Friday, October 29, 2021

52 Ancestors - Week 403: #626 Thomas Graves (1686-1756) of Lynn, Reading and Southborough, Massachusetts

Thomas Graves (1686-1756)  is #626 on my Ahnentafel  List, my 7th great-grandfather, who marrie#627 Ruth Collins (1690-after 1714) in 1710 in Lynn, Essex County,  Massachusetts Bay Colony.

I am descended through:

* their daughter #313 Ruth Graves (1711-????) married #312 Isaac Buck (1706-1780) in 1729. 
* their son #156 Isaac Buck (1732-????) did not marry #157 Mary Richards (1733-????).
*  their son #78 Isaac Buck (1757-1846) married #79 Martha Phillips (1757-1830) in 1791.
* their daughter #39 Sophia Buck (1797-1882)married #38 Lambert Brigham (1794-1834)  in 1817.
* their daughter #19 Sophia Newton (1834-1923) married #18 Edward Hildreth (1831-1899) in 1852.
* their daughter #9 Hattie Louisa Hildreth (1857-1920) married #8 Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922) in 1874.
* their son #4 Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942) married #5 Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962) in 1900.
* their son #2 Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983) married #3 Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002) in 1942.
* their son #1 Randall Jeffrey Seaver (1943-living)


1)  PERSON (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Name:                            Thomas Graves[1–10]

*  Sex:                               Male

*  Father:                           Samuel Graves (1655-1723)
*  Mother:                         Sarah Brewer (1659-1723)

2)  INDIVIDUAL EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Birth:                            16 December 1686, Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, United States[1,10]

*  Distribution:                 2 January 1723/4 (age 36), father's will proved; Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, United States[4]

*  Deed:                           28 March 1726 (age 39), sold land in Lynn to Samuel Graves for 80 pounds; Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, United States[5].

*  Deed:                           20 February 1747 (age 60), sold 30 acres of land in Southborough to Joseph Graves for 400 pounds; Southborough, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[6]

*  Will:                             16 February 1756 (age 69), will written; Southborough, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[7]

*  Death:                          21 February 1756 (age 69), Southborough, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[8-10]
*  Burial:                         after 21 February 1756 (after age 69), Old Burial Ground, Southborough, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States[10]

3)  SHARED EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Spouse 1:                      Ruth Collins (1685-1715)
*  Marriage 1:                   9 January 1710 (age 23), Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, United States[2]

*  Child 1:                        Ruth Graves (1711-????)   

*  Spouse 2:                     Ruth Taylor (1690-1756)
*  Marriage 2:                  22 February 1714/5 (age 27), Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts, United States[3]

*  Child 2:                       Hannah Graves (1715-????)
*  Child 3:                       Joseph Graves (1717-1788)
4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):  

Thomas Graves was born 16 December 1686 in Lynn, Massachusetts, the son of Samuel and Sarah (Brewer) Graves[1,10].  

He married Ruth Collins (1685-1714) on 9 January 1710 in Lynn[2].  She was the daughter of Joseph and Mariah (Smith) Collins of Lynn.  They had one child, born and recorded in Lynn:

*  Ruth Graves (1710-????), married Isaac Buck (1706-1780) in 1729 in Reading, Massachusetts.

After Ruth (Collins) Graves died in about 1714, Thomas Graves married, secondly, Ruth Taylor (1690-1756), on 22 February 1714/5 in Lynn[3].  They had two children born and recorded in Lynn:

*  Hannah Graves (1715-????), married 1739 John Waite (1713-1799).
*  Joseph Graves (1717-1788), married (1) 1745 Mary Newton (1721-1758); (2) 1758 Lydia Newton (1732-1782); (3) 1782 Zerviah Williams (1740-????).

The will of Thomas's father, Samuel Graves of Lynn, Massachusetts, was written on 7 September 1723 and was proved in Essex County Probate Court on 2 January 1723/4[4].  In it, Thomas Graves was one of the executors and was bequeathed:
"And my Will herein and I would be so Understood that after mine and my Wives Decease as aforsd my said two sons Samll Graves and Thomas Graves shall pay the Severall Debts and Legaceys before mentioned out of my Reall Estate or be allowd an Equivalency out of the same and that then the whole of all the Remainder of my Reall Estate both in houseing and Lands Excepting one Room in my Dwelling house as before excepted shall be Equally Divided and are as may be to and among my sons namely Samll Graves Thomas Graves Mark Graves Daniel Graves and Nathll Graves and to be to them and to there heires forever."
Thomas Graves settled in the North Parish of Reading as early as 1724 and was admitted to the church there in the same year.

On 28 March 1726, Thomas Graves of Reading (husbandman), Daniel Graves (husbandman) and Nathaniel Graves (tailor), both of Lynn, released and quitclaimed all right and title in the real estate, both houses and lands, that their father Samuel Graves died possessed of, to their brother Samuel Graves of Lynn for 80 pounds to each of them well and truly paid.  The deed was signed by Thomas Graves, Daniel Graves and Nathaniel Graves (all with seals), with witnesses Crispus Graves and Elizabeth Townsend.  It was recorded on 13 April 1726[5].

He sold his land in Reading on 18 Apr 1738 and moved to Southborough.

On 20 February 1747, Thomas Graves, husbandman of Southborough, sold land in Southborough to Joseph Graves, husbandman of Southborough, for 400 pounds lawful money in hand.  The parcel of land in Southborough was thirty acres of meadow and upland, being one half of his dwelling place with one half of the buildings, fences, trees, and fruit trees.  The witnesses were Ezekiel Collins and Mark Collins. The deed was recorded in the Worcester County land records on 22 March 1756[6].

Thomas died on 21 February 1756 in Southborough, Massachusetts[8-10].  He is buried in the Old Burial Ground in Southborough[10].

