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. 14, No. 1, January 26, 2012

 

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Copyright © 2012 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 and our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/groups/gravesfa/.

 

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CONTENTS:

 

** General Comments

** Report on GFA Meeting in Arlington, VA

** Ancestry of Capt. Thomas Graves of VA

** Johann Sebastian Graff (John Graves) Website

** More About the 2000 U.S. Census

** Ancestry of U.S. Republican Presidential Candidates

** Shrinking Size of Web Addresses With TinyURL.com

** Top 100 Genealogy Websites

** Old and New Genealogy Programs on Television

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things

 

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GENERAL COMMENTS

 

I hope all of you had a great holiday season and are eager to start a new year.  Make this the year for doing more family research and sharing it with others, joining our Facebook page, and getting a DNA test for yourself and other family members.  If you have questions or suggestions about the Graves Family Association, our website, or your research, please let me know and I will try to help.

 

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REPORT ON GFA MEETING IN ARLINGTON, VA

 

The meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Graves Family Association was held at the Army Navy Country Club, Arlington, VA, on January 15.  About 30 people from many different Graves families attended.  After an excellent buffet lunch, John Graves of West River, MD, Chapter Coordinator, made a few announcements, and then everyone introduced themselves and told something about their Graves ancestry.

 

Ken Graves then gave a PowerPoint presentation that included the accomplishments of the GFA, DNA testing and how it is being used for Graves/Greaves genealogy, GFA website development, publication of genealogies, and future plans.

 

The weather was very cooperative, and it was a wonderful opportunity to meet some new people and see some we haven’t seen for a while.

 

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ANCESTRY OF CAPT. THOMAS GRAVES OF VA

 

A recent question on our GFA Facebook page was: Do you know where the DNA "starting point" for Capt. Thomas Graves is? Since his burial place is unknown, and his DNA cannot be extracted, would DNA of Henry White Graves be available?

 

First of all, our ancestors were not buried in air-tight coffins or mummified like ancient Egyptian royalty, so even if we knew where a person who died in the 1600's was buried, the chances of finding any remains for a DNA test would be extremely small. Also, we have never done DNA tests on exhumed remains, and I do not advocate trying to do that. However, our problem in knowing the DNA of Capt. Thomas Graves is not that we don't know the DNA of some of his presumed descendants. Henry White Graves was a presumed 4th generation descendant of Capt. Thomas Graves, and we have at least 6 descendants of his who have been DNA tested. We can be certain of the DNA (and thus the ancestry) of many of the presumed descendants of Capt. Thomas Graves. 

 

The problem is that not all those descendants have the same DNA, which means that not all could have been descended from Capt. Thomas Graves. So some of the traditional research evidence must be wrong, but we aren't presently sure what is correct and what is not. Of the 4 DNA groups previously thought to have descended from Capt. Thomas Graves, we have the strongest evidence for non-descent for what is now gen. 270 (previous thought to have been from Thomas's son John, and before that from his son Thomas). In my opinion, the strongest evidence for descent from Capt. Thomas Graves is for his son John (see Adventurers of Purse and Person, compiled and edited by John Frederick Dorman). The DNA of this line from son John is also that of Henry White Graves, and matches perfectly the DNA of genealogy 168, etc. I cannot explain why the DNA of the descendants of Francis Graves (gen. 220) don't match that of the descendants of John Graves other than the obvious conclusion that he was not a son of Capt. Thomas Graves (or that the descendants we have tested were not his descendants, which seems a bit more unlikely), but at least the descendants of Francis Graves do match the DNA of genealogies 28, etc.

 

Considering that the commercial availability of DNA testing for genealogy is only about 10 years old now, and the discoveries and advances in testing have advanced very rapidly, and the prices are still dropping rapidly, I think there is a good chance that we will be able to answer many of these questions with DNA testing within a few more years. A key ingredient of that is for many more people to have their DNA tested so that we are able to make the necessary comparisons.

 

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JOHANN SEBASTIAN GRAFF (JOHN GRAVES) WEBSITE

 

John Graves (Johann Sebastian Graff) (genealogy 105) was born in 1703 in the German Palatinate, arrived in America in 1730, settled in Berks Co., PA, moved to NC, and died in TN.  The web page at http://www.joelgraves.com/index.php/graves-family-genealogy/ was created by Joel Graves, a descendant through Eli Graves of California, and was recently called to my attention.  On that website you can also see information about his artwork and the books he has written.

