A. Revolutionary War Patriots
    1. John Clan Grayson, Jr.
    2. Robert Wright
    3. John William Connally

B. Proven First Families of Alabama (Resided in the state before 1819)
    1. John Clan Gayson, Jr.
    2. Robert Wright
    3. John William Connally
    4. John Logan

C. It is thought that the first Grayson, also a John, was in this country by 1687. There are records in Middlesex County, Virginia and Lancaster. The first John’s parents may have been Thomas and Mary Grayson. According to Mrs. Snider, the John Grayson who seems to be the progenitor of our Graysons married Susanna. His probable children were: Thomas of Deal, Kent, England, Ambose, Ann, Mary, John, Jr., Benjamin, and Elizabeth.  Ambrose married Alice James, and they had seven children. John Grayson was #3. He married Barbara. It is a little confusing, as apparently there were four John Graysons. The first was the father, the second was the son who dropped the ‘Jr.” after his father’s death. The third was the son of Ambrose Carter and the fourth was our John Clan, son of John Clan who was the son of Ambrose!

D. Family of John Clan Grayson, Jr.
John Grayson married Sally or Sarah Elizabeth Carter in Montgomery County, Virginia. John’s parents were John Grayson and Barbara Burdyne. They moved from Culpepper county, Virginia to New River about 1766 (Bland County History, p. 118) Sometime between 1801 and 1806, John and Sally Carter disappear from the Virginia records. We know that they went to the Dutch Bottom area of Cocke County, TN where Sally’s brother, Francis Jackson Carter and her father John Carter had moved. Sally and the children remained there while John went to the Mississippi Territory to survey what would become Madison County. After the work was complete, John moved his family to the new settlement in Big Cove.  Their home was right next to the present Grayson Cemetery. It is gone now and a modern house stands in its place. Sally and John Grayson had the following children:

1. George, b. 1794 m Cynthia Hannah Dec. 2, 1820
2. Polly, b. 1795 m Bryant Cobb
3. James and William, b 1797 d. 1806
4. John Cullen, b. 1799 m Nancy B. Glover Dec. 31, 1832
5. Robert, b. 1801 died young
6. Charles, b. 1803 m Elizabeth Craft Nov. 23, 1822. They both died and are buried in Nacogdoches, TX.
7. Jackson, b. 1805 m Anna Craft July 2, 1825
8. Nancy, b. 1808 m John Sartin. They died and are buried in Rusk County, TX
9. Ambrose, b. 1810 m Sally Vann Oct. 23, 1832
10.  Sarah Ann, b. 1811 m George Washington Sartin Dec. 31, 1829. They also lived and died in TX.
11.  Napoleon Bonaparte, b. 1815 m Joanna Amanda Ellett
12.  James Gordon, b 1817 m Nancy Paralee Wright Sept. 2, 1837

John Clan Grayson died in 1826 and Sallie Carter Grayson died in 1838. They are both buried in the Grayson Cemetery on Old Big Cove Road in Madison County. Their graves were made in the Scottish tradition of stones piled over the graves making a cairn.

More information on the children and grandchildren of this family may be found in Bateman, Grayson, Boyett, Carter, and Cole Families and Their Kin as They Marked the Way by Cynthia E. Snider. This book is out of print but there is a copy in the Huntsville Public Library in Huntsville, Alabama.


