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. 13, No. 5, November 22, 2011




Copyright © 2011 by the Graves Family Association and Kenneth V. Graves.  All rights reserved.


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** General Comments

** Special Offer on DNA Testing from FTDNA

** Using Autosomal Testing to Prove Graves/Greaves Ancestry

** Responses About Including Living Family Members in Genealogies

** Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

** Recording Stories of Our Lives Through StoryCorps and Other Means

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things






After many years of living in what I thought was one of the safest parts of the U.S., with very few extremes of weather, it was frustrating to have our recent late-October snowstorm, which gave us 2-1/2 days with neither electricity nor heat.  And this just 2 months after a 4-day power outage in late August from Hurricane Irene.  However, it’s still not nearly as bad as some have experienced elsewhere with natural disasters.


The most exciting thing to report in this issue of the bulletin is the special offer from Family Tree DNA.  Even if you or other family members have already been tested for Y-DNA or mitochondrial DNA, I urge you to take the autosomal DNA test (Family Finder) which gives information on all your ancestral lines.


Sarah and I wish all of you much happiness for the upcoming holiday season!






Family Tree DNA has just announced a new sale on DNA testing, running from now through the end of the year. What a great time for a Christmas present! If you have been thinking about ordering a test for yourself or someone else, now is the time to do it.  If you or a known male family member with the Graves or Greaves surname is part of a family that has not yet had a Y-DNA test, we especially urge you to order the Y-DNA37 or Y-DNA67 test now.  Note that financial assistance from the Graves Family Association may be available, especially if your family is from outside North America.  To inquire about this, contact Ken Graves at


If you or one of your relatives has already taken a Y-DNA test at the 12 or 25-marker level, it would be helpful to upgrade to 37 or 67 markers.  The current sale from Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) offers considerable savings on upgrades.  Just log into your personal page on FTDNA and order the desired upgrade.


Note that the Family Finder test (the autosomal DNA test that traces all ancestral lines about 5 or 6 generations back) is included in this offer.  For those of you who do not have an all-male lineage to a Graves or Greaves ancestor, and can’t find a relative with that ancestry, an autosomal test may be what you need.  Also, even if you can trace back through an all-male lineage to a Graves ancestor, this test may help you prove a connection to a specific part of an earlier Graves/Greaves family.  See the following article for more explanation about how this may be helpful.


For more information about all these tests, go to the FTDNA website at


Family Tree DNA decided to have one BIG promotion for a longer time, in the hope that this will help to recruit new members.  (In previous years their sales have tended to be for fewer test products for a shorter length of time.)  Current members will also benefit by having simultaneously reduced prices for upgrades.


This promotion is effective immediately and will end on December 31, 2011.


Current Group Price



New Kits



Y-DNA 37



Y-DNA 67






SuperDNA (Y-DNA67 and FMS)



Family Finder



Family Finder + mtPlus



Family Finder + FMS



Family Finder+ Y-DNA37



Comprehensive (FF + FMS + Y-67)









12-25 Marker



12-37 Marker



12-67 Marker



25-37 Marker



25-67 Marker



37-67 Marker



Family Finder










All orders must be placed and paid for by midnight December 31st, 2011 to receive the sale prices. This promotion is not valid in conjunction with any other promotions or coupons.


At this time, there will not be discounts for the Y-DNA111 test via either new kits or upgrades. Those may be offered at a later time pending the lab volumes with the tests under promotion.


For new orders you should remember to always order as part of the Graves DNA project by going to the GFA website at, scrolling down to the DNA Study section, and clicking on the “How to sign up” link, or going to the FTDNA website at, entering Graves in the “Search Your Last Name” box in the upper right, clicking on the Graves link under projects, and placing your order.






There are many genealogies on the Graves Family Association website where the earliest Graves/Greaves ancestor is descended from someone in another genealogy, but the ancestral genealogy is not known, or the specific connection is not known.  In some cases, from Y-DNA test results and documentary evidence, we can speculate about possible relationships.  A few examples of that are:

·          Graves families of SC, GA, AL & AR at

·          Graves family of Caroline Co. & Halifax Co., VA at

·          Graves/Greaves families of Northamptonshire & Buckinghamshire, England at

·          Families descended from Greaves family of Beeley, Derbyshire, with other families of England and the U.S. at


There are other genealogies where the earliest known ancestor is a female Graves (such as genealogies 55, 219, and 267), and even a few genealogies where the earliest know ancestor is not a Graves at all (such as genealogy 536 for William Harris, father of Graves Harris of VA).  (The several genealogies in this last category are found in the alphabetical listing of genealogies, but not in the numerical listing on the Charts page.)



With Family Finder and Relative Finder (at 23andMe) results to work with, I think it is very likely that we should be able to find many of our missing connection. For instance, finding which Graves ancestor Graves Harris (in the preceding paragraph) is descended from.  Look at the chart for genealogy 270 at as an example.  Even though the chances of finding a match becomes very small after about 5 generations, that chart shows matches at 6, 7 and 8 generations.  The key to using autosomal DNA testing results successfully is to do enough tests that some few of them will show matches.  If those matches for descendants of Graves Harris or his siblings are with descendants of genealogy 169 (Capt. Thomas Graves of VA), then we will know that there really was a Graves ancestor for Graves Harris and that Capt. Thomas Graves is that ancestor.


