GRAVES FAMILY BULLETIN

 

A Free, Occasional, Online Summary of Items of Interest to Descendants of all Families of Graves, Greaves, Grieves, Grave, and other spelling variations Worldwide

 

Vol. 12, No. 2, May 20, 2010

 

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Copyright © 2010 by the Graves Family Association and Kenneth V. Graves.  All rights reserved.

 

Information on how to start a free subscription to this bulletin and how to be removed from the subscription list is at the end of this bulletin.  If you received this bulletin directly, then you are already subscribed.

 

Visit the GFA web site at http://www.gravesfa.org

 

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CONTENTS:

 

** General Comments

** National Genealogical Conference in Salt Lake City

** Family Finder DNA Test from Family Tree DNA

** More About Autosomal DNA Tests and the Future

** Additional Comments on U.S. TV Shows About Tracing Your Roots

** Genealogies on the GFA Website

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things

 

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GENERAL COMMENTS

 

More information about autosomal DNA testing is the highlight of this issue, especially the new Family Finder test from Family Tree DNA.  There will be more in the next issue about this and why you should all consider ordering the test.

 

 

NATIONAL GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY CONFERENCE IN SALT LAKE CITY

 

I was in Salt Lake City recently for the National Genealogical Society annual conference (April 28-May 1).  It was a great experience.  Even though I am a life member of the Society, it has been a few years since I have attended one of these.  I heard that the attendance was an all-time record (2,600 registered attendees), and all the sessions were crowded, as was the exhibit/vendor area.

 

Highlights for me were: (1) the greatly expanded capabilities of the Family Search website, (2) the discussions of collaborative research, sometimes in real time, (3) mapping capabilities with Google Earth and other tools, (4) the increasing capabilities of DNA testing, (5) some of the software that is new or that I was unaware of before, and finally (6) a two-hour extravaganza at the Conference Center with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Pulitzer Prize winning author David McCullough, and more.  The only downside was that it was in the 40’s (32-51 degrees F) the whole time, mostly cloudy, with showers and even some snow, so I wasn’t able to take the hot air balloon ride I had planned.

 

The Thursday evening celebration started with a great speech by Henry Eyring of the LDS Church, several excellent family history videos, and the keynote speech by historian David McCullough, who discussed the importance of history in our lives.  Tying it all together was stirring music from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra, with a finale of “Amazing Grace.”  It was truly an evening to remember!

 

There will be more in future bulletins about some of the exciting developments that promise to make our pursuit of genealogy easier and more interesting.

 

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FAMILY FINDER DNA TEST FROM FAMILY TREE DNA

 

Family Tree DNA, the first and largest genealogical DNA testing company, today (May 3) announced the launch of the Family Finder DNA test for connecting family members across all ancestral lines. The test utilizes Affymetrix’ recently launched Axiom™ genotyping technology and the GeneTitan® System to confidently match a wide range of family relationships within five generations.

 

Family Finder represents a major advancement over earlier genealogical tests, which revealed only connections along specific paternal lines (for males) or maternal lines (males or females). Family Finder enables anyone, regardless of gender, to look for connections such as grandparents, aunts and uncles, half siblings, and first, second, third, and fourth cousins.

 

“This is the most exciting genetic genealogy breakthrough since 2000, when Family Tree DNA launched its Y-DNA test to uncover relatives in the direct paternal line,” said Bennett Greenspan, founder and CEO of Family Tree DNA.

 

The price of the Family Finder test is now $289, up from the special pre-release price of $249 announced in the previous GF Bulletin.  It is still a good deal, and one I encourage all of you to take advantage of if you can afford it.  For more information, see the announcement at http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Family-Tree-DNA-Launches-bw-1196302043.html?x=0&.v=1 or on the Family Tree DNA website at http://www.familytreedna.com/.

 

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MORE ABOUT AUTOSOMAL DNA TESTS AND THE FUTURE

 

At the present time, autosomal DNA testing for purposes of tracing ancestry is available from 23andMe (with Relative Finder) and Family Tree DNA (with Family Finder).  Both these companies test segments of your chromosomes and then compare the results to the testing results of other people to find matches.  The segments tested, the criteria used to determine whether a matching segment is significant, and the analytical tools provided are different for the two companies.  Therefore, the results from testing at the two companies will not be exactly the same.

 

The Family Finder test uses an Affymetrix microarray chip that includes over 500,000 pairs of locations called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in your autosomal DNA.  Relative Finder from 23andMe uses an Illumina chip.

 

One observation of those who have already tested is that many people who are predicted to be related within a reasonable time (within the last 500-1000 years) have not been able to find their common ancestor.  The main reason for that is that most of us don’t have every one of our lines traced for the past 500 years.  Getting involved with this testing will result in two things: (1) we will need to try to extend our ancestral lines so that we can compare our pedigrees to others with whom we have DNA matches, and (2) we will discover from DNA matching results that we are descended from a particular ancestor (or couple) that we didn’t know we had (and it may sometimes be difficult to then find what the line of descent is).

 

Related individuals are identical by descent (IBD) at a genetic locus if they share the same DNA material from a common ancestor.  Information about FTDNA’s Family Finder is in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) area at http://www.familytreedna.com/faq/answers/17.aspx#598. The Family Finder test is designed to trace all of your ancestral lines (all 16 of your great-great grandparents) using your autosomal DNA in order to confidently identify relationships for five generations. This is different from our mtDNA and Y–chromosome DNA tests, which are intended to clearly trace exclusively the direct maternal or paternal lines.

 

Family Finder detects your near and distant cousins by comparing your autosomal DNA with that of other Family Tree DNA customers. If two people share identical segments of DNA then they may share a recent ancestor. When the Family Finder program finds matching segments, it uses statistical methods to determine if the segments are likely to be Identical By Descent (IBD). If they are determined to be IBD then the Family Finder program calculates the relationship based on the shared segments’ number and size.

