The family of Graves is one of the most ancient in England. It went in with the Norman army, and is mentioned in the Domesday Book. The names has been spelled De Grevis, Greve, Grave, Greaves, Greeves and Graves. The coat-of-arms: Gules an eagle displayed or ducally crowned argent. Crest: A demi-eagle displayed and erased or enfiled round the body and below the wings by a ducal coronet argent.
The English family was represented by many men of honor and distinction.
(I) Thomas Graves was born in England before 1585, and came to New England with his wife Sarah and five children, all of mature age, the youngest being about sixteen years old. They settled in Hartford, Conn., where Thomas was a property holder in 1645. He was exempted from training in the militia on account of his age, he being over sixty years old. In September, 1661, he removed to Hatfield, Massachusetts. He died in November, 1682, and his son Isaac was appointed administrator of his estate in Massachusetts, and Nathaniel in Connecticut.
Children, all born in England:
Isaac, mentioned below; John, Samuel, Nathaniel, born about 1629; Elizabeth.
(II) Sergeant Isaac, son of Thomas Graves, was born in England as early as 1620, and came to New England with his father. He settled in Hartford before 1645. He was admitted a freeman, May 16, 1669. He was sergeant of the militia and clerk of the writs for Hatfield, where he removed in 1661. He was killed in the Indian attack on the Hatfield settlement, Sept. 19, 1877 [sic: must be 1677]. He and his brother John were engaged at the time in shingling John's house.
He married Mary, daughter of Richard and Anne Church.
1. Mary, born July 5, 1647; married Jan. 28, 1665, Eleazer Drary.
2. Isaac, Aug. 22, 1650; died unmarried.
3. Rebecca, July 3, 1652-53, died unmarried.
4. Samuel, Oct. 1, 1656.
5. Sarah, married, April 27, 1677, Benjamin Barrett.
6. Elizabeth, born March 16, 1661-62; married, 1683, Benjamin Hastings.
7. John, 1664, mentioned below.
8. Hannah (twin), Jan. 24, 1666; married William Sackett.
9. Jonathan (twin), Jan. 24, 1666.
10. Mehitable, Oct. 1, 1671; married (first) Jan. 29, 1690, Richard Morton; (second) William Worthington; died March 22, 1742.
(III) John, son of Isaac Graves, was born in 1664. He married, Oct. 26, 1686, at Chelmsford, Sarah, daughter of John Banks. His son Elnathan was appointed administrator of his estate Nov. 12, 1746. He lived in Hatfield.
1. Isaac, born July 10, 1686.
2. Benjamin, Aug. 12, 1689.
3. Sarah, 1691.
4. Jemima, April 30, 1693; married (first) May 5, 1715, John Graves; (second) March 17, 1720, Eleazer Allis.
5. Mary, Nov. 9, 1695; married (first) July 23, 1719, Jonathan Fray; (second) Eliakim King.
6. Elnathan, Aug. 20, 1699.
7. Hannah, June 4, 1701; married Eleazer King.
8. Eunice, Sept. 29, 1703.
9. Aaron, mentioned below.
(IV) Aaron, son of John Graves, was born Feb. 2, 1707, died in 1788. He resided in that part of Hatfield that was afterward Williamsburg. He was a soldier in the French and Indian war at Fort Massachusetts in 1748. He married Mary, born Oct. 24, 1707, daughter of Ebenezer and Mary (White) Wells. Her grandfather, Benjamin Waite, was a noted Indian fighter. Her mother and others of the family were captured by the Indians and taken to Canada, but were evntually released through the efforts of her father.
1. Jemima, born April 12, 1730.
2. Martha, March 9, 1732.
3. Mary, Oct. 19, 1733.
4. Eunice, Nov. 2, 1735.
5. Beulah, married Asahel Moody.
6. Lucius, born Dec. 10, 1746.
7. Aaron, 1749; mentioned below.
8. Sybil, who was born about 1750.
9. Rebecca, married Elihu Waite.
(V) Aaron (1), son of Aaron (1) Graves, was born at Hatfield about 1749, died at South Hadley, Nov. 17, 1834. He was a soldier in the revolution in Captain Moses Montague's company of minutemen, Colonel Ruggles Woodbridge's regiment, on the Lexington alarm, April 19, 1775.
