A Second Butler Big Y Results Are In

I am thankful that Peter agreed to take the Big Y test, also known as the Big Y – 500. It is important when taking the Big Y test to have two people with the same surname. That is because results are achieved in tandem. That means, that to have new SNPs named there has to be someone else that matches you on that SNP. Otherwise, the SNPs that don’t match anyone else remain private.

Previously, I was also happy that Rick tested. He is not a Butler, but previous Y DNA tested indicated that his family and the Butlers were related at some time in the past. Based on YFull calculations that time would be 700 years ago. Even though, that seems like a long time ago, the common ancestor that my father in law, Richard, had before Rick tested was 3500 years ago. I wrote about Rick’s results here.

Peter’s YDNA SNPs at FTDNA

Peter tested at FTDNA. It took a little while to get his results, but when they came in, things happened quickly. Peter’s first results looked like this:

This showed that Peter matched Rick and Richard. This was expected. Not too much later, FTDNA showed that Peter actually formed a new branch with just himself and Richard.

In my opinion, this new SNP of I-Y128364 is likely a Butler-only SNP. This is one of the goals of the Big Y: to get a family surname level SNP. Here is how I see the Butler tree with SNPs:

The age of these common ancestors are from YFull.

Peter’s YDNA SNPs at YFull

Peter uploaded his FTNDA Big Y results to YFull. One would think the results would be the same between the two companies, but not quite so. For one thing, YFull gives age estimates. One is for the formation of the SNP and the other is for the common ancestors of the matches that share that SNP.

Above, Peter is YF14375. His number is faint as the results have not yet been finalized. I am expecting that YFull’s analysis will have Peter and Richard sharing a common SNP, once their analysis is done. Rick has the USA flag and Richard is the last person in the image above.

Some Differences Between FTDNA and YFull: Y128315 Vs Y128591

Under YFull, Y128315 shows three SNPs plus 17 others. One of the 17 others is Y128591:

That means that there were a bunch of SNPs in this group. FTDNA chose one SNP to be representative of the group (Y128591) and YFull picked a different one (Y1285315).

What About I-Y136556?

YFull has an extra SNP between I-S17511 and I-Y128315. This is I-S136556. . This may be because there is an ERS sample at YFull that I believe was taken from a study. This test result would not be included in the FTDNA information. This I-S136556 fills in some information that FTDNA did not have, but the dates are still ancient history as they are in the range of 4,000 to 3,500 years ago. Note above in the YFull Tree that Y136556 is also called BY37214. FTDNA has this listed under S17511:

The bottom line is that YFull shows slightly more detailed branching than FTDNA.

What’s Next?

Next we wait for YFull to finish their analysis. The interesting thing that YFull does that FTDNA does not do are age estimates. It will be interesting to see what YFull has for a date for the common ancestor between Peter and Richard. Also YFull will likely come to the conclusion, as FTDNA did, that Richard and Peter need to share their own Butler SNP.




The Butlers of Poulrone, County Kilkenny

I recently got an email from Peter. Peter is helping me research my wife’s Butler ancestry. Peter pointed out that we were a little off in our geography.

The Case of Two Poulrones

Here is what Peter writes:

Our Polrone is not associated with Mooncoin but with Tullahought in the Barony of Kells which is in Windgap, in the Carrick on Suir Union, sometimes the diocese overlap the Civil boundaries but not in this case. The two Polroanes are only about 6 miles apart!!!!!

From my website on the Butlers, I had this incorrect location for the Butler’s Poulrone:

The Right Poulrone for the Butlers Is In Tullahought

Tullahought would be called a Civil Parish – an administrative district. According to Wikipedia:

Tullahought (IrishTulach Dhocht, meaning “eight hills”) is a small village in south Kilkenny. Tullahought, also a townsland in the area, is located approximately 8 miles north of Carrick on Suir and 25 miles south of Kilkenny City. The village, itself located in the towns land of Kilmacoliver and Poulrone is best known for its association with the Ormonde Slate Quarries which is situated at the foot of the Booly Hills, on which Tullahought is situated.

