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. 7, Sept. 30, 2007




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


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** General Comments

** Let me know of Your Interest in Being Part of the Trip to England in 2009

** Report on the Recent Reunion in Williamsburg, VA

** Successful Reunion in Frankfort, KY & Start of the Ohio Valley Chapter of the GFA

** Graves Reunion in Waco, TX, July 27-28, 2007

** First Book by Ron Graves of San Antonio, TX

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things






You may have been wondering why you haven’t received a Bulletin since June.  The main reason is that I have been trying to recover from the ordeal of organizing the reunion in Williamsburg in June, attending 2 more Graves reunions in KY and TX soon afterwards, and working on various Graves and Greaves genealogies and the website.  I needed to relax a little.  This issue of the Bulletin does not include everything it should, but I will follow up with more news in October.






There will be a tour of England in 2009, probably in May of that year. This will be about 12 days, starting from and ending in London.  The cost will probably be only slightly more than the trip in 1995, which was about $2,400.  More information about that trip can be seen on the GFA website under Activities/Recent Events.  In the 2009 tour, we will be visiting a few of the same places as in 1995, but in no way will this be a repeat of that trip.  Additional locations will include Keswick and the beautiful Lake District, and the Hertford/Nazeing area.  Meetings with members of the various Graves and Greaves families will be included.  See also the discussion on the website under Activities/Future Events.


One of the big advantages of this trip will be that many of us now know where in England our ancestors were from, and some of the various Graves and Greaves families that are related.  You will probably get to meet distant relatives you never knew existed.


An optional add-on tour of Scotland or Ireland may also be offered if there is sufficient interest.


So that we can get an idea of who is interested and how many to expect, it is important that you complete the form on the website or send me an email message with your name, address, and the likely number in your group.  It is important that we know as soon as possible about how many to expect.  More information on the trip will be communicated as it becomes available.






The reunion in Williamsburg, VA, June 14-17, 2007, was a wonderful experience for me and my wife Sarah.  I so much appreciate the enthusiasm and positive comments from so many of those who attended.  Even though I didn’t have an attendance list to share with the attendees (because of continuing changes, even after I arrived in Williamsburg), I may still try to provide one to the attendees in the near future.


If you took pictures or video that you would like to share, please let me know.  Pictures can be uploaded to the GravesReunion2007 Yahoo list or another site, or I can put them on the GFA website.


Emily Graves, Secretary of the Graves Family Association Mid-Atlantic Chapter (GFAMAC), has written a report on the reunion.  The full report is on the GFAMAC page of the GFA website, and a portion of it is excerpted below.


Approximately 200 Graves (actually closer to 240) gathered for a weekend of visits to historic sites and genealogical discussions led by Ken.  There were guided tours of Colonial Williamsburg, the original site of Jamestown Fort, and the Jamestown Settlement, a recently completed replica of the historic site, and a bus trip to the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  Many of the attendees trace their ancestry to Captain Thomas Graves (#169), who came to Jamestown in 1608, later settled in what is today Northampton County, VA, on the Eastern Shore, and was a vestryman of Hungar’s Parish.


The weekend offered multiple opportunities for those interested to exchange genealogical data with newly found cousins.  Some families made the Graves reunion an occasion for their own immediate family reunions, so there were gatherings of multiple generations from at least a half-dozen clans.  Graves and their relatives came from all over the Continental U.S., and there was even a Graves family who traveled from Cambodia.


People arrived at the Patrick Henry Inn in Williamsburg Thursday night, June 14th, and Friday the 15th.  This hotel is conveniently located less than half a mile from the authentically restored Colonial Williamsburg.  Friday morning the majority of the group enjoyed a very informative walking tour that took them to the meeting house of the Presbyterian “Registered Dissenters,” the local courthouse (with stocks and whipping post photo ops), the Bruton Parish Church, the Governor’s Palace, and the saddle shop or the wig maker.  In the Church was a plaque commemorating Ralph Graves (grandson of Thomas #169) for being a vestryman before 1669 and a pew bearing his and his brother William’s names.  The square mile of Colonial Williamsburg, first restored to its original state in the 1930s by Laurence Rockefeller, is a national treasure. 


After lunch and some shopping, the group returned to the Inn for some genealogically focused discussions.  Serious genealogical research is unending, and as we learn more, it sometimes becomes apparent that even people considered to be authorities make mistakes.  For example, in the case of Captain Thomas Graves recent DNA research has revealed that many thought previously to be his descendents may not be.  Experienced genealogists in the group stressed the need for conscientious research that uncovers primary documentation to support lineages.  Many attendees were looking to fill in gaps in their own genealogies, such as maiden names of female ancestors, and enlisted the help of others who were there. 


