“The challenge: have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”
This is entry #31 in Amy Johnson Crow’s Challenge: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.
#31 Mary Ann McGRAW abt. 1781-1840s
You’ve got to love an ancestor who leaves evidence of who her parents were! In 1800 my 4th great-grandfather William WOOD wanted to hitch up with Mary Ann McGRAW. But Mary Ann wasn’t old enough and had to have her parents’ permission to tie the knot.1
June the 2
Sir, this coms to let you now that
I Marten and Marget Mcgraw
is willing that William Wood
should have our daughter Mary Ann
To John Hutchason (Clerk)
The above was sworn to by
John Wood one of the witnesses
And so it came to be that Martin and Margaret McGRAW, my 5th great-grandparents, gave permission for their daughter, my 4th great-grandmother, Mary Ann McGRAW to marry William WOOD, my 4th great-grandfather. This took place in the newly formed county of Monroe formerly part of Greenbrier County.
Know all men by these presents that we William Wood
and John Wood are held & firmly Bound unto
James Monroe Esq. governor or Chief Majestrate of the
Commonwealth of Virg. in the Sum of one hundred and
fifty Dollars, with Condition that there is no lawful cause
to obstruct a marriage intended to be Solemnized between
the above named William Wood & Mary Anne McGraw,
Both of this County of Monroe, then this obligation to
be Void, otherwise to be & remain in full force and
Virtue – Sealed with our Seals & dated this
third day of June one thousand Eight hundred.
Attest. William Wood
John Hutchison, Clk. John Wood
John WOOD, one of the witnesses present when permission was given by Martin and Margaret McGRAW, went bond with William WOOD of Monroe on William’s marriage to Mary Ann McGRAW of Monroe on Tuesday the 3rd of June 1800 in Monroe County, Virginia.2
Two weeks later on Wednesday, the 18th day of June, Rev. John ALDERSON Jr. solemnized the marriage of William and Mary Ann.3
The WOOD family and Rev. John ALDERSON Jr. knew each other well. Bailey WOOD, William’s father, had been one of the original 12 Baptists who organized the Old Greenbrier Baptist Church.
On the 130th anniversary of the founding of the Old Greenbrier Baptist Church, Rev. Robert B. McDanel preached on Sunday morning, 26 November 1911, of the brave little band of twelve members with sturdy convictions whose “names are surely immortal.” He also shared the following about the membership.4
In those early years the membership was scattered over a wide extent of territory. It is recorded in the minutes, July 26, 1788, that those who lived nigh were required to attend the services once a month. Those who lived within fifteen miles must come once a quarter, and those at further distance once a year.
As part of the second night of celebration of the 200th annual session of the Greenbrier Baptist Association held in Alderson, West Virginia in July 2000, Rev. Jon Jennings portrayed Rev. John Alderson Jr. in a historical overview of the establishment of the Greenbrier Baptist Association and the Old Greenbrier Baptist Church. His monologue included the following:5
So, for four years I continued this struggle as a traveling preacher, until November 24, 1781, we gathered together, 12 faithful Baptists and organized the Greenbrier Baptist Church. (Let me see if I can recall the names: Myself, and my wife, Mary, and Thomas Alderson; then John Kippers, John Shepherd, then there was John, Katherine, Joseph and Lucy Scaggs, and the Woods family: Bailey and Ann, and James Woods).
Siblings of Mary Ann McGRAW
To make the following list I studied the tax lists submitted by Julie McGrew-Ayres6; the early marriages in the Greenbrier, Monroe, Kanawha, Nicholas, and Fayette counties area; and the pre-1850 as well as later censuses – for all persons named.
• Sib 1: Anthony (1775-1814) born abt. 1775 Pennsylvania
• Sib 2: John (1776- ) born abt. 1776 Pennsylvania
• Sib 4: Martin (1785-1858) born 1785 Pennsylvania
• Sib 5: William (1788- ) born abt. 1788
• Sib 6: Elender (1788-1845) born abt. 1789
• Sib 7: Samuel (1792-1874) born abt. 1792 (West) Virginia
• Sib 8: Thomas (1795-1855) born abt. 1795 (West) Virginia
• Sib 9: Henry (1797-1873) born abt. 1797 (West) Virginia
The marriage of William WOOD and Mary Ann McGRAW was the only one that had a bond showing her parents to be Martin and Margaret McGRAW. Thomas McGRAW’s wife Catharine gave the names of his parents as Martin and Margaret McGRAW on his 1855 death record.7
Parents of Mary Ann McGRAW
After studying the possible children of Martin and Margaret McGRAW, I found the estimated years of birth seen for the couple in many online GEDCOM files need to be revised.
