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. 9, No. 2, Feb. 13, 2007




Copyright © 2007 by the Graves Family Association and Kenneth V. Graves.All rights reserved.


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** General Comments

** GFA Website Changes and Help Needed with Upgrading the Website

** Other Help Needed with the Graves Family Association

** Discussion within Family Groups

** June 2007 Reunion in Williamsburg, VA

** Help Needed for Planning June Reunion in Williamsburg

** Future Directions for Our DNA Study

** Special Offer from Family Tree DNA to Those Who Have Tested with Other Labs

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things






Happy Valentineís Day eve!There are many exciting things happening with the Graves Family Association and our family research, and the future is very bright.In this issue of the bulletin I will especially mention some of the help needed for the GFA website, publicity and membership recruitment, improved communications, preparing for our June reunion in Williamsburg, VA, and expanding our DNA study.All of these things offer great promise but will require increased commitment if they are to meet their potential.


I am continually impressed and grateful for the increasing commitment of many of you in contributing money and time to the formation of new GFA regional chapters, the DNA study, and family research.Thank you.







More DNA test results have been added to the master DNA test results table.There has not been time to update all the corresponding charts.


The Reunions page has been updated, and a transportation page has been added with information about transportation to and from the airports for those flying to Virginia for the June reunion.I donít yet have the cost and some other details for the June reunion, but those will be added as soon as they are known.


A page of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) has been added, and many (but not yet all) of the web pages have been changed to provide links in the upper right for FAQs and easily returning to the main page.



There have been a couple of people who have volunteered help with the website in the past.I know some of you have some expertise in this area, and there are others who have children or other relatives who are expert web designers.Because I donít have all the knowledge needed and I am having difficulty finding satisfactory professional assistance, I would appreciate help.The most important feature to be added to the website is a members only section that would be password protected and would contain information of special interest and benefit to members.It would also allow members to update their personal information and pay dues online.


Other features to be added will include an online store where books, Graves/Greaves products, etc. can be purchased.


If you have the expertise and the willingness to assist with some of this, please let me know.






Publicity and Promotion: Getting the goals and activities of the Graves Family Association mentioned in magazines and newspapers around the U.S. and elsewhere would help attract members and support.If anyone has experience and expertise in these areas and would like to help, please contact me.


Membership Recruitment: One of the tasks that would be very helpful is contacting all genealogy and history societies in the U.S., Canada, Australia, England, and other pertinent countries, and telling them about what we are doing. This would include our reunions and trips, our efforts to track down all Graves and Greaves descendants, gather their family information, get them to participate in the DNA study, etc.Another task could be contacting all people of our surname in an area and talking to them about meeting, sharing family information, etc., preferably by phone and personal contact rather than by mail.






There seems to be a desire and a need for groups of Graves and Greaves descendants who are closely related or who live near each other to share information and communicate with each other.The most obvious example of this is all descendants of a recent common ancestor.However, other examples are everyone whose DNA test results show that they descend from a common ancestor, and Graves/Greaves descendants who live near each other, especially those who live in an area with a GFA regional chapter.


The question is: what is the best way to bring the members of each of these groups together and allow them to communicate effectively?Some of the ways that are available are:

       Email by an individual: By this I mean a person in a group sends an email of interest to an arbitrary list of people he or she chooses.The list of people is usually not very complete and, if it exists as an actual list, it is maintained only on the senderís computer.This is the way most communication is presently done.

       Email List: These lists provide for the maintenance of a list of participants (who can opt in or out of the list) and, in the case of the Yahoo lists, provide other features such as storage of photos, the ability to send questionnaires, etc. Examples are the lists I have set up on Yahoo for GFA issues and for discussion about the June reunion in Williamsburg.They are seldom used, and sometimes they are used for unintended subjects.Other examples are the surname lists on RootsWeb; the Graves and Greaves lists there are not used much either.

       Bulletin Board: There are bulletin boards for surnames and other subjects that exist on various websites.We could create bulletin boards on the GFA website if they would be helpful and used.


There may be other options also, as well as combinations of options.Do you agree that there is a need for this kind of communication?What do you think is the best approach?Why do you think the existing methods of communication arenít used much?What method do you think you and others would be most apt to use?






If you are thinking about attending the reunion on June 14-17, 2007 in Williamsburg, you may still be able to get a room at the Patrick Henry Inn, or they will refer you to a nearby hotel.But donít put it off any longer.See the reunion page of the GFA website for details on how to contact the Inn, etc.


There is a preliminary registration form and schedule of events on the website.If you havenít yet returned the information on the form so that we can plan, please do so.The final registration form with all costs is not yet available, but we are working on it.



The following information is from an Elderhostel site.The Patrick Henry Inn does not provide a shuttle service to and from local airports, but the following services are available.During the reunion in Williamsburg, we will try to coordinate carpooling to minimize the need for everyone to have and use their own car.

Arriving by Airplane: The closest airports to Williamsburg are Richmond, Norfolk, and Newport News/Williamsburg. Most major carriers fly into Richmond and Norfolk. US Airways, AirTran, and Delta service the Williamsburg/Newport News Airport. You'll need to arrange your own transportation between the airport and the Patrick Henry Inn or wherever you will be staying.

