Vol. 16, No. 7, July 14, 2014


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 © 2014 by the Graves Family Association and Kenneth V. Graves.  All rights reserved.


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** General Comments

** Graves Families of New England and Canada Descended From the Greaves Family of Beeley, Derbyshire, England

** A Capsule History of

** More Consolidation of Genealogy Information Companies

** Chimeras and DNA Testing

** Explanation of How to Use DNA Testing to Find Ancestors

** The Grave/Graves Family of Cumbria and Cambridgeshire, England

** New Season of Genealogy Programs on TV in the U.S.

** More Maps of the American Nations

** New Y-DNA Haplotree From Family Tree DNA

** How Various Graves/Greaves Families Relate to Each Other

** Top 5 Reasons to Take a DNA Test According to`

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things






There is no particular theme to this issue of the Bulletin.  As usual, there seems to be a lot about DNA testing.


We wish you a happy July, and a happy Bastille Day for those of you who celebrate that holiday.







The Greaves family of Beeley, Derbyshire (genealogy 228) is the earliest known of its family group.  Burke’s Commoners, 1838, says, the first of the members of this family “of whom we possess any authentic record is ------ Les Greaves who was settled at Beeley and Greaves as early as the time of Henry I (reigned 1100-1135, fourth son of William the Conqueror), from which time until the end of the seventeenth century, his descendants continued to reside there.”  A lineage given in genealogy 228 starts with John Grevis, b.c. 1175, but the genealogy itself starts with John Greaves, born about 1490.


The descendants of this Greaves family comprise the largest family group of any of the Graves/Greaves groups on the GFA website.  The list of genealogies can be seen on the Charts page of the website by clicking here.  An overall summary chart of how some of these families may be connected can be seen here.  There are also other summary charts available in this section.


There is a great need to have more information about the descendants of gen. 228, and to get more male Greaves descendants to take a Y-DNA test at a high resolution (preferably 111 markers).  We only have 2 descendants of gen. 228 who have taken the test so far, and those at a fairly low number of markers.



The largest families (the families that have the largest genealogies) that are part of this group in America are Rear Admiral Thomas Graves of Charlestown, MA (gen. 28), John Graves of Concord, MA (gen. 166), John Greaves of St. Mary’s Co., MD (gen. 247), and Francis Graves of VA (gen. 220).  Families in England include the Greaves family of Macclesfield, Cheshire (gen. 334).  Many more descendants in England need to be tested.



This is genealogy 207, and I previously guessed that it might be descended from genealogy 165 (William Graves of Dover, NH).  However, the Y-DNA test results clearly show that gen. 207 is part of the gen. 228 group.  William Graves of gen. 165 may not even have any Graves ancestry back in England, as mentioned in the beginning of that genealogy.


Genealogy 207 could be descended from either gen. 28 or gen. 166.  However, my guess is that gen. 28 is more likely.  The descendants of Rear Adm. Thomas Graves (gen. 28) seem to have been more loyal to England during the American Revolution, and more of them seem to have moved to Canada.  In addition to those who went to Ontario, there was a large Graves family that ended up in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.  This was the descendants of Lt. William Graves (genealogy 238), that was probably descended from Joseph Graves and Rachel Pratt of Framingham, MA (gen. 133) and probably before that from gen. 28.



As with all the families in this group that settled in America, the name was changed from Greaves to Graves.  All of the families in this group in the southern U.S. seem to have been descended from genealogy 166 (John Graves of Concord, MA), genealogy 247 (John Greaves of St. Mary’s Co., MD), or genealogy 220 (Francis Graves of VA).  There appears to have been more interaction between England and the colonies, and more travel between the New England colonies and the southern colonies (especially MD and VA), in the early days (1600s and 1700s) than has been generally recognized.  For instance, it is believed that the group of families from Surry Co. and Randolph Co., NC, were probably descended from genealogy 166, and genealogy 220 may be descended from genealogy 28, both New England families.



