Vol. 15, No. 10, Sept. 17, 2013


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 © 2013 by the Graves Family Association and Kenneth V. Graves.  All rights reserved.


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** General Comments

** GFA Facebook Group Growth

** Why DNA Test?

** How Autosomal DNA Can Help African Americans (and Others) Find Their Roots

** Interesting Research of a Derbyshire Greaves Family

** How to Know Whether a Vital Record Exists

** Using Middle Name As Given Name

** Finding Records in England

** Updates to the GFA Website

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things






The summer is winding down in the northern hemisphere, and spring is just around the corner for those of you south of the equator.  Whatever the season and the weather wherever you are, I hope you are making progress with your genealogical research.






I commented in the previous GF Bulletin that our GFA Facebook group has shown a sudden spurt in growth.  It is apparent that it is filling a need for communication among Graves and Greaves descendants.  Since I have been keeping track of the membership, I decided to share my graph with all of you.  The recent upward curve in membership can be clearly seen in the graph below.  For any of you who don’t belong to the Facebook group, might like to join, but don’t know how to find it, just go to the GFA website and click on the Facebook link at the top right of the page, or click here.







For those of you who are unsure of the value of DNA testing, or who just haven’t done it for whatever reason, Roberta Estes has written a very good article in her DNAeXplained blog.  Among the 15 reasons she lists are: because we can, to discover whether we are related paternally (via Y-DNA) to others of the same or similar surname, to find out about our ancient ancestry, to find cousins and ancestors on all family branches, to prove paternity, to learn more about our health traits, and many more reasons.  She also provides links to other sources and previous articles she has written.






In an article of Aug. 25, 2013, on her blog Your Genetic Genealogist, CeCe Moore shared some interesting and helpful information about the value of autosomal DNA testing.  The article is mainly about one person’s successful experience with DNA testing.  This African American man’s search for his ancestry started with a talk by Alex Haley, the author of Roots.  Then, much later, the results of his AncestryDNA test revealed that his ancestry was almost equally divided between Europe and West Africa.  He wrote, “It led me to my ancestors from England, Ireland, France and other places. There was a Mayflower passenger. There were ancestors I shared in common with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and even President Obama.



The other important feature of this article is that it mentions some new tools for finding and analyzing autosomal DNA matches.  CeCe finds AncestryDNA (the name for the autosomal DNA test on especially helpful, partly because of the large number of trees attached to the matches, and partly because of the new search filters provided by Ancestry.


Also mentioned was a tool called “Jeff Snavely’s Chrome extension for AncestryDNA downloads of match lists” that allows you to scan all matches, and then search, compare or download the data.  This is an extension to the Chrome browser.  It doesn’t work with any other browser such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, etc.  Chrome is available free from Google by clicking here.  After your matches are scanned, you can use the search box to select and group matches by username, ancestral surname, or information in the notes field.  It also facilitates the transfer of all match data to a spreadsheet for further analysis.






As a member of the Guild of One Name Studies (GOONS), one of the benefits is occasionally receiving obituaries and sometimes other stories of Graves/Greaves family members in the U.K.  I recently received the article shown below about a Fred Greaves, a miner from Killamarsh, Notts., who received the Victoria Cross in the First World War.

Although I wasn’t sure that this was something that would be helpful to me, I immediately checked the 1911 census for England and Wales on, and found him as a coal miner in Barlborough, Derbyshire.

I then checked other census records, and also found much information about this family in submitted genealogies.  I searched for connections to other genealogies on the GFA website and found that this part of the Greaves family is not included in any existing genealogy, so a new genealogy (#405) has been created.  It is almost certainly related to other genealogies in the same area of Derbyshire (Killamarsh, Eckington, and Sheffield), including genealogies 568 and 978.  If anyone can find more information, especially how this family is connected to the other families of this area, that would be of great help.  Also, finding living male descendants of these genealogies with the Greaves surname and getting them to take a Y-DNA test would be very helpful.






An article in the blog of Aug. 15, 2013, discusses the issue of how to find whether a vital record exists.  The article suggests looking on the Family History Wiki on  There is a link to it at the bottom of the Learning Center tab.  For instance, if you are looking for a marriage record in a specific county, you can go to the Wiki to find information for that county and find when marriage records started being kept in that county, and what information should have been in that record.  If you find that a marriage record should exist, you can search for it on, on, and elsewhere online.  If it can’t be found online, then you will know that you need to look on microfilm at an LDS Family History Center, in the county courthouse, the state archives, or elsewhere.  The article also suggests watching Crista Cowan’s What Genealogy Records Exist? on YouTube.  When you go to view that video on YouTube, you will see a list of other interesting videos on the right side of your screen.  You can also search on YouTube for other videos of possible interest.  (For instance, search for genealogy, autosomal DNA, etc.)



