Vol. 15, No. 11, Oct. 14, 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

** Easier GEDCOM Upload to FTDNA and Special DNA Test Offer

** FTDNA Updates Family Finder and Adds Triangulation

** Special Offer from for AncestryDNA & Upgrade to Ethnicity Results

** Future Direction of 23andMe

** Good Summary of DNA Testing

** Progress With Managing Graves/Greaves DNA Study

** Graves Mountain Lodge in Syria, VA

** Finding Ancestors in GFA Website Genealogies

** Carnegie Heroes Named Graves

** Descendants of Capt. Thomas Graves of Virginia

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things






As usual, there are several articles about DNA testing in this issue.  There are also my usual pleas for you (and your relatives) to get tested for Y-DNA and autosomal DNA, and to upload your autosomal DNA test results to


The article about the Graves/Greaves DNA study discusses the great need for help with this activity, and is a beginning on how this might be done.


I am also trying to include more of the genealogical searching I do with various genealogies, and some of the genealogical puzzles that still need to be solved (such as with the family of Capt. Thomas Graves of VA).






Family Tree DNA recently provided an easier way to upload a GEDCOM.  Once you create one, go to your personal FTDNA page and click on the icon that says “$10 coupon for your Family Tree.”  Follow the instructions, and your coupon will appear in your email.  The coupon has no expiration date, and can be used for any test over $40, even new ones.  You can either use the coupon for yourself or you can share it with anyone you want to have tested.  For example, you or someone of your choosing can get a Family Finder test for $89 instead of the standard $99 by applying the coupon.  One reason for this offer is to encourage people to upload the GEDCOM, and a second reason is obviously to increase sales of DNA tests.







Family Tree DNA just announced that they have launched a redesign of several of their Family Finder pages.


“Some customers have reported difficulty with getting the new pages to display or function properly.  In most cases, this is due to using an old web browser version that we don't support. 


At this time, our browser version requirements are:


These requirements are also listed in a FAQ on our website:


If you are currently using an unsupported browser version, please upgrade to the latest version of your web browser. 


If your computer doesn't support the latest version of your web browser, please try a different web browser.  For example, if you're using IE8 and you're unable to upgrade to IE9 or IE10, please try Chrome or Firefox instead.  All of these web browsers are free and are widely used on the Internet.


Keeping your computer up-to-date with the latest version of your web browser is always a best practice -- not just for the Family Tree DNA website, but for everything you do on the Internet.  New browser versions often provide enhanced security, bug fixes, improved functionality and new web technologies.”



The autosomal DNA test from FTDNA is called Family Finder.  The personal pages for Family Finder for FTDNA customer have been upgraded and new capability added.  Debbie Parker Wayne has written a blog article about how to use the new features, and Rebecca Canada is writing a 4-part series of articles about this: part 1, part 2, part 3.  Roberta Estes discusses how the new features can help us on her DNAeXplained blog.  Using the Chromosome Browser in conjunction with the new Triangulate feature makes it easier to determine which DNA segments come from which lines, and which specific ancestor matching people have in common.



Triangulation in genetic genealogy has generally meant the use of the DNA test results of two individuals to determine the DNA of a third individual, a common ancestor.  More recently, using the DNA of three living people to approximate the DNA of their common ancestors has also been called triangulation.  This was first used with Y-DNA test results, but is also being used for autosomal DNA test results.  Actually, with autosomal DNA, the more descendants who are tested, the more completely the DNA of an ancestor can be inferred; in that case, even though the concept is the same, calling it triangulation might not be quite correct.






All the DNA testing companies seem to be jockeying for market share and our business with special prices and new features.  Ancestry is no exception.  It is now offering “exclusive limited time savings” of $79 for their AncestryDNA autosomal DNA test.  Note that this offer is only available in the U.S., and a shipping charge of $9.95 (or $24.95 for expedited shipping) is added.


