Children of Martin and Margaret McGraw

When my great-aunt started down the path of tracing the McGraws in our family tree, she created as many questions as she answered. She got me involved prior to 1994 and it was my job to gather info from Fayette, Greenbrier, and Monroe Counties, areas with which I was more familiar. Although I was born and raised for part of my life in Putnam County, WV, I spent another decade living, working, and going to school in Fayette, Greenbrier, and Monroe Counties.

It was during all these searches and trips, even after I moved to Ohio, that I came to realize there were two Martin McGraws (father and son) and that father Martin was evidently the first or the only McGraw in Greenbrier County in 1796. Later in the records, names like Anthony, Mary Ann, John, and El appeared in Greenbrier records, albeit briefly; Martin I, wife Margaret, John, Martin II, William, Samuel, Thomas, and Henry appeared in Monroe County records.  Here is an overview of the known children of Martin and Margaret McGraw. Please know that atDNA matching has borne out these assumptions over the past 30 years.

  • George Anthony McGraw, born about 1775 (probably Pennsylvania), died Aug 1814 at Norfolk, VA, married Betsy Brien 3 Oct 1796 Greenbrier County. “Betsy” subsequently married Presley Gill and died in Fayette County. Six children are named in her application for a Widow’s Pension from Anthony’s service in the War of 1812;
  • John McGraw, born about 1778 Pennsylvania, died about 1861 in Russell County, VA, married Sally Anderson 15 Feb 1799 in Greenbrier County. 8 children may have been born to this couple prior to John’s second marriage.
  • Mary Ann McGraw, born about 1781, died about 1845 in Nicholas County, WV, married William Wood 18 June 1800, Monroe County, WV. For more about this family, see this post at OpeningDoorsinBrickWalls.com by descendant Cathy Meder-Dempsey.
  • Martin McGraw II (or junior), born about 1785 Pennsylvania, died 25 October 1858 Fayette County, WV, married 1 – *Nancy Wood 3 May 1806 in Monroe County, died about 1833 at Chimney Corner, Fayette County, WV – or “six miles above Gauley Bridge.” Seven daughters were born to Martin and Nancy McGraw.
      1. *Nancy Wood was a sister of William Wood. See Mary Ann McGraw, above*
      2. One male “son,” John, turned out to be the son of Martin’s older brother John McGraw and wife Sally/Sarah Anderson who came to live with Martin when he was about 15 or 16 years old

    Martin remarried 2- Sarah J. Johnson, born about 1810, on 12 April 1835 at Gauley Bridge, Fayette County, WV. Six more children were born to Martin and Sarah. I am descended from Martin and Sarah through my paternal great-grandmother, Nora Belle Jacobs McGrew Hedrick.

  • Elender or Eleanor McGraw or “El,” Eleanor, and sometimes Nelly, born about 1788, died 21 Aug 1845 in Madison County, Indiana, married 1 Mar 1810 Greenbrier County, WV to Solomon Nelson. Eight children are purported to have been born to this couple.
  • William McGraw, born about 1790, presents the biggest mystery to this particular line. He married Lucretia Withrow 11 Mar 1813 in Monroe County, WV. Lucretia, possibly an older daughter of William Withrow and Susannah Skaggs and therefore a sister to my paternal 4th-great grandmother Catherine “Caty” Withrow, wife of Thomas McGraw (more info below). After their marriage, records for William and Lucretia appear in Monroe County Personal Property Tax Lists with William disappearing about 1814. Lucretia appeared once in the tax list in 1815 living either with or adjacent to her widowed mother-in-law Margaret and widowed sister-in-law Elisabeth (Brien) McGraw. Research continues for clues to the whereabouts of both William and Lucretia or either.
  • Samuel McGraw, born about 1792 Augusta County, VA (per a Voter’s List in Fayette County and Tax Lists for Martin McGraw 1792-1795). He died 26 Dec 1874 in Fayette County, WV, married 1-Elizabeth Wood (sister of Nancy Wood and William Wood, referenced in the McGraw marriages above) on 28 May 1812 Monroe County, WV. Only three children may have been born of this union before Elizabeth’s death. He then married 2- Nancy Coleman 24 Jul 1840 Fayette County, WV. Six children were born of this union.
  • Thomas McGraw, born 9 Feb 1799 in Greenbrier County, WV, died 5 Aug 1855 at 18 Mile Creek, Putnam County, WV. Married 31 Jul 1820 in Nicholas County, WV to Catherine “Caty” Withrow, daughter of William Withrow and Susannah Skaggs. Seven children were born to this union. I am descended from Thomas and Catherine McGraw through my paternal great-grandfather, Homer H. McGrew and wife Nora Belle Jacobs McGrew Hedrick.
  • Henry McGraw, born about 1802, probably Greenbrier County, died 4 Sep 1873 Fayette County, WV, marriage date and location are unknown (but suspected to be either Greenbrier or Monroe). His wife was named Mary and nicknamed Polly. 12 children were born to this union.

Recent documentation has proven that Henry is the youngest child of all the siblings. The Personal Property Tax Lists show that William and Lucretia did in fact reside in Monroe County until 1814-15 after which both disappear. Thus, the necessity of this update 6 April 2022.

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5 thoughts on “Children of Martin and Margaret McGraw”

  1. Julie, I’m happy to see you are blogging. I’m reading your McGraw/McGrew posts right now.
    I wanted to note that the middle name of Mary Ann McGRAW’s husband William WOOD’s has not been proven. I have no idea where Hicks comes from. I’ve never seen a record with this name or even with an initial. I believe it is speculation on the part of another researcher who assumed William’s mother was a Hicks.
    Due to several of the McGraw children marrying Wood siblings, autosomal DNA is going to be hard to analyze on Ancestry without a chromosome browser.

    • Thanks for the heads-up, Cathy! I pulled the name “Hicks” out of my tree but overlooked it in the blog. Will take care of it ASAP. As for the McGraw-Wood pedigree collapse, I too have difficulty figuring out where some of my DNA matches fit. Wouldn’t it be awesome if Ancestry implemented a chromosome browser?

    • One more thing: I uploaded my raw DNA to FamilyTreeDNA.com along with my tree. I have a match to a male who apparently has both an atDNA as well as Y-DNA results with FTDNA. Turns out, he is a descendant of John McGraw and Sally Anderson (brother of Mary Ann) who moved to Russell County, VA.

  2. Hi folks. Very pleased to find this thread on McGraw. If any of the research that I have is correct Harrison Hays (my 2nd ggp) married Sarah, one of Martin, Jr’s daughters. Do know who Nancy Wood’s parents were? Any info is always appreciated.

    • Yes. Nancy Wood was the daughter of Bailey Wood, Sr. I believe his wife was also named Nancy. Bailey Wood owned a lot of property in the vicinity of the mouth of Wolf Creek in what was Monroe County before he moved to an area near Victor, Fayette County, WV. He was one of the founding members of the Hopewell Baptist Church there. I have Harrison Hays and Sarah McGraw in my tree. Here’s a copy of the marriage record on file with the State of West Virginia. http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=12084992&Type=Marriage. I have six children born to Harrison and Sarah. May I ask from which of the children you descended?

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