Thomas Grantham of Virginia Colony

The earliest Grantham record in America is found in 1611 and 1612 Virginia Colony. A Thomas Grantham was listed for both years. Researcher Jack C. Grantham feels confident that this man was the same Thomas Grantham who was knighted April 23, 1603, and tried for treason in Lincolnshire, England in 1643. The records inferring that he was in the Virginia Colony actually named many who were only shareholders with investments in naval stores being produced there. Thomas is shown as investing £37.10 in 1610/11 toward the "Plantation begonne in Virginia." Like Oliver Cromwell, who had also put up £37.10, Thomas remained in England hoping to make an easy profit on his investment in the new world. In 1623 he was one of about fifty ". . . Adventurers and free of the Virginia Company and yett haue not had any parte nor followde the business for sundry yeares." Captain John Smith's extensive record of early events along the James makes no mention of any Grantham in Virginia, reinforcing the theory that Sir Thomas Grantham remained in England.

Captain Thomas Grantham of the Concord

Another Thomas Grantham took part in Bacon's Rebellion of 1676-1677. Captain Grantham was called in by the Governor of Virginia, Sir William Berkeley, as an intermediary to deal with the rebels. Grantham, of the ship Concord, arranged a surrender on January 2, 1766-67, by showing the men the error of their way, promising a pardon for all, and breaking out a barrel of brandy to calm their nerves. He then persuaded another rebel garrison at Colonel West's house to surrender using similar tactics. But Captain Grantham did not have the authority to grant pardons. In the following trials several of the rebels were hanged while others were set free.

The Dictionary of National Biography, Volume 8, page 409, Oxford Press, offers additional information on Captain Grantham: "Sir Thomas Grantham, Naval Commander, son of Thomas Grantham of Keister (alias Burncester, Oxfordshire, killed fighting for the king at the siege of Oxford in 1645). In 1673 Sir Thomas convoyed 25 ---- from Virginia to England during the Dutch war. He returned to Virginia in 1678 in command of the Concord, a ship of 32 guns and took and important part in pacifying the Colony during the insurrection of Nathaniel Bacon . . . The East India Company granted him a commission for a ship named the Charles II. The King, with the Duke of York, was present at the launch of 8 Feb 1683 when the King knighted him. The time of his death is uncertain. He obtained a coat of arms on petition in 1711. The grant dated 27 July 1711 is in Addit. MS 20516, ff72 et seq."

The Complete Book of Emigrants, 1601-1669 by Peter Wilson Coldham, has the following entries for Thomas and other early Granthams:

Aug 25-Sept 8, 1664 Shippers by Richard & Francis (elsewhere Noah & Francis); Thomas Grantham [evidently a passenger or crewman]
Oct 13-31, 1673 Shipper by the George, Mr. Thomas Grantham, bound from London for Virginia.
Aug 29-Sept 11, 1676 Shippers by the Concord, Mr Thomas Grantham, bound from London for Virginia.6
July 16, 1677 Deposition by James Cary of London stated "Mr. Robert Workman sent tobacco August 1674 from Virginia by the George of London, Mr. Thomas Grantham."
Aug 13-Oct 3, 1677 Shippers by the Concord, Mr. Thomas Grantham from London to Virginia.
1677 Deposition by Thomas Grantham of Tower Street, London, mariner, aged 35, that he was in Virginia in March 1677 in the Concord and was at the house of Governor William Berkeley when tobacco belonging to Alexander Walker was seized.
Oct 4, 1677 Passengers embarked from London for Virginia by the Concord, Mr. Thomas Grantham.
Aug 28-Sept 18, 1679 Shippers by the Concord, Mr. Thomas Grantham, bound from London for Virginia.
Oct 19-26, 1680 Shippers by Rose & Crown from London to Virginia: Nathaniel Grantham [passenger]
Nov 8-22, 1681 Shippers by Concord, Mr. William Jeffreys, London to Virginia: William Grantham [passenger] 

