Saturday, May 11, 2013

SURNAME SATURDAY - Charles Giles GRAVES 1824-1902

Charles Giles GRAVES, born 7 March 1824 in Jordan, Onondaga, NY.  This photograph has been tentatively identified as dated in the 1870s.  My great-Uncle Hal Terwilliger [his grandson] looks quite like him, which gives mild support for this identification.

My 2nd great-grandfather was a "Capitalist" according to the 1900 Census in Jordan, NY, and I find this occupation description rather amusing for some reason.  He owned retail businesses and buildings in New York, starting as a merchant.  The 1860 Census shows his real estate value as $3,000, and his personal value as $13,000.

He was the youngest of 8 children, 2 of whom (the 6th and 7th) died young.  The eldest and only living girl was Emeline (b. 21 Jun 1805) who married Henry Allen, b. 1801 in Massachusetts (3 children).  Parents were Cornelius GRAVES & Anna TREAT.

I have a letter from my great-Uncle Hal Terwilliger to my mother, including this excerpt:
"Your Grandfather: Charles Giles Graves born Mar.7, 1824,  son of Cornelius Graves and Anna Treat,  descendent of Robert Treat, Colonial Governor of Connecticut and Founder of Newark New Jersey,  had four brothers:  William Thompson, Stephen Rensselaar,  Edward Seabury  and  Sheldon.

Sheldon went to what later became Chicago, built the first hotel there, the Lake House.   I had heard, though I know nor have any evidence, he built two factories on what was the Chicago River, for pails, chairs, etc. needed by settlers.   Your Mother remembers when she was a little girl her Uncle coming to Jordan with his wife and children in a buckboard, driving all the way from Chicago.   He came to be reequipped with clothes etc. and money and returned to Chicago, as per above."

The first Graves immigrant was John GRAVES, who emigrated in approximately 1635 (See Vol.3, Great Migration Study).  The TREAT line goes back through Robert TREAT, Governor of Connecticut from 1683-1696.  In England, the surname is known as TROTT, by the way, and the ancestor group appears to have originally lived in Taunton area of Somerset, migrating to the colonies between 1635-1640.  The first Treat immigrant, Richard TREAT, is seen settled in Watertown, and is recorded in Wethersfield in 1637.

On 26th of September 1850, Charles Giles GRAVES married Harriet "Hattie" Philena ORMSBEE, whose parents I've discussed in previous posts.  The family settled in Jordan, Onondaga, and had 3 daughters:
 - Lillian Adele, b. 25 Nov 1853, m. Gabriel W. Wisner (lawyer), 4 children
 - *Clara Augusta "Gussie", b. 5 Nov 1857, m. James "Grove" TERWILLIGER, 3 children
 - Florence Estelle "Toto", b. 3 Feb 1860, m. Ernest F. Tyler (jeweller), 1 daughter

My line goes through the middle girl, Gussie; her husband, James Grover "Grove" Terwilliger, is the ancestor who completed the TERWILLIGER SOUVENIR ALBUM (a separate blog of mine).

Charles' obituary follows (found online at Old Fulton Postcards NY free newspaper site):

Marcellus Observer  
Friday, February 7, 1902
Jordan Department 
    (2nd column lower half)

         Charles G. Graves died at the family residence last Sunday.  Two weeks ago Mr. Graves suffered an attack of pneumonia from which he failed to rally.  He was born in Onondaga County and was 77 years old.  When a young man he went to Syracuse, and during the fifties and sixties was identified with the dry goods trade, being in partnership part of the time with Samuel A. Seager, under the firm name of Seager & Graves.  In this village of late years he had lived in retirement.  For many years the family Homestead was at the corner of West Onondaga and Southwest streets, in Syracuse.   The deceased was a genial, hospitable gentleman, who will be well remembered by the older generation.   Mr. Graves married Miss Harriet Ormsbee, who survives.  He is also survived by three daughters, Mrs. Gabriel W. Wisner of Jordan, Mrs. J. Grove Terwiliger of New Rochelle and Mrs Ernest Tyler  of New York.   The funeral was held at the family home on Thursday morning at 10 o'clock and services were held later in the day at Oak wood chapel.  Mr. Graves was the last of a prominent family who were identified with large enterprises here thirty years ago.
------- ------- ------- 

Charles & his wife, Gussie, were buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Syracuse, Onondaga, New York.

If any of these names are familiar or you wish more information, please do not hesitate to contact me or leave a comment below.  

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Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis