Vol. 15, No. 9, August 28, 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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Click on these links to visit the GFA web site and our Facebook page.






** General Comments

** Membership Surge for GFA Facebook Group

** Using DNA to Find Ancestry and Family Connections

** GEDmatch Now Allowing New DNA Data Uploads

** Using Big Data to Drive Story Telling

** Researching a Typically Fragmented Graves Family

** Greaves Family of Sheffield, England & Vicinity

** Interesting Articles in Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter

** Interesting Articles in The Weekly Genealogist from NEHGS

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things






In this issue, in addition to some of the usual types of articles, I am including two articles about searching for ancestors.  One of those articles is about families in England, and there will be at least one more similar article in the next issue.  Even though most of the GFA members (and most of the subscribers to this bulletin) live in the U.S., most of their ancestors are from the British Isles, and I would very much like to increase interest and participation from outside the U.S.  Your ideas and help will be appreciated.


I am also experimenting with including graphics in this issue of the bulletin.  Let me know if you have any problems with being able to see the pictures in one of the articles.






During the several days after my mailing the last Graves Family Bulletin, more than 30 people joined the GFA Facebook group, more than a 5% increase in membership.  I am interested in the reason for the increased interest.  Was it because of the article in the bulletin about the list of group members, with their ancestral genealogies and place of residence?  If so, are there other things like that you would like to see?  Or was it just because many people didn’t know about the Facebook group?  Or maybe more of you are becoming more accustomed to using social media sites?


In response to the article in the last GF Bulletin, Steve Graves of Florida wrote:

“I do not do Facebook, so I assume I will not be able to access the info. What would be good to know is not just the state where each person lives, but also the state where he/she was born. For instance: I live in FL, but was born in NJ. It might be nice knowing that other Graves living in FL could be related to me, but it would be even better to know where other Graves are now living who were born in NJ. It seems my chances are better that I could be related to a Graves living in NM if he was born in NJ, than a Graves living in Orlando, FL who was born in IL.”


I have made another update to the Excel files (on Facebook) and the html files (on the GFA website), and also added a column for each Facebook group member’s place of birth (as suggested by Steve).  The place of birth information may be helpful in some cases.  However, for my information, I was born in NY, live in MA, but my father was from AR, and the first settlement of my Graves ancestors in America was in VA, so knowing I was born in NY is not going to be especially helpful.


To see the updated files on Facebook, go to the GFA page, click on Files at the top of the page, and then click on the most recent GFA Facebook Group Members files.  To see the files on Facebook, you need to be a Facebook member.  To see the most recent html files on the GFA website, go to the website, click on the link for GFA Facebook Group from the GFA/Forums drop-down menu, and then click on the links for GFA Facebook Group members.






There are two main methods to find Graves/Greaves ancestors and to connect the family groups we have found to each other.  The traditional one is to do research, gathering oral and written records, using primary sources as much as possible.  The second and newer method is to do DNA testing and analysis on descendants.


Record searching is more than just searching on Ancestry.  Most submitted genealogies don’t cite sources, and most contain many errors.  Also, although a huge quantity of records have been digitized, most written records still are not yet online.


Several types of DNA testing can be used to find ancestral connections.  Y-DNA testing can be used to discover or confirm that two males share a common Graves/Greaves ancestor.  It can also be used to estimate how closely two males are related, although those estimates are based on average rates of mutation and may be very far off for a single comparison.  Testing multiple males may help the estimate but may not solve the problem.  (I may try this for known relationships on gen. 270, where we presently have the most Y-DNA tests.)


Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) testing which traces the all-female ancestral line can be helpful, but is very difficult to use for finding ancestors, since the surname usually changes every generation and people usually know much less about those ancestral lines.


Autosomal DNA has much potential for surname research but it is still in a fairly early stage of development.


DNA testing and research both need to be done.


The webinar series mentioned in the “Understanding Your DNA Test Results” in the GF Bulletin of Aug. 3, 2013 is one way to help better understand the 3 main DNA tests.  You can see more about that by clicking here.


Another source of information is a recent article by Roberta Estes on her DNAeXplained blog, titled “NGS Series on DNA Basics – All 4 Parts.”


In addition, Shannon Christmas on our GFA Facebook page recently posted an interesting notice about an autosomal DNA class. 

"The Autosomal DNA class teaches the methodology, data management and AncestryDNA techniques. It is especially designed for those who come to us and say, "I got my DNA results and I am so confused!" This method is bringing us success both for Adoptees and Genealogy work. It is not limited to adoptees, although the method was developed in the quest to assist adoptees. Also, there will be a class on using Excel for DNA work. One class will be geared to Excel version 2003 and we will be adding another class for later versions of Excel.