This entry came in handy as I had trouble locating the Townland of Poulrone on a Google Map. Here is the location of Tullahought:

The correct Poulrone is to the North of Mooncoin in the Roman Catholic Parish of Windgap.

More Details of the Right Poulrone

Peter supplied me with this map:

Tullahought is named at the top center of the map at the intersection of heavy red lines indicating Townlands. The upper left of the map shows the boundary between County Kilkenny and County Tipperary. The Butler’s Poulrone is the Townland in the middle of the map. The Butler’s farm would have been one of the numbered lots within Poulrone.

Windgap Parish Map

Here is the Parish of Windgap on the Western border of County Kilkenny:

Records Linking Butlers to Poulrone

I’ve given the geography, but what are the records linking the Butlers to Poulrone?

The first record is from 1824:

Eight years later, here is some information from 1832:

The bottom right note indicates that Michael likely died and Margaret was in charge of the farm in Poulrone. There is an * by Michael Butler’s name which indicates that he did not re-register after 1832.

The Tithe Applotment

The Tithe Applotment has two listings for Michael Butler in the Civil Parish of Tullahaught:

Unfortunately, the Townlands are not transcribed well. Poocrown should be Poolrown and Birchwaad should be Birchwood. Here are the listings for Poulroan:

  1. Thomas Croke
  2. Edward Duggan
  3. Patrick Duggan
  4. Michael Butler
  5. David Fogarty
  6. Edmund Quinn
  7. Johanna Quinn, widow
  8. Thomas Broderick

Butler in Birchwood?

The Tithe Applotment also lists a Michael Butler in Birchwood. Is this the same as the Michael Butler from Poulrone?? If the Brichwood is adjacent to Poolroan, then I would say so. Here is Birchwood:

It looks to be on the River that separates County Tipperary from County Kilkenny. At www.townlands.ie, Poulrone is listed as Pollrone.

Using the map triangles at a reference, it appears that Birchwood is separated from Pollrone by a Townland. It looks like the two Townlands are separated by Kilmacoliver . That means that I can’t tell if this is the same Michael Butler.  Here are the heads of families in Birchwood:

  1. James Moore
  2. Patrick Moore
  3. Thomas Moore
  4. Patrick Kearins
  5. Michael Butler

Birchwood is transcribed as Birchwaad or Burchwad at the National Archives website. I would say that this is the same Michael or a relative.

Griffith’s Valuation

The next records to look at are Griffith’s Valuation. This was published 1849-1850 for County Kilkenny. Here is the Valuation in Pollrone:

The presumption is that James Butler is the son of Michael Butler and Margaret Croke and that he is living in the same house he was brought up in. He is on a 98 acre farm, but it is shared with Patrick Duggan who also has a house on the property. Further Edmond Duggan and Thomas Croke own some of the land. It is possible that all these people are related.

Here is another view of Poulrone, with the Village of Tullahought. James Butler also owned some land in Kilmacoliver. The Roman Catholic Church was in the Northeast corner of this Townland.

More Butlers in Tullahought

Tullahought is the Civil Parish. These civil parishes were usually in line with the Church of Irleand Parishes, but not the Roman Catholic Parish. So Poulrone would be in the Roman Catholic Parish of Windgap and the Civil Parish of Tullahought. A search for Butlers in Griffith’s Valuation in Tullahought brought this up:

I wonder if the Margaret above was Margaret Croke Butler?

This Margaret is presumed to be a widow. She is on Lot 6a where the land is owned by Conway, Bourke and Kenny.