 

This is the largest of the genealogies on the GFA website for a Graves family of German origin.

 

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MORE ABOUT THE 2000 U.S. CENSUS

 

COMMENT ON AFRICAN ANCESTRY

In the article on this subject in the last issue of the Bulletin (Dec. 28, 2011) was a statement: “It is interesting to see that more than 23% of [those with the Graves surname] identify themselves as black.  This indicates that black Graves families in the U.S. are under-represented in the genealogies on the GFA website.”  A cousin of mine pointed out that many former slaves took the surname of a former owner or other person of European ancestry but were not necessarily (or perhaps not even usually) any relation to that person or that family.

 

I responded: “You are correct that some descendants of former slaves with the Graves surname were descended from people of European ancestry with the Graves name, and some weren't. I have no idea how many were in each of these two categories. In addition, I am sure that some descendants of former slaves with surnames other than Graves were descended from Graves families of European ancestry, but I have no idea how many.

 

My comment in the article wasn't meant to imply that the black Graves families were necessarily related to those of the same surname identified as white. On the other hand, not all white Graves families are related to each other either.”

 

OTHER VARIATION OF OUR SURNAME IN THE CENSUS

In the last issue of the Bulletin, I gave some information about the name of Graves, the most common spelling of the name in the U.S.  The following table gives similar data for other variations of the name in the 2000 U.S. census.  A search was done for names containing Grave, Greave, Greeve, Grieve, and Greive, and only names occurring at least 500 times are listed below.  The names preceded by an asterisk are the only ones I consider variations of our surname.  Also, I am showing only the percentages of those who identified themselves as white or black, since the other groups are small and I have limited space.

 

It is interesting to see the differences between white and black percentages for different surnames.  A lower percentage of black respondents with a particular surname could mean that Europeans with that name arrived too late to be slave-owners, that they lived in the northern U.S., that their surname was newer, etc.  The two names that stand out as different are Belgrave (76% black) and Grave (12.74 % Hispanic, whereas typical is about 2% Hispanic).  A higher percentage could mean a higher percentage of those with that surname were slave-owners.

Surname

Rank

Count

Number/ 100,000

% White

% Black

*Graves

340

82179

30.46

71.95

23.56

Hargrave

4677

6930

2.57

78.59

17.46

Musgrave

6310

4970

1.84

93.24

2.9

*Greaves

6608

4731

1.75

65.06

28.28

Seagraves

8973

3351

1.24

90.09

7.22

Hargraves

9276

3230

1.2

76.5

19.57

Gravely

9782

3050

1.13

63.34

33.64

Graver

11158

2608

0.97

87.96

8.9

Gravel

12737

2225

0.82

97.21

0.0

Gravelle

12995

2163

0.8

94.08

0.46

Hargreaves

13052

2152

0.8

95.35

1.39

*Grieve

13266

2110

0.78

95.88

0.28

Segraves

19695

1266

0.47

92.5

2.53

Belgrave

21590

1126

0.42

10.57

76.47

Graven

22870

1045

0.39

94.35

0.77

Gravett

25524

909

0.34

91.97

5.28

*Grieves

26419

869

0.32

95.74

1.04

*Degrave

27105

840

0.31

96.67

0.71

Graveline

27258

834

0.31

96.04

0.0

*Grave

30003

738

0.27

75.07

8.4

Seagrave

36189

585

0.22

93.85

1.54

Hardgrave

40987

502

0.19

92.23

3.78

 

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ANCESTRY OF U.S. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES

 

Ancestry.com issued a press release on Dec. 20, 2011 (at http://tinyurl.com/7nh5o7l) about some of the connections of some of the Republican presidential candidates to former U.S. Presidents.  This release was used for an article by Al Kaman in the Washington Post, Dec. 21, 2011 (http://tinyurl.com/777aohx), and by many others elsewhere.  No information was provided about Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and other candidates.

 

The press release and the article said that Mitt Romney is related to six former presidents.  He is connected to Presidents George W. Bush (10th cousins, twice removed), George H. W. Bush (10th cousins, once removed) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (8th cousins, twice removed) through Ann Marbury Hutchinson, a key figure in the development of religious freedom in America and early settler of Rhode Island and New York.  Romney is related to Presidents Calvin Coolidge (10th cousins), Herbert Hoover (10th cousins) and Franklin Pierce (6th cousins, 4 times removed) through Thomas Richardson, an English landowner in the late 1500s from Hertfordshire.

