Crago Craigo Crego

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An Analysis of Progress To Date in the Crago Surname DNA Testing Project -- Feb, 2015
In order to analyze progress to date we must first be clear about what we hope to learn from Y-DNA testing of living Crago males. In this brief write-up, I'll attempt to list some of the the project objectives I see at this point in time, -- and a summary of what we have learned so far. (ALSO BE SURE TO READ the Project Background and Project Goals sections.)

First, can we prove that most of the Crago's in North America descend from just one Crago Male?

ANSWER: Yes, it seems that we can.  We estimate, based on DNA studies to date and the number of different family lines tested, combined with an extensive database of more than 4600 different Crago's and Craigo's and their various family links, that at least 65% of the Crago's and Craigo's of America share a single paternal ancestor.  Most other differing Crago and Craigo DNA profiles found to date seem to be the result of relatively recent non-paternal events (NPE's). It seems quite possible, but as yet unproven, that there may be a single Crago paternal ancestor for all Crago's and Craigo's in the world who carry the surname (e.g., I am referring here to at least a common family connection, if not always a genetic one).  Some researchers have suggested the possibility of two different Crago lines, if one goes back into the 15th or 16th century.  But, we have found no convincing DNA evidence of that possibility to date.  Quite the opposite.

The apparent incidence rate for Non-Paternal Events (NPE's) among the Crago's and Craigo's in America would seem to be rather consistent with the 1.3% NPE incidence rate per generation which other researchers have calculated and reported in their surname studies.  If this rate holds relatively constant in other surname groups, one would expect only about 80% of the male descendants of a single paternal surname ancestor to carry the DNA profile of that ancestor after 17 generations of NPE's, (or, in other words, since roughly 1500 AD).  We currently have about 15% of the Crago's and Craigo's in America who do not have an identified DNA profile, due to an absence of volunteers from those family lines.  After these other Crago and Craigo lines have been tested, our current 65% conformance figure among the entire population could approach the hypothicized 80% range that one might expect if there were just one ancestral source for the surname.

Research Update -- We can now say we have a "branch marker" pattern for the descendants of Thomas Crago of Wood Co., OH.  A value of 13 on marker 617  seems to be the "signature" for descendants of Thomas Crago of Wood Co, and we have found no other Crago's with this value who also have the "Thomas Crago DNA Profile."  

We also have an apparent "branch marker" for descendants of Thomas Crago of Greene Co., PA -- the value of 9 on marker 450.  We can say with some confidence that the Wood Co. Thomas Crago (whose descendants all seem to have a 9 on Marker 4450) doesn't appear to be a descendant of the Ross Co. Thomas Crago, whose descendants all appear to have a value of 8 on Marker 450.    

This result makes it much more likely that the Wood Co. Thomas Crago is a descendant of the elusive James Crago of Washington Co, PA.  We have at least one reliable account which states that James was a son of the Greene Co, PA Thomas Crago who was killed by Indians about 1771, and this Thomas may have had a value of 9 on Marker 450.  James seems to have moved to the Ohio frontier (perhaps Stark Co., Ohio), some time between 1790 and 1800, and to have died there before 1820. 
The bottom line is that we have now proven via DNA that it is more likely that James was the ancestor of the Wood Co., OH Thomas Crago, than that Thomas Crago Jr., of Ross Co., OH was the ancestor.

Second, do all the Craigo, Crego, Crage, Craig and other variations of the Crago surname found in North America share a single male Recent Common Ancestor, or RCA (i.e., born after 1500 AD)?  In other words, is our "Ancestral Crago DNA Pattern" also the paternal ancestor's yDNA pattern of these variant surnamed individuals?

ANSWER: While we know that many Crago, Craigo and Craig volunteers share a recent common ancestor, we have also learned that not all Crago's, Craigo's and Craig's share that same recent common ancestor.  This is hardly surprising, since Non-paternal Events (NPE) occur in most families.

We have also learned that two Crego volunteers, whose yDNA patterns match, do not share the Ancestral Crago DNA pattern.  It is also noteworthy that the rather sizable Craig surname study group has not yet turned up any new matches to the Ancestral Crago yDNA profile.  We do not yet have test results for a Craige, Craigie or Crage male volunteer -- We hope that one or more will be willing to volunteer for testing in the future.