There was an Edmund Butler in Knockroe:

My research helper, Peter, suspects that the immigrant Butler Edward was originally an Edmond. Here is Knockroe:

Poulron in 1901

My research doppelgänger from England, Peter, went on to the next logical step. He looked at the 1901 Census:

This is very likely the same Michael:

His sponsors were Patt and Mary Duggan. Michael was likely named for James father Michael. These Census ages were not always dependable. Michael, who is listed as 40 in 1911 would have actually been 52,

Michael has a wife Ellen born in Tipperary, which was only a few Townlands away. Michael died between 1901 and 1911. Here Elllen is a widow in the 1911 Census of Pollrone:

A Butler Tree

From this, I get a tree of the Poulroan Butlers:

Any Other Butlers? One or Two Michael and Ellen Butler?

Maybe. Here is an Edmond from Knockroe:

Not likely a good candidate as the James Butler I’m interested in would have only been 16 in 1867 at the time of this birth. A Knockroe James Butler born in 1869 is also problematic:

I see also a Margaret born to this couple in 1873. Then Ellen born 1876 and Bridget born 1878.

Peter’s Latest Find; a Lamogue Wedding

While I was pondering whether there were one or two Michael and Ellen Butlers, Peter sent me this information from Lamogue:

This appears to be the wedding of Mathias/Matthew Butler with his brother Edward as witness.  If this is the same Matthew, he would have been 28 at the time of his marriage. I checked my wedding date for Edward Butler. I have that he got married in St. John, New Brunswick on 1 May 1855. So that could be.  I don’t get from looking at the Windgap Parish records that the Parish was a large one nor that there were too many Butlers in this particular Parish.

Here is Lamogue:


Summary and Conclusions

The discovery of the Butlers in Poulrone has come as a slow development rather than an all at once discovery. The Butler family has long believed that they were from Kilkenny. However, the assumption was that they were from the County Town rather than the rural area of Poulrone. The first record of a Butler in Poulrone was from 1824, but the Butlers could have been in the same area for quite some time. It is possible that there are some lease or rental records for the land they lived on.  I only see a record of one Butler daughter in the 1901 Census. Was this the last of the Poulrone Butlers, or were there others in the area?

Peter found a Matthew Butler who appears to be the other brother of James and Edward Butler. He married in 1852 in Lamogue. A lot of information has been added to the Butler research. The trick will be to further analyze and verify the information. Were there one or two Michael and Ellen Butlers? Was the Margaret Butler in Griffith’s Valuation Edward’s mother, Margaret Croke?


After I wrote this, Peter found some more information:

Michael was married to Ellen Walsh. There was apparently another Michael Butler who married an Ellen Shea. This Mary Butler married James Crowley.

BigY Moves Whitson/Butler Project 2,850 Years Toward the Present

Rick noticed recently that his SNP had changed at FTDNA where he had his BigY tested. His most recent SNP went from Y136556 to Y128591. This SNP change was based on FTDNA’s comparison of Rick’s results with my late father-in-law Richard’s BigY results.

New SNP Y128591

Here is how Richard and Rick now match at FTDNA:

This is added a new branch to the human race. This branch includes Rick with Whitson ancestry and Richard with Butler ancestry. Previously the branch ended at I-Y136556.

YFull Dating: a 2,850 Year Improvement

Here is the new YFull Tree:

Before Rick tested, Richard matched at I-Y136556. Richard had and has a common ancestor with a person with Russian heritage. The estimated date of Richard and the Russian person was 3900 ybp (years before present). Now Richard and Rick have a common ancestor estimated at 1050 ybp.

How did this change? Ricard and Rick match on 20 SNPs. These are 20 SNPs that they do not match with the Russian person. YFull estimates that a SNP is formed about every 144 years. 144 X 20 is 2,880 years. That is the simple match. That should mean also that in the past 1050 years, Rick and Richard should have about 7 SNPs that do not match.

The FTDNA Haplotree

The FTDNA Haplotree is equivalent to YFull’s YTree:

This points out some areas of difference. FTDNA has 22 SNPs that Rick and Richard share versus YFull’s 20.

