Vol. 19, No. 5, July 31, 2017


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 © 2017 by the Graves Family Association and Kenneth V. Graves.  All rights reserved.


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** General Comments

** DNA Test Sale at Family Tree DNA

** Graves Family Gathering in Virginia, Oct. 25-28, 2017

** An Interesting Comment About Privacy, DNA and Family History

** Some Comments About Visiting Ancestral Areas in England

** We Need More Graves/Greaves Y-DNA Testers in England

** The Big Tree for Males Descended from SNP R-P312

** Updates to the GFA Website

** Some Interesting Articles

** Another Reason for Not Finding Surname Ancestry

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things






I had hoped to complete a couple of articles about DNA testing for this issue, but they will have to wait for the next issue.  On that general subject, however, we need people willing to use their expertise (or to learn how), for both Y-DNA and autosomal DNA, to move our DNA projects along.  It isn’t very difficult to learn, but it requires people willing to spend time on a regular basis.  I don’t have enough time to do much of what is needed, but I can help provide guidance and overall coordination.


In addition to the announcement of the August DNA testing sale by Family Tree DNA, this issue also has some articles on various subject of possible interest and help.






If you are already a customer of Family Tree DNA, you have probably already received notification of their Friends and Family Sale, which will start Aug. 1 and will continue through the entire month of August.  This is an opportunity for those males who are part of a family that has not yet had a Y-DNA test (to find which ancestral Graves/Greaves family they are part of) to take a test at a reduced price.


It is also a really good opportunity to take a Big Y test to find or confirm your place on the haplotree.  The first announcement I received as a group administrator said they were going to charge a sale price of $449, but later today they changed that to $395, a very good deal!  Details of the sale items and pricing are below.


For anyone who orders a test as a new customer, be sure to join the Graves DNA project.  The easiest way to do this is to go to the Family Tree DNA website by clicking here. Then enter Graves in the box for “Search your Surname” and hit Enter.  Then click on the project called Graves.  You should then be able to order the sale-priced test you want as part of the Graves DNA project





Family Finder


mt/mtPlus to FMS




Big Y


Y-37 + FF


Y12 – 37




Y25 – 37




Y37 – 67


Y-67 + FMS + FF


Y-37 – 111




Y67 – 111







As previously announced, there will be a Graves Family Association Gathering in Virginia on Oct. 25-28, 2017.  An updated schedule with full information has been posted on the GFA website (click here) and on the GFA Facebook page.  This event is especially for all those whose ancestors lived in Virginia in the 1600s and 1700s, but all Graves descendants are welcome.






Doris Wheeler just posted a comment on the ISOGG email list about Privacy and DNA testing that echoed my feelings.  She wrote: “For those who want privacy in this day and age... Do not buy insurance products, do not visit a doctor or any medical facility, do not have a bank account, do not apply for or carry credit cards, do not own property or pay taxes, do not vote, do not work except for cash, do not access the internet, and the list goes on. It's absurd to focus on DNA testing. The return versus effort expended is minuscule compared to these others.”


These comments were made in regard to a class action suite against Gene by Gene, the parent company of Family Tree DNA.  There is potential for this suit to severely impact the ability of Gene by Gene to conduct its business, and of DNA testers to receive all the services that they have been receiving.


This issue of privacy also applies to publishing family history books.  From 1980-2002, I published 7 books on Graves families, only the first one about my own Graves family.  In addition to the time and money involved in publishing or updating any future books, the privacy issue is a major problem.  Unfortunately, I believe that perception of danger far overrules real danger, and I have handled the issue so far by not publishing more books.  I am unsure about how to handle this issue in the future.






I was hoping to visit some of the areas in England this summer where our Graves and Greaves families originated and lived.  Prior to and during this visit, I was hoping to meet with descendants of these families.  This was intended to be a scouting trip to be followed up the next year by a group tour for all those interested.  For several reasons, my trip won’t be happening this year, but I will try to plan it for next summer.


My original plan was to concentrate on the R1-047 family consisting of genealogies 47 and 270.  This Greaves family was found on both sides of the border between Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire.  In addition to having documented more descendants of the family than any other, this happens to be the family I am descended from.


