* REVOLUTIONARY WAR VETERAN: His service is documented and recognized by the National Society of the Daughters and Sons of the American Revolution.
It is unclear where Josiah was born; however, the Graves family settled in Massachusetts many decades prior to the Revolutionary War. Listings have been found for a "Josiah Graves" living in both Franklin Co. Massachusetts and then Pittsfield Co., Massachusetts. Many other Graves family members are also listed as early settlers of those two areas of Massachusetts. Josiah could have been born in Ireland; however, it is more likely that he was born in Massachusetts in 1725 or 1730. He is of Scotch-Irish descent according to the 1880 U.S. Census for Sanilac Co., MI for his grand daughter, Phebe Graves-Edwards, the daughter of Josiah Graves, Jr.. Josiah Graves, Sr. lived in Berkshire County, Massachusetts where he was a farmer until the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. Josiah Graves, Sr. is the father of Josiah Graves, Jr. (b. abt. 1754-59), Richard Graves (b. abt. 1760), and John Graves (b abt. 1762). His wife's Christian name is not known. (Documentation source: Revoutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant of Mary Beard-Graves #W7578 also see the Findagrave memorial for Josiah Graves, Jr.).
In January of 1777, Josiah Graves, Sr. and his son, Josiah Graves, Jr., both enlisted in the First Continental Army. Josiah Graves, Sr. died in July 1777 of smallpox at the Fishkill Supply Depot while still enlisted the First Continental Army. There have been approximately 87 Revolutionary War graves recently discovered at the Fish Kill Supply Depot site. After some research of records, Josiah Graves, Sr. is known to be buried in one of those graves. Future DNA testing of remains will make identification possible because the graves were unmarked.
The physician who attended the death of Josiah Graves, Sr., wrote this: Dr. Ledyard (at Fishkill) writes to Dr. Cutter (at Peekskill) on July 21, 1777 - "Snow is dead and old Graves followed him without much ceremony. The deaf man is just gone and also Dennison died this morning. If I should go on much farther with my dead list, I believe you will think I am about clearing the hospital, but I do assure you they would not obey my Orders to live, so I was obliged to give them a Furlow." This account is taken from A HISTORY OF THE CUTTER FAMILY OF NEW ENGLAND by Benjamin Cutter of Woburn, Mass.; Boston: David Clapp & Son 1871, page 321. The service record of Josiah Graves, Sr. is as follows:
Last Known Duty Station: Fishkill Supply Depot - 1777
Capt. Abraham Watson
References For Where Josiah Graves Is From: (1)HISTORY OF THE CONNECTICUT VALLEY IN MASSACHUSETTS WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES, VOL. I AND II, by Louis H. Everts, 1870. (2) THE HISTORY OF PITTSFIELD (BERKSHIRE COUNTY) MASSACHUSETTS, by Joseph Edward Adams Smith, 1822-1896.