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. 10, Dec. 29, 2006




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


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** General Comments

** Special Offer for New DNA Tests Ordered by December 31

** GFA Website Changes

** Regional GFA Chapter News

** Ancestral Research Project for the Hertford/Harlow Area of England

** June 2007 Reunion in Williamsburg, VA: The Program and Registration

** DNA Testing -- One of the Next Steps

** Answers to Questions about Interpretation of DNA Test Results

** The Importance of Doing Needed Research or Seeing that it Gets Done

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things






This is the last Bulletin of 2006.  So many things have happened and been accomplished, but I can’t help thinking of the things I wanted to do but didn’t have the time or money to do.  The DNA study has continued with many exciting discoveries.  Through DNA and traditional research, many genealogies have been updated and expanded, and some have been connected to others and their ancestors.  I made a too-brief trip to England in May, gathering genealogical information, getting new DNA participants, and meeting some wonderful people.


As we approach the New Year, we can look forward to more exciting discoveries, an upgraded website, the publication of at least one new Graves family book, an International Reunion in Williamsburg, VA next June, and other reunions and meetings in many different places.


May you all have a happy, prosperous and blessed New Year!






Our DNA testing company, Family Tree DNA, has provided us with 6 gift certificates for new DNA test orders.  These provide for a discount on the appropriate tests if ordered by Dec. 31, 2006.  If ordered by invoice, payment does not have to be made until Jan. 31, 2007.  One certificate has already been used.  The remaining certificates are:

1 for $30 for Y-DNA37 or 67

2 for $20 for Y-DNA25

2 for $15 for mtDNA


These certificates are not valid for test upgrades or in conjunction with any other special offer.  To take advantage of this, check with me to be sure the certificate you want to use is still available, order your kit from FTDNA, and then let me know the kit number (which will be emailed to you) so that I can claim the discount for you.  The special prices under this order are $129 for Y-DNA 25 ($149 minus $20), $159 for Y-DNA37 ($189 minus $30), $239 for Y-DNA67 ($269 minus $30), and $114 for mtDNA ($129 minus $15).







I hope to get more additions and changes to the GFA website at least started in January.  Although I do all of the maintenance, addition of content, and much of the upgrading of the site, some of the new features I want to add require professional expertise.  The most important feature I want to add is a password protected section for members only.  This will allow you to check the status of your Graves Family Association membership, find and contact others from your part of the family, and access helpful databases.  This and other features have been a long time coming, but I am very hopeful that 2007 will be the year they will really happen.






The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the GFA (with meetings in the Washington, DC area) has been conducting monthly meetings with much interest and success.  The next meeting will be 3 PM, Sunday, Jan. 28, in Arlington, VA at the Army Navy Club, with Ken Graves as the speaker.  See the GFA website or contact John Graves at for more information.


There has been talk of starting chapters in Texas, in Virginia, and even in England.  Recently, Linda McPike (descended from Lt. William Graves of MA, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Canada, gen. 238) suggested starting a Canadian Chapter.


If you would like information about how to start a chapter of the Graves Family Association, you can contact Ken Graves at, or John Graves (director of the Mid-Atlantic chapter) at  If you would like to pursue starting a chapter in Canada, contact Linda McPike at






Ron Graves of Seminole, OK, a descendant of immigrant Thomas Graves of Hartford, CT & Hatfield, MA (genealogy 168) recently wrote me.  One of the things he said was that he believes that this Thomas Graves was the same person as Thomas Graves, the engineer, who was hired by the Massachusetts Bay Colony to perform various engineering duties.  If you look at genealogy 131 for Thomas Graves, the engineer, you will see that I agree.


We have much information about this part of the Graves family.  On the charts page of the GFA website, you can see the families that are believed to be related, and the summary chart for the group of families of the Hertford/Harlow area of England shows how they are probably connected.  In addition to the family of Thomas Graves of Hartford, CT, the families include his brother, Deacon George Graves (genealogy 65), John Graves of Nazeing, Essex, and Roxbury, MA (genealogy 337), and Capt. Thomas Graves of VA (genealogy 169).  A summary of most of the information we know can be seen by clicking on the Research Projects link on the Ancestral Research page of the website, taking you to


The important observation is that we have a lot of information that can lead us to the ancestry and the English branch of the family of three of the major Graves families in America.  We know much about the immigrants to America, we know some of their relatives in England, at least one of the immigrants was probably fairly prominent professionally (the engineer) and another was involved with the London Company (Capt. Thomas Graves of VA), and we know the area where most of them lived in England.  What we now need are a few people who will step forward to organize and coordinate this research effort.  The rewards will be significant for all descendants.






There has been some uncertainty about the dates and events for the reunion, and some of you may need to make some adjustments to the dates of your stay.  The reunion will be held at the Patrick Henry Inn, Williamsburg, VA.  Registration will be in the lobby of the Inn on Thursday, June 14, 2007.  A bare-bones schedule is below.  See the GFA website for more details.

Thurs., June 14 – Registration and Reception

Fri., June 15 – Morning: Guided tour of Historic Williamsburg

                        Afternoon and evening: meetings and dinner

Sat., June 16 – Morning: Guided tour of Jamestown

                        Afternoon and evening: meetings and dinner

Sun., June 17 – Bus tour to the Eastern Shore of VA


There will be a registration fee for the reunion, and for each tour and dinner you choose to attend.  The exact costs are not yet known, but they will be communicated on the website and in this bulletin as soon as possible.  As an aid to planning (and estimating costs), it is important to register your intentions as soon as you can.  A form will be on the website within the next couple days for that purpose.  Those of you who have made your room reservations at the Patrick Henry Inn (or elsewhere) need to send in your reunion reservations also.  The Inn provides me with a list of name of those who have reserved rooms, but they don’t provide any other information, so I don’t have any idea who many of you are or how to contact you.  In addition, I don’t know anything about those of you staying elsewhere or commuting from home.


