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. 11, No. 5, June 19, 2009




Copyright © 2009 by the Graves Family Association and Kenneth V. Graves.  All rights reserved.


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** General Comments

** Special Offer from Family Tree DNA to New Customers

** Continuation of Offer for Free DNA Testing to Men in the British Isles and Europe Who Qualify

** Report on the GFA Trip to England

** William Woodcock Graves, Author of Popular English Hunting Song

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things






I just returned Tuesday night from the Graves Family Association tour of England.  It was a wonderful experience for us all.  We had a great tour guide, met a few English cousins, saw some beautiful scenery, enjoyed good shopping and some interesting food, and learned a lot about English history.


Soon after I left for England, Family Tree DNA announced a special offer for new customers.  I wasn’t able to send notification while I was away, but there is still about a week to take advantage of the offer (until June 24).  If you or members of your family (or more distant relatives in the same genealogy) haven’t yet participated in our DNA study, now is the time to do so!






Family Tree DNA, our preferred DNA testing laboratory, is offering an early summer special with an unparalleled promotional discount.


Offer summary:


·      Y-DNA37+mtDNA for $119. (The regular project price is $248 – a reduction of more than 50%!!)  The 37-marker test is the one we have been recommending for some time.

·      The promotion began June 9, 2009 and will end on June 24, 2009

·      Kits ordered in this sale must be paid for by June 30, 2009.  (You can pay for them when you place your order.)


The standard price for the Y-DNA37 by itself is $149 and for the mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA) test is $99, for a total of $248, so this is a real bargain even if you are only interested in the Y-DNA test.  The standard price for only 12 Y-DNA markers is $99.


This is an opportunity to skip past the Y-DNA12 and Y-DNA25 tests and get the best Y-DNA genealogical test on the market in addition to an mtDNA test for an extremely reduced price!


To order this test, you can go to the main page of the GFA website, scroll down to the DNA Study section, click on the link to order the test, and follow the instructions.  Alternatively, you can go to the Family Tree DNA website at, enter Graves or Greaves as the surname in the search box at the top right of the page, and then proceed with the ordering of the test.


Reminder of the purpose of Y-DNA and mtDNA testing:

For the purpose of investigating surname ancestry, the Y-DNA test is the most helpful.  The Y-chromosome is passed on with little change from father to son, so this test is used for determining direct male ancestry.  Only males have the Y-chromosome.


Both males and females inherit mtDNA (mitochondrial DNA).  However, only the female passes it on to her children.  Therefore, this test will show the direct female ancestry of an individual.






The offer of free Y-DNA DNA testing to men who live in the U.K. or Ireland continues.  We will also include those who live in other European countries.  The requirements are that you be a male with the Greaves, Graves, or other variant spelling, name, that your part of the family has not yet been adequately tested, and that you provide information about your ancestry.


If you are interested, please contact me as soon as possible, since I would like to order your test as part of the special deal from Family Tree DNA discussed in the preceding article.






The Graves Family Association tour of England started on Thursday, June 4, when we arrived in London and checked into our hotel.  Many of the highlights of the tour are mentioned below.  I have omitted the hotels where we stayed, since those were mentioned in the previous issue of this bulletin.


Our blue badge guide, Tim Hudson, was with us for the entire time, and did an excellent job.  Tim graduated from Christchurch College, Oxford University, lives in Buckinghamshire, and is an actor when he isn’t being a guide.  He was especially knowledgeable about the London area, English history, famous people (living and dead), architecture, art, and literature.  His poetry recitations and imitations of regional accents were especially entertaining.


DAY 1, Thursday, 4 June.  We toured London in the afternoon, including the inside of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

DAY 2, Friday, 5 June.  We toured Suffolk, going through Colchester, Essex, the oldest town in England.  We visited Otley Hall, Otley (8 miles from Ipswich, Suffolk), were guided by David, a retired volunteer and neighbor, who had worked in a portion of the house at one time, and met the present owner.  For those interested in genealogy, especially that of Capt. Thomas Graves (gen. 169), by far the most important part of this day was the fact that this was the home of Bartholomew Gosnold, a prime mover behind Virginia and the Jamestown Colony.  Early planning meetings of the Virginia Company are believed to have been held in this house.  We also saw many peacocks, flying and bellowing.


We then went to Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich, featuring a gallery of internationally acclaimed artists, especially Gainsborough and Constable.


DAY 3, Saturday, 6 June.  Our driver (for the middle 6 days), John, went to school with Ringo Starr, and knew all the Beatles.  We drove to Oxford and toured the town, the University, and its colleges.  We learned about many famous people associated with Oxford, including C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, and the fact that the Harry Potter movies used the hall of Christchurch College as the great hall of Hogwarts.  We then drove through the Cotswold’s, and stopped at the grave of Winston Churchill.  Then to Blenham Palace and through Chipping Norton, to Mickleton Manor (genealogy 68, family of poet and author Robert Graves) and the Parish Church of St. Lawrence, Mickleton, meeting Gerard Molyneux (descendant of Adm. Samuel Graves of gen. 68) there.

