Vol. 15, No. 3, March 11, 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 © 2012 by the Graves Family Association and Kenneth V. Graves.  All rights reserved.


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** General Comments

** Help Greatly Needed for DNA Project Administration

** Including Autosomal DNA Test Results from in the GFA Study

** Getting Stories and Helpful Information From Relatives

** How Meaningful Are Deep Ancestry Results From DNA Testing?

** Follow-up to Human Ancestry Discovery

** More Help For Those With African and Slave Ancestry

** The Best Route to Correct Genealogies

** Graves Family Reunions

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things






When I see something interesting that I think might be of interest to others, I try to mention it in this bulletin.  There are several articles in this newsletter about subjects like that.


I also try to give answers to questions I have received that I think others readers may find helpful.  The article on deep ancestry is partly a result of your interest in that subject.


Finally, it often bothers me that it isnít possible for me to do all the things that should be done regarding Graves/Greaves ancestry research.  Please give special attention to my plea for help in administering the Graves/Greaves DNA project in the first article of this bulletin.






Over the years, I have asked many times for people to help with various aspects of the Graves Family Association.  Sometimes people have volunteered to help with something, but usually nothing significant has happened.  This is probably partly my fault for not being specific enough and following up, and partly because people have thought I was doing such a good job that they didnít really need to help.  Other people have even thought that I have a staff of helpers – not true – itís just me.


The most important activity that isnít getting nearly as much attention as is needed is the Graves/Greaves DNA project.  I just do not have enough time to do what needs to be done with that.  And I have other activities in my life, and am getting older (better than the alternative), so wonít be able to continue with genealogy forever.


We very much need one or more volunteers to help administer the DNA project.  It would be helpful for anyone interested to have some technical and computer ability, and to be willing to spend some time doing this.  I will provide ideas (Iím never short of those), help and support as needed, and we would have to work together to some extent.  You would also get to attend the annual DNA conference in Houston, TX, if that interests you.  Please contact me if you are interested, and we can discuss the specifics.






As more and more people test with, there are more questions about including those test results in the GFA autosomal DNA study.  So far that is not possible because all Ancestry is providing is who people have DNA matches with.  They do not provide any DNA data.  You canít see on what segments of what chromosomes you match anyone, and you canít see what you actual test results are.  One reason that having access to your DNA results is important (in addition to being able to analyze it on other websites) is that you canít be sure that a match you find by comparing pedigree charts is the one shown by DNA without knowing what segment of which chromosome you share.  Ancestry has promised to provide DNA data sometime this year. If they do, that may allow us to include their results in our study.


If they provide the autosomal DNA data, it should also be possible to download the data from Ancestry and upload it to Family Tree DNA (at a small charge) and to GEDmatch (free).






I have written before about the value of adding as much information as possible about family members to genealogies.  Stories, anecdotes, and information about the lives of people certainly make genealogies much more interesting than just providing names, dates, and places.


An interesting article about that is called ďReminiscing: A Key to Unlocking the PastĒ, and is in the blog for Feb. 22, 2013.  The author, Shelly Beach, discusses the value of getting relatives to reminisce and then explains how to get them to do it.






For those who are interested in their deep ancestry (also called genetic ethnicity, etc.), a series of articles by Roberta Estes on her blog, DNAeXplained, may be of help in understanding what these results mean. Part 4 of her multi-part series was dated Feb. 24, 2013, and can be seen here. At most of the companies involved, the test results and their analysis and presentation are still being refined.  It should not be expected for the results from different testing companies for the same person to be the same. Differences between results from the various companies depend partly on the reference populations, the number of markers used, and how far back in time the provider wants to show your genetic origins.


In conclusion, it does appear that the analyses of deep ancestry have improved greatly and are now quite good.  However, you should be careful to read all of the description of the results provided by whatever testing company you are working with.  Otherwise you may not fully understand what the results mean.






One of the exciting stories revealed at the DNA Conference last November in Houston, TX, was about a DNA discovery of an earlier-than-previously-known origin of human ancestry.  The latest article about that has just been published by the University of Arizona in UA News, and titled ďHuman Y Chromosome Much Older Than Previously Thought


Other recent reports on this discovery can be found on Bonnie Schrackís website.  One of the interesting aspects of this story is the demonstration that citizen scientists (all of us) can make significant contributions to the advancement of genetic genealogy by our participation in and analysis of DNA test results.






A recent issue of Eastmanís Online Genealogy Newsletter by Dick Eastman, 4 March 2013, contains several articles about new sources of information for slave ancestors.  There is an article about a new database on the University College of London (UCL) website of British slave owners, which refers to registers of the enslaved at the National Archives in England.  Another article tells about a database of Virginia slave names, created by the Virginia Historical Society.  And a third article discusses and their efforts to develop a database of all enslaved African Americans.






Eastmanís Online Genealogy Newsletter (EOGN) is something I have cited and recommended before.  The Plus edition of that newsletter for Feb. 25, 2013 had a very interesting article titled ďA Clearinghouse of Genealogy InformationĒ about a sensible solution to our frustrating and time-consuming searches for genealogical information, and the huge amount of wrong information online and elsewhere.


The gist of his article is that rather than redoing research that has already been done by many, many others, we need central repositories with peer review for all genealogy research results.  The most practical way to do this is with wikis.  There should be an entry for every deceased person on a wiki, giving information found and sources, and with new information appended as found.


The most successful general wiki is Wikipedia.  The two largest genealogy wikis existing today are We Relate and WikiTree.  I have not used either of them, but I intend to take a look and perhaps start adding information about selected ancestors, especially those with unknown or disputed ancestry.


The March 11 Plus edition of EOGN includes an article called ďWhat is the Cloud and Why Should I Care? – Part 2Ē, which adds to the discussion of this subject.  After discussing public wikis, he discusses creating your own wiki.  He says the two best-known user-created genealogy wikis are The Next Generation and PhpGedView.  Should we consider going this route for our Graves/Greaves genealogies?  Would you be willing to help make this happen, or do you know others who might help?






Reunion of William Anderson Graves Descendants

The descendants of William Anderson (ďAnseĒ) and Elizabeth Rogers Graves will meet Sunday, May 26, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Harper Senior Center, Harper, KS.  For more information, contact Peggy Wilson Newsome on Facebook or at 804-725-3721.


William Anderson Graves was born in 1853 in Blount Co., TN, son of Adam Graves and Mahala Hubbard, in genealogy 168.


Report of 1905 Reunion of Josiah and Rachel Graves

On Feb. 18, Don Davis posted on our GFA Facebook page an interesting account of a family reunion in Smythe Park, Mansfield, PA, on Aug. 25, 1905, for descendants of Josiah Graves (born 1828) and Rachel Ann Mudge of Covington, Tioga Co., PA.  Like the previous reunion, this family is also part of genealogy 168.


Christmas Family Reunion

Organized by Mr. Shannon S. Christmas, this event (also known as Christmas in July) will be held July 4-6, 2013 in Washington, DC.  Tentatively scheduled events include a catered Potomac River cruise to Mount Vernon, an exclusive tour of the White House, and a DC Cupcake Social catered by Georgetown Cupcake.  Deadline for registration is April 30, 2013, although registration for the White House tour ended Feb. 9.  You can see more information on the reunion website.  The reason this reunion is listed here is that Shannon and many of the other Christmas descendants are descended from Capt. Thomas Graves of VA (genealogy 169) through Mary Graves (born 1726, daughter of Henry White Graves) who married John Christmas.





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



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