In a separate announcement on Oct. 2, Ancestry announced an upgrade to its ethnicity results, which have been poor compared to their competitors.  They announced: “You may have heard, we are close to launching a new evolution to the AncestryDNA ethnicity results. Here’s some more information on a few of the new and exciting things AncestryDNA members will see in the coming weeks. And, you won’t even need to take the test again! This is one of the many benefits of AncestryDNA; as new findings are discovered, we give you updates along the way.

Here are a few highlights of what’s to come.

·      New Ethnicity Results – you will see a more refined ethnicity estimate that incorporates years of research and one of the most comprehensive and diverse collections of DNA from around the world.

·      More details. You may see some new ethnicities you didn’t have before and more refined regions than ever before. The newly evolved AncestryDNA will provide you with estimates for each region and show all the populations and regions we tested you for.

·      New look, enhanced experience. The map, estimates and details of your personalized ethnicity will have a brand new look and feel. We’ve integrated feedback from our members to make the experience of your DNA results even better.”



Roberta Estes just wrote a blog article comparing ethnicity results from the various DNA testing companies.  It is worth reading.  She explains why they differ from each other, and provides some background material.







An article in BloombergBusinessweek (Sept. 27, 2013) is titled “23andMe Wants to Take Its DNA Tests Mass-Market.”  Its main objective now is to increase its customer base to a much larger size.  A private-sector partnership to be announced soon is one step toward making that happen.



The expectation is that with a big enough database of genetic profiles, the company could look for disease patterns and areas of research that aren’t possible now.  Although genealogical interests will continue, health and medical applications are obviously the company’s major direction.



23andMe has just launched a massive open online course (MOOC) titled “Tales from the Genome” with Udacity.  See more about it on the 23andMe blog and on Udacity’s website.  For those of you who may be interested, you can also see information about Udacity’s other online courses on their website.  They state: “Udacity is the future of online higher education. We offer accessible, affordable, engaging classes that anyone can take, anytime.”






Roberta Estes in her DNAeXplained blog has written a good summary of the various types of DNA testing.  You can see it here.  She reviews what DNA is, how it can help you in genealogy research, the various kinds of tests and who can take them, and what the results look like.






In the March 11 issue of this bulletin I wrote an article about needing help with managing our Graves/Greaves DNA project.  I was very pleased to receive several responses from people offering to help.  My problem then was that those responding wanted to know exactly how they could help, and I wasn’t sure what to tell them.  If you were one of those who volunteered to help or if you didn’t but would like to, contact me again.  (If you don’t, I will try to find my records of all who offered, and will contact you.)


There is still time (one more day) to register for the 9th Annual International Conference on Genetic Genealogy, Nov. 9-10, in Houston, TX, if that is of interest to you.  Registration for that closes Oct. 15.


In addition to the DNA test results and analyses on the Graves Family Association website (which are not as up-to-date as they should be), I have now activated the capabilities on the Family Tree DNA website (which need some adjusting and organizing).  To see what is presently there, go to the FTDNA website, enter Graves in the box for “Search Your Last Name” and hit return, click on Graves under Projects heading, and click on the link under the Project Website heading.  Then, to see the results of our studies, click on the desired link from the drop-down menus at the top of the page.  You will see that Y-DNA test results and mtDNA results are all displayed, but not autosomal DNA (Family Finder, etc.) results.  An advantage of the tables on the FTDNA site is that all test results are there, whereas many recent results are missing from the Y-DNA tables and charts on the GFA website.  Autosomal DNA test results will continue to be displayed only on the GFA website.


Some of the near-term help needed is:

·     For all those who have taken any test, be sure we have the test-takers in a database and know what their Graves/Greaves ancestry is.

·     Be sure everyone tested has been contacted.  In the future, contact people as they order their first test or when they first receive results.

·     For the Y-DNA master table on the FTDNA site, be sure all test results are in the proper group, group the results that are presently ungrouped, and review and correct any incorrectly grouped results.

·     For the Y-DNA table, be sure the column for Paternal Ancestor Name is correct and includes the genealogy number.

·     For mitochondrial DNA results, try to help trace and record the female ancestral lines, and try to find a better way to display and use the results.