DAY 4, Sunday, 7 June.  We went to Bromsgrove in Worcestershire and toured Avoncroft, a very interesting outdoor museum of historic buildings.  We drove through the West Midlands to Kings Norton, where we toured the very interesting 13th century St. Nicholas Church.  This is especially pertinent to genealogy 333, William Greves and Mary Mow of Kings Norton.  We saw Mary Arden’s house and Anne Hathaway’s cottage, and then went to Stratford-upon-Avon, where we ate lunch and saw many places associated with William Shakespeare as we walked around the town.  We then visited Warwick Castle, and finally the magnificent ruins of Kenilworth Castle with its sandstone walls.

DAY 5, Monday, 8 June.  We passed Moseley Old Hall, Worcestershire (gen. 236, Greaves Family of Moseley Hall & Yardley, Worcester).  Visited Wedgwood visitor centre, Stoke-on-Trent, South Staffordshire, saw much history, and many beautiful items we couldn’t afford in their shops.  We continued through the Peak District.  We stayed overnight in Buxton, learned about the famed spa, climbed the hill to the highest marketplace in England, and saw the Pavilion Gardens and the University of Derby.

DAY 6, Tuesday, 9 June.  Toured the Peak District, Derbyshire, including Mayfield Hall (home of William Greaves, now a B&B).  We drove through Matlock and saw a cable car to Abraham’s Heights.  We visited Bakewell and walked around the town.  Some of us ate lunch in the Rutland Arms Hotel where Mrs. Greaves accidentally invented the famous Bakewell Pudding, and we visited the bakery where Mrs. Wilson commercialized it.  We then visited Haddon Hall, home of the Manners family, and with a connection to both the Vernon and Greaves families.  We saw Beeley Old Hall and visited Beeley Hilltop (all of genealogy 228).


This evening we had an enjoyable meeting with several Greaves family members, and got DNA samples from two of them.


DAY 7, Wednesday, 10 June.  Drove to the Lake District, to our hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere, and cruised on Lake Windermere.

DAY 8, Thursday, 11 June.  Toured the Lake District and Dove Cottage (the home of William Wordsworth), the Wordsworth Museum & Art Gallery, Grasmere, and the Wordsworth gravesite.  We walked around Castlerigg stone circle (means “the fort on the ridge”, somewhat like Stonehenge).  We then went to Keswick (beautiful town with marketplace, parks, and many museums – pencil, auto, James Bond, etc.).  We missed seeing Aira Force (a 70-foot high waterfall) but saw nearby High Force, and then Kirkstone Pass and Inn, on the way to our hotel in Buxton, Derbyshire.

DAY 9, Friday, 12 June.  Visited Bolton Abbey, Skipton, on the way to York.  Most of this was destroyed by Henry VIII between 1536 and 1541 as part of the dissolution of the monasteries, but still very impressive.  We explored York (including walking its walls, seeing the Jorvik Viking Centre, etc.).

DAY 10, Saturday, 13 June.  Visited York Minster and explored more of York.  We then went to Castle Howard near York, a beautiful castle where Brideshead Revistited was filmed.

DAY 11, Sunday, 14 June.  Traveled through Lincolnshire (including the villages of Billinghay, Tattershall, Coningsby and Horncastle) and stopped in Boston.  This was especially interesting because it was the home of most of the Pilgrims before they fled to Holland and eventually sailed to New England.  We then visited Kings Lynn, in Norfolk.  The entire area visited this day is connected with the Graves family of Lincolnshire and Lynn, MA (genealogy 83, Samuel Graves of Lynn, MA, and other genealogies of that group).

DAY 12, Monday, 15 June.  We visited the Cambridge American Cemetery at Madingley, outside Cambridge.  We then toured Cambridge, Cambridge University, and especially King’s College.  In King’s College Chapel, we saw an interesting display of the long history of its construction.  We were especially fortunate to see part of a rehearsal for a concert in the chapel.


DAY 13, Tuesday, 16 June.  Departed for home.






While in England, we learned of a Graves family member, William Woodcock Graves, who was the author of a popular English hunting song. He was born in Wigton, Cumbria, England in 1795, son of Joseph Graves and Ann Matthews, emigrated to Van Diemen’s Land (now called Tasmania, part of Australia) in 1834, and died there in 1886.  He was an eccentric, dabbling in many occupations and enterprises.  As a close friend of John Peel, he wrote the five verses for “D’ye Ken John Peel?” in 1824.  It was later slightly revised and became extremely popular.  There is now a very complete biography of William Woodcock Graves on the Notable Family Members page of the GFA website, including a link to a Youtube performance of the song.


Can some of our Graves family members in Australia or Cumbria tell us more about this part of the family and its descendants?  This is almost certainly part of genealogy 377 and that group of families from Cumbria.





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.



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