The second day was dedicated to Jamestown, and the group visited both the site of the original fort and the Jamestown Settlement replica.  The fort site has been developed considerably in the last several years, since the archeological team led by William Kelso discovered the entire footprint of the original palisade.  There is now an excellent museum containing dozens of artifacts selected from the thousands the team has dug up, including pieces of military weapons, armor, and ceramics.  There is a full human skeleton, thought to be Bartholomew Gosnold, captain of the Susan Constant and a primary mover behind the Virginia Company’s colonization at Jamestown.


At the Jamestown Settlement everyone enjoyed the outstanding museum, tourist support facilities, replicated Indian village and Jamestown fort, as well as the three replicas of the ships Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery docked at the James River front.  The many interpretive actors dressed in period costumes were knowledgeable and added to the experience of stepping back in time 400 years to the first successful English settlement in America.


The group ate dinner together each night and was entertained by some of the attendees with music and stories.  On Friday night Chaplain (Major) Richard Graves from Fort Hood, Texas, played his guitar and led the group in folk songs.  On Saturday Peter Graves, a professional musician who has accompanied such notables as Frank Sinatra, Barry Gibb, and Barbara Streisand, shared with us slides and the story of his career, which began as a horn player and matured into band leader.


On Sunday the group went across the 20-mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel to the Eastern Shore of Virginia, first to the site of Arlington, a great estate built on the shore of Old Plantation Creek by John Custis II in about 1670.  Volunteers from the Arlington Foundation, Inc., provided historical commentary about John Custis II and IV, whose graves are the only remaining structures above ground.  The conclusion of the weekend was a visit to Hungar’s Parish Church and a delicious BBQ lunch provided by the parishioners.   Captain Thomas Graves was a member of the Hungar’s Parish, and he represented this part of the Virginia Eastern Shore at the Virginia House of Burgesses in the 1630s.






Jim Graves and Mary Lou Watkins organized a wonderful reunion for all Graves/Greaves families in Frankfort, KY on Saturday and Sunday, June 23-14.  Jim wrote: “I was very impressed with the spirit everyone brought with them. I heard several comments on how nice the world would be if everyone was like each of you were this last weekend. I sincerely hope everyone had a good time and that it was worthwhile to each of you. There was a lot of sharing and talking among us. I did not see anyone being left out and sure hope no one felt that way. Everyone and every Graves line is very important to me


We are considering starting up a chapter of "The Graves Family Association" here in the Ohio Valley area. We want it to include our neighbors as we did in this reunion. We had families come from Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Virginia, Tennessee, Maryland and Mass. Anyone interested in being a part of the Chapter please let me know. We would like to have at least 10-12 to head it up. We will try to meet three or four times a year. It would be nice to have a representative from each line or from each area to be active. This way we can spread the word to more families and increase the work being accomplished and benefit all Graves families in all locations.”


Let Jim know of your interest in being involved and helping by contacting him at: JimGraves, 1996 Bucks Run Road, Ghent, KY 41045, phone 1-502-347-0967, email






Another very successful Graves Family Reunion was held in Waco, Texas, July 27-28 at the Clarion Hotel.  At this meeting the Southwest Chapter of the Graves Family Association was officially formed.  Ken Graves, Executive Director, GFA, attended and discussed DNA testing, the Graves surname project, and the activities of the Graves Family Association.


Registration was Friday afternoon with hospitality room at the hotel and dinner as a group that night.  Registration also Saturday morning with Ken Graves then making his presentations and others introducing themselves, plus the organizational meeting.  A catered lunch was held at the hotel.  (Note from Ken Graves: Some of you who travel by air may have had similar experiences to my trip home from Waco to Boston.  The flight from Waco was delayed a couple of hours, causing me to miss my flight from Dallas.  All flights after that from Dallas were cancelled, and I ended up sleeping in the airport.  Then they sent me to Washington National, and the flight from there to Boston was delayed several more hours, while the plane sat on the runway.  Quite an adventure!)


For more information about the SW Chapter, GFA, and how you can become involved, contact Ron Graves at or Dick Graves at






Ron Graves of San Antonio, TX wrote earlier this year: “You may be interested to know that my first book on hit their list yesterday.  Please go to and type in my name as Ron Graves then when the page comes up click on the book title to read their editorial review.”


The book is Adversity to Success!: 25 Optimistic People Who Overcame (Paperback) by Ron Graves and Ron Palermo.  The start of the review states this “is a must read book for those who want to learn more about how a positive outlook can make a tremendous difference in life.


By reading this book, you will discover how some well-known and some not so well known people confronted overwhelming adversity. During this process, they learned not only how to survive, but to achieve greatness in their lives.


All of the twenty-five people profiled are different. They vary by age, race, cultural background, socioeconomic status, adversity faced, and in many other ways. All share, however, the basic success story of overcoming a challenge through sheer determination, hard work, and a positive attitude. They played the cards they were dealt--all losing hands--yet managed to reshuffle these cards to become winners.”





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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