There were a couple of articles in the Graves Family Newsletter discussing the question of whether Francis Graves was a son of Capt. Thomas Graves of VA, or perhaps a son of a mysterious Richard Graves, and whether the child of Capt. Thomas Graves was actually a daughter, Frances Graves. The articles were on p. 23, 1995 GFNL, and pp.104-106, 1995 GFNL. The p. 23 article proposing that the child was a daughter is in next section. Following that is the analysis showing that Francis Graves was in fact a son of Capt. Thomas Graves.


Mrs. Mason Jones, Box 37, Gladwyne, PA 19035, has a rather startling hypothesis which I have never heard before. She believes that "Fra: Graves, Orphant of Captain Tho: Graves deceased" was not a son but a daughter.

"I think she was born after her sister Ann sometime in late 1621. The land of Thomas Graves that she received the certificate for in 1642 at age 21 (as I understand she had to be to do this) was later granted to George Truitt (?) in right of his wife. A patent to Wellinge (?) in 1663 for this same land describes it as formerly granted unto Frances Trewitt (?)."

"There was other land belonging to Frances Graves which Henry Peddington, as her guardian or attorney or even perhaps as her father-in-law, acknowledged receipt for the sale of in 1638 at a session of court in 1639. I have copies of all these original records and put much trust in land records to establish descent."

"Perhaps the Francis Graves that Mr. William Sweeney has claimed descent from could be the son of Richard Graves mentioned on page 56 (April 20, 1635) in the Ames edition of County Court Records, Accomack-Northampton, 1632-1640, and again in Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents, no. 344, as one of 10 persons transported by John Neale June 18, 1636. I have noted that Francis Graves of Essex had a son Richard. The dates would be more realistic, I think, for someone receiving a patent in 1672 and still living in 1690."


Mr. Richard W. Kesler, P.O. Box 906, Pinehurst, NC 28374-0906, has been conducting extensive research into this issue and is now convinced that there is sufficient evidence to accept Francis Graves as a son of Capt. Thomas Graves. His analysis of this is below.


An article prepared by the writer was published in the October 1995 issue of The Graves Family Newsletter. The article suggested that credible evidence exists to support Mrs. Mason Jones' hypothesis that Francis Graves was daughter rather than son of Capt. Thomas Graves.

If attention is focused only on 10, 25, 26, 27, 30, 32, 33 and 34 below, one might conclude that the same 200 acre tract of land was involved in each instance, that the Francis Trewett of 26, 27 and 32 below was the Orphan Francis Graves of 25 below, and that the orphan was therefore daughter rather than son of Capt. Thomas Graves. Before reaching these conclusions, however, we should examine carefully all other evidence available to us. Such a careful examination has led the writer to believe that Francis Graves was son of Capt. Thomas Graves just as several published sources unanimously say that he was.

The writer and others have qualified their line of descent from Capt. Thomas Graves through his presumed son Francis Graves with the Jamestowne Society. That organization's requirements for documentation are quite strict. The writer has also joined the Order of Descendants of Ancient Planters on this line. From the information presented herein, the writer does not find justification for disqualifying this line with either organization.

The available evidence follows.

