To Define and Verify Family Lines and Connections
While we have no commercial interest in any DNA testing company
Project Results and Discussion
Five Dorsey/Dossey Lines from the Mid-Atlantic Colonies
Though the name Dorsey is fairly common in the United States (ranking 604th with a frequency of about .02% in the general population)1 , it is rarely found in England and Ireland, the more common variant of the surname there being Darcy (D'Arcy). The surname Darcy is ranked 13816 in the US.2 Other variants found in the United States are the less common Dossey (ranking 20939th)3 and Dawsey (27807th)4 . In many cases, these variant spellings are reflective of the spelling skills of census takers and other government clerical workers of the 18th and 19th centuries. However, there are several family groups in which the Dossey spelling has persisted or, at least, alternated with the Dorsey spelling a significant portion of the time. The Dorsey project has participants from nine such families. The results for five of those lines are shown in Table II-1. Four other family groups using the Dossey spelling are discussed as Lineage VI.
Many of the marker values shared by this group are found frequently in individuals of western European descent. For comparison, these marker values, known as the Western Atlantic Modal Haplotype are shown in Row 1, Table II-1.
Data line 1 of results in Table II-1 is the haplotype of a descendantof Daniel Dorsey/Dossey, a son of Elias Dorsey/Dossey who was living in Butte/Franklin County, North Carolina in the 1700’s5 and who later moved on to Oglethorpe County, Georgia where he died in 1796.6
DNA marker values in Data line 2 are from a descendantof Matthew Dorsey/Dossey, another son of Elias Dorsey/Dossey. Descendants of this family use both the names Dorsey and Dossey.
Data line three presents marker values of a descendantof James Dossey who died in Albemarle County VA c.1815. His son Joseph was in Missouri by 1850.7 This James Dossey has been believed to have descended from James Dorsey/Dossey of Calvert County MD. Dossey researchers have suspected a connection between this group and the Elias Dossey branch, owing to 1) the persistence in the use of the Dossey vs. Dorsey spelling, 2) some tracks including families of spouses, in the trail through Virginia from MD to NC, and 3) some similarities in given names.
Data line 4 is the results of a descendantof Jeremiah Dorsey, who died in 1828, in Barren County, Ky. Dossey researchers have suspected links between this branch and the Elias branch based on 1) the early 1800's presence of a Jeremiah Dossey in Franklin County, NC8 , 9 , 2) possible land dealings between the families of Elias and Jeremiah10 3) North Carolina being the birthplace of Jeremiah's sons,11 and 4) the persistence in the use of the Dossey spelling.
Data line five of Table II-1 is from a descendantof Soloman sic Dossey who was also present in Butte/Franklin County, NC in the late 1700’s. Soloman may have been a brother to Elias, for they are linked many times in land dealings and other activities in late 18th century North Carolina. However, when Elias migrated to GA in 1787 or so, Soloman stayed in North Carolina, where he left a will in 1818.12
Interestingly, although they represent lines that separated and lost touch many years ago these five family lines match perfectly at all 25 markers tested in common. That along with the persistent Dossey spelling and a few entries here and there in the public record confirms a recent, yet to be identified, common ancestor for them. A smattering of records place most Lineage II participants' earliest known ancestors in close proximity and suggest a common 17th or 18th century ancestor in the mid-Atlantic colonies, North Carolina and/or Maryland specifically.
Not surprisingly, in light of such a close match to the Western Atlantic Modal Haplotype, when only the first 12 markers tested by Family Tree DNA are considered, this group has over 1771 matches outside their surname! When considering possible matches with who have tested 25 markers, the Dosseys also have a large number of 22-24/25 marker matches with individuals of different surnames. However, they have only a few exact 25 marker matches outside their own surname project and the two members who have upgraded their markers to 37 markers have matches only with each other and with two other surnames.13
The last row of values in Table II-1 records the frequencies at which each of the marker values of this group are found in members of the R1b Haplogroup.14 Three Lineage II marker values occur with a relatively low frequency in the general R1b population, DYS #’s 458, 449 and 464d. DYS 449 is a very volatile marker and in spite of its low frequency, 29 is the most commonly occurring value. However, Lineage II values of DYS 458 (= 18) and DYS 464d (= 18) are present in only 22 and 23 percent of R1b populations respectively giving the group two unique markers to distinguish their line.