Although we would prefer to find documentation for all the many families that share this common Greaves ancestry, our best hope is to find more precise connections via DNA testing.  For descendants of genealogies that are part of this group, it would be helpful for at least one male in each family to upgrade their Y-DNA test to 111 markers.  In addition, we need to use the relatively new SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) tests such as Big Y from Family Tree DNA to find SNPs that are unique to each genealogy and perhaps to lines within the larger genealogies.  You will be hearing more about that in the future.






The following is an interesting follow-up to the article in the last GF Bulletin titled “ Discontinuing Several Services and Businesses.”


There has been much recent discussion about as a result of their discontinuing some of their services and because of the recent denial of services attack on their websites.  (The week of June 16, Ancestry and its subsidiaries were subjected to a Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS) attack, which is an attempt to overload servers and prevent customers from being able to access the websites.  You can see more about that on Wikipedia here.)


Ralph Taylor (on the ISOGG list) recently shared this brief history of on June 20 (with a few additions and editing changes).


Questions were raised about’s relationship with the LDS church and the influence of Permira that acquired them in 2012.   Ralph’s response was: Permira is headquartered in Luxembourg. They are a large conglomerate or hedge fund with investments in businesses ranging from clothing & crockery through genetics software to satellites.  Their history has been one of owning, not managing, companies.  My forecast at the time as to the affect on Ancestry of Permira’s acquisition was “Not much, especially in the short term.” Nor, do I see a Permira hand in the recent developments -- unless their deep pockets attracted the DDOS attack. They paid 1.265 billion Euros for Ancestry and that was only their fifth-largest recent transaction.


The Ancestry/LDS relationship is historically of long standing and more subtle.


       1983, The company was founded in 1983 in Salt Lake City, Utah, to publish genealogy books and magazines. Given the nature of the genealogy community, it would almost be fair to describe Ancestry as growing out of the LDS’ Family History Library, also in Salt Lake. A genealogy business needs access to many records and almost no genealogy repository is as large as the FHL.

       1996, website launched

       1997, Infobases, Inc. acquired a controlling interest

       1998, was introduced as a social networking site.

       1999, the holding company name was changed to Inc.

       2000, -- a free competitor, supported by advertising -- was acquired; this led to GenWeb (online archive of genealogical records) leaving Rootsweb.

       2002, UK version went up.

       2005, was acquired;

       2006, another name change – to “The Generations Network”; expansion to Germany.

       2007, expansion to Australia, France, Italy, China, & Sweden. The Generations Network was acquired by Spectrum Equity Investors; DNA testing was launched as AncestryDNA. (This followed acquisition of the Sorenson databases & Relative Genetics, about 2005.)

       2008, expansion to Toronto, Ontario, Canada and launch of for Chinese customers.

       2009, name changed again – to, Inc. – and stock goes to public trading as ACOM. Global family tree website,, launched in 12 languages.

       2010, sponsored US version of WDYTYA (it continues); acquires,, &; introduced Mac version of Family Tree Maker.

       2011, apps for iPads & iPhones, one million downloads in four months.

       2012, autosomal DNA testing introduced; Ancestry notched two million subscribers; Permira acquired company.  (Permira is a European equity firm with offices in many different places (London, Paris, Madrid, Luxembourg, Tokyo, Milan, Frankfurt, etc).  The press release from Ancestry about the acquisition is here. Here's the Permira website.  Sorenson's database and GeneTree were acquired in 2012.

       2013, autosomal testing made available to all US customers; acquired Find A Grave Inc.; reached exclusive agreement with FamilySearch to digitize, by 2018, one billion records held in a vault; added ethnic origins to DNA results.

       2014, expanded prior FamilySearch agreement to make the digitized records available on its service; officially announced end of Y-DNA & mtDNA testing; suffered DDOS attack.  Both FamilySearch (with the FHL) and Ancestry seem to gain. FamilySearch fulfills its mission by making the heretofore-inaccessible records available (i.e., the records come out of their cave), especially to LDS members & FHC users. Ancestry makes its service more valuable to its paying customers.







Recently we learned about acquiring companies and then discontinuing some of those products.  The following announcement from Cliff Shaw, founder of Mocavo, about their being acquired by Findmypast seems to be another example of this consolidating trend.  However, my superficial understanding of this situation is that maybe Findmypast buying Mocavo is good for everyone, including the customers.


The Mocavo blog of July 12 announced that there will be a live discussion by Michael Leclerc of Mocavo and Joshua Taylor of Findmypast on Wednesday, July 16, at 5 PM EST about what the future holds for the merged company.



Findmypast is a privately held UK-based online genealogy service owned by British company DC Thomson Family History.  They are a competitor to and MyHeritage.  (Inflection was a potential player in this arena back in 2012 as owner of PeopleSmart and but true to the message of this article, acquired in 2012.) can also be considered a competitor, although they are much different, being a volunteer-based, religion-based, non-profit, free service.



“Today is an exciting day for genealogists everywhere as we're announcing that Mocavo has been acquired by Findmypast/DC Thomson Family History. This is a groundbreaking development for the industry and a major turning point in Mocavo's quest to bring all the world's historical information online for free. The wonderful folks at DC Thomson Family History share our vision of the future of family history, and we couldn't be more excited to join them.


For the past few years, the Mocavo team and I have dedicated ourselves to bringing innovation and competition to an industry that is sorely lacking in both. From the very beginning of Mocavo's history, we had this burning desire to figure out how to organize all of the historical information disparately spread across the Web. Not long ago, even with a hard-working and incredibly talented team, our service wasn't resonating with users and our business wasn't working. In October of last year, we decided to do something audacious and bold – something never before tried in the industry. We launched our Free Forever revolution and this became the day when Mocavo’s soul was born. Everything turned around once we put a stake in the ground and stood for free genealogy (and now Mocavo is growing rapidly, putting more than 1,000 free databases online every single day and more users discovering us than ever). We have our loyal and supportive users to thank more than anyone!


One of the immediate benefits of the acquisition is that we’re putting the complete US Census index online for free (forever!), making us the first commercial provider in history to ever do this. Search the United States Federal Census Now.


The next few months are going to be incredibly exciting as we bring together two companies with enormous resources, content, and technology to bring you more of what you love. I’ll also note that nothing on either site will be going away – just getting better (and quickly!).


Lastly, we could not have done this without the support of our loyal community members. We appreciate your dedication and patience, and we look forward to helping you discover even more of your family’s story.”






A recent article by Michael J. Leclerc on the Mocavo blog is titled “What Happens When the DNA Lies?”  It discusses the fact that occasionally with humans a person’s DNA may not match that of a parent or child.  The cause of it is what is called chimerism.  Chimerism is having parts of a body made from a completely different being.  The recent case discussed by Michael Leclerc was of a mother whose DNA did not match that of her children.  The cause of the problem was that a fraternal twin had not survived at a very early stage of development in her mother’s womb, and her twin had been absorbed into her.  Only cells from her thyroid were found to match those of her children.  This kind of non-matching is very rare, but it is helpful to know that it can happen.


Even though chimerism as a cause of non-matching of DNA is rare, it may not be that uncommon to have some degree of chimerism with cells in our body from a child, a mother, or a twin, according to another recent article.






An article published by Roberta Estes on July 6 in her DNAeXplained blog is titled “Identifying Possible Common Ancestors Utilizing Multiple Tests.”  It is an attempt to explain how each test works and how they can be used in combination to find ancestors and relatives.  You may find it of help.






As part of my effort to try to make the master table of Y-DNA test results on the Family Tree DNA website more helpful, I have been looking at the group from Cambridgeshire and Cumbria labeled R1-377 in the table.  Because there was so much diversity within that group, I thought that perhaps it contained non-closely-related genealogies.  I have removed the U.S. families related to genealogy 13 and put them in their own R1-013 group, and a few others have been put in the R-Ungrouped group.


I am confident that the families of Cambridgeshire and Cumbria do share a common ancestor, but the large distance between the two locations puzzles me.  Not only are they about 250 miles apart, but also the families in each location have been there a long time.  The earliest genealogy we have in Cottenham, Cambridgeshire dates to 1576, and the earliest in Cumbria/Cumberland dates to 1565.  What might explain two related groups of families in two places with no known gradual migration route and no related families in between?  My theory is that the family originated in Cumbria and that at least one family member went to the Cottenham area, either as a student as a student at Cambridge University (which is only 6 miles south of Cottenham) or as an appointee at the University (clerical or academic).  One account from the GenUKI website shows the connection between Cottenham and the University of Cambridge.  The map below shows the distance between Keswick, Cumbria and Cottenham.



