 married Isaac [Archibald?] Rice July 6, 1811. Her daughter, Sally Rice-5, was given a bequest in the will of her grandmother, ANNE YANCEY, in 1816, so Sally Yancey Rice may have been dead by that time.

  1. Frances V. Yancey-4 married Alexander Wiley on October 2, 1804, and she died about 1807. They were probably the parents of Yancey Wiley-5, who received one-eighth of the estate of his grandmother, ANNE GRAVES YANCEY.

  1. THOMAS GRAVES YANCEY-4, born circa 1765, was probably the oldest child. He was the father of YANCY TURNER-5, by SUSANNAH TURNER, though they were never married. After that, he married Kesiah Simmons on February 24, 1789. She was the daughter of Thomas Simmons. They had four children: Priscilla-5, Tyron-5, James Jr.-5, and Nancy-5. Kesiah died sometime before 1802, and he then married Elizabeth Tait. She bore Arteitia Yancey-5, his youngest child.

By the time he died, THOMAS GRAVES YANCEY-4 owned at least 13 slaves, a mill, a still, and over 800 acres of land. He was frequently listed as a buyer at estate sales and was directly, or indirectly, related to almost everyone in the county   on “one side of the sheet or the other.” There is no will of record for him. He seems to have died in his "prime" business and financial years. He appeared to be rapidly acquiring land, slaves, and other business interests.

He died before April, 1804, and was survived by his second wife, Elizabeth, and five legitimate children, as well as YANCY TURNER. From deed records, we find that his son, James, "Jr.," got 126 acres, Tyron got 133 acres, Priscilla got 133 acres, Nancy got 133 acres, and Artetia got 137 acres, from THOMAS'-4 estate. YANCY, who was almost a grown man by the time THOMAS died, wasn't mentioned in the estate, of course.

THOMAS'-4 widow survived his death by several years and she and James Yancey-4 and Bartlett Yancey -4 supervised the education of the children and accounted to the courts for their duties. Several slaves were also divided between the children from THOMAS YANCEY’s estate. Even though Elizabeth wasn’t the biological mother of all of THOMAS YANCEY’s children, apparently she took responsibility for raising them.

THOMAS's son, Tyron M. Yancey-5, graduated from University of North Carolina in 1813 and moved to Tennessee. Priscilla-5 married John Graves Howard [a cousin] and moved to Owensboro, Kentucky. The Bible records show that they were married by candlelight by her Great Uncle Reverend Barzillia Graves, pastor of the Country Line Baptist Church. Nancy-5 married Ambrose K. Ramsey, October 7, 1817. The youngest daughter, Arteitia-5, attended Salem Academy. [We are not sure how the name of the youngest daughter is spelled or pronounced. We have seen it spelled several different ways.] THOMAS's widow, Elizabeth, married David Mebane on October 28, 1817, and they lived in Orange County, North Carolina, where Atellia-5 married George Mebane in 1820.

THOMAS' mother, NANCY "ANNE" GRAVES-7 YANCEY, died sometime after her will was written April 29, 1816, in Caswell County. Her will names a couple of THOMAS's legitimate children for bequests.