Martin: He was most likely 21 or older when he married. Anthony, the oldest known child, was born abt. 1775. If he was the first child and born within a year of the marriage, Martin and Margaret might have been married about 1774 or earlier. Martin would therefore have been born about 1753 or earlier. Martin was last seen on tax lists in 1805 and Margaret was first seen on the tax lists in 1810. Martin died after 1805 and before 1810.
Margaret: In 1820 and 1830 her son Henry McGRAW had an older woman living in his household. In 1820 Henry was not yet married and the woman age 45 or older must be his mother.8 I believe that the woman aged between 70 and 79 in 1830 is his mother although any other older woman.9 But let’s assume she is Henry’s mother. This range in 1830 would put her birth between 1751-1760. She would have been between 15-24 when her oldest child Anthony was born. Margaret would therefore have been born between 1751-1760. Margaret died most likely between 1830-1840.
Mary Ann McGRAW was born in Pennsylvania
Mary Ann McGRAW’s brother Martin McGRAW Jr. (1785-1858) married William WOOD’s sister Nancy WOOD by the publication of banns on 3 May 1806 in Monroe County. The marriage was solemnized by Rev. John ALDERSON Jr.10 A marriage by license was more expensive than marriage by the publication of banns. This public notice of an intended marriage had to be published, verbally or by written notice, for three consecutive meetings at the churches of the bride and groom making the waiting time longer than with a license.
Was there a reason that the couple would marry “by banns” in 1806? Martin McGRAW Sr., as mentioned previously, was last seen on the Greenbrier tax lists in 1805 which may suggest that he was deceased when his son Martin Jr. married. Could he not afford a marriage license?
Martin Jr. lived long enough to be enumerated on the 1850 census.11 We rely on the census for valuable pieces of information concerning our ancestors. Nevertheless, the information is only as reliable as the person who answered the enumerator’s questions. In the case of Martin Jr., no ages were listed for any of the persons in his household in 1850. Still, their places of birth were included. Martin Jr. was born in Pennsylvania. As Mary Ann was his older sister she was likely also born in Pennsylvania. Martin Jr.’s War of 1812 pension papers may have more information on his place of birth. (Note: The pension file was downloaded and reviewed 4 January 2020. Martin McGraw Jr.’s place of birth is not mentioned.)
Children of Mary Ann McGRAW and William WOOD
In 1810 Mary Ann and her husband William WOOD were enumerated next door to her brother Martin McGRAW and her father-in-law Bailey WOOD.12 By 1810 Mary Ann had given birth to 5 children. Four would follow in the next 14 years.
• Ch 1: Enoch J. (1801-aft. 1870) was born about 1801 in Monroe
• Ch 2: Margaret “Peggy” (1801-1856) was born about 1801 in Monroe
• Ch 3: Unknown (1804- ?) female was born bet. 1804-1809 in Monroe
• Ch 4: Elijah (1806-1885) was born about 1806 in Monroe
• Ch 5: Amos (1807-1845) was born about 1807 in Monroe
• Ch 6: Allen (1814-1862) was born about 1814 in Monroe
• Ch 7: Bailey (1816-1842) was born bet. 1816-1819 in Monroe or Nicholas
• Ch 8: Unknown (1816-?) female was born bet. 1816-1819 in Monroe or Nicholas
• Ch 9: Mary Ann “Polly” (1824-aft. 1900) was born 5 June 1824 in Nicholas County
Note (30 July 2022): PPT (personal property tax) lists are now available online for all Virginia counties. The entries for Wood in Monroe and Nicholas counties were checked. William was in Monroe County until Nicholas County was formed in 1818.
Following the birth of her last child Mary Ann’s children began to marry:
• Ch 4: Elijah WOOD married Rachel HONAKER (1804-1860) on 4 January 1825 in Nicholas County13
• Ch 2: Margaret “Peggy” WOOD married Thomas WITHROW (1806-1880) on 12 October 1826 Nicholas County14
• Ch 1: Enoch J. WOOD married Margaret JOHNSON (1800-1850) before 1827
• Ch 5: Amos WOOD married Susan PARRISH ( -1845) on 12 May 1831 in Nicholas County15
• Ch 6: Allen WOOD married Elizabeth JOHNSON (1808-1881) on 14 November 1832 in Monroe County16
• Ch 9: Mary Ann “Polly” WOOD married Martin HESS (1818-1900) on 1 October 1841 in Fayette County17
These six children gave Mary Ann McGRAW and William WOOD 47 grandchildren and close to 200 great-grandchildren. I don’t have all great-grandchildren as I have only recently begun research on Peggy and Thomas WITHROW.