It was interesting to read the account (in a Wikipedia article) of the great fire of 1850 in Cottenham, probably started by a man who was working for a Thomas Graves.  That same article also mentions that John Coolidge, ancestor of U.S. President J. Calvin Coolidge (a descendant of genealogy 28), was born in Cottenham.


I would be very interested in any research that might support or offer an alternative explanation to my suggestion of why the two parts of the family are so geographically separated.






A new season of six new episodes of the U.S. version of Who Do You Think You Are? will start on July 23 at 9 PM on the TLC Network.  More information is available here.


For anyone who missed any of last year’s Who Do You Think You Are? programs in the U.S. version, they will all be rebroadcast one after the other on TLC on Sunday, July 20 and again on July 23.


The PBS documentary series, Genealogy Roadshow, is looking for stories for the upcoming season.  Unlike Who Do You Think You Are? which is about the ancestry of celebrities, this show “aims to reunite people from all walks of life with their past, present and future.”  For more information, click here.






There have been articles about online maps in the March 30, April 22, May 22, and June 9 issues of this bulletin.  This latest article of May 21 from JayMan’s Blog is not about genealogy, but it may be helpful in understanding our ancestors, the effects they have on us, and why people in various parts of North America think and behave differently.


His premise (for which he gives a rather complete and reasoned argument) is that when people migrate from one place to another, they don’t really get assimilated except superficially.  Their thinking and behavior stays the same, even over many generations.  For example, people from England tend to think and behave differently from those from Germany, even after centuries of living in a new land.  There are many very interesting maps.






Debbie Kennett has recently published an article about the revised and expanded Y-DNA haplotree from Family Tree DNA.  Family Tree DNA created the 2014 Y-DNA Haplotree in partnership with the National Geographic Genographic Project using the proprietary GenoChip. Launched publicly in late 2012, the chip tests approximately 10,000 Y-DNA SNPs that had not, at the time, been phylogenetically classified.


This is interesting, but there has been criticism of the new tree, some people feeling that the tree on the ISOGG website is much better.  The consensus seems to be that creating and maintaining the haplotree is a huge effort and people should try to be patient as the errors and changes develop.  In the meantime, it is interesting to see the many changes and additions.  There will definitely be some changes to this tree and to the suggestions from FTDNA for testing of SNPs.  As always, if you are thinking about ordering SNP testing, you should consult with the appropriate haplogroup project administrator.






All the Graves and Greaves male descendants whose Y-DNA has been tested have been in haplogroups E, I, J, Q, and R, with most of them being in haplogroup R. You can see how these haplogroups relate to each other on the simplified chart I created in 2008 here, and on the 2014 ISOGG chart here, and on the FTDNA chart (a simpler and easier to understand page) here.  More complete information about the ISOGG tree can be seen here.


If you go to the bottom of the DNA test results page on the GFA website (to the Y-DNA SNP Testing section, you will see a series of links to charts for each Y-DNA haplogroup.  As more Graves/Greaves descendants get tested there charts will become much more complete and useful.  We especially need for male descendants with the Graves/Greaves surname to be tested for recommended SNPs (working with the appropriate haplogroup project administrator) and for at least one male in each genealogy to take a test such as Big Y.  The haplogroup R chart is presently the most complete.


On the Charts page of the GFA website (also called the numerical index page), you can find charts showing how it is believed that various genealogies descended from a common ancestor may be connected.  DNA testing is needed to find more specific connections.  You can also see most recent Y-DNA test results in the Master DNA test results table on the FTDNA website.






An article in the blog, dated 2 July 2014, gave 5 reasons to take a DNA test. Although there are many other reasons, the top 5, according to are:

       Learning your ethnicity

       Breaking through a brick wall

       Leaving a legacy

       Connecting to a cousin

       Making new discoveries





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



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