Robert Henry Graham – Early Family in America

Archibald Graham Esq (1680 Scotland, died in Scotland). A descendant of Sir William Graham, the 7th Earl of Mentieth, descendant of Duke of Montrose and Claverhouse, the Earl of Dundee. He had three known sons; John Graham Esq, Alexander ‘Sawney’ Graham and Daniel ‘the miller’ Graham (1713 – 1800 in Cumberland Co).  All three sons emigrated to North Carolina after the battle of Culloden in 1745 at which the Scottish Highlanders under the flag of Jacobite Bonnie Prince Charlie were defeated by the British. The Duke ‘Butcher’ of Cumberland was determined that an uprising would never again occur. Clan chiefs were deprived of their legal power, weapons taken, kilt and tartan banned.

John Graham Esq (8 Aug, 1714 North Knapdale, Inverary, Argyllshire, Scotland; died 14 Sep, 1797/alt. 1798, Montrose, Cumberland Co, NC) and (second wife?) Elizabeth Smilie (1732 – Feb 1807) immigrated to Cumberland (now Hoke) County, North Carolina in 1766/9. The Smylies came to NC from Scotland and became staunch Presbyterian ministers throughout the southern state. John and Elizabeth Graham settled on Mountain Creek, in the far western part of the county. Very little is known about the family. He did have a post office in his home, “Montrose.” This was, interestingly enough, the name of the titular head of the Graham/Graeme clan in the Scottish Highlands. One may surmise that John Graham was an important member of the clan based upon his local standing as well as the prominence of many of his relatives, but there is scant evidence remaining to substantiate this.

John was a gunsmith and is buried at the Montrose Cemetery (Fort Bragg). John Graham allegedly fought in the revolutionary war, rising to the rank of Captain. He and Elizabeth farmed 50 acres on Big Muddy Creek. He is said to be a descendant of the Duke of Montrose, Claverhouse, Earl of Dundee. John was loyal to the House of Stuarts, and suffering hardships, requested and received a land grant of 100 acres in 1767 in the Cape Fear area of NC. 


Archibald Graham (15, June, 1738 – 27 April, 1812) Revolutionary Soldier, arrived 1768, married Mary Baxter (many children).

*Alexander ‘Squire Alex’ Graham 

Isabelle Graham (last name Martin, referenced in John Graham’s last will and testament, 1762  – 1812)

Margaret Graham (19 Jul, 1764 – 1830) saved the life of Archibald Graham when ‘patriots’ came to kill him; pretending smallpox. She married Daniel ‘Buffalo Dan’ Patterson born 13 Aug, 1757 in NC, died 1843 in Clay Co, Alabama in 1883. He was so named because he lived on Buffalo Creek and established  the Buffalo Mill on the Creek, a tributary of the Lumber River in Cumberland, now Hoke Co, NC. Because the creek never ran dry, this mill was famous for always being powered for grinding grains.  Daniel Patterson and John Gillis operated the first cotton gin in West Cumberland County in 1815. Margaret and her husband founded the old Bethel Church. Margaret is buried in the Patterson Graveyard between the old mill and Gillis’ gin, her grave covered with flat rocks from the place known as Sanatorium. So sleep many of their kin and at least three of her children. 

Elizabeth Graham (did not marry, 1766 – 1797)

Tabitha Graham (1765 – 1769)

Alexander Graham (13 Oct, 1756 North Knapdale, Argyllshire, Scotland- 12/22/1845 Texas) married Margaret “Peggy” McFarland (3/13/1763 – 7/23/1844) about 1788. She was the sister of Hon. Duncan McFarland, member of congress 1807, a very prominent family. He migrated from Inverary, Argyllshire, Scotland in 1766, settled at Cape Fear, NC; later through Tennessee to Alabama 1818-1820, MS and TX. He lived in Corpus Christ, Yoakum and Henderson, TX; land grant of 345 acres in Bowie Co; 1129 acres in Lamar, CO, TX 1838.


William Graham (1790 -)

Nathaniel Smiley Graham (May 28, 1792 – Jul 27, 1863) married Margaret McKenzie, moved to Alabama.

Alexander ‘Uncle Sandy’ Graham (1798 – 10 Aug 1974) married his cousin Annie McFarland.

