GRAVES FAMILY BULLETIN

 

Vol. 19, No. 4, May 31, 2017

 

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

 

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Copyright © 2017 by the Graves Family Association and Kenneth V. Graves.  All rights reserved.

 

Information on 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.  If you received it from a friend and want to subscribe, send an email message with your full name to ken.graves@gravesfa.org.

 

Click on these links to visit the GFA website and our Facebook page.

 

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CONTENTS

 

** General Comments

** A Personal Matter: Bicycle Ride to Raise Money for Alzheimer’s Research & Care

** Finding the Ancestry of Capt. Thomas Graves of VA and of Other Lines Not Descended from Him

** Interesting Articles and Announcements

** Some Interesting Articles on Roberta Estes’ Blog

** Updates to the GFA Website

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things

 

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GENERAL COMMENTS

 

The most important article in this issue of the Bulletin for many of you will be the one about finding the ancestry and descendants of Capt. Thomas Graves of Virginia.  Of the thousands of people who are interested in resolving this issue, we just need a few to do the work of analyzing DNA test results.  The article mentions specific steps needed, and I can provide more details.  Please volunteer or find others who are technically able to do the work needed.  Thanks.

 

Memorial Day in the U.S. was two days ago.  Let us remember and honor those fallen warriors who gave so much.  And may God guide us all to a better resolution of our differences in the future.

 

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A PERSONAL MATTER: BICYCLE RIDE TO RAISE MONEY FOR ALZHEIMER’S RESEARCH & CARE

 

I wrote an article like this last year for the first time ever.  However, I hope you don’t mind my doing it again.  It is one of the few things I can do to try to help find an effective treatment and cure for this terrible disease.  This has affected both a close family member and several good friends in the last few years.

 

My older daughter and I will be participating in a charity bicycle ride on Saturday, June 24, the “Ride to End Alzheimer’s 2017.”  We will be doing the Metric Century option, which is 62 miles (100 kilometers), starting and ending in Rye, NH.  We did this ride last year also.

 

Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative and fatal disease of the brain for which there is currently no cure.  But there is hope and promise for the future.  The Alzheimer’s Association is working hard to promote and fund research efforts to find a cure.  90% of funds raised through the Ride support the Alzheimer’s Association’s research grants program, while 10% provide care and support for families affected by Alzheimer’s in MA and NH.  You can learn more about the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s (which is the most common form of dementia) by going to the website here.

 

I have pledged to raise at least $1,000 through this ride, but would like to raise more than that.  If you would like to donate in any amount, you can contribute online by clicking here, then clicking on Donate, and entering my name (Ken Graves), or you can send me a check made out to Alzheimer’s Association.  Thank you for your support – emotional and financial.

 

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FINDING THE ANCESTRY OF CAPT. THOMAS GRAVES AND OF OTHER LINES NOT DESCENDED FROM HIM

 

Capt. Thomas Graves is the first person with the Graves surname known to have settled in America, arriving from England in October 1608 in the ship “Margaret and Mary.” He was one of the original Adventurers (stockholders) of the Virginia Company of London, and one of the very early Planters (settlers) who founded Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in North America.  Because of his important role in the early settling of America and the desire of many people to be able to join organizations such as the Jamestowne Society and First Families of Virginia, proving ancestry from him is important.

 

In spite of much genealogical research and many published articles about Capt. Thomas Graves and his descendants, there remain many unanswered questions.  Unfortunately, many of the early records have not survived, so assumptions had to be made, some of which were wrong.  With the advent of DNA testing in about the year 2000, and the Y-DNA testing of many male descendants of his presumed sons John, Thomas and Francis, it was discovered that the descendants from each of these sons had different Y-DNA.  With sons John and Thomas, there were even multiple Y-DNA results for lines from the same son.  Since Y-DNA is passed on from father to son through as many generations as exist, only one of these DNA signatures can possibly be that of Capt. Thomas Graves.  But which of the Y-DNA signatures of his possible descendants is the one that he had?

