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. 9, August 25, 2008




Copyright © 2008 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






** General Comments

** Trip to England in June 2009

** Significant Change to Greaves Family of Stepney, London, England, and Rear Adm. Thomas Graves of Charlestown, MA

** Graves Family Association Website Changes

** Special DNA Testing Offer From Family Tree DNA for New Customers, and Free Testing for Those in the UK and Ireland

** New Discoveries from Our DNA Study

** DNA Testing at Family Tree DNA versus Other Companies

** How to Find Information on Websites

** Research and DNA Testing Participation Needed for Families in the U.K. and Ireland

** Details and Interesting Stories for Genealogies

** An Example of Interesting History in Early Massachusetts Involving a Graves Family

** Documents Available About Some Descendants of Deacon George Grave of Hartford, CT (Genealogy 65)

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things






The most urgent items in this issue of the bulletin are the call to sign up for the trip to England next June, and the opportunity to take advantage of a special reduced price offer to get your DNA tested.


Letting me know of your desire to go with us to England next June is important because the cost will be reduced if we get more people, and we need to have at least 25 in our group to make the trip viable.


The DNA testing offer is of special importance because there are still many branches of the family that have not yet been tested.  The offer is for new customers (not for upgrades) but orders must be placed by the end of August.


The Graves Family Association will also pay for 100% of the cost of new Y-DNA tests for any male Graves/Greaves/Grieves/etc. descendant in Britain from a family that has not yet been tested.  Now is the time to get tested or find another family member who will.






The long anticipated tour of England, “A Journey to the Land of Our Ancestors,” will be June 4-16, 2009.  Cost will be $2975 per person, airfare additional.  It will start with arrival in London the morning of June 4, followed by a sightseeing tour of London that afternoon.  The tour will include Oxford, the Cotswolds, Kings Norton in Worcestershire, the Peak District and Derbyshire, Cumbria and the Lake District, Yorkshire, Cambridgeshire, and back to London for a farewell dinner on June 15.  Departure for those returning to the U.S. is on June 16.


Many other sights and places will be included, as well as meetings with Greaves and Graves family members who live in England, many of whom may be related to the tour members.  A tour brochure (with lots more details) will be mailed to all those who have already expressed an interest.  If you are not sure whether you have told me you might want to go with us, let me know now.


An initial deposit of $250 per person must accompany your registration.  There will be a discount of $75 for those who register before Oct. 31, 2008.  A second deposit of $500 per person will be due on Jan. 31, 2009.  full and final payment will be due on April 8, 2009.  All travel arrangements and financial details will be handled by Select Travel Services, West 115 Century Road, Suite 330, Paramus, NJ 07652.






The book I published in 1994 about Rear Admiral Thomas Graves and his descendants includes several generations of his ancestry in what is now London, back to a Thomas Greaves, born about 1530.  However, the Greaves ancestry and the descendants of John Graves/Greaves, eldest son of Rear Adm. Thomas Graves, had never been incorporated into the genealogy.  That has now been corrected, and the result (genealogy 28) is now on the GFA website.  This family is part of the largest Greaves/Graves family in England and North America.






The Charts page has now had a section for Warwickshire families added.  For all the families in that group, as well as for most other Graves/Greaves/Grave/Grieves families in England, we very much need your research help and male descendants with the Greaves, etc. surname to take the DNA test.  If it seems likely that the DNA testing will advance our knowledge of the family, we will pay for the entire cost of the test.


As usual, genealogies continue to be updated on the website, and news items continue to be added to the Current News page.






In June, Family Tree DNA ran a successful promotion, in which they offered a significant discount on many of their test upgrades.


This new announcement is for new customers only, and the offer of most interest to us is the 37-marker Y-DNA test.  If your part of the Graves/Greaves/Grieves family has not yet been tested, please consider doing this or getting a male relative with the Graves/Greaves surname to take part.


For those of you in the UK or Ireland, we are now offering free Y-DNA testing for those whose families have not yet been tested or where additional testing is needed.  This will be paid for by the Graves Family Association, so we would like to get as much of that done as part of this special offer before the end of August also.  Please let us know as soon as possible.


In their announcement, Family Tree DNA wrote: “Now that our lab has had time to process the high volume of orders generated by the June promotion, we are ready to challenge the record that we set in June by returning to you with our “Sizzling Summer Sale.” This time, the promotion is geared towards bringing new members to your projects by offering the following big incentives:


·        Y-DNA12 orders include a FREE mtDNA test (Y-DNA12+mtDNA promotion price of $99; normally $189)

·        Y-DNA25 orders include a FREE mtDNA test (Y-DNA25+mtDNA promotion price of $148; normally $238)

·        Y-DNA37 orders price REDUCED to $119 (normally $189)

·        Y-DNA37+mtDNAPlus orders price REDUCED to $189 (normally $339)

·        Y-DNA67+mtDNAPlus orders price REDUCED to $288 (normally $409)

·        mtDNAPlus price REDUCED to $149 (normally $189)


This promotion goes into effect immediately and will be available until August 31st, 11:59PM CST.


