This site is a compilation of research, family traditions (oral and written), descendants, and numerous historical records of the family of Thomas Sims Graves.
The Graves Family is a distinguished line that came to Jamestown, Virginia in 1608. Captain Thomas Graves was among the early settlers of Jamestown. He was in charge of Smythe's Hundred and was a representative to the first meeting of The House of Burgesses. (The first legislative assembly.) Colonial records show that Captain Thomas Graves was entrusted with the building of the church known as Hungar's Episcopal Church on Virginia's Eastern Shore. The church may be the only English church that still holds all the original glebe lands (those granted by the English Crown). While several churches claim to be the oldest church in North America few have been holding services since 1635. The building shown in the photo (in the God's Acre photo album) is the third building on this site and according to old church records dates to 1742, when " a pew was ordered for the new brick church" known as Hungars Episcopal Church. For more info visit my sister site www.hungarschurch.net which references the key documents pertaining to Captain Thomas Graves, Hungars Church as well as the probable burial site of Captain Thomas Graves and others in his group.
There has been much discussion regarding the three sons of Captain Thomas Graves, in particular for a number of years the discussion has centered around the known descendants and why the DNA of sons Thomas and John do not match the DNA of their brother Francis Graves. We now have more than one geneticist that states that none of the DNA of the known descendants of the three sons of Captain Thomas Graves match each other! Simply stated short of digging up Captain Thomas Graves and extracting his DNA we are merely making assumptions that neither the written records or DNA testing supports. There are numerous theories, some good, others frankly pretty odd. I feel like it is time to give my opinion. There are written Colonial records that proclaim that Francis Graves was an "Orphan of Captain Thomas Graves." Some theories have claimed Francis Graves was a female? Proof that this theory is incorrect can be found in Northampton County record book 1, page 182. If you thoroughly study the existing records you will see that Captain Thomas may have been single when he first appeared in 1608 and made several trips to England returning to Jamestown with a wife and two sons. The only son born on American soil was and is Francis Graves. The Virginia Company practiced the system of headrights ( the granting of fifty acres to every immigrant who came to the new colony provided they planted and farmed the land ). There are historical records showing Francis Graves sold a cow and land. The discussion has arisen that the deed in question was another Francis Graves, but contrary to this idea, the deed was witnessed by the next door neighbor of Captain Thomas Graves. My personal theory is that Captain Thomas Graves returned to England and possibly married a widow with at least two male children which he then adopted or claimed as his own children. As the Church of England and English society frowned on a widow ever remarrying, Captain Thomas probably brought his new family to Jamestown where his son Francis Graves was born. For additional references please refer to Francis Graves, Son of Capt.Thomas Graves at gravesfa.org/gen169app1.htm which is a discussion by Richard W. Kesler (deceased) who stated that " there is sufficent evidence to accept Francis Graves as a son of Captain Thomas Graves. " He had been admitted to Jamestowne Society and The Order of Descendants of Ancient Planters both organizations requirements are quite strict for documentation.