 

We have been able to remove some of the branches of incorrect descendants by further research combined with DNA testing.  The major branch in this category was what is now genealogy 270, and others are mentioned in the Comments section of genealogy 169 (Capt. Thomas Graves), specifically genealogies 94, 145 and 152.  Even after this pruning (which is still going on), we are left with different DNA signatures for sons John, Thomas and Francis.  Since the descendants of one of these three sons had to be selected as the most likely “true” descendants of Capt. Thomas Graves (through an unbroken all-male line), we first looked at documentation.  Based on the research published in Adventurers of Purse and Person, Virginia, 1607-1624/5, 4th Edition, 2007, compiled and edited by John Frederick Dorman, and previous research by Mrs. Martha Hiden and others, it was decided that the line from son John was the most reliable.  The solidity of this group from son John is further supported by: (1) all the male descendants tested had the same DNA signature, (2) the DNA signature is the same as that of the New England families of Thomas Graves of Hartford, CT (gen. 168) and George Graves of Hartford, CT (gen. 65), and (3) the interaction with Croshaw families and the Croshaw name (believed to be the surname of the wife of Capt. Thomas Graves) was frequent in this branch of the family.

 

In regard to the descendants of son Thomas Graves shown on the chart (DNAchart169-Thomas2.pdf), they are split between DNA group R1-169a and R1-169b (and also genealogy 210 on the right side of that chart).

 

Regarding the purported son Francis Graves, there is evidence that a daughter Frances was the youngest child of Capt. Thomas Graves, rather than a son Francis.  This daughter is the one now shown in genealogy 169 as the youngest child of Capt. Thomas Graves, even though more substantiation is needed.

 

Incidentally, when I spoke to John Frederick Dorman (compiler of Adventurers of Purse and Person) about the results of our DNA study showing the discrepancies between the published lineages and the DNA results, he said that he was not at all surprised.  Especially when documentation is not as complete as we would like, “proof” often turns out not to be real proof at all but just “the best we can do with what we have.”

 

Although I am not discussing it in detail in this article, there are published land records for the property on the Eastern Shore of Virginia showing where Capt. Thomas Graves and his children lived.  For example, see the GHOTES website (Genealogy & Historie Of The Eastern Shore of Virginia).  The maps of what is now Northampton County, VA are very helpful, although it appears that the master index doesn’t work, so you have to click on the link for individual patents and owners for each map segment.  The Middle Northampton County segment is of most interest.

 

I recently compiled the interesting statistics shown in the following table.  I tried to select samples that were representative and had also been tested at 111 markers.

DNA Group

Gene-alogy

Kit No.

Matches at 111 Markers

Matches with 67 Markers

 

 

 

With Graves

With Other Names

With Graves

With Other Names

R1-168

65

311424

0

0

9

2 (almost certainly Graves desc.)

 

169 via John

45517

0

0

5

0

R1-228b

220 (Francis)

92202

17

0

40

5

 

77

477043

17

6

42

23

R1-169a

169 via Thomas

92572

1

0

2

2

R1-169b

169 via Thomas

156606

2

37

3

162

 

169 via Thomas

215555

Not tested

Not tested

3

232

R1-047

47

76150

8

0

13

0

 

270

1622

10

0

21

0

 

DISCUSSION OF R1-169b GROUP

My interpretation of the numbers in the preceding table showing matches with Graves versus matches with other surnames is that the higher the ratio of matches with other names to matches with Graves or Greaves, the more recent the adoption of the Graves surname is apt to have been.  Other factors such as how common the DNA haplotype is and how many people have tested have an affect also.  Using that basis, the R1-169b group seems to have less claim to being an ancient Graves line.

 

The line of descent for the R1-169b samples is shown on DNAchart169.pdf as descending from son John, but does not fit there via DNA.  It is either misplaced or there was a non-parental situation (where the descendants might be Graves descendants through a Graves female, there might have been an adoption, etc.).