  1. Thomas Graves came to Virginia in the "Mary and Margaret" and was listed among those arriving in the second supply, 1608 (APP325)
  2. At some time following his arrival [possibly around 1609], while on an exploring expedition with Captain John Smith, he was captured by the Indians and was rescued by Ensign Thomas Savage (APP325, 15W[2]385 & Wise28)
  3. About June of 1618, Capt. Graves, an ancient officer of the Company, was placed in charge of Smythe's Hundred (APP326 & 15W[2]385)
  4. Capt. Thomas Graves was a member of the First Legislative Assembly in America for Smythe's Hundred when they met at Jamestown, 30 Jul 1619 (2V60 & 15W[2]385)
  5. At a Quarter Court held for Virginia on 20 Nov 1622, a patent for land was received by Thomas Graves of Doublin in the Realme of Ireland, Gent., for agreeing to transport 100 persons to VA (2Kingsbury132, APP326 & 15W[2]386)
  6. On the 16 Feb 1623 "Lists of the Livinge & Dead in Virginia at the Eastern Shore", Thomas Graves was listed (APP68-71, 15W[2]386 & Wise37)
  7. On 8 Feb 1624, Capt. Graves was questioned before the General Court of Colonial Virginia (15W[2]386)
  8. On 11 Jan 1626, Capt. Tho. Graves was living in Virginia (15W[2]386)
  9. On 8 Feb 1627, Capt. Thomas Graves was appointed commander of the "Plantation of Accawmacke" (APP326 & 15W[2]387)
  10. On 14 Mar 1628, Capt. Thomas Graves was granted "... two hundred acres of Land as his first divident and on a second division to be augmented and doubled to him and his said heires and assignes when hee or they shall sufficiently haue peopled and planted the land situate and lying on the Eastern side of the shoare of the bay of Chesepeiake and abutting Southerly on land of Capt Henry Fleet and thence extending Northerly along the bankes by the water side one hundred poles Westerly upon the said Bay and Easterly directly striking into the maine Woods ...", "... Yeilding and paying for every fifty acres of land herein by these presents given and graunted yearly at the feast of St Michaell the Archangell the fee rent of one shilling Provided alwaies that if the said Thomas Graies his heires or assignes doe not plante and seate upon the said lands within the time and course of three years now next ensuing the date hereof That the it shall and may be lawfull for any Adventurer or planter to make Choice of and seat upon the same ...", by virtue of his adventure of 25 Pounds paid to the Virginia Company - Patent Book No. 1, Part I, p. 72 (1C&P13, APP326 & 15W[2]387)
  11. On 24 Mar 1629/30, Capt. Thomas Graies was one of seven persons chosen to oversee the construction of a fort at Poynt Comfort (15W[2]388)
  12. Capt. Thomas Graves was Burgess for Accomac in 1629/30 and 1632 (2V70, 15W[2]388 & Wise343)
  13. In November, 1631, Col. William Claiborne was recorded as purchasing from Captain Thomas Graves 2 lb. of powder for 5 shillings (15W[2]388)
  14. On 7 Jan 1632, Capt. Thomas Graves headed the list of Commissioners [Justices] at the first extant court of record held for Acchawmacke (APP326 & Wise43)
  15. On 9 Feb 1635, Hannah Scarbrough of Accomac, widow, sold to Captain Thomas Graves, Esq., one cow and calf (15W[2]388)
  16. At Court held at Accawmacke 14 Sep 1635, Captain Thomas Graves was appointed one of the first vestrymen of Hungar's Parish, and he attended the first meeting of the vestry on 29 Sep 1635 (APP326, 15W[2]388, 1Ames43 & Wise257)
  17. In Nov 1635, Capt. Thomas Graves witnessed a deed in Accawmack Co. (APP326 & 15W[2]389)
  18. On 28 Nov 1635, Capt. Thomas Purifye (Purefoy), Esqr. received 100 acs. Eliz. Citty Co., due by assignment from Capt. Thomas Graves as by order of court 29 Feb 1631, to whom it was due as his pers. divident as being an Ancient Planter (1C&P36)
  19. At court held at Accawmack on 5 Jan 1635/6, a suit was entered against a "servant to Mrs. Graves" (APP326 & 1Ames47)
  20. On 20 May 1636, reference was made to the land of Mrs. Graves (15W[2]389)
  21. On 10 Jul 1637, William Cotton, Clerke, patented 350 acs., bet. two maine branches of Hungars Cr., 100 acs. for his own and the per. adv. of his wife, Ann Graves & 250 acs. for trans. of 5 pers. (1C&P59, Wise263 & APP327)
  22. On 9 Aug 1637, John Graves was granted 600 acs. Eliz. Citty Co. due in right of descent from his father Thomas Graves whoe trans. at his own cost: himselfe, Katherine Graves his wife, John Graves the pattentee & Thomas Graves, Junr. & 8 pers (1C&P62)
  23. On 28 Dec 1638, Henry Penington received 100 pounds of tobacco and a cow calf for the use of Francis Graves in full satisfaction for a parcel of land that Henry Wilson bought that did belong unto Francis Graves the cow calf and tobacco being paid by Alice Wilson widow - Northampton Co. Will Book I, p. 140 (15W[2]389 & 1Ames145)
