William McGraw & Lucretia Withrow: Change of Heart

UPDATE: 4/1/2022

Recent information has come to light that compels me to withdraw the blog post below. William McGraw, son of Martin and Margaret __ McGraw did, in fact, exist. In the Monroe County Personal Property Tax List, on 11 April 1815, three McGraw women are listed for the purposes of collecting taxes. They are:

  1. Margaret McGraw, whom we know is the wife of Martin McGraw Sr., who I believe died about or within a couple of years before 1809;
  2. Elisabeth [sic] McGraw, who is most likely Betsy Brien, the widow of Anthony;
  3. Lucretia McGraw, wife of William McGraw, son of Martin and Margaret.

Therefore, I will continue to research until I find more information on this couple.


Just eight months after having written the first blog post on this couple, William McGraw & Lucretia Withrow, I have decided to retract some of my earlier statements. Maybe I’m jumping the gun, maybe I’ll live to regret it but here is what I am thinking and why I’m thinking the way I do:

  1. I attributed William as a son of Martin and Margaret McGraw because he fit an earlier assumption; (a) I had a marriage record in which he appeared along with wife Lucretia from Monroe County and who better than Martin and Margaret to assign him to? (b) “a” Martin McGraw is listed in Washington County, Maryland for the year 1790 – six years before my ancestor appeared in Greenbrier County records; (c) and the Martin McGraw of Maryland had a son born about the year 1788; and (d) Martin McGraw of Washington County, MD disappeared from the county records after 1790. Possibly the census was marked wrong and William should have been Ellender (a daughter not a son). There were no wives or children’s names in the censuses in those days so perhaps I’ll never know.
  2. William McGraw married Lucretia Withrow in Monroe County, WV in 1813 and seemingly dropped off the face of the earth. In all of my DNA matches and those of another researcher in both Ancestry, MyHeritage, GeneticAffairs, FamilyTreeDNA, etc, etc, there is either 1 (one) DNA match or none at all. The genealogy provided this individual has the couple all over the Southeastern US – born in South Carolina, married in West Virginia, returned to SC, and from thence removed to Jasper Mississippi. I’m sure this DNA Match is related to me through a McGraw descendant, I’m just not convinced she is descended from this particular McGraw couple.
  3. After nearly thirty years of research, shaking every tree and bush looking for records – some sign or indication of recognition – there has been nothing. At one time I even considered that perhaps they went West to Indiana when his “twin sister” Ellender (wife of Soloman Nelson) headed that way. But I just have not found evidence.¬†Yes, I considered that perhaps they died en route.

What I am thinking is that William McGraw discussed in this post and the previous was actually the eldest son of George Anthony McGraw and Betsy Bryan. His wife Lucretia Withrow may have died in the first two years of their marriage – perhaps of childbed fever, a common malady in those days – because by 1815, another William McGraw married Elizabeth Gill in Monroe County, WV. We know for a fact that he was the son of Anthony and Betsy McGraw. And he has been easier to trace.

In 1840, and most likely a decade or more before, William McGraw and Elizabeth Gill had left the Greenbrier River region and moved to Adam’s County, Ohio, along the river. Eventually, we find him and his family living in Scioto County, Ohio.

Therefore, it is quite possible that I have one man as two separate individuals in my family tree. If so, and my assumption (immediately above) is true, I am eternally apologetic for leading folks in the wrong direction. If my first assumption is correct, time will tell but 30 years and DNA evidence is an awfully long time.

UPDATE: 3/5/2022: I ran the numbers on William McGraw. If he was at least 21 years of age at the time of his marriage to Lucretia (1813), that puts his date of birth at about 1792. (Remember, in colonial states at that time, a male could not own property or marry until he was 21 years old). If he were the son of George Anthony McGraw and Betsy Brian, he would have been born at least four years before their marriage and created a gap in births of seven (7) years between him and the next child, Andrew (b. 1799). There are too many “if” scenarios to disregard that William McGraw who married Lucretia Withrow was the son of Martin McGraw and wife Margaret _.

I will stick with my earlier supposition for the time being.



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