More Hartley DNA – Patricia’s DNA

This blog is a follow-up on my last Blog: My Hartley Autosomal DNA. I was inspired to write that blog following this year’s Hartley reunion in Rochester, Massachusetts. I intended to send around a little poster I made up about Hartley DNA and get a DNA sample from my father’s cousin Martha, but didn’t get a chance to. Instead I wrote a blog. I did talk to Patricia though. She is my second cousin and the sister of my childhood best friend, Warren. She had taken an AncestryDNA test. I think her daughter bought it for her. I asked if she could upload her DNA to and she said that her daughter would be good at doing that.

Here are Patricia’s 2 brothers and Patricia. The one in the middle was my best friend in my first 6 years of school. I remember seeing home movies of Curtis, Warren’s older brother. He came to one of my older siblings’ birthday party when he was about this age.

Patricia and family

In my last blog, I wrote about the Hartley DNA matches my father’s first cousin Jim had with me and my 2 sisters. I was surprised to find out that every match that we had represented one of my four 2nd Great Grandparents. They were all born around the 1830’s. It turns out that Patricia’s matches with cousin Jim represent the same four 2nd great grandparents. In addition Patricia’s DNA matches with my 2 sisters and me represent the same four old timers.

Here is what my DNA match to Patricia looks like at AncestryDNA:

Patricia Ancestry

Here, AncestryDNA has it right that we are 2nd cousins. They show we match for a total of 206 cM (centimorgans) across 14 DNA segments. That is about all you can get out of ancestry. They won’t tell you which chromosomes we match on or how much we match on each chromosome. That is why people upload their results to Ancestry does show other people that match DNA to both Patricia and me. These are my 2 sisters and 5 others. All these people also descend from the same Rochester Hartley ancestors, but none of them have uploaded their results to, so we don’t know their detailed DNA matching information.

Here is the same match between Patricia and me at Gedmatch:

Pat Joel Gedmatch

Ancestry has 14 segments vs. the 8 at Gedmatch. But at Gedmatch we know on which chromosome we match, how much on each chromosome and the exact start and stop location on the Chromosome. However, even with Ancestry’s 14 segments, their total is a bit smaller. Here is how I match Patricia on Chromosome 15 in the Gedmatch Chromosome Browser:

Joel Pat Chr 15

The blue areas represent the two DNA matches Patricia and I have on Chromosome 15.

Patricia on the Hartley Family Tree

Growing up, Patricia’s grandmother was my great aunt and also one of my neighbors, my Aunt Mary.

Patricia's Tree

The bottom box in each row are the people that have tested their DNA and uploaded to I now show 3 of the 13 children of James Hartley and Annie Louisa Snell (James, Mary and Annie). I now can check how my sisters and I match Patricia’s DNA as well as how Patricia matches Jim’s DNA.

Here are my great grandparents and three of their older children.

James and Annie Hartley

It is in interesting photo. Two of the children are looking away. I think that one is my grandfather James. The mother, Annie, is looking at something in her hands. The older son Dan is looking at a book and the father James doesn’t look comfortable being dressed up.

Patricia’s DNA at Gedmatch

One of the basic functions at gedmatch is called ‘One to Many’. In this case, I took Patricia’s DNA and compared them to everyone else that has ever uploaded their DNA results to gedmatch. Here are her 1st 4 matches:

Patricia's 1st 4 matches

Not surprisingly, her top matches are her 1st cousin, once removed, Jim, me and my sister’s Sharon and Heidi. The Gen column lists how far away gedmatch thinks Patricia’s matches are to a common ancestor. Patricia and I are 3 generations to James Hartley and Annie Snell, so that is right. Patricia shows 2.6 generations to a common ancestor with her match to Jim. A first cousin once removed would typically be 2.5 generations, so she shares a little less DNA than average here with Jim. Patricia also shares 19.3 cM of the X Chromosome with cousin Jim which I find interesting.

The Hartley X Chromosome

I’m taking the X Chromosome out of order because I find it interesting. There is one most important thing to know about the X Chromosome. If you are a male, you get one from your mother. If you are a female, you get one from your mother and one from your father. My father only got an X chromosome from his Frazer mother, so he doesn’t match anyone further up on the Hartley line by the X Chromosome. However Patricia and Jim both have maternal matches that carry up the line.

