Vol. 14, No. 12, Dec. 27, 2012


A Free, Occasional, Online Summary of Items of Interest to Descendants of all Families of Graves, Greaves, Grieves, Grave, and other spelling variations Worldwide




Copyright © 2012 by the Graves Family Association and Kenneth V. Graves.  All rights reserved.


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** General Comments

** Highlights of the 8th Conference On Genetic Genealogy

** Y-DNA Testing of Families Not Yet Tested

** Using Autosomal DNA Testing and Charting to Find and Show Ancestry

** Family Tree DNA Sale Continues Through Dec. 31

** New Products for Ancestry Painting and Ethnic Mapping

** Reduced Price and Big Growth Goal From 23andMe

** Some Basics About Genealogies on the GFA Website

** Help Needed

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things






In this issue there is more discussion of DNA testing, especially autosomal DNA testing, for all your ancestral lines.  There are also a number of improvements in pricing and capabilities of DNA tests that are exciting.  A lot more will be happening in 2013, so stay tuned.


We hope you all had a very Merry Christmas, and that you will continue to have a safe and happy holiday season, and a wonderful New Year!






The 8th International Conference on Genetic Genealogy was held in Houston, Texas, on Nov. 10 & 11, 2012.  This conference is an annual event for DNA project administrators, and is organized and run by Family Tree DNA.  There are now approximately 7100 DNA projects at FTDNA.


The following summary is from my notes, and the blog articles of Emily Aulicino, Debbie Kennett, and others.  For more information, see the Day 1 and Day 2 articles on the blog of Emily Aulicino.


In his welcoming address, Bennett Greenspan, founder of Family Tree DNA, told us that the company has been reorganized a bit and is now called Gene by Gene which has under it several companies: Family Tree DNA for Ancestry, DNA Traits for Health, DNADTC (DNA Direct to Consumer) for Research, and DNAFindings for Paternity.  The DNADTC division is the first commercial company to offer a full genome sequence test!  The price is $5,495, but will certainly be lower in the future.  This isn’t yet the $1,000 genome testing that has been talked about for a while, but it is getting pretty close.  This is a remarkable achievement, considering that the entire genome was first sequenced in 2003 at a cost of about 3 billion dollars.  And it is also remarkable that the first company offering this to the public is a genetic genealogy company.  There is presently no support for interpreting the results from this test, since it is mainly intended for academic researchers rather than the general public, but you can still order it if you want.


Dr. Spencer Wells who heads the Genographic Project of the National Geographic Society talked with the group and answered questions via Skype from Florence, Italy, where he was introducing the Geno 2.0 test.  The project tests for approximately 12,000 Y-DNA SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms, a type of genetic marker), 3,200 mtDNA SNPs, and 130,000 autosomal and X-chromosomal SNPs from across the entire human genome to provide unprecedented ancestry-relevant information, including ancient hominid ancestry.  The new chip they are using was specifically designed for genetic anthropology; the SNPs were selected for substantial differences for about 450 worldwide populations; SNPs were specifically selected to measure interbreeding between modern humans, Neandertals, and Denisovians; and all SNPs with known medical association were removed.  For more information about this, including how to order it, go to their website.  All the testing is done by Family Tree DNA, and you can transfer the results to the FTDNA website for further use after your test results are completed.


Judy Russell, a genealogist with a law degree, writes the Legal Genealogist blog.  Her topic was “Regulating Genetic Genealogy – Does It Make Sense?”  She gave a very interesting and informative talk, largely explaining the benefits of self-regulation to rein in charlatans, eliminate unfair contract terms, and avoid misrepresentation.


There were also several presentations about how to manage DNA projects effectively, including for all the various types of DNA.


An interesting presentation was “Pinpointing Geographical Location” by Tyrone Bowes, founder of Irish Origenes, Scottish Origenes, English Origenes, and Welsh Origenes (being created).  He uses the concept of a genetic homeland where they family lived for perhaps hundreds of years, and perhaps left information in place names. He starts with 12-marker Y-DNA matches to find related surnames, and then goes to 37-marker matches.  Surname maps are either on his website, or on the public profiler site.