Discussions with the Craig surname study group administrator have established that none of the numerous Craig's tested in that project to date match any of our 18 Crago/Craigo volunteers. But, in our Crago group, we do have one Craig volunteer with documented ancestry who matches our Thomas Crago DNA Profile.  This is significant because we know that some Craigo's, for a variety of reasons, have changed their surname to Craig in the past.  We have identified by paper research at least 42 Craig-surnamed individuals in this category, and we know there are more.

Let me offer a simple statistical argument for there being just one Crago paternal ancestor.  We know that Non-Paternal Events (NPE) happen every so often. These are often adoptions, infidelity, or out-of-wedlock births. The actual NPE incidence rate is subject to some debate, but one study I read said the rate is about 1.3% per generation in a particular surname group that was being studied.  I believe this may be too low an estimate.  Other studies have reported higher NPE rates. (See  King TE and Jobling MA (2009) “Founders, drift and infidelity: the relationship between Y chromosome diversity and patrilineal surnames” in Molecular Biology and Evolution volume 26 (5) pp1093-1102. “Historical rates of nonpaternity are difficult to estimate, though modern rates, where these have been measured, are of the order of a few percent per generation (Brock and Shrimpton 1991; Sasse et al. 1994). Elsewhere (Rincon 2009) Jobling is quoted as saying: “If you look directly at [single-source] families without any prior suspicion of non-paternity, then you find a value [for illegitimacy] of about 1% or 2%."  King uses a rate of 2% for his modeling purposes.)
Using an average of 30 years per generation, and an assumed first use of the Crago surname in 1500 AD, that is about 18 generations back to that presumed common paternal ancestor.  Theoretically, if theactual NPE rate is 2.0% among the Crago's of the World, we would expect that just 71% of them living today would share a common yDNA profile, if they all claim a common paternal origin.  At a 1.3% NPE rate, the percentage would be about 80%.
Gen 1.3% NPE  Year 2% NPE
1 100,000  1500 100,000
2 98,700  1530 98,000
3 97,417  1560 96,040
4 96,150  1590 94,119
5 94,901  1620 92,237
6 93,667  1650 90,392
7 92,449  1680 88,584
8 91,247  1710 86,813
9 90,061  1740 85,076
10 88,890  1770 83,375
11 87,735  1800 81,707
12 86,594  1830 80,073
13 85,468  1860 78,472
14 84,357  1890 76,902
15 83,261  1920 75,364
16 82,178  1950 73,857
17 81,110  1980 72,380
18 80,056  2010 70,932
Now, switching from the theory to real numbers, I have been collecting information from all over the world to add to my Crago family files.  The last time I counted, I had information on 4771 different Crago's, Craigo's, Cragoe's, Cragow's, Cragowe's, Crugowe's and Crugow's in my database.  They fall into about a dozen major family lines, mostly concentrated in the USA. (SIDE NOTE: This fact, on its face, would seem to indicate a possible US bias in the database.  But, independent studies of surname distribution around the world today indicate that approximately 77 percent of the Crago's and Craigo's of the world live in the United States.  And, my family history database currently has about 54% shown as born in the USA, and another 16% have no place of birth shown.  I believe all of these latter individuals were born in the USA.  If anything, we may be actually under-representing the American Crago's (and variant surnames) in my database.)
We have now tested most of the major Crago/Craigo family lines in our DNA research project.  Six of them share the common Crago signature markers, pointing to a Recent Common Paternal Ancestor, born perhaps about 1500 AD. 

The interesting point is this -- THOSE SIX FAMILY LINES WITH COMMON yDNA MARKERS CONTAIN 71% OF ALL OF THE CRAGO'S IN MY ENTIRE DATA FILE!  If the NPE rate in the Crago surname group is actually 2% per generation, we would expect that 71% of the Crago's in the world today would share the 15 identified Crago yDNA signature markers and be part of the same haplogroup.  And, that is exactly what DNA data to date is showing.  The tested or calculated terminal SNP for most of these six lines is R-U198.  See the following discussion about R-P311 and R-U198.
Please understand, all these bits of data do not constitute proof.  But the data are consistent with the hypothesis that "We had one Crago paternal ancestor, if we have, in fact, experienced a 2% NPE rate among the Crago's of the world since 1500."

Third, can we demonstrate that the early Crago immigrant(s) to North America share a recent common ancestor with the Crago's of Cornwall, England,  Australia, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand?  Or, stated another way, can we prove the origin of most Crago's in the World was in Cornwall, England?

ANSWER: The answer to this question would appear to be "Yes". We have found good evidence that most Crago's and Craigo's in North America can point to a common ancestor in Cornwall, England in the early 1600's. We do not yet know his name, but we will continue working on that. We still hope to attract volunteers from Australia and New Zealand.