     Now, let us look at Sally Carter’s family. Many of the older family members thought she was descended from the “King Carters” of Carter’s Grove and Red Hills, near Charlottesville. This intrigued us because we knew that books had been written about that family, so we started to investigate. It took about a month to sort out all the Carters. At first we didn’t even know Sally’s father’s name. We finally found out it was George, but both lines of Carters are full of Georges. To make matters worse, Our George is confused with his brother George who was born in 1731 and died the same year or the next. He was the twin of William who lived. Our George was born in 1733, but even the DAR has this wrong!! In many of the listings of the children of Captain James Carter, our George is omitted, probably because his brother George had died.  Apparently, it was not uncommon to reuse the name of a child who had died, but we know he lived and was mentioned in his father’s will. Here is what we found out:

     Thomas Carter, the first Carter of our line came to Virginia in 1650-1652. He came to Nansemond City from London aboard the ship “Safety:” about the time Charles I was beheaded. He was about 22 years of age and arrived paying for himself and four servants. He bought 800 acres of land in Lancaster City, on the eastern most branch of the Corotoman River from Colonel John Carter  (may have been his uncle) who was living in Nansemond City when Thomas arrived in 1649, but moved to Lancaster County, VA. Thomas also moved to Lancaster County and purchased a large plantation on the Rappahannock River.

      Thomas Carter served as “Commissioner of City” in 1663,” Deputy Clerk of the City” in 1663-65, and “Burgess” in 1667. He was the Captain of the Lancaster Militia, according to the William and Mary Quarterly. He was later made Major of the same Lancaster Militia, however, he is more commonly referred to as Captain. He also was a Vestryman in Christ Church and Saint Mary’s White Chapel. His occupation has been listed as a “Planter”, and “Trader”. Thomas is recorded as also owning and operating the first ferry service. He became known as “The Gentleman of Lancaster”.

     Lady Dianna Skipworth, later Diana Skipworth Dale witnessed deeds to Major Thomas Carter. Later Thomas married her daughter, Katherine Skipworth Dale and thus connected the dots to our Royal lineage through the Carter line.  The Thomas Carter family can trace their ancestry to Charlemagne. Other Carter relations include English Magna Carta sureties. Through the Skipworth line, we have fourteen signers of the Magna Carter! A Magna Carta surety was a nobleman who signed the compact between King John of England and English noblemen. The compact, which King John was forced to sign in 1215, granted many rights to the English nobility and was the foundation for English and American law. This  ”noble” mentality transcended into Virginia. It is still a large part of our Southern culture. Those early settlers to the American colonies who came from England were, in many cases, descended from those signers of the Magna Carta and had a sense of duty to uphold freedoms and justice and to make the most of what God had entrusted to them. The Skipworth family also had lines back to William the Conqueror. When Thomas died October 22, 1700, his brother John Carter, of Corotoman, administered his estate. Thomas Carter kept a Prayer Book in which he listed all his children and important data.


 Captain Thomas Carter listed the marriage of his son, James Carter, to Hannah Neale, “daughter of Mr. Daniel Neale” on Oct. 3, 1715. Her death is listed on Oct. 9, 1722. She had given birth to four children in that seven years. James Carter is the line that eventually carries all the way down to us. His second wife was Mary Brent.

 In the original Prayer Book at Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, Virginia, handwritten records of births and marriages of Captain Thomas Carter were assumed to be his. But later marriages occurred after his death so the writings below are identified as Author 1 for the oldest and this oldest handwriting will be identified as “First Author”. The information has been arranged in chronological order where possible.

NOTE: We have only included part of the prayer book; it is all very interesting, but only the part that is relevant to our line is included.

Transcription of Prayer Book of Captain Thomas Carter of Lancaster County, Virginia Born: circa 1630 London England.  Died: 1700, Barford Estate, Lancaster County, Virginia Passed down to Thomas Carter, Jr. Born June 4, 1672 Lancaster County, Virginia  Died September 1733, Lancaster County Virginia  Passed down to son Peter Carter born. 1706, Lancaster County, Virginia Died: circa 1790

Transcription: [First Author] Thomas Carter His Book -1669 – [Second Author] Thomas Carter Gentleman His Book Lancaster County Virginia (Births recorded by First Author]

Edward ye eldest Sonne of Tho: & Kathn Carter was bom on ve 9h Apll 1671 of Sunday at 8 aClock in ye Morng and was bapte on Sunday the 30h Mr John Carter, Mr Edwn Conaway & Mr Edward Date Godfathers & Mrs Diana Dale & Msz Lettys Corbyn GodMothers.

