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Ancient Planters: Graves Family

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  • Capt. Thomas Graves, Gent. (c.1584 - 1635)
    From the Graves Family Association page covering ongoing research into the Graves family history: CAPT. THOMAS GRAVES OF VA, ANCESTORS AND DESCENDANTS WHAT IS KNOWN: Not only is Capt. Thomas Gr...
  • Katherine Graves (aft.1586 - aft.1636)
    "Very little is known about Katherine, wife of Capt. Thomas Graves.  Her maiden name may have been Croshaw. (There was a Raleigh Chroshaw, Gent. , who arrived with the second supply with Thomas Gra...
  • John Graves (1677 - bef.1716)
    John Graves was christened 1677 in St. Peter's Church, Abingdon Parish, Gloucester Co., Va. The most likely death date for John is by 1716, since a Rebecca Graves appears in the Essex Co., Va. estate s...
  • John Graves (bef.1706 - c.1747)
    John Graves (104) was born in 1706 in Abingdon Parish, Gloucester Co., VA[1], was baptized 9 March 1706 in Abingdon Parish, and died between 30 March 1747 (date of his will) and 2 June 1747 (date of pr...
  • Ralph Graves (c.1629 - 1667)
    Ralph Graves was born at least by 1629 (probably about 1625), as he witnessed a deed in 1650 in York Co., Va., and died testate 9 May 1667 in York Co., Va. (according to the Bruton Parish Register). He...

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.

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