Generation: Captain Thomas Graves (The line of Mary E. Graves)

 1608 Settler of Jamestown, Virginia

Thomas Graves (1), gentleman, arrived in Virginia in October of 1608, coming from England in the ship "Mary and Margaret" with Captain Christopher Newport's second supply. It is likely that he did not even marry Katherine until 1610, and his first child was born about 1611.

Thomas Graves was one of the original Adventurers (stockholders) of the Virginia Company of London, and one of the very early Planters (settlers) who founded Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in North America. He was also the first known person named Graves in North America. Captain Thomas Graves is listed as one of the original Adventurers as "Thomas Grave" on page 364, Records of the Virginia Company of London, vol. IV. Although the Records of the Virginia Company state that in 1622 was granted "a patent to Thomas Graves of Dublin in the Realm of Ireland, gent.” this may be a clerical error. As stated in the original charter of the Virginia Co. of London, the first Adventurers to Virginia were to be from the city of London. Captain Thomas is credited with starting several churches; The Old Hungars Episcopal Church began in 1623 on the eastern shore of Virginia still holds services to this day. The building is the third on this site. Pictures are included in the Graves Family Photo’s.


+2.  John Graves, b.c. 1611, m. Perrin, c. 1624 or later, d.c. April 1640.

John Graves (2) was the oldest son of Captain Thomas Graves. Mrs. Hiden estimated his birth in one instance to be "by 1605" and "not later than 1616" in another. Based on all available evidence, it seems likely that he was born about 1611. He was almost certainly born in England, since he did not receive land as an "Ancient Planter." All persons in Virginia prior to 1616 received an additional 50 acres. He was "of age" (21 years of age or older) before 19 Feb. 1634/5, for he had sued John Parramore (Accawmacke 1, p. 26), proving he was born at least by 1614, and on that date the Acchawmacke Court's decision was "John Parramore ordered to pay a debt of 100 lb. tobacco to John Graves".

John Graves died intestate in Elizabeth City County, possibly in April 1640. His death was between 29 May 1639, when he patented land, and 30 April 1640, when William Parry was named his administrator and bond was made (Northampton Co., Book 2, p. 281). Capt. Roper, William Cotton and Capt. Stone, brothers-in-law of John Graves and administrators of the estate of Capt. Thomas Graves, were originally appointed administrators of John Graves' estate, but in April 1640 they resigned and William Parry was appointed.

John Graves seems to have been the only one of his name in the county. Because most of the early records were destroyed, very little information is available about him, but land records and patents do reveal some facts.

On 9 Aug. 1637, John Graves patented 600 acres in Elizabeth City County near the upper end of the Back River, "due in right of descent upon his father Thomas Graves who transported at his own costs himself, Katherine Graves, his wife, sons John Graves, the patentee, and Thomas Graves, Jr., and 8 persons, Henry Singleton, Thomas Edge, Robert Phillips, Thomas Griggs, Thomas Phillips, Francis White, William Symber, Jone Packett." This patent is proof that Capt. Thomas Graves did not bring his family until after 1616, for had they come earlier they would all have been "Ancient Planters" and entitled to 100 acres each instead of 50 acres. This patent was near the lands of Capt. Adam Thoroughgood and east of the dwelling of Ohner Van Kirk. In 1638 and 1639 he received additional patents.

The holdings of John Graves were near the York County line and almost directly opposite Hungar's Creek in Northampton Co. (formerly Accawmacke) on the Eastern Shore, where his father had lived and where his sisters were still living at that time.

Generation 3

+3.   Thomas Graves, b. by 1631, m. Elizabeth

Thomas Graves (3) by some accounts was born about 1617, probably in England. He died about 1675 in Gloucester Co., Va., and left his land to his sons Thomas, Jeffrey and William. He settled in Gloucester Co., Va., and acquired large tracts of land there, part of which was granted in 1657. He patented 53 acres and later 240 acres in Gloucester Co., also 300 acres in Lancaster Co., Va. He was known as "Thomas Graves, Sr. of Timberneck Creek, Gloucester Co., planter."


Generation 4

+4.   John Graves, b.c. 1665, married, d. after 1737.

John Graves was born about 1665 and died after 1737. His wife's name is not known. He is obviously too old to be one of the Johns of the Abingdon Parish Register. Francis may possibly have had a son John by a first marriage, but this John died in Essex Co. in 1720. He was also in Essex Co. at the same time that John Sr. was in King and Queen and King William. As deeds show, John Sr. was of King and Queen Co. in 1704 when he purchased land in King William Co. The Quit Rent Rolls are obviously incomplete, as only seven Graves appear on them: Thomas and John in King William Co., John and Robert in King and Queen Co., Thomas and Jeffery of Gloucester Co., and James of James City Co.

