Subject: Very clear erroneous conclusion concerning John Yancey as father of Ensign Charles, Leighton, and Bartlett Yancey as recorded in two 19th Century works.

LAURUS CRAWFURDIANA ( aka "THE CRAWFORD BOOK"), by Frank A. Vanderbilt - 1883, is one of the very few books written in the 19th century giving an account of a particular branch of the family and briefly mention information about the origin of the Yancey family. The CRAWFORD BOOK, though a great resource concerning information on the Louisa County, Virginia Yancey contains a brief (but erroneous) paragraph about the earliest Yanceys in America as follows:

"John Yancey is said to have from from Wales, England
            Leighton - lived nad died in Rockingham Coutny
            Bartlett - he removed to North Carolina
                     Honorable Bartlett Yancey [Jr] of N.C.  was probably a descendant of Bartlett Yancey. . . .

  Charles Yancey, son of John married a French lady by the name of Dumas
                Charles (Capt). b May 10 1741 married Mary Crawford
                Robert (Rev.) married Ann Crawford b 1752"

 This information was also later included in Phillip Slaughters NOTES ON CULPEPER COUNTY as compiled and published by Raleigh Travers Green.

This information,  along with the biography of William Lowndes Yancey mentioning the immigrant "Yancey brothers of 1642" was about all that existed of "published" information concerning the history of the Yancey family available to Yancey genealogists working in the early 1900's. It was almost without exception quoted in the more extensive and inclusive genealogical reports and publications that were compiled at later dates from the research done by these early 20th century Yancey researchers. However, no documentation was included in these later reports concerning the relationship of John and his three sons and this information often seemed to be integrated with apparent confusion or uncertainty by these later compilers. Some researchers of later date even discarded the info concerning the relationship of John and his three sons and came up with distinct conclusions concerning the parentage of Ensign Charles, Leighton, and Bartlett.

It now seems clear as the result of research done in recent decades by various researchers that the conclusion made by Vanderbilt concerning the relationship between Immigrant John and his three sons is erroneous. Ensign Charles Yancey is known to have been from Culpeper County and was the son of Lewis Davis Yancey. The Leighton Yancey who's descendants were involved in Mexican , Civil, and World War I  is clearly William Layton Yancey as recorded in the book by Rebecca Yancey. Bartlett Yancey who was a legislator and congressman of North Carolina is known to be the descendant of Charles and Mary Bartlett Yancey through their son Capt. James Yancey who lived in Granville. Even the existence of an "immigrant John"  seems very very questionable. (What evidence?)

The Yancey who married the French lady by name Dumas, is now known to have been one Robert Yancey, not Charles, though he was indeed the Father of Capt Charles and Rev. Robert Yancey.

It seems clear that the statement in the Crawford book about Immigrant John Yancey and his sons is in error - as to the very earliest Yanceys in America and their relationships to each other.  Such errors were passed on for many decades and were only rectified and made clear in more recent decades.

Frank Vanderbilt


Another quite interesting point in relation to the Crawford Book is it's author. Nowhere in the published volume is the exact author really formally cited.  Bibliographic databases record the author as Ms. Frank Armstrong Crawford Vanderbilt whose was a Yancey/Crawford descendant and whose family line is discussed throughout the book.   If you didn't catch that - YES - "Frank" was HER name.  And you may also recognize her last name - as the same last name as one of the richest men in the country in the 1800's - that of railroad tycoon and millionaire  "Cornelius Vanderbilt"  and it  turns out that was indeed Frank's husband - she being his second wife. It would seem that Frank, using her financial resources and her connections commissioned a researcher to help her compile the book (A man by last name "Root") - collected much of the family history and memorabilia and compiled it in 1883 as "Laurus Crawfurdiana".  It seems to be quite a rare volume.  Few researchers of the 1900's ever saw the text of the actual volume - but only knew of it as later compilations quoted it.


Click here for more information on Frank and Cornelius Vandrbilt       



Here is additional information from the Crawford Book that leads one to believe that the story about the "Yancey brothers of 1642" may have been a "twisted" story originally based on the Crawfords and not the Yanceys.

"David Crawford . . . came to America with his father somewhere between 1643 and 1667 at which later date a grant of 86 acres of land was made him by Sir William Berkeley, the governor of the colony. . . . The location of this land was in the Parish of St Martins Hundred in James City, County. The second grant of land was made by Sir W Berkeley in 1672 securing him 1,000 acres of land, in view of the said Crawford having fulfilled the condition of bringing into the colony twenty persons" doubtless from the old country. [This was land in New Kent County, - probably some of which became Hanover County - of where the earliest Yanceys are found]


William Berkeley

DJY: people who made it a business of bringing people here to America - were granted 50 acres per person brought over - in the case of Crawford - 20 people x 50 acres - 1000 acres. grandchildren of this David Crawford married into the Yancey Family. The fact that David Crawford was able to organize transport for 20 people to come to America - seems to clearly indicate a man of means.