 

The Family Finder’s Relationship Range is a high confidence prediction of the possible relationships between two people. Because it takes into account a combination of factors, including the total number of shared DNA segments (blocks) as well as the total number of centiMorgans, the result is a highly accurate range of relationships. Depending on how well the DNA matches based on these factors, the range may be large or small. The Relationship Range is just as accurate whether it shows a small range of potential relationships or a large one.

 

The Family Finder program declares a DNA segment to be Identical By Descent (IBD) if it contains at least 500 matching SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphism) in series. A DNA segment (block) that is 10 centiMorgans (cM) or larger indicates conclusive shared ancestry while a block that is between 5 and 10 cM is highly suggestive of shared ancestry. Additional factors such as the number of shared blocks that are at least 1 cM and their size are also used for the degree of relatedness calculations.

 

In genetics, a centimorgan (abbreviated cM) is a unit of recombinant frequency for measuring genetic linkage. It is often used to imply distance along a chromosome -- a length of chromosome in which an average of 0.01 crossover occurs per generation. 

 

All of us need to keep in mind that things will change significantly once we go to analyzing highly accurate complete genome sequences with very long read lengths.  Analysis of IBD segments is very helpful as an interim step, but it will ultimately be replaced by true genotype information for each chromosome.  Even then, we still frequently won’t be able to find shared common ancestors for relatively short segments (5-8 cMs) that we share with other people (because the common ancestor is farther back than our knowledge takes us).

 

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ADDITIONAL COMMENTS ON U.S. TV SHOWS ABOUT TRACING YOUR ROOTS

 

It was pointed out to me by Concetta Phillips that some of the episodes of the BBC version of “Who Do You Think You Are?” can be viewed on YouTube.  Just go to http://www.youtube.com/ and search for “BBC Who Do You Think You Are.”  Some of the most popular episodes on BBC have been for David Tennant (Dr. Who), David Suchet, and Boris Johnson.  However, it appears that most of the videos on YouTube are abbreviated versions of the show, mostly only about 10 minutes instead of the full hour.

 

Marissa Goldenman also mentioned that the first episode of “Faces of America” can be watched online at http://www.pbs.org/wnet/facesofamerica/.

 

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GENEALOGIES ON THE GFA WEBSITE

 

In a previous issue of this Bulletin (vol. 11, no. 8, Aug. 14, 2009), we discussed the number and type of genealogies on the GFA website.  In this article I want to point out the information that has been compiled but is not on the website.

 

First of all, only a small percentage of all the family information that has been compiled is actually on the website.  The following table gives some examples to show that.  For large genealogies with much interest and much submitted information, only about 25% of the information is on the website.  For families with low interest and little contributed information, sometimes as much as 95% of the information is on the website.

Gen. No.

Name

(with birth date of earliest ancestor)

No. on web-site

No. in gene-alogy

% of numbers on website

Pages on web-site

Pages in gene-alogy

% of pages on web-site

47

Thomas Greaves of Bucking-hamshire (1535)

399

564

71

28

47

60

106

John Samuel Graves of SC (1780)

110

288

38

7

26

27

165

William Graves of Dover, NH (1632)

672

876

77

49

76

64

166

John Graves of Concord, MA (1605)

5,861

15,984

37

523

1,464

36

169

Capt. Thomas Graves of VA (1580)

4,015

9,791

41

284

771

37

228

Greaves Family of Beeley, Derbyshire (1490)

434

466

93

40

52

77

270

John Graves of VA (1665)

6,332

29,491

21

465

2,437

19

 

The main reason that so much information has been left off the website is because we feel it is important to respect the feelings of some people not to put information about living people online.

 

This may also make you aware that there is not only much information on your part of the Graves/Greaves family that you aren’t aware has been compiled, but there is also much that needs to be compiled.  What we already have is only a small fraction of total family members for all families.

 

You can get access to all compiled information for your family or your part of the family by agreeing to help gather more information and help compile it.

 

Some of the lessons that are apparent from even this brief examination of a few of the genealogies on the GFA website are: (1) what a small amount of information we have about some of the genealogies, (2) many of the genealogies that must have huge numbers of descendants (such as gen. 228, dating back to 1490) have almost no information submitted and, as a result, have almost all of the information available on the website (because little is know about recent generations), (3) genealogies for families in England, in general, have the least information.

 

Items not in the genealogies that are on the website are the identities of the contributors and (for some of the genealogies) the pictures.  If you let me know about any genealogies that don’t display the pictures, I can get them to display.  Regarding the sources of information, they have been omitted from the online genealogies for privacy reasons.

 

Descendants can get additional information on contributors and material in the recent generations by contacting Ken Graves.

 

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ABOUT THIS BULLETIN:

This bulletin is written and edited by Kenneth V. Graves, ken.graves@gravesfa.org.

 

TO SUBMIT MATERIAL TO THIS BULLETIN:

Send any material you would like to have included in this bulletin to ken.graves@gravesfa.org.  The editor reserves the right to accept, edit or reject any material submitted.

 

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If you do not already belong to the GFA, you can join by sending $20 per year to Graves Family Association, 20 Binney Circle, Wrentham, MA 02093 (more details on GFA website).  Payment may also be sent electronically via PayPal by going to www.paypal.com and sending payment to gfa@gravesfa.org. 

 

COPYRIGHTS:

Although the contents of this bulletin are copyrighted by the Graves Family Association and Kenneth V. Graves, you are hereby granted permission, unless otherwise specified, to re-distribute part or all to other parties for non-commercial purposes only.

 

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