Vol. 16, No. 9, Sept. 11, 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

** Sharing the GFA Workload

** Computer Program Needing to be Created

** Free Y-DNA Test Kit Available

** Autosomal DNA Test Matches to Support Common Graves/Greaves Ancestry

** Multiple Graves/Greaves Ancestries

** New Study Shows Neanderthals and Modern Humans Co-existed for Thousands of Years

** Mapping Migration in the United States

** Interesting Items from The Weekly Genealogist

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things






This bulletin is slightly shorter than usual because I will be traveling much of this month.  Many of the articles in this issue are about using DNA to find ancestry and relationships, and various items that I found interesting.







Vann Graves and I have been the two administrators for this group.  Partly because of the growth of this to more than 1200 members and partly to assure that someone is always available to monitor the group, two more administrators have been added.  They are Concetta Phillips and Karen Beverly.



Co-administrators will be added to this project soon, but that has not yet happened.







Y-DNA testing is the best way to determine Graves/Greaves ancestry and to discover which individuals and family groups share a common Graves/Greaves ancestor.  Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) is the only testing company that provides a large selection of Y-DNA tests (using testing of both STRs and SNPs) for genealogical purposes.  The master Y-DNA results table (on the FTDNA website) summarizes all the STR (short tandem repeats) test results on all Graves/Greaves males who have taken this test.  This table can be viewed a couple of ways from the FTDNA website, or by going to the GFA website, clicking on the “Y-DNA Test Results” link on the DNA drop-down menu at the top of the page, and then clicking on the “Y-DNA Test Results on FTDNA Website” link part way down that page.


In that summary table, all Y-DNA test results are arranged into groups that appear to be descended from a common ancestor within genealogical time.  As you can see by looking at the groups, all samples within that group must be part of the same haplogroup (as determined by SNP testing).  However, if anyone in one of these groups checks his Y-DNA matches, he may not see a match with everyone else in that group.  That is because of the restrictions that FTDNA has put on how a match is defined.  There can be no more than a certain number of differences between results for it to be considered a match.  Also, if all or most of the differences are in one narrow area, a person may match another at 111 markers but now at 37 or 67 markers, or they may match at 37 but not at 67 markers.  So how do we figure out from Y-DNA results who is descended from a particular ancestor and who isn’t?  That is one problem.


Another problem is that some descendants of certain genealogies don’t seem to belong to any of the presently existing groups.  Sometimes that may be caused by an ancestor being adopted, changing surnames to inherit property, being descended from a daughter, etc.  There are probably also situations where a genealogy may be descended from a Graves/Greaves ancestor who first took that name when surnames were originally adopted but very few descendants have been tested.  This is especially apt to be the case in England and other European countries where fewer people have been tested than in the U.S.  However, other times they may really share a known common Graves/Greaves ancestor, but a greater-than-usual number of mutations may make the connection uncertain.  An example is genealogy 37 for William Graves of SC and TN.  All test results for that genealogy are presently in the R-Ungrouped group.  However, they look very similar to results in the R1-377 group for Grave/Graves Families of Cambridgeshire and Cumbria.  But how close are they to that group and should they be put there?



What I would like to have is a software program that would analyze Y-DNA STR test results and determine how closely related they are.  This could show how closely one group is related to others, it could show how closely results from a particular genealogy are related to each group, and it could create some sort of ancestral tree (like the haplogroup trees that are presently created from Y-DNA SNP testing, or some other numerical or graphical format that makes sense.  There are existing graphical clustering analysis programs that provide one way to do this, but I have not seen any analysis tool that provides what I would like to have.


In addition to the number of matches or mismatches at various numbers of markers, an analysis toll should ideally be able to account for some markers mutating faster or slower than others.  Also to be considered is that one or more markers with the same value for a subset of samples within a group may indicate that those samples are all part of a single line within a genealogy, while other mutations may not be meaningful.


If anyone has ideas about this and can help create a tool to do something like this, or knows of anyone else who might be able to help, please let me know.  This might be a good computer science project for a child or grandchild, as well as an interesting project for an older computer-savvy person.  Thanks.






There is a 37-marker Y-DNA test kit available for any male with the Graves/Greaves surname from a genealogy that hasn’t yet been tested, from an untested branch of a tested family, or from someone in Europe who may not know whether he is part of a tested genealogy (but who can provide some information on his Graves/Greaves ancestry).  This is a kit that I purchased for someone to use but then couldn’t be used.






Dan Ratchen, descended from John Graves (Johann Sebastian Graff) of genealogy 105 recently wrote that he has a Family Finder match with Robert Eugene Bellamy.  Both of them are descended from genealogy 105 through William Lorenzo Graves (born 1818 in Indiana) and Mary Ann McKinley.  They have a fairly large matching segment on chromosome 1, which is probably from either the Graves line or the McKinley line.  I have just updated the chart for genealogy 105 on the Autosomal DNA page on the Graves Family Association website.


We need for you to let me know of your autosomal DNA matches that are probably on Graves or Greaves ancestors so that I can add them to the appropriate chart.  I will need to know both the chromosome and segment of that chromosome that the descendants share, and the line of descent from that common ancestor (if I don’t already have that information).






