Madison New Hampshire’s Aviation Innovators: The Amazing Granville Family

On June 14, 2008 the dedication ceremony for a historical marker will occur.

The sign is a gift from the New Hampshire Aviation (NHAHS) Historical Society.  It has been placed on the front law of the Madison Historical Society, located at the corner of Village Road (Route 113) and East Madison Road.

This sleepy little town is the birthplace of an amazing family–the Granvilles.  Perhaps the most innovative of them was the eldest son, Zantford who was usually called by his nickname of “Granny.” He, along with his brothers and a brother-in-law formed the Granville Brothers Aircraft Company of Springfield, Massachusetts.  They designed and made racing aircraft, most notably the Gee Bee Model R-1.  Their most famous aircraft, the Super Sportster R, captured the world land plane record of 296.3 mph on September 3, 1932.

The historic marker reads:
Nearby is the birthplace of the Granville brothers: Zantford (Granny), Thomas, Robert, Mark and Edward and sisters Pearle and Gladys. With Madison natives Hiram Jones, Harry Jones, and Elson Ward, they formed the Granville Brothers Aircraft Co. in Springfield, Massachusetts, and designed, manufactured, and flew notable racing aircraft of the Golden Age of Aviation. In 1932 the Gee Bee Model R-1 set a new world speed record of 296 mph. Their high performance designs represented the cutting edge of technology and dramatically influence military and civilian aviation. (2007)

This New Hampshire sign came about in response to a marker already in existence at the airport in Spartanburg, North Carolina, commemorating the last flight, and the death of “Granny” Granville, in his last plane, a Model E Sportster, at the age of 32.

The NHAHS newsletter states: “Through the efforts of former NH State Historic Preservation Officer, James McConaha, former NHAHS member Dick Bleakney, who now resides in North Carolina and Jack Ferns, a vision initiated in 1995 has come to fruition…”


*Additional Reading*

About Zantford & Granville Family

-Youtube: 1931 Movie of GB Ascender

-Youtube: Gee Bee


Thomas Glanvil/Glanvel/Glanuell, who m.  20 April 1743 near Hampton NH to Judith ‘Jude’ ‘Jeude’ Bryar/Brier; resided Stratham NH. Thomas possibly died 17 Jan 1749 at Stratham NH.  In May of 1747 ‘Thomas Glanvil’ witnessed the will of ‘Joseph Merril’ of Stratham NH along with Thomas Brier Jr.  In September of 1748 he is listed on Masonian papers, a Stratham petition. [A list of marriage from old church records in Hampton NH shows “Thomas Glanville and Judith Bryar, April 20, 1743.”]
Children of Thomas & Judith ‘Jude’ (Bryar/Brier) Glanvil/Glanuell:
1. Mercy Glanvil, b. 31 Jan 1744 in Stratham, Rockingham Co. NH
2. Anne Glanvil, b. 5 Sep 1745 in Stratham, Rockingham Co., NH; poss. the same Anie Granville who m. George Bickford of Durham NH [although her father may be Joseph son of John]
3. +Joseph Glanvil/Granville, b. 12 Aug 1747 in Stratham, Rockingham Co., NH

Joseph Granville, son of Thomas & Jude (?Brier) Glanvil, b 12 Aug 1747 in Stratham, Rockingham Co., NH; died in Parsonfield Maine; m1) abt 1768 to Molly Dearborn; he m2) abt 1784 to Molly Sanborn. [Reportedly he served as a private in the Revolution.]
Children of Joseph & Molly (Dearborn) Granville:
1. Molly Granville, b. 22 Aug 1769 Durham, Strafford Co NH
2. Nancy Granville, b. 3 Apr 1771 Durham NH; m. Jonathan Kimball
3. Thomas Granville, b. 25 May 1775
4. +Stephen Granville, b. 29 June 1777
5. Mercy Granville, b. 25 Feb 1779
6. Joseph Granville, b. 15 June 1783, d. abt 1794
7. Hannah Granville, b. 13 May 1772; m. Ensign Kimball, res. Parsonfield ME; had issue
Children of Joseph & Molly (Sanborn) Granville:
8. Sally Granville, b. 5 Apr 1786 Parsonfield, York Co. ME
9. Lydia Granville, b. 16 May 1789 Parsonfield ME, d. 16 Dec 1880 Fairbury, Jefferson Co. Nebraska; m. 29 Sep 1808 to John Cram.
10. Fanny Granville, b. 25 Aug 1790 Parsonfield ME; m. Reuben Edwards
11. Elizabeth Granville, b. 15 June 1792 Parsonfield ME, d. 14 May 1866
12. George Granville, b. 30 Sep 1794 Parsonfield ME
13. Joseph Granville, b. 17 Aug 1798 Parsonfield ME