From the above we can determine that Thomas Grantham was born circa 1642. He first sailed to America in 1664, most likely as a crewman. He captained the George in 1673 and then the Concord from 1676 through 1679. 
Thomas was commissioned on the Charles II in 1693 and knighted when that vessel was launched. Sir Thomas made his will September 6, 1704, at Kempton, Sunbury Parish, County of Middlesex, England. The History of the County of Oxford gives his date of death as 1718, but his will was not probated until May 18, 1720. 
Captain Thomas Grantham left an autobiographical history of his exploits at sea. This rare book, An Historical Account of Some Memorable Actions, Particularly in Virgina, was first published in 1714. A second edition is dated 1716. 
Sir Thomas Grantham, according to Jack Grantham of Dallas, Texas, was born on December 9, 1641, in Bichester, Oxford, England. 

John Grantham/ Glantham/ Gratham of Maryland and York County, Virginia

Perhaps the most interesting early Grantham in terms of possibly being the father of Edward of Surry County, Virginia, was John Grantham / Glantham / Gratham of Maryland. He first appeared as John Glantham in a warrant dated 1637 in Kent Isle. Glantham was left a long gun "if he return to the island" in the noncuperative will of Henry Cawley in early 1639. A John Russell, who's name is closely tied to Edward Grantham in Surry, was appointed heir of Administration for the absent John Glantham. Robert Lake swore in a 1640 deposition at the age of 21 that "Henry Crawley", deceased, mentioned in his will Elizabeth Smith, wife of John Smith, and Katharine Smith, god-daughter of "Henry Crawley". Lake also confirmed the bequest of the long gun to John Glantham.
The Maryland Assembly proceedings of February and March, 1638/39, listed Isle of Kent Freemen who elected Nicholas Brown as Burgess. The names included Henry Crawley and John Glantham. The names of those supporting Christopher Thomas included John Rasell [Russell] and John Gratham. From this it would appear there were two John Granthams, one who voted for Brown and another who voted for Thomas. 
John Grantham reappears in York County, Virginia, records in July of 1666. John Russell obtained an attachment against John Grantham, said to be non est inventus at the time, for selling him a manservant for 5 years who only had 4 years indenture remaining. Russell died within six months of this suit. The accounting of his estate by his widow Elizabeth showed a debt owned by a Mr. Grantham, evidently as a result of the suit.
It is this John Grantham who is the most likely father of Edward of Surrey and Charles of York. York County at the time was the center of commerce in the New World and John was likely the manager of the family business there. His disappearance after 1666 points toward his return to England, possibly due to the illness or death of his father and the necessity to take care of family matters. John's sons would have continued his business dealings in America.

Charles Gretham/Grotham/Gratham of York County, Virginia

A Charles Gretham witnessed the will of Ellener Wheeler. The document was presented in York County Orphan's Court on April 25, 1666. Charles Gratham appeared in York County Court with his wife Alice on November 13, 1669. He was ordered to put-up bond for "having undertaken to keep Thomas Clarks bastard child." 
A Charles Grotham appeared in the December 1671 York County records as owing the estate of James Moore. That same month Charles Gretham appraised the estate John Willett, Deceased. All of these Charles were most likely the same man. Could this Charles be the older brother of Edward of Surry?

Summary of Early Granthams in America

It was traditional for the first born male to be given the name of his grandfather. Edward of Surry County named his first son John. There was another line of Granthams who descended from a John Grantham born circa 1700 in Fairfax County, Virginia. Fairfax County is on the route one would take when traveling from Kent County, Maryland, to York County, Virginia. All of these Granthams could descend from the John Grantham/ Glantham/ Gratham of Maryland. At present it appears this will always remain conjecture.
Adelle Brown Ashford and Jessie Mae Ashford in their excellent book Our Ancestors, Volume III, surmised that Edward could be the son of a John Grascome, London merchant, whose name appears in Surry County records of 1677 and 1679. Still others look to the Granthams of New England for Edward's father, but that possibility seems remote.
Captain Thomas Grantham of Bacon's Rebellion fame has many connections which seem to indicate some relationship with Edward of Surry. Their exact kinship may be lost in the dust of centuries past.
There is much Grantham data extant in England. At first glance one would think it easy to trace lineages across the Atlantic, but one custom of the early chroniclers of family trees has created problems. Those who put together the Lincolnshire Pedigrees for the Harleian Society were meticulous in tracing the families remaining in England, but virtually ignored the lines which emigrated to America. 
If one were to consider only the naming patterns in the Grantham line of Colonial America, Thomas Grantham of Langton-by-Wragby in the Lincolnshire Pedigrees would stand alone as the most likely ancestor of the Edward Grantham line of Surry County, Virginia. Thomas' children, John, Edward, Thomas, William, Thomas, Katherine, and Anne, were born in the 1580s. The names are virtually the same as those used in the first few generations of Granthams in America. Thomas was the son of Vincent Grantham and Bridget Hansard, his third wife, of St. Katherine's near Lincoln. Vincent and his first wife, Alice Sutton, produced the Goltho Grantham line which included Sir Thomas Grantham the early Virginia Colony investor.


