Who were the three Graces?

+5 votes

According to Wikitree, the Three Graces are not Aglaia, Thalia, and Euphrosyne, they are “Grace Powhatan,” (Powhatan-243) “Grace Meese,” (Meese-163) and “Grace Frizer (Frizer-1) actually all the same woman: Grace (unknown) Ashton Kay (abt. 1645-1705) the wife of two Virginia settlers.  Her maiden name, date, and place of birth are all unknown but she now has three different profiles in Wikitree, two of which connect her to impossible parents, one to a possible but unproven parent.  When I first posted about her on G2G about a year ago she was only a twin, now she’s a triplet.  

The limited information about Grace is  

She was probably born about 1640-45.

She married John Ashton about 1660 (son Charles had a son who was born about 1680). The date is uncertain, but by the time John died in early 1677 they had at least six children.  There are no surviving records which date the children’s births.   

In 1670 Henry Meese gave the gift of a horse to Grace and John’s daughter Mary:

John Ashton died in 1677; Grace was made administratrix of his estate in June, 1678.

In 1677 William Frizer/Frazier, a surgeon, died and left most of his estate to “Grace Ashton, widow” and five of her six living children (the eldest had already inherited his father’s property, likely the reason he was not given any land by Frizer.  Frizer also named a godson in his will.  He did not state any relationship to Grace or her children.

By December of 1678 Grace had married a man named James Kay, who died pretty promptly

In May of 1679 Grace was made administratrix of James Kay’s estate.

Grace may have died about 1706 when a bond was supposedly posted by the administrator of her estate (I have not located a supporting document yet).  

Disputed family:

Henry Meese, an English merchant born in 1628 arrived in Maryland anout 1654. He conducted his affairs in Maryland for about 5 years and then sold up and moved to Virginia about 1660.  He bought land and quickly became involved in the affairs of the colony.  Henry returned to England about 1670, married a woman named Ann Pert in 1675, fathered four children, and died in 1682.  He never returned to America.  His widow sold his American properties about 1694. There is nothing to show that Henry had an earlier English family and he could not have fathered Grace after his arrival in America. 

William Frizer named the widowed Grace as executor of his estate and left almost all his property to her children.   He named a godson in the will but made no mention of any family relationship to Grace or her children.

Keziah Arroyah is a mythical person.  There is no record that any such person ever lived.  As noted above, Henry Meese did not arrive in Virginia until 1660 so could not have fathered children with her in the 1640’s.  Nothing is known of any children of Wahanganoche; they are not mentioned in any record.

What can we do to get these three Graces into one accurately-profiled woman? 

WikiTree profile: Grace Kay
in Genealogy Help by Kathie Forbes G2G6 Pilot (402k points)
edited by Kathie Forbes
Another researcher has found a John and Grace Ashton living in Warwick County about 1650.  There are interesting connections between this John Ashton and some Westmoreland County residents that are worth exploring.  If it’s the same couple they would be older than current estimates. Their children’s ages aren’t known, only that they were under twenty-one in 1677, so born after 1656.

2 Answers

+2 votes
Someone has come up with a Lt. Col. Henry Meese b. 1564-1666. There is no proof that this man existed and they have co-opted data belonging to Henry Meese born 1628 in OverWarton, England. This man could not be the father of Grace. He was apprenticed as a linen draper in 1641. His apprenticeship was for 8 years; he would have finished in 1649.

Henry did not acquire land in Virginia until 1665, and left the Colony, probably having made his fortune and returned to England to marry and have children.

There is no reason, or documentable proof,  to believe that there was a second man named Henry Meese living in Virginia, flying under the radar, as it were.
by Jeanie Roberts G2G6 Pilot (127k points)
And there’s a duplicate Henry, (Meese-228) in Wikitree with a 1618 birth date but the exact same death date. I’ve proposed a merge.
I think it was rejected on the grounds that there were two men named Henry Meese.
All the sources listed for Meese-228 are sources for Meese-9.
0 votes
Since there is no documentation for any parents for Grace Ashton, I will start the ball rolling by detaching the parents from Meese-163.
by Kathie Forbes G2G6 Pilot (402k points)

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