He married May 13, 1773, Sarah Morton of Hatfield. She died Oct. 11, 1839.
Children, born at South Hadley:
1. Sarah, May 10, 1774.
2. Lucius, Feb. 1, 1776.
3. Elijah, July 19, 1778.
4. Aaron, June 21, 1781.
5. Chester, Aug. 25, 1783; mentioned below.
6. Lucinda, April 9, 1786.
7. Theophilus, April 3, 1788.
8. Roswell, May 20, 1790.
9. Jotham, Sept. 9, 1792.
(VI) Chester, son of Aaron (2) Graves, was born at South Hadley, Aug. 15, 1783, died at Martinsburg, New York, July 28, 1863. He removed to Martinsburg about 1810, and was a farmer there the remainder of his life.
He married (first) Oct. 14, 1802, Obedience Morton, who died at Martinsburg in 1826. He married (second) in 1827, Hannah (Gates) Adams, a widow, who died May 9, 1873, aged seventy-seven years.
Children, born at Hatfield:
1. Lysander, Feb. 13, 1803.
2. Philander, July 30, 1805.
Born at Martinsburg:
3. Son, born and died Oct. 14, 1807.
4. Alexander, Sept. 9, 1808.
5. Elihu Morton, Nov. 28, 1810.
6. Calvin, May 19, 1814; died July 12, 1814.
7. Giles Wells, Sept. 3, 1815.
8. Ansel McNiel, April 12, 1818.
9. Melissa, Aug. 28, 1820.
10. Frances Asbury, Oct. 7, 1824.
Children of second wife, born at Martinsburg:
11. Chester Gates, Sept. 27, 1828; mentioned below.
12. Sylvester, May 7, 1833; died Nov. 17, 1833.
13. John De Loss, June 8, 1836.
14. Hannah Caroline, July 5, 1838; died July 10, 1841.
(VII) Chester Gates, son of Chester Graves, was born at Martinsburg, N.Y., Sept. 27, 1828. He was a well-to-do farmer, a Republican in politics. He was an upright and highly respected citizen. He lived in his native town.
He married, March 15, 1853, Mary Ann, daughter of Henry Peebles, of Martinsburg. She was born Oct. 12, 1831.
Children, born at Martinsburg:
1. Emerson Gates, Jan. 2, 1856; married Jennie Brown, and resides at Lowville, New York.
2. Edward Peebles, April 16, 1858, see forward.
3. George Leland, May 6, 1860; resides at Remsen, N.Y.; married Mary Jones.
4. Burton Morris, Nov. 21, 1863; mentioned below.
5. Mary Ann, April 6, 1865.
6. Harriet Eunica, March 4, 1868; married, Dec. 25, 1888, Willard E. Loucks; she died Nov. 18, 1894.
7. Henry P., Aug. 13, 1871; died Jan. 7, 1879.
8. Bennett Chester, April 29, 1874, futher mentinoned below.
Chester G. Graves died in Lowville, March 4, 1906. His wife, Mary Ann (Peebles) Graves, was born Oct. 12, 1831, at Martinsburg, N.Y., daughter of Henry and Polly (Coats) Peebles; Henry died Jan. 7, 1874; Polly died Jan. 8, 1892; their children: Edward Peebles, born Feb. 12, 1829; Mary Ann Peebles, mentioned above; Hannah W. Peebles, Feb. 13, 1834, married Lorenzo Miller, died July 9, 1875; Lewis S. Peebles, Nov. 29, 1836; married Martha Dodge; Harriette U., April 27, 1839, died April 12, 1847; Franklin E. Peebles, March 16, 1846, married Amelia Rowsam.
