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. 12, No. 3, June 4, 2010




Copyright © 2010 by the Graves Family Association and Kenneth V. Graves.  All rights reserved.


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** General Comments

** Accomplishments of the Graves Family Association

** Goals of the GFA, Our Plans to Achieve Them, and Obstacles to Overcome

** Most Popular Pages on the GFA Website

** Famous Relatives from

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things






This issue of the Bulletin includes some of the history and goals of the Graves Family Association.  Some of this was discussed at the reunion in San Antonio, Texas in August 2009.  I will appreciate all ideas and suggestions for how to improve our Association and achieve our goals, and any offers of help.


Also, many of us are interested in connections with famous people, and there is some discussion of that subject in this issue.






Since it was started (especially recently), our accomplishments include:

·     More than 700 genealogies compiled and available online, many of those from combining previously unconnected families

·     Seven hardcover books published

·     A data base of about 8,000 Graves/Greaves descendants corresponded with

·     Hardcopy newsletter published 6 times per year for 27 years, and online version for 14 years

·     State of the art website created and maintained

·     DNA study started in 2001, now expanded to include not only Y-DNA, but also mitochondrial and autosomal DNA

·     Regional GFA chapters established

·     Discovered extensive problems with genealogy 169 for Capt. Thomas Graves of VA. Split off gen. 220, 270, and others, and published information about early land records on Virginia’s Eastern Shore.

·     Added and updated many genealogies and charts, and added new groups to the Charts page

·     Expanded number of genealogies for most areas of England, and began to gather records from England and elsewhere

·     Added many people to the Notables page, including Calvin Coolidge (U.S. President), Baron Tony Greaves (British M.P.), etc.


Changes and additions to the website include:

·     Addition of Current News page

·     Change detection capability on Main page and Current News page

·     Added Contact page, with link on every website page, and added special messaging option on Contact page

·     Many additions and changes to the Master DNA Test Results page

·     Added African American and Native American pages

·     Added pages for Products and Services from Graves/Greaves family members, and a page for family houses and places

·     Addition of chart showing relationships between Y-haplogroups and the tested families

·     Addition of charts for autosomal DNA







•Attracting members

•Meeting their needs

–Learning more about our ancestry and relatives


•Assuring long-term growth and continuity of the GFA


What we are doing to achieve them

•Website changes (already discussed)

•Incorporation as 501(c)(3) non-profit organization


What else needs to be done

•Add more website features

•Increase membership

•Raise money for DNA and traditional research

•Conduct research in British Isles


Adding website features

•Give people ability to add to genealogies

•Allow communication among people in genealogies or portions of genealogies/families

•Key research data to genealogies

•Improve communication by adding blog, forum, email list, etc.



Plans to increase membership

•New membership capabilities on website

•Why do some people join and others don’t?

•What are the attractions of GFA membership?

•How can we make membership more attractive?

•What should we be doing to interest and attract more people?

Increase publicity and promotion


Raising money for DNA and Traditional Research


–Get more members

–Increase dues

•Online store




·     Ken Graves doing all the work.  We need to find ways for others to share the effort.

·     Lack of knowledge about how to do some tasks

·     Not enough interaction between family members






According to the website analysis software (Stat Counter) that is used for the GFA website, the most popular pages (by recent number of views) are listed in the table below.  The main page is in first place because that is the obvious point of entry.  Beyond that, it appears that people are most interested in finding genealogies on the alphabetical and numerical listings.  The interest in famous family members is not surprising either.


There are many other pages that get fewer hits than these top 11.  Part of the reason for that is probably deficiencies in website design, causing some pages to be less obvious and harder to find than others.  I will try to correct that problem.

Main Page


Alphabetical ancestor listing


Charts (numerical ancestor listing)


Famous family members


Research programs


Migration of families


Surname origins and variations


DNA page


Groups of families by geographic area


Surname distribution


Mitochondrial DNA test results





FAMOUS RELATIVES FROM ANCESTRY.COM has a feature called Relationship Finder, which is part of their OneWorldTree.  It is unclear whether it is still under development.  One part of this is a tool to find famous people related to or descended from any ancestor.  Users of this feature should be very careful in its use, since the results are only as accurate as the data submitted to OneWorldTree (and most of us know how bad that can be).


