Vol. 15, No. 14, Dec. 31, 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.


Information on how to be removed from the subscription list is at the end of this bulletin.  If you received this bulletin directly, then you are already subscribed.  If you received it from a friend and want to subscribe, send an email message with your full name to


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






** General Comments

** Family Tree DNA Sale Continues Through Dec. 31

** How to Find Your Ancestors With Autosomal DNA

** GFA Facebook Group Membership Files

** Mitochondrial DNA Testing Comparison Chart

** Improvements to Family Tree DNA Website

** Connections Between Genealogies In the Southern U.S., Including 535, 220 and 247

** Follow-up to FDA vs. 23andMe Issue

** Full Genome and Exome Testing

** Helping Administer DNA Project

** Tracing African American Ancestry

** Success Story from Combining DNA Testing with Traditional Research

** Free Online Seminar About DNA Testing

** First Free Online Copy of Domesday Book

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things






Today (by midnight Central Time in the U.S.) is your last opportunity to order a DNA test from Family Tree DNA at a special sale price.


This past few weeks have been especially hectic for me, but I am going to try to ease off a little in 2014, and shift some responsibilities to others.  I wish you all a very happy and healthy New Year!






Today at 11:59 PM, Central Standard Time, is the deadline for ordering one of the following DNA tests from Family Tree DNA at the special end-of-year sale price.









New Kits

Regular Price

Sale Price

Family Finder



Family Finder + Y-DNA37



Family Finder + Y-DNA67



Family Finder + mTDNAFull



Comprehensive Genome


















Autosomal DNA Transfer







A free $100 gift card is included with the 3 Family Finder packages and with the Comprehensive Genome test.



Regular Price

Sale Price

refine 12-37



refine 12-67



refine 25-37



refine 25-67



refine 37-67



refine 37-111



refine 67-111









mtFullSequence Add On










I was recently asked about using autosomal DNA test results to confirm Graves ancestry. My response was the following.


First, you need to start making a table for both you and your brother of all the autosomal DNA matches each of you have, what chromosome and segment they are on, and what names you share with each person. When you do that, you will eventually begin to see what names go with each matching segment.


I will also continue to try to help.


Finally, there are new tests now available (and more coming in the future) that I will be mentioning in the Graves Family Bulletin that will help us find ancestral lines.  (Mention what these tests are and refer to article.)



Shannon Christmas recently (13 Dec. 2013) wrote an article called “Using AncestryDNA: Steps for Success” on his Tumblr blog.


Roberta Estes has written an excellent article on her DNAeXplained blog about how to find matches on Family Tree DNA.  She explains how to use the “in common with” (ICW) tool, the Family Finder Matrix, your matching spreadsheet, and genealogical information to find exactly where people fit into the extended family.  She provides many examples to help all of us apply the procedure to our own needs.






The membership of the Graves Family Association Facebook Group has continued to grow, and we now have almost 800 members.  If you haven’t joined and would like to, click here or go to the GFA website and click on the “Find us on Facebook” icon at the top right of the page.  Even if you don’t have a Facebook account and have never used Facebook, don’t let that stop you from joining.  I had never used Facebook before 2011 when we started the group, but most members seem to feel that it is very worthwhile and a good way to get and exchange information, and to find other family members.


I try to update the membership files about once per month.  The files are a list of all group members with their U.S. state or the country of residence and birth, their ancestral genealogy number, the broad genealogy group that the genealogy is part of, any comments, and their GFA ID number (a number that is on my computer only that indicates that I have corresponded with them and have information from them).  If you go to the GFA website and hover your cursor over the GFA/Forums drop-down menu at the top of the page, and then click on “GFA Facebook Group”, you will see an explanation of the table headings.  This page also has: (1) a list of the genealogy groups and the genealogies in each of those groups, and (2) a list of genealogies of members that are not part of a genealogy group (usually because no male with the Graves/Greaves surname has taken a Y-DNA test).  This page on the GFA website also has the most recent version of the membership files sorted by name, by genealogy number, and by genealogy group.


The membership files on the Facebook page are Excel files, and can be downloaded by clicking on Files at the top of the page and then clicking on the Download link next to the file you want to download.  There are two files, one sorted by name and the other by genealogy number, but when you download either you can sort it in any order you want.  The other way you can look at these files is to first click on the file of interest.  You will then see the message I wrote when I uploaded that file, and below the message you should see Preview and Download. If you click on Preview, you should be able to scroll through the entire file without having to go to the trouble of downloading it.