  24. At Northampton Court 10 Feb 1643/44, "Know all men by these presents that wee Nathaniell Oldis of Kicoughtan gentleman and William Parry of Kicoughton aforesaid doe by these presents as our Acts and deeds for us and either of us our heyres and Assignes promise Assume Covenante and agree to and with Mr. William Cotton Clerk Captayne William Stone and Capt. Roper the late administrators of thestate of John Graves and Thomas Graves deceased upon their Relinquishing the said Commission of Administration and leaveing the same unto the sayde William parry and the full power thereof to secure save harmles and at all tymes keepe indemnyfyed the said Mr. Cotton Capt. Stone and Capt. Roper of and from any molestation trouble dammage and incumbrance that may hereafter grow or Arise or any way happen unto them or either of them for or by reason of the said Estate or in or concerning the same or concerning the bond entered into by the said Mr. Cotton Capt. Stone Capt Roper with security for the saveing harmles and indempnifying the Court upon the graunt of the same For the performance of which our Act and deede wee and Either of us have hereby firmly bound our heyres and Assignes in the full Summe of two hundred pounds sterling upon forfeiture of these presents to bee paid unto all demaunds unto the said Mr. Cotton Capt. Stone Capt Roper their heyres or Assignes In witness of all which wee have hereunto put our hands this 30th day of Aprill 1640" - Orders, Deeds, Wills, etc., No. 2, 1640-45, f. 179 (2Ames330 & APP327)
  25. On 28 Nov 1642, a certificate was granted unto Francis Graves, orphan of Capt. Thomas Graves deceased, for transportation of Richard Cainhoe, Capt. Tho: Graves, Mrs. Fraunces Jefferd, William Deaton and Richard Cox - Northampton Co. Will Book 2, p. 116 (15W[2]390, Marshall12 & 2Ames223)
  26. On 11 Nov 1645, a certificate was granted unto Geo: Trewett in right of his wife Francis Trewett deceased for 200 acres of land for transportation of Richard Cainhoe, Fraunces Jefferd, William Deaton, Richard Cox - Northampton Co. Will Book No. III, f. 4 (Marshall12)
  27. On the same date, Hen: Pedendon deposed that Francis Trewett lying sick at the deponent's house said that her husband George Trewett might sell his land at the Old Plantation as he pleased (Ibid, f. 5, & Marshall17)
  28. Mrs. P. W. Hiden cited Winthrop's History of New England, "Addenda", Vol. 2, p. 342, in regard to Capt. Thomas Graves, "He and his wife and divers of his children died and his whole family was ruined about a year after. Only one daughter escaped who being left a maid with a good estate married after to that apostate Nathaniel Eaton who having spent all she had fled away and left her miserable. 1646. That Ann2 Graves was a widow and not a maid when she married Nathaniel Eaton has been proved, and we have Francis Doughty's own statement that she had kinspeople in Va. and was not alone. We conclude, therefore, that Winthrop was correct in making her the daughter of Thomas Graves, but wrong in identifying her father with the Mass. emigrant." (2GVF[W]769 & Wise260-63)
  29. On 29 Jun 1647, inventory of the estate of Henry Peddenton was returned, referring to his widow Mary Peddenton, admtrx., and to his son Henry Peddenton, Jr. - Northampton Co. Deeds, Wills, etc., III, No. 3, 1645-1651 (Marshall20). He died intestate (Torrence330)
  30. On 24 Jul 1651, George Truhett was granted 200 acres of land in Northampton Co. near the Old Plantation Creek, bounded on the Western part by the main bay, on the Southern by land of Jonathan Gills, on the Northern by the land of Geo. Smith, running Easterly into the woods, the said land being due unto the said Geo. Truhett for the transportation of four persons into the Colony; Richd. Cainhoe, Fran. Jeffords, Wm. Deaton and Richard Cox - Patent Book No. 2, 1643-1651, Reel 2, p. 327 (1C&P217)
  31. On 11 Nov 1651, William Parry (Perry) was granted 550 acs. of land in Northumberland Co. for the trans. of 11 persons including Thomas Graves, Katherine his wife, John Graves and Thomas Graves, Junr. (1C&P221-2)
  32. On 1 Sep 1663, William Melling was granted a patent for 200 acres of land in Northampton Co., according to the ancient bounds thereof, the said land being formerly granted unto Frances Trevitt and lately found to escheate to his Majesty as by an inquisition dated 17 Apr 1663 - Patent Book No. 5, 1661-1665, Reel 3, p. 448 (1C&P539)
  33. On 20 Jan 1663/4, Melling sold 100 acres at the East end of the 200 acres to Mr. Robert Hutchinson - Northampton Co. Bk. IX:119-20 (1C&P534 & Whitelaw141)
  34. On 27 Jun 1665, Melling sold to William Sterling as 120 acres the balance of the 200 acres formerly belonging to Capt. Graves and now escheated to him the said William Melling, bounded Southerly on the land of Jonathan Gills, Westerly on Chesapeake Bay, Northerly on William Sterling, running Easterly into the woods - Northampton Co. Bk. IX:119-20 (Whitelaw140-42)
  35. On 4 Oct 1672, reference was made to the "land of Graves" in a deed in Rappa. Co. (2C&P116)
  36. On 20 Oct 1672, Francis Graves patented 714 acres of land in Rappa. Co., on S. side sd. Riv., part on branches of Gilson's Cr. & part in Hodgins Cr; adj. Mr. Beverley, near Button Bridge (Range); over the new Road &c., for trans. of 15 persons - Patent Book No. 6, p. 436 (2C&P120)
  37. On 6 Mar 1674/5, Thomas Graves and Jeffery Graves, sonnes of Tho. Graves, Senr., dec'd., were granted land in Gloucester Co., Abbington Par., due them under the will of their father (2C&P160)


