William McGraw & Lucretia Withrow

Honestly, I know very little about this couple. They “disappear” from the local records after their marriage which occurred 11 March 1813 in Monroe County, West Virginia. Yes, it was the State of Virginia in those days but I double-dog dare you to go hunting for a copy of the marriage record in Virginia.

I believe William was a son of Martin McGraw Sr and Margaret (surname unknown. No, her surname was not Shores.) I believe this because, throughout the last 30-plus years of research, I’ve yet to find another McGraw family in either Greenbrier or Monroe to which to tie William. Granted, Martin and Margaret lived out their lives in Greenbrier County as far as I can ascertain.

William’s younger brother Thomas McGraw, my direct ancestor, married Catherine Withrow who is believed to be a younger sister to Lucretia: I’ve yet to run across definite proof that the two, Lucretia and Catherine, were siblings. At the time of William and Lucretia’s marriage (1813), William Withrow was residing in Monroe County.

William’s older brother Martin McGraw Jr (ALSO my ancestor) married his first wife Nancy Wood in Monroe County (1806) and younger brother Samuel McGraw also married in Monroe County to Elizabeth Wood (1812), sister of Nancy Wood aforementioned. Note that Samuel’s marriage to Elizabeth is listed on the same page as William’s to Lucretia in the Minister’s Returns of John Alderson, found here: http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=11369509&Type=Marriage and shown below:

Marriage Records of Two McGraws in Monroe County, WV
Samuel McGraw & Elizabeth Wood’s marriage is the first line in the image; William McGraw & Lucretia Withrow’s marriage is listed in the second line from the bottom.

The McGraw brothers apparently spent a good deal of time in Monroe County; at least enough time to meet and marry their spouses. I think the boys were probably attending services at the Old Greenbrier Baptist Church at which John Alderson was pastor (and who officiated these said marriages) and at which the Wood and Skaggs families were founding members. That’s my theory.

Since the advent of DNA testing and DNA Matches through Ancestry, MyHeritage, et. al., I have ONE match to an alleged descendant of  William McGraw & Lucretia Withrow. I am confused by the research associated with the various trees with William and Lucretia listed: His birth date and birthplace are all over the spectrum. One tree I looked at had them both born in South Carolina, married in West Virginia, and Lucretia dying in Mississippi.

It is indeed possible that William and Lucretia migrated to South Carolina after their marriage in 1813. I HOPE that’s where they moved simply because there is a connection to Thomas MCGREW (a DNA relative) of Greenville, SC and that would explain their migration to that area. Families seldom moved away without an accompanying family member or an in-law. But there’s no proof of that to date.

Another tree has William McGraw and Lucretia Withrow confused with Henry McGraw of Fayette County, WV and wife Mary/Polly. This could possibly be BUT Henry went by Henry in all of the records in which he appears and his wife was Mary or “Polly” – meaning both individuals would have had to have given different names at the time of their marriage. So, the names don’t match up. I will continue to research that. Add to that the birth date of Henry & Mary’s firstborn son Allen in 1821: The first child was usually born within three years of marriage. There is an eight-year dearth of children for Henry and Mary if they are indeed “William and Lucretia.”

Further, I don’t believe William, alleged son of Martin and Margaret, and William, son of George Anthony McGraw, are the same person. The older William married in 1813; he would have had to be at least 21 years of age (making his birth year between 1788 and 1792). The latter William would only have been about 16 years old. And brother Samuel was born about 1792. From the ages of the births of the siblings, each was born approximately three years apart.

Meanwhile, write to me or leave a comment below if this is of interest to you or you have a theory and supporting evidence.

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