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The Grace Family, Georgia to Texas

Thomas Grace of Hancock Co., Ga.

Thomas Grace of Hancock Co., Ga. Thomas Grace was the father of Eli Whaley's wife, Betsy Grace. Thomas Grace was the son of a John Grace, b. ca. 1736 who died in Sussex County, Delaware. John Grace is named on the assessment list of Broad Creek Hundred in 1785. His will, dated 12 May 1799, was probated in Sussex County in June 1802. His wife, Sally, and son, Johnathan, were named executors. He is said to have been a mill operator and his church affiliation, Baptist. Sally might have been a Dolby. She was age 70-80 in 1805-7. His land was described as West/Wirt of Mire Branch. Witnesses to his will were Robert Robertson, Anthony L. Vickers & Jesse Shiles. Children named in will were:

i. Polly Grace m. b. m 1.Jonathan Martino pre 1799 and m. (2) Mar 1818 Elzy Collins. She was willed land from father ' Settlement & New rights and had son Silas.

ii. Nancy Grace m. after 1799, William Dixon; willed land "Survey where father lived " " Hard Fortune & Rambling Deed'

iii. John Grace, Jr. b. ca. 1769; willed land "Wainrights Old Tract: & New Rights. Had a daughter, Sally.

iv. Thomas Grace b. ca. 1750 m. Sally, believed to have been Sally Maddux before 1781; they were in Georgia when father died.

(Although some researchers have claimed John Grace's wife, Sarah, was the daughter of Peter Dolbee, will in Sussex Co., Delaware, ca. 1784. Evidence in the will proves she could not have been since Sarah Dolbee was a minor at the time. )

2. Thomas Grace, the son of John Grace, was named in the list of forty seven members of the Broad Creek Baptist Church organized May 31 1781 by the Revs. Phillip Hughes and Elijah Baker. In The History of Delaware by Scharf, it is stated, p. 1288, that the church decreased from forty -seven members to twenty three by reason of the removal of several families to Georgia and North Caroline and some to another church in 1784-5. Thomas Grace and family was one of those who went to Georgia.

In the records of the Powellton Baptist Church, Hancock County, Georga, it states "the first church building was completed in 1787, according to the minutes of the church. the minutes read: November 30, 1787, during conference Brethren Benjamin Thompson and Henry Graybill were appointed to settle with Thomas Grace for building the meeting house." A balance of three pounds and thirteen Shillings were due Mr. Grace. The above sum was subscribed and paid in full." This church building was located about a half mile north of Powells Creek, and about two miles from Powelton on the property of Benjamin Thompson, Sr. It was first named Powell's Creek Baptist Church and later changed to Powelton.

On the 27 June 1788 Thomas Grace of the State of Georgia Green County appointed Andrew Frazier with power of attorney to sell a bond due the him from Jonathan Wooton of the State of Deleware and County of Sussix County and was to pay Frazier, fourteen pounds to be taken out of the amount of One Hundred and thiry eight pounds in Maryland Currency, the bond was supposed to bring. William Maddux witnessed with R.Middleton, J.P.

On the 4th Sept 1790, Robert Flournoy of Wilkes co., sold to Thos. Grace of Greene Co., for 20 lbs. Sterling, a tract supposed to contain 40-50 acres on Buckhorn, the waters of Fulsom's Creek adj. where said Thos. Grace now lives, Joesph Maddox corner across the old trading path to a tract supposed to be surveyed for Abraham Maddox part of 433 acres granted to said Robt Fluornoy; signed Robert Flournoy. Witnesses: Henry Graybill, Benjamin Evans; Rec. 11 July 1791.

On 4 Sept 1790, Thomas Grace of Greene Co. sold to Benjamin Evans of same for 25 pds. lawful money 10 acres between the waters of Fulsoms Creek & Turkey Branch on the waters of Hoop poll Creek & Fulsoms Creek, being part of a tract of 200 acres granted Josiah Carter July 1785 adj. Abraham Reddick. signed Thomas Grace. Wit: Hen Graybill, J.P Malcom Johnston; Rec. 11 Jan 1793.