(VIII) Edward Peebles, son of Cheater Gates and Mary Ann (Peebles) Graves, was born at Martinsburg, N.Y., April 16, 1858. He was educated in the public schools, and reared to the life and occupation of a farmer. In 1886 he purchased the farm where he now  resides, located near Lowville on the Henderson Harbor road. He makes dairy farming his specialty, combining with that branch the breeding of thoroughbred Holstein cattle and general stock raising. He thoroughly understands his business and gives it his personal attnetion. His farm is not only well stocked with graded cattle, but the improvements are in keeping with the prosperous modern farmer. His methods are progressive, modern and successful.
He is a courteous, hospitable and highly respected man in his town. He is a Repulbican in politics and a member of the North Martinsburg Methodist Protestant church, as are the members of his family. He is a supporter of the Patrons of Husbandry, belonging to Harrisburg Grange.
He married, March 8, 1886, Emma J., born Sept. 22, 1862, at Lowville, N.Y., daughter of Charles and Jane (Plopper) Bickford.
1. Eula H., born Sept, 1888.
2. Edna C., July 24, 1891.
3. Florence, June 18, 1894.
4. Walter, April 12, 1898, died Oct. 11, 1898.
5. Jay E., Jan. 19, 1899.
(VIII) Burton Morris, son of Chester Gates Graves, was born at Martinsburg, N.Y., Nov. 21, 1863. He was educated in the public schools and at Martin's Institute. After leaving school he continued to work on his father's farm until he came of age. Then he learned the business of cheese making, and for seventeen years was engaged in business as a cheese manufacturer, owning and operating from time to time some of the best cheese factories in Lewis county. He has the distinction of winning a medal and diploma from the manufacture of the most perfect cheese from World's Columbian Exposition held in Chiago in 1893.
In 1903, Mr. Graves, in partnership with his brother Emerson G., purchased in the village of Lowville the old established furnitrue and undertaking business of George J. Haberer. In 1905 Emerson G. Graves sold his share in the business to Andrew F. Coughlin, and since them the firm name has been Graves & Coughlin. The furniture business was established by John Conover, and has flourished for many years.
Mr. Graves is one of the best known funeral diectors in northern New York, and his firm has one of the most elbaborate and complete equipments for the undertaking business. In a business way Mr. Graves has always been highly successful. In politics he is a Republican, though inclined to independence in municipal affairs. He is a member of Lowville Lodge, No. 134, Free and Accepted Masons, and of Lowville Lodge, No. 759, Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
He married, April 23, 1889, Marie Augustine Scherer, born July 25, 1867, at Lorraine, France, daughter of Jacob and Marion (Kline) Scherer. Jacob Scherer was born in France, Nov. 12, 1823, died in Lowville, Nov. 6, 1909, son of Nicholas and Elizabeth (Kirch) Scherer. Marion (Kline) Scherer was born June 24, 1829, died at Lowville, Jan. 3, 1906. She was the daughter of Nicholas and Marion (Koenig) Kline.
Mrs. Graves came to this country with her parents in August, 1872. She was educated at Lowville Academy, and was a successful teacher for six years previous to her marriage.
(VIII) Bennett Chester, son of Chester Gates Graves, was born at Martinsburg, N.Y., April 29, 1874. He was educated in the public schools. After leaving school he assisted his father on the farm until he came of age, and afterward was associated with his father in business. In 1898 he learned the business of making cheese and in the following year began to operate a factory for the manufacture of cheese near Lowville, N.Y. The venture was successful until 1902, when the Standard Milk Company of New York City established a milk station near the factory and bought the product of the farmers and made the operation of the cheese factory impracticable. Mr. Graves became the local manager for the milk company and later took charge of a creamery belonging to this company at Castorland, whither he removed in 1903. In 1905 the creamery became the property of David Laemmle, of New York City, but Mr. Graves continued as manager. Fancy creamery butter is manufactured, and Mr. Graves is recognized as an authority and expert in butter-making. He is held in high esteem, both by employer and patrons of the concern.
In politics he is a Republican. He and his family attend the Methodist church.