Here is how Jim got his X Chromosome from his mother and her ancestors:

Jim's X Inheritance

Jim only inherited his X Chromosome from those ancestors in pink or blue. So, for example, he got no X Chromosome from any Bradford before Harvey Bradford.

We need to compare Jim’s chart with Patricia’s X Inheritance Chart:

Patricia's X Inheritance

Here I didn’t show the X Chromosome that Patricia got from her father as this won’t match Jim. Then of what I show, only the bottom half will match Jim. This means that going back 4 generations from Patricia, she could match Jim by the X Chromosome on the Emmet, Snell or Bradford Line. One other difference between Jim and Patricia is that Jim got 100% of his total X Chromosome from his mother and Patricia only got 50%. However, that is a confusing way to put it because Patricia did get 2 X Chromosomes. So her one 50% must be similar to Jim’s 100% if that makes sense.

Here is what the X Chromosome match looks like between Patricia and Jim at on their browser:

Jim Patricia X Match

The yellow part with the blue under it is where they match at the end of the X Chromosome. That is enough on my X diversion for now.

Back to the Hartley DNA Matches on the Other 22 Chromsomes

At gedmatch, I go to the Jim’s ‘One to Many’ matches to see how he matches my family and Patricia. Here are Jim’s top 4 matches. You may have already guessed who they are:

Jim's top 4 matches

Above, I said that Patricia matched Jim a little less than expected. My sister Heidi at the top of the list matches him a little more than average.

Here are Jim’s DNA matches on Chromosome 1

Pat Chr 1

  1. Me
  2. Heidi
  3. Sharon
  4. Patricia

Here Patricia has identified a new piece of DNA in green that is a Hartley ancestor that we didn’t know about before. Again, this “Hartley” ancestor may be Hartley, Emmet, Snell or Bradford.

Here is another new Hartley segment on Chromosome 2:

Pat Chr 2

Patricia matched Jim on Chromosome 2. My sisters and I had no match with Jim on that Chromosome.

It looks like Patricia got a double segment of Hartley DNA on Chromosome 5:

Patricia Chr 5

Patricia is #1 above. Where the color changes from orange to yellow likely represents a change from Greenwood Hartley to Ann Emmet DNA or Isaiah Snell to Hannah Bradford DNA.

Patricia Helping Me Map My Chromosome 7

I’ve tried to map all my chromosomes as well as my 2 sisters’ to my 4 grandparents. I got a little stuck on Chromosome 7:

Chr 7 Map Pat

My chromosome 7 depiction is the one with the J to the left of it. On my paternal side (which is the blue (FRAZER) and red bar), I have the DNA I got from my dad’s mother in blue and my dad’s Hartley dad in red. Above that is the gedmatch depiction of how I match my 2 sisters by DNA and how they match each other. The bright green bar is called the Fully Identical Region or FIR. This means wherever that occurs a sibling matches the other sibling by getting the same DNA from the same 2 grandparents (one maternal and the other paternal). So in comparing Sharon to Heidi, they have that FIR from 0 to 25. It turns out that their 2 grandparents were their mother’s mother (Lentz) and their father’s father (Hartley). In the tiny section between 0 and 4, I have what is called a Half Identical Region or HIR. That means that I shared one grandparent’s DNA  with my sisters and the other grandparent I didn’t get any of their DNA. In this case I had to share either the Lentz or Hartley grandparent with my 2 sisters, but I didn’t know which.

That is where Patricia’s results came in handy. Here is how she matches Sharon, Heidi and me:

Patricia Chromosome 7

Patricia has 3 good matches with Sharon and Heidi and one tiny one with me (#3 on the Chromosome Browser). However, the tiny one is the one I need. The pink match shows that my Chromosome 7 from 0-4 (in millions) is where I got my DNA from my Hartley grandfather and not my Frazer grandmother.

Here is my completed Chromosome 7 thanks to Patricia. I extended the Rathfelder on my Chromosome 7 all the way to the left or beginning and added a small chunk of red Hartley from my grandfather.

