A Free, Occasional, Online Summary of Items of Interest to Descendants of all Families of Graves, Greaves, Grieves, Grave, and other spelling variations Worldwide


Vol. 3, No. 4, October 27, 1999




Copyright © 1999 by the Graves Family Association and Kenneth V. Graves. All rights reserved.


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**Graves Family Newsletter Schedule & Contents

**Graves Family Books

**Be Cautious About Accepting Undocumented, Submitted Genealogies

**Graves Family Association Web Site

**Finding Your Graves/Greaves Ancestors in the 1800's

**Volunteers and the Graves Family Association

**Trips and Reunions

**To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things






The October issue of the newsletter will be going to the printer within the next several days and will be mailed before the middle of November.


Contents of the August issue of the newsletter include:

** Graves names listed in the DAR Patriot Index,

** a discussion of descendants of Francis Graves, son of Capt. Thomas Graves, and the possible ancestry of James Graves who married Mary Copeland

** Noble Graves of VT

** Descendants of parents of John Graves and Adaline Johnson of Louisa Co., VA, descendants of William Lynch Graves of Albemarle Co., VA & Madison Co., TN, and descendants of John Graves and Edith June ------ of Albemarle Co., VA.


Contents of the October issue of the newsletter include:

** Descendants of George Graves and Mary Ann Roach of South Australia

** Descendants of Daniel Graves and Mary Ferguson of NH and Ontario, Canada

** Descendants of George Washington Graves and Eliza A. ------ of IN & OH

** Descendants of William Graves and Betsey Holt of Skowhegan, ME, and descendants of Betsey E. Graves and Joseph S. Pooler of Maine

** Descendants of Leonard B. Graves and Susan Day of Albemarle Co., VA & Jefferson Co., MO

** Ancestry of Bartlett Lane Graves of KY & MO






The John Graves of Concord, MA book is getting closer to publication. Because of its large size (probably close to 1600 pages with indexes) it will not be available by the end of the year. However, we may be able to tell you the price of the book before the end of year. That would allow you to place an order and give the book as a Christmas present if you want to.


After the John Graves book is published, we will continue with the publication of the other books in the order previously mentioned:

** Graves Families of Randolph Co., NC

** John Graves of Frederick Co., VA

** Capt. Thomas Graves of VA






Experienced genealogists and many genealogy societies have long emphasized that submitted genealogies, especially those that are undocumented, should be used as guides only, and not accepted as the final word. With the huge increase in the use of the Internet to search for family information, and the increased available of submitted genealogies online, this has become even more of a problem. Many people just want to find someone else who has done the work and copy their information. The problem with this is that there is much material out there that is wrong, and the wrong information never seems to go away. It is okay to find what is already out there, but use that as a starting point and verify that the information is correct.


Common sources of compiled genealogies are the Broderbund Family Tree Maker CD's and the LDS Ancestral File. Recently GFA member Patti Graves sent me a chart from the Ancestral file on the LDS Family Search site that is one of the worst cases of garbled information I have ever seen. It combines a total of 4 different Graves family on a single chart as if they were a single family, apparently relying mainly on name similarities. The chart purports to show the ancestors of Samuel Graves, born about 1677, who was actually a son of Thomas Graves, Quaker, of New Castle Co., DE. However, the chart shows him as son of Samuel Graves of the family of Thomas Graves of Hartford, CT & Hatfield, MA. The chart shows Samuel's father Isaac as a son of a Thomas Graves of a third family born in Homersfield, England. And it has this Thomas Graves married to Sarah Steadman, who was actually the second wife of a son of Rear Admiral Thomas Graves of Charlestown, MA. To top it off, the chart shows Thomas Graves married 1882 and died 1662 (20 years earlier), and Sarah born 1644 with a son born 1620.







More changes have been made to the site. New genealogies have been added, and the page for famous Graves family members has been expanded. Look for more additions and changes in the future.


Soon we expect to have activity in the section for African American and Native American ancestry, since two volunteers have offered to develop that part of the site.


Let us know if you have other ideas and suggestions, or would like to help.






We are all anxious to learn more about our Graves or Greaves ancestry. Some of us are expert researchers who know how to search and how to properly document our work, others of us are beginners, and most are in between.