We would also like to make you aware of a change in shipping costs. Since our inception we never increased our shipping charge, even though in the meantime USPS has increased its rates 6 times. For that reason, our shipping cost will increase by $2, effective immediately. We appreciate your understanding.”


I urge you to take this opportunity to order that DNA test you may have been considering.  The one that I especially recommend is the Y-DNA37 test.






Ancestry Changed from Gen. 169 to Gen. 168

Bruce W. Graves of Gresham, OR has discovered that he is apparently descended from Thomas Graves of Hartford, CT (genealogy 168) rather than Capt. Thomas Graves of VA (genealogy 169).  He did some research several years ago, when he was just starting to try to find his ancestry, and found what he thought was a connection to Capt. Thomas Graves.  He then took a Y-DNA test which seemed to confirm that.  However, he only tested for 25 markers, and the result he got put him in the group for gen. 169, gen. 168, and gen. 65.  We depended on his research to place him in gen. 169, since 25 markers is not enough to indicate which family in that group is the correct one.


He has now done more research and has shown a Vermont origin for his line, consistent with genealogy 168 but not with genealogy 169.  He is ordering additional markers to verify the changed connection.


Two Families of VA and TN Found to be Connected

Recent DNA test results for genealogy 280 (Thomas Graves of VA, TN & AR) show that it shares common ancestry with genealogy 90 (Bachelor/Bartlett Graves and Rhoda Clay of VA & Wilson Co., TN).  It is possible that Thomas Graves of gen. 280 is a son of Bartlett Graves of gen. 90.  However, there are some discrepancies that suggest the possibility that he was a nephew, and could take the family back one more generation.  More research is being done.  Genealogy 280 has been updated, and charts have been added for that genealogy and the possible connection with genealogy 90.






There are a number of companies that offer DNA testing for genealogical purposes.  You can see a comparison of Y-DNA testing from various companies at and a similar chart for mtDNA testing at  On those charts, DNA Ancestry is the same as the service offered by  Because of its large user base, will undoubtedly be used by more and more people, and they have recently provided price discounts to attract new customers.  For that reason, I have recently set up a Graves/Greaves DNA project on, and am hoping that we will be able to include the test results of customers as well as those who have tested with all other companies in our DNA study.


However, the testing company we have used since the start of our DNA study in 2001 is Family Tree DNA.  They have by far the most testing experience and the greatest number of surname and other groups.  They provide outstanding customer support, have the broadest range of product offerings, plus other advantages.  In addition, the various testing companies do not test all of the same markers.  Therefore, when a company other than Family Tree DNA does a Graves/Greaves test, it is more difficult to compare those results to the rest of our test results.  If we receive a number of tests from other companies, our master DNA results table will be expanded to include those other markers.  Also, if people tested by other companies choose, they can submit a sample to Family Tree DNA and have their untested markers tested at a discount rate.


The conclusion is that we encourage everyone to test at Family Tree DNA rather than at another company, since we feel that it will be in your best interest and in the best interest of our group.  However, we strongly urge anyone who does get tested by another company to be sure we have your DNA test results so they can be included in our study and compared to others.






Many people have great difficulty in finding information on the internet.  The most commonly used tool for that is a search engine such as Google.  However, even after finding a website, there is often difficulty in finding what is on that site.  Three things are of the most help in searching a website.  The first 2 items in the following list are not available on all websites, but they should be, and the third item is available in all browsers (as far as I know).

1)      A sitemap

2)      A site-specific search function

3)      The “Find” function in your browser.  This won’t help you find the page you want on the website, but it is of great help in finding anything within a page.


The Graves Family Association website has both a sitemap and the capability to search the site.  Links for both are at the top right corner of every page (except in the genealogies themselves).  Whenever you want to find a specific person or place in a genealogy, enter the word or words in the search box on the website.  If you want two or more words to always appear together, put quotation marks at either end of the series of words.


Those of you occasionally looking for information on the Family Tree DNA website should be aware that there is a Sitemap link at the bottom of their main page.  Click on that, and then select the topic of interest to you.






I recently added much information to the genealogy for John Graves and Susanna Tyson of Gayton le Marsh, Lincolnshire, England (genealogy 797).  Most of the new information was from census records.  Much more is available in church records and other vital records, and someone interested needs to gather the material.  This family is only a part of the Graves families of Lincolnshire.  A look at the Charts page on the Graves Family Association website will show that there are 15-20 other Lincolnshire families needing research.  Most, if not all, of those families are apt to be related, descended from a common ancestor.  Since only one of the families in the list has been DNA-tested so far, the need to find descendants who are willing to do the DNA test is even greater.