Generation 5

+5.     Thomas Graves, b. 1691, m(1) Mary Perkins, m(2) Ann Davenport, d. 1768.

Thomas Graves was born in 1691 (based on a deposition, Caroline O.B. 1746-54, p. 362), and died in 1768 in Spotsylvania Co., Va. Mrs. Hiden states: "in the absence of documentary proof, we can still feel confident that Thomas Graves was the son of a John Graves who had lived in King and Queen Co. but was of the Gloucester Co. family, born about 1670, son of Thomas and Mary Graves, son of Thomas, son of Capt. Thomas."

Thomas Graves consistently maintained his residence on the Pamunkey in Spotsylvania Co., Va. His wife Ann has generally been thought to be a Davenport, daughter of William Davenport and Anne Woodruff. It appears that Thomas Graves first married Mary Perkins by 1715, and had by this marriage only three children, two daughters and one son. His wife then died and he remarried by no later than 1721. The son was John Graves, but the names of the daughters by this first marriage are not known. The source for these statements is a record from the Bible of Solomon Graves, son of Rev. Barzillai Graves (who died 1827). The N.C. Archives made a copy of the Bible record in 1971. The will of Thomas Graves (Spotsylvania Co. Rec. Will Book D, p. 318) was dated 17 Oct. 1767, probated 6 June 1768, but final settlement was not until July 1802. Thomas is credited with a total of 16 children. However, the estate settlement plainly states there were only 15 legatees. His homestead known as “ Springfield” built on Little Rocky Creek, and site of his mill is still standing today. A photo may be seen in the Graves Photo’s.

Generation 6

 +6.    Rice Graves, b.c. 1729, m. Jane Young, 1751-2, d. 1814

Rice Graves was born about 1729 in St. George Parish, Spotsylvania Co., Va., and died 1814 in Louisa Co., Va. In Spotsylvania Records, O. Book 1738-49, p. 466, June 7, 1748, he is called "Rice Graves, son of Thos. Graves Sr." and would hardly have been so designated had he then been 21 years of age.

He married Jane Young, daughter of John Young and Christian Bruce, about 1751-2.    Jane died in 1812.

We next find Rice as defendant in a chancery suit brought by Thomas Graves on Feb. 6, 1752 (Spots. Rec., O. Book 1749-55, p. 166). In 1759, he was appointed to serve under John Robinson, surveyor of roads (Spots. Rec., O. Book 1755-65, p. 140). In 1760, as Rice Graves of Spotsylvania Co., he bought from William and Mary Macon of New Kent Co. 190 acres "on North Anna River of Pamunkey" (Louisa Rec., Deed Book D, p. 31), and probably moved at once into Louisa Co. Parenthetically, it might be remarked that all the members of this Graves family had their habitat, so far as can be determined, either on the north side of the North Anna River in Spotsylvania Co., or on the south side in Louisa Co. Not until John ventured into North Carolina did any of them stray far from this river. In 1772, Rice added more land to his holdings (Louisa Records, Deed Book D-1/2, p. 375), and in 1777 we find him listed with five tithables (Harris' History of Louisa Co., p. 169). Rice was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. He was administrator of his mother's estate, 15 Aug. 1782. He was on the first U.S. census in 1783 in Essex Co., Va., and his family then consisted of four whites and three blacks. In 1806 (Louisa Rec., Deed Book K, p. 253), describing himself as old and infirm, he appointed his son John to act as trustee in an equal division of his property among his children. In Deed Book L, p. 225, July 10, 1809, two of his sons, Thomas and Benjamin, release their brother John, who was trustee, from further responsibility. In the settlement of the estate as returned by John Graves (Will Book 5, p. 572, July 10, 1815) occur these entries: "Aug. 1812, to pd. Absalom Waller for preaching Mother's funeral", and "Aug. 1814, to pd. Wm. G. Hiter for preaching Father's funeral." (R‑21, R‑510, R‑515)


Generation 7

+7.Benjamin Graves, b.c. 1765, m. Sallie Cole, d.c. 1846.

Benjamin Graves was born about 1765 in Louisa Co., Va., and died about 1846 in Midway, Woodford Co., Ky. He married Sallie Cole of Virginia, daughter of Richard Cole Sr. and Ann Hubbard. Sally was born about 1765 in Va., and died in 1836 in Midway, Woodford Co., Ky.

