"The Graces of Texas"
Special thanks to: Phillip Grace for allowing me to publish this book
and allowing the use of the material for research purposes.
© 1992-2006 This work is the property of Phillip Monroe Grace. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as
long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
Library of Congress catalog card number is 92-6115
Originally published in 1992 by Stelucan Press
The Graces of Texas*
Phillip Monroe Grace
Updated June, 2006
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In 1963, while in college, I became interested in genealogy and most specifically my own family's roots. Having absolutely no idea the scope of such writings and the enormous amount of research required, I began the search for as many of those who came before me with my surname as I could find. Little did I know that this journey would carry me through nearly thirty years of my life before I could get to a point where the information could be correlated and published in some identifiable fashion.
As the search began, I knew very little about any generation past my grandparents. My grandfather had died while I was a baby and all my grandmother had was basically his father's name, which was "Simeon". Unfortunately, Simeon had deserted his family while my grandfather was only a baby, and little was recorded or carried down because my great grandmother remarried, had a family with her new husband, and that stepfather with a different surname became the guiding light and driving force behind that family.
Nevertheless, the hunt for "Simeon" began and quickly ended in all dead ends. Undaunted, I sought my first professional genealogist to assist in the effort and was most fortunate to have found a wonderful lady apparently considerably older than I, who must have been impressed that someone as young as I had interest in such pursuits. She was Kate F. Maver of Washington, D. C., and it was through her efforts that a year later--and through cross correspondence with another of Miss Maver's clients, Mrs. M. B. Rowan of Ridgewood, New Jersey--that a James S. Grace was found. Could it be that this newly found "James S." was indeed my "Simeon"?
Scores of letters later, and now in direct contact with Mrs. Rowan, it was certain they were one and the same. Common names appeared and reappeared from his father's generation into mine, numerous census reports validated ages which fit the needed profiles, and marriage records confirmed the proof. As she had worked seemingly a lifetime on this line, much of the skeletal work was now laid.
Then a distant cousin, Betty Brown of Houston, entered the scene. She was a direct descendent of the Betts family who intermarried into the Grace family back in the early 1800's. Thanks to her I was introduced to untold people through the mails who were also researching various Grace lines around the country. Therefore, I spent the next few years in endless letter writing, checking, and puzzle solving.
I must say it paid off. Many of these people shared valuable information which had come from their earliest family Bibles and histories which had been passed down through the generations. In this book, The Graces of Texas , all of these sources are now recorded and cross-referenced, so that there is a better whole picture of what this founding family of America is.
Because they have provided so much, I must thank Normandine Gaskin of Fort Worth, Texas; Jane E. Wood of North East, Maryland; Benjamin Franklin Riley; Gladys Hendrix Hawkins of Charlotte, North Carolina; "Boe" Williams of Valdosta, Georgia; Mary E. Brantley of Atmore, Alabama; Bena Taylor Kirkscey of Rosebud, Texas; Kedron Grace Mitchell of Quail, Texas; G. E. Nettles, Sr. of Cranesmill, Texas; the family of Mary Grace Catling (who had written a definite book on the Graces of Cecil County, Maryland, in l949); Sylvada T. Burke of Hopkinsville, Kentucky; Ethel Stallings Gilbert; Stella Setzler of Jackson, Mississippi; Dale Harrison of Hockessin, Delaware; R. Bernice Leonard of St. Michaels, Maryland; Jean Puleo of New Paltz, New York; Zefpha Grace of Anton, Texas; S. L. Munson of Versailles, Kentucky; and Mabel Van Dyke Baer of Washington, D. C. Also, special thanks must go to my cousins, Grace Randolph and Marilu Burns, for their contribution in research, and for helping me go on year after year.
In addition to these friends and family, special thanks needs to go to various professional genealogists and societies including, The Family Association, Ora H. Barlow, Trustee, Salt Lake City, Utah; Family History Society of the Republic of Ireland, Michael Byrne, Offaly, Ireland; Hibernian Research Company, Ltd., Thomas C. Lindert, Dublin, Ireland; John Warren, Kent, England; Marwood Darlington, West Chester, Pennsylvania; The Talbot County Free Library, Marguerite W. Harvey, Curator or the Maryland Room; North Carolina Society of the Cincinnati, Charles R. Holloman, Raleigh, North Carolina; William D. Bennett, Raleigh, North Carolina; and Debrett Ancestry Research, Hugh Peskett, Winchester, England.
It is my greatest lament that I have not been able to absolutely tie my earliest proved ancestor, John Grace of Sussex County, Delaware, to either the Graces in Westmoreland County, Virginia, or the Graces in neighboring Talbot County, Maryland. The hundreds of pages of correspondence and research in my files show there was a genuine effort. In truth, I suppose that the "search" never ends; one new discovery opens up two new secrets. So those who follow me can shore up this link.
And that is exactly why I have taken this time and money to record these genetic links to history. Somewhere, someday, some other Grace may wish to know where they came from. This record will let them begin where I left off. Also, maybe someday someone will update this record and tie-in the generations yet to be born. That would be wonderful.
One might ask the importance of such efforts in family research. I feel there are so many. Certain trends seem to surface as one looks at an array of generations. With my own Grace line, it is apparent that my family has been fairly conservative over the years, beginning as Loyalists to the English king for the most part. They also have been simple people, farmers, with a deep fundamental Protestant background. What else is so very apparent is their drive to move on. Their migration west seems more a push for opportunity than mere movement. Interestingly enough, one person with whom I corresponded throughout the years wrote of her family genetic characteristic of the big toe being noticeably separate from the other four toes. Sure enough, I checked myself and my children and found that trait. Another person supplied tintypes of early family members including Green Berry and Ann Jane Grace. There is a most definite family resemblance even though they are four generations away!
In closing, we cannot know where we are going unless we know where we have been. It is vital for nations and ethnic cultures, and it is equally vital for families. So this is my love letter to my family--a record of where we have come from. I trust that our family future will be one of accomplishment and honor that has distinguished its past.
Phillip Monroe Grace
THE EARLIEST GRACES
INTO THE NEW WORLD
MAKING THE WAY WEST
TOWARD THE NEW