One of the most common situations are those of you who have an ancestor born in the United States in the mid to late 1800's and you want to find his or her parents. I usually say to look at the census records for that person as an adult head of household or wife of a head of household to get as much information as possible, including year and place of birth, and then to look at the 1850-1870 censuses to find the person as a child in the household of his parents. This normally requires going to a library or LDS Family History Center that has census indexes and census records on microfilm or CD-ROM (or can order them), checking the census index for the year and state of interest, and then looking at the individual records. When looking for the person as a child in the household of his parents, it may be necessary to look at all Graves or Greaves families in an entire state, a big job, but usually very successful. I usually then say (if this is from e-mail correspondence) that if the searcher will send me their postal mailing (snail mail) address, I will be happy to put a query for them in the Graves Family Newsletter.


Often that is the last I hear from the person. Since the success rate is high for those who do pursue this advice, that is unfortunate. If you are one of those and you don't know how to find a facility near your home that has these records or you don't know how to do the searching, we can provide detailed instructions. If you don't want to do the searching yourself, maybe we can find someone else to do it free or for a fee. Don't just hope that a miracle will reveal the answers to you -- usually there is no replacement for your own research, and it is not always easy.






Genealogy is very much about people sharing information and helping others. This sharing is an important part of the Graves Family Association. But the most important reason for the Association is that much more can be accomplished by working together in an organized manner than by working alone. As an organization we can organize the tasks to be done, divide up the work, and record, organize, prove, preserve and publish the results. But to do this we need your participation as a member and as a volunteer.


Your membership in the Graves Family Association not only gives you the Graves Family Newsletter 6 times per year and the latest membership directory, but also allows part of your money to fund research and record gathering. However, what is needed even more is your involvement. Two areas where volunteers are most needed are (1) doing and coordinating research and (2) locating and attracting people to the GFA and organizing Graves/Graves gatherings. More information about these activities is on the GFA website at


(1) The area of research includes being a coordinator for all or part of a family group, gathering records from censuses, vital records, wills, etc., and planning and coordinating the efforts of professionals researchers that we hire. These activities have lagged because we haven't had the volunteers to do them.


(2) The area of promoting the GFA, attracting members, and organizing gatherings is very important. If we can meet other Graves/Greaves descendants, it will help us feel more like we are part of a larger family. We can exchange information and cooperate on projects more easily. And if we go looking for other descendants in our own geographical area, we can find lots more people who can help each other. The gatherings can be either regional or national. In addition to various places in the U.S. and Canada, activities and gatherings are needed in the U.K., Australia and New Zealand.






There will be a future trip to England and Ireland. The last one was in 1995, but the one scheduled for this past spring was cancelled because we didn't get quite enough people. Let me know if any of you have any thoughts about a future trip. We have the option of a professionally planned trip (like last time) that would be somewhat more expensive, or a more informal trip that would save some money and might not require a minimum number of participants.


We plan to have a reunion in 2008 in Jamestown or Williamsburg, VA to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the arrival in the colony of Capt. Thomas Graves. We need to start planning this considerably in advance. Since I think there may be a celebration planned for 2007 for the 400th anniversary of the first landing in Jamestown, should we consider having our gathering then instead of in 2008? Would you like to help plan?


Other suggestions for reunions include a reunion for the descendants of a particular immigrant ancestor, perhaps in cooperation with the town or city where they arrived, or in cooperation with an appropriate historical society. For instance, a reunion for the descendants of Thomas Graves of Hartford, CT and Hatfield, MA could be held in either of those places. Is this of special interest to you? What could we do to make it more exciting?





This bulletin is written and edited by Kenneth V. Graves, Ken Graves is also editor of the Graves Family Newsletter, the official publication of the Graves Family Association. This bulletin will contain announcements and news of special interest to Graves descendants with Internet access. It will not contain queries, genealogies, photos, and the kind of in-depth articles that appear in the Graves Family Newsletter.



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 (for U.S. & Canada) or $30 per year (for all other countries) to Graves Family Association, 20 Binney Circle, Wrentham, MA 02093 (more details on GFA website). Note that membership is for a calendar year so if you join late in the year be sure to specify which year dues are for. Benefits include 6 issues of the newsletter, membership directory, and help with learning more about your Graves/Greaves family. The purpose of the GFA is to bring together as many descendants as possible to work toward learning more about the Graves/Greaves families, to help other descendants, and to instill pride in our ancestry.



Although the contents of this bulletin are copyrighted by the Graves Family Association and Kenneth V. Graves, you are hereby granted rights, unless otherwise specified, to re-distribute articles to other parties for non-commercial purposes only. Do not re-distribute the newsletter in its entirety.



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