 

Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman — himself a distant Romney cousin — boasts four former presidents among his relatives: Roosevelt, Coolidge and both Bushes.

 

Alas, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has only one former president in the family. He's a fifth cousin, four times removed, to Harry Truman. (He is, however, a first cousin, six times removed, to colorful Texas founding father Sam Houston). Fifth cousins, 4 times removed, Perry and Truman are related through Thomas Shipp, who was born in Virginia in the early 1700s, the son and grandson of early Virginia settlers.  Governor Perry is a first cousin, six times removed, of Sam Houston, former President of the Republic of Texas, Texas Governor and State Senator.  Perry and Houston are connected through John Paxton, a Revolutionary War patriot. Although Houston resigned as Governor rather than swear allegiance to the Confederacy, Governor Perry has many other ancestors who fought on the side of the Confederacy during the Civil War.

 

Ancestry.com looked at the family trees of some of the GOP hopefuls (though they're still working on Newt Gingrich's lineage) as a way to highlight the "surprising" things people can learn once they start tracing their roots, says Anastasia Harman, the company's lead family historian.”

 

OTHER OBSERVATIONS AND COMMENTS

Several observations can be made about this information: (1) Big deal, who cares, if we go back far enough we will find we are all related to everyone living and dead, (2) none of the candidates are descended from these former Presidents, just cousins with them, (3) all the connections were pretty far back, in the 1500-1700’s, (4) if we could trace more ancestral lines, we would find that these candidates were connected to many more Presidents.

 

The Ancestry.com press release also mentions previous releases about Barack Obama’s Irish roots, his connections to Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh (conservative radio host), Warren Buffet, actor Brad Pitt, and former Vice President Dick Cheney.  It also mentions Sarah Palin’s connection with Franklin D. Roosevelt and the late Princess of Wales.

 

In the Graves Family Bulletin for June 4, 2010, was an article about famous relatives from Ancestry.com.  It stated that both Presidents Bush were descended from Capt. Thomas Graves of VA (genealogy 169) through his daughter Verlinda, and President Rutherford B. Hayes (19th President of the U.S.) was descended from Thomas Graves of Nahant, MA (genealogy 213).  Grover Cleveland (22nd and 24th President of the U.S.) was descended from Thomas Graves of Hartford, CT (genealogy 168), and Calvin Coolidge (30th President of the U.S.) was descended from Rear Adm. Thomas Graves of Charlestown, MA (genealogy 28).  There are probably other U.S. Presidents with Graves ancestry, but we don’t know who they are.  So if you are descended from genealogy 169, you are related to both Presidents Bush, and also to Grover Cleveland (since genealogies 168 and 169 share a common ancestor).

 

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SHRINKING SIZE OF WEB ADDRESSES WITH TINYURL.COM

 

In the preceding article about the connections of some of the U.S. presidential candidates, I included links to web pages that were very long, wouldn’t fit on a single line, and might not work if they spilled over onto a second line.  I shortened the addresses by using a website called TinyURL.com.  See more information there at http://tinyurl.com

 

Their website states: “Are you sick of posting URLs in emails only to have them break when sent, causing the recipient to have to cut and paste them back together? Then you've come to the right place. By entering a URL in the text field below, we will create a tiny URL that will not break in email postings and never expires.  TinyURL was created as a free service to make posting long URLs easier.”

 

“You can add TinyURL to your browser’s toolbar: Click and drag the following link to your links toolbar.  Once this is on your toolbar, you'll be able to make a TinyURL at the click of a button. By clicking on the toolbar button, a TinyURL will be created for the page you are currently at.  This is compatible with most web browsers and platforms as long as your bookmarks or favorites allow javascript.”

 

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TOP 100 GENEALOGY WEBSITES

 

In Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter, Jan. 9, 2012, was a list of the top 100 genealogy websites, as of Jan. 2012, as determined by GenealogyInTime Magazine, at http://goo.gl/HZcdD.  The reason I am mentioning these is because it is likely that few of us are familiar with all these websites, and if they are so popular, there must be a good reason.  Perhaps learning more about them can help your research efforts.

 

The top 20 are listed below.

