Feed on

My dad’s lineage traces back to the late 1500s, my ancestor William Bradford being the first governor of Massachusetts – we even still have a deed from 1762 to another ancestor, Aaron Graves, from King George. My dad’s side of the family has been in a town called Sunderland, Massachusetts, for at least a couple hundred years. He was one of five siblings, and was one of the first in his family to go to college, at Amherst college in 1972, just 10 minutes away from his home town, where he majored in chemistry. In 1976, he graduated from Amherst and began graduate school for chemistry at the university of North Carolina.

My mom was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, the sixth of nine children. As far as her ancestry goes, it’s not quite as clear, although there is definitely ancestors in Ireland, England, and Scotland, as well as some other northern european countries. In 1971 she was the first in her family to go to college, at Tennessee Technical University, where she majored in organic chemistry. In 1975, she graduated, and moved to North Carolina for a job. A year later, in 1976, she applied to graduate school, at the university of North Carolina, for biochemistry.

As part of a graduate class of only 27, my parents met fairly quickly, and by 1978 they got married. In late 1980 my dad completed grad school, my mom finishing a few months after. In 1981, they moved to California for their post-docs, at the University of California in Berkeley. For a few months they lived in San Jose before moving to Berkeley. In October of 1982, my brother Daniel was born, and the following year they moved to a town called El Cerrito. In 1986, my parents got jobs at the pharmaceutical company, Hoffman La Roche, as senior scientists. In April of that year, my sister Catherine was born, just before they moved to New Jersey. For six months, they lived in an apartment in Cedar Grove before moving to Nutley. In 1992, they moved to a different house in Nutley, and in April of 1993 I was born.

In early 1996, for my parents’ work, our family moved to Welwyn, Hertfordshire in England. Between March 1996 and August 2001 we moved between four different houses, but all in generally the same location. That august we moved back to America, living briefly in Clifton before moving back to the house I was born in. Since then, we’ve stayed in the same house.

In 1999, my brother Daniel moved back to the states to attend Phillips Exeter Academy, and my sister followed suit in 2001. In the fall of that year, my brother graduated from high school and moved to Massachusetts, to attend Amherst College, where my dad also went, majoring in fine arts. He graduated in 2005, and moved briefly to Houston, Texas before moving to New York City, where he currently lives.

In 2004, my sister moved to Washington, D.C. to attend Georgetown University, double majoring in Physics and Government. In 2008, she moved to Palo Alto, California, to attend graduate school at Stanford University for physics, where she currently lives.

My parents initially did not even want to move to New Jersey – on a road trip to Massachusetts while they were living in North Carolina, they drove through New Jersey and at first thought that it would be a terrible place to live. After a few business trips to Nutley’s Roche facility, however, my mom came to love the location, and I was the first Graves to be born in New Jersey. My lineage is a mixed bag of both long-time residence and an amalgam of many countries, both the United States and many european countries. Having moved all over as a child, I’m used to being a collection of cultures, and interestingly enough, I intend to make my first personal journey to college down in Nashville, Tennessee at Belmont University, my mother’s hometown. Where I’ll go after then, I don’t know, but I know that I’ll be ready for whatever comes next.

Leave a Reply