Chr 7 complete

Another Type of Chromosome Mapping

There’s is another type of Chromosome Mapping developed by Kitty Munson. The way the Munson Mapping is generally used is to map out your relatives’ common ancestors. In the case of Patricia and Jim our common ancestors are James Hartley and Annie Louisa Snell. Here is what my new Chromosome Map looks like with the addition of Patricia’s DNA matches with me shown in blue.

New Kitty Map for Joel based on Pat

Well, that’s about enough for Patricia’s DNA for now.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Patricia shared the first Hartley X Chromosome match that I’ve seen.
  • The X tends to shy away from the male line, so Patricia and Jim’s match is more likely down somewhere in the Massachusetts colonial line rather than the English Line.
  • I would like to use Hartley DNA to break through the Hartley genealogical brick wall. Right now I’m stuck in the early 1800’s in Trawden, England. There were too many Hartleys there with the same first name to figure out who was who. Patricia’s DNA may help in finding matches to other Hartleys
  • Patricia’s DNA helped me in mapping my chromosomes in 2 different ways.


My Hartley Autosomal DNA

I have written many blogs on DNA but I don’t think that I have written about my Hartley autosomal DNA. Autosomal DNA is the kind of DNA test of which Ancestry claims they have tested over 2 million people. Autosomal looks at the DNA we get from both our parents and their parents and so on until the DNA runs out. And it does run out for some ancestors at some point. Due to this effect, very little of my DNA is actually Hartley DNA. If you think of it, I got half of my DNA from my father, but he got half from his father, his father got half his DNA from his father and so on.

Paternal DNA from Maternal DNA

The best way to get your paternal DNA is to test your father. This avenue was not available to me. However, I was able to test my mother. has a utility available that will separate out the DNA I got from my mom from that which I got from my dad. That utility does not recreate my dad’s DNA, but it does recreate most of the portion of DNA that I got from him.

Here is what the utility looks like. It is quite simple to use and works quickly.

Phased Data Generator

Once I have this information, I can run the results against all my matches to find out which of my matches are from my dad and which are from my mom. There are also those that match neither which may be considered false matches. This takes out a lot of the guesswork with our matches. It makes life twice as easy.

Paternal DNA from Testing a Paternal Relative

The other way to find paternal (that is Hartley) DNA is to test a paternal or Hartley relative. That is when I went to my father’s cousin Jim and asked him to take a DNA test. He was willing and I have some Hartley matches. I also had tested myself and my two sister’s. Here is what Jim’s DNA results look like compared to me and my 2 sisters on a Chromosome Browser:

Hartley DNA

I find this graphic interesting. It shows that Jim matches me and my 2 sisters on almost every chromosome. The last chromosome is the X Chromosome. It was cut off a bit. However, Jim could not match us on the X as my father only got his X Chromosome from his mother who was a Frazer and not a Hartley. On Chromosome 13 my 2 sisters and I have pretty much the same match with Jim. The 3 bars are of equal length. On Chromosome 20, only my sister Sharon matches Jim. On Chromosome 11 we all match but at different amounts. My sister Heidi has the largest match there. The places where we don’t match, my family is busy matching the other 3 grandparents. Or perhaps Jim is busy matching on his father’s non-Hartley line.

What Do All Those Matches Mean?

All those matches represent Hartley DNA. But remember that I said that even our Hartley DNA consists of other families. So the answer is a bit more complicated. First I will show the Hartley genealogy relative to the DNA match between Jim and my family. That will help explain all these DNA matches. In the first line below, Greenwood Hartley was from Trawden, England. Ann Emmet was from Bacup, England. Isaiah Snell had non-Pilgrim colonial ancestors. Hannah Bradford had Pilgrim Colonial ancestors.

Greenwood DNA

I have those with Hartley DNA in green. Those that have no Hartley DNA are in blue.

