Monday, November 25, 2013

New From Our Website: Genealogy - Louis Marshall "Bum" McGraw

Now available on the ABOUT US section of our website, a Family Group Sheet with genealogical information for Louis Marshall "Bum" and his wife, Elizabeth "Lizzie" Almeda Cook. Fun fact: Bum and Lizzie were second cousins. John's mother Savinnas was the sister of Lizzie's grandfather John Tinsley Surratt.

We already have charts on the site for Napper, Collins, Pole, Mayhorn and Gus. There are more to come, but if you think we've made a mistake, or have more information that you think we should add, email us at

Christmas is coming! If you're interested in ordering one of our exclusive McGraw shirt designs, you can find all of the information over on our web-site at

Monday, October 28, 2013

New From Our Website: 1944 - Mechanic Can Also Be Tail Gunner

From The Raleigh Register - Ocober 27, 1944

In the National Archives, we found copies of the
photographs taken by the 'man from London'

He sat with his head in the windows where he is standing.

Jack is the grandson of John & Mahala.
(Marvin 'Jack' > H.G. 'Dad' > John)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Today in McGraw History: Marshall Perry "Mayhorn" was born on this date in 1857

From the Birth Records of Wyoming County

Line 14

If you note, he is listed as 'Not Named' in the records.

We broke it down to make it a little easier to read. . .

More genealogical information for Mayhorn is available on our website at:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

McGraw Trivia. . .

Did you know that there is a town in New York named McGraw?

It was named for Samuel McGraw (no relation) who was born in Vermont and settled the area in Courtland County, NY, in 1803. It was originally called McGrawville, and during the 1800's was a center for women's corset production. 

For more information, check out:

Monday, October 14, 2013

New From Our Website: 1953 - Town Clerk of Mullens Dies at 68

From The Beckley Post-Herald  - October 11, 1953

Gordon was the Grandson of John & Mahala McGraw
(Gordon>William Harrison "Pole">John)

Gordon was the second-born son of Pole and Pauline. His older brother
was named John after Pole's father and Gordon was named after Pauline's father.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

New From Our Website: Genealogy - Robert Lee "Jabo" McGraw

Now available on the ABOUT US section of our website, a Family Group Sheet with genealogical information for Robert Lee "Jabo" and his wife, Victoria Daniels. Fun Fact: Victoria is the sister of Nancy Daniels who married Jabo's brother Gus.

We already have charts on the site for Napper, Collins, Pole, Mayhorn and Gus. There are more to come, but if you think we've made a mistake, or have more information that you think we should add, email us at

Monday, September 30, 2013

Today In McGraw History: Mary Elizabeth "Napper" married John Sizemore on this date in 1869.

From The Marriage Records of Wyoming County - 1869

September Book 1, Page 18, Line 13

For those of you who have a hard time reading the original, we decoded it for you.

More genealogical information for Mary Elizabeth is available on our web-site at:

We will be placing higher quality downloads of these documents on our site for
download within the next few weeks. We have several more updates we're
preparing to load at the same time.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

New From Our Website: Genealogy - Joseph Barrett "Gus" McGraw

Now available on the ABOUT US section of our website, a Family Group Sheet with genealogical information for Joseph Barrett "Gus" and his wife, Nancy Daniels. Fun Fact: Nancy is the sister of Victoria Daniels who married Gus' brother Jabo.

We already have charts on the site for Napper, Collins, Pole and Mayhorn. There are more to come, but if you think we've made a mistake, or have more information that you think we should add, email us at

Monday, September 23, 2013

Ed Kerns Obituary - 1967

Today has been a week since we launched out online store and this post will be the last in our look at Ed Kerns.

From the Raleigh Register - April 4, 1967

Rev. Donnelly, who performed the service, had a regular column for the newspaper and wrote about his trip to McGraws to perform the service.

