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Generation No. 2

2. WILLIAM2 GRAYHAM I (CHRISTOPHER1)2 was born Abt. 1705 in Donegal County, Ireland, and died Aft. 1749 in Agusta County, Virginia. He married JANE MAY. She was born in Ireland, and died Unknown.

From Eugenia (Sicard) Olsen (Lonina Louise (Sicard) Moore's sister):

William I Graham

William and John, his brother came to America in 1741/1742 from Ireland ("Mentor Graham" and The Filson Club Quarterly, Vol. 13 No. 2). The Grahams came with their friend, Andrew Lynn. The name "Lynn" was later changed to "Lynch." The Grahams were farmers and grew flax and were also weavers. According to "Mentor Graham," page XVI, "When the cruel years came, when the kings sought to starve Ireland; when Ireland became a lawless land of smugglers of linens and woolens to other ports than England's; when dire poverty was the common lot and thee seemed little hope of anything better - a certain youngish William Graham and his family, along with other Scotch-Irish folk, among them a Mr. and Mistress Andrew Lynn, set sail for the fabulous land of America"

An excerpt from The Filson Club Quarterly, Vol 13 No. 2, states: "Prestons, Campbells, Smiths, Grahams, and numerous other Scottish families had emigrated from the shores of the Clyde to Northern Ireland during the turbulent reigns of Tudors and the Stuarts. Now these same Scotch families, with a small but important admixture of English, Welsh, Irish and Dutch blood drawn to them by the common ties of love of liberty and land, were settled in their new homes close to the rugged Allegheny front, far removed from the easy impress of the hand of tyranny."

"Into this reign, onto lands situated on the Calf Pasture River, a tributary of the James, came two brothers from Donegal County, Ireland; John and William Graham with their wives and families about the year 1741. Land was cleared, cabins were built and children were raised. Hard-working, God-fearing, Indian-fighting folk they were; their thoughts, like those of their neighbors, centered upon the preservation and improvement of their homes; their hopes and ambitions, and their aspirations for their children centered upon the rich land reported by all the traders and explorers to lie on western waters in the wilderness of Kentucky"

This publication also states: "After residing in Chester County, Pennsylvania, for a time they settled on the Calf Pasture River, a southwest flowing branch of the North Fork of the James River, in Augusta County, Virginia, about 25 miles northwest of Staunton, and about 4 miles below Deerfield, late in the year 1741 or early 1742. William Graham, Sr., who had married Jane May in Ireland, brought his two sons Robert Graham and James Graham, with him to Virginia. David Graham, third son of William Graham, Sr., was born in Augusta County, Virginia in 1742." We do not know the date or place of the birth of the fourth son, William.

William Graham, Sr., husband of Jane Graham, died in Augusta County, Virginia, in April 1749. On 17 May 1749, John Graham, Sr., brother of William, deceased, petitioned the Augusta County Court for relief as security for his sister-in-law, Jane Graham, widow of William Graham, Sr.

As of this time we have no record of William, Sr., having served in the Revolutionary War. However, his brother John, served as a soldier in Captain William Preston's Company of Rangers in 1758. (Lyman Chalkley, Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, 1745-1800.

John Graham, orphan son of David and Jane Armstrong Graham, grandson of William, served 157 days in the 8th Virginia Regiment in Captain George Vallaningham's Company in the Continental Line in the Revolutionary War, He was paid on a payroll, signed by John Campbell, dated 5 October 1775.

Charles and Linda (Olsen), we have worked our way back to our "once upon a time" Graham.

We have found them to be weavers, farmers, hunters, Indian fighters, teachers, judge, road builders, etc., and law-abiding citizens. Records show they were religious people. They apparently migrated into North Carolina because of their religious beliefs. We find them in Kentucky where they helped to start the Brush Creek Baptist Church. One of our Grahams, William Johnson (m. Cassandra Stone) was a well known Baptist minister in Kentucky. Later we find them establishing the Shilo Baptist Church, Washington County, Arkansas, in 1840.

From these pages you can see that we have been given a great heritage. Pride in ancestry is, in a measure, a basis of ambition, yet a respectable and honorable ancestry reflects no credit upon descendants unless they prove themselves worthy. Every individual who has Graham blood in their veins stands upon his/her merits.