Partly with the objective of attracting more people, I have been thinking that maybe the trip should focus on 3 of the most important (i.e. largest) Graves/Greaves families.  All 3 locations are very close together.

Š          R1-168, which includes genealogies 168 and the best-documented part of gen. 169 for Capt. Thomas Graves of VA. This family may be from the Hertford, Hertfordshire/Harlow, Essex area, although that is not certain.  We have n genealogy nor any DNA testers of the family in England.

Š          R1-047 (mentioned above)

Š          R1-228b, with the emphasis on gen. 28 in London.  Although this family group has the most branches in the U.S. and Canada of any Graves/Greaves family, gen. 28 is the only family in England proven to be part of this group.


Let me know if you have any comments or suggestions about this subject.






Most of those with the Graves, Greaves, and other spellings of our name who have submitted genealogies and taken DNA tests, and are involved with the Graves Family Association, live in the former British colonies (especially in the U.S., Canada, and Australia).  A problem is that many of the genealogies for families in England are sparse, most overseas families (especially those in the U.S. who often emigrated earlier) have difficulty connecting to families in England, and we have relatively few people in England who have taken DNA tests (especially Y-DNA tests).


We very much need more Y-DNA tests from people in England.


Recent comments from Debbie Kennett (an ISOGG member who lives in England) were: “If you want to identify the point of origin in Great Britain you need to proactively test people with your surname in Great Britain. This means using electoral registers, telephone directories and other records to identify living people with your surname and contacting them by post or by e-mail to encourage them to test. Ideally you should provide funding for the tests. If you are able to sponsor free tests, you can add the details to the list of free DNA tests in the ISOGG Wiki.”  (We have had an offer of a free test there for years, but have never had any takers.)


“If people have a rare surname or an unusual forename then you can often find contact details with a simple Google search.  I’ve also been able to contact people on various social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. On Facebook it’s better if you can set up a group for your surname because if you try and send messages to people who aren’t your “friends” the message gets filtered into an “Other messages” folder, which people rarely look at.  If you post an offer of a free test people will respond by e-mail.”



I have already contacted people on Ancestry and LinkedIn about this, with no positive response.  I will now put occasional posts on our GFA Facebook page. Although I have a Twitter account, I don’t know how to use it effectively for something like this.


Can those of you who live in England or have contacts there begin to publicize our desire to get more testers in England?  Can you try to contact those on electoral registers and in telephone directories?  Can you find people in England who can recruit testers and help spread the word?


Regarding money to pay for free Y-DNA37 tests, we have some funds in the GFA account, and there is an account on the Family Tree DNA website to contribute to this effort.  The instructions for contributing to this fund are:

1.       Go to the General Fund Donation page.

2.       In the first menu, select the first letter of the project’s name.

3.       In the second menu, select the name of the project.

4.       In the Donation Amount: field, enter the amount you wish to donate.

5.       Fill out the Donation Type:, Donor Name:, and Note: fields.

6.       Click the PayPal button and complete their form.






Most male descendants of Graves/Greaves genealogies are haplogroup R, and most of those are either descended from SNP R-U106 or SNP R-P312.  For those descended from R-P312, the Big Tree is very helpful.  This includes R1-047 (for genealogies 47 and 270), R1-013 (for genealogies 13 and 591), R1-018 (for genealogies 84 and 145), and R1-168 (for genealogies 10, 65, 107, 168, 169).


The Big Tree is managed by Alex Williamson and can be accessed here.  Participation in this project is encouraged.  Instructions for submitting data can be accessed by clicking the Instructions link at the top of the page.