A couple years ago stopped supporting the Ancestry World Trees that were components of OneWorldTree.  They invited AWT owners to transfer their data to the new format, the present AncestryMemberTrees (mainly the Public Member Trees).


Many of the connections that show in OneWorldTree may not show in Public Member Trees (since some of those connections were from Ancestry World Tree).  Once you have opened a particular tree in Public Member Trees and the page for that ancestor is displayed, there is a shaded rectangle immediately under the name of the ancestor with his or her birth and death information.  Click on the link for “More options”, and then click on “Find famous relative.”  A message like the one in the next paragraph may appear.


“We haven't found any possible connections to famous people for Thomas Graves because we don't know how this person connects into OneWorldTree. To connect into OneWorldTree, enter in information about your family—-at some point when we think we've found a match, we'll let you know by showing a small green leaf () next to the person's name. After you've accepted the hint for a person in OneWorldTree, we will be able to show you the famous people we think are related to that person.”


If you search for a person in OneWorldTree (accessed by going to, you will see a box in the upper right titled “Page Tools.”  In that, click on “Find famous relatives.”  If there are any links for that person, a list of Famous People supposedly related to the person you searched for will be displayed.  For each famous person, there is a link for “Show relationships” which will show the supposed relationship.  In addition to the many errors in the genealogies, there are flaws in the system; for instance, entering Thomas Graves with wife Katherine Croshaw (for genealogy 169) gave no hits, but entering Thomas Graves with wife Katherine gave hits (because her last name was entered as Crosher).  There are also a relatively small number of genealogies in OWT, and the needed links to famous people haven’t all been entered.


However, after discarding obvious incorrect lines and connections, the following famous people seem to be descended from Graves or Greaves ancestors.  If their lineages can be verified, they will be added to the page for notable family members on the GFA website.  Please let us know if you can see any problems with these lineages, and let us know of any others you find.


Descended from Capt. Thomas Graves of VA (gen. 169)

·     George Herbert Walker Bush, 41st President of the U.S.  Descent: (1) Thomas Graves, (2) Verlinda Graves, b.c. 1618, (3) Mary Stone, b. 1650, (4) Mary Doyne, b. 1683, m. Nicholas Dawson, (5) George Dawson, b. 1716, m. Eleanor Lowe, (6) Henry Dawson, 1747, (7) Samuel Dawson, b. 1779, (8) Eliza Dawson, b. 1804, (9) Lucretia Green Foree, b. 1822, (10) Nancy Eliza Holliday, b. 1847, (11) Lucretia Wear, b. 1874, (12) Dorothy Walker, b. 1901, (13) George Herbert Walker Bush, b. 1924.

·     Elvis Presley, American entertainer.  Descent: (1) Thomas Graves, (2) Verlinda Graves, b.c. 1618, (3) Thomas Stone, b. 1632, (4) Anne Stone, b. 1669, (5) Edward Moberly, b. 1696, (6) Samuel Mobley, b. 1739, (7) Elizabeth Mobley, b. 1769, m. Richard Mansell, (8) William Mansell, b. 1795, m. Morning Dove White, (9) John B. Mansell, b. 1828, m. Elizabeth Gilmore, (10) Anna Mansell, b. 1854, m. Milege Obediah Smith, (11) Robert Lee Smith, b. 1878, m. Octavia Lavinia Mansell, (12) Gladys Love Smith, b. 1912, m. Vernon Elvis Presley, (13) Elvis Presley, b. 1935.

·     F. Scott Fitzgerald, American author.  Descent: (1) Thomas Graves, (2) Ann Graves, b.c. 1620, m. William Cotton, (3) Verlinda Cotton, b. 1640, (4) Sarah Burdett, b. 1666, (5) Frances Fowke, b. 1691, (6) Cecelia Brown, b. 1730, (7) Phillip Key, b. 1750, (8) Eliza Maynadier Key, b. 1792, (9) Cecelia Aston Scott, b. 1832, (10) Edward Fitzgerald, b. 1853, (11) F. Scott Fitzgerald, b. 1896.

·     William Randolph Hearst, American newspaper mogul.  Descent: (1) Thomas Graves, (2) John Graves, b.c. 1611, (3) Ralph Graves, b. 1629, (4) Ralph Graves, b. 1653, (5) Henry White Graves, b. 1692, (6) Rachel Graves, b. 1734, (7) John Williams Hendricks, b. 1755, (8) Lucy Hendricks, b. 1794, (9) Elizabeth Collins, b. 1799, (10) George F. Hearst, b. 1820, (11) William Randolph Hearst, b. 1863.


