Vol. 18, No. 1, Feb. 28, 2016


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 © 2016 by the Graves Family Association and Kenneth V. Graves.  All rights reserved.


Information on how to be removed from the subscription list is at the end of this bulletin.  If you received this bulletin directly, then you are already subscribed.  If you received it from a friend and want to subscribe, send an email message with your full name to


Click on these links to visit the GFA website and our Facebook page.






** General Comments

** Graves Family Gatherings Scheduled

** Diaries of Elizur Hiram Graves of Brooklyn, WI

** Graves Family Books Still Available

** Updates to the GFA Website

** The Best and Worst of Genetic Genealogy Events in 2015

** Interesting DNA Articles

** Using Organisms On and In Our Bodies to Trace Our Ancestry

** One Possible Explanation for Unexpected Ancestry

** Presumed White Ancestor Listed As Black in U.S. Census

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things






It’s hard to believe that this is now the 18th year that the Graves Family Bulletin has been published.  When it was started in 1997, most people on my list didn’t have email. How times have changed. Now almost everyone probably has email, and for some email is already old-fashioned – they are using instant messaging and social media.


I wish you all well for 2016 and hope all of you will make new genealogical discoveries in this new year.






THOMAS SIMS GRAVES OF VA (Part of Genealogy 94)

The descendants of Thomas Sims Graves of Virginia, and Fayette and Nelson Counties, KY are planning a gathering in Bardstown, KY on Wednesday, Sept. 8 through Sunday, Sept. 11, the weekend before the Bourbon Festival.  To learn more, click here.  This is part of genealogy 94, descendants of William Graves and Sarah Fisher of Culpeper Co., VA and KY.  This is part of the very large group, including Francis Graves of VA (gen. 220), John Greaves of St. Mary’s Co., MD (gen. 247), Rear Adm. Thomas Graves of Charlestown, MA (gen. 28), and many more, possibly descended from the Greaves family of Beeley, Derbyshire.  This announcement was sent by Michael D. Graves of Chapell Hill, TX.



The part of this family living in Arkansas will be having their annual reunion on May 21.  It’s always the Saturday before the fourth Sunday of May in Langley, Pike Co., AR.  Dinner will be at the Fish Nest in Glenwood, AR on Saturday afternoon, and then church and dinner on the ground, Sunday, at the Langley Hall Cemetery.  For more information, contact Shawn Smith on Facebook.






Ms. Judy Rysdon, descended from George Graves of Hartford, CT (genealogy 65) has created a blog where she is gradually posting the diaries of her great-great-grandfather Elizur Hiram Graves.  He was born in 1853, died in 1936, and married Leonora Arvilla Slauson.  There were a total of 44 diaries but she only has the 18 that her father had.  You can see the 1916 diaries that she has published online here.  She has also published 1888 and 1895 as books.






A few copies of the 7 Graves family books that have been published are still available for sale from me (Ken Graves).  As of today, however, there are only 10 copies of the Thomas Graves of Hartford, CT book (genealogy 168), 16 copies of the Robert Graves book (part of genealogy 270), and 20 copies of the Rear Adm. Thomas Graves book (genealogy 28) remaining.


The books available for sale are the following, and ordering details can be found on the GFA website here.  It is planned to publish additional books in the future as e-books or in print-on-demand format, but no publishing schedule has been set.


ROBERT GRAVES of Anson Co., NC and Chesterfield Co., SC, Ancestors and Descendants (descendant of genealogy 270)

This book is about all known descendants of Robert Graves, believed when this was published to be a sixth generation descendant of Capt. Thomas Graves, who arrived in Jamestown, VA in 1608. The probable descent of Robert was believed to be: (1) Thomas, (2) John, (3) Thomas, (4) John, (5) Thomas, m. Ann Davenport, (6) Robert. Robert Graves was born about 1735-40. He had at least three sons: Lewis, b. 1760, m. Ruth Worthy (or Worthan); John, b.c. 1763; and Richard, b. 1765. This is now known to be part of genealogy 270. Published in 1980, 408 pages, $26.00 + $3.00 shipping.


SAMUEL GRAVES of Lynn, MA (genealogy 83)

From Lincolnshire and Norfolk, England. He came to America about 1630, and settled in Lynn, MA. Published in 1985, 446 pages, $36.00 + $3.00 shipping.


THOMAS GRAVES of Hartford, CT and Hatfield, MA (genealogy 168)

Born before 1585 in England, settled in Hartford before 1645, and moved to Hatfield, MA in 1661. Includes everything in the 1896 book by John Card Graves, plus much more. Published in 1985, 710 pages, $46.00 + $3.00 shipping.



A summary of all known Graves/Greaves families everywhere (as of 1994). Contains a summary genealogy (at least the first 2 generations) of 200 families, a brief description of 39 others with insufficient information for a genealogy, and discussion of possible connections between some of the families. Published in 1994, 509 pages, $41.00 + $3.00 shipping.


REAR ADMIRAL THOMAS GRAVES of Charlestown, MA (genealogy 28)

Born 1605 at Ratcliff or Stepney, England, settled in Charlestown, MA about 1637. Includes descendants in England of his great-grandfather, Thomas Greaves. Published in 1994, 267 pages, $23.00 + $3.00 shipping.


DEACON GEORGE GRAVES of Hartford, CT (genealogy 65)

Born in England, settled in Hartford, CT about 1636, as one of the original proprietors. Published March 1995, 446 pages, $35.00 + $3.00 shipping.


JOHN GRAVES of Concord, MA (genealogy 166)

Born in England, settled in Concord, MA about 1635. Published March 2002, 1703 pages, 2 volumes, $75.00 + $5.00 shipping.






These are changes and additions to the GFA website since the last list of changes.