From The Beckley Post-Herald - April 14, 1967

While the good Reverend wrote some interesting observations, he was a little off in his history lesson on the McGraws area. For those of us who never saw Mullens in it's heyday, it's staggering to think of the regular trains that passed through there, connecting us to the nation. We will continue and conclude the story of the real Kerns Grocery when we tell you more about Galena, but those are other stories for future days.

Thank you for undulging us as we tried to promote our new offerings. We will have some new products in the months to come: mugs and maybe a calendar, but for that we need your help! We asked you a few weeks back for any pictures that you may have of John & Mahala's Children. We have had some people who have promised to get us some copies, but if you have any, we'd like to see those too!

We will have the next of our genealogical updates coming to the site this week, and more articles for you to read. If you have any suggestions for things you would like to see on the site, or products for our store, please feel free to let us know! You can email us at:

Friday, September 20, 2013

More About Ed Kerns

We're closing out the big Grand Opening week for our online store, Kerns Grocery, and we've been sharing some things with you about Ed and Galena. This post and our next post will focus more on Ed, we'll share more about Galena later.

From the Beckley Post Herald Raleigh Register - April 21, 1956

We aren't sure what the rumor was that prompted him to take out this ad, but we regret to say that he did not win the election. 

From the Raleigh Register - August 1, 1958

Ed and Galena rebuilt after the fire and the store operated through the 70's. Now our online version of their store carries on the tradition. You can see our full selection of shirts that celebrate the McGraws and the McGraws area over on our website at. . .

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Kerns-McGraw Marriage - 1937

In further celebration of the opening of our new online store, Kerns Grocery, we share with you Galena & Ed's Marriage License. Ed and Galena were married January 9, 1937, and were separated by Ed's untimely death in 1967.

Galena and Ed did not have children, but they live on in our memories, and in our online store. Remember to head on over to our website and check out our full selection of shirts. In addition to a McGraw family shirt, we have Glen Rogers High School and Milam High School shirts among many others.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Secret's Out!

We've been teasing you for a few weeks that we had a surprise for you, and the wait is over. . . WE HAVE SHIRTS!  We asked you for ideas to bring more interest to the reunion, and several of you said you would like to have reunion shirts.

You asked for it! Head over to the new SHIRTS page on our website to see the full selection of custom designed t-shirts the have available for you to purchase! All shirts are 2-sided designs and in addition to a McGraw Reunion shirt, we have a McGraws shirt, a John McGraw School shirt and several others!

Whether you're a McGraw, or from the McGraws area, we think you're going to like these shirts! Get one for yourself, or for someone else - they make great gifts! Christmas, anniversaries, birthdays or just because!To get all the details, and to learn about our new online store, Kern's Grocery, head on over to our website!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hash-Brown Wedding - 1955

From the Raleigh Register - April 6, 1955

From the Beckley Post-Herald - April 3, 1955

Nancy is the g-granddaughter of John & Mahala
(Nancy>Ola>William Harrison "Pole">John)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Summer 2013 Newsletter Download Available

Based on several requests, we now have the inaugural edition of the McGraw Family Newsletter for Summer 2013 available for download from our website. We originally sent this out in July to our email subscribers, so if you missed out you will be able to see the benefits of being a subscriber!

To get your copy, visit our Downloads page: Click Here.
To subscribe to our newsletter and get email updates about the site Click Here.

We have something BIG coming to the website on September 16th and our email subscribers and Facebook friends will get the first look so "Like" us on Facebook, or subscribe to our emails TODAY!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Friday, August 30, 2013

Sharon Brown Honored With Shower

From the Beckley Post-Herald - July 13, 1970

Sharon is the g-granddaughter of John McGraw. (Sharon>Walter>William H (Pole)>John)

Monday, August 19, 2013

The new "Downloads" page is available!