Here is Greenwood Hartley and Ann Emmet:


Probably Hannah Bradford and Isaiah Snell at their house in Rochester, Massachusetts:

Hannah Isaiah

Every match between Jim, me and my siblings represents a specific Ancestor from the 1st line above

The common ancestors between Jim and me are James Hartley born 1862 and Annie Louisa Snell born 1866, but the DNA represented between Jim and me is actually their parents who were all born around the first third of the 1800’s. This was just made clear to me within the last few days. I know, it gets confusing. That means that out of the 1/4 of my DNA that is Hartley (as I have 4 grandparents), only 1/4 of that quarter is Hartley when we go back to where the DNA came from. That means that every orange, blue or green bar in the first image represents one of the 4 ancestors from the early 1800’s above.

How We Get Our DNA

When we were conceived, we got our own blend of DNA. That DNA was really from our 4 grandparents. We got equal amounts from our mom and dad, but the amounts we got from their parents was blended and we may have not gotten an exact 25% from each our grandparents. We all actually have 2 of each chromosome. One is paternal and one is maternal. For example, the siblings James Hartley b. 1891 and Annie Louisa Hartley b. 1902 received on their paternal chromosome alternating segments of Greenwood Hartley and Ann Emmet DNA. Likewise, on their maternal chromosomes, they had alternating DNA from Isaiah Snell and Hannah Bradford. Those mixtures of their 4 grandparents was passed down to Jim, me and my 2 sisters and is represented in the Family Tree DNA Browser that I show above and again below.

How Can We Tell Which Segment Matches Which of the Four Ancestors?

For example, it would be nice to know if Heidi’s Chromosome 11 match with Jim shown in green below represents  Hartley, Emmet, Snell or Bradford.

Hartley DNA

The best way to find out which segment represents which ancestor is to do additional testing.


  • A Hartley relative not related to Emmet, Snell or Bradford
  • An Emmet relative not related to Hartley, Snell or Bradford
  • Etc.

Well, I think you get the picture. Once one of these people is tested, they would be a reference and any match Jim or my family had with them would be from the Hartley, Emmet, Snell or Bradford lines. The problem is, where are these people? There may be Snells around not related to Hartleys, but I dont’ know of many Hartleys not related to Snells. Sorry for the double negative.

Another way is to wait until one of these Snells not related to a Hartley shows up on a DNA match list. This doesn’t work for Ancestry matches because AncestryDNA doesn’t tell you which chromosome you match on. However, if they were to upload their results to, then the segments could be identified.

why do we want to identify these segments?

Well, for one, some find it interesting to know where they got their DNA from. Another reason is, that once these are identified, then we know right away where to look for an ancestor match. For example, if we knew a match was on the Bradford side. We would look for a common matching ancestor descending from the Mayflower perhaps.

Summary and Conclusions

  • When I tested my Hartley father’s 1st cousin, I got a lot of DNA matches on most of my chromosomes
  • These matches represent 4 of my 2nd great grandparents
  • These four 2nd great grandparents represent Trawden and Bacup, England and Colonial Pilgrim and non-Pilgrim lines.
  • So far, I have not been able to figure out which colored bar represents which 2nd great grandparent.
  • There may be some advanced techniques that could help me tease those out. Or I may be able to find those out by testing appropriate relatives if found.
  • The older generations are the best for testing as the further you get from your ancestors, the less autosomal DNA you carry. It reduces by a factor of 4 every generation.
  • Those relatives that have tested at Ancestry should upload their results to for comparison.
  • One of my Hartley 2nd cousins has uploaded her DNA results to and that will be the subject of my next Blog.

My German DNA Success Story [Continued]

In my last Blog, I wrote about finding a significant DNA match on my mother’s paternal side. This is my rarest grandparent as far as DNA matches. My mom’s dad was a German Rathfelder from Latvia who emigrated to the US in the early 1900’s. As a result, this side of the family appears to have few US relatives. When I left off, I was having trouble finding a common ancestor between the match and my mother due in part to there being more than one Wilhelmine Rathfelder in the mid-1800’s Hirschenhof, Latvia.