And, of course, the families of Lincolnshire are only one of the groups that need both more research and DNA testing.  It would be wonderful if you would help advance our efforts in both research and testing.  Other family groups include (in the order they are on the Charts page):

·        Grieve and Grieves of Durham and Northumberland, England

·        Grieve and Grieves of Scotland

·        Graves of Ireland

·        Grave and Graves of Norfolk, England

·        Graves of Cambridgeshire, England

·        Grave and Graves of Cumbria, England

·        Greaves of Lancashire, England

·        Greaves of Nottinghamshire, England

·        Greaves of Yorkshire, England

·        Graves of Yorkshire, England

·        Greaves of Warwickshire, England

·        Graves of Hertfordshire, Essex and Warwick, England

·        Greaves of Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire, England






There is an assumption by many people that genealogies are about bare facts of names, dates and places, and that I am not interested in including stories about the lives of people and the times in which they lived.  That is not at all true.  I encourage all of you to submit stories, interesting details, and pictures for all those in your family tree.  Anything that is interesting to you is likely to be of interest to others.


I previously addressed this issue in an article in the Bulletin titled “Making Genealogies More Interesting” in vol. 10, no. 5, April 28, 2008.  In that article, I said that genealogy is really about the stories of our ancestors and relatives, the times in which they lived, and the influences on them that caused them to do what they did and think what they thought.  When we think of our family history as just a bunch of names with a few dates thrown in, we lose most of the interesting parts.






William H. (“Bill”) Graves of Santa Barbara, California, descended from genealogy 208 (Bela Curtis Graves and Dorothy Wallace of VT, NY, OH & IL), recently sent a link to a well-written and authoritative book about Shays’s Rebellion.  The book is Shays’s Rebellion, The American Revolution’s Final Battle , by Leonard L. Richards, 2003, as found at


During the bitter winter of 1786-87, Daniel Shays, a modest farmer and Revolutionary War veteran, and his compatriot Luke Day led an unsuccessful armed rebellion against the state of Massachusetts. Their desperate struggle was fueled by the injustice of a regressive tax system and a conservative state government that seemed no better than British colonial rule. But despite the immediate failure of this local call-to-arms in the Massachusetts countryside, the event fundamentally altered the course of American history. Shays and his army of four thousand rebels so shocked the young nation's governing elite--even drawing the retired General George Washington back into the service of his country--that ultimately the Articles of Confederation were discarded in favor of a new constitution, the very document that has guided the nation for more than two hundred years, and brought closure to the American Revolution.


“In Whately (Massachusetts), two families were central. Of the seventy-six men who rebelled against the state, fifty-five were connected with the Graves and Smith families. In most cases, the connection was through women members of the two families. While only nine men named Graves and five named Smith bore arms, marching with them were eighteen men who had married their sisters or aunts and thirteen men who were the sons of such marriages.  Typical was the extended family of Oliver Graves.” (from page 104)  Many of these men fled to Vermont in the aftermath of Shays’s Rebellion.


The information in the Thomas Graves of Hartford, CT book and in genealogy 168 for Oliver Graves is: “Deacon Oliver Graves (106) was born 6 Aug. 1725 and died 30 Aug. 1810.  He married Rebecca Smith of Hatfield, daughter of John Smith, on 24 Jan. 1754.  She was born 4 May 1732 and died 25 Feb. 1825.  They lived at Whately, Mass.  He was a member of the first provincial congress and a Selectman of Whately.  He was in the French War in 1757, in the expedition to Canada, in Lieut. Billings' Co.”  Adding selected information to the genealogy about the role of Oliver Graves and his family in Shays’s Rebellion and the creation of the new American nation would be interesting.






Judy Cecchini of Middletown, CT has come into possession of documents of the family of Rev. Joseph Graves and his daughter Olive Graves who formerly lived in Middletown.  This Joseph Graves was born in 1738 in Middletown, and is a descendant of the John Grave (son of Deacon George Grave) whose house is preserved in Madison, CT.  Judy bought these from relatives of the people who used to live in the Joseph Graves house.  The documents consist of ledgers, a memoir book of Olive Graves, an autograph book full of notes from relatives, etc.


If interested, contact Judy directly at  She can provide more information.





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.



Although the contents of this bulletin are copyrighted by the Graves Family Association and Kenneth V. Graves, you are hereby granted rights, unless otherwise specified, to re-distribute articles to other parties for non-commercial purposes only.  Do not re-distribute the newsletter in its entirety.



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


To remove your name from this subscription list, send an e-mail message to asking to be removed.