If you are in the GFA Facebook group, please review your entry in this file and let me know of any missing or incorrect information.






The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) testing chart on the ISOGG wiki has recently been updated, showing comparisons between the testing provided by the different companies.  Most of you will have no need to look at this, but it may be of interest to a few.






In response to comments and requests from DNA project administrators at the recent genetic genealogy conference in Houston, TX, FTDNA has made a number of helpful changes and additions to their website.  You can see a summary of these changes on the Your Genetic Genealogist blog and also on the DNAeXplained blog.






David W. Morgan, descended from genealogy 535 (James David Graves and Mary Ann Durham of NC & TN), has been looking for more information about his ancestry.  He has taken the Family Finder (autosomal DNA) test, and matches 18 people who have known Graves ancestry. I was able to identify the ancestry of 12 of those people, and 8 are descended from genealogy 220 (Francis Graves of VA) or other families that connect with 220. I feel confident that genealogy 535 is descended from gen. 220, however I don’t know the exact connection.  He has matching segments of DNA on chromosomes 6 and 15 that strongly support a descent from genealogy 220.


David’s autosomal DNA matched not only descendants of genealogy 220, but also genealogy 247 (John Greaves of St. Mary’s Co., MD) descendants.  Both these families (as well as many others) share a common Graves/Greaves ancestry believed to be from genealogy 228 (Greaves family of Beeley, Derbyshire).






There was an article about the problem that 23andMe is having with the FDA in the last issue of this bulletin.  A good follow-up article by Michael Eisen can be found here, and generally presents both sides of the issue.  A second article on the subject is here, and is more pro-FDA.  Another article on the Scientific American blog is titled “FDA Was Right to Block 23andMe”.


Anne Wojcicki, co-founder and CEO of 23andMe sent this message on Nov. 27:


“Dear 23andMe Customers,


I wanted to reach out to you about the FDA letter that was sent to 23andMe last Friday.


It is absolutely critical that our consumers get high quality genetic data that they can trust. We have worked extensively with our lab partner to make sure that the results we return are accurate. We stand behind the data that we return to customers - but we recognize that the FDA needs to be convinced of the quality of our data as well.


23andMe has been working with the FDA to navigate the correct regulatory path for direct-to-consumer genetic tests. This is new territory, not just for 23andMe, but for the FDA as well. The FDA is an important partner for 23andMe and we will be working hard to move forward with them.


I apologize for the limited response to the questions many of you have raised regarding the letter and its implications for the service. We don't have the answers to all of those questions yet, but as we learn more we will update you.


I am committed to providing each of you with a trusted consumer product rooted in high quality data that adheres to the best scientific standards. All of us at 23andMe believe that genetic information can lead to healthier lives.


Thank you for your loyalty to 23andMe. Please refer to our 23andMe blog for updates on this process.”


Then on Dec. 6, 23andMe apparently reached an understanding with the FDA, which caused them to take the action discussed in this blog article.


Yet another article on 23andMe and the FDA, dated Dec. 13, can be seen here in The Huffington Post.  This presents an interesting and relatively unbiased and fair overview of some of the issues involved.  Then on Dec. 15, the Los Angeles Times printed a pro-FDA opinion article titled “23andMe’s genetic tests are more misleading that helpful”.  On Dec. 16, USA Today printed an article titled “FDA oversteps on genetic testing: Opposing view.”



Roberta Estes has written a couple of articles about precautions you might want to consider in case 23andMe isn’t able to resolve its issues with the FDA satisfactorily.  Her first article is here, and suggests printing your health results, downloading your raw data file, contacting your matches, and sending your email address to all those who have accepted match requests.  The second one is here, and discusses the differences between the different versions of the raw data files that she noticed when she downloaded hers.






With all the press coverage of the FDA and 23andMe the launch of this new company seems to have been overlooked. Gentle Labs are based in Belgium and are offering an exome sequencing service with interpretation for $1,990. The results are provided through a doctor. This is from their FAQs:


Why would I pay $1990 if I can get my DNA sequenced for $99?

