BRICKWALL!!! Please Help if you have even a clue here ...
I am researching the GRAVELY family. I am a descendant of of Joseph GRAVELY (b. 1744 d. 1834 or 1844) who spent most of his adult life until his death in Leatherwood, Henry County, VA, USA. I have a great deal of information about Joseph GRAVELY, but he is a brickwall in the genealogy research because concrete proof of the idenity of the father of Joseph (mentioned above) can not be found.
The father of Joseph is believed by many to have been James GRAVELY (see spelling variations below), b. 1718 in Hertfordshire England.
Please share any information you might have access to concerning the GRAVELY family and/or any resources (online or offline) that I might check for information or clues. The clues I have are listed below ...
Location - History of VA County Origins:
· Henry County; formed in 1776 from Pittsylvania County [Leatherwood near Martinsville]
· Pittsylvania County; formed in 1767 from Halifax County [Danville]
· Halifax County; formed in 1754 from Lunenburg County
· Amherst County; formed in 1761; previously know as Albemarle County
· Culpepper County; formed in 1749 from Orange County
· Orange County or Albemarle County bordered the VA coast inside the Bay area near port(s) of immigration
Possible surname spellings: Gravely, Graveley, Gravelet, Gravelette, Gravilet, Gravilly (Surname origin is believed to be English but may be French)
Possible locations: Hertfordshire England, Culpepper County, VA (?), Amelia County, VA (1736, 1738, 1741, 1754?), Prince Edward County, VA (1754), Pittsylvania County, VA [Danville] (1761)
Possible migration paths:
1700 1860 CherokeeCo,GA,USA
1743 ---- HenryCo,VA,USA
1744 now ENG>HenryCo,VA>PickensCo,SC,USA
1744 1931 HRT,ENG>CulpeperCo,VA>HenryCo,VA,USA
1769 ---- PittsylvaniaCo,VA>NC>SC,USA
1794 1887 VA>NC>SC>PolkCo,GA,USA
1835 1892 PolkCo,GA,USA
1840 now VA
1897 1954 SC,USA
1919 now WV>MI,USA
1919 now WV
Traditional accounts that Joseph came to Henry County from Culpeper County or was born in Hertfordshire seem incorrect. Joseph, along with John, James, and Mary, seem to have been children of James Gravely Sr. of Prince Edward and Pittsylvania Counties. This James appears in the tithables lists for Amelia Co. by 1736, in the portion cut off as Prince Edward Co. in 1754. Many times his name was spelled as Gravelet, or variations, which may suggest he was a Huguenot, perhaps originally named Gravelette. The tithe records suggest he served as overseer of the Amelia/Prince Edward plantation of Joseph and William Ligon of Henrico. James bought 100 acres on Sandy River in (then Amelia) in 1738 (Deed Bk. 1, p. 184), which he sold with wife Ann to Joseph Ligon in 1741 (Bk. 1, p. 366 (spelled Gravilet). James "Gravilly" patented 114 acres in 1754 (Bk. 33, p. 248). In 1761 he made the first of several land entries on Sandy River in what was to become Pittsylvania Co. (Land Entry Bk., 1737-1770, pp. 263, 423, 470 (in latter case again spelled Gravelet)), and the following year, sold his Prince Edward Co. Sandy River tract (Deed Bk. 2, p. 116). In 1765 in Halifax Co. (before Pittsy. was formed) he was exempted from tax, probably from old age (Halifax Pleas, Bk. 5, p. 180). In 1772 James Sr. of Pittyslvania sold his land there (Pittsy. Deed Bk. 2, p. 417), and in 1779 he was sued there (Order Bk. 4, p. 227). I have not found him afterwards. He seems to have left no probate, so there is no direct record of his children. Joseph Gravely also entered land in the vicinity in 1767, his tract lying on Rice's branch of Turkey Creek (Entry Bk., p. 414). The chances that he was not a son of James Sr. of Amelia/Prince Edward and Pittsylvania seem remote. A James Jr. remained in Pittyslvania proper after Henry Co. was formed. The Camden Parish register, Pittsyvlania County, shows a payment to James Gravely for his support in 1815.