·     For autosomal DNA results, help maintain a master database of all test results and matches for results from all testing companies.

·     For autosomal DNA, help provide results for the various charts, and find better ways to find matching DNA segments, and improve reporting and charting.


Finally, I have also added a link to the General Fund for those who would like to sponsor DNA tests for others on FTDNA.






Graves Mountain Lodge in Syria, VA, was recently featured on TV station WSLS10.  You can see an article on their website.  The 1700-acre property owned by Jim and Rachel Graves is a popular tourist destination, especially during the spring music festival and the fall apple harvest festival.  Several generations of the Graves family have lived in their present house since the mid-1800s.  The family is descended from 1608 Jamestown immigrant Capt. Thomas Graves (genealogy 169) via John Graves and Elizabeth Eddins, through their son Paschal Graves, born 1796 in Madison Co., VA.


More information about the 44th Annual Apple Harvest in October, and general information about Graves Mountain Lodge can be seen on their website.






Although I have addressed this issue in the past, some people still have difficulty finding their ancestors or other people in the genealogies on the Graves Family Association website.  There are several ways to do this:

(1)  Search the alphabetical and numerical indexes of all genealogies on the website by clicking on the link for the desired genealogy from the Research drop-down menu.  This will only show you the name of the earliest known ancestor for each genealogy.

(2)  Click on the “Click here to search website” tab at the top left of each page (just below the “History/News” tab), and then enter whatever you are searching for in the top box.  This is a standard Google search that will search for anything on the GFA website.  It is usually best to search for the least common name.  For instance, searching for Ann Davenport will be more effective than searching for her husband Thomas Graves, since there are many men named Thomas Graves on the website.

(3)  Do the same as #2, but click on the bottom button for “Click to Search Genealogies.”  This allows a search by name of descendant, date associated with that descendant, name of spouse, or any combination of these.  Note that the search will be for exactly what is entered, so that if you enter Thomas Graves, Thomas L. Graves won’t be found.  However, you can enter Thomas in the descendant field and Susan in the spouse field, and it will find all men named Thomas married to anyone named Susan.

(4)  Search online with a general Google-type search, or search on (or similar site) to find more information about whoever you are looking for (such as earlier ancestor or more complete name), and then use that information to search again on the GFA website.

(5)  Ask me.  This is the approach I prefer the least, but it is often very effective.






Mike Ransom recently called this to my attention.  Andrew Carnegie, industrialist and philanthropist, established a trust fund in 1904 in New York, administered by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission, to honor and reward “heroes of civilization”, “men or women who are injured or who lose their lives while attempting to preserve their fellows”.  Three people named Graves have received that award.


Clifford V. Graves, 50, farmer, saved Merritt L. Brown, 42, farmer, from an enraged bull, Versailles, Kentucky, March 7, 1907. Graves attacked the animal with a pocketknife while it was butting and trampling Brown on the ground. He was knocked down himself and sustained a fractured rib and bruises all over the body before the bull was chased away by Graves's dog.

Clifford was a son of Richard Cave Graves and Helen Dillon, descended from genealogy 169 (Capt. Thomas Graves of VA).


William H. Graves, Jr., 16, student, saved Robert I. Graves, 40, clerk, from drowning, Annisquam (Cambridge), Massachusetts, July 25, 1918. Robert fell from a dory into the Annisquam River 340 feet from the bank, where the water was 20 feet deep. He could not swim and did not rise immediately. William jumped from the dory toward Robert, and they came to the surface together. Robert grasped William with one arm around his neck, causing both to sink again. They arose, and Robert took hold of William at his collar. William then swam with Robert 240 feet to wadable water. Robert then released his hold, waded a short distance, and fell forward in the water. Others assisted him to the bank. William was exhausted and floated to shallow water and was taken to the bank.

William was a son of William H. Graves, Sr. and Caroline May Elliott, descended from genealogy 214, and probably before that from either genealogy 166 (John Graves of Concord, MA) or genealogy 168 (Thomas Graves of Hartford, CT).  Help is needed to establish the ancestry of genealogy 214.  See an article in the next GF Bulletin for more discussion of this family.


