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. 14, No. 5, May 31, 2012




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


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Click on these links to visit the GFA web site and our Facebook page.






** General Comments

** Special Offer for Family Finder Autosomal DNA Test at Family Tree DNA

** Graves Family Association Membership

** Updates to the GFA Website

** Confusion About Genealogy Numbering System

** How to Help Research the Ancestry of Your Family

** Finding Ancestry of Graves/Greaves Families With DNA Matches to Other Surnames

** More About Lower Cost DNA Testing in the Future

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things






This past Monday was Memorial Day in the United States, a federal holiday observed annually on the last Monday of May.  Formerly called Decoration Day, it originated during and after the American Civil War.  It is especially a time to remember and honor those who have died in military service.  It has become a time also to remember all deceased relatives, and to enjoy a long weekend with family gatherings and fun activities.  Our hobby of genealogy fulfills some of this same purpose.  We hope all of you who observed it had an enjoyable and fulfilling day.


I also want to especially call your attention to the special offer from Family Tree DNA to purchase a Family Finder test for yourself or a friend or relative.  See the following article.






Family Tree DNA is offering a one-time use coupon to be shared with any individual that you believe would like to order the Family Finder at $179.  The regular price is $289.  For many of you, especially those who donít have a direct all-male line back to a male Graves or Greaves ancestor, taking an autosomal DNA test may be about the only way to determine your ancestry.


I received three coupon codes, which I will be happy to give to anyone who would like to take advantage of this offer. Just let me know as soon as possible.  I think others of you may have received this offer directly.  If you have and you donít plan on using the discount codes, let me know, and I can offer them to others.


The coupon code has a firm expiration date of June 10th 2012 and is good for one use only. Offer only valid for credit card payments. Enter the coupon code during the checkout process to purchase at the promotional price.


To place an order for this or any other DNA test at Family Tree DNA, the easiest way is to click on the link on the main page of the GFA website.  If you go directly to the FTDNA site, and if you havenít previously ordered a test from them, be sure to order as part of the Graves project.






Occasionally people ask me about Graves Family Association membership and how they can know what the current status of their membership is.  For the first 25 or so years of the organization, there was a printed newsletter that was mailed to all members, and reminders were sent by mail to remind people to renew.  The printed newsletter was such a big expense, and the time required to prepare it, mail it, and send reminders was so time-consuming that it was discontinued.  The gradual transition to email over the years (with frequent changes of email addresses by some) has further complicated matters, so that encouraging people to become members and reminding them to renew their memberships (and keep me advised of their new email and postal addresses) has fallen into a sort of limbo.


That situation will be largely remedied later this year, when I expect to implement a new membership capability for the GFA.  Anyone will be able to join the Association, sign up for the Bulletin, check the status of their membership, update their contact and other information, and access various membership benefits directly on the GFA website without having to contact me.


Finally, I am sometimes asked why people should join the Graves Family Association.  A major reason used to be so that they could receive the printed Graves Family Newsletter six times a year.  Now that the online Graves Family Bulletin is sent at no charge, the main reason is to support the GFA.  It costs money to maintain the website, do research on all the many family lines, create and send the GF Bulletin, and provide various other services.  If you click on the Membership tab at the top of every page of the website, you can see a list of the objectives of the Association and our activities and benefits.  Some of the items listed may not have been fully implemented because of lack of time or money, but most have been.  If you feel you have been helped or your life has been enriched by our efforts, please consider joining now, rather than waiting for the new membership capability. 







The Charts page (numerical listing of genealogies) and the Alphabetical Ancestry Listing page (alphabetical listing of genealogies) have been thoroughly reviewed and updated.  For all genealogies in the alphabetical listing, the date of creation or latest revision has now been added.



On the African Ancestry page of the GFA website, a new section has been added for slave records.  The initial set of records entered is for Pittsylvania Co., VA, from the 1860 census.  The reason this was created was because one of the new genealogies is for Booker Graves of Pittsylvania Co., VA (genealogy 250), and there is evidence that he and his family were owned by Dinny Graves, widow of James Graves (son of Peyton Graves and Charlotte Pinkard of genealogy 220) in 1860.  I would be happy to have other people add other similar information.