James GRAVLET - Birth: 1718 in Amelia Co, VA (Possible Answer)
James GRAVLET, Father of Joseph GRAVELY
James GRAVLET [ID: I14302]
Name: James GRAVLET
Birth: 1718 in Amelia Co, VA
Death: 1780 in Pittsylvania Co, VA
Marriage 1 Ann md. J. GRAVLET
Married: in VA
Mary GRAVELY b: 1748 in Culpepper Co, VA
James GRAVLET - Birth: 1718 in Amelia Co, VA (Possible Answer)
Joseph GRAVELY, Son of James GRAVLET
Joseph GRAVELY - Son of James GRAVLET [ID: I14304]
Name: Joseph GRAVELY
Father: James GRAVLET b: 1718 in Amelia Co, VA
Mother: Ann md. J. GRAVLET
HERTFORDSHIRE [HERTFORDSHIRE, ENGLAND] - There is a small English village named GRAVELEY on the Great North Road in Hertfordshire about 60 miles north of London, near the town of Letchworth. The family is supposed to have originated there. The Visitation (or census) of Hertfordshire in 1572 gives the lineage and coat of arms of the Gravely family. The name was consistently spelt GRAVELL in the earliest records, possibly from GRAVELLE which if so would indicate a Norman French derivation. The family was traced back to Robert Graveley, Knight who about 1389 married Beatrix, da. of...Ano E. filii Regis Edward i (according to the Visitation). The King Edward referred to was probably Edward III. The names John and George were common among the later descendants of Robert Graveley, Kt., which gives substance to the statement that Joseph Gravely came from this branch of the family, as his father was supposed to have been named either George or John. In 1962 there was no one with the name Gravely living in the village, nor had there been for generations. There was one Gravely family in London, and another supposed to be in the west of England, neither of whom knew much about their ancestors except that nothing of note had been reported of them.
James GRAVELY/GRAVELEY: A "James Gravely, Jr." lived in Danville, VA in 1767 and "James Graveley" (probably the same) in Danville, VA in 1782. And who was Thomas GRAVELY?
----- ----- Census Records ----- -----
First List of Tithables 1767 (tith.txt), file size 19.5 kb, submitted August 1997. Submitter unknown.
FIRST LIST OF TITHABLES OF PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, VIRGINIA
The History of Pittsylvania County by Maud Carter Clement
List of Tithables Taken by George Jefferson in Pittsylvania County
and Cambden Parish for the year 1767
James Gravely, Jun'r
----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- -----
1782 Census - Heads of Household (hofh1782.txt), file size 25 kb, submitted November 1997 by Gayle Austin
1782 Census of Pittsylvania County, Virginia
Head of Household White Black
Graveley, James 7
---- ----- Deeds ----- -----
1772 Deed; James Gravely; Pittsylvania Co. VA
Gravely/Austin Deed, 1772 (gravely1.txt), file size 4.4 kb, submitted May 1999 by Truman Adkins
Gravely/Austin Deed, 1772 - Pittsylvania Co. VA
Pittsylvania County, Virginia Deed Book 2, page 418.
The above information may be correct and the father of Joseph GARVELY of Leatherwood, VA may have been James GRAVELY as reported, but I am looking for proof.
Others have reported the father of Joseph as George or John. See accounts below:
Letter From Peyton Gravely to Harry (H. C.) Gravely, 1908 - Page 1
"From the best information I ever Obtained from was from your Grandfather & Uncle Geo. & Jeff & Uncle Edmund & your Uncle Joe & they told me Grandfather Joseph’s father was named either George or John & that the family were immigrants & subjects from England & lived some time in Maryland and that Lord Dunmore (Jno. Murray) Governor of Va. conscribed Grandfather & three other young men named Flemon, Cooley & Lukado & that these four went at once & joined the Revolution Army & served lastly under Genl. Green & that Grandfather when he settled in Henry lived under great fears for a long time of falling into the hands of the British which meant Certain death. Grandfather’s other three Companions lived up there for a long time & later disappeared."
"I think from all the traditions & some very pertinent data which I have that our Ancestors came from Hertfordshire England as there & here are the only places any of the Gravelys are to be found & Mr. Cowlam Gravely who lived in Charleston S. C. with his family told me that he had no doubt that we are of this same family & that there has for ages been a broken link by some of the family Coming to America before the Revolutionary War."
NOTES ON LETTER DATED JULY 14, 1908 FROM PEYTON B. GRAVELY TO H. C. GRAVELY - Page 1 (by Richard Pleasants Gravely, Jr.)
JOSEPH GRAVELY - Son of John or George Gravely. Immigrated from Hertfordshire, England, to Maryland prior to the Revolution. Married Eleanor Cox, daughter of Capt. Francis Cox, on Sept. 1, 1775. Had 10 children from which most of the modern branches of the Gravely family are descended.
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