**UPDATED 30 Dec 2022 due to new information**
Hopefully someday soon I’ll be able to provide more information about this specific Martin McGraw. I’ve dubbed him the First, I, or Senior. Meanwhile, here’s why I believe these are my ancestors, Martin and Margaret McGraw, Sr, as they traveled out of Pennsylvania en route to Greenbrier County, West Virginia pre-1796.
What I’ve Discovered
1. Martin “Magraw” appears in the 1790 Federal Census in Washington County, Maryland. I’ve wondered for years if this “my” Martin McGraw? The names fit…
a. Free White Persons – Males – 16 and over: Martin McGraw, Sr (Head of Household);
b. Free White Persons – Males – Under 16: 4 = sons George Anthony (b. 1775), John (b. 1778), Martin Jr (b. 1785), and William (b. 1790);
c. Free White Persons – Females: (wife & mother) Margaret, daughters Mary Ann (b. 1781), and Elender (b. 1788).
2. Martin Sr. appears in the Augusta County, Virginia property tax lists for the years 1792, 1793, and 1795. The image below shows the listing for 1795 with 3 titheables = Martin and sons George Anthony (now about 20 years old) and John (now roughly 17 years old):
Augusta County, VA is also the location that Martin Sr’s son, Samuel McGraw, gives as his place of birth on the Fayette County, WV Voter’s list about 1866. Samuel’s age is given as 74 years old upon the date of registration (15 Sept 1866). Subtract 74 from 1866 and that gives us 1792:
3. Subsequent to 1795, Martin Sr appears for the first time to my knowledge in the 1796 Tax List for Greenbrier County, now West Virginia.
- Oddly enough, Martin McGraw I appears on the tax list on April 17, the same date as minister Benjamin Grigsby, second pastor of the Old Stone Presbyterian Church in Lewisburg. Grigsby lived in what is called the Manse or the Stone Manse at Caldwell, WV and it was he who presided over the nuptials of Anthony McGraw and Betsy Brian in 1796 as well as John McGraw and Sally Anderson in 1799. My conclusion is that the McGraws and Grigsby were likely neighbors.
3. In the 1850 Federal Census of Virginia, two of Martin Sr’s sons, my ancestor Martin McGraw Jr, and John McGraw who married Sally Anderson, gave their birthplaces as Pennsylvania in the in the respective counties in which they resided:
- John McGraw, 1850 Russell County, VA;
- Martin McGraw, 1850 Putnam County, VA (formed from Kanawha County, WV in 1848).
1. Whether Martin McGraw of Wheatfield Township, Westmoreland County, PA (1786, 1789, 1798) is my ancestor is highly speculative. I believe, without proof, that he is the same Martin McGraw of Hopewell Township, Bedford County, PA (1775-1786) who found himself in the newly formed Westmoreland County after it was formed in 1773 from part of Bedford. Then there is the issue of him appearing in the tax list of Westmoreland County, PA in 1798, two years after Martin McGraw I (the bonafide ancestor) is listed in the tax list of Greenbrier County, West Virginia.
However, one of the Tax documents shows that Martin McGraw/McGrew of Westmoreland County, PA was “not in” and that the taxes were uncollected. I’m unable to locate further information on the Westmoreland County Martin McGraw after 1798 and quite, frankly, I’m not sure what to make of this.
2. Whether or not Martin McGraw in the 1790 Washington County, Maryland Census is my Martin McGraw I. At first glance, it appears that the enumerated individual’s ages in that list fit the family profile. But there is one exception: There are only 4 males, including the head of household, when there should be five, the fifth male being William born about 1788. So, this individual is also speculative. According to genealogist Peggy Bledsoe of the Historical Society in Hagerstown, who I contacted way back in the 90s, was unable to dig up any other information on this Martin McGraw in the county records after 1790.
Taken with the fact that Pennsylvania and Maryland disputed the boundaries between the two states before and around this timeframe makes me wonder if our ancestors were actually born in Maryland.
I don’t care who you are, you can’t be in two places at the same time.
4. Then there is Martin McGraw of Bedford County, PA 1779-1788. Is it possible that they are all the same Martin McGraw?
Will the real Martin McGraw please stand up?
UPDATE: Due to Y-DNA Matching at FamilyTreeDNA.com and the generous contributions of several individuals surnamed “McGraw,” I am on a research quest of Martin McGraw of Bedford County, PA. That post is DNA & the Quest for Martin McGraw.