David Crosby

David Crosby

Crosby in 2014, photo by prphotos

Birth Name: David Van Cortlandt Crosby

Date of Birth: August 14, 1941

Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, United States

Date of Death: January 18, 2023

Place of Death: Santa Ynez, California, U.S.

Ethnicity: English, Dutch, some Northern Irish, Irish, and Scottish, distant Belgian Flemish, German, Welsh, French, Norwegian, and Cornish

David Crosby was an American musician, 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 was 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 was musician Ethan Crosby.

David was 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 were 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), who signed the Declaration of Independence; 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), who signed the U.S. Constitution; politician and landowner Stephen Van Rensselaer (1764-1839), who founded the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; and Governor of New York, John A. King (1788-1867).

David was married to Jan Dance, until his death. He had a son with his former partner Celia Crawford Ferguson; a daughter with his former partner Jackie (Hyde) Guthrie; a daughter with his former partner Debbie Donovan; a son with Jan; and two children that film director Julie Cypher, and her partner, singer and songwriter Melissa Etheridge, conceived with his sperm donation.

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

David’s paternal grandfather was Frederic Van Schoonhoven Crosby (the son of Edward Nicoll Crosby and Elizabeth Maria Van Schoonhoven). Frederic was born in Troy, Rensselaer, New York, and was Treasurer of the Union Pacific Railway. Edward was the son of William Bedlow Crosby and Harriet Ashton Clarkson. Elizabeth was the daughter of James Van Schoonhoven and Elizabeth Lane, whose father fought in the Revolutionary War.

David’s paternal grandmother was Julia Floyd Delafield (the daughter of Francis C. Delafield and Katharine Van Rensselaer). Julia was born in New York. Francis was a prominent physician. He was the son of Edward Delafield, a physician and ophthalmologist, also known for his work in obstetrics and gynaecology, and whose own father was from London, England; and of Julia Floyd, whose own grandfathers were William Floyd, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and David Gelston, a Delegate to the Continental Congress. David’s great-grandmother Katharine was the daughter of Henry Bell Van Rensselaer, a politician, who was Inspector General of the U.S. Army during the Civil War, and a U.S. Congressman from New York, from March 4, 1841 to March 3, 1843; and of Elizabeth Ray King, daughter of NY Governor John Alsop King.

David’s maternal grandfather was John Brinton Whitehead (the son of The Rev. Cortlandt 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 had partial roots on Saint Croix, Virgin Islands; and of Margaret Elizabeth Parker. David’s great-grandmother Charlotte was the daughter of John Crookshanks/Cruikshanks King, a sculptor, who was born in Kilwinning, Ayrshire, Scotland, and of Mary Luke, who was English.

David’s maternal grandmother was Martha Douglas Sharp (the daughter of Isaac Eccleston Sharp and Ellen Douglass). Martha was born in Philadelphia, Philadelphia Co., Pennsylvania. Ellen was born in Ireland, the daughter of James Douglass, who was born in Scotland, and of Sarah Black, who was born in Ireland.

David was a second cousin, once removed, of actress Jane Wyatt. David’s paternal great-great-grandparents, Henry Bell Van Rensselaer and Elizabeth Ray King, were also Jane’s maternal great-grandparents. He was also a fourth cousin of politician and Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld. David’s paternal great-great-great-grandparents, Nicoll Floyd and Phebe Gelston, were also Bill’s maternal great-great-great-grandparents. The two were also fourth cousins, once removed, through their common ancestors John Delafield and Ann Hallett.

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

Genealogies of David’s parents – https://www.findagrave.com

8 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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