Thomas Carter son of Thomas was Bom on the 4th day of June 1672 betwn 3 & 4 adock in ye Morng and was Baptzd att ye new Church Augt 5th. Captn John Lee. Mr Th: Hayne, ye Lady Ann Skipworth & Elizh Dale godparts.

John 3d son was bornd ye 8th May 1674 and bapd Sunday ye 24h and had for God parents Coll. Jno: Carter. Mr Jno Stretchley and Mrs Ball.

Henry Skipwith. 4th sonn Tho. & Kath. Carter Bornd of a Wedndy the 7h June & was baptzd att Home by Rev Mr Dogette on Sunday aftr Service ye 18th. Capn Wm Ball, Capn David Fox and Mrs Srah Fleete standing

Diana ye Eldest Daughr Th: & Kathn Carter was bom on the last Day ofApll 1678 near 5 in the Aftrnoone and Christnd on Sunday 12 of May by Mr Doggett when was Entertaind a large Company. Mrs Diana Dale, Mrs Mary Willys & Capn Ball God parents. She Departd this Life of a Putrid Soar Throate at ye age of 2 yeares and 3 days.

Wm & Nicho twinn sonnes of Tho: Carter born 2d Novr 1679 and dyed on the 11th and 12th July 1680 of a Cholrey.

Elizabeth 2d Dauter was Bomd 4h day of Feby 1680 about Sunrise &weiahd 11 Ibs. Baptzd at St Marys Sunday 15 May Mrs MargaretTall, Mrs Elizabeth Rogers & Captain Ball standing for her.

Daniel son of Thomas & Katharin Carter born 22d Octbr 1682 and died on the 30h of a Fit.

James 8th sonn was Borne on Christmas Day l684 it being Thursday at 2 in the momg & was Chrisnd at Home on Sundy. Mr Jno Edwards, Mr Tho. Wilkes & Mrs Edwards standing as God parts.

Katharine 3d Dau. was bom at 6 aclock Easter Morning 4hApl 1686 Bapd on Whit-Sundy Mr David Fox Mrs Hannah Fox & Mrs Sarah Perrotte Gdpts.

Peter 9th Son was Bom near Midnight 23d May 1688 & Baptzd on 3d June Mr Edwin Conaway. Mr Tho. Dudly & Mrs Ann Chowning standing.

Joseph Youngest son born Friday 28 Novr 1690 & Chnstnd at home on 10th Deer Mr Robt Carter & Mr Joseph Ball Godfathrs & Mrs Judith Carter Godmother.

[Death of Edward Dale, father-in-law in Capt. Thomas Carters handwriting] Mr. Edw: Dale Departd this life on ye 2d Day Feb: 1695 and Mrs Diana Dale on ye last day of July.

Hic Despositum
Spe Certe Resurgendi in christo
quicquid habuit Mortale
Tandem hornorum et Dierum Obiit
20 Feby: Anno Dom: 1695.

He descended from an Ancient Family in England & came into ye Colly of Virga after the Death of his Unhappy Master Charles First. For above 30 years he enjoyed various Employments of Public Trust in ye Coty of Lancaster wch he Dischred wth great Fidelity & Satisfacn. to the Governor & People. As neighbor-Father-Husband he excelled and in early yeares Crownd his other Accomplishments by a Felicitous Marriage wth Diana ye daughter of sr Henry Skypwith of Preswold in ye Coty of Leicester Bart who is left a little white to Mourn him.

[Death of Capt. Thomas Carter and wife Katherine in Thomas Carter, Jrs handwriting] Thomas Carter Senr Departed this life on the 22d of October 1700 Aged about 70 years. CatharineCarter Departed this life the 10th Day of May 1703 in the 51st Year of her Life.

