François de Graf was born in approximately 1790, probably in France. He served in Napoleon's army and fought against the Russians. He was captured by the Russians, and in 1812, was settled in the Volga German colony of Schwed. He is recorded there on the 1850 Census of Schwed in Household No. 5 under the name of Joseph Degraf.
- 1850 Census of Schwed.
- Belousov, S.V. "Prisoners of war of Napoleon's army in the Volga region: the arrangement, content, relationships with the local population." Bulletin of the Samara State University, No. 1 (Samara, Russia: Samara State University, 2006): 48-55.