Thomas Graves, of Hatfield

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Thomas Graves, of Hatfield

Also Known As: "of Hartford & Hadley"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Perhaps of, Hertfordshire, England (United Kingdom)
Death: November 1662
Hatfield, Hampshire County, Massachusetts Bay Colony
Place of Burial: Whately, Franklin County, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of NN Graves, of Hertford and wife of NN Graves
Husband of Sarah and Sarah Graves
Father of Sgt. Isaac Graves; John Graves, of Hatfield; Nathaniel Graves, Sr. and Samuel Graves
Brother of NN Graves; Deacon George Graves of Hartford; Abigail Barding and Sarah Lord

Immigration Year: 1645 or before
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Thomas Graves, of Hatfield

This Thomas Graves (1) was born before 1585 in England, and died Nov. 1662 at Hatfield. He married Sarah. She died about four years after he did. Parents unknown as of March 2019. As of May 2020, The Graves Family Association places him as likely brother of Deacon George Graves of Hartford with Y DNA test results to support the relationship.

Often confused with:

Family

From http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=31733550 March 2019

List not verified

Children of Thomas & Sarah Graves, born in England:

  1. Isaac Graves ( - 1677) married Mary Church
  2. John Graves ( - 1677) married Mary Smith & Mary (Brownson) Wyatt
  3. Samuel Graves ( - bef 1661) did not marry
  4. Nathaniel Graves ( - 1682) married Mary Betts
  5. Elizabeth Graves perhaps
  6. Mary Graves perhaps ( - 1692) Perhaps married Moses Ventrus

Notes

Lived in Hartford, removed to Hatfield. Married to Sarah. Children -Isaac, John, Samuel and possibly a daughter.

  • Isaac d 19 Sep 1677, killed by Indians. Married Mary Church, d 1694/95, daughter of Richard Church
  • John d 19 Sep 1677, killed by Indians. First married Mary Smith, d 16Dec 1688, daughter of Lt. Samuel Smith. Second married Mary, Widow of John Wyatt of Haddam, CT

Biography

From http://www.gravesfa.org/gen168.htm

The first official record of the family in this country was at Hartford, Conn. in 1645, when the family was located there. Thomas owned three separate pieces of real estate there, one described as being the one "whereon his house standeth." Isaac also took up his residence in Hartford and had land there. John took up his residence in Wethersfield, the adjoining town, and it is probable that the three homes were not far apart. The lands granted to John in 1652 were described as those "whereon his house standeth." Nathaniel also settled in Wethersfield, where he married in 1655.

The family remained together as far as it is known until the removal to Hatfield, Mass. The son Samuel never married, and probably did not live to accompany the rest at the time of removal. The family to which Nathaniel's wife belonged lived near him and were largely interested in lands there, and for the sake of remaining near his wife's relations, Nathaniel did not move with the rest of the family to Hatfield.

The family at Hartford and Wethersfield occupied a prominent position and took active part in political and religious matters. They served on juries, acted as surveyors and fence viewers, ran boundary lines between towns, and generally filled those places that stalwart, intelligent and respected citizens usually are called upon to fill. The exception was that Thomas was exempted from "training, watching, and warding" because he was over sixty, which was the age limit for that kind of service.

From all that can be learned, the family was prospering at Hartford as well as any family could in a new country. There must have been some strong reason that would induce them to give up their lands and houses and enter upon a new life in an undeveloped country and suffer the hardships incident to the undertaking, and we find it in the strong religious convictions that impelled the early settlers in this country.

A schism had arisen in the church at Hartford and Wethersfield, and the dissenters from the views entertained by the majority concluded to break away from their homes and found a settlement where their views would prevail.

We find it extremely difficult to express our appreciation of the characteristics of the noble old head of this family, Thomas Graves. His modesty, together with the lapse of time, prevents us from mentioning many things about his daily life that make biography so entertaining. We are therefore compelled to speak of and delineate those qualities of heart and mind that become apparent to us from the standpoint of his well-known ideas upon religious matters, in fact his close adherence to what we now too often stigmatize as puritanism. It, however, hardly becomes us of the present to criticize too closely the views entertained by that noble band of men who held so lovingly to their theories that no conditions or inducements would make them swerve from their conscientious views of the requirements of duty. It was really tantamount to an express "thus saith the Lord" to them, for this was in many instances the cause of their leaving their homes and personal friends in England, and coming to our land that they might enjoy that freedom to worship God in what they deemed the only true way. And so when we find schismatic views of church polity were being advocated, that they deemed destructive to the church of God, we find them again ready to leave their pleasant surroundings in Hartford and seek new homes away on the frontier of civilized life.

