Sunday, December 14, 2014

Ancestor Stories: Graves, Harris, Kennon, Mason, Montague, Randolph, Reade, Stegg, Stokes, Tucker, Warner, Yowell

These stories were contributed by Ella Mabie and come from the "House of Burgesses Ancestor Roster Book", which will be available at our February meeting when we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of our Society. The Ancestor Roster Book is only available on CD. These ancestors are from Jamestown.

     Thomas Graves, Gentleman, arrived in Virginia in October 1608, coming from England in the ship Mary and Margaret with Captain Christopher Newport’s second supply.  Although one researcher states he was accompanied by his wife Katherine and two sons, most other researchers agree he did not bring them until later.  In fact, it is most likely that he did not even marry Katherine until 1610 and his first child was born about 1611.
Thomas 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 person named Graves in North America.
        Thomas did not have the title Captain attached to his name in the Charter of 1609; therefore he acquired the name after arriving in Virginia. Early on he became active in the affairs of the infant colony, but returned to England at various times. On an exploring expedition he was captured by  Indians and taken to Opechancanough. Thomas Savage, who had come to Virginia with the first supply on the "John and Francis" in 1608, was sent to rescue him, in which he was successful. Capt. Thomas Graves endured the hard times and soon after April 29, 1619, Governor Yeardley wrote to Sir Edwin Sandys: “I have entreated Capt Graves, an antient officer of this company, to take charge of the people and workers.”
        Capt. Thomas Graves was a member of the First Legislative Assembly in America, and sat for Smythe’s Hundred when they met at Jamestown on Jul 30, 1619.  His removal to the Eastern Shore is unknown, but was after Aug 1619, since he was then a representative from Smythe’s Hundred to the first meeting of the House of Burgesses.  It was also prior to Feb 16, 1623, for “A List of Names of the Living in Virginia, Feb 16, 1623” shows Thomas Graves “at the Eastern Shore”. He patented 200 acres on the Eastern Shore on 14 March 1628, in what was then Accomack Co, now a part of Northampton Co., Virginia.  In the census of February 1625, Capt. Thomas Graves was one of only 51 people then living on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and later in the year, he was put in charge of the direction of local affairs. In September 1632, he, with others, was appointed a Commissioner for the “Plantacon of Acchawmacke”.  He was a Burgess to the Assembly representing Accomack for the 1629-30 and 1632 sessions, and attended many of the meetings of the Commissioners.
       The old Hungars Episcopal Church, located north of Eastville on the north side of Hungars Creek, had its first vestry appointed in 1635; the first vestry meeting was September 29, 1635 and Capt. Graves headed the list of those present.
       Very little is known about his wife, Katherine, although her maiden surname could have been Croshaw. The patent granted to John Graves (son of Capt. Thomas Graves) on Aug. 9, 1637, states that the 600 acres granted to him in Elizabeth City was “due in right of descent from his father Thomas Graves, who transported at his own cost himself, Katherine Graves his wife, John Graves the patentee, and Thomas Graves, Jr. and 8 persons”. The 50 acres assigned for each person transported shows they came after 1616; the other 8 persons transported did not include any members of his family.  The girls, Ann, Verlinda, and Katherine most probably came later and Francis was born in Virginia. The last mention of Katherine Graves shows her living at the Old Plantation, Accomac as of May 20, 1636.   
        Captain Thomas Graves died between November 1635 when he was witness to a deed and 5 Jan 1636 when suit was entered against a servant to Mrs. Graves (Adventures of Purse & Person pp. 188-189).  His birth date is not known, but is believed to be about 1580, which would have made him only about 55 years of age at his death.
        Thomas Harris - Ancient Planter; Captain in Charles City Regiment against the Indians 1623; Member of House of Burgesses from Charles City Co. 1623-1624 and from Henrico Co. 1629 – 1647.  
