Updates to Whitson, Whetstone and Butler YDNA: A Proposed Whitson/Butler Tree

There have been some good news since my last Blog on Whitson and Butler YDNA. I wrote that almost 2 months ago. The biggest news is that there are new people in the group.

whitsonbutlerydnatestees

There is now one new category – R1b>R-M239 Whetstone (in yellow). There are 2 new people there. There is a new person in the I1>M253 Whitson/Whetstone Group (McIntyre). There is a new Whitson under I2>M223 who has taken the 111 STR test which is one of the best available. He shows up under the green section as having an ancestor Jacob Whitson. I believe that he had tested before when Ancestry had YDNA testing, but unfortunately, it is not easy to compare the two tests. His results are of special interest to me as he is in the group with my Butler father in law. There are now 3 Whitsons and 3 Butlers in this I2 Subgroup.

In this Blog, I will be analyzing and drawing trees for the green I2 Whitson/Butler Subgroup as they have the most in the group. With too few people in a group, it is difficult to draw trees.

YDNA – What Does It All Mean?

As many know, YDNA shines a laser bean down the male line to the far past. YDNA can quickly show who is not related. For example, in the chart above, the people in the different colored subgroups cannot be related. The connection between these groups could be in the 1,000’s or 10’s of thousands of years. To find who is related by YDNA is more difficult. The probability of relationships are predicted. This is because distance is measured in STRs and STRs can mutate whenever they want, even though on average that all mutate at a certain rate. Then some STRs may mutate faster than others – or much more slowly.

The TIP Report

FTDNA’s TIP Report is a good tool, because it estimates how closely 2 people may be related in generations based on probabilities. It takes into account the number of STRs tested and rate at which the STRs mutate.

batt and butler TIP

i2whitson-burtler

First, we will look at #1 and #4 on our list. They both tested at 111 STRs. The Report shows the likelihood that those 2 would share a common ancestor in the previous generations:

batt-peter

I usually feel that 90% is pretty likely. Let’s say a generation is 34 years. That would be 408 years ago or 1608 from now or even further back if we start from when someone was alive today and born in the 1950’s. Then it could be as close as 4-8 generations. Hopefully, we would know if the match was 4 generations ago, but the point is that the number of generations to a common ancestor could vary quite a bit.

I did a comparison for everyone in the Green Group above:

tipchart

I found the results quite interesting:

  • Mr Batt appears to be the same distance from each person in this group – irrespective of whether the match is a Butler or Whitson descendant
  • #4 Butler varies the most between 8 and 18 generations
  • #3 Butler was on average related most closely to the group
  • It appears that a sort of tree could be drawn from these results
  • It appears that this group of Whitsons and Butlers have been related to each other for quite a while. The number 12 comes up a lot for generations to a common ancestor. My guess that these two families have been related to each other for between 8 and 12 generations

These are my interpretations from just the TIP Report so far. I am open to other theories.

A tree from tip reports

I have never seen a tree drawn from these TIP Reports, but it would be interesting to try. Here is my first try:

whitbuttreept1

This shows the furthest and closest relationships based on the TIP Report. #4 is 17 generations away from #2 and #4 is 8 generations away from #3. Now I just need to add one more Butler and 2 more Whitsons. But How? Here is a simple solution:

simple-tree

Here this assumes that all the GDs above 8 are pretty much equal and that everyone matches above at the common Whitson/Butler Ancestor. Here is another option:

tip-tree-2

This looks nicer, but I can’t say that it is more accurate given the TIP Reports. Here is a 3rd try:

tiptree3

This doesn’t seem to do the TIP Report justice either. I’ll go on to the more traditional trees made using STRs.

STR Analysis

I’ll now try to create a tree using a method developed by Robert Baber in 2014. Here is an example of one of his trees:

baber-example

In my previous Blog, I looked at signature STRs. Those are the similar STRs that define a group. However, to created a tree, I will be looking at the STRs that are different.

I2 Whitson/Butler STRs

Here is a chart of the defining differences in the I2 Whitson/Butler Group:

i2whitsonbutlerstrs

modes

The first mode above is an I-A427 mode from the FTDNA I-M223 Y Haplogroup Project. So this mode should be a more generic version of the Whitson/Butler Group. The assumption is that the mode for this larger group goes back further in time than the Whitson/Butler Group. The reason that this is important is that it should tell us which way the STRs are moving.

