Mary Gresham
Privacy Level: Private with Public Biography and Family Tree (Yellow)

Mary Gresham

Honor Code Signatory
Signed 18 Apr 2019 | 9188 contributions | 487 thank-yous
Communication Preferences: I am interested in communicating private message with anyone who shares the same ancestors. My family tree is at <>.
There is an important Ydna Surname Project at FTDNA for Gresham/Grissom/Grisham males. If you have not yet tested for the Ydna (father to son) at FTDNA at 111 markers or the Big Y Dna test, please consider helping.

We are also comparing US dna to UK dna.

Mary L. Gresham
Ancestors ancestors
Sister of [private brother (1940s - unknown)] and [private sister (1940s - unknown)]
Descendants descendants
Mother of [private son (1950s - unknown)], [private daughter (1960s - unknown)] and [private daughter (1960s - unknown)]
Profile last modified | Created 18 Apr 2019 | Last significant change: 19 Jun 2022
03:48: Mary Gresham edited the Biography for Mary Gresham. (Minor corrections. ) [Thank Mary for this]
This page has been accessed 3,727 times.


I began genealogy research during the mid 1970's from Denver, CO. I took some classes, read books and jumped in by writing Clerks of the Counties for wills, old style. I met Carol, Milt and Troy Gresham as one of the first subscribers to the GAWYSI (Gresham Any Way You Spell It) news letters. I have purchased any and all Gresham books thru the years.

Early on, I had promised my father, John T. Gresham that before he died we would know more about where his Gresham ancestors from Leon County, Texas had come from. No one had a clue except they thought he was from Virginia.

My father passed away last June at age 99. He was a WWII veteran and fought on Okinawa and Leyte. He was present in Korea for the surrender of the Japanese. He was someone who lived life positively every day and was still planting trees for the next generation in his 80's.

I kept my word by reading roll after roll of microfilm at the Denver Federal Center and local Mormon libraries on my vacation days until I found our John Thomas Gresham, original settler in Centerville. He was living in Boligee, Greene County, Alabama on the 1840 census with his name spelled Grisham. I knew it was him when I saw that his wife was 10 years older with 5 boys. What a surprise!

After a lot more work, I was able to find out who the Thomas Gresham was that he lived near then connect him back to his family in Taliaferro and Wilkes Counties, Georgia. Our John Thomas Gresham had been orphaned at the age of 12 and had gone to live with Thomas Gresham, his cousin there in Alabama to learn the blacksmith trade. I was finally able to trace our Gresham line back to Goochland, then King & Queen Counties, Virginia.

I retired to East Texas and joined Ancestry in 2008. It took weeks, but entered all my paper group sheets, scanned wills, orphan records, birth and marriage records into the computer and began adding other Gresham lines to my tree to get "the big picture" of how and where the old Gresham lines in Virginia had branched out.

I continue doing research on all my family lines, but am particularly interested in old Gresham lines in Virginia. There seems to be many different views about Gresham genealogy that have come from family biographies, not actual court records. Since the records from King and Queen County were burned, many trees have grouped together people from their associations with county land records. This has limitations and problems with the precise science of genealogy.

We will never know exactly who the sons of Edward Immigrant Gresham were or how his grandchildren fall into line underneath his assumed 4 Gresham sons Thomas, Edward, George and John that are listed for King and Queen on the 1704 Quit Rent Roll. We do know that if you add up the acres for these 4 men, it is exactly the number of acres of Edward Gresham's original land patent of 1650 and the acres he purchased at a later date. We can only have assumptions, but that makes for interesting conversations.

My dad's DNA is on FTDNA under kit 236828 at 111 markers. He is on the Big Y Grisham, Gresham, Grissom Project and the East Anglia Project. He closely matches Troy Gresham. He does match closely with men who still live in the Norfolk, England area, the ancestral home of the first Gresham.

My tree on is called Gresham, Robinson and Allied Families. user gresham970. I have added many Gresham lines from England that came to the U.S. at later times hoping to find men who would test for YDNA and join the projects. It is now a "Big Gresham Tree".