Stephen Granville, son of Joseph & Mary “Molly” (Dearborn) Granville, was b. 29 June 1777 and d. 28 July 1848. He married abt 1804 in Gilmanton, Belknap Co. NH to Ann/Anna Huckins, daughter of John & Hannah (Mudgett) Huckins, b. 27 Oct 1784 at Gilmanton NH and d. 12 Sep 1863.
Children of Stephen & Ann (Huckins) Granville:
1. Clarissa Granville, b. 14 May 1805 Conway, Carroll Co NH; d. 4 Sep 1894; m 19 May 1825 Elijah Taylor, son of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Davis) Taylor of Effingham NH.  He was a farmer, b. 12 Nov 1802 Effingham NH and d. 20 Oct 1883.
2. +Thomas C. Granville, b. 30 June 1807 in Effingham, Carroll Co. NH
3. Samuel Granville, b. 19 March 1809 Effingham NH; carpenter of Avon ME; d. 6 Aug 1846; m. Mary Barber.  She b 31 March 1802 in Maine and d. 15 Dec 1892 at Benton Harbor, Michigan.
4. Hannah Granville, b. 25 Sep 1811 Effingham NH; died unmarried 15 July 1891.
5. Stephen Granville Jr. b. 14 March 1813 Effingham NH, d. 6 Dec 1857 Danvers MA, age 44 yrs 8 months, carpenter, married Elizabeth Brackett Wilkins, nee Wiggin). Had 2 children b. at Danvers MA: George Stephen b 9 July 1846 and Sophronia Masury b 10 Apr 1849.
6. Joseph Granville, born Jan. 6, 1816 Effingham NH. Married Abigail Kennett, dau of Samuel and Anna (Kennett) Allard of Albany, Jan 4, 1838. She b. 1 Dec 1818 at Albany NY and d. 16 March 1893. He was a Free Baptist Minister Licensed to preach by the Sandwich Quarterly Meeting, May 26, 1863 and May 24, 1864. Acting pastor, Second Church, Tamworth 1868-4; First Church, Strafford, June 1864-5. Ordained by the New Durham Quarterly Meeting, at Gonic, Rochester Jan 11, 1865; Pastor, East Hebron ME 1866-8; Edgecomb, ME 1868-72; Labored in Nova Scotia 1872; Without charge, Dover June to Sep 1873. Acting pastor. Wilmot Flat, Spet 1873-4; North Weare 1874-5; West Charleston, VT, Canada and Brownfield ME, 1875-8; Fremont, April 1878-81. Without charge.
7. Maria Granville, b 23 Sep 1818 Effingham NH; d. 1868; m 1 Jan 1851 in Boston MA as his 2nd wife, John H. Grush, son of John H Grush of Brookline MA.  He was a barber, constable and was b. 1812 at Marblehead MA and d. 6 Sep 1880.
8. Oren H. Granville, b. 27 Nov 1820 Effingham NH; m. 8 Oct 1847 in Westford MA [rec 30 Jan 1847] to Catharine A. Dupee, dau of William & Catharine Dupee. She was b. at Westford MA 1823 and d. 29 March 1854.  He married 2nd 11 July 1854 at Cambridge MA to Mary A. (Satterlee) Collins, widow and daughter of Isaac and Sarah Satterlee.  She was b. at Ferrisburg VT in 1828 and d. 11 June 1896 at New York City.  He was a teacher, merchant, and soldier in the Civil War.
9. Dea. John V. Granville, b. 26 Dec 1822 in Effingham NH; d. 23 June 1901; m1st) 1 June 1853 Mary A. Chapman, daughter of Mark & Ruth M. (Wedgewood) Chapman.  She was b. 22 Sep 1828 at Parsonfield ME and d. 12 Dec 1864.  He m2) 9 Sep 1866 his second cousin, Olive J. Huckins, daughter of Nicholas E. & Nancy (Shute) Huckins. Their daughter (John and Olive’s) Bell married Oscar Jackson Avery, son of Stephen Avery, born 16 May 1865 in Rumney NH.
10. Sophronia A. Granville, b. 23 July 1825 in Effingham NH; d. 8 Nov 1877; m 28 Nov 1847 Cyrus Champion, son of William and Hannah (Penniel) of Effingham, farmer.  He b. Dec 1822 at Effingham NH and d. 20 Dec –.

