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Graves Family Association


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WHAT IS KNOWN: Our DNA study has shown that the largest group of Graves and Greaves families in England and America seems to be descended from the family of Beeley, Derbyshire (genealogy 228). This group includes the Greaves family of Stepney, London (genealogy 28), the Greaves family of Macclesfield, Cheshire (genealogy 334), and various families of the U.S. (including John Graves of Concord, MA, gen. 166, John Greaves of St. Mary's Co., MD, gen. 247, and Francis Graves of VA, gen. 220).

Research was conducted in the late 1800's in England by Eben Putnam, some of it published as "Notes on the Ancestry of Rear-Admiral Thomas Graves of Charlestown, Mass.", Historical Collections of the Essex Institute, vol. 31, 1895. His research, primarily in wills, provided much information about the Greaves family of Stepney and Limehouse, Middlesex, from which Rear Admiral Thomas Graves of Charlestown, MA was descended.

Although the ancestry in England of Rear Admiral Thomas Graves is known, that of the other immigrants to America from England are not. For John Graves of Concord, MA, it has been speculated that he was born 1619 in Gloucester, England, son of John Graves of Gloucester, who was born 17 Sept. 1581 in Gloucester, and had a total of 3 wives. Another possibility is that he was from the same place as Rev. Peter Bulkley, the pastor of his church in Concord, MA. It is also possible that John Graves was from Kent, England, since many of the early settlers of Concord were.


  • More research is needed for the families of Beeley, Stepney, Macclesfield, and other related families in England to try to connect them and trace more descendants. It would also be helpful to continue the will research begun by Eben Putnam.