Y128315 or Y128591?

Also YFull shows a SNP of Y128315 while FTDNA shows Y128591. This is because out of the 20 or 22 SNPs that Rick and Richard match on, one had to be chosen to represent the group. FTDNA chose Y128591 and YFull chose Y128315. FTDNA does have that Y128315 listed three from the end in the box of SNPs above.

Implications of a TMRCA of 1050 Years

1050 years ago most people had no surname. According to Wikipedia, “By 1400, most English and some Scottish people used surnames.” That means that the common ancestor that Rick and Richard had would have been about 450 years before surnames were commonly used – depending on the area. That means that based, just on Rick’s and Richard’s testing, the Whitson and Butler name could have arisen independently. Prior to Rick’s BigY results, there was some indication that there was some confusion between the two surnames due to adoption or other issues over the years.

It would be interesting to know where the Whitson/Butler ancestor lived 1050 years ago. That is something that is not possible to know just based on the comparison of these two BigY tests. However, as more people test within the Y128315/Y128592  Group, it may be possible to find this out.

A Whitson/Butler SNP Tree

It was not too long ago when all we knew was that Whitson/Butler was A427.


At that time, I had predicted that there would be a parallel branch to S23612 that the Butlers and Whitsons would be in. That parallel branch was S17511. The next SNP that came along was Y136556 which includes Russia and Ireland. The I2 Whitsons are possibly from England. Thanks to Rick’s testing we now have a Butler/Whitson SNP – Y128591. Additional testing may reveal other surnames under this SNP. Once Peter’s results are in, I am hoping for a Butler-only SNP that will define the I2 branch of that family. That SNP would be one step down from on the left branch above.

One Other Difference Between FTDNA and YFull

On FTDNA’s Haplotree, I see no Y136556 branch. It appears that FTDNA have incorporated that SNP into S17511 as BY37214.

It is a fairly small distinction, but I like YFull’s YTree configuration better.

Summary and Conclusions

  • My biggest takeaway is that Butler and Whitson do not appear to be as closely related as previously thought. The common ancestor between the Butler and Whitson based on this comparison was 1050 years before present. That would be in the year 968 or about in the middle of the Middle Ages.
  • Thanks to YFull, the common ancestor for Butler and Whitson was pushed forward 2,850 years. That is a dramatic difference.
  • It is likely that Peter’s pending BigY results will produce a new SNP for the Butler family.
  • It would be helpful for the Whitson side to have another I2 Whitson test for the BigY. This would likely result in a Whitson-only I2 SNP below Y128591.



Rick’s Whitson/Butler Big Y YDNA Results

The co-administrator for the Whitson/Butler YDNA Project, Peter notified me recently that Rick had a new SNP designation. This was a hint that Rick’s Big Y results were almost done. Soon after, I saw that Rick’s Big Y results were completed.

What Does the BigY Do?

According to FTDNA, which does the test:

The Big Y-500 is a Y-chromosome direct paternal lineage test. We have designed it to explore deep ancestral links on our common paternal tree. This test examines thousands of known branch markers as well as millions of places where there may be new branch markers. 

On average, YDNA changes about once every 144 years. That means that someone between me and my third great-grandfather probably had a new marker or SNP.

Named and Numbered SNPs

When the SNPs are tested, the results are shown in one of two ways. They are either named SNPs or numbered SNPs. The named SNPs are, for the most part, ones that are common to other people. In the Whitson/Butler YDNA Project, there are six tested men within the Haplogroup of I2.

Each of these six men have a SNP which is M438 or the equivalent P21 or S31. The letter before the number stands for the testing company that discovered the SNP.  The SNP named M438 designates that these men are I2 and not I1 or R1a or R1b. Further, these six men also have the SNP named M436. This used to be called I2a2, but now the branches are named for the SNP test name rather than the branch of I2.