       Richard Kennon - House of Burgesses Virginia 1685-1686. 
        George Mason was a wealthy planter and an influential lawmaker who served as a member of the Fairfax County Court (1747–1752; 1764–1789), the Truro Parish vestry (1749–1785), the House of Burgesses (1758–1761), and the House of Delegates (1776–1780). In 1769, he helped organize a non importation movement to protest British imperial policies, and he later wrote the Fairfax Resolves (1774), challenging Parliament's authority over the American colonies. In 1775, Mason was elected to the Fairfax County committees of public safety and correspondence. He represented Fairfax County in Virginia's third revolutionary convention (1775) and in the fifth convention (1776), where he drafted Virginia's first state constitution and its Declaration of Rights, which is widely considered his greatest accomplishment. As a member of the House of Delegates, he advocated sound money policies and the separation of church and state. Mason represented Virginia at the Mount Vernon Conference (1785) on Potomac River navigation and at the federal Constitutional Convention (1787). Although Mason initially supported constitutional reform, he ultimately refused to sign the Constitution, and he led the Anti-Federalist bloc in the Virginia convention (1788) called to consider ratification of the Constitution. After Virginia approved it, Mason retired to his elegant home, Gunston Hall, on the Northern Neck, where he died in 1792.    
         Peter Montague House of Burgesses, Nansemond Co., Virginia 1652.      
      William Randolph - House of Burgesses-1685-1710; Escheater General-1699; Clerk Henrico Co Virginia -1673-1683; Speaker House of Burgesses-1698; Col. Militia; attorney general of Virginia -1695; Founder of William and Mary College.
        George Reade - Member of House of Burgesses, Virginia, 1649.              
        Thomas Stegg - House of Burgesses; Speaker, Charles City Co, Virginia, 1642-43; Commissioner.
        Christopher Stokes, III - Coroners Jury 1624; House of Burgesses for Warwick River 1629; Captain, Landowner, July 1635 Virginia. He was
baptized on 6 April 1589 at St. Nicholas Acons, London, England and in 1610 immigrated to America on the ship, Mary and James.  In 1618 Governor Samuel Argall appointed Captain William Tucker commander of Point Comfort and in 1619, Captain William Tucker of Kicoughtan was one of 22 men elected as members of the House of Burgesses--the first legislative assembly of elected representatives in North America--which met on July 30, 1619 in the church on Jamestown Island. 
        Captain William Tucker On 16 July 1622, Captain William Tucker received a commission from Sir Francis Wyatt, the Governor and Captain General of Virginia, to command Kecoughtan.  Captain Tucker was given “absolute power & command over all the people in the plantation at Kicoughtan adjoining to Elizabeth Citty and his area of responsibility was later expanded to cover all of Elizabeth Citty".   
        He reported in the Muster of 1624/25 that there were twenty-two residents of Elizabeth Citty including his wife, Mary Tomson Tucker, and her three brothers George, Paul and William.  He noted that there were provisions of corn, oatmeal, fish, 3 swine, 3 houses, 1 boat, and arms, powder and lead. 
        William Tucker patented 850 acres of land in the colony between 1620 and 1635 and was a partner in the 1636 Berkeley Hundred Land Deal of 8000 acres in Charles City County.  In October of 1642 William Tucker was appointed to be an Assistant to the Committee that went to Ireland.  His will, proved 17 February 1643/44 left his estate to his second wife, Frances, and to his three children, William, Thomas and Mary.
        Augustine Warner, II - Speaker, House of Burgesses, Gloucester Co., Virginia, named Council-1677; Colonial Commandant of Gloucester County Militia.  
       Thomas Yowell discovered Kent Island; founded a settlement there in 1631; was Secretary of State of Virginia as young man; had a Letter from Col John Washington to Major Richard Lee and Captain Thomas Yowell dated 9/6/1675; and took part in Bacon’s Rebellion. Journal of House of Burgesses records Mr. Thomas Yowell as an established member 1685-1686.

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