William Thomas Graves was born abt 1836 to David W. Graves and an unknown Wife.
William Thomas married Mary Gilly Lassiter on 26 July 1857 in Cheraw, Chesterfield County, SC.
Their marriage is recorded in the St. David's Parish, South Carolina; Minutes of the Vestry 1768-1832; Parish register 1819-1924, Page 105.
“Married July 26, 1857 at the residence of James Hewitt, William Graves and Mary G. Lassiter, both of the district.”
We find Thomas and Mary in the 1860 census with one child – Clarinda shown as Clay G. Thomas’ father is believed to be David Graves, Line 7 and his Grandmother Mary Graves, Line 6.
Out of this union 2 children were born, Clarinda G. Graves, 23 Oct. 1859 and Nancy J. Graves abt 1862.
Clarinda G. Graves married Christopher Wesley and lived until 1 August 1933 when she passed away at the age of seventy-three years.
In Aug 1866, we find Mary listed in the Poor House.
3 August 1866
Rations issued to poor and infirmed persons, etc. - 3 August 1866 - Entry 211. Mary Graves, white widow, is 27 years old. Has two children under 7. Has a mother named Mary Laster [?] 52 years old. Lives in Cheraw on Abner Struther's lot. Has a small garden, sews & washes for a living. Has a free ticket on R. R. from MacFarland Pres. Is directed to bring references. Issued for three days to all. (Shows reference from D. McIver, W. L. T. Prince & others of Cheraw.)
[Freedmen's Bureau Ration Book, May - September 1866 Darlington, South Carolina Transcribed by Scott Wilds of Philadelphia, PA, an Old Darlington District Chapter, SCGS member. [The Carolina Herald, Summer Issue 2003, Page 27.]
NOTE: The Poor House statement above clearly shows that Mary Lassiter GRAVES, the wife of Thomas GRAVES was a Widow in August 1866.
Mary Graves is a widow, what happen to her husband? Did he die in the Civil War? I will discuss this more later. There is no doubt, Mary is alive in August 1866, she named her Mother as Mary Laster and she is a widow.
I have not found Mary in an censuses after the 1860 census for Chesterfield County, South Carolina.
So, again we will take a look at the St. David's Parish, South Carolina; Minutes of the Vestry 1768-1832; Parish register 1819-1924, pages 67-68 where we find the following:
1 January 1874:
(1) 1874-Jany 1st Fest. Circumcision. At St. David's Church, after the Last lesson at Morning Prayer, Clara Edna Green[Clarinda], aged 14, daughter of Mary and Wm. Thos. Graves. Sponsors Jacob Gainey, Miss R. A. Reddy & Revd. Jno W. Motte, page 67.
(2)1874-Jany 1st Fest. Circumcision. At St. David's Church, after the Last lesson at Morning Prayer, Nancy Jane, aged 12, daughter of Mary and Wm. Thos. Graves. Sponsors Jacob Gainey, Miss R. A. Reddy & Revd. Jno W. Motte (Page 68).
We can see at this time that both Clara Edna and Nancy Jane are alive at this point in time.
Back to William Thomas Graves, the Civil War military record show that a Thomas GRAVES enlisted into Co. “C” 8th SC Infantry 13 August 1862 and that he died of pneumonia on 15 October 1862. The record further shows that his Widow, Mary received all his due compensation.
At this point in time there were only two Thomas Graves’ in the area of Chesterfield County, Thomas J. Graves and William Thomas Graves. Thomas J. Graves was/is the Uncle of William Thomas Graves. Neither man returned from the War. Thomas J. Graves was married to Eliza Mollie Rivers.
In conclusion, there are many unanswered questions about this family.
What happen to Mary and Nancy after January 1874. Why can’t we find them in the Census?
Where is William Thomas Graves buried? Is his body buried near the Charlestown Hospital in Virginia?
If you have any information about this family; please contact me (E-mail).
1. 1850 U. S. Census, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, population schedule, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, Page 106A, Line 8, Dwelling 110, Family 110, Household of Mary GRAVES; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 20 November 2011); citing National Archives Microfilm M432 Roll 851.
3. 1860 U. S. Census, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, population schedule, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, Page: 171; Line 3, Dwelling 1082, Family 1080, Household of [William] Thomas GRAVES; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : viewed 20 November 2011); citing National Archives Microfilm M653_1217.
4. Ancestry, "Civil War Service Records" database, Military Service Records (http://www.fold3.com/ : accessed 13 October 2013), entry for Thomas GRAVES, Private; Co. C, 8th SC Infantry; Confederate.
6. Brent H. Holcomb C.A.L.S., St. David's Parish, South Carolina Minutes of the Vestry 1768-1832,: Parish Register 1819-1924 (Greenville, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1991), pages 87-68.
7. The South Carolina Genalogical Society, "Freedmen's Bureau Ration Book: May - September 1866 Darlington, South Carolina," The Carolina Herald (Summer Issue 2003): Page 27.
8. C.A.L.S., St. David's Parish, South Carolina Minutes of the Vestry 1768-1832,, page 105.
9. 1860 U. S. Census, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, Population Schedule, Chesterfield County, South Carolina, Page: 171; Line 3, Dwelling 1082, Family 1080, Household of [William] Thomas GRAVES.