There are six fundamental reasons for believing that Francis Graves was son and not daughter of Capt. Thomas Graves.

The first fundamental reason concerns 25 and 26 above.

The hypothesis that the Francis Graves of 25 above was female is based on the suppositions that 1) the land that Francis Trewett (Truitt, Truhett, etc.) said that her husband George Trewett could sell as he pleased in 27 above was the land to which the certificate of 25 above was applicable, that 2) the land to which the certificate of 26 above was applicable was the 200 acre tract of 10 above so that 3) the Francis Trewett of 27 above was therefore daughter of the Capt. Thomas Graves of 10 above. The supposition is that it was by this mechanism that George Trewett came into possesion of the 200 acre tract of 10 above.

Why would Frances Trewett be relinquishing her dower rights to land for which her husband George Trewett had just that same day received only a certificate and had not yet received a patent? Trewett didn't receive a patent to the 200 acre tract until 24 Jul 1651 (30 above). He certainly did not intend to sell land to himself as would have been the case if the relinquishment of 26 above was effected so that he could receive the certificate of 25 above. The obvious answer is that the land to which Francis Trewett was relinquishing dower rights, which was of unspecified acreage, was a different tract from the 200 acre tract that was described by metes and bounds in 10, 30 and 34 above.

The hypothesis that Frances Graves was daughter of Capt. Thomas Graves is based on the supposition that the land that she was relinquishing in 26 above was the 200 acres of 10 above. Proving the supposition wrong proves the hypothesis wrong.

The second fundamental reason for believing that Francis Graves was son of Capt. Thomas Graves is found in 25 above.

Two references (15W[2]390 & Marshall112) name only four headrights in connection with the certificate, omitting Capt. Thomas Graves as one of the headrights. These references are books, which are often unreliable. Primary source documents such as those cited in 25, 26 and 27 above are reliable. Capt. Tho: Graves is clearly mentioned as one of five headrights in the certificate of 25 above, a photocopy of the original court record of which was obtained by the writer from the Clerk of Court of Northampton Co. Two publications (2Ames223 & 2GVFW[2]738) correctly include Capt. Tho: Graves as one of five headrights.

This is the third mention of Capt. Thomas Graves as a headright. A person apparently could be claimed as a headright each time he returned to VA from a trip to England. This headright probably resulted from such a return trip.

No quantity of land is specified in the certificate, but at 50 acres per headright, five headrights corresponds to 250 acres. It is not credible that an individual who was entitled to receive 250 acres of land would settle for receiving only 200 acres. If Francis Graves ever received a patent for land based on the certificate, the patent should have been for 250 acres. A cursory review by the writer of certificates issued during that period of time revealed no instance in which the applicable land patent, when it was issued, was for any acreage other than the exact multiple of 50 times the number of headrights.

We lack positive proof that Francis Graves or anyone else ever patented the 250 acres of land to which he was entitled by the certificate. The certificate apparently simply expired by default.

The hypothesis that Frances Graves was daughter of Capt. Thomas Graves is based on the supposition that the certificate for the 200 acre tract of land of 24 above was issued to a female Frances Graves. The evidence is that no patent was ever issued to anybody based on this certificate. If any patent was ever issued, it was for 250 and not for 200 acres. Proving the supposition wrong again proves the hypothesis wrong.

The third fundamental reason for believing that Francis Graves was son of Capt. Thomas Graves is found in 25, 26 and 30 above.

That the same four headrights were referenced in 25, 26 and 30 above [plus a fifth headright in 25 above] does not mean neccessarily that the same 200 acre tract of land was involved in each instance. Headrights apparently were negotiable in those days in the same sense that stocks and bonds are today. We know that headrights were often sold or otherwise transferred or manipulated sometimes fraudently. For example, the same eight headrights were used to patent land in two different counties at two different times by two different persons in 22 and 31 above. The possession of headrights by an individual signified only that he had acquired the headrights by some means fair or foul and that he was entitled to receive a land patent of 50 acres for each headright. Headrights were often accumulated so that larger blocks of land could be patented sometimes years after the individual headrights were imported.