Mary Ann’s husband William WOOD died before 18 August 1835 in Fayette County when his sons Elijah and Amos were appointed administrators of his estate.18
Years ago an indexing error on Ancestry for Amos WOOD’s 1840 census showed two women in his household. It has been corrected and reflects the household correctly. At the time, I didn’t pay close attention to the numbers and columns on the census sheet and assumed the older woman was Mary Ann McGRAW. This mistake caused me to estimate her death in the 1840s.
Following the 1840 census, there were several deaths in the family. Bailey WOOD died before 10 November 1842 when his brother Elijah WOOD was appointed administrator of his estate and appraisers were chosen.19
Amos WOOD died leaving a will dated 24 May 1845 that was presented in open court in June 1845.20 Although he provided for his 5 children he did not mention his wife Susan who must have predeceased him.
Mary Ann McGRAW, the widow of William WOOD, was living on 19 January 1836 when her dower rights were established for the land of her deceased husband.21 She likely died before the 1840 census. The census records of each of her children were studied and none had an older woman in their household. Although many have her date and place of death as abt. 1845 in Nicholas County, I believe that she died in Fayette County, where she was living when her husband died.
On the anniversary of Mary Ann McGRAW and William WOOD’s 100th wedding anniversary, only one of their children was still living. Mary Ann “Polly” WOOD and her husband Martin HESS, married 56 years, were living on the south side of Mountain Cove District in Fayette County.22
This Post was Updated on 31 July 2022: Missing source citations were added, images were scaled, and some corrections were made to the text and format. Further records were found that necessitate a new post updating information on one of the children.
© 2014-2022, copyright Cathy Meder-Dempsey. All rights reserved.
- West Virginia Vital Research Records Project (database and images), West Virginia Division of Culture and History citing county records in county courthouses, West Virginia (A collaborative venture between the West Virginia State Archives and the Genealogical Society of Utah to place vital records online via the West Virginia Archives and History Web site accessible at https://archive.wvculture.org/vrr), West Virginia, Monroe County, June 1800, William Wood and Mary Ann McGraw, permission slip from her parents (http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=11370465&Type=Marriage : accessed 2 January 2020). ↩
- Ibid., West Virginia, Monroe County, Marriage Bond dated 18 June 1800 William Wood and John Wood went bond on the marriage of William Wood and Mary Anne McGraw (both of Monroe). (http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=11370480&Type=Marriage : accessed 2 January 2020). ↩
- Ibid., West Virginia, Monroe County, 18 June 1800 William Wood and Mary Ann McGraw married by John Alderson. 1800 Marriage Record entry (right page, 1st entry under Alderson). (http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=11369625&Type=Marriage : accessed 2 January 2020). ↩
West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History, “1781-1911: One Hundred and Thirtieth Anniversary, Old Greenbrier Baptist Church,” “One Hundred and Thirtieth Anniversary Sermon Preached by the Pastor, Rev. Robert B. McDanel, Sunday Morning, November 26, 1911.”
(https://archive.wvculture.org/history/religion/greenbrierbaptist01.html : accessed July 2014). ↩
- Historical Monologue of Greenbrier Baptist Association, “Dramatic Monologue by Elder John Alderson, Jr.,” a historical overview of the establishment of the Greenbrier Baptist Association and the Old Greenbrier Baptist Church (originally found online http://www.shuckmemorial.com/GBAHistory.html : site last updated 27 August 2006). The article has been saved to the Wayback Machine: https://web.archive.org/web/20070707021923/https://www.shuckmemorial.com/GBAHistory.html : accessed 30 July 2022. ↩
- Julie McGrew-Ayres, “Greenbrier County, WV – McGraw’s in the Greenbrier Co. Tax Lists – 1792-1833,” submitted February 1999 (http://files.usgwarchives.net/wv/greenbrier/taxlists/mcgraw.txt : accessed July 2014) ↩
- WVCulture.org, 1855 Death Register entry for Thomas McGraw line 68. (http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=4786546&Type=Death : accessed 22 January 2020). ↩
- 1820 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7734/), citing Fourth Census of the United States, 1820 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M33, 142 rolls, NARA Roll: M33_133, Image: 218, Virginia, Monroe, Peterstown, page 179, Henry McGraw household (https://www.ancestry.com/ : accessed 8 January 2020). ↩