Descended from Samuel Graves of Lynn, MA (gen. 83)

·     Robert Frost, American poet.  Descent: (1) Samuel Graves, (2) Mark Graves, b. 1623, (3) Hannah Graves, b. 1657, (4) Dorcas Abbott, b. 1697, (5) Nathan Holt, b. 1725, (6) Sarah Holt, b. 1758, (7) Samuel Abbott Frost, b. 1795, (8) William Prescott Frost, b. 1823, (9) William Prescott Frost, b. 1850, (10) Robert Frost, b. 1874.

·     Lucille Ball, American actress and comedian.  Descent: (1) Samuel Graves, (2) Samuel Graves, b. 1628, (3) Hannah Graves, b. 1668, (4) Elizabeth Pottle, b. 1696, (5) Elizabeth Lowe, b. 1720, (6) Daniel Jewell, b. 1744, (7) Simeon Jewell, b. 1780, (8) Daniel Jewell, b. 1806, (9) Anna J. Durrell, b. 1833, (10) Nellie R. Durrell, b. 1856, (11) Henry Durrell Ball, b. 1887, (12) Lucille Ball, b. 1911.


Descended from Thomas Graves of Nahant, MA (gen. 213)

·     Rutherford Birchard Hayes, 19th President of the U.S.  Descent: (1) Thomas Graves, (2) Mary Graves, b.c. 1615, m. Hugh Alley, (3) Mary Alley, b. 1642, m. John Lindsey, (4) Sarah Lindsey, b. 1675, m. Joseph Jacobs, (5) Joseph Jacobs, b. 1705, m. Mary Storrs, (6) Sarah Jacobs, b. 1735, (7) Roger Birchard, b. 1756, m. Drusilla Austin, (8) Sophia Birchard, b. 1792, (9) Rutherford Birchard Hayes, b. 1822.


Descended from Thomas Graves of Hartford, CT (gen. 168)

·     Emily Dickenson, American poet.  Descent: (1) Thomas Graves, (2) Isaac Graves, b. 1620, (3) Mary Graves, b. 1647, (4) Hannah Frary, b. 1683, (5) Nathan Dickinson, b. 1712, (6) Nathan Dickinson, b. 1735, (7) Samuel Fowler Dickinson, b. 1776, (8) Edward Dickinson, b. 1803, (9) Emily Dickenson, b. 1830.

·     Ellen Louise Axson, first wife of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson.  Descent: (1) Thomas Graves, (2) John Graves, b. 1622, m(1) Mary Smith, (3) Mary Graves, b. 1654, m(1) Samuel Ball, (4) Mary Ball, b. 1673, m. John Hitchcock, (5) John Hitchcock, b. 1692, (6) Miriam Hitchcock, b. 1720, (7) Alexander Bliss, b. b. 1763, (8) Margaret Bliss, b. 1794, (9) Margaret Jane Hoyt, b. 1838, (10) Ellen Louise Axson, b. 1860.

·     Richard Bedford Bennett, first Canadian Prime Minister to be a member of the House of Lords.  Descent: (1) Thomas Graves, (2) John Graves, b. 1622, (3) Mary Graves, b. 1654, (4) Mary Ball, b. 1673, (5) John Hitchcock, b. 1692, (6) Abigail Hitchcock, b. 1718, (7) David Hoar, b. 1743, (8) Mary Hoar, b. 1782, (9) David Stiles, b. 1812, (10) Henrietta Stiles, b. 1844, (11) Richard Bedford Bennett, b. 1870.

·     Lillian Gish, American movie and TV star.  Descent: (1) Thomas Graves, (2) John Graves, b. 1622, (3) Mary Graves, b. 1654, (4) Mary Ball, b. 1673, (5) Mary Hitchcock, b. 1699, (6) Othniel Taylor, b. 1719, (7) Othniel Taylor, b. 1753, (8) Clorinda Taylor, b. 1790, (9) Emily Ward Barnard, b. 1820, (10) Elizabeth Ellen Robinson, b. 1851, (11) Mary Robinson McConnell, b. 1875, (12) Lillian Gish, b. 1893.





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



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