From Richmond: Groome Transportation Service (804-222-7222) provides service between the airport and Williamsburg every hour on the hour. No reservations are required. Travel time is about one hour. Call for rates.

From Williamsburg/Newport News Airport: We recommend using one of these taxi services: Associated Cab Shuttle (757-887-3412) or Williamsburg Taxi Service (757-221-0004). Reservations are recommended for these companies. You can also call Williamsburg Limousine Inc. (757-877-0279) or Yellow Cab (757-722-1111) upon your arrival at the airport; however these companies do not take advance reservations. Travel time is about a half hour.

From Norfolk: Norfolk Airport Express Shuttle Service (757-857-3991) departs every half hour from the airport. Travel time is approximately one hour, depending on traffic conditions at the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel. Please call the shuttle service for rates and information.






I really need some help with a couple of planning tasks.It is very difficult to do all the planning for this event on my own from Massachusetts.Please let me know if you are willing to help with the programs at the Patrick Henry Inn and on the bus tour of the Eastern Shore.


At the Patrick Henry Inn on Friday and Saturday, I will be making a couple of presentations.We also plan to allow plenty of opportunity for people to discuss their parts of the family and exchange information.In addition to that, possibilities for topics include the early history of Virginia; how to research your family and find those missing links; recent archeological discoveries at Jamestown and vicinity; the early settlers, who they were, why they went to Virginia, where they were from; and why you should join a heredity society and how you can do it.


It might also be nice to have some entertainment.There are lots of Graves family members who are musical.Can anyone lead singing, provide a Graves soloist or musical group, etc?


Finally, on the tour to the Eastern shore, we will be on the buses for a while, traveling to and from our destinations.We need to have an interesting program for the trip.Some of this can be recorded probably, but live guides are needed also.We need your ideas.







For the past 5 or 6 years the Graves Family Association has been conducting a DNA study to find and confirm our Graves-Greaves ancestries and discover how many of those families are related to each other.We have tested only males with the Graves surname for this, since the Y-chromosome follows only the direct male line from our Graves-Greaves ancestors.We still have a long way to go with this part of the study, with many families not yet tested.


With Y-DNA testing, there is also the hope that specific markers may be discovered for each major line of each family.We presently have some large families where all tested descendants of all or most lines from the early ancestor have the same test results.It is possible that with almost every birth there may be some small mutation.If we can find that mutation, then it will be a marker that will positively identify all descendants of the first person who had that mutation.Right now we donít know how to do that, but it is a possibility for the future.



However, the science of genetic genealogy is rapidly advancing, and other opportunities will be opening for us to explore.Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) tests have been available for some time.(Mitochondria are the energy-producing structures found in the nucleus of cells.)Although mtDNA is passed on from the mother to all her children, only the daughters pass it on to their children.Testing mtDNA canít be used to trace surnames directly because the surname of a female line usually changes every generation.However, this testing can be used for purposes such as determining whether daughters were by a manís first marriage or his second.One practical application in our study might be to determine whether Katherine Croshaw was the mother of the daughters of Capt. Thomas Graves (genealogy 169), since there is presently no proof that Katherineís maiden name was Croshaw.



Of the 23 pairs of chromosomes possessed by every person, the X and Y chromosomes are the ones that determine gender.Females have two X chromosomes and males have an X and a Y chromosome.There is potential in the analysis of the X chromosomes.In addition, the other 22 pairs of chromosomes (called autosomal chromosomes) can also be tested.Although all the genetic material in these chromosomes is from our ancestors, it is very difficult to determine which part is from which ancestor.The genetic material in each chromosome from the father is mixed in an unpredictable way with the genetic material from each matching chromosome from the mother.However, by testing enough descendants of a family and using powerful computer processing on the test results, it is believed that ancestors can be determined many generations back.One of the exciting aspects of this is everyone in a family can be tested, and there is the potential for the results to show all ancestors, not just one direct line.


A non-profit organization called Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation (SMGF) is developing these techniques as part of their world-wide research program.We will be working with them.I will provide more information about this program soon.






Although I am not aware that any Graves-Greaves-Grieves descendants have tested with testing companies other than Family Tree DNA, if there are any out there, the following is a special offer from Family Tree DNA to convert them to our database.


ďFrom time to time we receive requests to allow people who have tested with other labs to join Family Tree DNA Surname Projects. We have always avoided adding results from other labs to our database because as a question of results integrity, we wanted all project members to be tested with Family Tree DNA.


In discussing this subject with a few group administrators we settled on a solution that was to their and our satisfaction: we agreed to offer our 12, 25 and 37-marker tests at a below cost rate, so that we can allow those individuals to get tested with us and join your Surname Projects. But this will be offered for a limited time.


The individuals will fill in a LAB CONVERSION FORM found at, and send it back to our office for verification, so that we can enter the order. Due to the fact that this is a below cost offer, we are limiting the time during which it will be available. Those forms need to be filled and returned to us by March 31, 2007. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.Ē





This bulletin is written and edited by Kenneth V. Graves, 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 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 include access to the ďmembers onlyĒ 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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