Vol. 15, No. 7, June 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

** Father’s Day DNA Testing Upgrade Sale at FTDNA

** Military Registration and Draft in the U.S.

** Reasons Some People Might Not Want to be DNA Tested

** Charlemagne’s DNA and Our Universal Royalty

** Scandinavian Ancestry in Great Britain

** Online Genetics Courses

** Genealogy Discussion on Public Radio

** Updates to the GFA Website

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things






I hope you find some of the articles in this issue of the Bulletin of interest.  As I have mentioned before, it is impossible to fit half of what I would like to do into my life.  Friends, family, church, traveling, photography, taking care of house and yard, tennis, cycling, singing, reading, and a few other things are always competing with genealogy.  I do try to at least answer all correspondence but if I have overlooked your communication, please don’t hesitate to remind me.


Remember that we still need males with the Graves or Greaves surname to take a Y-DNA test for many of the genealogies where we have no tests yet.  Also, I encourage anyone who has not already done so to take an autosomal DNA test.  In addition to providing information about all your ancestral lines and giving you matches to cousins on all lines within the last 5 or 6 generations, the results from this test will also help us find connections to and for your Graves ancestor.






Every year at Father's Day Family Tree DNA has a sale for men.  If you are an existing customer and have already taken a Y-DNA test, here is an opportunity to upgrade at a reduced price.  Their announcement is below.


Since last summer's upgrade sale was such huge success, we thought we'd repeat history! We are offering discounts to our Y-DNA upgrade products just in time for father's day. So, please spread the word and we'll make this year's upgrade sale even bigger!


From June 12, 2013 through June 19, 2013, we will reduce the following prices.


Y-DNA 12 to 25

was $49

Now $35

Y-DNA 12 to 37

was $99

Now $69

Y-DNA 12 to 67

was $189

Now $148

Y-DNA 25 to 37

was $49

Now $35

Y-DNA 25 to 67

was $148

Now $114

Y-DNA 25 to 111

was $249

Now $224

Y-DNA 37 to 67

was $99

Now $79

Y-DNA 37 to 111

was $220

Now $188

Y-DNA 67 to 111

was $129

Now $109


To order an upgrade at these special prices you may log into your personal page with your kit number and password. Click on the "Order Upgrade" button located on the right side of the menu bar. Then click on the "Special Offers" button.








Records of registration for the draft in the United States can be very helpful.  The information on the World War I registration cards includes name and address of registrant, age and date of birth, present occupation, name and address of nearest relative, description, race, and country of citizenship.  The information on World War II draft registration cards includes name, date and place of birth, residence, employer’s name and address, and physical description (race, height, weight, hair and eye colors, complexion).  For WW II draft registration records, only the Fourth Registration (often referred to as the “old man’s registration”), conducted on 27 April 1942 for men between 45 and 64 years of age not already in the military, is presently available to the public.  A related database is “U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946”, containing information on about 8.3 million men and women.


I noticed, when looking at an image of only one WW II registration card that the transcription gave a birth date of Aug. 25, 1895 but the image of the card showed Sept. 25, 1895.  Always check the original document when it is available, since transcribers do make mistakes.


There is a good discussion of conscription in the U.S. on Wikipedia.


The blog of Fold3 recently had an article about the “Selective Service Act of 1917.”  This stated: “The first military conscription in the United States occurred during the Civil War, but the military draft process we are familiar with today originated with the Selective Service Act of 1917, passed by Congress on May 18, 1917.  The biggest difference between the Civil War draft and the Selective Service Act of 1917 was that it did not allow for substitutes.”


Most of these records are available on, Fold3, and elsewhere.






Roberta Estes published an interesting article on her DNAeXplained blog on May 15, 2013, titled “No (DNA) Bullying.”  The article cautions against pressuring people to take DNA tests, and presents many reasons why people may not want to be tested.


There are really two issues: (1) why people might not want to get tested, and (2) why someone who has been tested might not respond to someone whose DNA matches theirs.


Some of the reasons for someone not wanting to get tested are:

·     The person being asked to test may know something about his or her ancestry that others don’t know, and perhaps he or she wants to keep that information hidden.

·     The person may just not be interested, and may have an aversion or even a religious objection to DNA testing.


Some of the reasons for someone not responding are:

·     The person being contacted has died or moved and can’t be contacted or their email address has changed.

·     At 23andMe, most people test for health reasons and may not be interested in genealogy.

·     They aren’t interested in genealogy, possibly because they only tested as a favor to a relative, or for some other reason, or they had a very specific question to be answered by testing but have no interest beyond that.

·     The person tested discovered something unexpected and perhaps unpleasant about his ancestry and has no further interest in exploring genealogy.






A recent article (May 7, 2013) in National Geographic by Carl Zimmer (and another article in Science News, June 15, 2013) by Meghan Rosen) discusses a study which concludes that everyone in Europe who lived a thousand years ago who has any descendants today is an ancestor of every European.  By expanding the model from living Europeans to all living humans, the study arrived at an estimate of 3400 years instead of 1000 for all humans living today having the same set of ancestors.


This may seem ridiculous and counter-intuitive to some, but it is based on sound mathematics and DNA testing results.  It does mean that we are all descended from royalty and scoundrels alike.  People sometimes claim a descent from Charlemagne (lived 742-814 A.D.) as if it is something special, but this study concludes that all people of European ancestry are descended from Charlemagne.