Perhaps we shall be excused if we here state briefly the cause of the removal to Hatfield, Mass. A practice had grown up in the churches of allowing persons who had been baptized, if not of a "scandalous character," to consent to the covenant, and this permitted them to have the sacrament of baptism administered to their infant children. On this question hot discussions were held, as well as on some others of minor importance. It was upon this division of sentiment that our ancestors determined to move to Hatfield, animated by what they supposed was their bounden duty. Yet we cannot but be satisfied that these pioneers knew that in their new undertaking they were to enter upon pleasant places. They selected the beautiful and fertile lands of the valley of the Connecticut for their new home, which have more than fulfilled the most ardent expectations of the settlers.

But notwithstanding the advanced age of Thomas Graves, we find him a promoter and organizer in this new country. They left their houses and lands in Hartford and Wethersfield unsold, and uniting themselves in a band of daring emigrants, started for their new home with wives and children. Their household effects were loaded on carts drawn by oxen, and they took with them their domestic animals. The determined cavalcade started out for their new homes. It was not far from the middle of September 1661. The journey, of not over fifty miles, occupied about ten days. Creeks and brooks had to be crossed, swamps and morasses had to be avoided or crossed as best they could be. They reached their destination about the first of October 1661.

Exposed to all the dangers incident to a frontier settlement, amid the habitations of wild beasts and wilder men, the Indians, who lived in their immediate vicinity, and had a fort and village only about two miles from where the settlement was made. Foremost among these hardy emigrants were Thomas Graves, with his aged wife, and his two stalwart sons, Isaac and John, with their wives and families of five children each. And now we find them without a house or place to lay their heads and winter approaching rapidly. They at once set to work to provide homes for their families and barns for their animals. There were no saw mills to manufacture the lumber, and the only method of sawing planks or boards was by making a pit, and by using the cross-cut saw, with one man on the top of the log, and one man in the pit. In this way a few boards were made that would serve for tables and doors. The logs were speedily shaped into convenient homes for the accomodation of these brave people.

Thomas Graves was now an aged yet honored member of this community, and from this time forward lived with the family of his son Isaac. He was then past his 76th birthday. He remained, with his wife, in Isaac's family until his death in November 1662, a little more than a year from the time of their moving to their new home.

It is very probable that a few of these settlers at Hatfield had located there before the general removal. A committee had been appointed Jan. 1, 1661, to lay out house lots in Hatfield, and it appears that Richard Fellows was there early in 1661. It is quite probable that each engager knew the number of his house lot. Thomas Graves was not assigned any lands, but was counted in with Isaac, his oldest son, whose estate was thus increased to 150 pounds, while his brother John's was voted at 100 pounds. This did not affect the size or location of their respective house lots, as they were contiguous, but did in the division of common lands. After the death of Thomas Graves, his son Isaac administered upon his estate in Massachusetts, while his son Nathaniel performed the same service upon his estate in Connecticut. His wife, Sarah, survived him for four years, and Isaac administered upon her estate. A very curious inventory of her effects is spread upon the probate records at Northampton. Views of the lots on which Thomas and his son Isaac located their house in Hatfield and the lot on which John placed his new home there, together with general views of the beautiful village of Hatfield, which the settlers had shown so much wisdom in selecting, appeared as illustrations in the 1896 book by John Card Graves (R‑200).

All the children of Thomas were born in England, and were all of mature age when they came to this country, the youngest of the sons being about 16 years old. There may only have been one daughter, rather than the two listed below. (R‑200, R‑206)

Children - Graves

  • +2. Isaac Graves, b.c. 1620, m. Mary Church, d. 19 Sept. 1677.
  • +3. John Graves, b.c. 1622, m(1) Mary Smith, c. 1652, m(2) Mary (Bronson) Wyatt, probably 20 July 1671, d. 19 Sept. 1677.
  • 4. Samuel Graves, b.c. 1625, never married.
  • +5. Nathaniel Graves, b.c. 1629, m. Martha Betts, 16 Jan. 1655, d. 28 Sept. 1682.
  • 6. Elizabeth Graves, b.c. 1625.
  • +7. Mary Graves, m. Moses Ventrous, 14 Jan. 1647.

References

GEDCOM Note

From https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Graves-170 March 2019

Sources

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Thomas Graves, of Hatfield's Timeline

1585
October 19, 1585
Hertfordshire, England
1605
June 16, 1605
Age 19
Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts
June 16, 1605
Age 19
Stepney, London, Middlesex, England
June 16, 1605
Age 19
Stepney, London, Middlesex, England
June 16, 1605
Age 19
Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts
June 16, 1605
Age 19
Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts
June 16, 1605
Age 19
Middlesex, England
June 16, 1605
Age 19
Cambridge, Middlesex County, Massachusetts
June 16, 1605
Age 19
Stepney, London, Middlesex, England
June 16, 1605
Age 19
Middlesex, England