Samuel M. Graves, Sr., died after attempting to save a child from burning, Brighton, Alabama, January 5, 1985. Graves, 60, maintenance engineer, was visiting a neighborhood in which a mobile home caught fire. After assisting its occupants to flee, Graves entered the trailer to search for a child who was reported missing. He emerged moments later, his clothing aflame. Graves suffered third-degree burns to 82 percent of his body and died 27 days later.

According to the SSDI, Samuel lived in Fairfield, Jefferson Co., AL (only 5 miles from Brighton), was born 6 March 1923, Social Security Number issued in Michigan, and he died in Feb. 1985.  According to the U.S. Dept. of Veteran’s Affairs BIRLS Death File, he died 1 Feb. 1985, enlisted in the Army 6 Aug. 1941, was released 13 Nov. 1945, re-enlisted 6 March 1947, and was released 31 May 1950.  In the 1940 census is a Samuel Graves, b.c. 1922 in AR, black, son of Ollie Graves, living in Detroit, MI, who could be this person.  However, I can’t find him in the 1930 census.  Can anyone help?






Back in the 20th century, most people believed that almost all the Graves families in or from Virginia were descended from Capt. Thomas Graves who arrived in Jamestown in 1608.  Then along came Y-DNA testing of male descendants in about the year 2000, which showed that there were actually many Graves families from Virginia, and that only one of the 3 men (John, Thomas, and Francis) believed to be sons of Capt. Thomas Graves was his son.  I was recently asked which one that was.


My answer was to look at the genealogy 169 chart on the GFA website.  You will see on that chart sons John and Thomas. We have tested the Y-DNA of many male Graves descendants of Ralph Graves (b. 1653), a grandson of son John, and they all match the families of genealogies 168 and 65, which we believe to be from Hertfordshire, England. The line from Capt. Thomas Graves to Ralph Graves (b. 1653) is very well documented and is the most solid line from Capt. Thomas Graves. We don't know why there are no known male lines of descent from generations 2 or 3, or from any brothers of Ralph, but that is the way it is.


The line from son Thomas doesn't have any known and tested male lines of descent until we get to son Thomas's g-grandson John (b. 1706). We don't know why, and that does seem a little strange. Also, the descent from son Thomas doesn't have quite as strong documentary proof as that from son John. Anyway, from that John (b. 1706), we have tested many lines. They all match each other fairly well but do not match any known Graves ancestor. One possibility is that son Thomas really was a brother of son John, being a son of Katherine Croshaw but not of Thomas Graves. After all, we believe that Capt. Thomas Graves did not bring his wife and children to the Virginia colony until long after he first arrived in the colony, so there was much loneliness and opportunity for extra-marital activity.


In any case, it looks almost certain that John was a son of Capt. Thomas Graves, but neither Thomas nor Francis was.  The Jamestowne Society is presently only accepting proven descendants of son John (through his grandson Ralph) as descendants of Capt. Thomas Graves.  You can see more discussion and analysis on the GFA website Charts page.


The line of Francis Graves (genealogy 220) has been conclusively proven by many Y-DNA tests to not be descended from Capt. Thomas Graves, but rather from the Greaves family of Derbyshire.  We do not presently know his parents or his exact line of descent.


On the GFA website there is a page that summarizes the various research projects for some of the Graves/Greaves families.  The description of the project for Capt. Thomas Graves is here.  Since genealogy 169 has been shown to share Graves ancestry with genealogies 65 and 168 (New England families from the Hertfordshire area of England), the research project for that family should be of interest also.  There is a brief intriguing account written by Gov. Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony about a Thomas Graves who went to Virginia that could account for the connection between these families.


Regarding descendants of the daughters of Capt. Thomas Graves, there is no known evidence to indicate that they were not his daughters.  Since females don’t inherit Y-DNA, we will need to use mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and autosomal DNA (atDNA) to eventually substantiate their lines.





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



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