  • In the first column with numbers above, the A427 mode is 29, the W/B Mode is 31 and 6 Butler (Michael) is 32. That means the STRs are mutating up.
  • Look at DYS576. That is a red STR. That means it is a fast mover. A427 mode is 18, W/B mode is 16 and Batt is 15. That means that the trend of STR mutation is going down over time.
  • CDY is a fast mover and difficult to interpret. Some people might ignore the CDY results for this reason.
  • Finally look at the last 2 columns above. The A427 (older) modes are 14 and 12. The Whitson/Butler modes are 16 and 14. That would indicate that the trend in STR values is upward. However at that level of STR testing (111), the 2 Whitsons are at the higher level and the Butler is at the lower STR level. If we were just looking at the 3 Whitson and Butler STR results here in isolation, we would think that the Whitson higher level STRs were older and that Butler is changing away from them. However, by using the broader I-A427 vantage, we can see that it is likely that is Whitson changing away from Butler. This could have implications as we try to determine who came first – the Butlers or the Whitsons in this I2 subgroup.
  • It is possible that if all those in the I2 group had tested for 111 STRs, that the above point would be clearer.

Just based on the last 2 STRs of the 67-111 STR results, I would draw a tree like this:

butlerwhtson111tree

Unfortunately, I am having a lot of trouble understanding the Baber Paper and I am pulling the plug on that method for now. However, there are interesting concepts in it that are helpful.

From Baber to Robb

John Bartlett Robb put out a paper in 2012 called:

Fluxus Network Diagrams vs Hand-Constructed Mutation History Trees

In that paper Robb gives a procedure for drawing trees.

In his paper, Robb uses only the STRs in common, so in our case, that would be the 37 STRs. He also creates a Root Prototype Haplotye (RPH). In our case that RPH would just be the Whitson/Butler Mode. Then he notes deviations from that RPH in lime green:

robbstrs

Here are the Mutation Rates for the applicable STRs extracted from the Robb Paper:

mutation-rates

The faster mutations are on the bottom and slower ones on the top. I added in the people on the right that had the mutations. On 37 markers, everyone had one mutation except for Butler (James) who had 3.

Proposed Whitson/Butler Tree

Here is the tree I came up with based on 37 STRs:

proposed-whitsonbutler-tree

From there, I recall a rule by Baber which says, in my terms, “you should only have 2 lines going into each box”. Here is a tree that meets that rule:

treebaberrule

So reading down from the top, we have the common ancestor which I have as Butler Ancestor 3. That ancestor has a certain signature based on STRs. Then I have my father in law branching off with a 389ii that goes from 31 to 32. I took my father in law as the first mutation as he had the second slowest mutation after #4 Butler. I couldn’t choose #4’s slowest mutation at that point as that mutation apparently happened after the common mutation (of 570 22 to 23) he had with #3 Butler. Branching down from Butler Ancestor 2 is Whitson Ancestor 2. From him I have #2 Whitson (Jacob) branching off as he has a slow moving STR also. Then from Whitson Ancestor 1, I have #5 Whitson (Isaac) and #1 Batt (Wm Whitson).

Also from Butler Ancestor 2 I have the common mutation of STR 570 which went from 22 to 23 in a presumed common ancestor of #3 Butler (Laurence) and #4 Butler (James). After this common mutation, the #4 Butler line had two additional mutations – one on the very slow mutating STR and one on the very fast mutating one.

The technique takes a little logic, a little guesswork and some knowledge of how the STRs mutate. If I had plugged #6 Butler into Butler Ancestor 2 and Whitson Ancestor 2 into Butler Ancestor 3, it wouldn’t have made much difference. I did it the way I did based on the speed of the STR’s mutation rate – all other things being equal. The overall idea is to get from the common ancestor signature STR to the individual members’ STRs.

I think the above tree is a likely scenario considering:

  • I see the Whitson STRs changing off the Butler STRs in my charts above.
  • The Butler STRs are slightly slower changing STRs which could indicate an older line.

