Are you the manager of a yDNA test? If so, has it helped you figure out your paternal lineage? I know that I began this yDNA journey hoping that the results would break down my Crawford brick wall. Even though my brick wall is still solid, clues are emerging thanks to an excellent Crawford project administrator and many who have completed BigY testing.
My brother’s yDNA test has placed our branch of the Crawford tree in the R1b-01 supergroup. Testers in this group are all under
Unfortunately, most of the others in this supergroup have brick walls hinting at a connection to Augusta County, Virginia.
Breaking down my Crawford brick wall likely means researching several of these lines. Unfortunately that also means
dealing with multiple men named James Crawford
dealing with trees determined to link to Alexander Crawford and Mary McPheeters
dealing with the very large area that original Augusta County covered, including Botetourt and Montgomery counties in Virginia
Thus, when I saw a post by Lucas McCaw in the R1b Y DNA Project group on Facebook about steps one could take to ‘maximize yDNA matching and genealogy’ I was challenged to see if I could use some of these steps – particularly steps 2 and 3 – to help with research in Augusta county.
Instead of contacting (re-contacting) my 37-111 yDNA matches, I started by building a spreadsheet for my matches. Fortunately, many of my matches have a tree attached to their test. This allowed me to put information about their Crawford line into the spreadsheet.
I plan to contact those who do not have a tree attached to see if they can provide enough information to fill in the blanks for their test. Surprisingly, very few of these lines have an obvious connection.
In creating this spreadsheet, I also discovered seven of my matches that do not have an ‘earliest known ancestor’ configured for their test. Nor, does it appear that they are part of the Crawford project. Thus, I plan to contact the managers of these tests to encourage them to attach an ancestor and to also join the Crawford yDNA project.
As a future task, I’m hoping to create a document containing links to these earliest known ancestors on sites such as FamilySearch, WikiTree and Geni.com. Since I have researched at least four of these lines, I will also include a link to those ancestors in my Ancestry tree.
With some of these lines appearing to converge in early Augusta County, I’m hoping that figuring out these various lines will help me sort out the various families in the records.
Here is your assignment, should you decide to accept it (you ARE reading this, so I assume that you really want to play along – cue the Mission Impossible music!):
1) Consider your Birth Surname families – the ones from your father back through his father all the way back to the first of that surname in your family group sheets or genealogy database. List the father’s name, and lifespan years. 2) Use your paper charts or genealogy software program to create a Descendants chart (dropline or graphical) that provide the children and their children (i.e., up to the grandchildren of each father in the surname list). 3) Count how many children they had (with all spouses), and the children of those children in your records and/or database. Add those numbers to the list. See my example below! [Note: Do not count the spouses of the children] 4) What does this list of children and grandchildren tell you about these persons in your birth surname line? Does this task indicate areas that you need to do more research to fill out families and find potential cousins?
My Crawford lineage
James Crawford (1772-1854) married Sally Smith Duggins and had 2 children and 13 children
Nelson G. Crawford (1808-1864) married Martha Smith and had 8 children and had 22 grandchildren
Washington Marion Crawford (1838-1889) married Mary Foster and had 5 children and 20 grandchildren
Judson Foster Crawford (1866-1949) married Josie Hammond and had 7 children and 24 grandchildren
Leon Russel Crawford (1894-1976) married Winnie Letha Currey and had 3 children with only one surviving to adulthood and 3 grandchildren
So, what have I learned?
James Crawford (1772-1854) may have had more children. However, no records tying another child to this family have been found.
I learned to use a different format for the RootsMagic 7 Descendant list report.
As you are researching your ancestors do you ever find a family living in the same county as ancestors or cousins from a totally different branch of your tree? That’s been my experience recently.
Yesterday, while following up on a comment on a blog post about a reader’s potential connection to my Garrard County, Kentucky research, I stumbled upon such a situation. I discovered a reference to Osbourn Bland as one of the survivors taken prisoner at Blue Licks in the Winter 2006 issue of Kentucky ancestors.
