Friday, December 5, 2014

52 ANCESTORS in 52 WEEKS, No. 49: Benjamin GRAVES, 1645-1724

Following the challenge from Amy Johnson Crow to write a post weekly, 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, here is my 49th installment, my 7th Great-grandfather, Benjamin GRAVES, son of the immigrant, John GRAVES. 

John GRAVES is the #166 family line in the GRAVES FAMILY ASSOCIATION lineages.  DNA is being used to clarify the relationships between the various "Graves/Greaves" immigrants who came early to the New England colony in approximately 1635ish, settling in Concord, Massachusetts. We have no information about his wife, and can only assume she died at some point after the 3rd child. The FindAGrave memorial on John states his wife was Joan Anne (Joanne) Bird, but I have not found/seen proof of this statement. 

Benjamin GRAVES, b. 1645 in Concord, was the eldest of the three siblings: John b. 1647 - d.after 1692, Sarah b. 1650 - d.1694. All the children married and had children as well.

On 21 Oct 1668, in Concord, Benjamin married Mary HOAR(E); she was b. abt 1648 in Concord, 2nd daughter of John & Alice HOAR(E).  Record from New England Marriages Prior to 1700.

Benjamin & Mary had the following children, born in Concord except for the last child born in Saybrook, Connecticut:
  1.  Mary, b. 18 Jan 1669/70, d. 22 Oct 1736 Marlborough MA;  in Sudbury CT, m. 1 Apr 1691 Benjamin Rice, son of Edward Rice & Anne/Agnes Bent; 9 children.  Note - Mary & Benjamin Rice line links to my children's father's direct Rice line. 
  2.   Elizabeth/Mehitable, b. 25 Apr 1671, d. 4 Apr 1730 Lyme CT; in New London CT, m. 20 Dec 1706 Joseph Beebe, 10 children
  3.   Ruth, b. 25 Nov 1674, d. 12 Nov 1755; In Saybrook CT, m.(1) 25 Jan 1699/00 John Webb, 7 children; m. (2) William Merriam 7 Nov 1711, 4 children
  4.   Benjamin (jr), b. 2 Mar 1676/77, d. 30 Dec 1752 Colchester CT;  in 1698, m. (1) Ruth Sterling, 5 children; abt 1711 m. (2)  Mary Haynes, 8 children
  5.   Joseph [ancestor], b. 1 Sep 1679, d.after 2 Apr 1756 New Cambridge CT; m. abt 1718 to Sarah [unknown]. 3 known children
  6.   Joanna, b. 2 Feb 1680/81; no further information on Joanna.
  7.   John, b. 1683, d. 29 Dec 1766 Walpole NH; m. 30 May 1710 Killingworth CT to Hannah Farnum, 11 children
  8.    Rebecca, b. abt 1685 Saybrook CT; m. 12 Dec 1706 in New London CT to Jonathan Daniels

He provided service in the Indian Wars, fighting in Capt. Wheeler's Concord Company in 1675, and again did military service in 1676.  

Benjamin and his younger brother John, along with others, purchased in May 20, 1681 from Christopher Hall, "all the mines and minerals of one kind and another, found, or to be found, or that may be found, on his land in Groton Mass, at a place called Cold Spring, near William Longley's house, with liberty to dig, delve or use theland and to erect buildings."  No record apparently exists to show that Benjamin actually developed these mineral rights.  

He and his family moved to Saybrook MA about 1684, and bought lands in the north part of Saybrook (Pattaconke) in January 1703.  

On Mar 18 1715 he deeded half his farm lands to his second son Joseph, and on Sep or Nov 14, 1716 deeded other lands to his third son John.  It is not clear why he did not deed lands to his eldest son Benjamin, but he may have already provided land or goods to him at an earlier date. 

It is assumed he died shortly after Nov 1716, but although there are various individuals showing a 1715 or 1716 death, I have not found a record of his death.  Another date shown by several researchers suggests it was before 23 Mar 1723/24.  A date of 5 Jun 1697 is given for his wife's death, Mary Hoar(e), on a memorial page at  FindAGrave, for the Old Burying Ground, Concord, Massachusetts.  I have not found a record stating such.

Details from above may be found on the Graves Family Association, under John Graves of Concord #166; History of the Hoare Family in America;  Concord Register; New England Marriages Prior to 1700.  

If you have additional information or details, I would appreciate learning more about Benjamin GRAVES, b. 1645.  Corrections are very welcome and received gratefully.  And do contact me via calewis at telus dot net or through the Comments below.  Thank you for visiting.


Kris Stewart said...

Im not sure child #1 is correct. As far as I know, Mary RICE married Benjamin Rice, check the Edmund Rice Association pages for their notes on this.

Celia Lewis said...

Thank you Kris - I've reviewed the Edmund Rice pages, and they are quite clear... and I've also reviewed the Graves Family Association pages, and they are also quite clear. Whoops! There's a problem here!! I'll send a message to Ken Graves at GFA and ask him for the proof(s) regarding Benjamin Graves eldest child, Mary and her marriage... I appreciate your pointing out this discrepancy to me!

Anonymous said...

Benjamin Graves b. 1645-1716

Father: John Graves b. 2-16-1623 to 9-19-1677 (shot by Indians in Hatfield, CT). m. to Mary Smith, daughter of Lieut. Samuel Smith.

His father John Graves (1623-1677) was the son of Engineer and city planner: Thomas Graves (10-19-1598 to 11-1-1662) and wife Sarah Whiting.

Thomas Graves the Engineer (1598), was the son of John Henry Graves, the shipwright (9-17-1578 to 12-15-1637) and wife Sarah Malter. (there was another Thomas (b. 1605) who became a Rear Admiral; it's SUPER easy to mix the two up, but they have different signatures as proof and their death dates and residential locations are different as well.

John Henry Graves (1578), was the son of Henry Graves (abt. 1536 to 12-14-1591) and wife Margaret Graves.

Henry Graves (1536) was the son of Thomas I, Graves (b. abt. 1500 to 1547 died in England) and wife Eben Putnam.

Thomas I, (1500) was the son of Henry William (b. abt. 1470) and wife Susanne Gibb.

Henry William (1470-?) oldest known Graves/Greaves/Greves.
Your welcome, from jan

Anonymous said...

Best website for the GRAVES lineage...Starting with Benjamin (b. 1645) and going back.


Celia Lewis said...

These are all excellent comments. The Graves Family Association is extremely active in using DNA and detailed genealogical research to try to get across the pond in England.
To date, they have not yet connected "my" John GRAVES (#166 line, on

The confusing Mary individuals for Benjamin GRAVES' wife, have yet to be separated out, although I'm inclined to follow the RICE association details.

I don't follow the as I've found too many errors on the several people I have back in the 1700s with documentation. Such family trees are interesting to use as bread crumb trails, but they are not sources. Too many families named their children the same names, within the same generation (e.g., brothers naming sons the same name, young uncles doing the same...), living in the same places, marrying women with similar/same names. Challenges.

I appreciate the comments and the suggestions, and will definitely follow up on them. Thank you for sharing!


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