Descendants of Matthew Dossey and Jeremiah Dossey have upgraded their tests to 37 markers. Those results are reported in Table II-2. The match between these two lines continues with the exception of a single,
one-step mismatch at DYS 576 (highlighted in blue) further supporting a recent common ancestor. DYS 576 is one of a set of markers chosen by Family Tree DNA because their relative volatility makes them potentially useful in identifying branching points of closely related lines. Consequently, this difference is not surprising and may even prove useful as these two lines try to piece together the details of their relationship. (Family Tree DNA, based on statistical analyses of their extensive database, predicts that two individuals of the same surname with a 36/37 marker match are “tightly related.”15 )
Also included, as the last row of this table, are the marker frequencies for these markers within the R1b Haplogroup. Although there appear to be quite a few more unique markers in this set, it also must be pointed out that the frequency calculations were based on a somewhat smaller sample size than the calculations for the makers in the first 25 marker set shown in Table II-1. It would be premature to attach too much significance to these marker frequencies until more data is available.
James Dossey of Calvert County Maryland
Some traditions of Maryland origins and other glimmers of information from scattered records have led Lineage II researchers to identify James Dossey who was in Calvert County, MD in the late 1600's as a candidate for their ancestor. They are actively seeking a proven descendantof James Dossey who would be willing to join the Dorsey DNA Project with whom they could compare their DNA. Nannie Ball Nimmo has written a detailed and well documented review of this line which was published in Maryland Marriages and Genealogies, 1634-1820.16
Most likely because of the two unusual markers discussed above, most matches between Lineage II and persons of other surnames are not exact 25/25 marker matches. There are only a handful of 25/25 marker matches with two other surnames—Creed and Cranford. The most intriguing of these 25/25 marker matches is with a Cranford line who also traces back to late 17th century Calvert County, Maryland. (Values for the Calvert County based Cranfords for markers one through twenty-five are shown in row 6 in Table II-1 above.) Interestingly, the Cranford/Dossey match continues to be close at the 37 marker level with two Cranfords matching the Dosseys at 35/37 marker and one at 34/37 markers (Row 3, Table II-2). One of the mismatches is at DYS 576, the site of the mismatch between the descendants of Elias Dossey and Jeremiah Dossey, with Jeremiah Dossey’s descendantshowing an intermediate value between the descendantof Elias Dossey and the Cranfords.
Matches between different surnames are usually indicative of a shared common ancestor before the advent of surnames—particularly within commonly found haplotypes. However, when the DNA match is accompanied by commonalities in time and place, it certainly becomes interesting—especially when the shared markers are of unusual values such as those at DYS#’s 458 and 464d. (This is not to mention the possibly unusual marker values in the third panel.) In this case, one of the Cranfords traces his ancestry back to William Cranford of Calvert County, MD, the home of the Dossey’s proposed ancestor James Dorsey/Dossey. Members of Dossey/Dorsey and Cranford families are found together in several early records from that area.
