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Graves Family Association

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There is no such thing as one official Graves or Greaves coat of arms. Coats of arms were granted to individuals, not surnames. They may be used by the descendants of the person to whom they are granted, but not by others who just happen to have the same surname.

The crest and coat of arms illustrated here is one that was published in a book, Genealogy of the Graves Family in America, by John Card Graves, 1896. He wrote: The distinctive arms of the Graves family are:

"Gu. An eagle displayed or. Ducally crowned arg."

The crest:

"A demi-eagle displayed and erased or. Enfiled round the body and below the wings by a ducal coronet arg."

By the alliance of members of the family with other families, and the marshalling of different arms in the same composition, variations are frequently found; they almost invariably retain, however, as quarterings, the distinctive arms of the family, the eagle displayed or.

Various mottoes have been adopted, some of which have been used by the members of the family exclusively, and others by this and other families.

The following are the mottoes used, as far as can be ascertained, and translations:

Mottoes

  • AQUILA NON CAPTAT MUSCAS
  • AQUILA NON CAPIT MUSCAS
    The Eagle does not catch flies.
  • GRAVES DISCE MORES
    Learn grave manners.
  • GRAVIS DUM SUAVIS
    Grave while suave.
  • SPES MEA IN DEO
    My hope is in God.
  • DUM SPIRO SPERO
    While I breathe I hope.
  • DEO, NON FORTUNA
    Through God, not by chance.
  • ESSE QUAM VIDERI
    To be rather than to seem.
  • HUIC HABEO NON TIBI
    I hold to this one, not to thee.
  • PER SINUM CODANUM
    Through the Gulf of Codanus.
  • SPERO INFESTIS METUO SECUNDIS
    I hope in adversity, and fear in prosperity.
  • SUPERNA QUAERITE
    Seek things above.
  • SUPERNA QUAERO
    I seek heavenly things.
  • SUPREMA QUAERO
    I see the highest.