Thomas Granville, son of Stephen & Anna (Huckins) Granville, b. 30 June 1807 and d. 21 May 1839/49 or 6 Dec 1857 in NH. He m. bef 1837 to Lucinda Kennett, dau of John & Sarah (Tuttle) Kennett.
Children of Thomas & Lucinda (Kennett) Granville: [? other ch]
1. John H. Granville, b abt 1833 in West Ossipee NH; died 15 May 1892 Alton NH; buried Alton Riverside Cemetery
2. Sarah Granville, b abt 1835 NH;  She m. Jacob B. Tuttle and died 28 Jun 1917 in Franklin, Merrimack Co. NH
3. +Thomas Granville, b. April 1837 in Ossipee NH
4. ?Almira Granville, b. 1847 in NH

Thomas Granville, son of Thomas & Lucinda (Kennett) Granville b. April 1837 in Ossipee NH, died 20 Dec 1903 in Madison, Carroll Co. NH; m. 21 July 1861 in Ossipee NH/or Tamworth NH to Lucinda Kennett, daughter of Ammi & Sarah (Chesley) Kennett. She was b. Oct 1841 in NH and died about or after 1920. [see his death record]
U.S. Census > 1850 United States Federal Census > New Hampshire > Carroll > Eaton
George Kennett 42 M Farmer 1500 NH
Emily Kennett 39 F NH
Sewell Kennett 17 M Farmer NH
Almira Kennett 4 F NH
Sarah A. Kennett 14 F NH
Thomas Granville 12 M NH
Polly Kennett 77 F Mass
Census > U.S. Census > 1850 United States Federal Census > New Hampshire > Carroll > Effingham
John Granville 27 M Farmer 1500 NH
Anna Granville 65 F NH
Hannah Granville 36 F NH
Mary Granville 71 F NH
Sarah Ann Granville 15 F NH
George F. Granville 6 M NH
U.S. Census > 1860 United States Federal Census > New Hampshire > Carroll > Madison
George Kenett 53 M Farmer 1600/1000 NH
Emily Kenett 49 F NH
Thomas Granville 22 M NH
Almira J. Granville 13 F NH
Sarah A. Granville 12 F NH
Henry Children 8 M NH
1870  >  NEW HAMPSHIRE   >  CARROLL  >  MADISON  Series: M593  Roll: 837  Page: 327
Granvill, Thomas 32 M W Farmer 1200/1000 NH
Granvill, Lucinda 27 F W Keeping House NH
Granvill, Henry 5 M W NH
Granvill, Elma 2 M W NH
1880  >  NEW HAMPSHIRE   >  CARROLL  >  MADISON  Series: T9  Roll: 760  Page: 270
Granvill, Thomas W M 42 Farmer
Granvill, Lucinda W F 37 wife keeping House
Granvill, Henry L. W M 15 son at school
Granvill, Elmer W M 12 son at school
Granvill, Willfred W M 6 son
U.S. Census > 1900 United States Federal Census > New Hampshire > Carroll > Madison > District 13
Granville, Thomas Head M W Apr 1837 63 married 37 yrs NH NH NH Farmer
Granville, Lucinda wife W F Oct 1841 58 married 37 yrs 3 ch 3 living NH NH NH
Granville, Wilfred E. son W M Dec 1874 25 single NH NH NH Day Laborer
Child of Thomas & Lucinda (Kennett) Granville:
1. Henry L. Granville, b May 1868 NH; married Frances Thompson
2. Elmer Granville, b. 17 March 1869 in Madison NH; d. 26 Mar 1932 in Manchester, Hillsborough Co. NH
3. +Wilfred Edgar “Willie” Granville, b. Dec 1874 in Madison, Carroll Co. NH