This would place an Osburn Bland in Madison County, Kentucky a little before my Crawford line. Now this may not be my Osburn Bland, but it might be. I have tax lists showing an Osborne Bland living in Nelson county prior to 1800. Much more research will need to be done to figure out if this is the same person – or NOT.
Again, my Bland line is on my dad’s mother’s side of the tree while my Garrard/Madison County, Kentucky research is on my dad’s dad’s side of the tree, my Crawford line.
Because of this instance where one branch of my tree seems to cross paths with another branch, I decided to investigate the ‘Who Was There’ report in my genealogy software. I’ve used this report to identify people in Kansas in 1950. However, I’ve never run the report for a specific county or for a range of time or both. Thus, I decided to try this report for Kentucky prior to 1800.
Because I have a relatively large database with lots of facts, this report takes a long time to create. To help speed up the process, I created a marked group using the option to ‘select people by data fields’
Then I configured the ‘Search for Information’ to find ‘Any Fact’ with the ‘place’ containing ‘Kentucky’.
After saving the group, I can now go back to the ‘Who Was There List’ Report and use that marked group instead of ‘Everyone’ for the people to include.
The report still takes a bit of time to generate results, but it produced a 24 page report of the individuals with a fact placing them in Kentucky between 1750-1799. To narrow that down to the area of Garrard, Madison and Lincoln Counties, I created a new marked group. (Note: This uses OR between each of the statements.)
Using this new ‘AnyFact Garrard Madison Lincoln’ group, I re-created the ‘Who Was There’ Report.
This produced an 8 page report.
I thought I was finished. That was until I scanned this report and discovered it didn’t pick up Osborn Bland. After much hair pulling, consultation with others and more hair pulling, I discovered that Osborn Bland wasn’t included on the ‘Who Was There’ report because I didn’t have a birth fact and a death fact for Osborn Bland.
This discovery led me to the ‘Missing Information List’ report. To start with I selected the ‘death’ fact and set the criteria to either be missing or with a blank date. I then changed the people to include to my marked group for Garrard, Madison and Lincoln counties.
I discovered three pages of people in the marked group for Garrard, Madison and Lincoln counties that don’t have a death fact. Thus none of these people will show up on a ‘Who Was There Report’ for Garrard, Madison and Lincoln Counties.
Have you ever counted the number of bridges you cross as you travel from one community to another? In today’s society, I know that I take those bridges for granted and am guessing that you may do likewise.
However, when one is on the south side of a river (stream or creek) and need to get to the other side, those bridges become important. That was very true for my husband and I when he interviewed for a teaching job at Nemaha Valley High School. We were students at Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia, Kansas and the interview was in Seneca, Kansas. Between Emporia and Seneca is one of the major rivers in Kansas – the Kansas River.
We had looked at the maps and figured out a route to get from Emporia to Seneca. Since he was a ‘poor’ college student, he wasn’t interested in taking the turnpike from Emporia to Topeka and then going to Seneca. Ruling out that route, he elected to take the most direct route going thru Maple Hill to Saint Marys and then north to Seneca.
Reaching Maple Hill, we discovered that the bridge across the Kansas River was closed for construction. Thus, a search of the map began for another bridge to get us from the South side of the river to the North side. We ended up going thru Paxico. Fortunately, we were able to locate a pay phone and call ahead to warn the superintendent that we would be late due to our issue with the bridge.
My Crawford relatives were greatly impacted by this need for a bridge when they migrated to Dodge City. The majority of their land holdings were on the South side of the Arkansas River while the Santa Fe trail, railroad and business district were all on the North side of the river.
By the time James H. Crawford and his family arrived in Dodge City, the Dodge City Bridge Company had erected a toll bridge across the river. Tolls to cross the bridge were $1.50 for a team and wagon, $2.00 for a four to six horse team and $.25 for men on horseback (or pedestrians). [Toll information from the article, “John T. Riney: the First Toll Keeper” by Kathie Bell for the Dodge City Daily Globe. A clipping of the article was shared in the Facebook group, Growing Up in Dodge City.]