The fact that the same four headrights were mentioned in 25, 26 and 30 above [plus a fifth headright in 25 above], does not prove that the same 200 acre tract of land was involved in the three instances. Five headrights were definitely mentioned in the certificate of 25 above, while only four headrights were mentioned in certificate of 26 above and the patent of 30 above, on the photocopies of the original court records that the writer obtained from Northampton Co. Even if the same four headrights had been involved in all three instances, the same 200 acre tract of land may not neccessarily have been invloved in each instance because of the ease with which headrights could be sold or otherwise transferred and/or manipulated.

The hypothesis that Frances Graves was daughter of Capt. Thomas Graves is based on the supposition that the land applicable to the four headrights of 25 above was the same land as the land applicable to the four [actually five] headrights of 25 above. We have explained why this supposition and hypothesis could be wrong.

The discussion has so far been rather complicated. It becomes even more complicated and convoluted in discussing the fourth fundamental reason why Francis Graves was son of Capt. Thomas Graves. This reason concerns the circumstances surrounding the death of Capt. Thomas Graves.

John Graves, son of Capt. Thomas Graves, probably was born in England possibly by 1605 (APP327). He apparently was eldest son and heir-at-law because on 9 Aug 1637 he received the grant of 600 acres of land in Elizabeth City Co. mentioned in 22 above, where he established his home. His father, mother and brother Thomas Graves, Jr. came to VA on the same ship with him (22 & 31 above). He was deceased by 30 Apr 1640 when William Parry [Perry] gave bond to indemnify his former administrators [his three brothers-in-law] (24 above).

Thomas Graves, Jr., son of Capt. Thomas Graves, probably was born in England. He may have patented 300 acres of land in Westmoreland Co. on 2 Mar 1656, in Gloucester Co., 55 acres and 240 acres on 20 Mar 1657, and in Lancaster Co. 700 acres on 20 Mar 1661, which he sold on 14 May 1662 (1C&P344,358,416,417,437). He probably was deceased by 6 Mar 1674/5 (APP327 & 2C&P160) [See discussion later.]

Ann Graves, daughter of Capt. Thomas Graves, born 1620, married successively three ministers of Hungars Parish, Accawmack. She married (1), before 10 Jul 1637, the Rev. William Cotton, who on that date patented land in right of his wife Ann Graves (22 above). He left will, Aug 1640-29 Dec 1646, naming "Brethrin-in-Lawe Capt. William Stone and Capt. William Roper as overseers". She married (2), by 1642, the Rev. Nathaniel Eaton. She married (3), as his (2) wife, the Rev. Francis Doughty. She died in Charles Co., MD, will, 26 Dec 1682-18 Jul 1683 (24 above and APP327-30).

Verlinda Graves, daughter of Capt. Thomas Graves, married, before 1640, Capt. William Stone. He moved to MD and in Aug 1648 was commissioned Lieutenant Governor of that colony. She died in MD, will, 3 Mar 1674/5-13 Jul 1675 (Ibid).

Katherine Graves, daughter of Capt. Thomas Graves, married, before 1640, (1) Capt. William Roper and (2) Lt. Thomas Sprigg. She died before 1 Sep 1668 (Ibid).

Francis Graves, youngest child of Capt. Thomas Graves, probably was born about 1630. Since he did not come on the ship with his brothers, he probably was born in VA. He married, by 28 Nov 1678, Jane ____, a widow with three children by a previous marriage or marriages. He died in Essex Co. by 1691 (APP330 & 16W[2]650).

Rev. William Cotton married the sister Ann whom he transported to VA with himself (22 above). Francis Graves' other two sisters Verlinda and Katherine also did not come on the ship with his brothers which suggests that they, too, probably were born in VA.

Capt. Thomas Graves probably was unmarried when he first arrived in VA in 1608. He probably was married, and his sons John and Thomas and his daughter Ann probably were born, during one or more of the several trips that he apparently made back to England. Since he survived the "Starving Time" in the winter of 1609/10 when nearly nine of every ten settlers died [Dabney18], he probably was in England at that time. He may have returned to England in 1609 on the same ship with Capt. John Smith.

We have no further record of him until 1618 (3 above) so that he may have been in England for part or for all of the period of from 1609 to 1618.

He may have been holding some public office and/or been engaged in business in Ireland in 1622 [5 above].

It appears that he did not bring his wife and two sons to VA until after 1623 because in 1623 he was living alone at the Eastern Shore (6 above).

He died in Northampton Co. between 28 Nov 1635 (17 above) and 5 Jan 1636/6 (18 above).

It is evident from 24 above that both a John Graves and a Thomas Graves had died by 30 Apr 1640 and that the three sons-in-law of Capt. Thomas Graves were the administrators of the estates of both the John Graves and the Thomas Graves. The deceased John Graves clearly was the eldest son of Capt. Thomas Graves. Published sources seem unanimously to accept the deceased Thomas Graves as Capt. Thomas Graves, and to identify the Thomas Graves, Junr. of 22 above as the Tho. Graves, Senr. of 37 above.