He married, at Martinsburg, N.Y., Feb. 14, 1900, Mae E., born Dec. 9, 1876, daughter of Arthur D. and Narcissa (Johnson) Goodrich. Her father was born Oct. 12, 1850, son of Sylvanus and Orrilla (Arthur) Goodrich. Sylvanus Goodrich was born in 1815, son of James and Elidia (Wadley) Goodrich, and died in FEb., 1864. Orrilla (Arthur) Goodrich died April 9, 1887. James Goodrich died April 9, 1887. James Goodrich was born in Connecticut and was one of the early settlers of Lewis county, N.Y. Sylvanus Goodrich married (first) Lurinda Arthur, and had Horace S., born in 1845, and Charles M., born May 7, 1847. Sylvanus married (second) Orrilla Arthur, sister of his first wife, and had Arthur D. Goodrich. Narcissa (Johnson) Goodrich was daughter of Josiah and Charlotte (Stanford) Johnson and was born Aug. 13, 1805, one of nine children.
Children of Bennett C. and Mae E. Graves:
1. Harold A., born April 9, 1901.
2. Hazel E., April 6, 1902.
The family of Graves is one of the most ancient in England. It went with the Norman army and its members have been De Grevis, De Greevie, Greeve, Grave, Greaves, Greeve and Graves. They are recorded in Doomsday Book (for Lincolnshire) with full account of their possessions. The family lived in early days in that part of England now known as counties Lincoln, Nottingham, Derby and York. The first recorded family seat was known as Greves or Greaves, in the parish of Beeley, near Chatsworth, Derbyshire, where the family resided as early as the reign of Henry III. (1216 - 1272). In the little church at Beeley, within the altar rails, is a fine flat stone on which is cut the coat-of-arms of the family, the motto "Superia quaeio," the the following inscription: "This marble stone doth presse but no oppresse the body of John Greaves of Greaves, Esq., who was always a true son of the church of England, merciful and charitable to the poor, patient and courageous in a tedious sicknes, and at length being of faith and hope did exchange this troublesome world for a better upon the 12th day of October in the year of our Lord 1694, Ann, his wife, born of George Bird, of Stenley Hall, Gent., ob. May 25, 1700."
The distinctive arms of the Graves famikly are:
Gules and eagles displayed or ducally crowned arg. The crest, a demi-eagle displayed and erased or enfiled round the body and below the wings by a ducal coronet arg. Various moltons have been adopted, some of which have been used by the members of the family exclusively, and others by this family and other families.
The Graves family of England are noted in church and state. In Ireland the family was founded by Colonel William Graves, colonel commanding a regiment of horse in the Parliamentary army, who was sent to Ireland in 1649 or 1656. He subsequently returned to England, leaving two of his sons in Ireland; one settled in the north and from him the family of Lord Graves is said to have descended. The other brother settled in Limerick and had a famous posterity, including civil and military officers of high ecclesiastical dignitaries. May of the descendants of the different branches of the family went from time to time to London and other cities in Great Britain, and to the colonies, not many of them to the American colonies in the years between 1629-1649.
The family in Great Britain has produced men distinguished as scholars, divines, barristers and business men, a vigorous and loyal race, but not a self-seeking one, and the same can be said of the American branches. (John Card Graves, M.A., historian of the Graves family).
(I) Probably the first of the family to arrive in New England was Thomas Graves, of Charlestown, an engineer, who came under contract and laid out the town of Charlestown in 1629. He came in the fleet with Francis Higginson, from Gravesend, county Kent, England; arrived at Salem in June, 1629, and is supposed to have returned to England in 1632. Thomas, of Hartford, not an original proprietor, an old man excused from training in 1645, died November, 1662. He was the American ancestor of a large family that includes many of the present-day New York families. Thomas, of Charlestown, 1638, was master of a ship for several years constantly employed between Boston and London. He was master of the first ship ever built in Boston for the foreign trade. His son Thomas was deputy, "a godly learned man, a good tutor and solid preacher." Thomas, his son, was a physician and a judge, and his son Thomas was a judge of the supreme court. The quality of the early settlers is shown by these examples to have been equal to that of their English progenitors.
Daniel Graves was taxed in the town of Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, in 1811-12-13. He removed to the town of Vienna, Oneida county, N.Y., where with others of the family, an early settlement is said to have been made.