Some other points:

  • It is likely that the Whitsons and Butlers are grouped together by surname as I have them.
  • The Butlers all descend from Ireland. If the chart is correct, then the Whitsons in Subgroup I2 could also descend from Ireland. A more complicated speculation would have both lines in England. Then the Butler line could have gone to Ireland and the Whitson Line to the U.S.

Whitson and Butler YDNA and Signature STRs

Two Types of YDNA: SNPs and STRs

As many know, YDNA is the DNA of the male line.

SNPs can be seen as the trunk and branches of the tree and the STRs can be seen as the twigs and leaves. Before we analyze the twigs and leaves, it is good to know if we are in the right tree. However, even when looking at the leaves, it is sometimes possible to guess the type of tree.

maple-leaf

For example, in the Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) Whitson project, there are officially nine people listed. There are more that have tested, but not with FTDNA. In the list below, there are three broad groups represented by the colors orange, teal, and yellow. These are the SNP groups, or the tree types. These three groups are I1, I2 and R1b.  These SNPs break down into finer and finer distinctions. However, there is no connection between I and R in the range of 10,000’s of years. There are also a huge amount of years between the I1 and I2 SNP Haplogroups.

Whitson FTDNA Project Results
Whitson FTDNA Project Results

Once people are grouped in the SNPs, then it is possible to compare the STRs. These are the numbers to the right. These are what I was referring to as the twigs and leaves. However, these are only compared within the other major groupings of SNPs.

Why Are There Three SNP Types for the Whitsons?

There are various reasons:

  1. When surnames were being developed, this name could have developed independently at different locations.
  2. An adoption could have taken place at some point. This is under the category of Non-Paternal Event (or NPE) as are #3 and #4 below.
  3. An unwed mother could have had a child that had her name. However, as the father has the YDNA, his YDNA would be carried on to the male child in the line.
  4. A relationship outside a marriage would tend to break the YDNA line also.

The SNP Types or Haplogroups

SNP groupings are called Haplogroups. Here are some of the Whitson Haplogroups:

I1>I-M253

The first Haplogroup above are the I1>M253 Whitsons. There are 2 Whitsons in that Haplogroup. FTDNA has a group just for I1’s. There are currently about 6000 people in this group. Not much analysis can be done with these 2 right now as they match by STRs exactly. If these 2 Whitson join the FTDNA I1 Project, it may be possible to find a signature STR for these 2 (see below).

I1 people have sometimes been associated with the Vikings. This group of people did seem to take a Northern route in their distant ancestry, so that is where the association comes from. However, there may be finer distinctions once we learn more about this I1 Whitson Group.

I2>I-M223

FTDNA has an I-M223 YDNA Project. The Whitsons and Butlers in our project are in a section of that projects called:

1.2.1.2.1.1.1.1- M223>…>L701>P78>S25733>A427 (Cont3a1 Group 2)

One of the Butlers in the group has tested positive for the SNP called A427. The other 4 were put in that group due to their similar STRs. This is like saying what tree you are by your leaves. A427 is quite a way down on the SNP tree. Using my tree analogy, this would be a very specific type of tree.  Below are all the people in the A427 SNP Group. I only included up to the 36th STR (small numbers) as the image was all ready small enough. There were actually more STRs tested to the right of this image.

Whtson Butler STRs

Now the A427 SNP is like the specific tree and the STRs which are the numbers listed are like the different branches, twigs and leaves. I would like to point out here a specific fingerprint for our Whitsons and Butlers. Here are our 5 Whitson/Butlers outlined in red:

Whtson Butler STRs Highlight

The first 3 rows of numbers are the minimum, maximum and mode of this A427 Group for each STR. The purple colors are the STRs that are less than the mode and the pink colors are the values that are more than the mode. Our 5 Whitson/Butlers will have a unique STR signature among all those who are in this A427 Group. Here is the same shot, with just the most important numbers outlined in yellow:

STR Heards

Whtson Butler STRs Signature

And the I2 Whitson/Butler signature is:

DYS389II=31 or higher, DYS454=12, DYS448=21 or higher, DYS449=26

Note that for all those in the A427 Group, only our group of Whitson/Butlers has this signature. This signature is just in the 1st 21 markers (or STRs). In this Whitson/Butler Group, 2 have tested 37 STRs, 1 has tested 67 and 2 have tested 111 STRs. Now above the 37 STRs, there are likely more Whitson/Butler signature STRs for those that have tested to that level. The marker (STR) names are listed above. The markers that have a reddish background are those that are faster moving markers. They change more often than the blue background markers.

