Martha A. McGraw: wife of John Hedrick

**UPDATED 4/26/2024**

Studying the 1830 Greenbrier Co Census of Thomas McGraw & Caty Withrow, I found there was a female aged 10-14 listed in the household for which I couldn’t account. There is also an unknown male under the age of 5 for which I can’t account but 1830 is twenty-odd years prior to the Virginia legislation requiring the recording of births and deaths at the courthouse. It is likely the unknown male died at an early age. Time will out.

As you know from my previous post on Elizabeth McGraw, I’ve been struggling to fit both Martha A McGraw and Elizabeth McGraw in the household of Martin McGraw Jr. While I agree censuses are often rife with errors, I become suspicious when the same family enumeration is erroneous twice in a row, even in a 10 year span: Case in point, both the 1830 and 1840 Fayette Censuses for Martin McGraw. In neither of these two censuses did Martin have two daughters listed in the same age bracket. I then switched my focus to the only other McGraw in the Kanawha/Putnam vicinity where John Hedrick and Martha A. McGraw were residing: That is Thomas McGraw and wife, Caty Withrow, who arrived in the vicinity after 1835 but before 1840.

Coupling the data in the 1830 Greenbrier Census for Thomas revealing the “unknown” female aged 10-14 with the fact that Thomas’ son Samuel married Mary Ann HEDRICK and Martha A. McGraw married John HEDRICK from the same area, there was only one conclusion at which I could arrive: Martha A. McGraw was the daughter of Thomas McGraw and Catherine Withrow.

This new info pretty much nullified my earlier conclusion that Martha A. McGraw was a daughter of Martin McGraw and Nancy Wood, previously outlined and since updated below.  The evidence however remains the same.

Quick addendum: Martha A. Hedrick’s son William Philip Hedrick married his first cousin, Alice Luella Hayes, daughter of (Martha A’s sister) Mary L. McGraw and William H. Hayes. I think I’m done fixing this hitch in my git-along.

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I have Martha A. McGraw and John Hedrick’s marriage as having occurred about 1843 Kanawha County, WV. To my dismay, I’ve yet to discover a marriage record for the two in Fayette, Kanawha, Putnam, or Mason County. So I’ve had to scratch my head and wonder why/where I came up with those conclusions.

  1. Martha A. is living in the household of John Hedrick in the 1850 Putnam Census, aged 31, with four year old son, William P;
  2. Martha’s presumed father was, according to an earlier genealogist, Martin McGraw Jr who came to the Putnam area (while it was still Kanawha County) about 1843;
  3. This puts the marriage in the 1843-1845 time frame since son William P would have been born about 1846.

The presumption that Martha A. McGraw was the daughter of Martin McGraw Jr was made by my genealogical predecessor. I took her word for it and put Martha in my tree without evidence or documentation. Going through the Censuses up through 1880, I comprehend my aunt’s reasoning but new revelations lead to a different conclusions. Let me lay it out for you.

  • Martha A. McGraw would have been the daughter of Thomas McGraw and Catherine “Caty” Withrow and was born about 1818 or 1819 in what was then Nicholas County. Since the 1830 and 1840 Censuses for Martin didn’t allow for two females of Martha’s age, I had to take another look at Thomas. There were only two men living in the vicinity (Kanawha/Putnam) of the proper age to have a daughter named Martha. Thomas McGraw was 19 years old in 1818 and wasn’t married until 1820 (so obviously, she couldn’t be his daughter, right?). Where was Thomas in 1820? I feel quite certain that Thomas McGraw was living in the household of his in-laws, William Withrow and Susannah Skaggs, and is enumerated in the 1820 Nicholas County Census, viz;

1820 Nicholas Census of William Withrow including Thomas McGraw

  • Next, in the 1830 Greenbrier County, WV Census we find these individuals in the household with Thomas McGraw & Caty Withrow:

1830 Greenbrier County Census, Thomas McGraw

*Please be advised that I personally added the names of the individuals as I presume them to be listed pursuant to other documentation for each. In that light, these are subject to change.

