So, if John Graham was in Missouri in 1805 to witness a burial, I wondered how early he could have been there. In Historical Records of St. Ferdinand (p.109) it stated that April 1803 John Graham attended the sale of Hezekiah Land (deceased) property along with Vincent and Denis Carrico. On 13 Sep. 1808 he gave testimony (p. 36):
"John Graham sworn says that Ezekial Land made an improvement on the place claimed in 1797 and began to build a grist mill and saw mill in 1798, cleared a field, raised corn, and finished his mills; that said land has been inhabited and cultivated ever since."
That land in dispute was at Coldwater Creek and Bellefontaine near Fort Bellefontaine.
So, I'm thinking if John Graham was here to witness Ezekial/Hezekiah improving the land in 1797 and 1798, John Graham must have lived here then. That meant Spanish Land Grant to me. So, I went back to the microfilm machines and found this.
As my friend Larry (genealogical librarian) reminded me---these were English speaking people talking to French-speaking government officials on behalf of the Spanish government. So the document above begins with:
John Graham claims 471 arpents of land situated in the district of St. Louis fronting the Missipipi (sic) granted to him by Zenon Trudeau the 4th of Dec. 1797.
From there it switches to French or Spanish: the name of the map is "Juan Graham". I am very puzzled because the Coldwater area and Fort Bellefontaine are on the Missouri river----granted the Mississippi isn't far.
The document above (towards the bottom) shows that this piece of land became his officially. He wasn't so lucky on his second Spanish Land Grant.
This second land grant of 545 Arpens was in Ste. Genevieve County. Apparently there was a dispute with Thomas Donnahoe over the land and Thomas Donnahue came out the winner on this one.There were apparently a lot of disputes over these Spanish Land Grants. Even Daniel Boone had his problems with them (according to Wikipedia):
If anyone can help me out on the translations, I'd appreciate it. I'm particularly interested in that parcel of land bordering the Mississippi (see top photo). I'm wondering what those hills are marching across the land, what the one-eyed smiley face means and what the body of water is that looks like tierra cenagora. I think I know what "tirmo" means---the end points of the land.
While we no longer believe John Graham to be related to our ancestor William Graham, this information could help others.