*Robert Graham (1800 – 1884) married Mariah Thomas (native of New Jersey)

Duncan McFarland Graham (1803-1878 in Bullock County, Alabama) married Mary Gillis in 1828

Margaret Mary Graham (July 7, 1805 -Apr 4, 1831) married David Angus Johnson

Catherine Graham (1806 -)

John H Graham (1807)

George Graham (1812 -)

Thomas Jefferson Graham (Dec 11, 1814 – Aug 28 1904)

William Graham (1815 -)

The family attended church at Ashpole Presbyterian Church in present day Rowland, Robeson County, North Carolina. The national historic registry recognizes this church.

State Road 1138
PO Box 759
Rowland, NC   28383
Telephone:  (910) 422-8085


Telephone:  (910) 

CLERK OF SESSION:  J. Mack Butler, PO Box 367, Rowland 28383. Telephone:  (910) 422-3731


Robert Graham married Mariah Thomas (Dec 27, 1815 New Jersey – Dec 22 1896 Ashpole Church, NC) on July 29, 1840 in Cumberland, NC. A bond of 500 pounds was posted by Robert Graham and Daniel Baker Esq, in effect guaranteeing that there were no restrictions to the marriage. This would have been posted on the Church door for all the public to see. The bond was payable in the event that the marriage was not legal. Robert and Mariah lived in the original Graham home until 1858, then moved to Ashpole Church, Robeson Co, NC.

In the 1850 census, Robert is listed as a farmer owning $1000 in real estate. In the 1860 census, Robert is listed as a farmer with $6000 real estate and $22,000 property. In the 1870 census, Robert is listed as a farmer with $1000 real estate and a personal estate of $600. The civil war must have taken a terrible toll on the family. In the 1880 census, Robert was listed as sick with ‘old age’. The couple lived with a son, W. Haywood Graham and his wife Mollie.

842 Acres for Sale

Robert sold his plantation in November 1859, relocating the family to Ashpole, NC.

Last will and testament of Robert Graham:

Robert Graham} State of North Carolina

Will : Robeson County

In the name of God Amen. I Robert Graham of the County and State above mentioned being weak in body but of sound and disposing mind do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament as follows:

1st: I give and bequeath my soul to God who gave it and my body to the earth from whence it came – and after my just debts are paid I give and bequeath to my wife Mariah Graham all my real and personal property of whatever description to have and to hold during her natural life – and at her death – I give and bequeath to my two sons William H Graham and John T Graham all my land where I now live together with all my stock of horses and mules hogs and cattle household and kitchen furniture together with all my farming implements wagons and carts to them and their heirs. As this bequest is to be equally divided between my two sons William and Thomas Graham, but if one of them die without heirs then it is my will and desire that the surviving brother inherit all his part of the property and should they both die without heirs – then it is my will and desire that it shall go to my daughter Sallie Ann, D P McKinnon’s wife and their children and should William or Thomas either of them want to sell their part of the land, it is my will and desire that he shall sell it to his brother without they both agree to sell, then let them sell all the land together – it is being five hundred thirty or forty acres more or less belonging to the plantation.

I give and bequeath to my daughter Sallie Ann, D P McKinnon’s wife two hundred Dollars to be paid by my executors hereinafter named. And it is my will and desire that should there be a growing or housed crop on the plantation let it go to the use of the plantation after the debts and rents are paid.

I appoint my son William H Graham and John T Graham executors to this my last will testament in testimony thereto I set my hand seal. Robert Graham

Test: J G A Dick, Duncan McNair

I Robert Graham of Robeson County, State of North Carolina at my residence to make this my codicil hereby confirming my last will made on the 15th day of April 1873 so far as this codicil is consistent therewith and do hereby ordain devise and bequeath that all devises and bequests as hereinto before named devised and bequested in my last will to my son William H Graham. I in this codicil do hereby give devise and bequeath to my daughter-in-law Mollie L Graham the wife of William H Graham to have and to hold in her own right as the wife of my son William H Graham and to her heirs executors administrators and assigns forever all the property real and personal as devised and bequested to William H Graham in my last will as above mentioned..

I appoint my son William H Graham and John T Graham executors to this codicil to my last will and testament.

In witness whereof I have signed sealed and published and declared this codicil to my last will as my will at my residence in Robeson County State of North Carolina this the 21st day of January 1879. Robert Graham

The said Robert Graham of said place signed and sealed this codicil and published and declared the same as his will and we at his request and in his presence and in presence of each other have written our names as witnesses.