On the second day:

A meeting of the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) was the first event on the agenda.  The rapid growth of the Y-DNA haplogroup tree was one of the subjects discussed.


A very interesting and significant announcement was the new Y-DNA haplogroup A00, disclosed in a joint presentation by Bonnie Schrack, Thomas Krahn and Michael Hammer, entitled “In Search of the Root: Discovery of a Highly Divergent Y-chromosome Lineage”.  Through a joint effort between project administrators and researchers, a new root of the Y-DNA tree was found in haplogroup A, pushing the tree back thousands of years.


Rory Van Tuyl gave an interesting presentation that showed how the effective use of statistics can be extremely helpful.


Elliott Greenspan, son of Bennett Greenspan, told us what is happening and what to expect in 2013 with FTDNA in the computer area.






One of our objectives is to connect all Graves and Greaves families that are descended from a common ancestor.  A major part of doing that is to find one or more male descendants with an all-male line of descent from a male Graves/Greaves ancestor.  That person will usually have Graves or Greaves as his surname.  The only time that it is not possible to find a descendant to test is if the earliest known ancestor is a female or if there are no living male descendants with an all-male lineage.


If you or a close relative is an acceptable candidate for testing, there is obviously no problem.  However, sometimes there are no relatives you know of to test, even though there may be distant cousins that you don’t know about who qualify.  If you are willing to make the effort to search for people to take the test, especially if you are willing to pay for the testing, I can give you guidance on who they are and how to contact them.







One of the things I am trying to do with my personal autosomal DNA test results (from FTDNA’s Family Finder and 23andMe’s Relative Finder) is to find the segments of DNA that are inherited from each of my ancestors.  To do this, I have created a spreadsheet with every match I have, the person that match is with, the chromosome and position on the chromosome of the match, the surnames that we have in common, and some other information.  With enough matches, and enough proven common ancestors, a picture of chromosome segments inherited from specific ancestors begins to emerge.


Identifying chromosome segments then allows me to look at the ancestry of other people who match me on the same segments but aren’t aware of having that ancestry.  Sometimes we will find that they do indeed have the identified person as an ancestor, and other times the ancestor won’t be found.  This lack of finding the ancestor may be because the person does match me with that surname on that segment but the ancestry can’t be traced, or because the match on that segment is “identical by state” rather than “identical by descent”, meaning that the match is just by chance.


The identifying of chromosome segments as inherited from a particular ancestor also allows going to a database like GEDmatch (mentioned in a previous bulletin) to look for everyone who matches me on a particular segment of a particular chromosome to find other people who have that identified ancestor.  My success with this on GEDmatch has been mixed so far.  However, FTDNA is expecting to provide an enhanced version of this capability next year.



To identify the matching DNA segments inherited from a Graves or Greaves ancestor for all the various Graves/Greaves families, a similar procedure is used.  My first step was to put all people who have taken an autosomal DNA test on a chart showing their line of descent from the earliest known Graves/Greaves ancestor in their genealogy.  Then I have tried to find people that they match who are also in the same genealogy (descended from the same Graves/Greaves ancestor).  In some cases, the matching person has not been in the Graves DNA project, so I have not known who else they matched, and so I have tried to get them to join the project (if they tested on FTDNA) or give me information about their matches (if they don’t join our project or if they tested elsewhere).  As we get more people on each chart who have matches with each other, we can begin to see which DNA segments are passed down from Graves ancestors (and sometimes from other ancestors of interest, such as wives of Graves men).


All the charts that have been created so far are on the Autosomal DNA page of the GFA website.  The probable matching segments found to date are in the following chart.


No. of Tests

Gen. No.