Being entrepreneurs, the Crawford family established a Branding Corral one mile south of the river. They also purchased and refurbished the South Side Hotel. Both of these businesses would have attracted cattlemen and other travelers coming to Dodge City from Texas.
The undersigned has a large and convenient corral for the branding of through Texas cattle, one mile south of the Arkansas river bridge. Apply at the residence south end of river bridge, or at my place of business inthe city.
Dodge City Times, July 24, 1884
The South Side Hotel
Has been repaired, refitted and refurnished, and is now opened to the traveling public. Everything home-like and pleasant.
A good Feed Stable and large Horse Pasture in connection.
Prices reasonable. No drinks sold on the premises.
Dodge City Times, July 2, 1885
Crossing the river was an almost daily task for J. H. Crawford and his family since he ran Crawford Grocers in Dodge City.
The need to connect those settlers on the south side of the river with the commerce district on the north side was behind the ‘Free Bridge’ movement.
There is nothing that would assist business in Dodge City and the improvement of Ford county so materially as a free bridge across the Arkansas river. Complaint reaches us every day in the week from the numerous settlers who are locating on the south side of the river. It looks to them like an outrage to be compelled to pay a dollar for bridge toll whenever they wish to visit the city or haul a load to the settlements. The business men of Dodge City should make some effort in this direction, as it is creating a prejudice in the minds of the settlers against the town. A dollar is a small sum in the eyes of many western people, but tot hose who are just from the east where dollars are not picked up so easily it is different, and they will go a good ways around rather than pay a dollar. If Spearville or Cimarron should build a bridge we would lose a very large trade. It should be the duty of the county officers, whose salaries have been increased to a very handsome pile, to spend a little time looking up this matter, knowing it to be for the benefit of their constituents, and notify the people through the Globe just what steps are necessary to be take in order to build a bridge or purchase the old one.
The Dodge City Globe (Dodge City, Kansas) 25 March 1879, page 3.
In April of 1885, an agreement between the township board and the Dodge City Bridge Company was reached for the purchase of the existing bridge.
At a meeting of the Township Board the bridge bond question was the all absorbing topic before that body. As was reported in our last issue, the bridge bonds were issued on the 18th inst., and all that now remained was to get the bridge company to accept of the same as per agreement, which we regret to say the bridge company, through its president, R. M. Wright, refused todo, unless certain further concessions were made on the part of the board, to-wit: That on account of certain expenditures on the the part of the bridge company, incurred in investigating the validity of the bonds and in subduing the opposition of the Santa Fe railroad company on the issuance of the same, he proposed to accept the $6,00 in bond for the bridge and would give possession to the same on or before July 1st, 1885, the township to have the interest on said bonds from time of issuance to time of turning property over tot he township, the bridge company entering into a bond of $10,000 with G. M. Hoover as surety, for the faithful performance of the contract so entered into with the township board. The board after consulting with a large number of tax-paying citizens, and finding a majority of the opinion that the proposition should be accepted as the best that could be done, accordingly delivered the bonds to the bridge company. So the question is settled. Before the great Fourth of July, with its spirit of Freedom, rolls around, the bridge will be free and those passing over independent of toll. The bridge is insured, and the policy will be assigned to the township.
The Dodge City Globe (Dodge City, Kansas) 28 April 1885, page 4
Thus, the toll bridge was no more and the South Dodge was connected to the main business district by a free bridge.
I’m sure we can all agree that each of us needs to work toward having as accurate a family tree as possible. However, I’m willing to admit and hopefully you are too that there could be a mistake or two or several in my tree. Even with an effort to separate out people of the same name and to carefully document findings, those mistakes can still creep in.
Since I have a large database, the chances for such a mistake in my work is high. I hope that when someone else discovers that error in my tree they tell me about it and point me to sources to correct that error.