Charlotte E. R. Graves recently wrote about her great-aunt, Geneva Frances Graves, born 1920, descended from genealogy 85 (Quaker family of Thomas Graves of New Castle Co., DE).  I found this especially interesting because Geneva married Robert Montgomery Graves, son of Nathaniel Lee Graves, Jr. who married Caroline Hanly, and grandson of Nathaniel Lee Graves who married Florence ‑‑‑‑‑‑, all of genealogy 270.  Nathaniel Lee Graves was a son of Alexander Graves, born 1800 in Granville Co., NC, and Ann Graves.  Alexander Graves was descended from genealogy 169 (Capt. Thomas Graves of VA).  Therefore, anyone descended from Geneva Frances Graves would be descended from three different Graves families.  After I wrote this, I had a very enjoyable phone conversation with Judith Graves, a daughter of Geneva and Robert Graves.


While this may seem unusual, it is probably not as unusual as we might think.  I suspect there are many more instances of similar ancestries that we just don’t know about.



I have noticed that it is usual for anyone descended from a Graves or Greaves ancestor to have autosomal DNA matches to people of multiple Graves/Greaves ancestries.  In a few cases, this may mean the person has more than one Graves/Greaves ancestry, but usually it is because the match is with a non-Graves/Greaves ancestor, and it’s coincidental that the matching person also has Graves ancestry.






Recent genetic studies show that up to 2% of DNA in today’s non-African humans is Neanderthal in origin, suggesting the two groups did interbreed outside Africa.  An international study led by the University of Oxford in the UK has mapped a robust timeline for the disappearance of Neanderthals, finding that contrary to popular belief, they overlapped with modern humans for up to 5,400 years, giving ample time for cultures and genes to mix.  The results of their studies show that Neanderthals disappeared from Europe between 41,030 and 39260 years ago, which is long after modern humans arrived.  You can see the article in Medical News today by clicking here.






The New York Times website for Aug. 15 published an article containing a series of three maps for the years 1900, 1950 and 2012, showing where people who lived in each state of the U.S. were born.  These maps can be seen here.


“In 1900, 95 percent of the people living in the Carolinas were born there, with similarly high numbers all through the Southeast.  More than a hundred years later, those percentages are nearly cut in half.”


The maps shown here are examples of a new kind of chart called a Veronoi treemap map.

  “Updated charts now show two views: where people who live in each state were born, and where people who were born in a state moved to.”  If you click on the “interactive graphic” link at the bottom of the article, you will see a series of individual charts for each state showing where people born in each state have moved from 1900 to 2012.  This could be of some help in tracing the migration of your ancestors and family members.






The Weekly Genealogist, online publication of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, had a couple links to interesting articles in the Aug. 13 and Aug. 26 issues (vol. 17, nos. 33 and 35).



Alex Haley, well-known author of the book and TV mini-series Roots, is of special interest to Graves family members because he may be descended from genealogy 270.  See his profile on the Famous Family Members page on the GFA website.  Even though my research indicates that the Graves ancestry he was believed to have doesn’t seem to be correct, and that he was descended from a brother-in-law of a Graves family member, it is still possible (because of cousin intermarriage) that he could be a Graves descendant by a slightly different line.  It would be great if someone could research that possibility more thoroughly.


The following paragraphs are excerpts from the newspaper article referenced in this section heading.  “In honor of Alex Haley’s 93rd birthday Aug. 11, a Literary Landmark Dedication Ceremony will take place 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at The Alex Haley Museum &Interpretive Center.”


“Alex Haley’s boyhood home, which was built by his grandfather, William E. Palmer in 1919, served as a seat of inspiration for Haley’s Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning novel “Roots: The Saga of an American Family.”  Haley’s works, life and legacy are preserved by the museum.


You can go to the museum website by clicking here.



For those of you interested in preserving cemeteries or in trends in burial practices, this article in Bloomberg Businessweek may be of interest.  An excerpt from the article is below.


"A 756 square-foot mausoleum site in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, N.Y., will set you back $320,000, enough to buy a big boat or a (very) small apartment nearby. The high price of an indoor burial space–one bigger than some New York homes—is perhaps the most rarefied of rich-people problems, but it’s indicative of a broader trend: New York’s cemeteries are filling up. Green-Wood will hit full capacity in five years, and that’s driving up the price of real estate in the hereafter for rich and poor alike."


"The cemetery, built in 1838, is the final resting place to Leonard Bernstein, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and a half-million others. It has been trying to attract history lovers since at least 2002. In recent years, the nonprofit cemetery has taken to selling memberships and charging admissions fees for outdoor yoga classes and trolley tours. An upcoming tour built around the grave of a 19th century whiskey distiller, which costs non-members $30, has already sold out."


"Elsewhere, graveyards have sought to use mobile technology to make themselves more accessible to visitors. Arlington National Cemetery, outside Washington, built a smartphone app to help visitors navigate the graves of U.S. military veterans. An crowdsourced genealogy project called BillionGraves is seeking to catalog headstones around the world and charges $9.99 for premium memberships."


The following two links to articles in the Aug. 26 issue both touched on the subject of issues that can cause problems in families, sometimes resulting in challenges to our genealogical research.



A story from Britain’s Guardian newspaper about how prejudice could influence family dynamics.



A reporter’s story of how it is one thing to know that your family includes slaves and quite another to see that history, with photos and other documents, on display in a museum exhibit.





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



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