Wilfred Edgar “Willie” Granville, son of Thomas & Lucinda (Kennett) Granville, b. Dec 1875 in Madison, Carroll Co. NH and d. 27 Oct 1932 in Madison, Carroll Co. NH. He m. 28 Nov 1900 to Isabelle “Belle” Savary, dau of William Henry & Mary Elizabeth (Wagner) Savary. She b. abt 1879 in Lasdale, Nova Scotia, Canada [see marriage record] and d. 14 May 1941 in North Conway NH. She  immigrated to the United States in 1885. She was a naturalized citizen. In 1920 they were living in Madison, Carroll Co. NH.
1910  >  NEW HAMPSHIRE   >  CARROLL  >  MADISON TWP Series: T624  Roll: 860  Page: 5
Granville, Willie Head M W 34 m1x 7 yrs NH NH NH
Granville, Belle wife F W 31 m1x 7 yrs 4 ch 4 living Nova Scotia NS NS
Granville, Zantford D. son M W 8 single NH NH NS
Granville, Thomas son M W 5 single NH
Granville, Robert H. son M W 3 single NH
Granville, Pearly dau F W 11/12 single NH
Granville, Lucinda mother F W 63 widow 5 ch 3 living NH NH NH
U.S. Census > 1920 United States Federal Census > New Hampshire > Carroll > Madison > District 16
Granville, Willie E. Head M W 44 married NH NH NH Farmer
Granville, Belle wife F W 41 married imm 1885 naturalized Nova Scotia-Eng NS-Eng NS-Eng
Granville, Thomas son M W 15 single NH NH NS
Granville, Robert H. son M W 12 single NH
Granville, Pearl dau F W 10 single NH
Granville, Mark E. son M W 8 single NH
Granville, Edward H. son M W 7 single NH
Granville, Gladys H. dau F W 4-11/12 single NH
Granville, Lucinda K. mother F W 77 single NH
Children of Wilfred E. & Isabelle (Savary) Granville:
1. Zantford [Zanforth] D. Granville, b. 2 September 1901 in Madison NH, he d. 12 Feb 1934 in Spartanburg SC
2. Thomas W. Granville, b 19 August 1904 Madison NH
3. Robert H. Granville, b. 12 June 1907 Madison NH
4. Pearle Granville, b. 11 May 1909 in Madison NH
5. Mark E. Granville, b. abt 1911 Madison NH and d. 1960; he m. Laurencia Patenaude. She m2) Mortimer P. Wall. She d. 9 Aug 1996 at Westerly Hospital in Rhode Island. They had a son, Mark Granville of Rocky Hill CT and a dau Deborah Trewhella of manchester CT. In 1935 Mark Granville is listed as living in Chicopee Falls MA at 1288 St. James Ave and in business with his brother Thomas as Granville Bros, auto repairs.
6. Edward H. Granville, b. 27 July 1912 Madison NH and d. July 1977 Silver Lake, Carroll Co. NH
7. Gladys Hoagland Granville, b. Jan 1915 Madison NH; m. 27 June 1938 in Madison NH to Hiram King Jones, son of Harry Hunter & Sadie K. (Weighman) Jones. He was b. 9 Sep 1909 and d. 6 July 1996 at Marlow, Cheshire Co NH. They had two sons, one being, James D. Jones of Madison NH

–Additional notes on this family–
During my research, it came to my attention that in the 17th century in England, there was a Granville family who often also spelled their name Granfield and Glanfield.  There are several possibilities for the Thomas Granvil mentioned here.  He could have been descended from the fishing families who settled on the Isle of Shoals, or possibly of the Granfield family that had settled in Salem, Massachusetts.  I’m providing some information on that family here to assist with research.  I believe these families are connected.

–Peter Glanfield b. abt 1630 England; res Dover NH/Salem/etc.; m. abt 1649 to Margaret — Dover NH. He was resident 1663 at Isle of Shoals NH.
Children:1. Ruth Glanfield, b abt 1650; m. 1675 to Henry Kirke. res Portsmouth NH and Ipswich MA. She married 2) Caleb Stevens.

–Robert Glanfield, of Salem MA, mariner; m 1665 Lydia/Lyddea Ward; [Glanfeild, Robert (1643-1702) & Lydia Warde; 12 Jul 1665 Salem]
had children:
1. Lydia Granfield, b 3: 7m; 1666 Salem MA
2. Abigail b 20 Apr 1668, Salem MA
3. Peter, b 7 June 1670, Salem MA
4. Robert b 27 July 1672, Salem MA
5. Sarah b. 16: 11mo: 1675, Salem MA

— Glanfield/Glanville, marriage, Daniel & Mary Moore 4 July 1676, by July 1676 Scarborough
— In 1678 one Hugh Glanfield of Salem MA had accused Harmons of treachery during her Indian captivity.

Some Sources
1. Personal research at, HeritageQuest, and other electronic means.
2. Huckins family, Robert Huckins of the Dover combination and some of his descendants:
a reprint with corrections and considerable additions, including one more generation, maps and indexes of the article bearing this sub-title, published in the New England historical and genealogical register, 1913-1915, by Henry Winthrop Hardon
3. Genealogical and family history of the state of New Hampshire, Vol 1, Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago.
4. History of the town of Hampton, New Hampshire: From its settlement, Volume 2, By Joseph Dow
5. History of the town of Madison, New Hampshire


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6 Responses to Madison New Hampshire’s Aviation Innovators: The Amazing Granville Family

  1. Pingback: New Hampshire’s First Flights and Early Aviators | Cow Hampshire

  2. Pingback: Celebrating New Hampshire Women Through History | Cow Hampshire

  3. Barbara Granville Haggerty, daughter of Thomas W. Granville says:

    June Granville Dakin, daughter of Thomas W. Granville of the Gee Bee brothers. has written an accurate book, “Farmers Take Flight” depicting the lives of the men and history of the Historic Gee Bee Era.

  4. Steve Heffelfinger says:

    Minor typo in the transcription of the plaque text: “.. designed, manufactured, and few ..” should read “…designed, manufactured, and flew…”.

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