Thomas Graves of Jamestown, VA, 1608


Revised 25 August 2005

This information is for descendants of Ann Elizabeth Holeman and Walter Beck Lenhart.
Other Graves researchers should go to the web site of Kenneth Vance Graves
Graves web site

Thomas Graves of Jamestown, Virginia, 1608

This Graves information is in response to family members with the homework assignment - usually around Thanksgiving - that includes the question: "When and why did your ancestors come to America?" We have many ancestors and they came to America at different times. However, our earliest American ancestor is Thomas Graves who helped to establish the first permanent English settlement in America at Jamestown - more than ten years before the Pilgrims arrived (1620). This line is through Ann Elizabeth Holeman (AEH) [Yan's mother] who married Walter Beck Lenhart (WBL); AEH's mother was a descendant of Thomas Graves. There are many Graves lines in America; however our Thomas Graves is the earliest. AEH and WBL had four daughters: Betty who married Smith, Caroline (Katherine Caroline) who married Bernard, Virginia Ann "Yan" who married Kinney, and Rose who married Gish. If you descend from any of these families, you are a descendant of Thomas Graves.

Jamestown, was founded in 1607 in Virginia and our Thomas Graves arrived there in the fall of 1608 (see his name on the "Second Supply" list). The Jamestown settlers were apparently entrepreneurs and adventurers, sent by King James I, via the Virginia Company, to settle Virginia, to find gold, and to find a water route to the Orient. They experienced great suffering, many deaths, and the settlement was eventually saved by tobacco (Jamestown history includes the story of John Rolfe and Pocahontas). You will learn more about Jamestown in the below entry for Thomas Graves and on other web sites including: a short history at Jamestowne, the Jamestown Rediscovery site, the ever expanding University of Virginia Jamestown educational site, and a timeline/history (emphasis on tobacco) site (there's a longer timeline here). For more sites, enter  jamestown virginia on GOOGLE  

Thomas Graves of Jamestown, Virginia, 1608
Rev. 1 April 2004, Gen. 169

Kenneth Vance Graves authored the below information. I copied the Thomas Graves (169) section from his web site and eliminated all names except for the direct ancestors of Ann Elizabeth Holeman, daughter of John English Holeman and Katherine Sophia (or Sophia Katherine) Graves. Kenneth Vance Graves, the author of several books, intends to publish a book on Captain Thomas Graves. See his web site for additional information, revisions, sources, code numbers, etc.

Research by the Graves Family Association, including DNA tests, indicates our line descends from Captain Thomas Graves' son Thomas rather than Francis as reported earlier by other researchers. Formerly Generation 2 listed Francis Graves and Jane Maguffey, and Generation 3 listed Thomas Graves and Elizabeth Moody. These two generations were revised as noted below and an additional generation (4 below) was added. The genealogy from John Graves and Dicken (now Generation 5) to the present remains unchanged.

Generation 1

Captain Thomas 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. Although John Card Graves states that Thomas was accompanied by his wife Katherine, sons John and Thomas, and eight others, including Henry Singleton and Thomas Edge, most other historians agree that he did not bring his wife and children over until later. It is likely that he did not even marry Katherine until 1610, and his first child was born about 1611.

Please go to this link and read the several pages of information about Captain Thomas Graves.

Generation 2

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." The name of his wife is not known, although it is believed to be Elizabeth (or Katherine). (R-515)

Generation 3

Thomas Graves (13) was born about 1639. His death date is unknown. He was still living in 1707 when he had lot no. 1 in the new town of Gloucester. He first married Mary Unknown before 1677 (possibly about 1669). They lived in Abingdon Parish, Gloucester Co., Va.

He and his brother Jeffrey inherited large tracts of land which their father had patented. This land was beyond the head of Timberneck Creek, and between Severn and the Indian Road. As part of their inheritance, they also received a tract of 400 acres in Abingdon Parish on 6 March 1675/6. Thomas had other large grants in Westmoreland and Gloucester counties.

He secondly married Elizabeth Unknown. The christening of all the children listed below was recorded in the records of St. Peter's Church, Abingdon Parish. (R-515)

Generation 4

John Graves (44) was christened 1677 in St. Peter's Church, Abingdon Parish, Gloucester Co., Va. The most likely death date for John is by 1716, since a Rebecca Graves appears in the Essex Co., Va. estate settlement of Richard Brecknell in 1716 (not as an heir). No other Rebecca is known to fit this circumstance other than the wife of John. The payment to her for some debt indicates she was either single or a widow.