We need to try to do much more with this in the future.  As more people are tested for autosomal DNA and the results are compared in various ways, we will see many more genealogical breakthroughs.  I will try to write about more of our successes and techniques for how to find our missing connections in future issues of this Bulletin.






In the last issue of the Bulletin, there was an article called “Identity Theft and Genealogy Book Publishing.”  In that, I tried to make a case for the position that including names of living family members is not only not a security risk, but it is essential for a complete and worthwhile genealogy.  I asked whether you want any history of your family to include living family members, and whether you would buy a book that excluded all living family members.  Some of the responses that have been received so far are:

·          “I really don’t see a problem with publishing information about living people.”

·          “I cannot imagine purchasing a family history in which all the living are omitted.”

·          “As a general rule, I don’t think including living persons is a good idea.  Identity theft aside, I don’t want to have to obtain permission from lots of people I don’t know.”

·          “I'm in favor of including enough information regarding living people so that it is clear as to who they are to their contemporaries.  You don't have to include everything you know about them.  So, something like:  "John Graves, b. 1945, Indianapolis, IN" would do for me.  I can't see how any harm could come from doing that.”

·          “I’d love to have a Graves book!  I’m not worried about identity theft.”


The response from Dick Eastman’s (editor of Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter) when I asked him this question this past July was: “My suggestion is to always protect the interests of your living relatives before trying to create "complete genealogies."

Future genealogists should be able to find records of twenty-first century citizens, whether you list them or not. Why risk alienation, and perhaps legal problems, by putting them in a book or other document that can still provide valuable information without listing living people?

Census records and Social Security records (in the U.S.) undoubtedly will supply that information to future genealogists anyway. Why duplicate that information and create legal problems for your living relatives?”  [One of my concerns with this response is that future genealogists may or may not be able to find records of 21st century citizens, but the average family member interested in his or her family probably will not be able to easily do that, nor will the average person be interested enough to do it.]


A conversation I had with the Director of Publications at New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, MA, indicated that they are continuing to receive new genealogies both with all descendants complete and with living descendants not included.  They have no policy about which approach is preferred.


My personal opinion is still that although some of those who have genealogy as a hobby are very skillful and can track down information on living descendants, most people have limited research skills.  The average person who is interested in his family and its ancestry cares most about relatives most closely related to him.  To exclude those relatives from a family history would greatly reduce its interest and usefulness, and I think that many fewer people would want to buy it.


What do you think?  Do you have anything you would like to add to this discussion?






Dick Eastman is a computer and genealogy expert who publishes a genealogy blog and weekly newsletter called Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter.  He is also a popular lecturer at meetings around the world.  You can learn more about him and his newsletter at  I have subscribed to the Plus Edition of the newsletter for years, and recommend it to anyone who likes to learn about a wide range of happenings relating to genealogy.


Some parts of the following story were mentioned in the issue of Nov. 7.


Other recent articles of interest have included:

·          the importance of backing up your computer files (10/31/11).  This subject has been discussed many times.  One article discusses an online backup service from Backblaze for $5/month or less to backup an unlimited amount of data.

·          benefits of a temporary credit card number (10/31/11).  To reduce the risk of credit card theft or undesired automatic renewals on your credit card, it is possible to create a temporary version of an existing card that expires at the end of the month or one that can be used only once (using a virtual credit card number).

·          how to prevent other people from accessing your computer files when you are using wi-fi in an airport or elsewhere (11/7/11.  When using a wi-fi network at home or anywhere else, you should either turn off file sharing or be sure that you have your computer protected by user names and passwords.  Most people don’t do this.






Recording stories and otherwise documenting the lives of members of our family and our community is one of the most meaningful things we can do.  I have a few recordings of interviews with my parents and others, but there are so many things I wish I had asked about when people were alive.  Now is the time to do it for yourself, and for your children and grandchildren.


The easiest thing you can do is record the stories of your life and the lives of relatives, using a voice or video recorder.  This can be done with your computer, cell phone, or an audio recorder or video camera from any electronics store such as Radio Shack or Best Buy, or an online store.  For tips on how to effectively do recording when you are traveling, see an article at  Even if you just plan to write a family history for your own close relatives, gathering information through recordings has great advantages.  You get the stories in the words of those who experienced them, and you and others can hear the stories in the actual voices of those who experienced the events.


The advantages of StoryCorps are that they will help you do the interviewing and recording, and they will archive the results for anyone to listen to in the future.  The mission of StoryCorps is “to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.”  See their website at  More details are available in a Wikipedia article at


StoryCorps is sponsoring the 3rd annual National Day of Listening  (see this year on Nov. 25, 2011 (the day after Thanksgiving in the U.S.).  It was recently announced that Lowcountry Africana will represent SC, GA and FL in this event.  From the Lowcountry Africana website at, “Lowcountry Africana, sponsored by the Magnolia Plantation Foundation of Charleston, South Carolina, is entirely dedicated to records that document the family and cultural heritage of African Americans in the historic rice-growing areas of South Carolina, Georgia and extreme northeastern Florida.”





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



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