We hope everybody is enjoying their summer! The new school year has begun in some areas of the country and it's just about to start again in Wyoming County. We have something new on the site to help celebrate the start of school! We just added the new "Downloads" section of the website. In addition to genealogical forms to help you document your branch of the family tree, we have added some newspaper articles. We have John's Obituary from 1918, an article about the 1973 McGraw Reunion, and in celebration of the new school year an article from 1944 about the Dedication and First Commencement at the new John McGraw School. Yet another McGraw anniversary for this year: John McGraw school held it's first classes 70 years ago in 1943.

Check the website often for updates, and "Like" our Facebook page to keep up with our updates!

We also have some homework for you, we would like to have pictures for each of John & Mahala's children for the site. If you can help, please email us--

Sunday, August 11, 2013

New Genealogy Information Available!

We just posted the first of what will be many updates to the site with genealogical information for you to view, download and/or share! 

The big updates will probably be the last ones we post: John's Family Tree and Mahala's Family Tree. There is a lot of ground to cover and we owe it to you and to them to make sure we have it right!

The first update consists of "Family Group Sheets" for Napper, Collins and Pole's families. A family group sheets shows the basic family unit: mother, father and children. These sheets also shows birth, death and burial information for the parents as well as the names of the children's grandparents and the children's spouses. We will be uploading one of these for each of John & Mahalia's children. You can find these on the About Us section of the site.

We are checking each update thoroughly, but mistakes happen. We may belong to different branches of the family, and you may have better information than we do. If we get something wrong, LET US KNOW! We want the information on our site to be the best it can possibly be, but to do that we need your help. You can contact us by email at


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Our Cousins in North Carolina

Surry County, NC, birthplace of Andy Griffith and location of Mt. Airy (the real-life Mayberry) is also the birthplace of John McGraw.  His father, Samuel, was also born there. Just as we thrived in WV, the family there is still going strong. "The McCraws of Surry Co" are on Facebook! These McCraws are descended from Samuel's brother Francis Marion McCraw. Samuel and Francis' father was also named Francis and he owned land there. They have a reunion for their branch of the family tree the first Sunday after Labor Day. We have been in contact with them and they said that all who were interested would be welcome to come. There are a lot of pictures from their family and interesting genealogical notes you can check out on their site.

You can find them here: The McCraws of Surry Co on Facebook

Pilot Mountain in Surry Co. (Photo by Rick Matthews found at

Monday, August 5, 2013

New Photos from Herk McGraw on the Website

Herk McGraw, who was honored at this year's reunion as the "Oldest McGraw in Attendance" has sent us some pictures for the website and posted a few to Facebook, too! We uploaded all of the pictures to the site this morning and added the captions that he gave us. If you can help identify some of the people in the group pictures, let us know so we can add their names. He says he will be sharing more with us, as well. 

If you have photos that you would like to share with us, you can post them on our Facebook Page, or email them to us at and we will add them to our site. Remember to "Like" our Facebook page while you're there so that our updates show in your timeline.

Thanks, Herk!
Herk at the 2013 Reunion with two of his daughters looking on behind him.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Reunion Wrap-Up

Another year has come and gone, and the 60th Reunion is in the history books. It was a good turn-out. Some new faces, a few faces missing. New activities for the kids, stories and good food for all. 

If you signed up for our email newsletter (and we encourage you to do so), you will be getting the Inaugural Issue of the McGraw Family Newsletter in your inbox within the next few weeks with a full recap and pictures from this year's event. If you get the newsletter and know of family members that would like to have a copy, have them sign up

New pictures will be going up soon on the "Photos" section of our website, but we would encourage you to share your own with everybody on our Facebook page. Remember to "Like" our page so you can stay up to date with what's going on with the reunion and the family. If you have news to share, feel free to let us know and we'll put it up on our sites to help get the word out.

Mark your calendars now for next year's reunion!

July 20, 2014 - Always the Third Sunday in July!

Friday, July 19, 2013

A message from Mike McGraw. . .

