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John Graves's Geni Profile

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John Graves

Birthdate: (68)
Birthplace: Guilford, New Haven Colony
Death: December 1, 1726 (68)
Guilford, New Haven County, Connecticut Colony
Immediate Family:

Son of Dea. John Graves; John Graves; Elizabeth Graves and Elizabeth Graves
Husband of Elizabeth Graves and Elizabeth Graves
Father of Mehitabel Hull; Mehitable Hull; Deacon John Graves; Noadiah Graves; Mindwell Stevens and 1 other
Brother of Abigail Benton; Joseph Graves and Hannah Stone

Occupation: Inn keeper
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John Graves

In 1685 John Graves, son of the first John, married Elizabeth Foote and at once installed his household goods in the house which his father had built in East Guilford ten years before.  It is not known by which member of the family it had been occupied meanwhile.  In his will the elder John speaks of it as 'the house at Tuxis Farms'; this name is taken from Tuxis Pond, a small body of water in that vicinity, and may have been applied to the whole district or only to that particular homestead.

At the death of his father the second John fell heir to the leather book, finding ample unoccupied space in its pages not only for his accounts and memoranda but for those of his successors.  His entries, made in the quaint phraseology and uncertain spelling of those days were not confined to debits and credits, but included any items which its successive owners wished to commit to its safe keeping.  Births, deaths and marriages, the date when he began to take the newspaper, the day when Elias returned from the war, the earmarks of his sheep, the field where he 'soed' flax, the length of the fence between his lot and his neighbor's, all found a place in these family archives.  The result is a curious medley of commercial transactions, farm memoranda, and family chronicles; and a careful study of the yellow and time-stained pages gives many an interesting glimpse of the way our fore- fathers lived, as well as the outlines of the history of four generations of the Graves family.

If the law-givers of Guilford included capacity in their idea of 'a convenient house', the dwelling at Tuxis Farms had good need to be convenient, for in it John Graves 2d and his good wife Elizabeth raised their ten children, beginning with a little Elizabeth and including, of course, a young John.  And every branch of the family was sure to have, in each generation, its own John.

From the leather book and from town records we gather that the second John was a worthy successor of his energetic father, though his activities were less varied. One historian states that John Graves was appointed to keep an 'ordinary', an important and honorable office in those times.  From his frequent charges for meals and other comforts furnished to travelers it seems probable that the John Graves so appointed was the second of that name, and the old house, in his time, served in the capacity of a wayside inn.  It stands on a highway which was the direct route between New York and Boston by way of Saybrook, and doubtless many travelers availed themselves of its shelter and accommodations.  This is a specimen of his accounts:

Records of the years 1702-13 show that the Graves house was a busy place during the time of the Queen Anne's war. He supplied food and lodging to travelers, and also kept a store of military supplies.John not only furnished food and lodgings to sick soldiers and friendly Indians, but was himself active in military service. "I went up to Hadley in the Queen's service on the 11th of August and taried there till the 27th (in the yeare) 1708, with my horse and all my accoutrements at my owne finding", he wrote.In the court records of October 1707, we find that "this assembly do establish and confirm Mr. John Graves to be Lieutenant of the first company or train band in the town of Guilford."But in the midst of the alarms of war John did not neglect the arts of peace. One of his entries reads: "I began to teach schoole the 16 of December, 1707." Then follows a list of his pupils, nine boys, two of them his own sons.In a later entry John records that in the year 1713 he paid Ebenezer Stone 1 pound 7 schillings for making a drum, this was not, however, used in militia training. Another entry shows it was designed for religious service, being used to summon the people to Sabbath worship. He writes, "I had the care of beating the drum on Sabbath days the first day of July 1713." The records show he was paid 20 shillings a year for this service.


  1. Abram W. Foote, Foote Family comprising the genealogy and history of Nathaniel Foote of Wethersfield, Conn. and his descendants, Tuttle, Rutland, VT, 1907.. Page 174.
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John Graves's Timeline

February 27, 1658
Guilford, New Haven Colony
February 5, 1687
Age 28
Guilford, Hartford County, Connecticut Colony
Age 29
February 1, 1689
Age 30
Guilford, New Haven County, Connecticut Colony
December 4, 1694
Age 36
East Guilford, New Haven, Connecticut, Usa
November 4, 1696
Age 38
Guilford, New Haven County, Connecticut Colony
January 31, 1701
Age 42
Guilford, New Haven County, Connecticut, United States
December 1, 1726
Age 68
Guilford, New Haven County, Connecticut Colony