Edward Grantham is first mentioned in Will & Deed Book 1, Isle of Wight County, Virginia, page 574. "Thomas Deacon of the Burough of Warwick in the County of Warwick revokes the Power of Attorney to James Powell to collect bills due from Elias Fort, Ed Grantham, and others, 7 Sept 1675." This Power of Attorney had been originally granted January 15, 1669, indicating Grantham had been in the area since that time. There is no existing record of Edward Grantham being transported, so it is highly likely that he was born in the United States circa 1650 or earlier.
Child of Edward Grantham and unknown first wife:

1. John Grantham, b. c1675, d. 1739, m. Sarah ----

Edward bought 200 acres in Surry County on September 23, 1682, from John Rodgers, Sr., and his wife Mary. The land was purchased for 1,000 pounds of tobacco with the contract written on the back of the land patent that had been issued to Rodgers in 1666 by Governor William Berkeley. Edward sold 100 acres of this land to William Jonson in 1684 for 1,650 pounds of tobacco. The other 100 acres and "40 foot dwelling" was sold to Thomas Davis in 1686 for 3,500 pounds of tobacco.
Edward received a land patent of 300 acres on May 29, 1683. The land was located in Southwarke Parish, Surry County, on the branches of Cypress Swamp adjoining Thos. Jordan. The patent was granted for the transportation of six persons into the colony: Isabel Huberd, Jon. Bincks, Tho. Peel, Jon. Anderson, Jon. Walker, & Timo. Jackson. 
Edward Grantham's property on Cypress Swamp was known as Grantham's Reeds. Many of the deeds concerning this land mention the "cart path," which was actually a well traveled road leading from North Carolina to Southwarke Church and the warehouses at Gray's Creek. It, like other paths in colonial America, had been well worn over the centuries as Indians and wild animals made their way through the forests to fording places on the creeks. These paths followed the contours of the land and bypassed forest thickets and other obstacles in a leisurely way that was not the shortest route but one most easily traveled.
Several records indicate that Edward was named to the Surry County Militia in 1687. "This Court having considered the capacitie and abilities of the several freeholders and inhabitants of the county do most humbly present his excellency the following persons for horse and boot . . . For Foot: Edward Grantum." On May 1, 1694, he was declared "lame and impotent" making him exempt from service.
Edward appeared on the list of tithables dated 1683, 1684, 1685, 1686, 1687, 1688, 1689, 1690, 1692, 1693, 1694 and 1698. The Edward appearing in the 1702 list is believed to have been the son of Edward who had just attained the age of 16. Edward the father was excused from taxes after 1694 because of his declining health.
Edward married Elizabeth, the widow of William Cockins, in early 1678. The records do not reveal her maiden name, but there is some indication that she may have been a Moore. There were apparently two William Cockins in Isle of Wight County at the time and both died within several months of each other. One left a will dated July 25, 1677, naming a son William, and the other died intestate in early 1678. They were possibly father and son. 
Children of Edward and Elizabeth Moore?:

1. Elisabeth Grantham, b. c1680, d. aft 1700, m. ?
2. Jeane Grantham, b. c1682, d. aft 1704, m. ?

A Surry County deed dated January 6, 1684, named Edward's (third?) wife as Mary. Researcher Jack Grantham believes she was the widow of preacher William Johnson, Sr. The 1684 deed conveyed land from Edward Grantham to William Johnson, Jr., possibly her son. A man by the same name assisted in preparation of the inventory and appraisal of Edward's estate in 1704, inferring some kinship.
A deed dated July 6, 1686, did not name a wife or contain a release of dower which points to Edward being widowed at that time. Edward's will dated May 1, 1700, named his widow as Elizabeth. It is not clear if he was married two, three, or even four times.
Children by Edward Grantham and Elizabeth Andrews?:

1. Edward Grantham II, b. c1686, d. ?, m. c1720 Catherine Proctor
2. Thomas Grantham, b. c1688, d. ?, m Elizabeth ----
3. Eloner Grantham, b. c1690, d. aft 1700, m. ?

Elizabeth worked as a servant for Anthony Haviland who took part in Bacon's Rebellion. Anthony died by the end of 1687 and his Executor, William Simons, claimed in court that Elizabeth, wife of Edward Grantham, when a servant to Anthony,

. . .had taken the deceased's keys and embezzled, purloined, taken and carried away sundry things belonging to the estate of the said deceased. Which things the said Edward Grantham, and Elizabeth his wife, detained and hereby the said Simons was hindered from the execution of the will.

The charges were brought before a jury and damages of 550 pounds of tobacco were levied against Edward and Elizabeth. This was only half the amount sought in Simons' suit. It is not known if Edward ever paid the awarded damages.
The troubles of Edward worsened with his young wife who seems to have had no scruples. He became indebted to Captain Hugh Campbell in 1688. Five years later Cambell brought suit against Edward to recover his losses. Christopher Foster obtained a judgement against Edward in 1688 for 680 pounds of dressed pork. In September of 1691 John King, a cooper who lived on Chipoakes Creek, obtained a writ of attachment against Edward's property in the amount of 400 pounds of tobacco. In January 1692/93 another judgement against Edward amounted to 802 pounds of tobacco.
The Surry County Court charged Edward with two offenses on September 4, 1694. The most serious offense, "entertaining Indians," was in violation of an act that regulated all trade with Indians. Edward had failed to obtain governmental approval and liscensing for whatever dealings he had made with the natives. The other offense was "that he had not been coming to church." He most likely paid a fine and went on with his business as before.
Edward Grantham's will was dated May 1, 1700, and proved September 5, 1704, in Surry County, Virginia. In the document Edward bequeathed his "plantation with one hundred acres" to his son Edward Grantham. He left an adjoining 100 acres to his son Thomas Grantham and "all the rest of my land in Virginia" to son John Grantham. His daughter Elisabeth Grantham was given "one shilling in whole for her estate," an apparent snub. Daughter Jeane Grantham was left "the bed I now lie upon with bolster rug and blankets bedstead and cord."
The remainder of his estate was to be divided equally among his wife Elizabeth and five of his children, to wit John Grantham, Jeane Grantham, Edward Grantham, Thomas Grantham, and Eloner Grantham. Daughter Elisabeth was left out of this distribution, further evidence that she had not been in favor with her father. The order of the children listed corresponded with the order of births based on other records (with the exception of Elisabeth who was omitted). Witnesses of the will were Ed Bayley, Will Johnson, and Robert A. Andrews.
The will stated that Edward was "weak and sick in body," indicating he was bedridden at that time, his health extremely poor during his last four years on this earth. He was probably buried at Southwark Chapel which was located not far from his plantation.
An inventory of Edward's estate was submitted on December 14, 1704. Appraisers were Will Johnson, Thos Andrews, and Robert Andrews. The document was signed by Elizabeth E. Avery who most likely was Edward's widow who had remarried John Avery shortly after Edward's death. The estate amounted to £302:56S. Edward, Jr., gained possession of his father's old gun in the final settlement of the estate.
The Surry County Court Order Record Book, page 262, recorded the marriage of ----? Avery and Elizabeth, Executrix of Edward Grantham. It was dated January 2, 1704/05, a few months following the death of Edward. GG