Thomas Graves of Southborough died testate, having written a will on 16 February 1756[7].  The will reads (transcribed from Worcester County Probate Records, Volume 5, page 5, on FHL Microfilm 0,856,277;  in places, the handwriting is difficult to decipher):
"In the name of God Amen the 16 day of Feb'y in ye 27 year of His Majestys Reign Anno Domini 1756.  I Thomas Graves of Southboro'h in ye County of Worcester within his Majestys province of ye Massachusetts Bay in New England yeoman being ??? to a Considerable degree of age but of perfect mind & memory Thanks being given to God therefor calling to mind the Invitality of my body and knowing it is appointed for all men to die do make & ordain this my Last Will and Testament That is to Say former nul & first of all I give & Commend my Soul into the hands of God that gave it and my body I Commend to the Earth to be buried in a decent Christian buriall at the discretion of my Executor nothing doubting but at the Generall Resurrection I Shall Receive ye Same again by the mighty power of God and as Touching such worldly estate wherewith it hath pleased God to bless me in this life I give demise & Dispose of the Same in ye following Manner & form.  In the first place I give to my Daughter Ruth Buck Six shillings & Eight pence Lawfull money and one Cow to be paid unto her at the end of one year after my decease and these with what she hath already had to be to her in full for her part of portion out of my Estate.

"Secondly I give to my Daughter Hannah Wait five pounds Lawfull money and three Sheep & one bed & beding & her mothers wearing Cloths & Linin & Two Chests which to be delivered her in one year after my decease which is to be in full unto her the said Hanah for her part of Portion out of my Estate.

"Thirdly I give to my Son Joseph Graves all the Remainder of my Estate not otherwise disposed of both of lands buildings Creatures & out Door moveables, and also my will is that he the said Joseph Graves pay all my debts and all the funerall Charges of my self & wife at his own Cost & Charge.

"Fourthly & Lastly I do hereby make & ordain him my said Son Joseph Graves my Sole Executor of this my Last Will & Testament & I do hereby ??? Disallow Revoke and Disanull all & Every other former Testaments Wills Legacys requests & Exec-r by me in any ways before Named Willed & bequeathed Ratifying & umpowering this and no Other to be my last Will & Testament, In Wittness whereof I have hereunto Set my hand & Seal the day & year Above written.

"These words vizt. eight pence Interlined & one Cow were done before Signing & Sealing.

                                                                                Thos Graves  (seal)

"Signed Sealed pronounced and declared by the said Thomas Graves as his Last Will & Testament In the presence of us the Subscribers John Newton Ezekiell Collins Ephraim Woods."

"Southboro-h Feby 24 1756 we the Subscribers being heirs to the above named Thomas Graves Dec-d do hereby Submitt unto & Consent that the abovesaid Will and Testament as Wittness our hands Isaac Buck, John Wait, Ruth Buck her mark and Hannah Waight her mark."
Joseph Wilder, Judge of Probate of Wills for Worcester County proved the will on 23 March 1756 with John Newton and Ezekiel Collins making an oath that Thomas Graves signed, sealed and declared that the abovewritten was his Last Will and Testament, and approved Joseph Graves as Executor of the estate of Thomas Graves[7].

1. Vital Records of Lynn, Massachusetts to the end of the Year 1849 (Salem, Mass. : The Essex Institute, 1906), 2 Volumes, Births, page 169, Thomas Gravs entry, son of Samuell and Sarah, 16 December 1686.

2. Vital Records of Lynn, Massachusetts to the end of the Year 1849, Marriages, page 161, Thomas Graves and Ruth Collins entry, 9 January 1710.

3. Vital Records of Lynn, Massachusetts to the end of the Year 1849, Marriages, page 161, Thomas Graves and Ruth Taylor entry, 22 February 1714/5.

4. Essex County, Massachusetts, Probate Records and Indexes 1638-1916, Family History Library (Salt Lake City, Utah), on 280 FHL microfilm reels, Volume 315, page 024, Samuel Graves of Lynn, accessed on FHL Microfilm 0,875,129, original records in Probate Packet #11,563.

5. "Massachusetts, Land Records, 1620-1986," digital images, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FamilySearch (, Worcester County, "Deeds 1756-1758 vol 37-38," Volume 37, page 164 (image 98 of 626), Thomas Graves to Joseph Graves, 20 February 1747, recorded 22 March 1756; citing original records in Worcester County courthouse, and Family History Library microfilms.

6. "Massachusetts, Land Records, 1620-1986," digital images, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FamilySearch (, Worcester County, Volume 37, page 164, Thomas Graves to Joseph Graves, 20 February 1747, recorded 22 March 1756; citing original records in Worcester County courthouse, and Family History Library microfilms.

7. "Worcester County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1731-1881," digital images, New England Historic Genealogical Society, American Ancestors (, Volume 5, page 5, Thomas Graves will, accessed on FHL US/CAN Microfilm 0,856,277;.

8. "Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988," indexed database and digital image, ( Southborough > Birth, Marriages and Deaths, image 125 of 1007, Thomas Graves death entry, 21 February 1756.

9. Systematic Historic Fund, Vital Records of Southborough, Massachusetts to the end of the Year 1849 (Worcester, Mass.: Franklin P. Rice, 1903), Deaths, page 169, Thomas Graves entry, 21 February 1756.

10. Find A Grave, indexed database and digital image,  (, Old Burial Ground, Southborough, Mass., Thomas Graves (1686-1756) memorial #78720364.


NOTE: In 2014, Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors" in her blog post 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog. I have extended this theme in 2021 for an eighth year to 416 Ancestors in 416 Weeks. The list of 52 Ancestors biographies from my great-grandparents to the 7th great-grandparents (in work) is in

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