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. 8, Aug. 14, 2009




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


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** General Comments

** Report on Graves Reunion in San Antonio, TX

** Some Answers to Various Questions

** Updates to the GFA Website

** FaceBook and Other Social Networking Sites

** Database of Soldiers in Medieval England

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things






This has been a busy year for me, with presentations in Arlington, VA in January to the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the GFA, and this month in San Antonio, TX to the Southwest Chapter of the GFA, plus the tour of England in June.  There are also some major changes coming later this year, as we try to provide for continuity of the GFA, provide more services, and attract more members.  Stay tuned.






About 40 people took part in a very enjoyable and productive meeting at the Holiday Inn Select in San Antonio, Aug. 7-9, some coming from as far away as Washington and Massachusetts.  Ron Graves did an outstanding job of organizing this and making sure it succeeded.  We met Friday evening for a social gathering and registration.  Saturday was occupied by several sessions alternating between introductions and discussions of individual genealogies, and presentations by Ken Graves on the subjects of the GFA website, our DNA program, and the present and future of the GFA.  A slide presentation of the recent GFA tour of England was also shown.


Some of the details of the presentations, discussions, and suggestions from the reunion will be shared on the website and in future issues of this Bulletin.






Some of the questions I have been asked over the past year or so and the answers are below.


Question: How many of various types of genealogies are there? How many start with women? No. in U.S., no. in England, no. with no immigrant known, no. of Graves vs. Greaves vs. other? Difference between no. of genealogies and no. of groups?


·          Total number of genealogies: 729

·          Total that start with males: 642

·          Total that start with females: 87

·          Total that are DNA-tested: 128 (17.5% of total)

·          Total tested that don’t match any other family: 30 (23% of those tested)

·          Total that are in a group: 297 (41% of total)

·          Total number of groups: 29

·          Total groups DNA-tested: 20

·          Total genealogies in England only: 173 (24% of total)

·          Total genealogies in Scotland only: 6

·          Total genealogies in Ireland only: 4

·          Total genealogies for Graves: 556

·          Total genealogies for Greaves: 101

·          Total genealogies for Other (Grave, Grieves, etc.): 72



Question: Have we found Graves/Greaves family characteristics that are typical?

Answer: No. We each have so many ancestors that the chance of one ancestor passing on characteristics through many generations is small.


Question: How many Graves/Greaves ancestors were there?

Answer: We don’t really know. My guess is that there may be no more than 6 original male ancestors in England, and the lack of DNA matching by other DNA-tested groups is because of adoption, name changes, etc.  If we include Graves/Greaves ancestors from other countries such as Germany, Scandinavian countries, etc., the number will obviously be higher.


Question: How can I find who else is descended from my earliest ancestor and from my particular line of the family?

Answer: My plan is to get the directory online and mailing lists set up so we can identify and contact others, including groups, related to us.  At the present time you can either ask me or develop your own list of relatives.


Question: What are some of the ways of publicizing the Graves family and the Graves Family Association?

Answer: This is one of the areas that is being worked on. Videoconferencing, mailing lists, blogs, press releases, etc., are some of the things that have been discussed. Contacts with famous Graves/Greaves descendants could also be helpful.  There is an article in this issue of the Bulletin relating to this subject.


Question: Haplotypes vs. haplogroups -- how can I learn about them?

Answer: We now have a chart of haplogroups on the GFA website.  See also the haplogroup charts on the FTDNA website. Your haplotype is your personal DNA signature.






A number of changes are being made, and new features have been added or will soon be added to the website.  Some of these are discussed below.


A statistical counter has been added to the website.  This is much more than the counter you sometimes see on websites for the total number of visitors.  It is not visible to visitors to the site, but provides much information, such as the number of visitors to each page, their geographic locations, etc..  If you are interested, you can see its capabilities at


I am also beginning to put Google map capability on the website.  This could be used to provide information such as where descendants of each genealogy live now and where ancestors in that genealogy lived historically, distribution in census records, migration routes, and all descendants in a particular area.


Features presently being added to the website, expected to be available by this October (or sooner), include:

·          Membership capability with online directory, member access to and control over their information, automatic reminders for dues, etc.

·          Online store for GFA memberships, books, and items such as T-shirts, coffee mugs, and pedigree charts.

·          Password protected area for special information such as databases for census records, etc.


Your comments and suggestions on these changes and anything else about the website that you like, dislike, or would like to see are welcomed and encouraged.






Because of the great popularity of social networking websites, we have wondered whether they can be used effectively to promote and publicize the Graves Family Association.  We are thinking of putting the Graves Family Association on Facebook, but aren’t sure of the best and most effective way to do that.  If you have any experience with social networking websites and any ideas for how we might use them, I would very much appreciate your input.


Based on the most recent surveys, it appears that Facebook may now have the most users (with over 70 million unique visitors per month), Myspace in second, and Twitter in third place.  However, a world map at shows that Myspace may still be #1 in the United States, while Facebook is #1 in the U.K., Canada, and Australia.


A recent survey found that two-thirds of marketers have used social media in 2009 and half have used viral videos (a video clip that gains widespread popularity through the process of internet sharing, typically through email or instant messaging, blogs and other media sharing websites), making these two formats the fastest-growing tactics in marketing. The 66% who used social media this year represents a large increase over 2007, when only 20% of marketers were using social media and 25% were employing viral videos. Among marketers using social networking, the top sites being used:

·          Facebook (74%)

·          YouTube (65%)

·          Twitter (63%) – However, according to Marketing Charts, only 8% of advertisers say Twitter is an effective promotion tool and half think it is a fad.