Your Mother,

Eugenia Sicard Olsen
31 August 1977


The story of the Grahams that settled Caswell County is told in the book, but its a narrative, not a genealogy. Although the numerous generations of Williams may be confused by the author, the general history of the family is well done. Here is what is shows.
>>>Mentor Graham: The Man Who Taught Lincoln
By Kunigunde Ducan and D. F. Nickols, University of Chicago, Chicago, 1947.

I. William Graham, Weaver, immigrated 1701 to Pennsylvania. Born about 1660. Descendant of Lang Willie Graeme who was born about 100 years before.
II. William (?) Graham. (No info given, but inferred.)
III. William Graham, Baptist, Born: about 1730 in Pennsylvania. Later moved to VA and then Caswell Co NC. Sons: William, Edward, George, John, and Peter.
IV. William Graham, Born: about 1760; Wife: Nancy Elizabeth Lynn, granddaughter of Andrew Lynn. Sons: Johnson, Garrison, Robert, Lynn, and Jeremiah (father of William Mentor Graham, the man who taught Lincoln). Daus: Elizabeth, Nancy.
"Enamoured by legend is the figure of Lang Willie Graeme, Scotch clansman, who had no rein on his tongue, no sheath to his sword, and no fear of kings in his heart. ...Lang Willlie's sept ruffled King James of England. They talked back. They kept up a continual ruckus with other clans on the border, always honoring the method of their founder, Lang Willie, in dealing with things to which they objected. ...
Because the Graemes did such things, they were, one hundred and forty strong, unceremoniously deported, packed off by ship one foggy morning in 1603 from Workingham, England. They were deposited, a little farther from uneasy royal slumber, upon land the king had confiscated at Roscommon, Ulster.
...a certain youngish William Graham [the Weaver] and his family set sail one foggy morning, in the 1701, for the fabulous land of America..Their ship headed out for Massachusetts Bay...landed [there], passed through Hingham, and went on to settle in Warren County, New Jersey. ...By the early 1750's Scotch-Irish Lynns and Grahams had children in Buffalo Valley, what is now Northumberland County, Pennsylvania...Third [sic] Colonial generations of Lynns and Grahams were big landowners in Franklin County, Pennsylvania, by 1769. Meanwhile one branch of Grahams had gone south into Virginia; and to the head of this family--who was yet another William Graham--was born a redheaded son, who was named William, of course. This child grew up to become a landowner in North Carolina, a soldier for the Colonies, and the great-grandfather [sic] of the redheaded backwoods schoolmaster, William Mentor Graham.
Evidently the Virginia Grahams joined the 1754 exodus of Baptists from New England and Virginia. Refusing the confession of faith as outlined by a Philadelphia Baptist convention, they rose up almost to a man, went south, and wrote their own confession. Most of them settled on Sandy Creek in North Carolina...Early in 1760 the Grahams were settled in Hogan's Creek, Hillsborough District, of what is now Caswell County, North Carolina.
...As far as can be told from land records, the Grahams probably arrived [at Bush Creek, Grahams Station, [Illinois] in 1789.

>>>1755 Orange County Tax List
George Grimes
William Grimes

>>>Patent No. 3899 - William Grayham 14 December 1762 - 532 acres in Orange Co both sides of Hoseleys Creek of Country line Creek.

>>>North Carolina Censuses
Graham Edward NC Caswell 1786
Graham John NC Caswell 1786
Graham Peter NC Caswell 1786
Graham William NC Caswell 1786
Graham John NC Caswell 1790 Census
Grimes Travis NC Caswell 1790 Census
Graham William NC Caswell 1790 Census

Children of WILLIAM GRAYHAM and JANE MAY are:
  i.   ROBERT3 GRAYHAM, d. Unknown; m. MARY CRAIG; d. Unknown.
3. ii.   WILLIAM GRAYHAM II, b. Abt. 1725, Yadkin County, Virginia; d. 1809, Caswell County, North Carolina.
  iii.   JAMES GRAYHAM, b. January 03, 1740/41; d. January 15, 1813; m. FLORENCE GRAYHAM, September 15, 1762; d. Unknown.
  iv.   DAVID GRAYHAM, b. 1742; d. March 1768; m. JANE ARMSTRONG, 1764; d. Unknown.

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