M436 in the above three has its own tree. All the men in the Whitson/Butler Project that are I2 are also M426 and M223:

Here are the I2 men from the Whitson/Butler Project:

Rick’s results are at the top in green. William Whitson is Rick’s ancestor. A green SNP in the last column means that there was a test for the SNP. The red SNP results means that these three men did not have their SNPs tested, but from the STR results, FTDNA is quite sure they are in that branch and would be positive for M223 if they tested for it. In the list above, the first person Rick and the last person, Richard, have their BigY results. Peter has ordered the BigY test, but his results are not yet in. He has previously tested for A427. A427 is to the bottom right of the above tree on the next to the last line.

Why is A427 Germanic and North Slavic?

According to the YFull YTree (see below), A427 formed about 5,000 years ago. That means in the last 5,000 years, A427 descendants had plenty of time to move around. War and famine would be two reasons I coiuld think of to relocate. Climate change must factor in also. That gave time for id FY12481 from the YFull Tree to make his way to Russia and the Whitsons and Butlers time to make their way to Ireland and England.

Here is a portion of a map that Pete sent me today. Pete is in a non-I2 part of the Whitson/Butler DNA Project:

Around 117 A.D., according to the creators of the map, I2a2 centered around a place called Lombardy. It also included the Teutons. However, my understanding is that it could have included the Goths and the Baltic Tribes. So, that general area of the map.

Whitson/Butler and the A427 Branch

Probably all the Whitsons and Butlers that are I2 are also A427. Note above in the Eupdedia I2a2 Tree, that there is a SNP below A427 called Y4884. However that is not the Whitson/Butler Branch. Here is what YFull shows:

The YFull tree shows that quite a few people tested positive for Y4884. However, Richard and Rick are in S17511. This is probably a newer discovered branch since the 2016 Eupedia Tree above. YFull is a bit ahead of FTDNA at this point as it also has Richard in Y136556 which is one step below S17511. Richard is designated with an Irish Flag. There is someone with a Russian heritage that is also positive for Y136556. For that reason, I don’t think that Richard and the Russian will be grouped together for long. I think that Richard and Rick and then Richard, Rick and Peter will form at least one new haplogroup.

Here is a tree I made for a previous Blog. It showed where I expected the new Butler/Whitson Branch to be. We now know that parallel branch is S17511. However, the actual Whitson/Butler branch will be a few levels below that.

The good news is that without doing anything, my father-in-law’s SNP went down the ladder two more steps. This was just based on people who we didn’t know who had Big Y tests. Now we have people testing for Big Y like Rick,  who we expect are related. I would think that the results would be more relevant and bring us into the genealogical time frame.

Naming Problems: Y136556/BY37214

I did not find Y136556 on Rick’s list of SNPs from his BigY test. However, he is positive for BY37214 which is the same SNP with a different name:

Fortunately, the YTree by YFull lists both names:

I think that the BY prefix is the BigY designation, so that may be what will show up eventually at FTDNA.

Numbered SNPs

Numbered SNPs are those that are not yet named SNPs. This is most likely because they are not yet shared with anyone else. Or else, they are shared and no one has gotten around to naming them yet. For example, as I mentioned above, Richard is positive for Y136556. It is possible to go to a website called YBrowse and look this SNP up by name or location:

At the top, I find out that Y136556 is also at position 14,628,410 on the Y Chromosome. Before this SNP was named, it would have been reported by the position number. I also note that this SNP has two other names: Y41633 and BY37214. I’m not sure why there are two Y names.

Acording to YBrowse, Y136556 is not on the YFull Tree. However, I know that it is on the YFull Tree, so they are perhaps having trouble keeping up with all the new SNPs.

A Third Category – Novel Variants

There is actually a third category of SNPs. These are called Novel Variants. I put in a question to the I-M223 Y Haplogroup at FTDNA about Richard’s Y136556 SNP and got the following answer:

The blurred out name is Rick. I was asking why Richard didn’t show as Y136556. The answer is that FTDNA is getting to it. And as I guessed, there will be at least one new branch based on Rick’s results.