Jack McGraw loved our family reunion. He was the youngest son of H.G. "Dad" McGraw and had attended every reunion since it's beginning. He was "Secretary" of the now defunct McGraw Reunion Association. In his later years, Jack asked his son Mike to make sure that the reunion would go on. Mike promised that he would do all that he could. That was 28 years ago, and the reunion has continued on. For many years, it was Mike and his wife Patty along with his aunt, Rita McGraw, that worked together behind the scenes making sure we had a place for the reunion, that the reminder postcards were sent and that all of the other details taken care of. We lost Rita in 2004 and last fall we lost Mike, but their reunion, our reunion, continues on. We will remember Mike and others we lost over the past year in a memorial service at the reunion this Sunday. 

Back in 2008, Mike sent the following letter to everyone on the reunion mailing list. His words ring as true today as they did then. Since he can't be here to beat the drum, we thought that we would share his thoughts with you once again. . .

"Since this reunion began in the 1950's, it has been a way for families and friends to reconnect and stay in touch. In the 55+ years past, thousands have attended. It is time to reconnect with family.

As families progress in generations and move away, many family members have never lived here in the area where John and Mahalia settled, called home, and raised the children from whom many of us are direct descendants. Bring your family back, meet your "kin folks", and make that reconnection. Soon the numbers may fall to the point that a reunion of this sort is not feasible, but that is entirely up to us.

If nothing else, the food will be plentiful and great. Family trait, I guess!

We ask this year, that you think about doing a few things:

  1. Encourage family members to attend - bring those young ones.
  2. Bring COPIES of pictures of Grandparents, Parents, Self, Children, Etc. Please include names and dates so we can begin to compile a "family album" for future generations. If you cannot attend, simply mail copies of the pictures and information to us.
  3. Bring the names of those who were born and died during the past year.
  4. Bring COPIES of pictures of past reunions, especially those taken when the reunion was held in and outside of Milam Methodist Church and in the gym of John McGraw Grade School.

Folks, this is OUR reunion. If we haven't seen you in a while -- come back. If you've never been here before -- you are welcome to come. Make the effort, it will be well worth it. Bring a dish and plan to spend the day with family.

Please pass this information on to all that you think will be interested. Thanks and hope to see you soon.

Mike & Patty McGraw"

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Reunion Day Church Services

This Sunday morning, reunion day services will be held at Milam United Methodist Church at 9:30 AM. Worship services will be led by Pastor Jason Stewart and will last approximately an hour. The reunion site in Saulsville is less than ten minutes away, so there's plenty of time to make it to the reunion afterwards.

The Milam Church is located on McGraws Hollow Road in McGraws, just behind the former John McGraw Grade School. It was founded and built by the Brooks and the McGraw Families. The land was offered by Earl McGraw of Mullens in about 1948. Construction began in 1950 and the first service was held in the unfinished church in the summer of 1952. The first McGraw reunions were held after church services at Milam. The families would place their food on tables and eat "dinner on the ground." After a gymnasium was added to the school, the reunion was moved.

If you're traveling in from out of town, if you're local and have never been there, or if it's been a long time since you've attended all are welcome.

For driving directions, Click Here.  We'll be happy to see you there!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Sad News To Relay.

Vallie McGraw, who was honored at last year's reunion as the oldest McGraw in attendance passed away on June 20. She was 96. We will remember her and others we lost over the last year during a brief memorial service at this year's event. Please let us know if you have a loved one that you would like to have honored.

Click here to see Vallie's obituary and leave condolences.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

New Content Coming Soon!

The Reunion is right around the corner! In the weeks following this year's 60th, we hope to have uploaded new pictures to the site and plan on an email newsletter with a summary of all that happened!

So remember to watch our sites and your email inbox! If you haven't given us your email at the reunion, you can join the mailing list by visiting the "Contact Us" section of our website or sign up for "Email Notifications" on our Facebook site!

We look forward to seeing you there!