Duncan Sinclair

John B Fulmore


William Haywood Graham (Dec 30, 1841 – April 20, 1926 in Robeson, NC) married Mary Lloyd ‘Mollie’ Townsend on Dec 27, 1877. Her father was the Reverend Jackson Townsend. William enlisted in Company E, North Carolina 52nd Infantry regiment on Oct 17, 1862.

Sarah Ann ‘Sallie’  Graham (June 9, 1844 – 1883,  Robeson, NC) married Daniel Patrick McKinnon on Dec 13, 1863.

Margaret Graham born 1846 is listed on the 1860 census with her parents.

Rev. John Thomas Graham (see below)

Alexander Hamilton Graham (Nov 3, 1848 -)

James Franklin Graham (Jul 8, 1850 – Oct 23, 1855)

Benjamin Clark Graham (Jul 18, 1852 – Sep 20, 1855)

In the 1870 census, Margaret, Thomas William are all at home with Robert and Mariah. John Thomas left for Texas to become a minister. William Haywood stayed with his parents and is listed in the 1880 census.  I have no records of the fate of Alexander Hamilton Graham; the two youngest boys succumbed in 1855, presumable due to illness.

Reverend John Thomas Graham (Mar 12, 1847 in Robeson, NC – Mar 4, 1902 in Rye, Liberty, Texas) married Adella Annabelle Bourland (1857 in California – 1942) in Llano, TX 1876.

From the minutes of the West Texas Annual Methodist Conference: Rev John T. Graham was born March 12, 1847 in Cumberland Co, NC. He was licensed to preach Feb 1, 1873 by the Quarterly Conference of Rockvale Circuit, Northwest Texas Conference, Rev Wm. Mark presiding elder. In November of the same year he was admitted on trial into the Northwest Texas Conference.He came to the West Texas Conference in the division of territory by the General Conference of 1882. He was ordained deacon by Bishop Pierce Nov 14, 1875 and elder by Bishop Wightman, Dec 9 1877. 

Bro. Graham served the following charges: Palo Pinto circuit, 1873-4; Llano circuit 1874-6; Round Mountain Circuit, 1882-5; Edna Circuit 1885-8; Logart’s Circuit 1888-90; Waelder Circuit, 1890-2; Rancho Circuit, 1892-5; Leerville Circuit, 1895-7; San Marcos Circuit, 1897-1900; Kyle and Pleasant Grove 1900-02. During his second year’s pastorate at the latter place, on March 4, 1902, Bro. Graham fell asleep, full of honors and in glorious triumph.

Bro. Graham was one of our most useful men, and no man has held a surer place in the affections of the people whom he served. He was a visiting preacher, going into the homes of all the people, and winning them to Christ by personal contact with them. The connectional interests of the church received his most careful attention and no institution nor observance required by the church was ever neglected. From the founding of the Texas Methodist Orphanage he represented the West Texas Conference on the Board of Managers, and was untiring in his work to make provision for orphan children. Bro. Graham was a successful revivalist. Very many in the various charges he served were added to the Lord through his ministry, and during the last year of his life, his preaching was attended with great spiritual power. At the close of his meetings that year, worn with excessive toil, he suffered a protracted spell of fever, from which he never fully recovered. During the last weeks of his life he was almost constantly in prayer and communion with God. He said that he felt that God was getting him ready for some great event. It was true. The purified soul was about to go into the presence of the King.

We laid his body away in the cemetery at Kyle to await the resurrection. The members of his flock, with many of other churches, all of whom loved him, followed him to the grave and made great lamentation over him.

To his widowed companion and orphan children, the conference extends its loving sympathy. We commend them to God, and at the same time extend over them our protecting arms.

In the 1910 census, Adella (Annabelle) G is married to George W. Newberry in Alice, Jim Wells Co, Texas with Thomas 18, Burdette S 15 and Lauri 11. George is a merchant. At the time of his death on 14, July, 1921, he awarded his estate solely to his beloved wife, Adella.  She died June 10, 1942 in Alice Texas.

In the 1920 census, John T Graham lived with Dora 26, Dora 6, JT Jr. 4, Burdette 1 and Burnett 1 in Del Rio, TX. At that time, he was an assistant cashier at the Del Rio Bank.

In the 1930 census, JT Graham and Elisa lived in Houston Texas with Dora D 17, JT Jr. 14, Burdette 11, Mary Jane 9, June E 5, Edward 4 and Robert 1, JT was a lease manager with Humble Petroleum at the time.