Some companies are offering 'insights into your DNA' for only $99. These tests, however, are only based on 0.03% of your genome (corresponding with 1.9 % of your genes). It's like reading a novel by reading a letter on every page: you won't get much of the story. These cheaper tests do not allow for accurate or complete results or interpretation: some of these tests have false negative rates of 50% or more! In fact, companies offering these tests admit this themselves. One company clearly displays on their website that "The information on this page is intended for research and educational purposes only, and is not for diagnostic use." In other words: these tests should not be relied on for any medical purposes, nor for diagnostic use.  In contrast, our Gentle test not only offers complete coverage of all your genes, it also includes counseling with some of the world's best medical geneticists provided by Royal Doctors. Other advantages include:

·      a free subscription service through which we will keep you informed about your DNA as science evolves

·      free DNA data storage (so that you can provide your medical doctors access to your DNA data in case of a health issue or emergency)

·      user friendly iPad and web apps to explore your genetic results and - in the end - yourself


Regarding the mention of Royal Doctors concerning the Gentle Labs test, their website is here.






I recently sent the following message to all those who are part of the Graves/Greaves DNA project on Family Tree DNA, and I thought it might be helpful to include it here also.


This is the first time that I have used the bulk mailing feature of the Graves DNA project in Family Tree DNA. Even though we have the online Graves Family Bulletin that fulfills some of the communication, this approach can target more specific needs.






An interesting story titled “Lost Slave Ancestors Found” on The Root blog was mentioned by Shannon Christmas (descended from Capt. Thomas Graves, genealogy 169).  You can see it by clicking here.  This search for a slave ancestor and the origin of a surname gives advice that should be helpful for anyone searching for their slave ancestors.  The article also contains links to various other helpful source information.






In The Weekly Genealogist for Dec. 4 (Vol. 16, No. 49, the online newsletter of the New England Historic Genealogical Society) is a link to an interesting article called “Tapping the gene machine” about the experiences of a pharmacist in Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia.  After tracing parts of his family’s migration from Lincolnshire, UK to New South Wales, Mike Anderson found living relatives in Nebraska in the USA.


The article explains that part of his success (other than persistence and educating himself on the resources available) was joining an online family name project.  He then found and joined a US-based website called WikiTree (with the actual WikiTree here) and uploaded his family information to it.  Shortly after that he was contacted by some Andersons in the U.S. who turned out to be his long lost cousins.  The cousins did Y-DNA testing at Family Tree DNA to confirm their relationship.  Mike and his daughter also visited his American cousins in Nebraska, and some of them are hoping to visit Australia in the future.


He then found a UK-based website called Genes Reunited, eventually finding that the family lived in a small village in Lincolnshire called Toynton in the 1600s before emigrating to America and Australia.  The Y-DNA testing has also shown matches with a few Scottish clans, indicating an earlier origin in Scotland.






A free introduction to genetic genealogy testing at Family Tree DNA webinar was recently announced by FTDNA and is available for viewing at any time.  You do have to register.  This free online seminar will help you learn the basics about Family Tree DNA's Y-DNA, mtDNA and Family Finder (autosomal DNA) tests. Elise explains what each of these tests can tell you about your ancestry and how to decide which test to order based on your personal interests and goals. She shows the basics of your personal myFTDNA account where all of your results are reported as well as example results from each test. Elise will also gives a brief overview of the group projects and other resources available at Family Tree DNA.  To register, click here.





The Domesday Book is a manuscript that records the great survey of much of England and Wales completed in 1086.  A good description of the manuscript, its purpose and history, and other information, can be found on Wikipedia here.  The relevance of this document to genealogical researchers is that many names are included here for the first time.


The first free online copy of Domesday Book is now available.  According to their webpage: “The site was built as a non-profit project by Anna Powell-Smith, using data created by Professor J.J.N. Palmer and a team at the University of Hull.  You can see more on their website.  There are links at both the top and the bottom of their webpages that provide more information.


We are now working to make a copyright-free, full-text Latin and English version of Domesday Book available as open data. Follow us on Twitter at @opendomesday.


The Domesday Book statistics underlying this site were originally collected during the 1990s to create the Domesday Explorer CD-ROM. The data was created by a team led by Professor John Palmer at the University of Hull, funded by the AHRC, and assisted by a Domesday Book translation provided by the publishers Phillimore & Co.  Anna found the data online, and used it to make this site.”





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



Send any material you would like to have included in this bulletin to  The editor reserves the right to accept, edit or reject any material submitted.



If you do not already belong to the GFA, you can join by sending $20 per year to Graves Family Association, 20 Binney Circle, Wrentham, MA 02093 (more details on GFA website).  Payment may also be sent electronically to via PayPal.



Although the contents of this bulletin are copyrighted by the Graves Family Association and Kenneth V. Graves, you are hereby granted permission, unless otherwise specified, to re-distribute part or all to other parties for non-commercial purposes only.