Alexander Graves is said to have been one of the first to die in the town.
Daniel Graves married Betsey Sparks, and had children.
(II) Rev. Thomas J., son of Daniel and Betsey (Sparks) Graves, was born at Parish Green, Oneida county, New York, Sept. 23, 1816. He was educated for the gospel, and became a regularly ordained minister of the Methodist Episcopal church.
He affiliated with the Republican party, and married, Sept. 24, 1837, Harriet E. Malcomb, born April 8, 1816.
George A., mentioned below.
(III) George A., son of Rev. Thomas J. and Harriet E. (Malcomb) Graves, was born Nov. 3, 1844. He settled in the town of Grieg, Lewis county, N.Y., where he became a prosperous and influential farmer.
He is a Republican in politics and represented the town of Greig on the Lewis county board of supervisors from 1901 to 1905. He is an active member of the Methodist church, and a supporter of all good causes.
He married, Dec. 5, 1866, Anna S. Van Aernam, born Sept. 28, 1844, daughter of William C. and Lydia Ann Gould Van Aernam. William C. Van Aernam was born in Albany county, June 27, 1810, died in Lowville, N.Y., June 12, 1906, son of Jonathan and Mary (Crouse) Van Aernam (Van Arnheim). The Crouse family emigrated to New York from New Jersey. Adam Crouse, father of Mary, was a soldier in Captain Penton's company, Second Battalion, Salem, New Jersey troops, and also served in the Continental army and was killed in battle. Her mother, wife of Adam, had a presentiment that she was about to die, and having recently become a widow, she visited her sister to make provision for the care of her children. Returning to her home she was caught in a thunder storm, took refuge under a tree, and was killed by a stoke of ligntning a few minutes later. The Van Arnheim family was one of the early Dutch families of Rensselaerwyck, where Jacobus and Catarina (daughter of Wimmial Bancken) Van Arnheim was married Nov. 26, 1757. There are various spellings of the name now in use, but the early Dutch family were Van Arnhem. They are first of mention in 1696, when Jan Janse Van Arnhem (probably the settler) married Heater Fonda, of the early Dutch family. They also intermarried with the Lansings, Van Wies, Bogerts and Van Dusens - all early families of note and influence.
Children of George A. and Anna S. (Van Aerman) Graves:
Leon Fenton, mentioned below.
Harry E., born March 19, 1874, married Nellie A. Rogers.
(IV) Leon Fenton, eldest son of George A. and Anna S. (Van Aernam) Graves, was born in the town of Greig, Lewis county, N.Y., Aug. 24, 1869. He received his early schooling in the schools of Greig, later finishing at Lowville Academy. He was employed in various business capacities until 1894, when he came proprietor of the inn at Lake Brantingham, and found there his true vocation. Lake Brantingham, located about fifty miles north of Utica, in the Adirondacks, is about two miles in length, and with its wooded shores and islands, and comfortable capacious inn standing a short distance from the water in a great grove of primeval pines, makes an ideal summer home that nothing can tempt him from. He is fond of sport with rod and gun, and these are furnished him by the Adirondack deer and black bass of the lake, and speckled trout of the stream. For his greater convenience he has log cabin camps for the use of himself and friends.
He is a Republican in politics, and holds the office of justice of the peace and tax collector. He is a member of Turin Lodge, No. 184, Free and Accepted Masons, and Lowville Chapter, No. 223, R.A.M.; the Masonic Club of Lowville and is an associate member of Brown's Tract Guides Association.
He is a communicant of the Presbyterian church.
He married, April 26, 1894, Emily C. Beals, born in Omero, Wisconsin, May 12, 1870, daughter of Henry L. and Mary (Burdick) Beals, whose other child is Irving L., married Mary Phillips, and has a son, Irving L. Beals (2). Leon Fenton and Emily C. (Beals) Graves have one child, Harold F., born Nov. 19, 1903.
Census Records | Vital Records | Family Trees & Communities | Immigration Records | Military Records Directories & Member Lists | Family & Local Histories | Newspapers & Periodicals | Court, Land & Probate | Finding Aids