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. 10, No. 4, March 31, 2008




Copyright © 2008 by the Graves Family Association and Kenneth V. Graves.  All rights reserved.


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** General Comments

** Future Family Reunions

** New Discoveries from Our DNA Study

** Female Lineages and Mitochondrial DNA Testing

** Changes to the Genealogy for Capt. Thomas Graves of VA

** Connecting Sarah Jane Graves and Thomas Graves of Chesterfield Co., SC to Genealogy 270

** Changes to the GFA Website

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things






One of the most significant items in this bulletin is the changes to the genealogy for Capt. Thomas Graves of VA.  Although it has been apparent for a while that the John2, Thomas3, John4 line was not descended from Capt. Thomas Graves, that has finally been made official, and that family has been put in a separate genealogy.


In addition, several changes and new features have been added to the website.  I expect that there will be other changes over the next several months, some of greater importance.  Stay tuned!


For those of us in the northern hemisphere, spring has finally arrived.  We look forward to doing more of those outdoor activities that many of us enjoy.






There will be a Graves-Spiers-Williams family reunion on Saturday, April 26, 2008, 9 AM until at least 6 PM, at the Ono Grange Hall, Ono, Shasta, CA, 12 miles west of Redding.  This is for the descendants of David Rice Graves (descended from John Graves of Northamptonshire, England & VA, gen. 270) who took his family from Kentucky to California in 1857.  For more information, contact Emma L. Erickson, 3353 NW Crest Dr., Corvallis, OR 97330, 541-753-4329,


Jim and Rachel Graves, owners of Graves’ Mountain Lodge in Syria, VA, will be hosting a reunion at the lodge on July 18-20, 2008.  This will be for all descendants of Paschal Graves, 8th generation descendant of Capt. Thomas Graves of VA (genealogy 169).  To let them know of your interest or for questions, contact them or Sharon S. Carter at Graves’ Mountain Lodge, Route 670, Syria, VA 22743, phone 1-800-420-4231 or 540-923-4231.






We have several upgrades to existing Y-DNA test in recent weeks, but none of them provide any dramatic new information yet.  The only new set of test results have been for genealogy 287 for Thomas Graves of England, Canada & VT.  This result did not match any others, and there is no way to know whether it is representative of this entire Graves family or not.






Now that we have discovered that the traditional structure of the descendants of Capt. Thomas Graves of Virginia (genealogy 169) is wrong, we need to try to use all available information and tools to reconstruct the correct family relationships.  This also applies to other families where historical records are incomplete or nonexistent.


One of the tools we have is mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) testing.  Both males and females can have their mtDNA tested.  The results will show the direct, all-female lineage from an ancestral female.  In the early days of DNA testing, mtDNA test results would only show “deep” ancestry, that is, your female ancestor thousands of years ago.  With new techniques and more complete analysis, a much more complete profile can be obtained, and much more recent ancestry can be determined.  Therefore, if two or more people who are thought by traditional genealogy to descend from a common ancestor have an exact mtDNA match, there is now much more confidence that the relationship is correct.


For the family of Capt. Thomas Graves, we would like to prove that all his daughters share the same mtDNA.  To do this, we need to find at least one descendant (and preferably more) to be tested from each daughter via an all-female line.  The tested descendant can be either male or female.  In addition to that, we would like to find an all female line from a possible sister of the wife of Capt. Thomas Graves (believed to be Katherine Croshaw) and have one or more of those descendants tested also.  There are also other relationships within the Capt. Thomas Graves family that could be tested using mtDNA testing.  To this end, we need to create a more complete chart of female lines of descent (see the Capt. Thomas Graves section on the charts page for the presently known female lineages).


Most of you who are descended from one of the daughters of Capt. Thomas Graves have a line of descent that is not all-female.  You can be of great help by doing research to find and prove additional descendants, especially via all-female lineages.


Another example of helpful and needed research is in the newly created genealogy of John Graves of Northamptonshire, England and VA (genealogy 270), recently split off from genealogy 169.  In this, Thomas Graves (b. 1691) had two wives, and daughters by both wives.  However, it is not known for sure which daughters were by his first wife.  If we could find all-female lines of descendant from any daughter in question and get a descendant DNA-tested, we should have the answer to that question.


