David Crosby

David Crosby

Crosby in 2014, photo by prphotos

Birth Name: David Van Cortlandt Crosby

Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Birth: August 14, 1941

Ethnicity: English, some Dutch and Northern Irish, distant Welsh, Scottish, and Norwegian

David Crosby is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He was a member of the super group Crosby, Stills & Nash (& Young), with Graham Nash, Stephen Stills, and Neil Young.

He is the son of Aliph Van Cortlandt (Whitehead) and Floyd Crosby (Floyd Delafield Crosby), a cinematographer, who won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography for Tabu: A Story of the South Seas (1931). His brother is musician Ethan Crosby. David is married to Jan Dance. He has four children, including one with Jan.

David is a descendant of the prominent Van Cortlandt, Van Rensselaer, and Schuyler families, mostly politically active in New York and New Jersey in the 1700s and 1800s. Among his prominent ancestors are English settler Captain John Underhill (1597-1672), Stephanus Van Cortlandt (1643-1700), the first native-born Mayor of New York City, merchant and statesman Philip Livingston (1716-1778), Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the U.S., Governor of New Jersey, and U.S. Senator from New Jersey, William Paterson (1745-1806), lawyer, politician, and diplomat Rufus King (1755-1827), politician and landowner Stephen Van Rensselaer (1764-1839), and Governor of New York, John A. King (1788-1867).

David’s patrilineal line traces to Charles de Crosby, who was born, c. 1200, in Lancashire, England.

David’s paternal grandfather was Frederick Van Schoonhaven/Schoenhoven Crosby (the son of Edward Nicoll Crosby and Elizabeth Maria Van Schoonhoven/Schoenhoven). Frederick was born in New York. Edward was the son of William Bedlow Crosby and Harriet/Harriett Ashton Clarkson. Elizabeth was the daughter of James Van Schoonhoven.

David’s paternal grandmother was Julia Floyd Delafield (the daughter of Francis Delafield and Katherine Lou Van Rensselaer). Julia was born in New York. Francis was the son of Edward Delafield and Julia Floyd. Katherine was the daughter of Henry Bell Van Rensselaer, a politician and Union Army soldier, and of Elizabeth Ray King.

David’s maternal grandfather was John Brinton Whitehead (the son of The Rev. Cortlandt E. Whitehead and Charlotte Burgoyne King). John was born in Colorado. Cortlandt was bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, from 1882 to 1922, and was the son of William Adee Whitehead, who was born on Saint Croix, Virgin Islands, to English parents; and of Margaret Elisabeth/Elizabeth Parker. Charlotte was the daughter of John C. King.

David’s maternal grandmother was Martha Douglas Sharpe (the daughter of Isaac Eccleston Sharpe and Ellen Douglas). Martha was born in Pennsylvania.

Sources: Genealogies of David Crosby – http://www.geni.com

Genealogy of David Crosby (focusing on his father’s side) – https://www.wikitree.com

5 Responses

  1. andrew says:


    * Cortlandt Whitehead was bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh from 1882 to 1922.
    * William Adee Whitehead was born Saint Croix, Virgin Islands, to English parents
    * Charlotte Burgoyne King was the daughter of John C. King

    * David is also a direct descendant of: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephanus_Van_Cortlandt, on his mother’s side.

  2. andrew says:

    David Crosby and Bing Crosby are 7th cousins, once removed

    David’s paternal 6th great-grandparents, Simon Crosby and Ann Brigham, of Yorkshire, England, were also Bing’s paternal 7th great-grandparents

  3. andrew says:

    Van Rensselaer and Van Cortlandt are very prominent families:

    He also descends from Philps Pieterse Schuyler, the progenitor of the Schuyler family: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schuyler_family

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