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From: (Sam Sloan)
Subject: My Ancestors in the American Revolutionary War
Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2003 13:05:33 GMT

My great-great-great-great grandfather David Grimbs was probably born
in Ballymoney, County Antrim, Ireland in about 1731. He arrived in
Charleston, South Carolina on 19 December 1772. In January, 1773, he
was granted 400 acres of land near a branch of Rocky Creek in Chester
County, South Carolina. The land grant gives his name as David Grimbs,
See Scotch-Irish Migration to South Carolina, 1772: (Rev. William
Martin and His Five Shiploads of Settlers) by Jean Stephenson, page
74. Three of his children, Andrew, Jean and Matthew Grimbs, received
100 acres each.

The family also used the name Graham rather than Grimbs. This has
caused controversy among genealogists and historians.

1772- 1989" pages 61-64

His name was also written as Grimbs and Grimes. Many other
variations. Possibly born in Ballymoney, County Antrim, Ireland. Died
between 2 April 1795 (date of will) and 18 November 1800 (probate of

The IGI has a David Graham who died on 09 JUN 1799 but does not say
where he died.

There was a criminal case brought in Belfast Ireland in 1772 against a
man named Andrew Graham.

Their Landlord, Lord Donegall, was known for drinking and gambling and
in 1770 needed ready cash, so he had raised their rents so high that
they could not possibly pay it. This led the Rev. Martin to give a
sermon in which he proposed that all members of his church accompany
him to South Carolina, where they had been promised free land. A total
of 1200 persons decided to join him. It took five ships to carry them
all to South Carolina.

David Graham and his wife and children were among five shiploads of
settlers led by the Rev. William Martin from Ulster to South Carolina.
They were on the ship Pennsylvania Farmer leaving Belfast on 16
October 1772 and arriving Charleston 19 December 1772.

Each household was promised 100 acres of land plus 50 additional acres
for a wife and each child. This explains why David Graham brought
along his wife and then seven children. This gave him the right to a
total of 500 acres of land. This land was only available on the
recommendation of a minister of a church. This explains why it was
necessary for the Rev. William Martin to accompany the group, so that
they could get their land. The first ship arrived two months before
the ship bringing Rev. Martin, so the passengers on that ship had to
wait two months for him to come. Those passengers stayed on the ship,
which was anchored next to an island off of South Carolina. They were
allowed to get off the ship and go onto the island. This was also
because there had been smallpox on the ship and five children had

The reason the other four ships came two months late was that their
farmers had waited to bring in their crops in Ireland before leaving.
Because of this, they had more than enough food with them on the ship,
plus they had money to pay for their journey.

Some family members remained behind, planning to come later. However,
the American Revolutionary War broke out right after this and that
stopped all immigration from Ireland to America. The families became
separated and never re-united.

There is a book about this at

At the beginning, South Carolina stayed out of the American
Revolutionary War. However, in 1780 British Troops invaded South
Carolina. This led Rev. William Martin to give a sermon. He said that
they had been driven from Scotland to Ireland by the British and then
they had been driven from Ireland to America by the British. Now the
British are trying to drive them from here. There are times to pray
and times to fight, and now is the time to fight.

This led David Graham and two of his sons, Andrew and James, to join
into the American Revolutionary War. Andrew was captured and taken
prisoner. A son named Matthew died during the war, but it is not known
how he died or if he died in the war. The youngest son, James, was
actively involved in the fighting.

The Rev. Martin was captured by the British and taken before
Cornwallis. However, a Col. Phillips who knew the Rev . Martin from
Scotland happened to be present and prevailed upon Cornwallis to free
him. Rev. Martin fled to Charlotte, North Carolina and sat out the
rest of the war. When the war was over, he returned but found that his
house had been burned by the British. Rev. Martin spent the rest of
his life traveling around preaching, where he was in great demand.

Sam Sloan

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