·          LinkedIn (60%) – primarily for business contacts


GenealogyWise, Facebook, We’re Related (a networking site on Facebook), and Twitter, are discussed below.  YouTube and other options for publicity and promotion will be discussed in future Graves Family Bulletins.


GenealogyWise at is a new social networking website devoted to genealogy.  On July 14,, Inc. introduced, a new web property that combines community interaction with tools and resources for people who are interested in researching and sharing their family history with others. joins other web properties operated by, Inc. in an effort to connect families with each other and with their histories.  GenealogyWise is an open network that allows anyone to join and create social groups within the genealogy-focused community. The innovative and easy-to-use platform opens the doors of social networking to millions around the world who are interested in sharing their passion for family history and in meeting new people that share that passion.


FamilyLink (at is also the developer of the fourth most popular networking application on Facebook, We're Related, which has a user base of 50 million. The We're Related application helps individuals stay in touch with their families by connecting them to their possible relatives, and also by sharing photos, news events, links, favorites lists, and more.


Facebook (

Paul Allen, founder of, realized the potential for families on Facebook, and started his own business looking to connect individuals through social networks.  When he started, Paul was looking to create a new company around linking individuals, families, and genealogists, and wanted to leverage existing social networking sites to accomplish his purpose.  He was taking the knowledge, mistakes, and successes he learned at and attempting to do it right this time.  They started with Facebook and called their App We’re Related, one of the products owned by WorldVitalRecords, Paul’s new company.


We’re Related simply tries to identify the family members you have in your own social network, and provides options for you to organize that family.  They provide a feed, similar to Facebook’s own news feed, containing only your family members.  The feed enables you to view photos, status updates, but they take it beyond that.  You are given a private wall for just your family members.  If you want to see how you are related, or even take it beyond that to learn about your deceased relatives and ancestors, they provide a list of all your relatives’ family trees, and you can identify yourself as a relative within your friends’ family trees.


To sign up for genealogy and family history on Facebook, simply click on the links in Facebook for Genealogy and Family History.  You must be a member of Facebook to become a fan of genealogy and family history.


Twitter  The following discussion is from the Twitter website.

Why do so many people seem to like Twitter?

Simplicity has played an important role in Twitter's success. People are eager to connect with other people and Twitter makes that simple. Twitter asks one question, "What are you doing?" Answers must be under 140 characters in length and can be sent via mobile texting, instant message, or the web.

Twitter's core technology is a device agnostic message routing system with rudimentary social networking features. By accepting messages from sms, web, mobile web, instant message, or from third party API projects, Twitter makes it easy for folks to stay connected.


Isn't Twitter just too much information?

No, in fact, Twitter solves information overload by changing expectations traditionally associated with online communication. At Twitter, we ask one question, "What are you doing?" The answers to this question are for the most part rhetorical. In other words, users do not expect a response when they send a message to Twitter. On the receiving end, Twitter is ambient--updates from your friends and relatives float to your phone, IM, or web site and you are only expected to pay as much or as little attention to them as you see fit.

The result of using Twitter to stay connected with friends, relatives, and coworkers is that you have a sense of what folks are up to but you are not expected to respond to any updates unless you want to. This means you can step in and out of the flow of information as it suits you and it never queues up with increasing demand of your attention. Additionally, users are very much in control of whose updates they receive, when they receive them, and on what device. For example, we provide settings for scheduling Twitter to automatically turn off at dinnertime and users can switch off Twitter updates at any point.

Simply put, Twitter is what you make of it--receive a lot of information about your friends, or just a tiny bit. It's up to them.






The Soldier in later Medieval England: An exciting new AHRC research project.  See their website at


The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has awarded a Research Grant worth just under £500,000 to Dr Adrian Bell of the ICMA Centre and Professor Anne Curry of the University of Southampton to challenge assumptions about the emergence of professional soldiery between 1369 and 1453.


The project has an innovative methodological approach and will be producing an on-line searchable resource for public use of immense value and interest to genealogists as well as social, political and military historians. The project employs two Research Assistants over three years and also includes one Doctoral Research Studentship - all of whom began work on 1st October 2006.  The whole team is working on a jointly authored book, conference papers, and articles.


A pilot project database is now available for searching.  This is in 3 parts: a muster roll database, a protection database, and a garrison database. The online muster roll database currently holds just under 90,000 service records. These are taken from muster rolls, housed in The National Archives (TNA), for the years 1369 - 1453. The online protection and attorney database currently holds just under 20,000 records. These are taken from the treaty rolls, housed in The National Archives (TNA), for the years 1369 - 1453. This database should be used with care, as unlike the muster roll database a protection or attorney only indicates an intention to serve, rather than actual service. The Garrison database is in draft form at present. This is in order to stress test the database, as it contains over 110,000 service records. The records are drawn from mainly French repositories and record service for the English crown, in the occupation of Normandy from 1415 - 1453. The data currently accessible here are accurate, but are not fully complete at the moment.


All the records pertinent to the GFA have been extracted and are now accessible from the Ancestral Research page of the GFA website.  It is interesting to see that there were entries for Greve, Greves, and Grave, but none for Graves, Greaves, Greeve, Greeves, Greave, Grieve, or Grieves.  This seems to support the idea that the spellings of surnames have changed over the centuries.  It should also be realized that some of the soldiers did not have surnames in the 1369-1453 time period (although that seems to have been a very small minority).





This bulletin is written and edited by Kenneth V. Graves,



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