The Two Wilhelmine Rathfelders

To recap, my mother’s DNA match had as their ancestor Friedrich Bernhard Spengel. Fried’s birth record in 1859 listed his mother as Wilhelmine Rathfelder. When I looked up the birth record of Wilhelmine Rathfelder, I found that she was born in 1844. This would make her only 15 at the birth of her son. That same record stated that her godmother’s name was also Wilhelmine Rathfelder who was an unmarried woman at the time. For this reason and others, I decided that the 15 year old Wilhelmine Rathfelder was a poor choice to be Friedrich Spengel’s mother.

Since my last blog, I found an 1855 Spengel/Rathfelder marriage that had potential:

Spengel Rathfelder Marriage 1855

The next to the last entry appears to be a Joh. Peter(?) Spengel and Aldene Wilhelmine Rathfelder. One problem here is that Friedrich’s father was Johann George Ludwig Spengel and this groom appears to be Johann Peter Spengel.

I then found this birth record from 1838:

Adeline Wilhelmine Birth

Here is cousin Inge’s rendering:

born on Januar (January) 17. abends (in the evening)

baptized the 19th of January

No. 2 Adeline Wilhelmine Rathfelder

V (father) CW (which means Colonie Wirt = farmer) George Rathfelder;

M (mother) Cathar(ina) Elisabeth geb. Hofmann

Taufzeugen (godparents): Gottlieb Raschefsky und Frau (wife) Anna Charlotta geborene Erhard,

Adeline Wilhelmine geborene Schulz.

Note again the custom of naming the child for the godmother – in this case Adeline Wilhelmine Schulz.

Two Johann Georg Rathfelders

It appears that not only were there 2 Wilhelmine Rathfelders, but also two brothers with the same name of Johann Georg Rathfelder. Just to make it confusing they were both the sons of my ancestor Johann Georg Rathfelder aka Hans Jerg Rathfelder. Here is the genealogical reference with Inge’s note: “Hans Jerg”.

Hans Jerg

This means that Adeline Wilhelmine Rathfelder was the daughter of Johann Georg (but he apparently went by Georg) born 1792. Her uncle was Johann George (my ancestor) b. 1778 and her grandfather was also Johann Georg (aka Hans Jerg). That puts the common ancestor of my mom and her Spengel descendant DNA match back to Johann George (aka Hans Jerg) Rathfelder b. 1752 and his wife Juliane Bietenbinder. Hans is my mom’s 3rd great grandfather in the upper right box below.

Ancestry Alexander Rathfelder

This means that AncestryDNA was somehow right in assigning my mom’s Spengel/Rathfelder descendant 4th cousin status.

The Spengel/Rathfelder Story

I find that if I am able to put genealogy into a narrative and it makes sense, then there is a likelihood that the story may be true.

Hans Jerg Rathfelder and Juliane Bietenbinder had several children in the German Colony of Hirschenhof in Latvia. Two of their sons had the same name: Johann Georg Rathfelder. The older son went by Johann and the younger went by Georg. The elder son Johann was my ancestor. The younger, Georg, married Catherina Hofmann in 1813. 25 years later in 1838 they had a daughter named Adeline Wilhelmine Rathfelder. In 1838 Wilhelmine’s mother would have been about 42.  This daughter may have been a 6 year old godmother at the birth of another Wilhelmine Rathfelder in 1844. In 1855, as a young 17 old girl, Adeline Wilhelmine Rathfelder married Johann Peter Spengel. At about age 21 in 1859 the elder Wilhelmine had a son named Friedrich Bernhard Spengel. However, at this time, Friedrich’s father is called Johann Georg Ludwig Spengel.

So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I’m betting that Johann [somebody] Spengel married a Wilhelmine Rathfelder in 1855 and that they were the same couple that had a Friedrich Bernhard Spengel in 1859. I do note that the Spengels were also related to the Gangnus family in Hirschenhof. Gangnus is the name of my Rathfelder grandfather’s mother. So that may explain my mom’s larger than average match with her 4th cousin.

Let’s Map Mom

Now that I have a reasonable common ancestor for my mom and her new Spengel/Rathfelder match, I can update my mom’s Chromosome Map using the Kitty Munson tool:

Mom's Chromosome Map Aug 2016

This fills out her paternal side a little more and also gets her first 1700’s chromosome mapping. All the others were “only” in the middle third of the 1800’s! Hans Jerg Rathfelder and his wife Juliane Bietenbinder are now shown in light blue.