[The death date of 1747 given by John Card Graves is for Johnís son, John Graves (#125). A death date of 1737 (from Mrs. Ethel Taylor) is from Spotsylvania Co. records, where a John Graves, very ancient, was exempt from taxes in 1737. This was John Graves (#42).]

John married Rebecca Unknown. She probably survived her husband, as indicated in the first paragraph. The children listed below plus a daughter Elizabeth were named by John Card Graves (R-515). Charles Hughes Hamlin (The Graves Newsletter, vol. 1, no. 4, pp. 4-6, and vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 2-5) agreed with John Card Graves, except that he did not list Elizabeth. (R-515)

Generation 5

John Graves (125) was born in 1706 in Abingdon Parish, Gloucester Co., VA[3], was baptized 9 March 1706 in Abingdon Parish, and died between 30 March 1747 (date of his will) and 2 June 1747 (date of probate in Spotsylvania Co., Va.). He married Susannah Dicken on 22 Nov. 1732. She was probably a daughter of Isaac Dicken. She was born 14 June 1714, and died in 1784 in Culpeper Co., Va. After John died, she married Henry Chiles. Henry had first been married to Mercy Webb.

In an article by Mrs. P. W. Hiden, "The Graves Family of Essex Co.", William & Mary Quarterly, vol. 16, second series, 1936, pages 650-668, she wrote on page 657: "About 1922, the late Gen. John Card Graves, of Buffalo, N.Y., gave the writer dates of birth and marriage of John4 Graves and his wife, Susanna Dicken, with names and dates of birth of their children. This data had been secured for him by the late Mr. R. A. Brock about 1894 and its source was not given. Since, however, these dates have been corroborated by different branches of the family, it is assumed they are from John4 Gravesís own Bible and they will be used in this article."

"According to this, John4 Graves, b. in St. Georgeís Par., Spotsylvania Co., Dec. 10, 1712, d. Mar. 30, 1747, married on Nov. 22, 1732, Susanna Dicken, b. June 14, 1714. A patent error is seen in speaking of St. Georgeís Par. some nine years before its creation, but most likely the meaning of the statement is that he was born in St. Annís from which St. Maryís was formed, St. Maryís including that part of Essex which later lay in Spotsylvania and became St. Georgeís Parish." If the 1712 date were correct, then John would be #113, descended Thomas1, Francis2, Thomas3, John4. However, in an article by Charles Hughes Hamlin, The Virginia Gazette, Williamsburg, VA, 28 Aug. 1959 and 4 Sept. 1959, Mr. Hamlin disagreed with Mrs. Hidenís conclusions and gave a very reasoned argument for the lineage given here. Mr. Hamlinís article can be seen in the Appendix. In addition, DNA testing has shown that John Graves is not descended from Francis Graves, but has instead confirmed the descent given here.. (R-5, R-14, R-507)

Generation 6

John Graves (294) was born 19 Dec. 1737, and died 8 Dec. 1825 in Boone Co., Ky. He married Ann Rice, daughter of William Rice and Sarah Helms of Culpeper Co., Va., on 30 Nov. 1760. She was born about 1740 and died 8 Dec. 1825 at age 86. The will of William Rice, probated 17 April 1780, gives property to his daughters, Ann and Sarah, wives of John Graves and his brother Edward. Ann Rice was born 21 Nov. 1741, and died 12 Nov. 1826 in Boone Co., Ky. They moved from Culpeper Co. (now Madison Co.), Va. to Boone Co., Ky. in 1797. Their entire family of children and grandchildren went with them or moved soon afterwards.

They went down the Ohio River in small boats and landed on the Kentucky side at North Bend opposite the place where President William Henry Harrison later made his home. The whole country through which they went was one vast wilderness. Cincinnati at the time was only a military post. John Graves was a man of tall, slender form over six feet in height, was upright in all his dealings, peaceable and polite, of strong and fervent religious character. (R-5, R-39, R-507, R-515).