On 28 May 1792 Thomas Grace and Sarah his wife of Greene County, Ga. sold Jonathan Hosea of same for 20 lbs Ga. money 20? acres part of tract tranted Josiah Carter and part of another tract granted Robert Flournoy, both on the waters of Hooppoll Cr. and on Turkey branch of said creek including the house and plantation where the said Hosea now lives; Thomas Grace Sarah (X) Grace wit: Josiah Dennis , Robert Waddington, Mathew Rabun, J.P.

Again in 1799, Sarah Grace's name is on the list of members of the Powellton Baptist Church, and on one record Sally Grace is listed as having joined 3 July 1787 by letter from Broad Creek Church on Eastern Shores of Maryland.

Thomas Grace also signed a deed of Eli Whaley's in Hancock County in 1800, and it may be that is where Eli got his first land although no deed has been found to confirm this, but it was on Fulsom's Creek.

Thomas died and left a will, Will Bk. C, p.326, Hancocck County, Ga., Nov. 1, 1806- Dec. 1806. Sally died 12 Aug 1835 in Hancock County. In his will, Thomas names the following Children:

i. James M. Grace b. 3 Aug 1769 Del; m. c. 1794 Mary Jane Betts ; d. 1 AUG 1859 Allenton, Wilcox Co., Al; died at home of son, J.B. He was age 90 born in Delaware and died of old age, sick for two days according to 1860 Alabama Mortality Schedule (In Betts History, she is Nancy Betts and sister of Samuel Betts, Jr. who m. (2) Mary Whaley Jones, sister of Eli Whaley. Nancy Jane was born 6 July 1775/76 ; d. Oct. 4 1865; Conecuh Co.,Al.

ii. Polly (Mary ) Grace b. ca. 1780 m. Daniel Melson; living with sister, Comfort, in 1850 Coweta Co.,Ga. Daniel Melson, III son of Daniel Melson, II/mother unknown.

B: 1745 in Little Creek Hundred, Sussex Co., DE d: aft 1850 in Hancock Co., GA m: Mary "Polly" Grace d/o Thomas Grace b: abt 1766 d: aft 1850 in Hancock, GA


1. William P. Melson b: 30 Jul 1795 d: 10 Jul 1833 m: Daisy V. Shell

2. Appleton White b: abt 1801 d: 1876 m: 1.Penelope Simms 2. Melinda Johnson 3. Laura Crowder

3. Elizabeth Melson b: 1807 m: George Harrison

4. Sarah Melson b: abt 1811 m: Abraham Crowley

5. Mary D. Melson b: abt 1816 m: William Simms

iii. Patsy Grace m. Agrippa Atkinson-Some of their descendants came to Smith and Cherokee County, Tx. Agrippa Atkinson's will recorded Bibb Co., Al ; probated July 1833, Book D., p.112 Legatees named in will:

Patsey Atkinson, widow

1. Arthur Atkinson m (Dorothy Gardner)
2. Alfred " m.( Rebecca Smitherson)
3. John Wood m. (Elizabeth Atkinson)
4. Matthew Wood m.(Mourning Atkinson)
5. John Mink
6 Asa Atkinson
7. Jasper Atkinson m.( Peggy McGough)
8. Julian Atkinson
9. Caroline Atkinson
10. Harriet Atkinson
11. William Ragans
All sons & daughters heirs, legal Reps of Agrippa Atkinson; items in () not on document; executed on all but Arthur and Mink; 1967 certified copy found in Cherokee County, Texas Chapter DAR Records. Daughter of Alfred & Rebecca Smitherson Atkinson, Elizabeth Jane Atkinson m. E.J. Meredith 18 Feb 1887 in Cherokee Co., Texas

iv. Betsy Grace m. Eli Whaley ca. 1798

v. Tabitha Grace m _________ Alford

vi. Joshua Grace b. 26 Jan 1784 Sussex, Del m. Susan Janes Simmons 1 June 1807 Hancock Co, Ga. d. 19 Oct. 1862 Henry, Co., Al.

vii. Dolby Grace (No information)

viii. Margaret(Peggy) Grace b. c. 1793 m. 21 Nov. 1811 Isaac Culver, Hancock Co., Ga. d. 1867; lived adj. Thomas Jefferson Whaley in Hancock.

ix. Thomas Grace, Jr., b. ca. 1776; m. Thomas Grace was living in Rusk County, Texas in 1850 in the HH of Thomas Berryhill and wife, probably a daughter. He was 74 born in Maryland.

x. Silas Grace b. 1785-90; m. Elizabeth Lockhart 17 Oct 1816/17 Hancock Ga.; d. c. 1841 Talbot Co., Ga.

xi. Comfort Mattox Grace b. 26 Feb 1798 m. 16 Sept 1816 John Simms Hancock his second wife; Lived Henry Co.,Al 1860; She died 18 July 1880 Newman Coweta Co., Ga.; bur Simms Cem.