 

For sample number 215555, when I clicked on the name heading on the Y-DNA match page, the most frequent names I found were 19 Bland, 10 Brook/Brooks, 7 Middlebrook/Middlebrooks, and 7 Stanley/Standley.  It would be interesting and probably helpful to find where these names fell on the SNP tree, and to look at the geographical area where William Graves (b. 1756) and his son Josiah (b. 1778) lived to see whether there were any men with the Brooks, Middlebrooks, or Stanley names in the area.  It would also be helpful to estimate from SNP and STR comparisons how far back the common ancestor might have been.

 

DISCUSSION OF OTHER GROUPS

The R1-169a group is represented on chart DNAchart169-Thomas2.pdf by all the red boxes. A problem with this is that the DNA proof only goes back to John Graves (b. 1706) of generation 5.  No descendants of other lines from earlier generations have been found and tested and give matching results.

 

The gen. 220 DNA proof goes back to generation 3 from Francis (which would be gen. 4 from Capt. Thomas Graves).  DNA proof for son John goes back to generation 4.

 

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

A discussion of this has been on the GFA website for quite a while, and can be seen here.  It can be reached by hovering over the Research drop-down menu, clicking on Ancestral Research Program, scrolling down to the bottom of that page and clicking on the link for the Capt. Thomas Graves of VA research project.

 

(1)  The most important need is for capable people to volunteer and to do the work needed.

 

(2)  The main solution for determining which line is descended from Capt. Thomas Graves is to do extensive analysis of autosomal DNA test results of suspected descendants of all sons and daughters of Capt. Thomas Graves.  This has the potential to show us not only which all-male line is the one descended from Capt. Thomas Graves, but also whether any of the other lines are descended through a partly female line.

 

(3) Additional action that should be done:

Š      Using Y-DNA SNP test results and marker results, try to find the connection between the tested descendants of son John and genealogies 65 and 168.

Š      Try to find the places of origin in England for each group by seeing the origins of close matches, and then examine traditional records to try to learn more.

Š      Using autosomal DNA test results, try to find which, if any descendants have a Croshaw ancestry.  Although a Croshaw DNA project has already been started, it might be necessary to expand it so that we have more likelihood of matching the right Croshaw line.

Š      Try to find all-female lines of descent from the daughters of Capt. Thomas Graves, and see whether their mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) test results match.

 

So that you can easily see how different the various groups are that claim descent from Capt. Thomas Graves, a simplified version of the Y-DNA haplogroup tree is below.  The descendants of Francis Graves (gen. 220) are the leftmost branch, then the two groups of descendants from son Thomas Graves, then gen. 47/270 that has been disproved as descendants of Capt. Thomas Graves, and finally on the far right are the descendants of son John Graves.  Their common ancestors were all 4,000-6,000 years ago, well before the adoption of surnames.

 

 

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INTERESTING ARTICLES AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

OXFORD DICTIONARY OF FAMILY NAMES IN BRITAIN AND IRELAND

This book was published in 2016 in both traditional hardcopy and online format.  More information can be seen here.  Although the full content is not available without subscribing or logging in, what is available is still interesting.  Information on each surname includes variants and related surnames, frequencies now and in 1881, where located, etc.  You may have full access via your local public library.

 

TWO BOOKS ABOUT USING DNA TESTING FOR GENEALOGY

Two helpful books on how to use DNA testing for genealogy were published last year.  Blaine Bettinger published The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy.  Then Blaine and Debbie Parker Wayne published Genetic Genealogy in Practice.  See an article on Blaine’s blog here, and a blog article by Roberta Estes here.  Both these books are available from Amazon.