Gresham, Robinson & Allied Families on Ancestry: This "tree" will always be a work in progress as new information is uncovered and details come to light that were previously unclear. It is meant to be a beginning for the descendants that come after me to add onto. I have voraciously enjoyed history since childhood and retracing the paths of ancestors long gone has given me great pleasure. I hope that honoring our strong, courageous ancestors will give the future generations a clearer sense of their own path. Each generation can add a new piece of data by documenting a will, an old record, or newspaper clipping. For it is in this pruning and watering process the "tree" will grow stronger and more solid through the years. I hope it helps other Gresham researchers in the future. I enjoy discussions and am easy to get along with, but do dislike guesses.


(Something I wrote a few years back.)


I have always known that my existence didn’t just happen with me popping up like a mushroom or falling off the back of some turnip truck. I understood early on, that someone here on earth had also paid a price for me. For whatever reason, I was born with a deep sense of gratitude and connection to my ancestors.

I remember being horrified when I learned that 80% of the ENTIRE populations of Italy, France, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, England, Scotland, etc. died from the “Black Death” that is believed to be the Bubonic plague. It was a fast moving wave of pestilence carried by fleas causing painfully agonizing boils and a writhing death for millions of people in just 3 short years. What amazes me to this day is that MY ANCESTORS LIVED! Somehow they were among the 1 in 5 fortunate! And so were yours. How blessed is that!

These amazingly strong ancestors of the people living today, whom God had blessed with their lives, then claimed land that had been vacated and needed tilling. The rich came out of their manor houses and worked alongside to keep themselves from starving. This new land cooperation lifted men up out of an endless cycle of poverty to eventually become the new middle class. These hardy people went on to repopulate all of Europe, rebuild dead cities and invent amazing things, eventually even coming to The New World. I am so grateful for each and every one of my ancestors, whether rich or poor, who paid a price for me. They were the farmers, the carriage makers, the blacksmiths, the carpenters, the ship builders, the stone masons, the butchers, the weavers, the saddle makers, the iron workers, the preachers, the teachers, the lawyers, the doctors, the merchants and all in between.

I am grateful for each generation of parents who loved their children and carefully taught them to love God, to read, to work, to be honorable, to be brave and disciplined. All those parents from so long ago, who dreamed of their children having an even better life, made sure that they learned good manners, social skills, integrity, compassion and respect for others. It was those dreams of countless generations of loving parents for their children that have given me the life I have today. I did not fall off a “turnip truck”.

Each individual person is never a standalone item. Every single one of us is connected to each other, our ancestors, our heritage, their sacrifices and the wars they fought to give us this great beautiful United States of America with the generous opportunities we enjoy.

Each decision we make in life can either raise our future children up to a higher level than we have achieved or we can drag them down. They are the precious unborn who have no choice in the matter except to either struggle because of the decisions we have made in our own self-interested path or succeed because we have lifted them up with our own sacrifices. So today, I give thanks to all my ancestors and to God for watching over them so that my life could be so richly blessed.

I apologize to my ancestors for making so many decisions that did not live up to the love and sacrifices they made for me throughout the centuries.

Blessings, Mary

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Comments: 29

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Great Bio Mary. Under Turnip Truck, at the bottom under your name, is a link to LTTM-6BC on FamilySearch. That individual seems to have disappeared.
posted by Stokes White Jr
I just clicked on that link and it was working?
posted by Mary Gresham
And I just tried and got a blank. I even used the PID in Search/Find and drew a blank. I'll work with it. Not sure what's going on. Thanks for your feedback.
posted by Stokes White Jr

I'm a newbie at Wikitree, and I've just started adding my family. Please forgive me If I make this confusing, but I will try and be clear. It can get confusing when folks are named the same. I came across a common relative you added to wikitree, William Newton McKnight Jr.

When you look at the East Texas cemetery where the McKnight Family is buried there are 3 generations of William McKnights there at "McKnight Cemetery" in East Texas. Here is the memorial for our common ancestor, the first William

And the second William

And the third William

When you look at wikitree, the William you added has correct birth years, but you have his father as William Newton and the cemetery doesn't have a father listed.