For other Graves/Greaves families, we can use similar approaches to prove relationships.  For example, some families start with a female Graves/Greaves ancestor.  If we can find a possible pair of parents, and then find a descendant of an all-female lineage from that daughter, we can test that descendant and a descendant by an all-female lineage of the female ancestor of interest, we could get strong evidence of whether they were sisters.






The family of Capt. Thomas Graves of VA (genealogy 169) has been extensively discussed because for many years it has been considered to be the ancestry of most Graves family members in the southern United States.  It has been determined that the ancestor of much of that family (the part previously thought to descend via Thomas1, John2, Thomas3, John4) actually arrived about 1700 or in the late 1600’s, and was descended from the Greaves family of Northamptonshire, England.  This has been proven by our DNA study and is supported by the Bible record of Solomon Graves.


Therefore, we have now removed that portion of the family, starting with John4 as the original immigrant to America, and put it in a separate genealogy 270 titled John Graves/Greaves of Northamptonshire, England and VA.  You can see both that genealogy and the revised genealogy 169 for Capt. Thomas Graves of VA on the GFA website.






Charles L. Purvis of Thomasville, NC, has been trying to find his Graves ancestry for many years.  He is descended from David W. Graves of Chesterfield Co., SC in genealogy 558.  He believes David was a grandson of Richard Graves (b. 1765), son of Robert Graves (b. 1735-1740), of genealogy 270 (the newly-created genealogy mentioned in the preceding article).  A summary of some of his reasoning and information is now on the GFA website, accessible from the charts page.  You can see his information and discussion at, and the tentative link on the chart at  He would appreciate help and feedback from others.






Addition of Change Detection Capability

A change detection feature has been added to three pages of the website: the main page, the charts page, and the current news page. It is at the top of the sidebar, but may be moved later. This is an experiment, and will allow you to be notified whenever a change is made to this page. To use it, just click on the OK, enter your email address, and follow instructions.  Try it and let me know what you think.  If this works out, it will be put on other pages also.


Addition of Two More Profiles to the Famous Family Members Page

A profile and pictures of Anthony Robert (“Tony”) Greaves, Baron Greaves, have been added to the page of notable family members.  He is a UK politician and a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords.  His ancestry is not known.


The second addition is for Jay Norwood (“Ding”) Darling, well-known editorial cartoonist, head of the predecessor of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, and an American conservation hero.  One of his achievements was the creation of the Federal Duck Stamp Program.  He was descended from Thomas Graves of Hartford, CT (genealogy 168).


I became aware that “Ding” Darling was a Graves descendant because Diana Turner sent me information about genealogy 418 for Diantha M. Groves/Graves and Timothy Darling of Cortland Co., NY.  This information was from papers in the collection of Jay Norwood Darling, and proved that Diantha was a Groves and not a Graves.  However, it turned out that Timothy Darling was a Graves descendant.  In addition, “Ding” Darling was of special interest to me because the national wildlife refuge on Sanibel Island on the west coast of Florida (near where we spend a month each winter) is named for him.


Contact Page

All pages of the website have a contact strip at the bottom.  In this strip is the address of the Association and a link to go to the contact page.  This segment for all pages has now been made consistent.  In addition, the contact page has been changed, and now contains an Alternative Contact Method.  Partly because of anti-spam efforts by Internet Service Providers, many messages are not getting delivered to all of us.  If you have any reason to believe that perhaps I have not received a message you sent, this is a way to be sure you reach me.


Charts Page

The charts page and certain genealogies and charts have been changed as a result of splitting out genealogy 270 from genealogy 169, as discussed in a preceding article in this bulletin.





This bulletin is written and edited by Kenneth V. Graves,  Ken Graves was also editor of the Graves Family Newsletter (no longer published).  This bulletin will contain announcements and news of special interest to Graves descendants with Internet access.  It will not contain queries, genealogies, photos, and the kind of in-depth articles that used to appear in the Graves Family Newsletter.



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



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 and sending payment to  Benefits include access to the “members only” section of the website, membership directory, and help with learning more about your Graves/Greaves family.  The purpose of the GFA is to bring together as many descendants as possible to work toward learning more about the Graves/Greaves families, to help other descendants, and to instill pride in our ancestry.



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