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. 8, Nov. 19, 2007




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


Information on how to start a free subscription to this bulletin and how to be removed from the subscription list is at the end of this bulletin.  If you received this bulletin directly, then you are already subscribed.


Visit the GFA web site at






** General Comments

** More about the Trip to England in 2009

** Graves Family Reunions/Meetings In the Next Several Months

** More About GFA Regional Chapters

** Another Presentation by a GFA Member in Virginia

** People Needed to Publicize and Promote the Graves Family Association

** New Discoveries from Our DNA Study

** Expansion of the DNA Study

** Special Discount Offer for New DNA Tests

** Changes to the GFA Website

** How to Find a Person or Place in Genealogies by Using Search Capability

** Ordering and Upgrading DNA Tests

** Alex Haley May Not Have Graves Ancestry

** Our Yahoo Discussion Lists

** To Submit Material to this Bulletin & Other Things






I always want to publish this bulletin more often, but life’s many activities and responsibilities keep interfering.  New genealogies need to be compiled; existing genealogies need to be revised; the website needs to be maintained and upgraded; our DNA study needs to be managed; correspondence needs to be answered; and the many other activities of life need to be given time.  However, here is the latest issue with (I hope) something of interest to most of you.  If you would like for me to include anything of special interest to you in future issues, please let me know.


One of the most exciting things that are happening is that, as a result of your contributions of information, research, and our DNA study, we are making great progress in grouping genealogies that share a common ancestor.  You can see those results by going to the charts page by way of the link in the DNA section on the main page of the GFA website.  In the future, by more research and DNA testing, we expect to be able to find the specific connections between most of these families.  Your help is needed and very much appreciated.


To those of you in the U.S. who will be celebrating Thanksgiving this coming Thursday, we wish you happiness and health.






It was announced in the last Bulletin that 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 per person (not including air transportation to and from England).  More information about that trip can be seen on the GFA website under Activities/Recent Events.


For any of you who may have looked at the website but failed to see the link for the form to indicate preliminary interest, it is now easier to find.  It is in the first paragraph in the “What’s New” section of the main page.  There is also a link at the end of the sidebar section for “Next Events”.  If you have any problem with the form, just send me an email with your name, address, likely number in your group, and whether you might be interested in an optional add-on tour of Ireland and/or Scotland.


If you live in the U.K. or Ireland and would like to join us, that would be great!  If you live there and might like to help organize a meeting with local Graves/Greaves/Grieve family members as part of our tour, please let me know.  No matter where you live, if you have any strong feelings about places we should visit, let me know that also.


We will be visiting places of scenic and historical interest, as well as places of significance to your ancestors.  This will not be a research trip, and we do not plan to schedule time in archives and libraries, although you always have to option to go off on your own for a day.  The present plans are for the 2009 tour to include Keswick and the beautiful Lake District, the Hertford/Nazeing area, York, Lincolnshire, and London.  We are also considering visiting other places including King’s Norton and Moseley Hall (now part of Birmingham), Mickleton, Beeley, and Buckingham.





There are several meetings scheduled for the next several months, all of which I will be speaking at.  For more information, see the GFA website.  The first is the meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the GFA on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2008, at the Army Navy Club in Arlington, VA.  The next day, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2008, there will be a meeting in Yanceyville, Caswell Co., NC.  Then, in March 2008, there will be a Graves gathering in Auburn, AL, probably on March 8.  More details will be announced on the website and in this bulletin.





SOUTHWEST GFA CHAPTER: The coordinators are Ron Graves (, Richard Graves (, and Eddie Graves.  For more information, contact any of them.  They are planning on creating a website for their chapter that will link to the Graves Family Association website.  This is a big step forward, since it will allow them to post information quickly without having to depend on me to put it on the GFA website.


OHIO VALLEY GFA CHAPTER: Jim Graves is the main organizer of this chapter.  He is looking for 10-12 people who will be committed to making this a success.  He expects to be holding the next meeting within the next several months.  It is expected that each future meeting will be at a different location within the Ohio-Kentucky-Tennessee region, and all Graves and Greaves descendants will be welcomed.  If you are interested or would like to help, contact Jim at  (I put the wrong email address in the last issue of the Bulletin.)






Doug Graves of Graves Mill, Virginia, (descended from Capt. Thomas Graves of VA) spoke at the Saturday, Nov. 18 meeting of the Madison County Historical Society.  The subject of his talk was his research into the historic Graves Mill and surrounding area and the renovation of the Graves Mill gristmill.  The talk included interesting photos and relics relating to the mill.  The meeting was at 2 p.m. in the auditorium of the Madison County Administration Building and was followed by refreshments in the Kemper Residence next door.  (I had hoped to let everyone know about this before the meeting, but didn’t quite make it.)






In spite of the Graves Family Association having been in existence for over 30 years, most Graves/Greaves/Grieve family members probably don’t know that we exist.  It would be very helpful to initiate an ongoing program and publicize the Association in the U.S., Canada, England, Australia and elsewhere.  This would include stories in newspapers and magazines to tell what we do and how we can help people.  It could also discuss some of the great success stories we have had, connections with famous people, unusual events in the lives of descendants, and other things that might be considered newsworthy.  We would very much like to hear from any of you who have experience with publicity and promotion, or who know people who might be able to help.






We recently received test results from genealogy 104 (Benjamin Graves and Margrett Weaver of SC & AL), and found that there was a 36 of 37 marker match with genealogy 547 (George Graves and Charlotte Raines of VA, NC & TN).  In fact, based on other factors, it is very likely that they were brothers, both born about 1775-1780.  This particular match is especially significant because previously there were no known matches for the person descended from genealogy 547.  This shows that even though the DNA test results of a Graves or Greaves family do not match any other family, matches may well be found in the future.