 


Rank

Website

Category

Country

Free Pay

Traffic Rank

Address

1

Ancestry.com

ancestral records

USA

pay

977

www.ancestry.com

2

MyHeritage

genealogy forum

USA

free

3,581

www.myheritage.com

3

FamilySearch

ancestral records

USA

free

6,504

www.familysearch.org

4

Find A Grave

cemetery/obit records

USA

free

6,685

www.findagrave.com

5

Geni.com

genealogy forum

USA

free

7,484

www.geni.com

6

Archives.com

search engine

USA

pay

8,593

www.archives.com

7

Genealogy.com

genealogy forum

USA

pay

10,825

www.genealogy.com

8

Ancestry.co.uk

ancestral records

UK

pay

12,058

www.ancestry.co.uk

9

GeneaNet

genealogy forum

France

free

12,480

www.geneanet.org

10

MyFamily

genealogy forum

USA

pay

14,977

www.myfamily.com

11

FamilyLink

search engine

USA

pay

19,477

www.familylink.com

12

Newspaper Archive

historic newspapers

USA

pay

26,652

www.newspaperarchive.com

13

FindMyPast UK

ancestral records

UK

pay

34,051

www.findmypast.co.uk

14

Ancestry.ca

ancestral records

Canada

pay

38,298

www.ancestry.ca

15

23andMe

family DNA testing

USA

pay

39,953

www.23andme.com

16

Genes Reunited

ancestral records

UK

pay

40,843

www.genesreunited.co.uk

17

Fold3

ancestral records

USA

pay

41,742

www.fold3.com

18

Ancestry.com.au

ancestral records

Australia

pay

43,486

www.ancestry.com.au

19

Eastman's Genealogy Newsletter

genealogy blog

USA

free

43,745

www.blog.eogn.com

20

GenealogyInTime Magazine

genealogy magazine

Canada

free

49,988

www.genealogyintime.com


 

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OLD AND NEW GENEALOGY PROGRAMS ON TELEVISION

 

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

The television show that started a resurgence of interest in genealogy was the 1977 miniseries based on Alex Haley’s Roots.  After a long period of being ignored by television, the BBC started a series called “Who Do You Think You Are?” in 2004.  See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Do_You_Think_You_Are%3F_(British_TV_series)  on Wikipedia for a thorough summary.  Go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/whodoyouthinkyouare/welcome.shtml or http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007t575 for the BBC information.  It is apparent that the UK version of the program is much more complete and more oriented toward people who want to trace their own family tree.  The BBC website even has many links to helpful information about genealogical research.  Versions of this program are now being produced for Ireland, Canada, Australia, and the U.S.

 

This is the third season for American television’s version of “Who Do You Think You Are?” on NBC.  If you go to their website at http://www.nbc.com/who-do-you-think-you-are/, you can watch recent episodes from last year and see a listing and previews of this year’s episodes.  The people featured this season will be: actor Blair Underwood, actress Marisa Tomei, actress Helen Hunt, actor Martin Sheen, actor Rob Lowe, actress Edie Falco, singer Reba McEntire, former NFL player Jerome Bettis, and actress Rita Wilson.

 

NEW U.S. TV SERIES: FINDING YOUR ROOTS

Another genealogy series is about to be launched on television in the U.S.  "Finding Your Roots" with historian Henry Louis Gates Jr. will launch on March 25. That will be the first episode of a 10-part series on PBS stations.

 

The new series will feature two people in each one-hour episode, including husband-and-wife actors Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, who jokes she's afraid they might turn out to be cousins. "They are indeed distant cousins," revealed Gates. "Talk about six degrees of separation, right?"

 

Gate’s previous genealogical/biographical series on PBS was “Faces of America” (see http://www.pbs.org/wnet/facesofamerica/)

 

VIEWING TV PROGRAMS FROM ANOTHER COUNTRY

Often TV programs are “blacked out” for viewers from another country.  In the next issue of this bulletin I’ll explain how you can avoid that restriction and view programs anywhere.

 

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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.

 

TO JOIN THE GRAVES FAMILY ASSOCIATION:

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.

 

TO SUBSCRIBE OR UNSUBSCRIBE TO THIS BULLETIN:

To subscribe to this bulletin, send an e-mail message to ken.graves@gravesfa.org.  Please include your full name.  Your postal mailing address and information on your Graves/Greaves ancestry would also be appreciated, although not essential.

 

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