Name: Isabella Lea 1 2 3
Reference Number: 1432
Birth: 1738 in King and Queen County, Virginia
Death: AFT 20 APR 1796 in Caswell County, North Carolina
Isabella Lee (1738 - aft. 20 April 1796)
Isabella Lea (who signed her name "Isbell") was the daughter of James ("Country Line") Lea and Ann Herndon Lea. Not much information is available about Isabella. From the best evidence located, she was born in King and Queen County, Virginia, about 1738, and died in Caswell County, North Carolina, after April 29, 1796. Note that many different years have been given as the year of her birth. The date used here is from Graves: Twelve Generations, Some Descendants and Kin, Louise Graves (1977) at 71. Further research is required. Another researcher ascribes 22 February 1731 in King and Queen County, Virginia. See The Spirit in the South(Rev. Dr. Cynthia Forde).
Isabella Lea is the only person the various researchers agree on as the (or a) wife of John Graves. Most believe that Isabella Lea was not the mother of all the children of John Graves. Others suggest that John Graves was first married to a Herndon, and that the name of this first wife was Catherine Herndon. One researcher suggests that Isabella Lea was related to the Herndon family of Virginia. That he had a wife before Isabella Lea seems almost certain. One researcher even postulates that John Graves had three wives. See the Notes on John Graves.
Death date of after 20 April 1796 is from Graves: Twelve Generations, Some Descendants and Kin, Louise Graves (1977) at 71. Note that the LDS (Mormon Records) has her death year as 1829 (which would have her living 91 years).
For more on her history and genealogy go to: John Graves (1715-1792)
For detailed and comprehensive information on the Graves family (including those branches having no connection to Caswell County) go to the Graves Family Association Website. Please note the substantial revisions being proposed to the genealogy of Captain Thomas Graves as a result of DNA findings.
Her name also is seen as Isabelle. See: The Morehead Family of North Carolina and Virginia, John Motley Morehead III (1921) at 118; Will of Solomon Graves.
While the following contains serious errors, it is placed here because it is in print and may be relied upon by others. See the editorial notes and tread carefully:
Isabella Lea, daughter of James Lea and Anne Herndon was born c. 1735 in King & Queen County, Virginia, and died in Caswell County, North Carolina. She married in Spotsylvania County, Virginia c. 1753. John Graves, Jr. (son of John Graves, Sr, and wife Elizabeth), was born York County, Virginia, c. 1720, and died in Caswell County, North Carolina 1792 (Inventory of Estate 20 March 1792). They had the following children:
1. Mary Graves, born 27 January 1754, and died 22 February 1831. She married Honorable John Kerr, born 29 January 1753, and died 22 February 1816. The had the following children: Reverend John Kerr, born in Caswell County, North Carolina, 4 August 1782, and died 27 September 1842, married Mrs. Elizabeth Williams; Polly Kerr married Jeremiah Lea 20 April 1797 in Caswell County, North Carolina; Isabella Kerr married Christopher Brooks; Betsy Kerr married Joseph Pennix; Nancy Kerr married Benjamin Lea 9 February 1796 in Caswell County, North Carolina; James Kerr married Frances McNeill; May Kerr married Unknown Lea; Solomon Kerr married Unknown; and Barzillai Kerr, born August 22 1784, married Elizabeth Henderson.
3. Thomas Graves, born c. 1757, married Hannah Slade (Inventory Caswell County, North Carolina, 20 April 1799; division of land January Court 1800; had nine children). [Casey has this all wrong.]
3. Reverend Barzillai Graves, Baptist minister, was born 12 December 1759, and died 14 July 1827. On 10 April 1783 in Caswell County, North Carolina, he married Ursula Wright. Will June 25, 1827. Had seven children.
4. Captain John Herndon Graves, a Revolutionary War soldier, was born September 1755 , and died October 1829. His will was recorded January 1830. He married Elizabeth Unknown [Nancy Slade], and they had ten children.
5. Ann Graves, born c. 1761, married William Yancey. Will 9 April 1851. Legatees: Elizabeth Yancey, Mary Catherine Mebane, Virginia Swepson, Fanny Ann McAden, Alernal S. Yancey. [All this is incorrect. Nancy (Ann) Graves married Bartlett Yancey, Sr. The children listed her by Casey are the children of Bartlett Yancey, Jr., and Nancy (Ann) Graves, daughter of John Herndon Graves and Nancy Slade.]
6. Isabella Graves, born c. 1764 , married Thomas Slade [Jr.] 12 December 1782.
7. Solomon Graves, born 29 April 1766, died 1830, married Frances Lewis of Virginia. Their children are: William Bird Graves; Dr. John L. Graves; Frances Graves; Iverson Lea Graves; Barzillai Graves; Solomon Graves; and Sidney Graves.
8. Azariah Graves, born 29 October 1767 , died 1843 (will dated 5 August 1843), married Elizabeth Williams and had ten children. [General Azariah Graves died 1 March 1850. Casey is very confused.]
9. James Graves, born 1772, died 1 July 1829, served in the War of 1812, married (1) Unknown Wright, married (2) 15 April 1800 Mar Slade, and had nine children. Reference Mrs. Maud Florance Harrelson of Yanceyville, North Carolina.[Casey has this all wrong, and describes the family of James Graves, son of Thomas Graves and Hannah Miles.]
Source: Amite County, Mississippi 1699-1890 (Volume #3): The Environs, Albert Eugene Casey (1957) at 562.
Father: James (Country Line) Lea b: 1707 in Spotsylvania County, Virginia
Mother: Ann Unknown [Lea] b: 1707 in Spotsylvania County, Virginia
John Graves b: 1715 in St. George's Parish, Spotsylvania County, Virginia
in Orange County, North Carolina
- Note: Query whether the marriage date usually shown of 1753 is accurate. Most believe that John Graves moved to the area that was to become Caswell County in 1754. Accordingly, the marriage date of 1753 may be a year too early. Note also that many believe that Isabella Lea was not the first wife of John Graves. Note also, that some researchers claim that John Graves and Isabella Lea were already married when they relocated from Virginia. Researchers are advised to proceed with caution in this area.
- Thomas Graves b: ABT 1740 in Spotsylvania County, Virginia
- John Herndon Graves b: 1746 in Spotsylvania County, Virginia
- Mary Graves b: 26 JAN 1754 in James City County, Virginia
- Barzillai Graves b: 12 DEC 1759 in Caswell County, North Carolina
- Isabella Graves b: 1761 in Caswell County, North Carolina
- Solomon Graves b: 29 APR 1766
- Azariah Graves b: 29 OCT 1768 in Caswell County, North Carolina
- James Graves b: ABT 1772
- Nancy Graves
- Details: Bible of Solomon Graves (1784-1861) (1817 Entries)
- Details: Graves Family Association Genealogy #270 (John Graves)
- Details: Rose, Ben L. Lea Families in Caswell & Person Counties, North Carolina and Virginia Before 1800. Decorah (Iowa): Anundsen Publishing Co., 1995, p. 14. Print