Richard Cole Sr. (1734-1814) was from Culpeper Co., Va., and was a son of John and Susanna Cole. In 1782, Richard Cole moved to Woodford Co. and eventually settled at what is now Midway, Ky. The Cole Tavern was located off I-64 at the intersection of SH 421 and Fishers Mill Road on Elkhorn Creek. The Tavern burned and the Cole Cemetery is located on the hill adjacent to where the tavern once stood. The lone remaining headstone is that of Anne Hubbard Cole who died in 1795. The old out kitchen and a springhouse are still standing. Son Richard Jr. was the proprietor of the Black Horse Tavern and it was a stopping place for historical figures of the day such as Henry Clay. Richard Cole, Jr. was a great grandfather of Frank and Jesse James. See Stray Leaves for further information:

Children - Graves

Horatio Nelson Graves, b.c. 1783, d. 1853 (Midway, Ky.).

Richard C. Graves, b. 7 Dec. 1785, m. Nancy Martin, 16 March 1818, d. 11 May 1860.

William W. Graves, b. 3 Oct. 1787, m. Mary Cloud Graves, June 1815, d. 8 Nov. 1870.

Betsey Graves, b.c. 1790, m. Finley (or Finlay).

Nancy Graves, b.c. 1794, m. M. C. Johnson.

John C. Graves, b.c. 1803, m. Susana McCoy, 19 Aug. 1821 (Woodford Co., Ky.)

Mary Graves, m. Thomas Sims Graves (of Nelson Co., Ky.). Oct 11, 1833 (Woodford County ,Ky) Witness was Nelson Graves (Mary’s Brother.)

*** Some other sites list a Thomas G. Graves as a son of Benjamin, however extensive research has shown this is incorrect. The error occurred by the misinterpretation of the name listed in the Will of Horatio Nelson Graves. The will gave $1000.00 to the Colonization Society, freed all of his slaves and divided his estate between his slaves and his brothers and sisters. The part due Mary Emma Graves, Nelson Graves sister was given to Thomas S. Graves (Mary’s Husband). This was not unusual in antebellum days, as married women were not always allowed to have money or hold property. ***

Children – Graves by Harriett Gist Graves

Edward Willis Graves, b. 1822, m. Elizabeth Wells, 1851, d. 6 March 1884.

  William F. Graves, b. 12 Oct. 1824, never married, d. 30 May 1886.

  Thomas Bushrod Graves, b. 12 Jan. 1828, m. Delia A. Wells, d. 7 Dec. 1886.

Mary E. Graves, m. Abraham Smith, Dec. 1848.

Children-Graves by Mary E. Graves

      Sarah Ann Graves, b. 2 Oct. 1840, m. William M. Hobbs, 14 Sept. 1858, d. 20 Nov. 1915.

+   James Edgar Graves, b. 1834, m (1) Martha C. Johnson, c. 1870, m (2) Elizabeth B. Laird, d. 1913. See the Photo’s on this site.

      Benjamin F. Graves married. No children.



Claude Ervin Graves (20) was born 14 Aug. 1876 and died 14 Aug. 1951. He married Nancy Lenora Flurry on 15 Nov. 1901 in Claiborne Parish, LA. They lived in Summerfield and other surrounding towns before settling on a farm in Weldon near Bernice, LA. Claude had a dry goods store and sold farm equipment until his death. He stepped on a rusty nail and died of tetanus in a Ruston hospital. (R‑1)

Children - Graves

+28.  Mark Howard Graves, first married Jenny Lou Jackson in Union Parish Louisiana, died in Baytown Texas, buried 22

 January 1991 in Rosewood Cemetery, Humble, Texas, he second married Mary Ruth Knighten

Children Graves – by Jenny Jackson


+29. Billy Hudson Graves b. 16 Nov. 1925, married Martha E. Langston, born 31 Oct 1924. Billy died 10 April 1994, buried in the city cemetery Bernice, Louisiana. Martha died 27 August 1998 she was buried in Highlands, Texas

+30. Mary Beth Graves b. 1933, Bernice, Louisiana

+31. Shirley Graves b. 1937, Bernice, Louisiana

Children – Graves by Mary Knighten

+32. Michael D. Graves, b 20 Sept 1953 in Baytown, Texas

+33. Deborah Ann Graves b. 1955, in Baytown, Texas

+34. Patricia Gail Graves b.1957, in Baytown, Texas

+35. James Ervin Graves b. 1958, in Baytown, Texas

(Last modified: Jan 30th 2014, 10:41)


Back to Top