Updated pages:

Š          charts.php, Numerical Listing of charts and genealogies

Š          index.php, Main Page


New charts

Š          chart214.pdf, Joel Graves of NY (Gen. 214 & 506)

Š          chart270a-Robert.pdf, Autosomal DNA chart for Robert Graves, descended from John Graves of Northamptonshire, England & VA (Gen. 270)


Updated charts:

Š          DNAchart65.pdf, Deacon George Graves of Hartford, CT (Gen. 65)

Š          chart116.pdf, John Graves of Frederick Co., VA (Gen. 116)

Š          DNAchart116.pdf, Graves families of Cambridgeshire, England (Gen. 116, 231 & 683)

Š          DNAchart166.pdf, John Graves of Concord, MA (Gen. 166)

Š          DNAchart168.pdf, Thomas Graves of Hartford, CT (Gen. 168)

Š          DNAchart247.pdf, John Greaves of St. Mary’s Co., MD (Gen. 247)

Š          chart270a.pdf, Autosomal DNA chart for John Graves of Northamptonshire, England & VA (Gen. 270)


New Genealogies:

Š          Gen. 649, George Grave/Greaves and Dorothy Goodman of Cumbria & Lancashire, England


Revised genealogies:

Š          Gen. 13, William Graves and Elizabeth ------ of VA, NC, TN & KY

Š          Gen. 116, John Graves of Frederick Co., VA

Š          Gen. 150, James Graves and Mary Copeland of VA and GA

Š          Gen. 214, Joel Graves of NY

Š          Gen. 363, Phillip Graves of KY

Š          Gen. 372, Parents of Joseph Graves of TN who married Amanda Vaughn

Š          Gen. 377, Reuben Grave of Cumbria, England

Š          Gen. 391, Thomas Greaves and Elizabeth Healey of Hinckley, Leicestershire, England

Š          Gen. 506, William Graves and Elizabeth Donnelson of NY & Lenawee Co., MI






Ethnicity and Physical Features Are NOT Accurate Predictors of Parentage or Heritage

This blog article by Roberta Estes can be seen here.  She reports in her article that, as the result of ethnicity results from autosomal DNA testing, some people are doubting their parentage or their earlier ancestry.  She emphasizes that the results of ethnicity testing is not an accurate predictor of parentage, and she explains why in considerable detail.  She also explains what ethnicity testing does show, and how to test for paternity if desired.


Ancient Mummies Finally give Up Their Genetic Secrets

This article in the Smithsonian Magazine discusses DNA testing of two mummy collections from German universities.  The mummies were 2,000 to 3,000 years old.  This is interesting for at least two reasons.  One is the historical information that is being learned from these studies, and the other the increasing ability to extract DNA from such ancient samples. 


A Special Situation That May Confuse DNA Testing

There are certain situations where a person’s body can contain the cells and DNA identity of more than one individual.  According to Wikipedia “A genetic chimera is a single organism composed of cells from different zygotes.  This can result in male and female organs, two blood types, or subtle variations in form…. Another way that chimerism can occur in animals is by organ transplantation… For example, a bone marrow transplant can change someone’s blood type.”


A 2012 article from the International Journal of Legal Medicine, titled “Genetic investigation of biological materials from patients after stem cell transplantation based on autosomal as well as Y-chromosomal markers” showed that “not only post-transplant blood and buccal swab, but also recipient hair, up to now regarded as devoid of any donor’s cells, do not constitute entirely safe material for forensic purposes. Their analysis can lead to the false identification of gender or male haplotype.”  Therefore, other methods should be used to confirm results obtained from crime scenes.  Regarding DNA tests for genealogy, it is possible that stem cell transplants can sometimes give misleading results.






Roberta Estes has just published an article on her DNAeXpalined blog titled “Enforced Bastardry in Colonial America – A DNA Monkey Wrench.”  You can read it here.  Something I was not fully aware of was the complete nature of indentured servant practice in colonial America.


Roberta wrote: “One of the reasons surname matching issues can occur, but that we seldom think of, is the situation in colonial American where indentured servants, those who sold away from 5 to 9 years of their life in exchange for passage to America, were forbidden to marry.  Therefore, if a female became pregnant, she was forced to have the child outside of marriage – meaning the child took her surname.


If a male indentured servant impregnated someone, he too was forbidden to marry – so the child took the mother’s surname and life went on.


Based on the court notes from Richmond County, Virginia, beginning in 1692, and from Rappahannock County, before that, this was a lot more common that one would think.”


There is much more discussion of history and the implications of this practice in the article.





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



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