1. Benjamin Thomas Simms b. 8 Aug 1817; d. 1888 2. Almira Simmsb. Nov. 24, 1820 d. Nov. 25 m. Robert Orr. 3. Franklin Robert Simms born 8 Mar. 1823 m. Susan Gary ; m. (2) Mary Lou Speer;moved to Texas 4. James Alexander Simms

5. Susan Simms

6. John Dickinson Simms

7. Sarah Margaret Simms

8. Mary Emily Simms

Simms information from A Family Called Fort by Homer T. Fort, Jr. and Druscilla Stovall Jones 1970.

xii. Jeptha Grace b. c. 1800 m. Martha Culver 13 May 1821 Hancock Co., Ga.

Thomas & Joshua Grace had 2 draws in land lottery of 1806, Capt Shivers dist. Hancock County

Some other Grace notes from LDS film Hancock County #0222014.

               Book M. 1818-1823 Sarah Grace appoints attorney Silas Grace, p. 383-1821. Joshua Grace to W A. shivers p. 330 John Kelly and wife to Abner Atkinson, p. 158 (1819)

from "Marriages and Deaths 1820 - 1830" abstracted from extant Georgia newspapers by Mary B. Warren w/ Sarah Fleming White

Mrs. Sarah Grace, 75 y, d. 8/12/1825, member of the Baptist Church for more than 30 years. from: Mount Zion Missionary , Mount Zion [Hancock Co.Ga] 8-29-1825

Many of the families the Whaleys and Graces married into were from the Sussex Co., Del and Md. area such as the Betts, Culvers, Melsons, etc.

WILL BOOK C, 1803-1816, P. 328 HANCOCK

In the name of (God) Amen. I Thomas Grace of the county of Hancock and State of Georgia being very weak in body, but of sound mind and memory, and calling to mind that all men are born once to die do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form folloring (sic)( that is to say)

First of all I recommend my Sole to Almighty god who gave it (to) me and my body to be buried in a Decent Christian like manner-------

Item, I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Polley Melson ditto

Item, I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Patsey Atkinson Ditto

Item, I give and bequeath unto my beloved daughter Betsy Whaley Ditto

Item, I give and bequeath unto my beloved daughter Tabitha Alford Ditto

Item, I give and bequeath unto my beloved son Joshua Grace Ditto

Item, I give and bequeath unto my beloved son Dolby Grace, one Good Horse saddle and Bride(Bridle) seventy five Dollars in cash and one cow and calf.

Item, I give and bequeath unto my beloved daughter Peggy Grace, one good Bedstead and furniture, one cow and calf, and one two year old heifer, one pewter dish and six Pewter plates, one Spinning wheel and two smoothing irons, one iron pot, one trunk, and three head of sheep-----

Item, I give and bequeath unto my beloved son Thomas Grace two Hundred dollars in Cash

Item, I give and bequeath unto my two beloved sons Silas Grace and Jeptha Grace, one horse saddle and bridle apiece, and all and singular the tract of land whereon I now live, containing two hundred acres and they the said Silas and Jeptha to jointyly maintain their Brother Thomas Grace during his lifetime-------------

Item, I give and bequeath to my beloved daughter Comfort Grace one good bed bedstead and furniture, one cown and calf, one two year old heifer, one perter dish six perter plates one spinning wheel, two moothing irons, one iron pot ,three head of sheep------

Item, I nominate and appoint my beloved wife Salley Grace and my beloved son in law, Agrippa Atkinson, sole executors of this my last will and testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal the first day of Movember one thousand eight hundred and six.

Signed, Sealed and Acknowledged in Presence of


Hard Hawkins

Thomas Grace (Seal)

Allen Pope

Terrell Barkdale

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Inventory and appraisement of this estate recorded on page 334 of same book.