Generation 7

Absalom (or Absolom) Graves (786) was born 28 Nov. 1768 in Culpeper Co. (now Madison Co.), Va., and died 17 Aug. 1826. He married Felicia White, daughter of John White and Polly Unknown, on 18 Dec. 1789 in Orange Co., Va. She was born 20 Nov. 1771, and died 19 Feb. 1851 at their home in Boone Co., Ky. She is said to have led a very devout and charitable life. They moved from Virginia to Kentucky with the rest of his parents' family. He was prominent in civil life before 1810, when he was ordained a minister in the Baptist Church. He became distinguished throughout Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana.

The following is extracted from a sketch of this remarkable man (as quoted by John Card Graves), "written by Rev. A. C. Graves of Lebanon, Ky., who had studied and become perfectly familiar with his character." "In early life, there was about Absolom Graves a manliness and fascination which won the respect of all classes and foreshadowed the patriarchal position he was to occupy in the world. He was studious, devoting his leisure hours to self-improvement, and became the best educated young man in his community. His fitness for civil responsibilities was soon recognized and he was made Clerk of the Quarter Sessions in 1779, the year after Boone Co., Ky. was formed. He held that position until 1805, when the Circuit Court was formed and he was made clerk, which office he held until just before his death in 1826. He was ordained to the Christian ministry in 1812, and was Pastor of the Bullittsburg Baptist Church for many years, and the author of the hymn book entitled "Graves Hymns". He was known as an exemplary man and his life was a blessing to the world."

Speaking of him, Rev. John Taylor says, "Perhaps the Gospel of the Saviour never came better recommended by human character." It was said of him by one who knew him well, "He was a model for any man. He was the most upright, perfect man I have ever known in my life." He was a prosperous man and accumulated a comfortable property. He erected the first two-story brick house built in Boone Co., Ky., which, somewhat remodeled, was still standing back from the bluffs which overlook the Ohio River opposite the mouth of the Miami River which divides Ohio and Indiana around 1900. (R-515)

Generation 8

Willis Graves (2128) was born 12 Oct. 1790 in Madison Co., Va., and died 11 Nov. 1834. He moved with his parents to Boone Co., Ky. in the spring of 1797. He first married Kitty Johnston (or Johnson), daughter of Col. Cave Johnston (or Johnson) of Boone Co. She was born 6 Dec. 1799 and died 2 Aug. 1819. He secondly married Sophia Conn, daughter of John M. Conn and Nancy Keene of Bourbon Co., Ky. She was born 26 Aug. 1798 and died 7 Feb. 1892. He was admitted to the Bar and was Clerk of the Boone Co. Court from 1815 to the time of his death. He was one of the most prominent men in his county, active in ecclesiastical and civil matters, and was esteemed by everyone. After Willis died, his wife secondly married Jeremiah Garnett, who lived but a short time after his marriage. (R-515)

Children - Graves, by Sophia Conn

+4270. Thomas Conn Graves, b. 9 Dec. 1824, m. Agnes Elizabeth Willis.
  4271. Sophia Katharine Graves, b. 14 June 1826, m. William Henry Buckner, 1843. They lived in Covington, Ky. After his death, she lived in Erlanger, Ky. 4272. Louisa Cave, b. 15 Jan. 1816, m. John Willis Graves (#2161). See #2161 for descendants.

At this point the current (July 2004) online database of Kenneth Vance Graves concludes with our line; however, his complete database includes Generations 9 and 10 below.

Generation 9

Thomas Conn Graves was born 9 Dec. 1824 in Boone Co., Ky. He married Agnes Elizabeth Willis, daughter of Benjamin Willis and Nancy Grant. She was educated at Georgetown Female Seminary, and both she and her husband were highly respected.

Generation 10

Sophia Katherine Graves, b. 15 Dec. 1859, m. John English Holeman (of New Liberty, Ky.). He was the son of Col. Alexander Wake Holeman and Jennie English. [Also known as Col. Wake Holeman or Holman.]

Generation 11

Ann Elizabeth Holeman (1894 KY - 1968 SC/buried CA) married Walter Beck Lenhart (1890 PA -1961 CA). They were the parents of four daughters. See also Holeman and Lenhart.

Details of later generations are in my database but not included here to protect the privacy of family members who are still living.

Generation 12

Virginia Ann "Yan" Lenhart (married Ernest George Kinney) and her sisters.

Generation 13

Kinney Children and children of other Lenhart daughters.

Generation 13

Kinney Grandchildren and those of other Lenhart daughters.

Generation 14

Kinney Great Grandchildren and those of other Lenhart daughters.


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