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 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 Ancestry.com 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".
I hope it helps other Gresham researchers in the future. I enjoy discussions and am easy to get along with, but do dislike guesses.
Have you taken a DNA test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.