People occasionally find some of the characteristics of the genealogies on the GFA website confusing.  This article addresses some of these.  Please let me know if there are other aspects of the genealogies that are still confusing.


Regarding genealogy numbers, the number of each genealogy has no meaning. The next available, unused number is assigned to more easily and unambiguously refer to genealogies than having to use a long name (plus some description to distinguish similar genealogies from each other).


The number of each person within a genealogy is just a sequential ID number, starting with the earliest known ancestor as number 1. All descendants are given a number, even if they have no descendants in the next generation. This numbering system is sometimes called a Modified Register System or NGSQ System, and is the one used by the National Genealogical Society in their Quarterly. As people are added to or removed from the genealogy, all ID numbers after the addition or deletion will change.


When there is a plus symbol before the ID number of a child, that means there is a continuation record for that person in the next generation. To go to that continuation, just search in your browser for the next occurrence of that ID number enclosed in parentheses. In the last generation of a genealogy on the GFA website, you will not be able to find the continuation in the next generation, since more recent generations contain some living persons. To see information in those more recent generations, contact me and I will provide it.






I have been asked many times what is known about various Graves/Greaves families, and how we can find more.  The answers to those questions is on the Ancestral Research page of the GFA website.


This page can be accessed from the Research tab at the top of every page of the website.  On it you can see that there are several aspects to our research program.

(1) We need to gather and organize records, and make them accessible for research.  The records presently on that page are very limited, and are only examples of what is needed.  I would like to eventually have a database format (perhaps using Excel) that would allow anyone to add to and update these records.

(2) Genealogical Research

a.    We need to do research for Graves and Greaves families to find their ancestry and fill in unknown branches of the families.

b.   We need to find how families that have been determined by DNA testing to be related are connected.

c.    We need to more fully document all genealogies.

d.   We need to have more complete DNA testing on all genealogies, and reconcile discrepancies found between DNA testing and traditional research.

(3) We need money to hire people to do some of this research, since a mixture of professional genealogists and volunteers will be needed.


A number of research projects on specific families and family groups are listed toward the bottom of the Ancestral Research page.  I will try to update these and add to them as appropriate.  Your suggestions will be appreciated.  The projects presently listed are:






Ginny Keefer recently corresponded with me about a descendant of genealogy 32 (Campbell Graves, b.c. 1801 in VA) whose Y-DNA test results donít match those of any other Graves person, but do match those of several members of the Cave family.  It has been believed that genealogies 32, 82, and 180 (Leonard H. Graves, b.c. 1806) are all related, all descended from John Graves of gen. 82, b.c. 1775 in TN or VA, m. Ann Campbell.  See the chart at to see how these families are probably related.


Rev. Richard Cave, b. 1749 in Culpeper Co., VA, d. 1816, m. Elizabeth Craig.  Of their children, Richard Graves, Jr., b. 1767, m. Nancy Graves, and Hannah Cave, b. 1772, Spotsylvania Co., VA, m. John Graves (1769-1825) in Madison Co., VA (was Culpeper Co.).  This Graves family is descended from Capt. Thomas Graves of VA, by way of Thomas2, Thomas3, John4, John5, John6, John7.


Gen. 180 has been shown by DNA to be descended from Capt. Thomas Graves of VA (gen. 169) through his son Thomas.  It seems likely that this is where genealogy 82 is connected.


A similar solution may be found for other families with unknown ancestry.






In the Feb. 7, 2012 issue of this bulletin, there was an article about a thousand-dollar genome sequencer from Life Technologies expected to be available by the end of this year.  A development by another company, Oxford Nanopore, was reported later in February in New Scientist magazine at, titled ďUSB stick can sequence DNA in seconds.Ē  Competition of Oxford Nanopore with another firm, Ion Torrent, bodes well for increasing capability and decreasing costs in the future.  Although these firms may or may not provide products that can be used for genealogical DNA testing, the rapid advances in testing will definitely benefit us all.





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



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