This Group of YDNA have sometimes been associated with the ancient Goths. So far we have Vikings and Goths with our Whitson or Whitson/Butler Groups.

R1b-R-U106 group

This Group has been associated with the Anglo-Saxons. Although this group is sometimes associated with the modern English, they likely began in an area of current Germany or Belgium and invaded “England” some time after the Romans left the Island.

Right now there are only 2 Whitsons that have tested with FTDNA in this group. There is an additional Whitson who has done the old Ancestry test that is no longer available. The Ancestry test doesn’t match perfectly, but for the STRs that were tested, all the STRs match.

Both these R-U106’s have joined FTDNA’s R-U106 Project. The first person descends from Henry Whitson who lived on Long Island in the 1600’s. He has tested for 67 STRs and has this designation from the U106 Project:

Z381>Z156>Z306>Z304> DF98 ??? Need to order Big Y or R1b-Z156 SNP Pack

These are the SNPs that the U106 Project specialist thinks this person would test positive for if he had tested SNPs. Perhaps the specialist was not so sure about DF98. That is followed by what the U106 specialist recommends for those that are in the group. The Big Y is quite an expensive test but very definitive and actually finds new SNPs. The SNP Pack tests for several SNPs, in this case below Z156. [However, see my own recommendation below.]

The second person in this group matches all STRs at 67 STRs with the previous person. However, he has tested 111 STRs and has tested his SNP to be R-S23139. He is in a different section of the U106 Project:

Z381>Z156>Z306>Z304> DF98>S18823>S22069>S11739>S23139

Note that the U106 Project specialist doesn’t have any more recommendations for this person, because he has done all the testing down to R-S23139. My guess is that if the first person were to test for R-S23139, he would be positive for that SNP also. That would get these 2 Whitsons together for the U106 Project. That would also cost less many than taking the SNP Pack.

Here is a snapshot of the R-S23139 Group:

U106 Peter

Here our lone Whitson is with some others that appear to be from Germany. In looking for a unique STR for our 2 U106’s, first I see a value of 12 in the last column above for DYS531. If I counted this right, it is the 38th marker, so this signature Whitson U106 STR would not have shown up on a 37 STR test. In our previous Whitson/Butler Group there were many signature STRs in the first 37 markers.

Let’s look for some more signature Whitson STRs in the R-S23139 Group:

U106 67 STRs Header

U106 67 STRs

I am starting where I left off at the signature 12 in the first column. Then I see a unique 16, 12 and 11. This means our R-S23139 signature (assuming our 1st Whitson is positive for R-S23139) is:

DYS531=12, DYS594=16, DYS568=12, DYS487=11

After that, there is a 36 and 28 that are unique, but they are in the 111 STR group. The 111 STR group is also indicated in the header where the STR names have a lighter blue background. There are many other STRs after that that are likely unique in the 111 STR test also.

Any Other Whitsons?

Yes. The Whitson Family Group contacted another person and found out that he was R1b, but a different brand of R1b. This R1b was associated with the people who were in the British Isles before the time when the Romans, Vikings, Danes, and Anglo-Saxon entered the area.

Summary and Recommendations

  • So far, for a small group of Whitsons and a few Butlers, there are many types of DNA groups. These represent people that are distantly related to each other genetically.
  • There are some Whitsons that had taken the old Ancestry test. They could benefit by also taking the FTNDA test. I know of one Whitson who has already gone that route and is awaiting results.
  • Some Whitsons may benefit by taking an additional SNP test, to make sure they are in the right tree -so to speak.
  • Those Whitsons in the I1 YDNA group could benefit by joining the FTDNA I1 Project.
  • With the close matches in the I1 Group and the R-U106 Group, it seems like it should be possible to find some common ancestors.