Thomas Graves, (ca 1580 - 1635) gentleman, arrived in Virginia in October of 1608 on the ship "Mary and Margaret" with Captain Christopher Newport's second supply. He paid 25 pounds for two shares in the London Company of Virginia. Thomas Graves was one of the original Adventurers (stockholders) of the Virginia Company of London, and one of the very early Planters (settlers) who founded Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in North America. He was also the first known person named Graves in North America. Captain Thomas Graves is listed as one of the original Adventurers as "Thomas Grave" on page 364, Records of the Virginia Company of London, vol. IV.
Captain Thomas Graves settled at Smythe's Hundred, situated on the north shore of the James River ten miles from Jamestown.
Governor George Yardley writing to Sir Edwin Sandys soon after April 29, 1619 of the affairs of Smythe's Hundred tells of a duel between Captain William Epes and Captain Stallings, in which Stallings was killed. This was the first duel between Englishmen in America. Captain Epes was placed under arrest and the governor placed Captain Graves in charge.
Capt. Thomas Graves was a member of the First Legislative Assembly in America, and, with Mr. Walter Shelley, sat for Smythe's Hundred when they met at Jamestown, Virginia on July 30, 1619. His name appears on a monument to the first House of Burgesses which stands at Jamestown today.
Smythe's Hundred was abandoned after the Indian uprising of 1622. The next record of Captain Graves showed him living on the Eastern Shore by February 16, 1623.
On February 8, 1627, Captain Francis West, Governor of Virginia, ordered that Thomas Graves have a commission to command the Plantation at Accomac. Graves was the second Commander. As an "Ancient Planter" he received one of the first patents there on March 14, 1628. He lived on Old Plantation Creek, now in Northhampton County, Virginia and served as Commissioner for Accomac in 1629.
Captain Graves and three others represented the Eastern Shore in the Assembly of 1629‑30. He served again as a burgess in 1632. Because he was designated as "Esquire" on January 6, 1635, he may have been a member of the Council.
Captain Thomas Graves, Esquire, was recorded as being a Justice at a court held for Accomac County on April 13, 1635.
He died between November 1635, when he witnessed a deed, and 5 Jan 1636 when suit was entered for Mrs. Graves concerning theft by a servant (Adventurers of Purse and Person, pp. 188-189). He was survived by his wife, Katherine, and six children: John, Thomas, Ann, Verlinda, Katherine and Francis.
- Graves Family Association: Descendants of Captain Thomas Graves
- Thomas Graves
- AMERICA'S OLDEST LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY and Its Jamestown Statehouse Edited by Charles E. Hatch. Jr. Revised 1956
- Jamestown First Assembly
- The Graves Surname DNA Project
- Thomas Graves of Jamestown, Virginia, 1608