Chromosome, segment boundaries

Probable Ancestors




Thomas Graves & Katherine Croshaw



5, 61-73

Maybe Henry White Graves & Mary Williams



12, 108-112



65, 168

4, 115-5-126.7

Ancestor of 65 & 168



5, 66-82

(note overlap with 169)



7, 140-159

John Graves, b.c. 1665 or his wife



6, 4-8

Thomas Graves, b. 1691 or Ann Davenport



3, 112-143

John Davenport, b.c. 1637 or his wife



6, 4-8

Thomas Graves, b. 1691 or Ann Davenport


28, 152, 220

12, 114-124

Francis Graves, b.c. 1630



18, 6.0-8.5

John Greaves (b.c. 1575) & Sarah Malter




Not enough matches yet


We now need to get more people to take autosomal tests, more of those tested to join the Graves DNA project or provide their data and matches, and more of those tested (at either FTDNA or 23andMe) to download their autosomal data and upload it to GEDmatch.


Also, if you have taken an autosomal test at either FTDNA or 23andMe and you are not included on the appropriate autosomal chart, please let me know.  And let me know if you have identified the common ancestor involved in any of your matches if it is a Graves/Greaves ancestor or another ancestor shown on one of the charts.






This sale for both new and existing customers of Family Tree DNA is still going on.  All orders must be placed and paid for by Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, 11:59 PM Central Standard Time.  You can see the details in the article in the Nov. 19 issue of the Graves Family Bulletin.



If you are descended from a Graves or Greaves family that has not yet had anyone take a Y-DNA test, that is an essential tool for proving which ancestral family you are part of.  You should take a 37- or 67-marker Y-DNA test if you are a male with the Graves of Greaves surname, or you should try to find such a person to take the test.



No mater who you are and what your line of descent is from a Graves or Greaves ancestor, an autosomal DNA test is helpful, both for our Graves/Greaves DNA program and for your other ancestral lines.  The autosomal test is the one that tests all your ancestral lines, but can only be counted on to go back 5 or 6 generations (although some ancestor matches show up much farther back than that, since which segments of DNA are inherited is a random process).  The new price (mentioned in the next paragraph) from 23andMe is even more attractive than the one from FTDNA, but the other tests available from FTDNA and the new analytical tools coming in 2013 are good reason to select the Family Finder test.


There are only 2 companies right now that I would consider for autosomal DNA testing. The one I usually recommend is Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) that offers Family Finder at a special price of $199 through the end of this month. The other company is 23andMe that is now offering its product at $99. There are many benefits of ordering from FTDNA (better support, a much greater offering of other DNA tests, and concentration on DNA for genealogical purposes), but my recommendation is to order the test from 23andMe for $99 plus postage, and then when the results are received, download the results and transfer them to FTDNA for an $89 charge. That way, your results will be at both companies to give you many more matches, and you will not have paid any more than if you had just ordered one test directly from FTDNA.  Unlike with Y-DNA testing, the more people who order an autosomal DNA test, the better, since that increases the chance of finding the DNA segments inherited from your Graves ancestor.


If you have already ordered an autosomal DNA test from Family Tree DNA, you may also want to order the test from 23andMe (if you can afford it).  The results will be similar, but you will have different analytical tools, and you will have many additional matches to help you find cousins and shared ancestors.  For the same reason, if you have tested at 23andMe but not at FTDNA, you may want to download your results from 23andMe, pay the $89 transfer fee to FTDNA, and upload your results to FTDNA.



Because of the many genealogies, especially in England, that have had no DNA testing, we will consider paying some or all of the cost of a Y-DNA test for those in other countries.  The person to be tested must be a male with the name of Graves. Greaves, or other spelling, and their Graves/Greaves ancestry should be known.  If you qualify or have someone who does, let us know.






For those of us who are most interested in using DNA to find and prove ancestry and family relationships within the past several hundred years, the ancestry painting and ethnic mapping capabilities may be of less interest.  However, many of us are curious about where our ancestors lived before surnames and recorded history.



In her blog, Your Genetic Genealogist, CeCe Moore’s article of Dec. 6 gives details of an improved and very interesting tool from 23andMe to show ancient ancestral origins.