My Chromosome Map

It turns out that even though my mom had a large DNA match as well as my 2 sisters, my gedmatch one to one match wasn’t that large. This is one of those rare cases where Ancestry gives me a larger match than Gedmatch. Here is how my match with the same Spengel/Rathfelder descendant show up at AncestryDNA:

Joel Ancestry match

Here is my one to many match at gedmatch:

gedmatch one to many

Gedmatch warns me to do a one to one match which brings my total cM match down from 25.1 to 18.9.

Joel Hilweg one to one

I just found out that the gedmatch SNP threshold went from 700 to 500, so a few days ago, my match would have been only 8.3 cM total. I may have other matches also as my sisters and mother match this same person in areas where I am below this threshold.

Here is my updated Chromosome Map:

Joel Chromosome Map Aug 2016

It seems like my maternal and paternal mapping is evening out. I didn’t think that this would ever happen.

Comparing my mom’s map and mine, I got most of Hans’ and Juliane’s DNA from my mom on my Chromosome 6 and 9, but I didn’t get any of the large amounts of DNA from my mom’s Chromosomes 17 and 18.

More Mapping

While I’m at it, I’ll see what else I can do.

Chromosome 1

Here is how the Spengel descendant matches with my mother, me and one sister on Chromosome 1:

Chr 1 Rathfelder

This is probably one of those segment matches that AncestryDNA had but was below the gedmatch threshold. The first match is my sister Sharon, then my mom, then me. Here is how I had it mapped out (with Kathy Johnston’s help):

Chr 1

The area of interest is from 62 to 68. Kathy has it correctly mapped out that Sharon and I have Rathfelder in there in blue and my other sister Heidi has the other maternal grandparent (Lentz) from 62 to 68.

Chromosome 6 Revised

Here is how the Spengel/Rathfelder descendant matches my mom and all three of her DNA tested children on Chromosome 6:

Chr 6

Note all the matches are between 155 and about 161. Here is my Chromosome 6 map:

Chr 6 map

When I was working on this map, I had noted an inconsistency in my paternal side on the right hand side and hadn’t yet resolved that problem. This proves I was wrong on my maternal side also after 155. Instead of 3 blue maternal Lentz segments after 155, there should be three orange ones as proven by the Spengel/Rathfelder match. I’ll just do a quick fix. There appears to be a double crossover for my 2 sisters where I previously had one for me at 155. I’ll add Sharon and Heidi’s crossover at position 155 and take out mine:

Chr 6 map rev

Perhaps this is not a perfect Chromosome 6 map, but it is much better than it was.

Chromosomes 17, 18 and 19

I covered Chromosome 17 in my previous blog.

Spengel/Rathfelder only matches my mom on Chromosome 18:

Chr 18 mom

Perhaps that DNA went to one of my other three siblings that haven’t tested for DNA yet.

Lastly, here is how mom, sister Heidi and I match Spengel/Rathfelder on Chromosome 19:

Chr 19

The matches are from 56 to 59, so the scale in the image isn’t perfect. Let’s see how my mapping looks.

Chr 19 Map

It looks like I had some trouble on my family’s Chromosome 19. I couldn’t figure out a section and couldn’t map my maternal side to a specific grandparent. Well, now, thanks to our Spengel/Rathfelder descendant match, things will be clearer. Heidi and Joel match a Rathfelder and Sharon doesn’t from location 56 to 59. That means that I can map the orange to my Rathfelder grandfather’s DNA. That leaves my maternal grandmother Lentz who will be in the green areas.

Chr 19 map rev

So here we have identified Maternal grandparents 1 and 2. This information should be useful. For example, if my sister Sharon in the top bar has a Chromosome 19 DNA match on the maternal side, I will know not to look for any Hirschenhof ancestors.

Summary and Conclusions

I believe that this is how it is supposed to work. The DNA helps target the genealogy and the genealogy identifies the DNA. One side leverages the other and back and forth we go between DNA and genealogy. Hence the term genetic genealogy.

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.


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:


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.


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