Some Records involving Dossey/Dorsey and Cranford in Colonial Calvert County, MD
The will of John Gill, witnessed by James Dossey and probated in 1687 gives most of his estate to Martha Morris, the daughter of Martha Dossey, who was also named executrix.17 The administrators of this will when it was probated in 1687 were Nathaniel Cranford and his wife Martha. 18 An entry into the Inventories and Accounts of the Prerogative Court of Maryland records that James Dosey was married by October 23, 1679 to Martha, executrix of Thomas Morris of Calvert County19 . From this it would appear that Martha Morris, daughter of Martha Dossey was the daughter of Thomas Morris, stepdaughter of James Dossey and wife of Nathaniel Cranford. On December 2, 1698, Martha Cranford appeared in the Prerogative Court of Maryland as executrix for Nathan Cranford. One orphan child was mentioned in those proceedings.20
A Nathaniel Cranford made a will November 3, 1749 (proved July 28, 1750) leaving his estate to his brother Benjamin Cranford, with mother Elizabeth Cranford the other part of the estate. Witnesses to this will were James Dossey, Sr. and John Cranford.21
James Dossey, Jr., made a will in 1758 naming among his children, a son Philip and a daughter Rebecca who married James Cranford. To his son Philip, James Dossey left “150 acres which I purchased from Capt Hyde, called “Robinsons Rest”.22 Chancery Court records of 1787 include a record of a lawsuit between Philip Dossey and his brother-in-law James Cranford concerning the title to a piece of property named “Robinsons Rest.”23
There are opportunities for “non-paternal events” in every age, i.e., widows remarry and bring children, sometimes unborn, who take their stepfather’s names; parents die by disease or war and a relative or friend takes in the children and raises them with their name; or a young daughter has a child out of wedlock and her parents raise it as their own. Infidelities within marriage occur—sometimes with and sometimes without the husband’s knowledge. A widow may give her illegitimate child the name of her deceased husband. A variety of scenarios over several generations could be devised to account for matches between individuals with different surnames.
In light of the commonalities of both DNA results and traditional genealogical records, the Cranford and Dossey families are reviewing their records and scouring the Maryland Archives and other sources for more clues regarding their past connections. It is certainly possible that their lines may be connected by either a Cranford child who was raised as a Dossey or a Dossey child who was raised as a Cranford.
In contrast, no obvious connections have been found between the Dorsey/Dosseys and the Creed family with whom they also have a 25/25 marker match. The Creed family reports origins in North Carolina and at least one Creed family has been located in Colonial Calvert County. However, the connections, if any, are too faint to decipher at this time.
Lineage II Conclusion
The DNA project has been very informative for this group of Dosseys in spite of the fact that they have not found matches with either the Anglo/Norman D’Arcys nor the descendants of Edward Darcy-Dorsey as they had predicted nor have they, as yet, identified a common ancestor. They have established that they do share a recent common ancestor and that that ancestor most likely lived in the 17th or 18th century in the mid Atlantic colonies. An intriguing connection with a line of Cranfords with roots in Calvert County, MD has been identified and further research to define that connection is underway. Fig. II-1 below illustrates a proposed descendants’ chart for Linage II members.
Efforts are underway to recruit a participant from the line of James Dorsey/Dossey of Calvert County, MD.
Lineage II benefits from having at least one skilled researcher from each of its lines and a Lineage II leader who has been very active in both recruiting participants and underwriting testing costs. It is a model for successful integration of DNA results and traditional genealogical research and for the benefits of an active recruiting program that focuses on testing hypotheses of connectedness based on traditional records.
Lineage II Descendants Chart
Figure II-1 Dotted lines represent predicted relationships based on traditional records and DNA results.
A DNA donor must be a male with the surname
Dorsey/Darsey/Darcy/Dawsey/Dossey/D'Arcy or some other variant.
1 US Census Bureau, “Frequently Occurring First Names and Surnames From the 1990 Census”, datasbase online, http://www.census.gov/genealogy/www/freqnames.html searched, February 2, 2009
2 US Census Bureau, “Frequently Occurring First Names and Surnames From the 1990 Census” , searched February 2, 2009.
3 US Census Bureau, “Frequently Occurring First Names and Surnames From the 1990 Census” searched February 2, 2009
4 US Census Bureau, “Frequently Occurring First Names and Surnames From the 1990 Census”, searched February 2, 2009.
5 Kerr, Mary Hinton, abstractor, Abstracts of Warren County, NC, Deed Book 3, Part 1 of 4, “John Foster to Elias Dossey, both of Co.”, 127 online: http://www.patch.net/deeds/db3-1.html, accessed September 18, 2004.
