Revised 25 March 1998, Gen. 262








It is generally believed that the James Graves of N.C. who married Sarah Watkins was descended from Capt. Thomas Graves of Va., but no proof of any such connection has been found.

It is believed by Aubrey E. Graves (R-200) that his ancestor, John Graves, who was born in N.C. in 1779 and first married Betty Beeson, was a son of a James Graves who is also the probable father of James Graves who married Sarah Watkins. A portion of his discussion follows.

"The fact that our John Graves of Blount Co., Ala. married Elizabeth (Betty) Beeson and that they were both born in North Carolina helped us tremendously. A complete Beeson genealogy has been prepared which we examined in several libraries, and it places the Beesons in and around Guilford and Randolph counties (N.C.) from 1755 to 1802. We find Elizabeth (Betty) Beeson's father, Capt. Edward Beeson, living in Surry Co. (N.C.) in 1810, with John Graves and a James Graves, born around 1750, living in close proximity. This coincidence leads us to believe that here we have James Graves, the father of John. A James Graves is also found in the 1800 census of Randolph Co., N.C. with several male children who well could be the early pioneer Graves who settled in Blount Co., Ala. Many other circumstances point to this as being the James Graves, father of John, including a family tradition among the older Blount Countians that John's father was James.

Consequently, with our minds open for more direct proof than we now have, we begin our immediate family treatise with 1-James Graves and the information we have been able to accumulate concerning him. Whence he came to settle for a few years in Surry Co., we do not know, but we have reason to believe he came from Randolph Co. along with the Beesons. Neither do we know in which county John was born, but we know he was born in N.C., and certainly one James Graves was living in Randolph Co. at the time he was born.

The Beesons were living in Randolph Co. in 1800; and, besides the James Graves, there were also Samuel, Benjamin, Richard, William and John Graves, living there in 1790 and prior thereto, as well as being there in 1800..."


"1-James Graves, born about 1750, is first found in Randolph Co., N.C., in 1785, in the County Court Minutes under the following entry (#120): 'James Graves enters 200 acres of land lying on the south side of Rutland Creek, beginning at John Gamon's southwest corner - 28 March 1785.'

We next find James Graves in the 1790 census of Randolph Co. with the following family: James Graves, 1 male over 16, 1 male under 16, 2 females.

In the 1800 census of Randolph Co. we find James Graves with this family: James Graves, 3 males under 10, 2 males 10 to 16, 2 males 16 to 25, 1 male over 45, females.

It is to be noted that here during this time he was living in the same county with other Graves: Richard, Sr., John, William, Samuel, Sr., and Benjamin... He was also near the Beesons, Lathams, Lambs, and other families whom we know to be closely associated with our family. Captain Edward Beeson married Selena Lamb; Latham Graves was a pioneer Blount Countian, etc.

However, by 1810 this 1-James Graves is not to be found in Randolph Co.; that is, he is not mentioned in the County Minutes, and in the 1815 Tax List of Randolph Co. he does not appear as a landowner. Apparently, he has left the county by 1810.

Fortunately, we find James Graves in Surry Co., N.C., in 1809 under this entry in the County Court Minutes: 'A deed from W. Spraggins to James Graves was proved in Court by James Watkins.'

In the 1810 census for Surry Co. we find James Graves with the following family: James Graves, 2 males 10 to 16, 3 males 16 to 25, 1 male over 45; (females apparently not listed by Aubrey Graves).

Apparently, James Graves did not tarry long in Surry Co., for we find him again in 1810 under this entry in the County Court Minutes: 'A deed from James Graves to Andrew Mattue was proved in open court by Thomas Johnson.'

And by 1812 we find James Graves still in Surry Co. but owning 'no acres.' This is the last entry pertaining to him that is to be found in Surry Co.

Interestingly enough, as we have repeated hereinabove, during his stay in Surry for some three or four years, we find John Graves, believed to be our John Graves, mentioned several times in connection with road work, bringing a suit against Andrew Mattue, with Edward Beeson and James Graves as his witnesses, all strongly indicating that these three: 1-James Graves, 2-John Graves, and Edward Beeson all lived nearby. After 1812 the records are silent as to the three again, indicating that they were no longer there. We know John Graves was in Sequatchie Valley, Tenn., in 1815; Captain Edward Beeson was in Alabama; the later whereabouts of James Graves we have not accounted for."


Aubrey Graves believed that his line of the family descended from one or more of the Graves families found in Randolph Co., N.C. He states (p. 131 of his book): "A research into the early history of the Graves families in Randolph Co., N.C. reveals quite clearly that there were at least five pioneer settlers in that county. Where they came from to this county we are not yet able to say. However, we do venture the suggestion that they were direct descendants of either Rice6 Graves or Richard6 Graves of Virginia (apparently children of Thomas Graves and Ann Davenport)... This is based partly on the fact that subsequent generations of these Graves in Alabama took the names of Rice and Richard and Samuel and James and John. We consider this a fact of high probative value, and we found some of them in north Alabama near Blount Co.

These early Randolph pioneer Graves families, as revealed from deed records, deed entries, tax lists, census reports, etc. were the following: (1) Richard Graves, b. 1769, d. 1849; (2) John Graves, probably b. about 1750; (3) Samuel Graves, Sr., probably b. 1765-70; (4) William Graves, b. by 1760; (5) Leonard Graves, b. by 1780; (6) James Graves, b. about 1750." This John Graves, b.c. 1750, was probably the one who married Margery Harvey, and he is probably the father of Samuel, William, Richard, and possibly Leonard. James Graves is the one previously discussed. Could James and John, both born about 1750, have been brothers?


There is some additional speculation by Aubrey E. Graves in his book about possible lines of descent from Capt. Thomas Graves of Va.


Another possibility, especially for Henderson Graves (born 1810, given in the following genealogy as the son of James Graves), is the line of Ralph Graves, b.c. 1653 or 1658, who married Unity White. Ralph had a son, Henry White Graves,, b.c. 1692 in Va., first married Mary Jones, probably a daughter of Rice Jones, who had a son, Henry Graves, who married Rachel Lewis. This Henry Graves had a son, David Graves, who moved to N.C. and had a son, Henderson Graves, born in the early 1800's. There was also at least one Stone intermarriage in this line.


According to Mr. William L. ("Bill") Murphy (R-1), James Graves seems to have "lived in Randolph Co., NC with his brothers Richard, William, Samuel and John Graves. All these were sons of Richard Graves and were born in Spotsylvania Co., VA. Their mother appears to have been Lucy Davenport." He provides no proof for this parentage of James Graves. Since it is believed that the Richard Graves who married Lucy Davenport moved to Fayette Co., KY, it is not obvious that this is the correct connection. Information about Richard Graves (from the Capt. Thomas Graves genealogy) is in the next paragraph.

Richard Graves was born about 1725, and died after 1788 in Fayette Co., Ky. He married Lucy Davenport in 1750. They moved to Fayette Co., Ky., and settled 8 miles from Cincinnati, Ohio. They took 30 slaves with them.

Children - Graves





James Graves (1) was born about 1750 in NC. (R-1)

Children - Graves

2. John Graves, b.c. 1779, m(1) Betty Beeson.

3. son

4. Thomas Graves, b.c. 1785, m. Judith ------.

5. Latham Graves, b.c. 1788, m. Elizabeth ------.

6. James Graves, b.c. 1790, m. Frances ------.

7. son

8. Doctor Graves, b.c. 1800, m. Ann ------.


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