The hypothesis can be advanced, however, that the deceased Thomas Graves of 24 above was Thomas Graves, Jr., son of Capt Thomas Graves. Sons John and Thomas, Jr. of Capt. Thomas Graves are believed to have been born in England and to have been brought to VA by their father by 9 Aug 1637 when the eldest son John patented land in Elizabeth City Co. (22 above). He owned land and was living in that county as early as 12 Oct 1635 (1C&P32,43). He probably was at least 21 years old in 1635 so that he was born not later than about 1614. We have no record that any Thomas Graves patented any land in the interval of some 21 years between the death of Capt. Thomas Graves in 1635 and the patent of 2 Mar 1656 (37 above). We can't pinpoint the birth date of Thomas Graves, Jr., but it is reasonable to expect that he was born by about 1619 so that he would have been at least about 37 years old in 1656. That was rather old for a man to begin to patent land in those days. This suggests that the Thomas Graves who began patenting land in 1656 may not have been son of Capt. Thomas Graves. He may have been the Tho. Graves that was imported by Stephen Gill in 1651 (Greer134). Or he may have been son of The Rich. Graves that was imported by Robert Pitts in 1637 or the Richard Graves that was imported by John Neale also in 1637 (Ibid).

We know from 24 above that William Parry (Perry) had taken over the administration of the estates of the John Graves and Thomas Graves by 1640. It was his job under the laws of primogeniture then prevailing to assign all of the land in each estate to the eldest surviving son. If the Thomas Graves mentioned in 24 above was Capt. Thomas Graves, then the land should have devolved to his son John Graves. The son John Graves was, however, then deceased so the land should have devolved instead to the then eldest surviving son Thomas Graves, Jr. If the son Thomas Graves, Jr. was also deceased by then as hypothesized above, then the land should have devolved to the son Francis Graves, who would then have been the eldest surviving son.

The land of 23 above obviously had devolved to Francis Graves before his three brothers-in-law had relinquished the administration of the estates of John and Thomas Graves to William Perry. The record does not tell us definitely who the administrator(s) of Capt. Thomas Graves were who assigned this land to Francis Graves. The same rules of primogeniture discussed in the preceding paragraph should still apply, however, in that situation.

If the Francis Graves of 25 above was female as hypothesized by Mrs. Jones, then the land should have devolved under the primogeniture laws to Ann (Graves) Cotton, the apparently eldest surviving daughter, and not to Frances Graves, the apparently youngest surviving daughter.

Francis Graves apparently continued to live in Northampton Co. following his father's death until about 1642 according to 23 and 25 above. His mother apparently died or remarried soon after 20 May 1636 (19 above) since her name did not appear in Northampton Co. records after that date.

It appears from 23 above that Henry Pedenden assumed the guardianship of Francis Graves during the period of from 1636 to 1638 soon after his father [and mother?] had died, when Francis was only about six to eight years old.

Winthrop, as cited by Mrs. P. W. Hiden in 28 above, suggested that misfortune was befalling the family of Capt. Thomas Graves when he died. As a consequence, Francis Graves' guardian Henry Pedenden may have had to sell anything that Francis owned of value including the parcel of land of 23 above, and any rights that Francis may have had to the land applicable to 5 above or to the 200 acres of 10 above, to support Francis during his minority, so that he would not become a ward of the State.

It is not clear from the record why Henry Pedenden was selected as guardian of Francis Graves in 1636/1638. His three sisters apparently were then married and still living in Northampton Co. Each sister moved eventually to MD where each one died (APP328-330). His brother John was living in Elizabeth City Co. (1C&P32,38,43). We don't know where his brother Thomas, if he was still alive, was then living; a Thomas Graves was living in Gloucester Co. by 1657 (1C&P358). It is probable that neither of the brothers John or Thomas was still living in Northampton Co. Supposedly, none of his siblings or their spouses wanted to take on the responsibility of caring for an infant brother [or sister]. That the administration of the above-mentioned estates was turned over to William Perry in 1640 tends to support this supposition.

"Neither of the Graves sons remained here to claim the land and in this year a patent for it was granted to George Truhett." (Whitelaw140 & 30 above). The death of Thomas Graves, Jr. by 1640 as hypothesized above would support this statement and the statement by Winthrop that misfortune was befalling the family of Capt. Thomas Graves.

The 100 acres of land that were due Capt. Thomas Graves as his personal divident as an Ancient Planter were patented outside his family, by Capt. Thomas Purefoy, on 28 Nov 1635, shortly [probably just a few days] before he [Graves] died, according to 18 above. This tends to confirm that misfortune was befalling him.

