Christopher Graham, a common American Ancestor for the Grahams in America, is reported to have come from two potentially different sources.  One would be Thomas Graham of Virginia. 

Was Christopher Graham the son of Thomas Graham and Marjory Campbell?  Was he the son of William Graham and Blanche Irvin?

The first theory would make Christopher Graham of the Menteith.  The second theory would make likely mean Christopher Graham was a child of the border, the debateable lands on the border of scotland and england. 

Irvine was a common name throughout the border and they were somewhat friendly with the Grahams.   Christopher was not a name common among Graham's in the time from 1600-1700.  It was, however, somewhat common in the Irvines.  Score one point for the possibility that Christopher was a product of Blanche Irvine and William Graham.

Later branches in America, which appear directly descendant from Christopher Graham, bear the name of Lancelot Graham or Lanty Graham.  This is another odd name for a Graham, or anyone for that matter, however, some Irvine's had the name Lancelot in Scotland prior to 1650.  These irvines lived on the border.  Score another point for
the possibility that Christopher was a product of Blanche Irvine and William Graham.

If Christopher Graham was a product of the debatable lands, then there was a death warrant for him, as for all Grahams in that land. 

(One person debated me that the child on the bridge actually had the name Alexander, and he seems to have won, but I include my rantings and ravings below for anyone trying to unravel the mystery of a Thomas.)

Thomas Graham of Scotland (1647, Died Virginia)


Thomas Graham was born in about 1647.  Little has been known or written about him, officially in the records but I have recently made some interesting findings through old records.

THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS, and links him directly with the Grahams of Duchrae(Duchray) of Meneteith, (Highlanders), who I think would be considered by many to be one of the true heirs to the Earldom of Menteith, rather than the Earl of Airth, William Graham, 7th Earl of Menteith, who some genealogists (from the 1600’s to the 1900’s) believe stole the Earldom of Meneith, as he was not truly the direct male heir of the Grahams of Meneith. 

Most researchers of Thomas Graham will find him listed on the Henry & Francis where he is listed as dying.  The story of the Henry and Frances is well documented by many sources, which if read combined, give an accurate description of what happened on the ship.

Many of the prisoners on the Henry and Frances were housed in the Tolbooth Leith.  Persons who are looking for errors on the list can check the name of Patrick Cunningham.   It reports Patrick Cunningham as surviving the journey on the Henry and Frances.  According to the records from the Tolbooth of Leith, a Patrick Cunninghame (along with a few other names) attempted escape AFTER the Henry and Frances departed.  (Henry and Frances departed in September 1685)

In David Dobsons’ Directory of Scots Banished to the American Plantations, 1670-1755, a Thomas Graham is listed (References to Leith Tolbooth) and was said to have gotten on the Henry and Frances, and there is also a note of (Skirling) (Stirling?).  It makes references to primary sources of the records of the Privy Counsel, which would have been maintained by the then current Earl of Menteith. 

Five Graham prisoners were listed in Leith Tolbooth.  Alexander, Ivor, John, Thomas, and Ivor.

Ivor Graham is of Innerneil, Argyll, Alexander Graham Covenanter (with references to departing Leith, but not necessarily the jail), John Graham (prisoner in cannongate tolbooth with references to Leith (Maybe John Graham of Duchray 1678) possibly also around the time of his unknown death).

Thomas Graham, within Dobson’s work is likely the Thomas Graham the subject of this writing, but puts him again upon the Henry and Frances. 

Two William Grahams William Graham was listed as Prisoner in Edinburg Tolbooth, transported form Leith to America by Alexander Fearne and his shipmaster. 

This record was apparently gleaned from the Edinburg Tolbooth records, and I have seen with my own eyes the order where a William Graham apparently consented to go to Virginia from Leith tolbooth.  Upon all information available, I believe this to be Thomas (mainly because Edward Barnes was with the Virginia Company)

The ship was rarely mentioned.