As you may know, the developers of DNAGedcom and DNAadoption, the people writing documentation and tools, are all volunteers putting in long unpaid hours. We have come a tremendously long way in the last year with Rob Warthen writing so many tools for us and the refinement of methodologies and techniques. To this point, Rob and a few donations have paid for the computing power needed. However, we are on the verge of making a quantum leap in what will be available to you to make your search faster and easier. This group has been instrumental in advancing the application of this technology.

We need to be putting some more dollars into computing to continue to do this. We have decided to accept a $20 fee per class. Every penny will go to cover computer, server and development costs. If you have any questions regarding this please contact us.

The first Autosomal DNA class is scheduled for August 16, 2013 and the Excel class a week later. The DNA class will run for 6 weeks and the Excel class for four weeks. There is one class released per week with homework to prepare for the next session. As we all have other life happenings, all material will be available for a month after the close of class. There is a forum for each class for discussions.

If anyone would like to present a class, contact Diane. One of us will work with you. If you have other ideas for classes let us know. To donate to the development and operating costs please use the Donate button on our website.

The first class is already filled. You can be put on a waiting list for the next class by sending an email with your name, email address and city/county you live in."


To learn more about using DNA tools for various purposes, go to their webpage.






GEDmatch is a free, independent website that allows uploads of autosomal DNA test results from Family Tree DNA, 23andMe, and, and provides the capability to do many kinds of very helpful data analyses and comparisons on their site.  Unfortunately the site was not able to accept new data uploads for quite a while.


New data can now be uploaded to the website.  I encourage everyone who has taken an autosomal DNA test at Family Tree DNA, 23andMe, or to upload their data to GEDmatch.  The benefits are that results from all three companies can be compared, and the site has many capabilities that are not available anywhere else.  Directions are available on their website.






Usually I probably wouldn’t recommend something like this request from Ancestry in their blog article of Aug. 19.  However, I have recently read other articles about the potential of new search techniques that could be very beneficial to genealogists, and I think the encouragement of the approach mentioned in this article is a good idea.


They wrote: “When we think about Big Data we often envision charts, graphs and spreadsheets, but what if we could use that same data to produce detailed stories about interesting subjects or people?

Increased pressure to find meaning in mounds of data—in real-time and at scale—has given rise to technology that analyzes and turns individual data points into bite-sized prose and, in some cases, fascinating personal stories.

Take for example, the man who was responsible for spreading the Spanish Influenza that ultimately killed more than 20 million people worldwide.  Imagine instantly weaving together a history about this man’s life and his family’s journey to the U.S. through technology that mines historical data kept in records.

If selected to speak at SxSW Interactive, Executive Vice President of Product Eric Shoup, will discuss how using AI-based technology can bring depth and meaning to massive amounts of data and, in turn, the stories presented to end users.”


SxSW is a gathering in Austin, Texas for presentation and discussion of new creative content.  To vote for Eric’s presentation to be selected, click here.  PanelPicker voting will close on Friday, September 6.






A telephone call and email from Sandy King prompted me to look into her part of the Graves family.  She is descended from genealogy 226, which was for the descendants of James Graves (born about 1787 in SC) and his wife Elizabeth.  After doing some research, I decided that James Graves was almost certainly a son of James Graves (born about 1755) and Sarah (probably either Sarah Attaway or Sarah Carson) of genealogy 402.  I have now added information and combined those two genealogies as genealogy 226.  More information and more supporting evidence will always be appreciated.


It looks possible that James Graves (born about 1755) was a son of James Graves and Mary Copeland of genealogy 150.  However, I would like to have more evidence for that before I add gen. 226 to gen. 150.  Finding a couple of male descendants with the Graves surname to take a Y-DNA test would be helpful.


I referred to this family in the title of this article as fragmented because it is typical of many families that we know or suspect are descended from a common ancestor, but can’t yet be connected.  Assuming that we confirm that genealogy 226 is descended from genealogy 150, it will then be known to be part of what is probably the largest group of Graves/Greaves descendants in the world, ultimately descended from genealogy 228 (Greaves Family of Beeley, Derbyshire).  I believe that genealogy 150 is descended from genealogy 220 (Francis Graves of VA), which is probably descended from gen. 228, as shown on a couple of charts, including this one.


I believe that some of these unknown connections between segments of families will eventually be proven by more advanced DNA testing and analysis than we have now.  However, some will still require more traditional research.  That can’t be done just on the Internet, since most records still haven’t been digitized and put online.  Doing some of this research would be a good project for one of you who is part of this large family group and would like to have answers.  Good luck!






