Make your own free website on
William GRAHAM* Sr. Family

William GRAHAM I**


William GRAHAM Sr. (II)
Born:  Abt. 1725, Fairfax, VA
Died:  1807-1809, Caswell Co., NC
Spouse:  Rachel ?



*An alternate spelling is "GRAYHAM."

**Brothers of William GRAHAM I included John, Robert, and Archibald and a sister Jane (GRAHAM) FEAMSTER.  They settled in America by 1741/42.  They lived in Chester Co., PA for a time before William and his brother John settled on the Calf Pasture River in Augusta Co., VA.

1.  According to SC Turnbo, Peter Graham was of Welsh descent and a Kentucky pioneer, "residing in that state when the people were obliged to live in forts to protect themselves against Indian depravations," originally from Virginia.  A chapter by Turnbo entitled "Carrying Bread Corn from the Arkansas River to the West Fork of the White River on Horseback" lists the burial place of Peter Graham as 12 miles below the headspring of the White River in Washington County (west fork of White River).

Peter was given a donation claim of 320 acres filed at land office in Helena, AR, which his wife Nancy sold in 1838 in Washington Co., AR to L. Brodie.  He lived in Hogans Creek, Caswell Co., NC 1760-69, Pendleton Co., SC 1790, Green Co., KY 1800, Independence Co., AR 1823.  He was a leading citizen when Sugarloaf  Township was formed, and served as a judge in Jacob Friend's home.

According to Goodspeed, "These Grahams were among the very first settlers in northwest AR, if not the first.  They started from Green Co., KY in 1811, came through Wickliffe, KY, to cross the Mississippi, down the Mississippi to the White River, and up the White, making settlements as they went back and forth over the line between AR and MO, losing children as they married along the way."

Peter was also the great-uncle of William Mentor GRAHAM, Abraham Lincoln's schoolteacher and the great-uncle of Mary OWENS, who by tradition was courted by Lincoln.

2.  It is unknown exactly what relationship is between Peter Graham and Elijah Graham.  Their families traveled together and intermarried, and share many family names.  It is possible that they were cousins.

3.  Elizabeth was raised by Levi and Nancy Graham.  She never married, but had five children.  She is said to have been an outstanding person and mother.  According to Tommy Graham, she was supposed to have said she married and had two sons and the husband left her so she never trusted men again.

4.  The Keesee genealogy above was given by Randall Hill, a descendent of Payton and Nancy GRAHAM KEESEE.  There is some discrepancy between this information on the two Peter KEESEE's and information from Bobbie Levirl (Byars) Lynch:

"Recently Lottie (Keesee) Handley of Texas, filed with the D.A.R. her Keesee lineage stating that our Peter Graham was her ancestor and a revolutionary soldier.  Lottie's ancestor who was a Peter Keesee b. 1830 married Almira Copeland and Amelia Friend.  This Peter Keesee was not the son of Payton and Nancy (Graham) Keesee, their son Peter also b. 1830 married Louisa Jane Johnson and Sally Holt.  (S. C. Turnbo married the sister of Sally (Holt) Keesee and wrote articles on both Peter Keesee's).  Documented proof has not been established that the revolutionary soldier Peter Graham is our ancestor." (Washington County Arkansas Histories)

5.  I think this Charity GRAHAM may actually have been the daughter of Ellis and Rebecca Graham.  Rebecca was the daughter of George and Lucinda Graham, and Ellis and Rebecca Graham's daughter, Charity, was raised by George and Lucinda after the untimely deaths of Ellis and Rebecca.  (see Elijah Graham Family)


Randall K. Hill (Graham/Keesee)
Tommy E. Graham (Elijah Graham Family)
Melva Owens (Elijah Graham Family)
Linda Knapton (James Ship Graham Family)

(I do not have complete citations for some of the following, as I only have copies or have received the citation from another researcher.  If you have the full citation, please let me know so I can give appropriate credit.)

1850 Ozark Co., MO Census
1840 Washington Co., AR Census

S. C. Turnbo, "Carrying Bread Corn from the Arkansas River to the West Fork of White River on Horse Back."

Kunigunde Duncan and D. F. Nickols, Mentor Graham, The Man Who Taught Lincoln.

Graham Clan, Caswell Co., NC, Piedmont Genealogical Society Bulletin, Vol. 7, No. 4, Aug. 1984, by Chas. W. Hutchinson, 741 Bodega Ave., Petaluma, CA 94952.

"Graham Family History," Ridge Runner, Vol. 3, No. 14, Pages 172-174, by Mrs. Richard R. Lynch, Rt. 2, Box 189, Springdale, AR, 1974.

Flashback, Washington Co., AR Historical Society, Vo.. 18, No. 3, Aug. 1968 and Vol. 26, No. 1, Feb. 1976.

Goodspeed, "A Reminiscent History of the Ozark Region."

S. C. Turnbo, "Among the Indians and Other Incidents."

Cemeteries of Washington County, Arkansas, Vol. XI, Spring, 1991, published by Northwest Arkansas Genalogical Society, P. O. Box K, Rogers, AR 72757.


Please direct questions or comments to:

Updated:  June 20, 1999