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Washington & Northern Virginia Company -- Biographies of Ancestors of Members
Thomas Graves

Captain Thomas Graves came to Jamestown in 1608 in the Second Supply aboard the Mary and Margaret. He paid 25 pounds for two shares in the London Company of Virginia and thereby was entitled to 200 acres. He took an active part in the affairs of the infant colony from the beginning. While on an expedition with Captain John Smith, he was captured by Indians and held for ransom. Ensign Thomas Savage was sent by Captain John Smith to recover Graves.


He may have returned to England more than once and probably missed the Starving Time in Jamestown in 1609‑1610. His wife Katherine was not in the muster of 1616. He probably married her and fathered sons, John and Thomas, before the formation of Smyth's Hundred in 1617. Thomas and Katherine later had three daughters and another son.
     Captain Thomas settled at Smythe's Hundred, situated on the north shore of the 

James River ten miles from Jamestown. Governor George Yardley writing to Sir Edwin Sandys soon after April 29, 1619 of the affairs of Smythe's Hundred recited the circumstances of a duel between Captain William Epes and Captain Stallings, in which the latter was slain. This was the first duel between Englishmen in America. Captain Epes was placed under arrest and the governor placed Captain Graves in charge.

       Captain Thomas was one of the two burgesses from Smythe's Hundred to the first Representative Legislative Assembly that convened at Jamestown on July 30, 1619. His name appears on a monument to the first House of Burgesses which stands at Jamestown today.  

     The next record of Captain Graves showed him living on the Eastern Shore by February 16, 1623. Thus, he was probably in England during the Indian Massacre of March 1622. On February 8, 1627, Captain Francis West, Governor, ordered that Thomas Graves have a commission to command the Plantation at Accomac; Graves was the second Commander. As an "Ancient Planter" he received one of the first patents there on March 14, 1628, consisting of 200 acres. He lived on Old 

Plantation Creek, now in Northhampton County, and served as Commissioner for Accomac in 1629.   
     On March 24, 1629, the General Assembly of the colony appointed Captain Samuel Mathews to undertake the raising of a fort at Point Comfort. Thomas Graves and six other persons were chosen to select the site, "conclude what manner of fort shall be erected", and to work with Captain Mathews in the building and finishing the fort.

       Until the Assembly of 1629‑30, Accamacke had no burgesses. Captain Graves and three others represented the Eastern Shore in this assembly. He served again as a burgess in 1632. Because he was designated as "Esquire" on January 6, 1635, he must have been a member of the Council.  

      Captain Thomas Graves, Esquire, was recorded as being a Justice at a court held for Accomac County on April 13, 1635. On September 13, 1635, he was appointed a Vestryman of Hunger's Parish. His death occurred between November 1635, when he witnessed a deed, and 5 Jan 1636 when suit was entered for Mrs. Graves concerning theft by a servant.  He was survived by his wife, Katherine, and six children:  John, Thomas, Ann, Verlinda, Katherine and Francis.

1. "Adventurers of Purse and Person", by Virginia M. Meyer and John F. Dorman, Dietz Press Inc, Richmond VA, 3' Edition, 1987, pp 69, 325 330.
2. "Statutes at Large", Volume 1, by William W. Hening, University Press of Charlottesville, Reprint 1969, p150
3. "Genealogies of Virginia Families", Vol H, Genealogical Publishing Co, Baltimore, MD, 1982, pp 732-737.
4. Www.gravesfa.org/gen169.htm, June 2003, pp 1-6

Nov 03