Crawford Puzzle – One Piece at a Time

jigsaw-305576_1280My Crawford lineage has always been like putting together a jigsaw puzzle — trying to figure out how hundreds of pieces fit together. Many years ago, I wrote about dissecting these pieces in order to identify my line. At the time, I identified four James Crawford families that were in the same region of Kentucky prior to 1800.

  • Rev. James Crawford (1752-1803) who married Rebecca McPheeters
  • James Crawford who married Rebecca Anderson
  • James Crawford (1772-1854) who married Sally Duggins in 1799 in Garrard County, KY
  • James Crawford (1770-1833) who married Martha Knight in 1793 in Lincoln County, KY

I descend from Nelson G. Crawford (1808-1864) of Warren County, Indiana. Nelson is the son of James and Sally (Duggins) Crawford. James and Sally lived in Preble County, Ohio from about 1810 until their deaths after 1850. Besides Nelson, the household included a daughter, Polly, and Sarah’s two sons from her marriage to Alexander Duggins: Henry Duggins and William Duggins.

Also living in Preble County Ohio from about 1810 until the late 1820’s is the family of James and Martha Crawford. James and Martha, their children and Nelson G. Crawford migrate from Preble County Ohio to Warren County, Indiana where they purchase land in 1829.

The question has always been: how are these two James related?

DNA results may help with this puzzle. My brother’s yDNA test has shown a close relationship to a descendant of William N. Crawford. Unfortunately, the ancestry of William N. Crawford is currently unknown. I can’t place William N. Crawford as a descendant in my tree, nor can I place him as a descendant of James and Martha Crawford. However, recent Ancestry matches indicate a likely relationship to both men. The descendant of William N. Crawford share the following in a recent email:

maybe William N. was living with relatives. (in reference to 1850 census showing a William N. Crawford in household of William & Lutitia Crawford) [Ancestry – Year: 1850; Census Place: Pike, Warren, Indiana; Roll: M432_178; Page: 3B; Image: 319]
Ancestry DNA has:
  • One fourth cousin match to a descendant of James Crawford m. Martha Knight.
  • Two matches to descendants of James Crawford m. Sally Duggins/Smith, Marcia and another distant cousin.
  • Ancestry has also proposed his inclusion in a NAD circle with other descendants of Nathan Douglas Sellers (1797-1874).  Three of whom are fourth cousins.

Not only was this DNA suggesting a relationship to both Crawford lines, it was suggesting a link to the SELLERS family. The James/Martha line has several ties to the SELLERS family but the James/Sally line has no known ‘direct line’ ties. (Henry Duggins, step-son of James Crawford, married Jane Sellers.) My AncestryDNA results also suggest a SELLERS link. Thus, we are beginning to think the SELLERS family might show how these puzzle pieces fit together.

While going thru my Crawford notes and looking for more documentation on Ancestry, I discovered that several researchers had a completely different name (Jane Jean) for the mother of James (md to Martha). Since I could not find this name on any of the documents I had collected for Crawfords in Kentucky prior to 1800, I decided to check Family Search to see what the ‘tree’ indicated. There I found another Crawford researcher who had made a correction on the tree changing the name back to Rebecca. I contacted this researcher to see if he could shed some light on where this other name came from. I have received several lengthy emails from him regarding our shared research.

He believes the ‘Jane Jean’ came from combining two James Crawfords. His Crawford research, along with the tree on Family Research, indicate that John Crawford was married to Rebecca (not Jane Jean) and was the father of James (md to Martha). According to Family Search, John Crawford was a brother to the James who married Rebecca Anderson. Thus, two of my original James Crawford families can be pieced together as uncle (James md to Anderson) and nephew (James md to Knight).

The puzzle is coming together, but I still can’t connect my piece (James and Sally) into a Crawford line.

Where’s My Irish?

Today is March 17th – St. Patrick’s day. In honor of the day, I was curious about whether I have Irish ancestry. Since my research hasn’t taken me beyond the borders of North America, I really don’t have any Irish lines identified. According to my Ancestry DNA results, my ethnicity % for Ireland is 3%.

DNA Ethnicityscreenshot from Ancestry.com

Out of curiosity, I decided to do some simple research on my family names using Ancestry’s tool to discover the meaning of a surname. Below are the surnames from my 5 generation pedigree with their probable origins. (chart printed with Family Tree Maker 2014)

surnames 5 gen

Crawford — Scottish, English and Northern IRISH

Foster — English

Hammond – English

Ralston – Scottish

Currey — Scottish or IRISH

Burke — IRISH, English, Norway,or German

Hutchinson – Northern English

Harding – English

Briles – German

Thompson – English

Ricketts – English

Christy – Scottish / Northern IRISH

Mentzer – German

Minnick – IRISH

Wells – English

Crandall – Scottish

According to Forebears, my Crawford line originated in Scotland: “Local. First assumed by the proprietor of the lands and barony of Crawford, in Lanarkshire, Scotland.”

Even though my Ancestry DNA ethnicity is only 3% IRISH, five of the lines from my 5 generation pedigree could be IRISH. Interestingly, I also have 5 Scottish lines but Scottish isn’t listed as an ethnicity.

A little searching of Ancestry forums revealed why my report doesn’t include my Scottish origins:

scottish

So, I’ll find some GREEN to wear today and celebrate my IRISH origins!