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. 7, No. 10, Dec. 3, 2005




Copyright © 2005 by the Graves Family Association and Kenneth V. Graves.  All rights reserved.


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** Graves Family Reunion in Virginia in 2007 and Who Should Attend?

** Poll for Date of 2007 Reunion in Williamsburg, VA

** How Can We Determine the DNA of Ancestors by Testing Living People?

** New Forms of Communication and Interaction for Graves/Greaves Descendants

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things






This gathering is part of the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the first permanent English settlement in America.  It is being billed as America’s 400th Anniversary.  It is an historic event that no one should miss, no matter what his or her ancestry.


Our Graves/Greaves reunion will obviously emphasize the early Graves immigrants to Jamestown and vicinity, especially Capt. Thomas Graves who arrived in 1608.  Although our DNA study has shown that not everyone previously believed to descend from Capt. Thomas Graves really does, that should not keep anyone from attending.  It seems apparent that most of those other Graves immigrants were living in Virginia by at least the mid-1600’s.  The events of the 400th anniversary celebration will be pertinent to all these descendants, plus anyone interested in history.  Even those of you who are descended from Graves/Greaves immigrants to New England will find your family very involved, since at least two parts of the traditional Capt. Thomas Graves family in Virginia have been found to share a common Graves ancestor with New England families.  In fact, since connections have been found between the Virginia families and some of the Graves and Greaves families in England, those family members might find this reunion of special interest also.


The reunion program will include discussion of all the various Graves and Greaves families, a review of the DNA study and what it reveals about the connections and ancestries of the families, guided tours of Williamsburg, Jamestown, and the eastern shore of Virginia, and other highlights to be announced.  All descendants are invited to attend.  More details of the reunion will be announced as they are available.






A poll has just been sent to all members of the Yahoo group involved with planning the Graves reunion in Williamsburg, VA in 2007. The main question is when we should have the reunion. Some of the pros and cons of the various options have previously been mentioned in this bulletin, on the GFA blog, and on the Yahoo list. At the reunion we want to able to meet as a group for presentations, socializing, and exchanging family information. And we also want to be able to tour important sites such as Williamsburg, Jamestown, and the eastern shore of VA where Capt. Thomas Graves lived. The weekend of May 11-13 has the attraction of being when celebrities such as at least one member of the British royal family will be attending, but has the drawbacks of biggest crowds (possibly preventing us from touring Jamestown, etc.), and being the most expensive time. Also, if you want to take children, they won't be out of school then. The summer has the advantage of children being out of school, but the weather is much hotter. After Labor Day will be cooler and less crowded, but children will be back in school. The vote will be important in providing guidance in the next step of planning.

If you would like to take part in the poll, or if you would like to participate in other parts of the planning of the reunion, you will have to join the Yahoo group. You can do that by going to and clicking on the "Join This Group" link.






Every now and then I get asked this question.  Since others probably have the same question, but haven’t asked, this explanation may be helpful.


In simple terms, the Y chromosome is passed on from father to son with almost no changes from generation to generation. So your Y-DNA is almost exactly the same as that of your grandfather, your g-g-g-g-g-grandfather, etc. Therefore, if two men have the exact same Y-DNA or almost exactly the same Y-DNA, they are descended from a common ancestor. The more differences there are between the two DNA samples, the farther back in time the common ancestor is.


It is extremely likely that the DNA test results that were the same in both living descendants were ones that the common ancestor had also. If we test more than two descendants and they all share the same test results, that increases the confidence even more that the ancestor's DNA had those values. So we don't need to dig up and test our ancestors. We can discover their Y-DNA by testing the Y-DNA of their descendants.






You may have noticed that I have been gradually introducing new methods of communication.  The printed Graves Family Newsletter was discontinued several years ago because of the huge amount of work required and the large expense.  But to have a successful family organization, it is essential to have good, frequent communication that addresses the needs and interests of all Graves/Greaves family members.


The first replacement was this Graves Family Bulletin.  Problems with it include the tendency of people to change their email address and not let me know, the increasing problems with spam that cause newsletters like this to sometimes be blocked by filters, the fact that this is one-way communication, and the articles may not address your particular interests.  If there are any particular things you would like to have discussed, please let me know.


Blogs (a shortening of the term web logs) are a newer form of online communication.  The Graves Family Association now has a blog at, which can be read either by using your browser to go to that website or by using a “newsreader” program.  A newsreader will download new blog articles the same way an email program downloads new messages, so that you can read them offline at your leisure.  A big advantage over email is that newsreaders are not subject to spam or spam filters.  One of the free newsreaders is SharpReader, available at  A good article about blogs has been written by Dick Eastman and is available on his blog at  If you are not already familiar with Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter, you can learn about it at  I highly recommend it.


Various forms of groups and email lists are offered by Yahoo, Google, RootsWeb, and others.  An advantage of the groups at Yahoo is that they include not only email lists, but also the ability to chat, store files, photos, and databases, conduct polling, and provide calendar functions.  In addition to emailing and polling (mentioned earlier in this bulletin), some of the other features will be explored.


Other forms of communication, including forums and bulletin boards, will be looked at in the future.


There are also other approaches, including meetings, postal mailings, newspaper articles, and special programs (such as asking everyone to contact at least one other descendant) that may also be tried.  If you have any interest or expertise in these or any other means of promotion and communication, please let me know.





This bulletin is written and edited by Kenneth V. Graves,  Ken Graves was also editor of the Graves Family Newsletter (no longer published).  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 used to 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 to Graves Family Association, 20 Binney Circle, Wrentham, MA 02093 (more details on GFA website).  Payment may also be sent electronically via PayPal by going to and sending payment to  Benefits include access to the “members only” section of the website, 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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