Graham Family History
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Here’s our research papers on our Graham~Greenawalt families.

My name is Robert Calvin Graham, and I was born September 28th 1952 to Robert Harvey Graham and Dorothy Irene Klinger in Mechanicsburg Cumberland County Pennsylvania.

I was named after my father and his father,  Calvin Stoey Graham.  Calvin was the son of William Henry Graham and Sarah Catherine Greenawalt.  The story behind my great grandparents and their lives was hard to uncover.

Our great-grandfather William Henry Graham was born September 12th 1873 to William Albert [1] Graham and Mary Oliver of Shippensburg, Cumberland County Pennsylvania.

Our research paper on William is extensive, and includes our family’s oral history. One example, as told to me: (...William had come from a large family, and the family couldn’t keep him...the family didn’t want William...)

What we learned... William Graham and Mary Oliver had five children while they lived in the Shippensburg Pennsylvania area. In 1859, while living in Middle Springs Southampton Township, just outside Shippensburg, their 1st child was born; William Albert Graham, [2] who died sometime between 1866 and 1870.

When our great grandfather was born in 1873, he was named William Henry. William was eleven months old when his mother died on August 24th 1874. William’s father remarried in 1875 to Margaret Stewart Hildebrand-Culbertson, who had a 7 year old son. Sometime prior to the 1875 marriage, our great grandfather was given to Lenard and Catherine Thrush to live with in Southampton Township Franklin County Pennsylvania. This 1872 Cumberland County map  helps identify the proximity of the families, and where they lived in 1872.

Our great-great grandfather, William Albert Graham, was born April 30th 1833 to  [3] John H. Graham and Lydia Devor in the Mount Pleasant and Blaine area of Toboyne Township Perry County, which is present day Jackson Township. [4]

Our Graham family line is directly linked to the marriage between John Graham and Lydia Devor. [5] John Graham is the brother of Robert Graham (...Ann Devor married Robert Graham, Lydia Devor married John Graham, a brother of Robert...) [6] Robert Graham was born 1805 in Ireland, [7] and as far as we know for now, John Graham was born 1810 in Pennsylvania.

From their marriages to the Devor sisters, we learn about Ann and Lydia Devor’s [8] parents and siblings, who lived in and around the Path Valley region of Spring Run in Metal and Fannett Townships of Franklin County Pennsylvania. [9]  In 1830 the family lived in the western region of Shermans Valley Perry County. By 1840 John’s family lived in Mifflin Township Cumberland County, in 1850 in the Newburg area of Hopewell Township Cumberland County, and by 1862 they were back in the New Germantown and Blain areas of Shermans Valley Perry County.

The region where Perry, Franklin, and Cumberland Counties meet, is where the Devor and Graham families members lived. It’s specifically within this thirty mile radius of one another, where all of the children of John and Robert will lived and raised their families. This map helps show how Franklin, Cumberland, and Perry counties come together. When this area was the western frontier of Lancaster County, it was referred to as the Path Valley region of Lancaster County. [10]

You can visit our Graham Research, web page and read about the many Graham families that lived in this same region. We’re certain, that one of these families is our Graham patriarch, and Robert and John Graham’s parents.

End Notes

[1.] The middle name Albert is assumed, and it came from the Baptism Records at the Middle Springs Presbyterian Church Cumberland County; William Albert Graham - May 14th 1859 – Baptism – parent: William Graham - Rev. Hays - Pg. 130; Middle Springs is in the Southampton Township, Post Office Shippensburg area of Cumberland County Pennsylvania. The 1860 census for this area also listed Wm. A. Graham, son of William and Mary.

[2.] William Albert Graham Birth: Baptism Records at the Middle Springs Presbyterian Church Cumberland County; William Albert Graham - May 14th 1859 – Baptism – parent: William Graham - Rev. Hays - Pg. 130; Middle Springs is in the Southampton Township, Post Office Shippensburg area of Cumberland County Pennsylvania. The 1860 census for this area also listed Wm. A. Graham, son of William and Mary.

[3.] William’s birth date was calculated using the information from his headstone and obituary, and a birth date calculator; The Chronicle Shippensburg Pennsylvania, Thursday, August 6th 1908; Shippensburg Historical Society, 52 West King Street Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.

[4.] William’s obituary mentioned being born in Perry County to John Graham and Lydia Devor. We felt this area is the most likely area where William was born. This area appears to be the center where many of John and Lydia Graham’s children married, began their families, and where some would eventually live their lives. It is also the area where Lydia and John where buried.

[5.] Our family’s connection with John and Lydia Graham comes from my great grandfather’s first marriage application with Dellia Killinger, which identified William and Mary Graham as his parents. His father, William Graham, died in 1908, and his obituary identified John Graham and Lydia Devor as his parents; Taylor ~ Graham Library, 479 County Line Road, York Springs Pennsylvania 17372.

[6.] The John and Robert Graham brother relationship came from two sources: Devor Family, pages 695 to 699, Biographical Annals of Franklin County, Chicago, The Genealogical Publishing Company, 1905; and the Graham Files, Cumberland County Historical Society, PO Box 626, 21 North Pitt Street, Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

[7.] Robert’s birth in Ireland and marriage to Ann Devor comes from the death certificate of his son; William A. Graham; the information was provided by William’s son Stover Graham; William A. Graham Death Certificate, #4423075, Pennsylvania Division of Vital Records, Harrisburg PA; Taylor ~ Graham Library, 479 County Line Road, York Springs Pennsylvania, 17372

[8.] The alternative spelling of Devor, includes Deavor and Devore.

[9.] Devor Family, pages 696 of the Biographical Annals of Franklin County, Chicago, The Genealogical Publishing Company, 1905, Taylor ~ Graham Library, 479 County Line Road, York Springs Pennsylvania 17372

[10.] This is the region where present day Perry County meets Franklin and Cumberland Counties. Before the Revolutionary War, this was known as the Path Valley region of Lancaster County. It’s where Horse Valley, Little Illinois Valley, Shermans Valley, and Henry’s Valley of Perry County runs down into Amberson Valley, Burnt Valley and into Path Valley Franklin County, and the Cumberland Valley. Page 28 -30, History of Perry County Pennsylvania, Including Descriptions of Indian and Pioneer Life From the Tome of Earliest Settlement, Sketches Of Its Notable Men and Women, and Many Professional Men, by H. H. Hain, Harrisburg Pennsylvania, 1922, Hain-Moore Company, Harrisburg Pennsylvania.