This is another story about correspondence with someone triggering a search, which resulted in an expansion of compiled information.  Donna Graves of Canada wrote that her Graves family settled in Simcoe Co., Canada, and were loyalists who went to Canada from the northeastern part of the U.S.  It isn’t clear whether that story of migration from the U.S. is correct; from census records it appears questionable.  However, it is known that the family was from Nottinghamshire, England, and the census records clearly show that the name was originally spelled Greaves.


From census records, research of others, and various other records, genealogy 224 has been compiled for John Greaves (born about 1762) and Phoebe Crooks of Warsop and Worksop, Nottinghamshire, England.  This Greaves family lived in the area east of Sheffield, between Ollerton and Dinnington, for at least 200 years, and possibly much longer.


There are many other Greaves families for which genealogies have been compiled living in this same area.  See the Charts page of the GFA website, especially the section for the Greaves Families of Yorkshire.  It can be seen there that only two of the many Greaves families of this area have had descendants take a Y-DNA test.  These are genealogy 70 (Richard Greaves of Bradfield, Yorkshire (near Ecclesfield) & Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England), and genealogy 316 (Thomas Greaves and Martha ‑‑‑‑‑‑ of Holmfirth, Yorkshire, England).  Neither of these two genealogies shares a common Greaves ancestor, based on the descendants who have been tested so far.


It would seem reasonable to think that genealogy 224 (mentioned at the start of this article) might be related to some of these Yorkshire families, since some of them lived in the same area.  And it would also be reasonable to think that some of them might be descended from genealogy 228 (Greaves Family of Beeley, Derbyshire), since Beeley is only about 25 miles from Worksop (the area where gen. 224 lived), and even closer to Sheffield.  Traveling from Beeley to Worksop, one passes right through Chesterfield (where some of the members of gen. 70 lived).  See the map of that area below, showing Beeley as point A, Worksop as point B, Sheffield to the north, and Bradfield and Ecclesfield above that.



We have Y-DNA test results from genealogy 70, 228, and 316, and they are all different, even though we might expect them to be the same.  Why are they different?  Either: (1) the Greaves ancestors really are different; or (2) they may share a common Greaves ancestor, but there may be a female in the lineage (because of a father being a non-Greaves but the Greaves name being kept).

If this second explanation is the correct one, then the female break in the ancestral line could be either before or after the earliest known ancestor in a genealogy. If the break is after the earliest known ancestor, that can be discovered by Y-DNA testing of Greaves males from other lines of each genealogy.  Genealogies 70 and 316 are in greatest need to have other lines tested.  Although genealogy 228 has only had two descendants tested (as shown on the chart), the large number of other genealogies descended from it that have had tests performed gives much more assurance of its Greaves Y-DNA haplotype.  The fact that only 1 of the 2 gen. 228 tests match the expected haplotype indicates that even for that genealogy, more tests are desirable.  See the summary chart on the GFA Charts page for an idea of the number of families believed to descend from gen. 228.  For gen. 70, there have been 3 tests (but they are all for descendants of John Greaves, b. 1730, as shown on the chart), and for gen. 316, there has only been 1 test.


To further investigate the structure of the Greaves families of the Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire area of England, all the various Greaves families of this area need to have male Greaves descendants located and Y-DNA tested.  Does anyone have any idea how to make that happen, and will you volunteer to help?






I occasionally mention Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter because it contains so many interesting articles.  Among the articles of interest to me in the newsletter of Aug. 6, 2013, were:


·      More on the American version of Who Do You Think You Are? on TLC and Genealogy Roadshow on PBS.

·      Search Historical Newspaper Archives with  The purpose of is to make it possible to search all of the world’s digital newspapers from one place and at one time.

·      100,000 Family History Books Now Online.  This is the number of books on the FamilySearch website that have been scanned and placed online.  They can be read on their website free of charge.  Just go to their website, click on Search and then click on Books.

·      Your Television Costs You $12,000 a Year of More.  He points out the benefits of giving up most television viewing.  He also suggests dropping cable or satellite service and getting TV via an antenna and over the Internet.






The Weekly Genealogist is an online publication of the New England Historic Genealogical Society.  In the August issue (vol.  16, no 32), the following articles were some of those of interest:

·      Treasure Family Photos Campaign at  “MyHeritage has created a dedicated website offering resources and information about to genealogists and families worldwide about preserving and researching family photographs.”

·      In the Digital Age, the Family Photo Album Fades Away, an article by Heidi Glenn, is related to the preceding article.  It discusses how to handle pictures in the digital age.





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



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