Families Associated with the Early Yanceys of America.


It has been various years now that I have basically thrown out the window the theory or claim that the Yanceys came over in 1642 with Sir William Berkeley.  There just is nothing to support it.  However  I have researched various families below that were closely associated with the early Yanceys – and I can see how such a theory could have developed and evolved (get twisted) over time – especially in relation to families like the Crawford and Macon Families that either did come over about 1642 – or were at one time thought to have come over about 1642 – and both families did have connections to Berkeley.   Also of note are the various French families that are associated with the early Yancey – many or all of which were among the French Huguenots that came over in the early 1700’s -  again information concerning such families getting intertwined with the Yancey history and you can see the explanation of why the claim that the Yanceys were French and possibly Huguenots came about.


Below are various families that were closely associated with the early Yanceys.

Researching these families can help in giving some ideas as to the origins of the Yancey family and maybe why they may have come to America.  It also goes to show just how easy it was for English/Welsh/French families to intermingle and marry in this area of Virginia.


Though I have yet to find any especific example of  relationships between the Ansley Family and the Yancedy Family

it shoiuld be noted that the descendants of William Ansley share a common YDNA



Berkeley, Sir William





Crawford Family

A family of English origin.

David Crawford came to Virginia about 1642/43 and many of his descendants lived in areas and counties where the Yanceys also lived  (New Kent, Hanover, Louisa Counties in Virginia).

The Crawford family was a family of both position and means in early colonial Virginia.

David Crawford was a member of the House of Burgesses and would have had contact with Sir William Berkeley.

David Crawford was the grandfather of two sisters  Ann and Mary – who both married Yanceys of Louisa County Virginia and had numerous descendants.





Dabney Family

The Dabney Family is another French family – which  though didn’t marry directly into the Yancey family – seems to have had some  connection – and seemingly would have been a family known by the Yanceys.  They also appear to have been French Huguenots.

Note the name Charles (common among the Yanceys ) is also found among the  Dabney family. There even seems to be some Welsh connection with this family.  Two brothers Cornelius and John D’aubigny (Dabney) are to have come to America in the early 1700’s – originally from France – but possibly via Wales

The name “Charles Dabney Yancey” is a name passed down in the Joel Yancey family branch.


See write-up starting on page 23:


Davis Family

Members of the Davis family can be found in some of the same early counties that the Yanceys are found in:  New Kent, King William, Louisa, Hanover etc.  Note the name Lewis Davis Yancey – among the earliest Yanceys.   These Davis’s probably came from England or Wales.




Douglas Family




Dumas Family

Yet another French family that came over to America about 1700 – and became part of a French Huguenot settlement known as Manakin town – but descendants quickly intermarried with English families in the area where the Yanceys also lived (Hanover, Goochland, Louisa Counties in Virginia.  A large branch of the Yancey family descend from Robert Yancey who married Temperance Dumas – daughter of Jeremiah Dumas of France.  One can easily see how the idea or belief that the Yanceys were French could have come about – as indeed the descendants of Robert Yancey were indeed of French ancestry through his wife a French woman.






One Abraham Estes is to have immigrated to America in the 1670's.  He is to have had a son Richard who is often reported as marrying one Mary Yancey.  Though hard evidence is lacking an intermarriage between teh Estes and Yancey families dos seem logical - - and one can find the name of Charles Estes among the early family - and one wonders if this came from Charles Yancey.








One Benjamin Harris was the husband of Sarah Dumas – sister of Temperance Dumas who was the wife of Robert Yancey (See Dumas Family).   He became the  guardian of Robert Yanceys children when Robert died.

The Harris family traces back to one William Harris who came from England to Virginia in 1621.



Though I am not aware of any intermarriage between this family and the Yancey family - the similarities are striking.

see this link:

Jennings Family

Note Cornelius Dabney married Sarah Jennings

Also note Robert Jennings of Hanover County Virginia had two daughters who

Married Yanceys.




Kavanaugh Family

A family of Irish origin.  Charles Kavanaugh came to Virginia  about

And acquired land amounting to about 4000 acres.  Lewis Davis Yancey married Winifred Kavanaugh. 


Note there is a connection between the Kavanaughs and Dumas Families and thus a French connection.


Kimbrough Family




Leighton  Family

Most genealogical reports of the Yancey family record one Charles Yancey who married Mary Leighton –  Charles being the earliest Yancey in America.  Though there is no extant documentation/proof for this relationship it has been seriously considered – and it is interesting to see the name Leighton  (not just Layton) among the early Yanceys.

The Leightons were a Scottish family.





Macon Family

One Gideon Macon came to America sometime in the mid 1600’s and settled.  He was a secretary to Lord William Berkeley in the 1670s.  He had land in New Kent County Virginia in a Parish in a general area where the Yanceys also lived.

The Macon family is of French origin – possibly via England.  They were seeming French Huguenots.

Joel Yancey of Bedford County Virginia () married Elizabeth Macon – and the name Macon was often passed down in the family as a middle name.

Some people mistakenly have assumed the Macons came in 1642 – the date that Berkeley first came to America.  This seems to be an erroneous assumption – but one can see how anyone who assumed or believed a connection to Berkeley would often have assumed, if they didn’t have the real facts, that a given family came over in 1642 – which was a well known date for Berkeley coming to America.




Nanney Family:

The most common family tradition as to the origin of the Yanceys is that the name was originally Nanney.  Though this may be the case – its lacks hard evidence.

There does not seem to be a “tight coupling” between the earliest Yanceys of America and the earliest Nanneys.  They settled in different counties and did not seem to have a close relationship – such as intermarriage of cousins which was common in early Virginia.






Saxon Family

There are numerous examples of interconnections between the Yanceys and Saxons – including an apparent (but not proven) intermarriage (between Samuel Saxon and Mary Yancey).



Thornton Family

Though not proven - there are  possible Yancey/Thornton marriages.

The wife of James Yancey of Granville County North Carolina is thought to have been a Thornton.

The Wife of John Thornton of the same county is thought to be one Agatha Yancey.-

The Thorntons are to have come to America in 1660 from England -

Information on Thornton Yancey -


Some addititonal families that may have come over to Virginia bout the same time as the Yanceys

Evan Ragland Family


Additional Links in ref to the Origins of the Yancey Family