In a subsequent blog article, she reviews commercially available genetic ancestry tests from Family Tree DNA, 23andMe, AncestryDNA (, and National Geographic’s Geno 2.0.  She concludes that 23andMe’s product is the best choice for showing ancestral origins for a moderate time span, whereas Geno 2.0 is a better choice for people most interested in deep ancestry and anthropology.  She also points out that much improvement is still needed.


Another comparison of autosomal DNA tests has been compiled by Tim Jantzen and can be downloaded as an Excel chart.



There has been some concern that the increasing availability and power of autosomal testing for near-term multi-lineal genealogical purposes and for deep ancestry ethnic mapping is causing DNA project administrators and others to neglect Y-chromosome testing and comparison.  When the Graves DNA project at FTDNA was started in 2001, the project’s sole focus was to test men of a multi-origin surname in order to identify lineages when the paper trail was missing (and to substantiate or disprove existing paper trails).  Filling this need was what got this consumer DNA testing industry started.  The concern of some is that the attention to ethnic mapping is going to hurt recruiting for Y-chromosome testing and comparison.


Although it is true that there has been much discussion of ethnic mapping, the need for Y-DNA testing is still great, and it is the only way that we can be sure that different Graves/Greaves families or genealogies share a common Graves/Greaves ancestor. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) tests can be of some help in establishing ancestral connections between Graves/Greaves families also.  And we are finding that autosomal DNA (to a much greater extent) can add to the finding and substantiation of surname lineages (as discussed in another article in this issue).  As we add to the extent of the genome tested and get improved analytical tools, I believe that autosomal testing will be even more critical for finding and supporting surname lineages.  The fact that it can also be used for ethnic mapping is nice, but shouldn't detract from its usefulness in surname studies. The most obvious downside of the increasing emphasis on autosomal testing is that we can only do so much, so if we spend a lot of time and money on autosomal testing, we may have less time and money for Y-DNA.






DNA testing company 23andMe issued a press release on Dec. 11 in which they announced a growth goal of one million customers and reduced their no-subscription autosomal DNA test price from $299 to $99.  The announcement stated: “Expanding the company’s ability to reach and serve one million individuals supports 23andMe’s goal to revolutionize health and wellness.”  The company currently has 180,000 customers.  Although it supports genetic genealogy, the company’s main emphasis is in the area of health and disease prevention.


On our GFA Facebook page, the following comment was posted on Dec. 17 about 23andMe’s reduced price: “I just thought I would let you guys know - I was researching into why 23andMe dropped their DNA price. It is a good deal - it plus the porting fee to FamilyTreeDNA is not bad.  However, 23andMe automatically dumps your info into their research arm and can sell it. Therefore, FamilyTreeDNA is still the better deal when you take all things into account.”  (The porting/transfer fee to transfer $23and Me Relative Finder results to FTDNA is $89, so adding that to the $99 for the Relative Finder test at 23andMe is a total of $188, compared to $199 to take the Family Finder test at FTDNA.  Of course you don’t really end up with the same thing as taking the Family Finder test, since the SNPs tested aren’t exactly the same, but you do have the test results on two different sites.)






Sometimes people get confused between the words genealogy and generation. I have compiled genealogies for all Graves families back to the earliest known Graves ancestor. Each of those has been given a number, called a genealogy number.


Within each genealogy, there are generations. The earliest ancestor is generation 1. His (or her) children are generation 2, etc.


All descendants in each genealogy are given an identification (ID) number, starting with 1 for the earliest known ancestor, and incrementing down to the last descendant in the genealogy. As more descendants are added to the genealogy, some of these ID numbers will change.






Help is very much needed in the following areas:

·     Maintaining and upgrading the GFA website.  It would be nice to add many features and more content.

·     Assisting me with administering the DNA project.

·     Gathering data from census records, and from church and other records in the U.K.

·     Updating and maintaining genealogies.


Please contact me if you think you might be interested, and I will discuss details with you.





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



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