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. 8, No. 1, Jan. 15, 2006




Copyright © 2006 by the Graves Family Association and Kenneth V. Graves.  All rights reserved.


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** Update on Graves Family Reunion in Virginia in 2007

** Graves Gatherings in the Southeastern U.S. in Early 2006

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

** Get Your DNA Test Results Before My Trip to England

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things






It was previously announced that the reunion in Williamsburg, VA will be the weekend of June 15-17, 2007.  This will be a unique opportunity to celebrate and learn about our Graves/Greaves families and history, including that of Capt. Thomas Graves who arrived in Jamestown in 1608.  During the entire year of 2007 there will also be a celebration throughout Virginia of the birth of America, the 400th anniversary of the first permanent English settlement in North America.


The Patrick Henry Inn has now been selected as the headquarters of the reunion.  They have hosted many gatherings similar to ours, and their reputation is excellent.  They are located directly across the street from Colonial Williamsburg.  They can be contacted at Best Western Patrick Henry Inn, York and Page Sts., Route 60E, PO Drawer 3678, Williamsburg, VA 23187-3678; phone (757)229-9540 or toll free (800)446-9228; Fax (757)220-0657.  Email is and website is


A block of 75 rooms has been reserved for the reunion at a group rate of $85, plus 10% tax and $2.00 occupancy tax, for a total of $95.50 per room per night.  When making your reservation, mention that it is part of the Graves Reunion block of rooms.  An advance deposit of the first night’s room rate will be required when making reservations, and you will be able to cancel for a full refund up to 72 hours before the event.  There has been great interest in this reunion, so it is suggested that you make your reservations early.


We will try to provide information on other lodging options, including camping and recreational vehicle locations.


We have already starting discussing and planning a tentative program for the reunion, including 2 or 3 group meals, social time, discussions and presentations about family research, the DNA study results, etc., and guided tours of Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and the eastern shore where Capt. Thomas Graves lived.


We need further discussion of what we want to do, as well as how to publicize and promote the reunion, both to the relatives we already know about and the thousands of others out there who haven't heard about the Graves Family Association and this reunion.  Please let us know any ideas and needs that any of you can think of, and any help you can provide.  To join the planning group and participate in the discussion, go to and follow the instructions to join.






My wife, Sarah, and I will be leaving Feb. 1 to drive from Massachusetts to Bradenton, Florida, and leaving Florida March 11 to drive home.  As of now there are two gatherings scheduled.


WEDNESDAY, FEB. 1: Reunion in Annapolis, MD, at the Hampton Inn, 124 Womack Dr, Annapolis, phone 410-349-1600.  Since we couldn’t find a free meeting room, we will host this in the living room of a suite we are staying in that night.  Meeting to start at 7:30 p.m., although you are invited to join us for dinner (about 6 p.m.) before the meeting if you want.  If possible, let me know if you are planning to attend.  Ask for me at the front desk.


Directions: take I-97 south from Baltimore to Rt. 50 East, or Rt. 50/301 east from Washington.  Take Exit 22 (SR 665) Aris T. Allen Blvd and immediately exit to Riva Road. At the end of the ramp turn right onto Riva Road at the first light turn left onto Admiral Cochrane Drive. Go 2 tenths of a mile and turn left onto Spruill Road, at the stop sign turn left onto Womack Drive and the hotel is on the left.


SUNDAY, MARCH 12: Reunion at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, 4278 Chamblee Tucker Rd., Doraville, GA, 1 p.m.  It is a little northeast of Atlanta, just a short distance from the intersection of Routes 85 and 285.


I also hope to organize a gathering in Florida while we are there, perhaps in a private room at a restaurant. Can anyone help find a place for that and help organize it?


To contact me with questions or to let me know you want to attend or help with any of these gatherings, you can send email to, although while we are traveling it will be best to call my cell phone number, 508-369-5217.


These gatherings will be a good opportunity to share family information, learn more about your Graves/Greaves ancestry, learn about the DNA study and even take a DNA test, and ask me questions.






There was previous discussion of this subject in the Graves Family Bulletin, vol. 7, no. 10, Dec. 3, 2005.  Because of some questions about this, I will repeat some of what I wrote before, and try to explain a little more.


In simple terms, the Y chromosome is passed on from father to son with almost no changes from generation to generation. So (if you are a male) 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.


Basically, if a DNA marker is carried down in multiple lines of descent, it is a good bet that the common ancestor had that marker. If we go through that process with all the markers tested, then we can deduce the set of markers (called a haplotype) that the common ancestor had. That is one of the reasons we need to test more than one descendant per family.


It can be helpful to find the haplotype for more recent ancestors as well as the earliest known ancestor.  By finding where a particular change (mutation) occurred, we can often find where an unknown branch of a family fits, and we can also find whether a line is in the right place (since there is sometimes some uncertainty in documented results).


Sometimes the differences between descendants are greater than expected.  This can happen for at least 2 reasons.  First, mutations happen randomly, so some lines can go for hundreds of years with no mutations while other lines can have multiple mutations within a few generations.  Secondly, the important difference is between a test result and the ancestral haplotype.  An example of this is genealogies 336 and 156, where we don't really have enough test results to be sure of the ancestral haplotypes, but the updated charts for 156 and 336 (based on my estimate of the ancestral haplotype, shown on the master table of DNA results on the GFA website) is a difference of 1 for descendant 1, 3 for descendant 2, and 2 for descendant 3.  This compares to a difference of 4 between descendants 1 and 2 and between descendants 2 and 3.  This happens because different mutations can occur in different lines.






I now expect to go to England for a week or so this coming May.  I will be meeting with Greaves/Graves/Grieves descendants to try to gather family information and to get DNA samples.  (I may also be able to take a limited number of interested family members from the U.S. on the trip with me.  More on that later.)  It would be helpful to get our DNA study in the US. and Canada more complete before that trip so we will have more results to compare to.


For people descended from families or parts of families that do not yet have a DNA study participant, we especially need Graves/Greaves men to take the test.  The test is easy and painless, just involving rubbing the inside of your mouth with a plastic applicator.  The only requirement is that the person taking the Y-DNA test must be a male with the Graves or Greaves surname, since the Y chromosome is only passed on from father to son.


To sign up, go to the GFA website at, click on the DNA link at the top of the main page, then click on the link in the red-outlined box near the top of the next page.  This will take you to a page on the Family Tree DNA page.  Then just fill out the requested information, and your testing kit will be mailed to you the next day.  The 37-marker Y-DNA test is preferred for most participants.





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.



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