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. 5, No. 2, March 5, 2002




Copyright © 2002 by the Graves Family Association and Kenneth V. Graves.  All rights reserved.


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**Some General Comments

**Sending Payments Online With PayPal

**Other Updates and Additions to the GFA Website

**John Graves of Concord, MA Book

**DNA Analysis Project

**Concerns About DNA Testing

**Next Steps in the DNA Study

**Financial Help Still Needed for DNA Project

**To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things






Every now and then I discover that there are still people out there who think if I am not closely related to them, then I and the Graves Family Association must not be interested in helping them learn more about their part of the family.  Or if their surname is not spelled Graves, then we can’t be of any help to them.  On the contrary, we are interested in ALL the various Graves, Greaves, Grieves, Greve, etc. families of the world, no matter how the name is spelled.


That doesn’t mean that there is enough time to do all we want to do.  Other parts of life demand attention also.  But the goal is to help all descendants of all the various forms of the surname.  And the more we work together and share information and resources, the more progress we will make toward our goals.






You can now send payments online with your credit card or check payment from the U.S. and other countries using PayPal.  This is the online payment service that became popular as a main method of payment on the e-Bay auction site.  To do this now, you need to go to and follow the instructions.  Payments to Ken Graves or Graves Family Association should be made to


As soon as I can get it done, I will be putting information about this on the website.  I even plan to set up an order center on the website to make ordering and paying easier.






In addition to the addition of PayPal as a payment option, I am looking at a members-only section on the website, and at putting the newsletter online and allowing members to read it or print it directly from the website.  I just have to figure out exactly how to do that (and fit it into my schedule).






For those of you eager to receive the John Graves of Concord, MA book, here is the latest news.  The printer had promised a completion date of March 8, 2002, but I was just notified today that they are slightly behind schedule, and the new shipment date is Wednesday, March 13.  Allowing a week to get to me by truck, that means I should have the books by March 20, and will send them to those of you who have placed orders as soon as they arrive.


Additional books will be available and can still be ordered at $75 including shipping (some additional charge for shipping overseas).






As one descendant of Capt. Thomas Graves of VA recently wrote me: “There seems to be a lot of confusing information on the Graves family on the Internet.”  That is especially true for this part of the family, largely because of the lack of reliable documentation.  So many records in the southern U.S. have been lost or destroyed over the centuries.  Even though there has been a great amount of research on the Capt. Thomas Graves family, there are still many connections that are questionable.  I believe that is the reason there is so much variation in the DNA test results for this family.  As we get more participants tested from more different branches of the family with more markers, I expect most of the problems to be resolved.  This DNA study has provided us with an incredible opportunity to discover relationships that would never have been found by conventional genealogical research.


We have received more test results from our testing lab, Family Tree DNA.  A total of 79 samples have now been analyzed and the results posted on the website.  In addition to these results for the basic 12 markers, we have also now received results for the additional 9 markers (total of 21 markers) for 34 samples.  We also now have a total of 117 participants, so more helpful results will continue to be received and will be posted on the website.


To look at the results summary and the preliminary conclusions, you can go to the website at and click on the DNA link at the top of the page.  Or you can go directly to that specific page at


There have not been any great changes in the conclusions since the last Bulletin in January.  However, there have been some changes and additions on the website.  The main addition is a chart page that attempts to show the probable connections between the various Graves/Greaves families for which we presently have results.  You will be able to easily see which lines of some of the major U.S. families have participants and which ones still need testing.  Major uncertainty continues with the Capt. Thomas Graves of VA family, and it is still too early to be sure how to interpret the results.






Occasionally I hear about or sense concerns that people may have about DNA testing.  The following paragraphs list some of these concerns and my comments that I hope will encourage more of you to participate in our DNA study.  Or perhaps the discussion will help address the concern of one of your relatives.


EXPENSIVE: Yes, the test (presently at $248) is expensive.  On the other hand, if it can provide an answer that can be found by no other method, it may be worth it to you.  Getting several family members to share the cost can reduce cost per person.  Finally, especially for family lines that are important to the overall study, I and others will pay for some or all of the testing, resulting in the test being FREE for the participant.