 

ANCESTRY DNA SALES SET A NEW RECORD

As reported by Ancestry.com and elsewhere (see Forbes article here), Ancestry.com claims that it had more than 3 million members in its DNA database in January 2017.  CEO Tim Sullivan is quoted as saying “We think we’ll have 10 million people connected within two years.”  Ancestry.com offers only autosomal DNA testing and no chromosome browser (which 23andMe and Family Tree DNA have), but their advertising and huge number of user-submitted family trees give them an advantage for attracting customers.  The plan of both Ancestry.com and 23andMe is to capitalize of their DNA database, using it for purposes beyond just helping people find their ancestry.

 

A MASSIVE GENETIC STUDY OF NORTH AMERICANS SUGGESTS WE ARE EVEN MORE DIVERSE THAN WE THOUGHT

This is the title of an article published on Gizmodo this past February.  You can see it here.  This is an example of how Ancestry is using its genetic database.  “Ancestry’s scientists set out to build a picture of how North America’s population moved across the country over the past few hundred years.”  One example is the claim that “researchers were able to track, say, the particular regions in France that French Canadians came from six generations ago, where they settled in Canada three generations ago, and how they spread south to New England two generations ago.”  The maps accompanying the article are especially interesting also.  (An article on some other aspects of migratory patterns was referenced in “More Maps of the American Nations” on JayMan’s Blog, discussed in the Graves Family Bulletin, vol. 16, no. 7.  The collection of blog posts can be seen here.)

 

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SOME INTERESTING ARTICLES ON ROBERTA ESTES’ BLOG

 

I refer fairly often to the DNAeXplained blog of Roberta Estes.  I find her articles to be interesting, helpful, and clearly written.  Here are several recent ones that I found interesting.

 

CALCULATING ETHNICITY PERCENTAGES

Those of us who take autosomal DNA tests from any of the companies that offer them (Ancestry, Family Tree DNA, 23andMe, and others) often want to know what our ethnicity percentages are and sometimes which testing company is best for that.  The general answer is “it depends.”  It depends on the databases the testing company compares your sample to; it depends on the calculation procedure they use; it depends on the point in time they decide to use for your ancestry (e.g., your ancestry 300 years ago is not the same as your ancestry 500 years ago); etc.  This article does a good job of discussing many of these questions.

 

FAMILY TREE DNA NOW ACCEPTS ALL ANCESTRY AUTOSOMAL TRANSFERS PLUS 23ANDME V3 AND V4

One of the advantages of testing at Family Tree DNA is that autosomal test results from the other major DNA testing companies can be transferred to its site at vary low cost, giving access to more matches and additional analytical tools.  This article discusses how that works and the benefits.  If you test and/or get analysis at more than one company (which transferring allows you to do), then you can compare your ethnicity results as Roberta explains in the preceding article.

 

MyHERITAGE ETHNICITY RESULTS

This article discusses the MyHeritage ethnicity results, and compares them to the results of the three major vendors.  It also mentions that MyHeritage allows uploading raw DNA files from other vendors.

 

800 ARTICLES STRONG

This article in February 2017 was Roberta’s 801st article on her blog.  Rather impressive for a blog that was started July 11, 2012, less than 5 years ago.  In this article she explains some things about her blog, including how to find articles of interest.

 

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UPDATES TO THE GFA WEBSITE

 

Updated pages:

Š      Research Project for Graves Families of Hertford Area, England, Hertford.php

Š      Research Project for Greaves Families of Northamptonshire & Buckinghamshire, England, Northamptonshire.php

Š      Research Project for Graves & Greaves Families of Beeley, England, Beeley.php

Š      Ancestral Research page, ancesres.php

Š      Y-DNA Test Results page, FTDNA_test_results.php

 

Updated charts:

Š      Y-DNA Group R1-228b SNP Tree, Y-SNP-Tree-R1-228b.pdf

Š      Y-DNA R-Haplogroup SNP Chart, R-Y-SNP-chart.pdf

 

Revised genealogies:

Š      Gen. 270, John Graves/Greaves of Northamptonshire, England & VA

 

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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 to gfa@gravesfa.org via PayPal.

 

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.