Have you had your DNA tested? If so, did DNA help you answer a question? Based on Facebook posts I’ve seen, it appears that DNA is helping adoptees to connect with their birth family.
In my case, I wasn’t hoping to identify a close relative. Instead, I was hoping (and still am hoping) to identify my 5th great grandparents — particularly on my dad’s CRAWFORD line. It’s been 3 years since I first spit in a test tube (autosomal DNA) and since my brother swabbed his cheek (yDNA). That’s 3 years of working with various DNA results and few clues about this mysterious CRAWFORD grandfather.
As I’m trying to learn more about our yDNA results, so I can make sense of how we might fit in the Crawford Clan, I’ve come to a couple of conclusions:
- There’s too little data – I need more 5th, 6th and 7th cousins to do a yDNA test
- Determining relationships is VERY dependent on the accuracy of BOTH of our family trees
The closest matches at 37 and 67 markers do not have a common earliest known ancestor. Nor were any of these earliest known ancestors in my paper research — even in my broader research of Kentucky James Crawford families.
As I was able to upgrade the yDNA test to 111 markers, the genetic distances increased to 6 and I still had a wide variety of potential relatives (their earliest known ancestors).
Since the BigY results have come back, my branch of the BigY tree was identified as R-A13336.
Besides identifying my branch on the tree, the BigY test confirmed my placement in the R1b-01B Ardmillan group on the Crawford DNA project. According to the project administrator, I could share a common ancestor with any of the people in the R1b-01 section of the project.
Unfortunately, I still have no idea how I might be related to any of my matches in the R-A13336 haplogroup. However, I do recognize several of the other ‘earliest known ancestors’ in this area of the Crawford project.
The two “James Crawford b1758” likely refer to the James Crawford married to Rebecca Anderson. This James Crawford owned land on Paint Lick Creek in Madison/Garrard Counties, Kentucky prior to his move to Jefferson County, Indiana. This is the same area of Kentucky where my ancestor was married in 1799 along with several other Crawford (William, Rebecca, and Mary) families. I suspect that my ancestor is somehow related to these other Crawfords but have not been able to locate any documentation to support that suspicion.
Another Crawford researcher has James, William and the spouses of Rebecca and Mary as grandsons of Col. John Crawford and great-grandsons of Robert Crawford II and Mary Shaw. This researcher has William Crawford (b. 1691 and d. 1767) as a second son to Robert Crawford II. According to this researcher, sons of William (1691-1767) include Patrick (d. 1787) and Alexander (1716-1764). William, Patrick and Alexander are likely listed as the following earliest known ancestors in the Crawford yDNA project: Patrick (b. 1723 and d. 1787), William (b. 1691 and d. 1761) and Alexander (b. 1715 -d 1764).
This same researcher believes my James Crawford may be the son of Mary Crawford, and thus a grandson of Col. John Crawford and great grandson of Robert Crawford II. (Again, I don’t have any documentation to support this theory.) If this is the case, then my James Crawford (1772-1854) would be a first cousin twice removed to the Alexander Crawford, married to Mary McPheeters, who was killed in 1764. This theory also makes James Crawford (1758-1836) an uncle to my James Crawford. The R1b-01B grouping of yDNA results supports this theory.
A search of the Crawford yDNA project for male children of William Crawford and Mary Ann Douglas (grandsons of Robert and Mary Shaw Crawford) did not locate any ‘earliest known ancestors’ listing for Robert, John, Edward, James, Thomas, William or George using the suggested birth and death information. As stated previously, there is a listing for Patrick in the R1b-01C section and a listing for Alexander Crawford (b. 1715-D1764) in the R1b-01F Ardmillan Outliers section.
Unfortunately, using other trees to locate the documentation to verify this theory becomes very tricky. Many Crawford trees with family going back to the area of Augusta County, Virginia prior to the revolutionary war find the information about the family of Alexander Crawford and his wife Mary McPheeters and try to fit their tree into Alexander’s family.
Thus, the challenges ahead:
- Find more Crawford descendants of these Augusta County, VA lines and encourage them to have their yDNA tested.
- Identify descendants with GedMatch kits and encourage them to participate in the autosomal Crawford gedmatch project
- Encourage my known Crawford autosomal DNA matches to transfer their DNA data to GedMatch and join the project
- Figure out a communication method to connect everyone
- Work with other researchers to document the various Crawford families with roots going back to Augusta County, Virginia (map from https://www.mapofus.org/virginia/)