We recently completed a DNA test done on three Crago's with documented roots back to Cornwall, England. This is a relatively recent immigrant group to America, but provided a clear link to Cornwall, England that we have been looking for. All three share the distinctive Crago yDNA markers found in America.

Finally, Why are there two different Terminal SNP's (R-U198 and R-P311) identified with our Ancestral Crago DNA Pattern?

I’m quoting here from work published by the International Society of Genetic Genealogy(2015). Y-DNA Haplogroup Tree 2015, Version: 10.13, Date: 7 Feb 2015, [Date of access: 7 Feb 2015].

ISOGG Y-DNA Haplogroup Tree Coordinator: Alice Fairhurst.

see, in particular

I was recently asked why we find both R-U198 and R-P311 SNP’s identified in our Ancestral Crago Haplogroup.  Here is my simplified answer to that question--

In relevant part, here is the abbreviated treerelationship between P311 and U198. You will note that researchers have found several markers between P311 and U198 which further define smaller branches of the R1b1a2a1a branch of the R haplogroup (i.e., U106, S263, S499, and S1688, ortheir variant identifiers).


• • • •  • • • R1b1a2a1a   L151/PF6542, L52/PF6541, P310/PF6546/S129, P311/PF6545/S128, (being investigated as to placement: L11/PF6539/S127)
• • • •  • • • • R1b1a2a1a*   -
• • • •  • • • • R1b1a2a1a1   M405/U106/S21
• • • •  • • • •  R1b1a2a1a1*   -
• • • •  • • • •  R1b1a2a1a1c   S263/Z381
• • • •  • • • •   R1b1a2a1a1c2   S499/Z301
• • • •  • • • •  • • R1b1a2a1a1c2*   -
• • • •  • • • •  • • R1b1a2a1a1c2a   S1688
• • • •  • • • •  • • • R1b1a2a1a1c2a*   -
• • • •  • • • •  • • • R1b1a2a1a1c2a1   M467/S29/U198



SNP SYMBOLS:  Not on 2014 tree  Confirmed within subclade  Provisional  Private  Investigation 

The criteria for a representative SNP printed in bold for a subcladeis: traditional usage, testing done in multiple labs, and/or being found in the area of the chromosome used in recent research studies.

Contact person for Haplogroup R:                                            
R1b-U106 and Subclades Contact: Charles Moore                      

The relevant information from our specific Crago/Craigo surname group is that only three of the volunteers in our modal Crago/CraigoHaplogroup have had a terminal SNP actually tested.  All three of those persons tested positive for the R-U198 SNP. 

The other eleven volunteers in this Crago/Craigo Haplogroup have never had their terminal SNP tested.  FTDNA, however, calculates an implied terminal SNP from the yDNA markers tested with FTDNA.  This calculation cannot be as precise as a test for the person’s terminal SNP. 

As a result, five of our untested terminal SNP group have been calculated to be likely members of the U198 SNP while six others are, more simply, predicted to be part of the P311 Group, which includes U198 along with other terminal SNP’s.

I believe all of these volunteers who have not actually had their terminal SNP tested are very likely to test positive for U198, if they were now tested for a terminal SNP.  That is, of course, an assumption on my part, but I believe the DNA data, combined with the commonality of the Crago, Craigo and Craig surnames in our group, plus the traditional genealogical research done on most Crago’s and Craigo’s in the United States and England makes this a very reasonable hypothesis.

A FINAL NOTE: Some volunteers might wish to know how many markers they need to have tested in order to provide enough information for this Crago DNA study. In most cases, it appears that a 37 marker test should be the most appropriate test. So far, none of the 134,000 plus persons tested by FTDNA have had a 37-marker haplotype which comes closer than a genetic distance of four (4) to our ancestral Crago haplotype -- unless their name was Crago or Craigo. Our ancestral Crago haplotype appears to be rather unique.

We know less about the recently determined Nathan Crago DNA tree at this time, but it is clearly different in substantial ways from the Ancestral Crago DNA tree. A 37-marker test, however, would clearly distinquish between the two major family lines.

Please feel free to share this information with others, and we'd be happy to answer questions for any reader, if we can. Of course, we welcome new Crago/Craigo/Craig/Crego volunteers as we continue to build this genetic Crago family tree.

Footnote: A recent common ancestor (RCA) in this testing context is considered to be an ancestor within a conventionally researchable timeframe. In other words, this means an ancestor born since about 1500, when surnames came into common use.