Crawford Clan DNA Challenge

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

Please consider joining me in this

Augusta County, VA Crawford project!

What Is the Crawford / Alexander Link?

As I was transcribing deeds from Jefferson County, Indiana, I found a connection with a guardian record. In the deed, Isaac Crawford sold land to Thomas Alexander. In the guardian record, Thomas Alexander is reimbursed for expenses as a guardian of an orphan on Isaac Crawford. So, what is the connection between Thomas Alexander and Isaac Crawford?

Jefferson County Indiana
Court Records

image 612 – C Index
Crawford M all to Alexander 085
Crawford M settlement 087
Crawford J alld Alexander 85
Crawford M settlement 87

Probate Order Book v. C, Feb. 1827-June 1830
Family Search Film 1310225 Items 3-5; DGS 7663707

183? – actual date not found

Ordered that Thomas Alexander be allwd sixty four dollars
and eighty cents for keeping Isaac Crawford an
Infant orphan of Isaac ^Crawford [Or] take credit on
a note by the adm of P. Crawford [RC]

Jefferson County Indiana Deeds

Book E page 452 Image 239
Family Search Film 1310268 DGS 8059613

page 453

This Indenture, made this nineteenth day of November in the year of
our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and twenty two between
Isaac Crawford & Nancy his wife of Jefferson County [and state]
of Indiana of the first part, and Thomas Alexander of the
same County of the second part witneseth that the said
Isaac Crawford & Nancy his wife for and in consideration
of the sum of eight hundred dollars lawful money [?]
United States to them in hand well and truly paid [?]

page 454

Thomas Alexander the receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged,
have granted, bargained, sold, aliened, released, conveyed and
Confirmed, and by these presents do grant, bargain, sell,
alien, release, convey and confirm, unto the said Thomas Alexander
his heirs and assigns forever, all that certain tract of land
lying & being situated in the County of Jefferson & State of
Indiana, and known by the south east quarter of section no.
seventeen of township no. four north in range ten east in 
the district of lands offered for sale at Jeffersonville – Reserv
ing & excepting out of this conveyance twenty five acres off the
south side of said quarter which the said Isaac Crawford here
to fore sold & conveyed to one Gillum Hudson as will more
fully appear by refference to the records of said conveyance
in the recorders office of said county — And all the estate,
right, title, interest, claim and demand of them the said Isaac
Crawford & Nancy his wife of, in and to the said premises, and
every part thereof, Together with all and singular the priveleges
and appertuances to the same belonging or in any wise app
ertaining and the rents, issues and profits thereof, to have and
to hold the premises hereby bargained and sol, or means, or 
intended so to be, with the appertenances, to the only proper 
use and behoof of the said Thomas Alexander his heirs and
assigns forever and the said Isaac Crawford & Nancy his
wife their heirs, executors and administrators, do covenant prom
ise and agree to and with the said Thomas Alexander his heirs,
executors, administrators and assigns that they are the true and
lawful owners of the premises hereby granted and have
good right full power and lawful authority to all
and convey the same in manner and form aforesaid and
further that they the said Isaac Crawford & Nancy his
wife their heirs executors and administrators, will warrante
and forever defend the aforesaid premises, with their apperten
ances, and every part and parcel thereof unto the said
Thomas Alexander his heirs and assigns against all persons
claiming and claim by, from or under them or any of them
or by from or under any other person or persons who[ud]soever
[be] witness whereof the said Isaac Crawford & Nancy his 
wife have hereunto set their hands and seals the day 
& man first above written
Isaac Crawford (seal)
Nancy (her mark) Crawford (seal)
Sealed and delivered
in the presence of
[N?] Palmer
O. E. Hough