How certain are you about this William Newton being the father of the William Newton of East Texas. Is there written info, a census, land records, etc...

Thanks for your help.

posted by Danny Pace
edited by Danny Pace
I took over the profile pages for Troy Gresham who died last summer. So I don't have any personal knowledge about his research. I would suggest going with the cemetery records from the tombstones. Some Find a Grave Memorials are not from actual tombstones. Mary
posted by Mary Gresham
I will dig into this in a few days. Busy with Spring yard work.


posted by Mary Gresham
HI Mary,

Please email me for a copy of my research on the death date of James Lea of Kilgore's Branch; It is too long to post here. I am a descendant of. James Lea of Country Line Creek and the administrator of the Caswell County NC YDNA Project. My email address is [email address removed]

posted by Cynthia (Vold) Forde
Hello Cynthia, For some reason your email address was removed?

My email is [email address removed] Thank you for such good research on our Leas of Caswell County, Mary Descendant of James Country Line

posted by Mary Gresham
edited by Mary Gresham
Hi Mary,

I am going to send in my Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) supplemental application for Mary Gresham Johns . We have proof that she attended a wounded soldier in the Revolutionary War. My problem is that someone else has already approved her as Mary X Johns, meaning they could not prove her maiden name as Gresham. So, I want to make sure is can prove her maiden name on my application for DAR. What document would you recommend to prove her connection to her father John?

Thank you so much for all the research you have done on the Greshams!

Davine Roberts Jacksonville, FL [email address removed]

posted by Davine (Moore) Roberts
Thanks so much for your kind help on Nathan Forrest’s Civil War profile!! I see the merge was already set. Thanks again!


posted by Paula J
Thanks, Mary, for adding Robert Nelson Jennings! I'd forgotten I created profiles for these folks...found them in an old family cemetery in Walton County (where my dad's family hails from). The Harrises are very distant collateral relatives of mine; had a 2x great-aunt who married a Harris. Can of worms for sure! Best, Donna
posted by D Armistead
You are welcome! Thank you for creating the profiles,


posted by Mary Gresham
Hi Mary! Thanks so much for your interest in the Gresham profiles I've worked on today. Please feel free to edit in any way you see necessary, and to add what you like. Such an interesting family. My connection is not a direct one.. If you haven't read about Macon Greshams you might enjoy it.. and if you are familiar, there seems to be more added online as collections are uploaded, and new books and articles are published. Thanks again, and best regards.
posted by [Living P.]
Wonderful bio Mary; I enjoyed reading it!
posted by SJ Baty
Thank you. I hadn't read any others when it was written and later on, thought it might be a little too personal, but left it anyway.


posted by Mary Gresham
Hey Mary,

For your research...The Dillard Annuals are now on WikiTree.

-) Mags

In Answer? they are actually on WikiTree...more to come is the Association is ok with posting more. Have permission to post the Annuals and the Grave Ceremony.

posted by Mags Gaulden
Don't forget to add your sources when changing relationships on profiles....
posted by Robin Lee
Hey Mary Louise,

The answer to your comment is in the Bio. on the profile page:


posted by Mags Gaulden
ok, I have read it out and matched it up. it is George's son not a possible father as it starts out claiming. so I made a note to move the paragraph to the FREE SPACE... sound good? yes it is confussssing...
posted by Carole Taylor
Thank you for checking them all out. sure wish they had not ALL used the same names for their kids, GADS! I just added a child, and his child, (Anderson)
posted by Carole Taylor
We are 7th cousins, thru James and we both have Riley Truitt grandfather's.
posted by Carole Taylor
Have a look at the changes I've made in Lea-561, which I'm now fairly sure is a distinct person from Lea-95. Comments welcome.
Thanks for your suggestion to merge Lea-95 and Lea-561, but I would like to double check on a few facts and sources before approving such a merge, I will decide in the next day or so

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