The earliest record of Grahams in Horry County was John Graham, who purchased 3300 acres of land on Mitchell Swamp from William Coachman in June 1766. On December 7, 1767 a 500 acre tract of land was surveyed and on February 23, 1768, he received a Royal Grant for that land.
There is no reason not to believe this is the same John Graham who came from Savannah as there were no other Grahams in this area at this early date and he had the same trade. I believe this first John Graham and his wife, Mary, were the parents of John and William Graham listed in the 1790 census of Horry County. Though they had a John and William that died as children, it was a common practice during that time period to give children the same names as those who had died early in life.
The second John Graham (1746-1811) and his wife, Martha, had several children, one of which was Joseph Graham (1790-after 1860), father of Alpha A. Graham (1826-1900). This John Graham served in the revolutionary war. He was a captain in Co. “G” of Colonel Peter Horry’s Regiment. There are South Carolina Archive records that show he paid for rations for the troops from January through February 16, 1779.
There was another entry that showed he had hired a cart and two horses and provided feed for the horses, for the use of the regiment, from January through February 17, 1779. In 1792 he had land granted to him on the south side of Lake Swamp above the mouth of Joyner Swamp. In 1802 he served on the First Board of Commissioners in Conway, South Carolina.
In 1804 he sold his land on Mitchell Swamp to his brother, William. After he sold out to William, he moved to the land granted to him in 1792. In 1805 he served as one of the Justices of the Quorum for the Horry District of South Carolina. He died in 1811 and left his son, Joseph, in charge of his grist mill plantation.
As is shown above, the first John Graham had a son named William Graham (1748-1824), brother of the second John Graham mentioned above. He was married to Elizabeth Bellamy and one of their sons was William Bellamy Graham.