The basic principle of the 1999 study that the recent DNA analysis confirms is that as you go back in time and calculate the number of your ancestors, you soon get to the point where you have more ancestors than the total number of people who have ever lived on this earth.  That means that you and everyone else quickly begin to have the same ancestors multiple times and also that the amount of ancestor sharing rapidly increases, a phenomenon called “pedigree collapse.”  This new study uses DNA testing to confirm and refine the original mathematical analysis.


The study is reported in PLOS Biology in a research article by Peter Ralph and Graham Coop titled “The Geography of Recent Genetic Ancestry Across Europe.”






There are presently 3 major testing companies providing DNA testing for genealogical purposes.  They are Family Tree DNA, 23andMe, and  They each have different strengths and weaknesses.  All 3 offer autosomal DNA testing.  Family Tree DNA is the leader in Y-DNA, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), and specialized DNA testing.  23andMe is the leader in health related testing, and has by far the largest collection of user-submitted genealogies (even though those are filled with errors).


23andMe obviously sees a huge potential market for health related DNA testing and recently announced that it is pouring resources into scaling up to reach its goal of having a million people in its database by the end of this year.


ISOGG member Kelly Wheaton stated recently: “I suspect at some time in the not-so-distant future a fourth player may enter the field of Genetic Genealogy.  If the resources of are focused on creating a master family tree it would not be at all surprising if at some point it also included matching DNA segments. It will take enormous resources and computing power to accomplish such a task. So it is likely to come from an entity that sees it as its mission rather than its bottom line. If this eventually happens then there would be a compendium of segments tied to specific ancestors and one would simply look up ones relatives.”  Now there’s an interesting thought!  If wishes and dreams come true, this might really happen.






Eleanor Gordon, an ISOGG member, recently commented that: “Those of us who are identified as part Scandinavian by AncestryDNA might be interested in the Wikipedia article on the Danelaw.”


Invaders and settlers in the British Isles included Vikings, Danes, and Normans (later).


A related issue is the “People of the British Isles” project, described on the ISOGG wiki.






There are now many online genetics courses for those who would like to learn more.  Online courses, some of which are free, are being offered by more and more companies, as well as by an increasing number of colleges and universities.  Subjects offered include genetics, biology, and data analysis.  Click here to see the list on the ISOGG wiki.


An article published by Forbes this past January, titled “Free Online College Courses Take Big Step Forward”, states “Free online college classes known as “massive open online courses,” or MOOCs, have made another big stride toward changing the model for higher education…  The universities, including Arizona State, the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Arkansas system, are hoping that the students who pass the free MOOCs will then enroll in the schools and pay tuition to earn a degree.”  Millions of people have signed up to take the courses, although the completion rate so far is very low.  Schools that are experimenting with this approach and presently offer free courses include, Harvard, Yale, MIT, Duke, Stanford, and many others.  If you are interested, you can learn more by Googling MOOCs.






David Lambert, Chief Genealogist for the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, MA, was featured on June 4 on RadioBoston (a program produced by WBUR, Boston’s NPR news station).  The discussion topic was Genealogy’s Renaissance.  You can listen to a podcast of the program by clicking here.


A quote from The Verge: “Genealogy’s next phase, which is quickly approaching, is actually its end game. The massive accumulation, digitization, and accessibility of data combined with recent advances in DNA testing mean the questions we have about our families — who they were, how they got here, and how they’re related to us — will soon be instantly solvable. Realistically, the pursuit of family history as it exists now probably won’t be around in 20 years: most of the mysteries are disappearing, and fast.”  (For those of you who don’t know about The Verge, it is an American technology news and media network operated by Vox Media, launched in Nov. 2011, with offices in Manhattan, NY.)


A comment from a reader: “Re; The Verge post: This presupposes that the entire population will use genealogical DNA testing.  They won't.  Only a small fraction ever will.  This presupposes that complete records exist somewhere waiting to be digitized.  For the most part, they do not.  The genealogical problems I faced 40 years ago are by and large the same ones I face now.  There is hope, but not on the scale, quantitatively or chronologically, suggested by this post.”


The correct prediction for the future is probably somewhere between these two different opinions.  But no matter what happens in the future and exactly when it happens, the resources available to us for genealogical research are rapidly changing, and these are indeed exciting times.






Here is a summary of some of the things that have changed on the GFA website.  A couple of the revised genealogies are just in the process of being posted to the website.


New Genealogies

379 – James S. Graves and Helen Mae McGehee of Montgomery Co., AL

402 – James Graves and Sarah Attaway (or Carson) of Wilkes Co., GA (possibly descended from gen. 150)


Revised Genealogies

28 – mainly for the descendants of Lebbeus Graves and Lucena Graham

83 – some added information and some additional descendants

168 – mainly for the descendants of the Blount Co., TN branch

220 – mainly for the descendants of James Graves and Denny Witcher

270 – much information continues to be added

625 – William Graves and Harriet ------ of MS, LA & TX


Genealogy Charts

156 – update, and creation of a summary chart for gen. 156, 197, 336 – need DNA for other Yorkshire Greaves families





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



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