Friday, October 22, 2010

George Washington Gravett - October 22, 1842

One of my sixteen great-great grandparents, George Washington Gravett, was born 168 years ago today. He is pictured above with his wife, Melinda Jane Cecil and ten of their fifteen children.
(Five died in infancy.) Great-great grandpa and grandma are seated directly behind their youngest son, Joe Gravett. The woman in the back on the left is my Great grandmother, Nancy Gravett Lynam. There is no date on the picture, but I would guess it was taken in the early 1900's.
I don't know too much about my Gravett relatives. When I was working at the light plant (Corning Municipal Utilities) in 1966-67, Joe was (to me) an old man who came in to pay his light bill. He told me we were related. But at that time in my life I wasn't interested in family genealogy. Too bad because I'm sure he could have told me many stories.
The woman seated to the left of G.W. was Jeannette Hunt. I didn't know her, but I knew her son, Paul Hunt and his wife, Bernadette. When I moved back to Corning in '78, Bernadette was the manager of Westgate Housing. She is the one who gave me this picture. Paul had died. They had no children. When she gave the picture to me she said, "You are probably the one who will appreciate it the most."
The woman on the right in the back was Lulu Fail. She was the mother of Ruth Wyatt. Mrs. Wyatt was the high school librarian. When I was a senior, I worked in the library. Again, I was told we were related. Again, I did not pay attention.
When Bernadette gave me the photo, she named all of the women and three of the men. She said according to family legend one of the boys had "taken off out west" never to be heard from again. Bud and I kidded that we figured it was the one behind Joe and between G.W. and Melinda. We both thought he looked a likely 'outlaw'.
At least three of the children who died in infancy are buried in Findley Cemetery northeast of Villisca. I remember seeing the gravestones and that one of them, a daughter had the same birth day, November 18, as I.
My grandparents, George and Bessie Lynam, were attendants at Joe's wedding in 1915 when he married Ezma Dicks. I learned that from reading old issues of the Adams County Free Press online. Also that one of Joe's sons, Cecil Rex Gravett, was killed in WWII.
If I learn more about this family, I'll come back and add to this blog. And yes, I really wish I had paid attention when Joe Gravett and Ruth Wyatt tried to tell me some family history.


  1. What a great picture! I am a great-grandson of Joe and Ezma.

  2. It is a great picture, I am a grand daughter of Joe and Ezma Gravett.

  3. Laura - Thanks. By any chance do you have any old pictures of your Great-grandpa and grandma Gravett that you would share?