UNCOMFORTABLE: No, the test is simple and completely painless.  No needles and no blood samples are needed.  Rubbing the inside of your cheeks with a plastic swab is all that is required.


NOT HELPFUL: This concern may arise because the DNA test can’t tell the exact connection with another part of the family by itself.  Some traditional genealogical research will still be needed.  Or people may say, “My line was named Greaves and most participants are named Graves”, or “My line lived in England and most participants are from the U.S.”  In fact, the more people who participate in the study, the more valuable it will be for all of us.  We have already found links for many family lines, some of which were completely unexpected.


FRIVOLOUS: There might be the feeling that this is a frivolous use for a serious technology, and the money would be better spent on humanitarian projects.  Actually, this project is more helpful and less frivolous than many activities.  It probably actually helps medical research, since it encourages and supports techniques that may eventually be used for other purposes.  And genealogy as a hobby gives pleasure to many people.


MY SAMPLE NOT NEEDED: On the contrary, as mentioned above, the more lines of descent from various Graves/Greaves/etc. ancestors included in the study, the more likely we are to find connections.


PRIVACY CONCERNS: Participating in this DNA study will not compromise individual privacy in any way.  The test is done on a part of the Y-chromosome that is “junk” DNA; that is, it has no known function.  No medical or other information can be obtained from this analysis.  It is very much in the interest of the laboratories doing DNA analysis to do all they can to provide security and privacy protection, since they would quickly be out of business if they did not.






As mentioned in December, Family Tree DNA has now increased the number of Y-DNA markers they can test for from 12 to 21.  This means that it will now be possible to distinguish between samples that match on 12 of 12 (or even 11 of 12) markers, and more precisely determine the most recent common ancestor.  Because the University of Arizona (that does the testing for Family Tree DNA) preserves DNA samples, there is no need to resubmit an already-submitted sample to get the additional 9 markers tested.  There is an additional cost of $49.  This test will probably be of value to almost everyone in the DNA Study.  As with the previous testing, if you want to add the supplemental test, please let me know and send me a check for $49 payable to Kenneth V. Graves.  New participants don’t need to pay until you return your samples.


If you have not yet returned your DNA samples, PLEASE do so as soon as possible.


For the major North American families that have been tested, additional branches need to be included, and some with unexpected results need to be verified.  These include Capt. Thomas Graves of VA, Thomas Graves of Hartford, CT, John Graves of Concord, MA, John Greaves of St. Mary’s Co., MD, Rear Adm. Thomas Graves, Samuel Graves of Lynn, MA, George Graves of Hartford, CT, the Quaker family of Thomas Graves of New Castle Co., DE, and John Graves of Frederick Co., VA.  Take a look at the charts on the new website page mentioned above to see which branches are already included.


At least as important are the other families that still need to be included in the study.  There is a list of families participating in the DNA study on the GFA website.  There is also a list of some of the families that we would like to see added to the list.  Even if you can’t participate yourself (for instance, because you are a female or not descended through an all-male line), we still need your help.  Maybe you can help sponsor or encourage a male descendant.  Remember, because of the requirements of the Y-DNA test, participants must be males with the Graves/Greaves/etc. surname.  Cost for the basic test is $199 and the supplemental test is $49 (for a total of $248 if you get both).  Don’t let the cost keep you from participating (some or all of the cost may be paid for you).  Families needed include:

**Graves Family of Yorkshire and Mickleton Manor, Gloucestershire, England (68)

**Greaves Family of Beeley, Derbyshire, England (228)

**George Graves of Plaistow, England (64)

**Other families of the British Isles, especially including families of Grieve, Grieves, Greve, and other spellings

**Graves families of Netherlands, France and elsewhere

**John Graves (Johann Sebastian Graff) of PA, NC & TN (105)

**Joseph Graves and Rachel Pratt of Framingham, MA (133)

**Richard Graves and Polly Lucy of SC & AR (189)






All contributions toward the DNA study will be much appreciated.  We especially need funding for testing of descendants in the British Isles, some of whom will probably be less apt to pay the cost.  You may also want to consider sponsoring a relative as a way to get a test for your part of the family.





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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