This is especially true for the Graves/Greaves/Grieve families in the British Isles, where a much smaller percentage of descendants have been tested.  Anything anyone can do to encourage more participation in the DNA study in the U.K. and Ireland will be much appreciated.






Sorenson Study

At the reunion in Williamsburg, VA this past June, many attendees took their DNA samples to be sent to Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation and to be tested by them at no charge.  There are a couple of unanswered questions about that study, but I will be providing more information soon.


Mitochondrial DNA Testing

A summary of all mitochondrial DNA testing done by Graves-Greaves descendants is now on the website at  There is also a chart at, which shows all the known all-female lines from Capt. Thomas Graves (genealogy 169), and from the 5th generation Thomas Graves (who married Mary Perkins and then Ann Davenport).  If we can find living descendants (either male or female) of Capt. Thomas Graves through all-female lines and test them, then we should be able to confirm that his daughters were sisters of each other, and may be able to confirm the identity of his wife.  With the descendants of the 5th generation Thomas Graves, we should be able to determine which daughter were by his first wife and which by his second, and may also be able to confirm the surnames of his wives.  However, since I don’t know complete lineages to find living descendants, your help is essential.


Other New Things

We will be discussing the expansion of the DNA study in the near future, with mtDNA testing and more participation in the National Geographic study.  We will also be discussing how to look up information in the various databases that are available.






As promised during the 4th Annual Conference for Group Administrators in November in Houston, TX, Family Tree DNA is bringing back the traditional Holiday Gift Certificates. You can find more information at


They have posted 6 credits to our project's General Fund for the following:

two $30 Y-DNA37 2007 Gift Certificate

two $15 Y-DNA25 2007 Gift Certificate

two $15 mtDNA 2007 Gift Certificate


This means that if you or a family member place a new order between now and year-end, you may be able to get one of these discounts.  This does not apply to upgrades.  Take advantage of this, and act now.






The “Members only” section is not yet available.  I still need help with creating that.


A page has been added to the site for current news stories about family members.






Rather than asking me, anyone can find which genealogy an ancestor is in by using the search feature at the top right corner of every page of the website.  This feature will actually search the entire website, not just the genealogies.  If you have any difficulty finding exactly what you want, you can use any of the Boolean searches or other techniques described on the Google website.


I have had inquiries about why there are no or few genealogies for a specific place, such as Wisconsin, USA, or Sussex, England.  The answer is usually that those places are in a number of genealogies, but the family did not originate there, and so the earliest known ancestor was from another place.  To find all the genealogies that mention any place of interest to you, use the search capability on the GFA website.






How to order a DNA test

If your Graves or Greaves family has not yet been tested, it is very important that a male descendant with the Graves/Greaves surname be tested.  This is the only way we will know for sure which ancestral family you are descended from.  In addition, for a large family with many lines, we are trying to have a descendant of each line tested so that our knowledge of the family will be more complete and we will be better able to place other families that may be related.  To order, go to the Graves Family Association website at, scroll down to the DNA Study section and click on the “How to sign up” link.  Then select the second option and fill in the requested information.


How to upgrade your DNA test to 37 or 67 markers

If you have already been tested, but only for 12 or 25 markers, it would be helpful for you to upgrade to at least 37 markers.  If you are in a family where all the results at even 37 markers are very similar, then you should upgrade to 67 markers so that we will be better able to distinguish one branch from another.  To upgrade, go to the Family Tree DNA website at, login to your personal page, click on the link at the top of the page for “Order tests”, and fill in the requested information.  No additional sample is needed.  Upgrades are never done automatically, and they will always cost something.






Quite a few years ago Theron Smith of Fort Worth, TX suggested that Alex Haley (the author of Roots, the book and television miniseries) was probably related to the family of Capt. Thomas Graves of VA.  Alex Haley is best known for his book, Roots, which was made into a very popular television special on PBS.  Varney Graves, formerly of Fayetteville, GA researched the connection and concluded that Alex Haley was actually a Graves descendant, descended from Thomas Graves (born 1691 in VA) and Ann Davenport through their daughter Nancy Graves who married William Lea.  A profile of Alex Haley is on our website page for famous family members.  The line of descent from Capt. Thomas Graves was believed to be Thomas1, John2, Thomas3, John4, Thomas5, Nancy6, Thomas7 Lea, Chicken George8 Lea, Tom9 Murray, Cynthia10 Murray, Bertha George11 Palmer, Alexander Murray Palmer12 Haley.


However, as a result of the interest of Chris Haley, a nephew of Alex, in exploring his ancestry, I have taken another look at the Graves connection.  It now appears that may not be the correct ancestry for his Thomas Lea, and that his line was probably descended from a brother of the Isabella Lea who married John Graves and the William Lea who married Nancy Graves (both children of Thomas5 Graves, b. 1691).  It is still possible that Alex Haley was a Graves descendant, and if anyone can provide more information about his ancestry and the relationship to the Graves family, that would be appreciated.






The Graves Family Association Yahoo groups have previously been unrestricted and unmoderated.  Over the past few months we have received several objectionable messages of a sexual nature sent by spammers. In order to prevent this in the future, messages from all new members of these groups will be moderated. That means that I will have to approve before they can be posted and sent to the group. Once I am satisfied that a new member is a legitimate poster, they will be allowed to post without being moderated. That should solve our problem. If it doesn't, I will have to restrict membership, which means I will have to approve new members before they are allowed to post messages.


Please let me know in the future if you become aware of any problem with this list that I might not be aware of.





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.



To subscribe to this bulletin, send an e-mail message to  Please include your full name.  Your postal mailing address and information on your Graves/Greaves ancestry would also be appreciated, although not essential.


To remove your name from this subscription list, send an e-mail message to asking to be removed.