Land that was not planted and seated promptly [within three years according to 10 above] could be escheated to the Crown and become available for patenting again. If planting and seating once accomplished were subsequently abandoned, and/or the quit rents were not paid, then the land would lapse, and it could likewise be patented again.

Capt. Thomas Graves' land of 10 above probably had escheated by some 4/5 years following his death or by about 1640/41. We do not know how it was that the Francis Trewett of 26 above came to have rights to the four headrights mentioned therein. The most logical explanation is that someone else perhaps her father purchased the headrights and then gave them to her while she was still single. Her father may have purchased them from Henry Pedenden, Francis Graves' guardian. George Trewett could then have claimed the headrights after he had married her.

The 200 acres of land granted to George Trewett in 1651 in 30 above apparently had either lapsed or escheated again and were granted again to William Melling in 1663 according to 32 above. This land was said to have belonged to Capt. Graves in 34 above, so it probably was the land of 10 above. It apparently had the same metes and bounds as the land of 10 and 30 above. We lack positive proof that Francis Graves ever owned this or any other 200 acre [or 250 acre] tract of land.

If George Trewett wished to sell any land that he owned he would have to get his wife's relinquishment of dower rights before the sale could be consumated (26 above). This would have been required whether he had received the land in right of his wife or in his own right. In instances when the wife was too ill to travel to the court house, the wife was allowed to relinquish where she was then living. This apparently is what was happening in this instance.

There is evidence not presented herein that Frances Trewett was daughter of Henry Pedenden. It was only natural that Frances Trewett should be tended by her parents at their home during her terminal illness.

The similarity of the names Francis Graves and Frances Trewett and the probablility that Henry Pedenden was both the guardian of Francis Graves and the father of Frances Trewett seem to be purely coincidental.

The conclusion to be reached from this long, convoluted discussion is that the land to which the certificate of 26 above was applicable was not the 200 acres of land at the Old Plantation in Northampton Co. that Capt. Thomas Graves received for his adventure of 25 Pounds in the Virginia Company, and that is described by metes and bounds in 10, 30 and 34 above. The Frances Trewett of 26 above apparently had no blood relationship to Capt. Thomas Graves.

The fifth fundamental reason concerns the basis for the issuance of the certificate of 25 above.

Headrights could be issued to an unmarried women if the woman paid for the transportation of the headrights herself. It is unlikely that the youngest surviving female child of Capt. Thomas Graves would have had the resources to pay for the importation of any headrights herself as explained above.

The question arises "Why was the certificate of 24 above issued?". Presumably, Capt. Thomas Graves left the land of 23 above and the headrights of 25 above in his estate when he died. All of his children had reached maturity and/or died or married by 1642 except for his child Francis. Francis probably was some twelve years old in 1642. The father may have died intestate since no will for him has been found. His administrator(s) probably reasoned that the only one of his children that needed support was Francis, so that anything of value remaining in the estate including the land and the headrights was given to him for his support. This relieved the spouses of his siblings of responsiblity for him.

If the certificate of 25 above was issued in right of succession from Capt. Thomas Graves, it should have devolved to his eldest surviving son Thomas, Jr. Thomas, Jr. may have been deceased by then as discussed above. Eldest son John definitely was then deceased. Since Thomas, Jr., if he was still alive, would have reached maturity and was responsible for and presumably capable of his own keep, it was logical and appropriate that the certificate should devolve to the next younger son Francis.

It could be argued that, in instances when the estate was not large enough to support all of the surviving children, guardians would have been appointed for the daughters, and the sons would have been "bound out". Since there apparently was only one surviving minor child in this instance, it was logical to appoint a guardian for him and to utilize anything of value remaining in the father's estate to support him.

The sixth fundamental reason for believing that Francis Graves was son of Capt. Thomas Graves is that several published sources say unanimously that he was. The authors of those publications include such recognized authorities as Mr. William Montgomery Sweeney and Mrs. P. W. Hiden. Mrs. Hiden gave Mr. Sweeney credit for the discovery that Francis Graves was son of Capt. Thomas Graves (16W[2]650). Apparently no one other than Mrs. Jones has challenged this.

Francis Graves' name does not appear in the record again until 1672 when he patented 714 acres of land in Rappahannock (now Essex) Co. on 20 Oct 1672 according to 36 above. Reference was made to the "land of Graves" in a deed on 4 Oct 1672 according to 35 above, which suggests that he was already living in Rappahannock Co. when he patented the 714 acres. Mrs. P. W. Hiden also suggested that it is probable that he lived in Essex before patenting land there and that the 714 acres he patented represented a choice of location rather than just the reward for transporting 14 persons (16W[2]651- 652). How long he had been living there and from whence he came there are not known.