A recent discussion of finding and using records that are not online was in the American Ancestors newsletter, The Weekly Genealogist, Aug. 14, 2013, from the New England Historic Genealogical Society in an Ask a Genealogist article by Rhonda McClure.  If the needed document cannot be found online, the recommendation is to check on to determine whether it is available on microfilm.  If it can’t be found either online or on microfilm, the next step is to check various libraries, archives, court houses, churches, and other places where the document might have been created or stored.






There have been many times when I and others have seen more than one given name for a spouse or other person and wondered whether the references were really for one person or two people.  I have noticed that especially in the late 1800s and early 1900s in America, the men in my family and many others tended to use their middle names instead of their first names.  The article in the next paragraph discusses an example of that practice.


In an article in The Weekly Genealogist newsletter of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Sept. 11, 2013, Bette Wing of Byron, New York wrote: “Many of my ancestors were early Massachusetts colonists who left for Canada in the 1760s. Most settled in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador. After much researching, I finally realized that most of them used their middle names for everyday life and used their given names on official documents. For the longest time I thought an ancestor had two wives, Elizabeth and Rachel. Finally I discovered the wife's name was Elizabeth Rachel and she was known by her middle name. Once I found that key, it opened many doors. I found middle name usage common in Newfoundland, Labrador, and Nova Scotia, and much less so in New Brunswick. Apparently this was a common practice throughout the 1800s and it included the Irish, Scottish, and English populations. Hope this helps another researcher.”






Finding records in the U.K. and especially in England is a complex subject for which there is much instruction in printed books and on the Internet.  However, Donna Graves of Ontario, Canada, recently posted a tip on the GFA Facebook page about one helpful source of help.  It is The National Archives in Kew, in the London Borough of Richmond, Surrey, England.  This is the UK government’s official archives, “from Domesday Book to websites,” with 1 billion archived pages now available online.


The website provides research guidance to birth, marriage and death records, adoptions, divorces, medieval and early modern family history sources, military personnel records, occupational records, census and electoral registration records, records relating to immigration and emigration, and much more.  You can see some of this on their Looking for a person? page.  Some of the records are not at the National Archives, but at other locations, as noted in their guides.


One place to search for actual records on their website is on their Discovery page.  About 5% of their records can be downloaded, and 95% are in paper form only.  The paper records can be copied and sent within 14 days.  Since I am especially interested in my Greaves family in Northamptonshire, I entered Greaves and Northamptonshire in the search box, and got 22 results.  These included:

·      Will of Thomas Greaves, Rector of Benefield, Northamptonshire, June 1676

·      Will of Robert Greaves, Yeoman of Syresham, Northamptonshire, 2 Jan. 1759.  (It is possible that this was the Robert Greaves, son of Thomas Greaves and Elizabeth Garner, in genealogy 47.)

·      Will of Eleanor Graves, Widow of Brackley, Northamptonshire, 26 Oct. 1837

·      East v. Greaves, Plaintiffs, mentioning Frances Greaves, spinster, 1698

·      Discharge papers of Thomas Greaves, 1828-1852

·      Will of James Greaves, Farmer and Dairyman of Greatworth, Northamptonshire, 14 Oct. 1693


A search for Greaves in Buckinghamshire (where some of these genealogy 47 families moved) listed several wills that are online for the family of Thomas Greaves and Elizabeth Danser in Haversham.


As many of you already know, another good place to search for records is on the FamilySearch website.  I did a search and found many records for genealogy 47 family members on that site.  If you have not used this website recently, you will see that you now have to setup a login ID and password, but it is still free.






Additions and updates made since the last summary in the June 17 bulletin include the following genealogies.


New Genealogies

405 -- John Greaves of Eckington, Derbyshire, England

411 – Thomas Greaves and Mary Ann Salthouse of Derbyshire & Liverpool, Lancashire, England


Revised Genealogies

33 – Matthew Greaves and Isabel Burton of Hampsthwaite, Yorkshire, England

83 – Samuel Graves of Lynn, MA

102 – John Graves of NC & Blount Co., AL

169 – Capt. Thomas Graves of VA

226 – James Graves and Sarah Attaway (or Carson) of Wilkes Co., GA

319 – Mary Graves and George Swan of KY & IL





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



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