6 Elias Dossey will, (24 Feb 1796, proved 29 Feb 1796) Will Bk. A, 1793-1807, p. 24, Atlanta, GA, Georgia Department of Archives and History, Drawer 306, Film #123.
7 1850 U.S. Federal Census (Population Schedule), Randolph County, Missouri, Page 254B, Dwelling 776, Family 776, J. Dossey household, jpeg image, (Online: MyFamily.com, Inc., 2005), subscription database, Digital scan of original records in the National Archives, Washington, DC , <http://www.ancestry.com/>, accessed January 13, 2006.
8 1800 U.S. Federal Census (Population Schedule), Louisburg, Franklin County, North Carolina Page 29, Line 10 , Jerry Dorsey/Dossey household, jpeg image, (Online: MyFamily.com, Inc., 2005), subscription database, Digital scan of original records in the National Archives, Washington, DC , <http://www.ancestry.com/>, accessed January 13, 2006. (Also on same page, households of Solomon Dorsey/Dossey and James Dorsey/Dossey)
9 1810 U.S. Federal Census (Population Schedule), Franklin County, North Carolina, Page 32, Line 12, Jereh Dorsey household, jpeg image, (Online: MyFamily.com, Inc., 2005), subscription database, Digital scan of original records in the National Archives, Washington, DC , <http://www.ancestry.com/>, accessed January 13, 2006.
10 Franklin County, North Carolina Deed Book A p 115; and Franklin County, North Carolina Deed Book 8.
11 1850 U.S. Federal Census (Population Schedule), Division 1, Barren County, Kentucky, Page 376, Line 6, Kincheon Dossey household, jpeg image, (Online: ProQuest Company, 2005), subscription database, Digital scan of original records in the National Archives, Washington, DC , <http://www.heritagequestonline.com/>, accessed January 13, 2006.
12 Solomon Dossey Will, signed February 19, 1818, Franklin County North Carolina Wills, Book F page # 157-158.
13 Family Tree DNA Customer Database, January 2009, This information has been confirmed through the family Tree DNA database that performs matches among individuals that they have tested. Contact information: family Tree DNA - Genealogy by Genetics, Ltd., World Headquarters, 1919 North Loop West, Suite 110 Houston, Texas 77008, USA , Phone: (713) 868-1438. info@familyTreeDNA.com.
16 Nannie Ball Nimmo, “The Dorsey (Dossey) Family of Calvert County”, Maryland Marriages and Genealogies, 1634-1820, Maryland Genealogies, 2 volumes, (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1975) 1: 410-413.
17 Ancestry.com. Maryland Calendar of Wills database online . Orem, Utah: Ancestry.com, Inc., 1998. Original data: Cotton, Jane Baldwin., Maryland Calendar of Wills, Vol. I-VIII. Baltimore, MD: 1904.
18 Nannie Ball Nimmo, “The Dorsey (Dossey) Family of Calvert County”, Maryland Marriages and Genealogies, 1634-1820,
19 Robert Barnes, "Maryland Marriage References" Maryland Genealogical Society Bulletin Vol. 35, No. 2, Spring 1994, Page 219
20 Prerogative Court Abstracts, 1697-1700, Abstracts 1697-1700 (Libers 16, 17, 18, 19, 19 1/2a, 19 1/2b), Page 30 database online . Genealogy.com. accessed January 31, 2006.
21 Maryland Calendar of Wills, Vol 10, 1748-1753, Calendar of Wills 1748-1753, Page 107, database online . Genealogy.com. accessed January 31, 2006.
22 Jane Baldwin Cotton, compiler and editor, Maryland Calendar of Wills, Volume 12, 1759-1764, (index record to the original Calvert County Will Book of Volume 31, Page 402.)
23 Maryland State Archives, Chancery Court (Chancery Papers) 1786/12/18 1438: Philip Dossey vs. James Cranford. CV. Title to Robinsons Rest. Accession No: 17,898-1438. MSA S512-1508 1/36/1/
|30 June 2009||
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