  • In short, Martha A. McGraw fits the 10-14 year old female slot in the 1830 Greenbrier census;
  • Side Bench (explained further below): When Nancy Wood passed about 1833/34, Martin remarried a woman named Sarah Jane Johnson in Gauley Bridge; their first daughter was, from what I can tell, Lucretia McGraw born about 1837. Lucretia married David Smith 17 Feb 1864 in Mason County, WV. Although the Clerk that wrote up the Marriage License very nearly repeated David Smith’s father’s name in the space provided for Lucretia’s parents, it appears he quickly scribbled some info that ended with “McGraw.” That aside, Lucretia’s birthplace is plainly written “Fayette County.” Could Lucretia have been the daughter of Thomas McGraw & Caty Withrow? I don’t think so:
    • Lucretia is in the household of Martin and Sarah in the 1850 Putnam Census;
    • Thomas McGraw is last listed in the Fayette Tax List in 1835 then subsequently in Kanawha Tax List 1840 (in the Buffalo/Midway area);
  • Back to Martha A. McGraw: in the 1870 Putnam Census, there are a few interesting individuals in the household of Martha A and John Hedrick:
    • Three Fielders: Harriet*, 35, Martha A, 4, and Elvia J, 11
    • Lucretia Smith, aged 11
    • and Alonzo McGrew, aged 8.
    • Martha and John Hedrick’s son William P. Hedrick is in the very next household in the census.
    • *there is a Harriet Pearce listed in the household of Philip Hedrick (Dwelling #208) in the 1850 Putnam County Census; there is also a marriage record at WVculture.org for a Harriet “Pearcy” and Jonathan Fielder in Putnam County in 1865, leading me to believe Harriet may have been a granddaughter to Philip Hedrick and therefore a niece to John Hedrick and Mary Ann McGraw.
  • Interestingly, both Lucretia Smith and Alonzo McGrew are still in Martha and John Hedrick’s household in the 1880 Putnam Census along with several others, all of whom are listed as boarders. I wonder if  Lucretia Smith was born to Lucretia McGraw and David Smith?
  • Finally, the McGraw’s and the Hedrick’s were rather tightly knit: Martha A. married John Hedrick and it is likely that her brother Samuel married sister-in-law, Mary Ann Hedrick.

I’ve no clue yet as to the identity or parentage of Alonzo McGrew but he is no doubt a cousin or brother’s child. The Fielders: I should point out that John “O” McGrew, son of Thomas McGraw and Caty Withrow, married Zipporah Fielder, presenting ties between the McGrew and Fielder families. But most interesting is Lucretia Smith.

I’ve got quite a bit of leg work to do, figuring out who these individuals are and how they tie into the family tree, but I wonder if Lucretia was born before her folks “tied the knot” OR if this was actually Lucretia McGraw Smith marked with the wrong age. Admittedly, I cannot locate either Lucretia nor David Smith in the 1860 and 1870 Censuses. I’m off to FamilySearch.org to scour the 1860 Census.

But there you have what I believe is the evidence, albeit circumstantial, that led to the erroneous conclusion that Martha A. McGraw was the daughter of Martin McGraw Jr and Nancy Wood and then a more reasonable conclusion that she was instead the daughter of Thomas McGraw and Catherine Withrow.

By the way, you’ve read that my great-grandparents were fourth cousins: Homer H. McGrew (via Thomas McGraw) and Nora Bell Jacobs (via Martin McGraw Jr). But what I haven’t mentioned is that after Homer’s death, Nora Bell married a second time to James Marion Hedrick, the son of William P. Hedrick (the son of Martha A. McGraw, the subject of this post) and wife Alice Luella Hayes, daughter of William. H. Hayes and Mary L. McGrew (daughter of Thomas McGraw and Caty Withrow). Not incest, folks: Endogamy. I’m the first to admit that I’m kin to myself.

Shown below: Brief of the 1850 Putnam Census.

Brief of 1850 Putnam Census, Julie McGrew Ayres