Martin McGraw in Augusta County, Virginia

Having recently performed a deep dive into the tax records for several West Virginia – and Virginia – counties, I learned a lot more information about Martin McGraw Senior and his sons.

For instance, I learned that Martin McGraw is listed in both tax lists for Greenbrier and Monroe Counties. While he appears in the Monroe County tax list only twice, his sons, George Anthony, John, Martin Jr, and William, also appeared in both counties as does his wife, Margaret after his death (most likely in 1809 when William appears instead). Margaret first appears in the tax lists in Greenbrier County in 1810 although she appears in Monroe County in 1814 and subsequent years until 1820 when Henry has come of age and is listed instead.

  • 1796 – Greenbrier County
  • 1798 – Greenbrier County
  • 1799 – Greenbrier County
  • 1801 – Monroe County
  • 1802 – Greenbrier County
  • 1803 – Greenbrier County
  • 1804 – Greenbrier County
  • 1805 – Greenbrier County
  • 1806 – Monroe County – the only time both Martin McGraws appear in the tax lists together. The only way to distinguish father from son is the number of horses that each owned: One, most likely the elder, owned 4 horses, while the other had none. The tax commissioner did not distinguish the two with Jr or Sr. 1806 is the year that Martin Jr married first wife Nancy Wood; He had only been married less than a month when the tax commissioner visited his residence.

I’ve known for several years that Martin McGraw Sr appeared in the Greenbrier County tax list in 1796 along with son Anthony McGraw. We find Anthony listed as “George A. McGraw” in the 1810 Greenbrier County tax list. But where oh where was this family prior to 1796?

On a whim very recently – and recalling something that Cathy Meder-Dempsey told me: Samuel McGraw stated he was born in Augusta County, Virginia – I dove into the Augusta County, VA tax list. Sure enough, there is Martin! The family had apparently come into Augusta County prior to or about the year 1792 as that is the first year that Martin McGraw is listed there. Here’s how it looks:

  • 18 June 1792, Tax List A, Augusta County, VA (2 males of age 16 and up: Martin and Anthony);
  • 16 May 1793, Tax List B, Augusta County, VA (2 males of age 16 and up: Martin and Anthony);
  • 1795 (no date of visitation), Tax List A, Augusta County, VA (3 males of age 16 and up: Martin, Anthony, and John);

Afterward, there are no more listings for Martin McGraw in Augusta County, Virginia. This is because he is in Greenbrier County where they appear in 1796.

I am satisfied in assuming that Anthony was a son and not a younger brother due to the ages of Martin’s other children. There are about 3 years between each child’s birth. However, there is a glaring 7-year gap between Samuel’s birth and that of my direct ancestor Thomas. This tells me I’m either missing someone or there was at least one child born that did not survive.

Where did Martin McGraw Sr reside before 1792? Many years ago I performed a broad search for anyone named “Martin McGraw” and found records from many states. I recalled from Otis K. Rice’s book, A History of Greenbrier County, he stated that the majority of pioneers coming into the county from the time of its formation forward came from Pennsylvania.

The closest Census I could get to Pennsylvania in 1790 and Greenbrier County in 1796 was Washington County, Maryland. In this listing is a “Martin Magraw.” Whether this is “my” Martin McGraw making his way south on the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road, I cannot say at this point. However, I had already “assumed” his children’s names from the marriages that were recorded in Greenbrier and Monroe Counties from 1796 and forward. I have since pulled an image of the original census to verify it matches the transcription that was published and checked the names of children up to 1790. Here is the Census listing:

1790 Washington County, MD Census (Page 26, Image 15, Ancestry)
Martin MAGRAW = Name of the head of the household or the head of the family.
1 = Number of free white males ages 16 years and older, including heads of families.
4 = Number of free white males under 16 years of age.
3 = Number of free white females, including heads of families.
0 = Number of all other free persons in the household (except nontaxed Indians).
0 = Number of slaves in the household.

…and here is the match-up of individual names:
1-Head of Household: Martin McGraw (father)
4-Males under 16: George Anthony, John, Martin Jr, William (b ~1790)
3-Females all ages: Margaret (mother), Mary Anne, Elender

As you know, Samuel, Thomas, and Henry were not yet born.

IF, big if, this is “my” Martin McGraw Sr, it is quite possible that son William McGraw was born in Maryland. I believe I’ve shown in previous blog posts that both Martin Jr and older brother John gave their places of birth as “Pennsylvania” in the 1850 Censuses of their respective counties (Putnam County, WV and Russell County, VA). As stated previously, Cathy Meder-Dempsey pointed out a Voter’s List from Fayette County, West Virginia that Samuel McGraw gave his birthplace as Augusta County, Virginia – and as also shown above – he was. Bottom line: these men knew the state and/or location in which they were born. See also my post regarding Martin McGraw of Russell County, VA and Magoffin County, KY.

By the way, the Tax Records for Washington County, Maryland are presently locked to the general public in the LDS Family History Library online ( If you find that to be the opposite, please let me know at your first.

Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.