Because the family name is so uncommon and much of the early history in this country is lost or obscure, I needed a way to separate out the various lineages. To accomplish that I decided to find out everything possible from published original sources about everyone born with a version of the family name (individual spellings are not relevant since they vary over time with no regard to actual relationships). I will add a commentary of spelling variations soon.
The result of this research has been the "Index To The Seagraves Family Reference", a listing of all people who appear in the documented records of America and can be identified as separate individuals. There are over 4000 identified males and females currently on the list. The information has been gathered from over 1000 individual reference sources, primarily county census records and is recorded on individual data sheets with an Excel file indexing and replicating much of the data. All of the people on this list are related in some way to the original de Segrave family first recorded in the Domesday Book who are fully described, including their Irish branch in the book "The Seagrave Family 1066-1936" by Charles W. Seagrave, London, 1936, or individuals living in the Leicestershire, England village of Segrave who assumed that as their family name; however no specific links between the American and English/Irish branches of the family have yet been verified.
The majority of the families in America derive from three initial settlements: a Massachusetts branch, a New Jersey branch, and a North Carolina branch. There was a mid-Nineteenth Century family settlement in Calfornia as well.
In about 1727 John Seagrave is known to have sailed from England with his wife, Sarah, and his sons Edward and John and a daughter Sarah. John supposedly died on the voyage but a daughter, Mary, was born in Boston in 1732. His eldest son, Edward, sired a large family whose heritage is tied to the Worcester Co., Massachusetts area and spread from there. The primary source for details about this branch is “Genealogy of the Seagrave Family 1725-1881” by Daniel W. Seagrave, Worcester, MA, 1881.
A William Segraves appears to have been born, possibly in NY or in Cape May County, NJ, in the 1660s according to the “Records of Cape May County, New Jersey”. That William may have been the father of a William, born about 1690, who married an Esther (or Hester) Hand Huet in 1715 in Cape May Co., NJ and sired a large family branch. This family spread into Pennsylvania, Indiana and west. Much work on the descendants of this branch is found in “Genealogy of the Seagraves and Sampson Families” 1st and 2nd Editions, by Faye S. Seagraves, Coeur D’Alene, 1969.
A Francis Segrave shows up in records in Isle of Wight County, VA, just to the west of Norfolk, and in Perquimans County, NC, in northeastern North Carolina, in the 1690s. Some have speculated that he is from Ireland solely on a similarity of names, but no documentation has been offered to prove that point.
An excellent work on one branch of his descendants is "The Reverend Wiliam Segraves and his Descendants" by Savannah Segraves Day, Blacksburg, VA,1989. Francis' descendants settled around Raleigh, NC and eventually moved west into Tennessee and on to Arkansas and Texas and south into Georgia and Alabama. Another fine reference work that describes descendants of William Isaac "Buck" Seagraves, an early Morth Carolina Seagraves who settled in Madison County, Georgia in 1821 and awith his wife, Cheney Strickland, sired a long line of our Georgia cousins is "Segraves/Seagraves and Related Families of Northeast Georgia" by Myra C. Manley Watkins, 1993.
My line, confirmed back to Gilbert ("Glibra") Seegraves, born about 1800 in NC, does not have a published record. I have the data and perhaps, one day when I finish researching....