The Granthams, Seven Generations of American Frontiersmen, tells the story of a family with its roots in England, who first appear in Virginia in the mid-1600's. The narrative begins with Edward Grantham I (Abt 1650-1703), and follows with Edward Grantham II (1688-1760), Richard Grantham I (1733-1817), Joshua Grantham (1766-1820), Richard Grantham II (1795-1834), Richard Grantham III (1835-1918) and David Gabriel Grantham (1858-1929). A Table of Ancestors and a Family Tree may be accessed from the menu above. In addition, charts showing the immediate family of each ancestor may be accessed by clicking on the name of that individual in the narrative that follows.
Chapter One concerns the first of
the Grantham family in America, Edward Grantham I,
known as Old Edward, who lived in Surry County, Virginia, in the late 1600's.
His family home was located directly across the James River from Jamestown. The
circumstances of his life and the conditions he lived under in seventeenth
century Virginia are covered in the opening chapter.
Chapter Two follows the career of Old Edward's youngest son, Edward Grantham II, who moved with his family to a new frontier on the Neuse River in North Carolina about 1750. The book examines a number of the conditions they encountered and their occupation of producing naval stores (pitch, turpentine, tar, etc.) and identifies the members of the family.
In Chapter Three we trace the steps of Edward II's son Richard Grantham I, who, with two of his brothers, moved farther south to Robeson County, North Carolina, on the border of South Carolina near the present city of Lumberton. The chapter examines the nature of North Carolina society at that time, living conditions, religion and other subjects.
Chapter Four discusses the activities of the Grantham family in Robeson County and, particularly, the effect of the Revolutionary War on the people of that area. It also briefly summarizes the lives of two of Edward Grantham II's sons, Edward Grantham III and James Grantham.
Chapter Five tells the story of a third son, Richard Grantham I, who acquired large landholdings and was a leading member of the community. His Will is set out in full, and the narrative examines the lives of his children.
In Chapter Six the brief life of Richard's youngest son, Joshua Grantham, is chronicled. His Will is reproduced, and the lives of his children are described.
Chapter Seven provides a detailed account of the Great Migration from North Carolina to the West that occurred during the first part of the nineteenth century. The reasons for leaving North Carolina, the attraction of the western lands, the routes the migrants followed, the history of settlement by Americans and conflicts with Indian tribes, and descriptions of travel are all recounted.
Chapter Eight takes up the story of Richard Grantham I's son, Richard Grantham II. His migration to Louisiana and marriage there, his subsequent move to frontier Arkansas and another marriage, and his early death are chronicled. The book also includes an extensive description of Life on the Arkansas frontier during that period, including accounts of travelers to the area.
The Title of Chapter Nine is "Gone to Texas—Richard Grantham III and the Ante-Bellum Years". This includes a review of Texas history, a description of the land and early settlement, The Texas-Mexican War and the appearance in Navarro County, Texas, of Richard Grantham III, who had been an infant when his father, Richard Grantham II, died in Arkansas. Richard III's early life in Texas and his marriage to Mary Ann Bryant are chronicled. The history of the Bryant family and its migration from North Carolina to Texas is narrated, and conditions of life in Texas at that time are also examined.
Chapter Ten covers the subject of the Civil War and Reconstruction in Texas. This includes the events leading up to secession, the early days of the war, Richard Grantham III's service in a Confederate unit, the campaigns in which he participated and his capture near Vicksburg, Mississippi, by Federal troops in 1863. Reconstruction in Texas is also described.
The focus of Chapter Eleven is the post-Reconstruction period in Texas and the life and activities of Richard Grantham III during that period. His religious commitment and his various occupations are mentioned, and the family members are identified and their lives briefly summarized.
The book concludes in Chapter Twelve with the lives of David Gabriel (D.G.) Grantham, son of Richard Grantham III, and his family. It follows D.G. Grantham's rise from a virtually illiterate farm boy to a lawyer in Corsicana, Texas, his marriage to Mittie Olivia Smith, their move to Carlsbad, New Mexico and their life in that town. The book concludes with a review of the lives of their children, one of whom was Mary Aline Grantham. She was my mother.