When it comes to my CRAWFORD research, there are a lot of common given names such as James, John, William, Alexander and Edward that make it difficult to distinguish families. Most of my CRAWFORD research traces the family from early Kentucky back to Montgomery, Botetourt and Augusta counties in Virginia. Augusata County, Virginia is where the family of Alexander and Mary McPheeters Crawford raised their family.
And it is when Alexander and Mary McPheeters Crawford get attached to many many many Crawford trees that other CRAWFORD researchers get frustrated. This is particularly frustrating when working with yDNA tests to help identify family lines.
Several of the Kentucky CRAWFORD lines have participated in the CRAWFORD yDNA project. I believe all five of the Kentucky James Crawford families I’ve worked to untangle are all found in the R1b supergroup.
The three families from the area of early Garrard county, Kentucky are in the same haplogroup: R-Y88686.
James Crawford b1772VA m1799Ky d1854OH – My line – in the R1b-01B Ardmillan group R-Y88686
James Crawford b1770 VA M Knight 1793 KY d1833 IN – in the R1b-01B Ardmillan group R-Y88686 — the Crawford family that was neighbors to my Crawford line for over 100 years
James Crawford b 1758 VA; d1836 IN – in the R1b-01B Ardmillan group R-Y88686 — the James Crawford married to Rebeccca Anderson Maxwell; this James owned land along Paint Lick Creek in Garrard County, Kentucky prior to migrating to Indiana.
I believe the James Crawford of Fleming county, Kentucky is represented on the project in the R1b-01C group as James Crawford b1758. This family also likely has roots in Montgomery, Botetourt and Augusta Counties in Virginia.
So where do descendants of Alexander and Mary McPheeters Crawford fit in this yDNA study? There is one R1b test that indicates Alexander Crawford b1716 d1764 as the earliest known ancestor. Working with this tester, it appears that his line does descend from William Crawford and his wife Rachel Sawyers, making it a legitimate Alexander Crawford line. Currently this tester is in group R1b-01F. Based on this test, that would put Rev James Crawford of Lexington, Kentucky in the R1b-01F group.
However, there are several other yDNA testers claiming Alexander Crawford as their earliest known ancestor.
Granted, I’m not sure all four of the above tests are referring to the Alexander Crawford that was killed by Indians in 1764, but I’m guessing at least three of them are claiming Alexander and Mary McPheeters Crawford as their ancestors.
So which is it? Do Alexander Crawford’s descendants fall in the R1b-01F group? Or are they in the I1-D5 group, or the I1-D9 group, or the I1-12 group? Or what about the R1a-5 group? I don’t believe they can be in all FIVE yDNA groupings.
These examples from yDNA testing are just a small portion of the issue. A search of Ancestry trees for Alexander Crawford and his wife Mary McPheeters reveals 5869 public trees contain this couple. Now, not all of those trees will represent descendants but many of them will. (My tree would be included in that count and I don’t descend from Alexander and Mary.)
Since I’m fairly certain that the James Crawford (1758-1836) who married Rebecca Anderson does not descend from Alexander and Mary McPheeters Crawford, I did a search for such a combination: James Crawford b1758, d1836, father Alexander Crawford, mother Mary McPheeters and spouse Rebecca. That search resulted in 2282 trees. Looking at the results, I found the James Crawford of Fleming County, KY (wife Sarah Van Zandt) on that list many times. Browsing down the list, I found James Crawford who married Rebecca Anderson.
Even though the DAR records for these two James Crawford have been confused over time, they are two separate families. Since they were both born in 1758, they can’t both be sons of Alexander Crawford and Mary McPheeters.
Below is what I have for the family of Alexander and Mary Crawford.
If the above family is correct, then neither the James who married Rebecca Anderson nor the James who married Sarah Van Zandt are sons of Alexander and Mary Crawford.
There are a few books that I’ve used to figure out that my James Crawford does NOT descend from Alexander and Mary McPheeters Crawford:
Helen McPheeters Rice, The McPheeters Family (Winter Park, FL: No publisher, 1956). There is an digital edition of this book on FamilySearch.