Thomas Graham of Inchrie Castle was given Duchray in fee simple by a John Graham, likely descendant (either 2nd or 1st) of a Walter Graham in 1622.  Shortly thereafter, John Graham of Duchray appears.  And shortly after that John Graham of Rednock. 

(There are later John Grahams of Rednock and Duchray, but I believe they have no relation to the lineage of John Graham of Duchray who was probably alive in 1622 (or else land would likely not have been granted.  I believe this to be a reasonable estimate of the date of birth of John Graham of Duchray given that the land would revert upon the death of Thomas, if he did not have Male issue. 

The legend of the bridge at Alberfoyle in February of 1671 tells of the The 7th Earl, William Graham, of Menteith and Airth, obtaining papers (of arrest) against William Graham.  This legend is repeated, usually almost vertbatim, from many sources.  It speaks of papers against John Graham of Duchray and his Son, executed by the Earl of Airth.  The earl heard of the baptism of Thomas’s first born son, and knowing that they would be together, came and had them arrested.

(It can be noted here that most Genealogists show Christopher Graham born in Scotland around 1670, in perfect time to be baptized)

If the story is to be believed accurate (and given that most history was oral among the menteith it probably was, then the very young or one year old Christopher Graham most likely escaped to Ireland to marry Margaret Florence Risk about 1699, dying in Augusta County Virginia.

The same day as the bridge incident, there is an odd order in the records of the criminal proceedings in Edinburgh, that no person should be brought.  Soon after, or around about 1672, the criminal writ against John Duchray and his sons was repeated, and a “warrant” was also placed for his two daughters who were considered fugitives.  (This is at least some idea that in 1672, that John Graham of Duchray and “his sons” were already or still incarcerated, and that his daughters had not yet been caught).


John Graham of Duchray made certain land grants to Thomas Graham before his incarceration, including that of Sheriffdom of Sterling.

Some land held by John Graham of Duchray deeply drew the ire of the Earl of Airth, but I am not sure exactly what at this point.

Both Thomas Graham and John Graham of Duchray seem to make some land grants (which appear to be invalid or of little consequence for one reason or another) shortly after their incarceration.  (Which leaves me to wonder about torture and the like to get signatures).  While John of Duchray seems to have signed an invalid land grant, Thomas of Duchrae does not sign anything.  An Elder “Thomas Graham” is referenced in land grants later, also pertaining to the sheriffdom of sterling.

Tracing the title to the Clashmore and Clashbeg in Barony of Drummond, sheriffdom of sterling seems like it is of the most importance, and it starts with Thomas Graham of Inchrie, then to John Graham of Duchray, and then to Thomas Graham of Duchray. Here are my notes, which are to serve as a sort of title search on the Lands of Duchray>

In 1706, Clashmore and Clashbeg, by act of the throne, were given to the Graham of Montrose.


(Conflicts within information, Thomas Graham was said to have been in Leith Tolbooth in 1684 but he shows up in Virginia in 1677?)

It is likely that Thomas Graham was successful in America, and sent word for his son in Ireland to join him in Virginia.  Even though it seems unlikely, it is likely that Thomas Graham outlived Christopher Graham.


·         Born c. 1647 in Scotland

·         Died c. 1755 (Somewhere along the line, I read that Thomas Graham lived to be 108 years old, which seems improbable, but the author also noted that this was improbable but likely in his geneaology. 


    1. Christopher Graham

·         Born c.  in Scotland 1670


    2. Mary Graham

·         Born c. 1670 Rappahannock Co VA

·         Married c. 1690 in Rappahannock Co VA to William Lawson b. c. 1665

·         1692 Richmond split from Rappahannock Co/Rappahannock Co extinct

·         Died before 1699 Richmond Co VA

    3. Edward Graham b. c. 1675 Rappahannock Co VA

    4. James Graham

·         Born c. 1680 Rappahannock Co VA

·         1704 Richmond Co VA Records: James Graham

·         1706 Westmoreland Co VA Records: James Graham

·         1715 Westmoreland Co VA Records: James Graham

·         Died 6/1717 Westmoreland Co VA