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Much has been attributed to the following Bible record of Solomon Graves (1784-1861), the most significant being that Joseph Graves (c.1715-1774) and Thomas Graves (1691-aft.1767) are brothers. While the Bible record may indeed give support to that conclusion, researchers are admonished to realize that, not like many other family Bibles, this record appears to be an attempt by Solomon Graves to describe his Graves family. And, unlike other family Bibles, many of the "records" were not recorded contemporaneously with the event. Note also that part of the Bible record apparently was written by someone other than Solomon Graves (without date).
Moreover, the Bible record makes no mention of a third brother, John Graves, Jr. (c.1685-aft.1772), who has better real-world primary documentation than Joseph Graves or Thomas Graves. And, no mention is made of the parents of Joseph Graves and Thomas Graves.
Note the following from Graves Family Association Genealogy #270 with respect to the earliest known member of this line:
"John Graves (1) was born about 1665 and died after 1737. His wife's name is not known. It is believed that he was an immigrant to Virginia from Northamptonshire, England (based on DNA testing, and the Bible record of Solomon Graves in the Appendix) . . . . "
The problem is that nothing in the transcript of the "Bible record of Solomon Graves" supports the conclusion that this John Graves was an immigrant to Virginia from Northamptonshire, England."
Bible Record of Solomon Graves (1784-1861): Discussing Brothers Joseph Graves and Thomas Graves of Spotsylvania County, Virginia, and the Family of Thomas Graves
The following information was previously published on pages 114, 118-119, 1981 "Graves Family Newsletter."
Mr. William T. Graves (R-17) came across a record from the Bible of Solomon Graves, son of Rev. Barzillai Graves. The Reverend Graves died 14 July 1827 in Caswell Co., NC. The Bible belonged to Mrs. Elizabeth Burke (nee Graves) of Yanceyville, NC, and was copied by the N.C. Archives in 1971.
Although it is not certain, the record (at least in part) appears to be Solomon Graves's attempt to recall his ancestry as of 1817, when he would have been around 33 years old. Someone has added notes concerning family births and deaths occurring after 1817. Mr. William T. Graves prepared the following transcription of the Bible record (with a few minor punctuation changes). There are probably errors in this record. For example, the record states that Joseph and Thomas Graves came to Virginia from England around 1700; that is unlikely. [Paragraph breaks inserted to enhance readability]
Ancestry, family, particulars -- according to the best information that can be at present collected --- Anno D. 1817.
It seems that about the year 1700, Joseph and Thomas Graves emigrated to America from England. Being brothers, they both settled in the State of Virginia in the County of Spotsylvania. Each of them married in that State and from them a numerous connection has descended.
Thomas intermarried with one Mary Perkins and had by this marriage only three children, two daughters and a son, and his wife died. He then married a second time and by this marriage he had many sons. John Graves, his son by the first marriage, removed into the State of North Carolina about the year A.D. 1755. He married a daughter of James Lea, formerly of Virginia, whose name was Isabell Lea. James Lea, her father, married a Herndon. From the marriage of John Graves and his wife has sprung an extensive family connection in the State of North Carolina.
Barzillai Graves, their fifth son, intermarried with one Ursula Wright, the daughter of one William Wright the son of John Wright who intermarried one Miss ------ Parsons and who emigrated to the United States about beginning of the Seventeenth Century. William Wright intermarried with one Margaret Johnston, the daughter of a Mr. Johnston who also emigrated to this Country from England.
From the marriage of B. Graves and his wife there has descended three sons and four daughters, Solomon Graves, Jeremiah Graves, and Barzillai Graves, Jun., who died without issue.
The daughters were named Isabella Graves, Elizabeth Graves, Margaret Graves and Mary Graves. Isabell, the eldest daughter, intermarried with one Hosea McNeill. Elizabeth, the second daughter, intermarried with one James Lea. Mary, the fourth daughter, intermarried with one Thomas W. Graves. Solomon Graves, the eldest son, intermarried with one Mary C. Franklin who was the daughter of Jesse Franklin, late a Governor of the State of North Carolina. Jeremiah Graves intermarried with one Delilah Lea, a daughter of John Lea, called Cainbrake (sic, Canebrake) John Lea.