William M. Clemens, Crawford Family Records: An Account of the First American Settlers and Colonial Families of the Name of Crawford (New York: William M. Clemens, 1914). This book is also available on FamilySearch.
Amanda Crawford Arbogast Forbes and Lucetta Crawford Sammis, Compilers, Descendants of Alexander & Mary McPheeters Crawford: Pioneer Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia (Baltimore, MD: Gateway Press, 1980). The Family History Library has the book on microfiche. Microfiche of this book can be found at Midwest Genealogy Center (and possibly other major genealogy libraries). This book outlines descendants for several generations and includes lots of source references.
My Crawford family has roots in the same area that descendants of Alexander and Mary Crawford lived. Thus the records for my family line will be intermingled with the records for Alexander’s line. I’m guessing that there were other Crawford family lines also living in that area of Virginia prior to 1800.
Thus, a lot of work will need to be done to try and identify these various Crawford family lines in early Augusta county. If you have Alexander and Mary McPheeters Crawford as ancestors in your tree, are you willing to use the above resources and the documents mentioned in them to verify your descent? Until we get these family lines sorted out correctly, our DNA results won’t help identify that next generation. Are you willing to help sort these early Augusta County, Virginia Crawford families out?
Do you ever look at a genealogy resource with rose colored glasses? In other words, do you perceive that resource as the one resource that will break thru brick walls? That is how I approached DNA testing.
Unlike many people who are testing their DNA, I already knew a lot about my ancestors. Even though the following chart was recently created with the preview edition of RootsMagic 8, I had most of these ancestors in my file when I started working with DNA over 5 years ago.
Even though DNA likely won’t help me identify that ‘next’ generation, I am finding that it is providing ‘Supporting Evidence’ for my current research.
For example, my Currey line goes thru several generations of Hiram Curreys to the Hiram Mirick Currey who was the treasurer of the state of Ohio in 1819. Through the years, I’ve worked with other researchers and collected documents that appear to support the lineage. However, I don’t have a deed, will or probate record that ties one generation to the next.
Thanks to Ancestry ThruLines, some of my matches show up as descendants of Hiram Mirick Currey thru his other children.
Not only do I look for descendants thru other children, I also look for descendants thru a different spouse. For example, my 2nd great-grandfather, Richmond Fisk Hammond, remarried after his wife, my 2nd great-grandmother died. He had a daughter thru this second marriage. ThruLines supports this second family.
Another example is my ancestor, James Crawford’s wife, Sarah Smith Duggins. Since she had a previous marriage, I’m hoping to use her ThruLines to learn more about my Smith ancestors.
I’ve found that my Ancestry ThruLines data can also point out spots in my tree that might be incorrect. For example, I have James B McCormick and Sarah Hall as the parents of Nancy Jane McCormick Ralston (1818-1907). When I look at ThruLines, James B. McCormick has 4 matches with two of those being my brothers. That’s not a lot of support for him being the father of Nancy, especially when compared to his wife Sarah Hall who has 30 DNA matches.
I’ve taken advantage of the ability to download my Ancestry DNA and upload my results to other sites, including GedMatch and My Heritage. Because my ancestry is basically colonial, my Ancestry results are providing more connections than My Heritage. Thus, I spend most of my ‘DNA time’ working with Ancestry data.
Not only was I wearing rose colored glasses when doing autosomal DNA testing, but also when having my brother do yDNA testing. I was hoping that this test would identify my Crawford ancestors. Unfortunately, that hasn’t proven to be true to date.
Even though yDNA hasn’t helped identify the parents of James Crawford, it has proven a connection with the other James Crawford families in Garrard County, Kentucky.
As pointed out by several genetic genealogists, tools such as triangulation or segment data are needed to prove a genetic relationship. These tools are not available on Ancestry where the majority of my DNA data resides. With an over-abundance of DNA data, I’m content (for now) with not being able to use my DNA data as scientific proof of a relationship. Instead, I will continue to use it as a tool to evaluate my tree and as a way to connect with cousins who might have additional information.