Please complete your preliminary reunion reservations as soon as possible.  Thanks.






As a result of the DNA test results, we have been able to connect many of the Graves and Greaves families.  We have found that many others share a common ancestor but have not been able to find exactly how they connect.  The largest group of families that share a common ancestor is that which is probably descended from the Greaves family of Beeley, Derbyshire, England, and is the large blue group at the bottom of the DNA test results summary table on the website.  A summary chart (accessible from the charts page of the website) shows how it is believed that all the related families are connected, but there is still much speculation on the chart.  It is believed that there may be DNA markers that are specific for each line.  If those could be found, then it would be known for sure what the connections are; for instance, that genealogies 150 and 152 are descended from 220, or that genealogy 77 is really descended from 166.  There are many other examples on this chart and also for other groups of families.


To find the needed markers we would select one or two samples that have already been tested from the families that we are most anxious to prove the connections for.  We should probably try this on a handful of families first and, if it is successful, expand it to include more families.  Our testing company, Family Tree DNA, is prepared to help us do this additional testing.


A major obstacle to doing this is money.  I am not sure of the exact cost at this time.  However, we are presently more than $1,200 overdrawn with our DNA testing assistance program, so money is obviously needed.  I will appreciate any ideas you have for financing this needed effort.






I recently received some questions from Kay Allgood, descended from William Lynch Graves of Albemarle Co., VA and Madison Co., TN (genealogy 84).  Since they relate to issues that many of you may have about how to interpret DNA test results and what the potential of DNA testing is, I decided to share them and my answers here.


QUESTION: Now you can give me a ‘crash course’ on what I’m seeing on the chart labeled ‘Graves Family of Caroline Co. and Halifax Co., Va.’ with respect to genealogies 49, 84, 103 and 169/188 which correspond to DNA ID’s 39257, 60909, 28236, 19872.  When I view the DNA ‘Test Results’ page showing specifically the four above, they are all the ‘burnt orange’ color, but on the summary chart these four are shown each with a different color.


ANSWER: The purpose of the colors in the test results table is to show which test results are part of the same group. So no matter how many differences there are between samples, if I have determined that they are all close enough to be part of the same group, they will have the same color.


On the summary charts, I am trying to show more subtle differences within each group. Unfortunately, there aren't enough colors to do this well and we usually don't have the same number of markers tested for each sample, so it is difficult to do this as well as I would like.


QUESTION: Is the only value to this DNA testing to say that certain genealogies descend from a certain common ancestor, or will this lead to determining closer relationships, for example, whether Wm. Lynch (G84) and Richard (G169/188) could possibly be brothers?


ANSWER: In many cases, with the present technology and with the present level of testing, we can only say that descendants who are tested descend from a common ancestor within some reasonable time frame. In some cases, when a line has a distinctive mutation, we can distinguish a descendant of that line from a descendant of another, even though they are both from the same known common ancestor. As we gather more data and as testing improves, we will be able to pinpoint relationships much more accurately. Whether we will ever be able to say with certainty that 2 men who lived 300 years ago were brothers rather than first cousins is questionable. We may always need some additional information from historical records.


QUESTION: According to the Test Results page, Wm. Lynch and Richard have the same values in each of their markers through marker 20. What is the significance of Richard changing to different values from Wm. Lynch at marker 21 and marker 24, but having the same values as Wm. Lynch in markers 22 and 23, and then picking up the same as Wm. Lynch from marker 25 thru 31?

ANSWER: Looking at the summary chart for your group (, a value of 14 on marker 6 distinguishes genealogies 49, 84, 103, and 169/188 from all the others in the group. A value of 15 on marker 24 shows that 103 and 169/188 share a common ancestor. Other mutations for 84 and 169/188 are those that occurred more recently than the common ancestor and could possibly be used to distinguish between different lines within each family/genealogy.






It is absolutely necessary for research to be done to prove and document existing lineages and families, to connect related families to each other, and to discover earlier ancestries.  The DNA study has given us a tremendous advantage over researchers of the last century, since we can now know which families share a common ancestor.  However, research is still essential, and all of you reading this article can do some of what needs to be done.


Some of the tasks that are needed are:

(1) Find and critically examine all information about the Graves or Greaves family of interest that has been published in books, magazines, on the Internet and elsewhere.  This includes searching for pertinent census and vital records information for all parts of your family.

(2) Contact as many Graves/Greaves/Grieve descendants as possible to get them interested in learning more about their ancestry and to gather any family records they may have.  For example, on the subject of contacting descendants, it is easiest to contact those who have the Graves or Greaves surname.  In addition to contacting through local genealogy societies and contacting people near where you live, you could contact people in the areas where your ancestors lived and you may find that some distant groups of relatives have lived in the same place for a long time.

(3) Find and search through original records on paper, microfilm, or other media.  These should include records pertaining to your ancestors’ activities and lives, such as wills and probate records, deeds, military records, church records, and others.  When the obvious records don’t provide the information you are looking for, records for neighbors and associates should also be searched.

(4) If you don’t know how to do research, your local library, genealogy society, or LDS Family History Center can probably help.  If you aren’t interested in doing research yourself, or aren’t able or don’t have time, you can try to convince someone else to do it for you, you can hire someone to do it, or you can band together with other family researchers to do the research.

(5) Finally, be sure to work with the Graves Family Association in doing your research, and send the results to the Association so that they may be shared with all of us.


Please contact me if you have any questions.





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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