[NOTE: The handwriting for the following is different from the handwriting for the preceding. The archivist at the N.C. Archives believes that the following text was written at a later date by someone other than the author of the preceding notes.] Margaret Graves married William Lipscomb. Her descendants are all dead. James Lea removed to West Tennessee where their descendants now reside (in 1864).
Register of Ages and Deaths
S. [Solomon] Graves born 14th July 1784
Mary C. [Franklin] Graves born the 24 Feby. 1794
They were married 10th April 1817
1. Micky [Meeky] Ann Graves their first daughter born March 23th, 1819
2. Sarah Emily their second daughter born the 10th March 1821
3. Mary Ursula their third daughter born 6th April 1823
4. Elizabeth Franklin Graves their fourth daughter born 16th June 1825
5. J. [Jesse] Franklin their first son born the 31st day of August 1829
6. Margaret Isabella their fifth daughter born 30th day of May 1832
7. Barzillai Yancy Graves born the 10th October 1835
Mary U. who intermarried with H. M. Waugh died the 24th of June 1851
Jesse Franklin, father of Mary C. Graves, born March 24th 1760, died in August 28th 1824 in the 64th year of his age.
Meeky Franklin, mother of Mary C. Graves, born 1765. She died the 20th of Feby. 1835 in her 69th year.
Barzillai Graves, father of S. [Solomon] Graves, born 1755, died 14th July 1827 in the 67th year of his age.
 This is the Joseph Graves discussed in the preceding section of the Appendix, whose daughter Mary Graves married Benjamin Cleveland.
 This is the Thomas Graves who married Ann Davenport.
Note that the DNA chart with respect to GFA Gen #270 shows only two sons of the earliest known ancestor John Graves/Greaves. These are John Graves and Thomas Graves. Documentation with respect to the Joseph Graves mentioned in the Solomon Graves Bible remains inconclusive.
There are several Graves descendants who have taken the DNA test and belong in this part of the family, but whose connection has not yet been found. These lines include: (1) Joseph, James Chitham, William B., John W. (test ID 3699), now placed as a descendant of Thomas2, son of Thomas1 (genealogy 169) but almost certainly a descendant of John1, John2, Joseph3, Joseph4 (same as test ID's 1869 and 35472), (2) Newton P. Graves of AL & LA (genealogy 172), (3) Elijah Graves and Agnes Lacy of KY (genealogy 443), (4) Lewis P. Graves and Mary Prudence Masterson of AL & LA (genealogy 741), (5) Samuel Graves and Eleanor Wilson of NC, SC & TN (genealogy 877), and John Graves and Narnetta ------ of NC & Giles Co., TN (genealogy 935).
So, if DNA results do not document Joseph Graves as a son of the earliest known ancestor on Gen #270, John Graves/Greaves, what really is the significance of the Solomon Graves Bible "records"?
Of course, if Joseph Graves had no male descendants, there may be few following this line (and certainly none to take a Y-DNA test).
I have at least one dna connection to him through a daughter Sarah Graves (who appears to be undocumented in gfa) and also at least one through a daughter Mary (who is documented in gfa).
The Solomon Graves who apparently created at least part of the Bible "records" discussed above, did not descend from Joseph Graves. Solomon Graves descended from Thomas Graves. And, it remains odd that no mention was made of John Graves, Jr., documented brother of Thomas Graves.
The owner of the Solomon Graves Bible when it was first photographed in 1971 was Mrs. Mary Elizabeth Graves Burke (1896-1977), daughter of Barzillai Shuford Graves (1854-1942) and Malvina F. Graves Graves (1870-1955).
The Gen #270 ancestry of Mary Elizabeth Graves Burke is interesting. Both her grandfathers have the Graves surname: William Blair (Billy Hickory) Graves (1827-1984) and Jesse Franklin Graves (1829-1894). With respect to each other, the two grandfathers are first cousins.
Another concerning issue with respect to Joseph Graves is the year generally ascribed to his birth: c.1715. This was significantly later than the birth years ascribed to his purported brothers (John, Jr. and Thomas). While such an age gap obviously is possible, with the father living to after 1737, it does cause the erection of a red flag.
Nor is the father's age of approximately 50 years in 1715 a determinative factor (but should be part of the analysis).
And, Joseph Graves apparently was the only member of the family to move to North Carolina, which by itself proves nothing, but again should be taken into consideration.