Updated pages:

           Numerical Index, charts.php

           Croshaw Family page, croshaw.php (to help find ancestry of Capt. Thomas Graves)

           Graves Family Books, gfabooks.php


New charts

           Croshaw-R-Y-SNP-chart.pdf, Croshaw Y-DNA SNP Chart


Updated charts:

           E-Y-SNP-chart.pdf, Graves/Greaves Y-DNA SNP Chart for Haplogroup E

           R-Y-SNP-chart.pdf, Graves/Greaves Y-DNA SNP Chart for Haplogroup R


New Genealogies:

           Gen. 544, James Leonard Graves and Martha Elizabeth Collier of AL and MS

           Gen. 552, William Charles Greaves and Anna Schucharst of Manchester, England and NJ

           Gen. 588, William Graves and Amelia ------ of Southampton, Hampshire, England

           Gen. 634, Helen Grieve and John Rose of Scotland


Revised genealogies:

           Gen 10, Elijah Graves of U.S. & Ontario, Canada

           Gen. 22, James Graves and Melvina ------ of Caswell Co., NC

           Gen. 145, John Graves of Halifax Co., VA

           Gen. 168, Thomas Graves of Hartford, CT & Hatfield, MA

           Gen. 169, Capt. Thomas Graves of VA

           Gen. 215, John Graves of VA

           Gen. 284, John Graves and Eunice Spencer of Haddam, CT

           Gen. 511, Daniel Graves and Patsey ------ of Augusta, Rockingham & Montgomery Counties, VA

           Gen. 549, Parents of Larkin Graves and Narcissa Hazelwood of TN & IL

           Gen. 602, William Claude Graves and Maude Hollis of KY & CO

           Gen. 952, James Grieve and Ann/Agnes ‑‑‑‑‑‑ of Wilton, Roxburghshire, Scotland






In her DNAeXplained -  Genetic Genealogy blog, Roberta Estes wrote an interesting article titled “The Best and Worst of 2015 – Genetic Genealogy Year in Review.”  Some of the events the article mentions are the tremendous advances and discoveries within DNA testing and the huge increase in the number of Y-DNA SNPs discovered.  This is going to allow us to discovery so many of our connections within genealogic time.  Also, the huge growth in the number of people taking autosomal tests at, 23andMe, and Family Tree DNA, and the increasing number of analytical tools to help us make sense of these test results is very helpful.  Read the article to see the many other events mentioned.






The following blog articles may be helpful in understanding some of the issues involved in using DNA test results to trace ancestry.


See an article in “The Lineal Arboretum” blog here.


And an article in the “Owston/Ouston One-Name Study” here.






An interesting article titled “What the tiny mites on our faces reveal about our history” was recently published in The Christian Science Monitor.  According to the article, “Scientists say that face mites evolved along with their human hosts.”  Since they are only shared between close family members, the genetic diversity of the mites is linked to the dispersal of humanity out of Africa.  Other parasites, such as bedbugs and lice, have also been studied to shed light on early human behavior and migration.






An interesting article titled “DNA Reveals Far-Off Origins of Ancient ‘Gladiators’” was published Jan. 19 in the National Geographic Society blog.  You can see it here.  Other than it’s being an interesting article, it is pertinent to some of you because it discusses the DNA testing of at least 7 skeletons from a Roman-era cemetery in York, England.  York was once a major outpost on Rome’s distant frontier, and it was home to both locals and to immigrants from thousands of miles away.  Six of the skeletons had DNA matching people living in modern-day Wales, but a seventh skeleton’s DNA matched that of Palestine or Saudi Arabia.


“Inscriptions, literary sources, and other evidence have suggested the Roman Empire’s elite often immigrated from one part of the empire to another.  There’s even a Roman burial from York that contained a woman from Africa wearing an ivory bracelet.”  Other evidence from the same cemetery indicates an origin from Germany or elsewhere in Europe.


“What connection does this have with Graves/Greaves ancestry?” you might ask.  My observation is that people are often (or perhaps usually) surprised (and sometimes not especially pleased) if they find an unexpected origin.  Sometimes they suspect an error in the testing and may order a retest.  This may be especially true for a Y-DNA test result in haplogroup E, which is generally considered to be African, or at least from the Near East.  The origin of at least parts of haplogroup E may still be open to debate.  Our Graves/Greaves Y-DNA project does have several men of English ancestry who are in haplogroup E.


One thing we tend to forget is that we are all a mixture of many different ancestors, and the Y-DNA ancestry of any male is only an infinitesimal part of his total ancestral, since with every generation back into the past the contribution of that direct male line is diminished by half.


One of a number of articles that discuss some aspects of this same subject can be found here in an article titled “10 Surprising Ancestral Origins Revealed by DNA Testing”.






An article in The Root titled “Why Is My White Ancestor Listed As Black in the Census” can be seen here.  This is especially interesting because if you do a lot of searching through U.S. census records, you are almost certain to find an example of this.  Then the question is whether this is an error or not.  The article discusses not only the correctness of census records, but the issue of how people self-identify, and the belief by some that any African ancestry (even “one drop”) made a person black.  Some of the records searched for the answer to the question posed by the article’s title may be helpful to some.





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



Send any material you would like to have included in this bulletin to  The editor reserves the right to accept, edit or reject any material submitted.



If you do not already belong to the GFA, you can join by sending $20 per year to Graves Family Association, 20 Binney Circle, Wrentham, MA 02093 (more details on GFA website).  Payment may also be sent electronically to via PayPal.



Although the contents of this bulletin are copyrighted by the Graves Family Association and Kenneth V. Graves, you are hereby granted permission, unless otherwise specified, to re-distribute part or all to other parties for non-commercial purposes only.