James Carter was mard ye 3d Octbr 1715 to Hannah Neale daur. to DanI Neale    

Mrs Hannah Carter departed the Life on 9th Octo. 1722 and left a sorriful husband and 4 tender children Tho. DanI Presly & Hannah (this was the first wife of James Carter.( He married Mary Brent, 10 August 1724)

TRANSCRIPTION OF WILL OF JAMES CARTER. STAFFORD COUNTY 1743: Stafford County Will Book M. pp 391-392 "In Name of God Amen I James Carter of Overwharton Parish in County of Stafford being sick but of sound mind .. make this my last will.. I give soul to my mercifull creator.. my body to be buried. Imps. (after my just debts are honestly paid) I give to my sons JOHN & GEQRGE all that tract of land on the north side of Acquia Creek where I now live to be equally divided between them only that my eldest son JOHN shou'd have the half on which my dwelling house now stands to them and their heirs but if either or both shu'd die without heirs then I give the reversion of all or either of their shares to my son Hugh and heirs of his body and incase of default of such heirs to be equally divided among all my surviving sons. Item I give to my sons JAMES & WILLIAM my lands in Fairfax County after William Brewster has gott his complement which I sold him out of it to be equally divided between my said sons to them and heirs but if either of them shuld die without issue I bequeath their reversion of their part thereof to my son GEORGE and his heirs in case of default of such heirs to be equally divided among my surviving sons. Item I give my son HUGH two negroes Mingo & Sharlott. Item I give my son CHARLES and his heirs two negroes Sue and Winny and their increase. Item I give to my daughter ANN and her heirs two negroes great Dick and Hannah with Robin and Dinah with her increase. Item what negroes I die possessed of not yet willed or bequeathed I leave to my dear and loving WIFE MARY during her widowhood only and after her marrying again or decease to be equally divided among my surviving children. Item my personal estate I leave to be equally divided among my wife and children or the survivors of them. Lastly I nominate and appoint my dear and loving wife MARY and Charles Brent Executors of this my last will and testament my son JOHN to be joined with them as soon as he comes of age and I appoint the reverd Mr. John Moncure a guardian to my children and as a trustee to see this will execute. Hereby revoking all former wills .. In witness .. set my hands this 23rd day of October 1743,


At court held for Stafford County March 13.1743. Will presented by Mary Carter and Chas. Brent.. made oath .. proved .. admitted to record .. Certificate granted for obtaining Probate.."

Note: It is believed that Captain Thomas Carter and “King” Carter were first cousins, their fathers are thought to be the sons of John and Bridget Carter of Newgate Street, London.

Historical Southern Families, Vol XX by Brodie
“With this Book Prayers” by John Sheperd in William and Mary Quarterly
Living Descendents of Blood Royal
by Arthur Adams
Court Records of Lancaster County, Virginia 1663
The Descendents of Captain Thomas Carter by Joseph Lyon Miller, MD

To simply all this, the line to George Carter is as follows:

1. Captain Thomas Carter m Katherine Dale. They had fifteen children.
2. James Carter (#15) b.1684 m Mary Brent. They had eleven children.
3. George Carter (#6) b. 25 March 1733 m Mary Craig
    A. Francis Jackson Carter, b. 1774 m Esther Crockett
    B. Sarah Elizabeth “Sally” Carter b 2 Jan. 1776 m John Clan Grayson, Jr.

(There may have been other children, but we have no record of them.)


John Logan  was among the earliest settlers in Madison county. He was born in Ireland in 1782, but he was a Scot. It is uncertain when he came to the United States, but he was in Madison county by 1816. He married a Martha. At one time it was thought it was Martha McComb but that has been disproved. We have included the wills of both Martha and John. John and his son Abner are buried in the Logan cemetery in Madison County. The cemetery is on private land that once belonged to the Logans and is in very bad condition. John’s tombstone is now gone, but we are fortunate to have a picture of it. Abner’s is still there as of 2009, but is crumbling. We include pictures of both.