The records of both VA and MD are currently being searched to find some record of Francis Graves during the years between 1642 and 1672. Mr. Sweeney stated "He may have removed to Elizabeth City County, where, as we have seen, his father and his brother, John, received patents for land, but owing to the loss of the greater part of the records of that county, nothing definite can be ascertained." (15W[2]390). The writer has not yet despaired of finding such record. The lack of such record does strengthen the argument that the Francis Graves of 24 above was female, and that her absence from the record resulted from her marriage to George Trewett, so that the male Francis Graves of 36 above was not the female Francis Graves of 25 above as hypothesized by Mrs. Jones. However, the totality of the evidence presented herein supports Francis Graves as the youngest son of Capt. Thomas Graves. The evidence supporting Francis Graves as son far overshadows this one item of evidence [or lack thereof] supporting the daughter hypothesis.

It could be argued that the Francis Graves of 36 above could have been the son of one of the Richard Graves imported in 1637 because he named one of his sons Richard. He also named sons Thomas, Francis and possibly John. Francis and John were names given by his father Thomas to his sons. No definite conclusions can be drawn from these naming patterns.

Mrs. Jones was quoted in the newsletter as suggesting that a person would have to be aged 21 to receive the certificate of 25 above. She implied that minors could not own land. We know from numerous wills and distributions of land to heirs that minors could own land. Fathers often made deeds of gift before they died to minor children. Minors could no doubt receive certificates for land.

Minors could not sell their land of their own volition. Guardians had to do that for them. Notice that Francis Graves was a minor about eight years old when the parcel of land that he owned was sold by his guardian in 1638 (23 above). Even if he had been born about 1621 as suggested by Mrs. Jones, he would have been only about 17 years old when his parcel of land was sold by his guardian in 1638.

While incontrovertible proof is not presented herein, the preponderance of evidence presented supports Francis Graves as son of Capt. Thomas Graves.

The writer welcomes critical comments.

Key to Source Citation Abbreviations

1C&P13 - Nell Marion Nugent, "Cavaliers and Pioneers Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents and Grants 1623-1800", Volume 1, 1934, (Richmond: The Deitz Printing Co., 1934), p. 13

15W(2)387 - William Montgomery Sweeny, "Captain Thomas Graves and Some of His Descendants", William & Mary Quarterly, Series 2, Volume 15 (2592), p. 387

2V60 - "Virginia Magazine of History and Biography", Volume 2, p. 60

Wise37 - Jennings Cropper Wise, "Ye Kingdome of Accawmacke or the Eastern Shore of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century" (1911, Rpt. Richmond: The Bell Book and Stationary Co., 1988), p. 37

1Ames145 - Susie M. Ames, "County Court Records of Accomack- Northampton, Virginia 1632-1640", Volume 1 (Charlottesville: The University Press of Virginia), p. 145

2Ames223 - Susie M. Ames, "County Court Records of Accomack- Northampton, Virginia 1640-1645", Volume 2 (Washington: The American Historical Association, 1954), p. 223

Marshall12 - James Handley Marshall, "Abstracts of Wills and Administrations of Northampton County, Virginia 1632-1802" (Camden, Maine: Picton Press), p. 12

Whitelaw141 - Ralph T. Whitelaw, "Virginia's Eastern Shore A History of Northampton and Accomack Counties", Volume 1, (Richmond: Virginia Historical Society, 1951), p. 141

APP326 - "Adventurers of Purse and Person Virginia 1607-1624/5" published by Order of First Families of Virginia, 1607- 1624/5, third edition, 1987, p. 326

2Kingsbury132 - Susan Myron Kingsbury, "The Records of the Virginia Company of London" (Washington, 1906-35), Vol. II, p. 132

Torrence330 - Clayton Torrence, "Virginia Wills and Administrations 1632-1800" (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1972), p. 330

Dabney18 - Virginius Dabney, "Virginia The New Dominion" (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1972), p. 18

2GVF(W)772 - "Genealogies of Virginia Families from the William and Mary College Quarterly", Volume II (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1982), p. 772

2GVF(T)71 - "Genealogies of Virginia Families from Tyler's Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine", Volume II (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1981), p. 71

Nottingham3 - Stratton Nottingham, "Wills and Administrations of Accomack County, Virginia 1663-1800" (Cottonport: Polyanthos, 1973), p. 3

Greer134 - George Cabell Greer, "1623-1626 Early Virginia Immigrants" (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1973), p. 134