- 1830 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8058/), citing Fifth Census of the United States, 1830 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M19, 201 rolls, Roll: 190; History Library Film: 0029669, Virginia, Greenbrier, page 192, Henry McGraw household (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 7 September 2014). ↩
- WVCulture.org, West Virginia, Monroe County, 3 May 1806, Nancy Wood and Martin McGraw married by John Alderson, banns were published. 1806 Marriage Record (right page, 4th entry from bottom). (http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_view.aspx?Id=11369727&Type=Marriage : accessed 2 January 2020). ↩
- 1850 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/8054/), citing Seventh Census of the United States, 1850 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication M432, 1009 rolls, Roll: M432_971, Virginia, Putnam County, District 46, sheet 287A, household 274-282, lines 14-22, Martin McGraw (accessed 22 January 2020). Ages were not listed. This is a known omission on the 1850 census of Putnam County. ↩
- 1810 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7613/), citing Third Census of the United States, 1810 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C. NARA microfilm publication M252, 71 rolls, Roll: 70, Family History Library Film: 0181430, Virginia, Monroe, image 22, page 575, William Wood (accessed 2 January 2020). ↩
- WVCulture.org, West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 495643, image 130, West Virginia, Re-Index and Copy of Marriage Record No. 1–Nicholas County, line 6, 4 Jan 1925, Elijah Wood and Rachel Hannaker, married by Jno Campbell, citing Nicholas County. (http://images.wvculture.org/495643/00130.jpg : accessed 25 April 2013). ↩
- Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 495643, image 130, Re-Index and Copy of Marriage Record No. 1—Nicholas County, no page number, 9th entry, 12 Oct 1826, Thos Withrow, Margaret Wood, married by John Campbell. (http://images.wvculture.org/495643/00130.jpg : accessed 22 July 2014). ↩
- Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 495643, image 130, Re-Index and Copy of Marriage Record No. 1—Nicholas County, no page number, 14th entry, 12 May 1831, Amos Wood, Susan Parish, married by W. Carnefix. (http://images.wvculture.org/495643/00130.jpg : accessed 22 July 2014). ↩
- Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 1710879, image 516, 14 Nov 1832, Allen Wood and Charles W Johnson bond for the marriage of Allen Wood and Elizabeth Johnson. (http://images.wvculture.org/1710879/00516.jpg : accessed 23 July 2022). ↩
- Ibid., West Virginia Marriages, 1780-1970, FHL microfilm 584764, image 201, page 23, entry 3, Martin Hess and Mary A Wood, 1 Oct 1841, married by John Johnson. (http://images.wvculture.org/584764/00201.jpg : accessed 30 July 2022). ↩
- “Court minutes and order books, 1837-1928,” browse-only images, FamilySearch, citing microfilm of original records at the Fayette County, West Virginia courthouse., Film 585502, DGS 8613652, Minute books, v. 1-2 1837-1848, image 12 of 470, August Term 1835, 18 Aug 1835, page 11, 3rd entry, Amos and Elijah Wood, bond for letters of administration for the estate of William Wood, deceased. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C34C-T9J7-H?i=11&cat=100698 : accessed 23 July 2022). ↩
- Ibid., Film 585502, DGS 8613652, Minute books, v. 1-2 1837-1848, image 287 of 470, November Term 1842, 10 Nov 1842, page 521, 1st and 2n entry, Amos and Elijah Wood, bond for letters of administration and appraisers of estate of Bailey Wood Jr. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C34C-T9KW-6?i=286&cat=100698 : accessed 31July 2022). ↩
- “West Virginia Will Books, 1756-1971,” database with images, FamilySearch, Fayette > Will book, v. 001 1832-1866 > image 224 of 292 (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:9392-C9SQ-5S?cc=1909099&wc=M6DN-5NG%3A179689901%2C179689902 : 23 October 2018) ↩
- “Court minutes and order books, 1837-1928,” Film 585502, DGS 8613652, Minute books, v. 1-2 1837-1848, image 24 of 470, January Term 1836, 19 Jan 1836, page 34-35, Mary Wood’s dower rights. (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C34C-T9FB-T?i=23&cat=100698 : accessed 23 July 2022). ↩
- 1900 U.S. Federal Census (index and images), Ancestry (https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/7602/), citing Twelfth Census of the United States, 1900 population schedule, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C., NARA microfilm publication T623, 1854 rolls, Roll T623_1757, FHL microfilm 1241758; West Virginia, Fayette County, Mountain Cove, enumeration district 18, sheet 3A+3B, lines 50-52, household 48-49, Martin Hess (accessed 31 July 2022). ↩