John’s son Abner married Mary Stuart Campbell, daughter of Thomas Gardnier Campbell (born 1799 in Virginia) and Louisa Morris. We have been unable to find out who the parents of Thomas were, but we do know that Thomas was a Jacobite. He named  his children names that referred to the lost cause: Araminta Virginia, John William, Nancy Elizabeth, Granville Sobieski, Louisa Francis, and Thomas Gardnier. It has been established that he was not related to any of the other Campbells in Madison County. Clan Campbell out of Baton Rouge is looking into it as are we.



Madison County

Last will and testament of John Logan:

I bequeath to my wife Martha Logan all my real and personal estate during her natural life and if she dies my widow shall be in her power to leave the above property to whoever she cares, but in case of my widow marrying ,the above mentioned estate shall be lawfully considered the property of my four youngest children at my widow’s death: Jane Logan, John Logan, Abner Logan and Martha Logan.

I bequeath to each of my children as follows to be paid at my widow’s death:

Margaret Johnston, wife of William S. Johnston   $2.50
Rebecca Logan                                                   $2.50
William S. Logan                                                  $2.50
John Logan                                                          $2.50
Ann Logan                                                            $2.50
Jane Logan                                                          $2.50
Abner Logan                                                         $2.50
Martha Logan                                                       $2.50

NB The above registers has given themselves middle initials in their names that I am not acquainted with. I mean my children’s names.

Executors: Hugh Smith and John Hardy
Executrix: My wife Martha Logan
Whereas I have set my hand and seal this 10th day of July, 1833
John Logan  (Seal)

Witness: George McLeod, Solomon Spence,  Peter Hubert


I, Martha Logan of the County of Madison and State of Alabama knowing that all men have to die do hereby make and publish this  my last will and testament hereby making all others heretofore made by me null and void.

First, after my death I wish to be decently buried this 29 day of November 1842.

Secondly, I give and bequeath unto my daughter Margaret Johnson, wife of William S. Johnson in the following way, one Negro boy named Allen about twelve years of age. That my executor herein after named to have to sole control of said Negro boy but for the use and benefit of my said daughter until her youngest child becomes of lawful age or if my daughter dies before that time my executor will then sell said boy and divide the proceeds equally among my daughter’s children and my said son-in-law is to exercise no control over said negro as I do not convey to him any title to the same but that my executor exercise all control of ownership in said boy for the purpose above named.

Third, I give and bequeath unto my daughter Ann B Logan one Negro girl named Eliza about fifteen years of age she to have possession and contol of the said Negro at my death.

Fourth, I give and bequeath unto my son Abner L. Logan the South west quarter of Fractional Section thirty-three in Township Five of range one East of the Meridian line also the two following Negroes, one woman named Vicy about thirty-five years of age and one Negro girl named Mary about three years of age.

Fifth, I give and bequeath unto my son William S. Logan the north west quarter of Fractional Section thirty-three in Township five of Range one east of Meridian line and also one Negro boy named Stepny about six years of age.

Sixth, I give and bequeath unto my son John H. Logan the north east quarter of Fractional Section thirty-three in township five of range one east of the Meridian line and also one Negro boy named Simon about seven years of age.

Seventh, I give and bequeath unto each one of my three daughters that is Rebecca, Jane, and Martha five dollars to each after my debts is paid.

Eighth, and I also wish and leave all lands and perishable property belonging to me and not mentioned in this will to be sold and the proceeds to be applied for the payments of my debts and if there should be more than enough to satisfy my debts I then wish my executor to divide it equally among my heirs. And lastly I appoint my son William S. Logan and son John H. Logan my executors to this my last will and testament.

Given under my hand this 29th day of November, 1842. 

Martha Logan (Seal) Witnesses: William J. Smith Thomas R. Gibson, Jackso