One of the ‘Novel SNPs’ that Richard and Rick share is Y128591. I looked up Y128591 at YBrowse and it is at position 2786469. Under Rick’s FTDNA BigY list of downloaded Novel Variants, Rick has 2786469 which FTDNA does not yet show as a named SNP.

With all the testing going on, these haplotrees and SNPs are in a constant state of change.

Rick Matches Richard at FTDNA

FTDNA has specific requirements for who can and cannot match under the Big Y results. Assuming the guy with Russian heritage tested at FTDNA, he did not meet the FTDNA requirements as he does not show as a match to Rick or Richard:

A person is considered a match if they have 30 or fewer differences in SNPs with you, and their haplogroup is downstream from your haplogroup or downstream from your four closest parent haplogroups.

Here is how Rick shows up on my late father in law’s results:

Note that Rick and Richard have 324,704 Shared Variants. Rick and Richard also share Unnamed Variants:


I copied Rick’s and Richard’s Novel Variants and then lined them up to see where they matched and did not match. The matches are in yellow. The Novel Variants that did not match are in green. Perhaps these yellow SNPs are the ones that bring us from 4200 years ago to a more reasonable time frame.

I looked up every SNP location at YBrowse to see if there was a name for the SNP yet. There are no names for Rick’s unique SNPs as he has not uploaded to YFull yet. That is, with one exception. All these new SNP names appear to have been created by YFull. Rick has one SNP that does not match Richard’s which is Y40359. This appears to be an older SNP. Perhaps Richard did not have a good read for that SNP.

One final note is that the above are all from FTDNA’s Unnamed Variants list. That means that FTDNA has not named them. However, in many cases, YFull has named these variants.

Non-Matching Variants

FTDNA has this to say about non-matching variants:

This column displays the known variants (SNPs) within your subclade that you and the specified match do not share.

That means that the Non-Matching Variants could be on Rick’s or Richard’s side. Here are the non-matching variants that Rick has:

  1. A8346
  2. BY31782
  3. 12200779
  4. 15405895
  5. 18999479
  6. 19550845
  7. 19714191

Here are the non-matching variants that Richard has:

  1. 15649019
  2. 20968182

From the above, I see this configuration:

The SNPs that Rick and Richard have in the two bottom boxes are called Private SNPs. That means that they are not at this time shared with anyone else. FTDNA or YFull would not show a tree this way as they only show branching where there is a match in the SNP. When Peter’s BigY results are in, he may form a branch with Rick or Richard. Say that Peter tests positive for all the SNPs in the box above Rick and Richard. Then he also shares some of Rick’s private SNPs. That would put Rick and Peter in a new branch where Rick is now and Richard would go to the box above where I have him now as he would only share those SNPs. One of the SNPs in the box above Rick and Richard would be chosen to describe that branch. My guess is that Peter will be positive for all the SNPs in the box above Rick and Richard, but if he isn’t, then that will also form a new branch under the box that says Russia.

It is interesting that Richard only has two private SNPs. To me, this would indicate that his time to a shared ancestor should be within the genealogical time frame. Going from 5,000 years ago to the genealogical time frame is a big jump. That is part of the allure of the BigY test.

I am fortunate to have two other BigY testers from the Whitson/Butler YDNA Project. Without their results, I would only know that Richard is distantly related to someone with Russian heritage.

A Guess On Future SNP Branching

I checked my old notes on STR trees. STR trees are not as accurate as SNP trees. Here is one I drew a while back:

Assuming that I drew this right,  it appears that 6 Butler (my father in law Richard) would be in the first new SNP group. Below that Rick (1 Batt) and Peter (4 Butler) would be in a SNP group with the common ancestor of BA2 as shown above.

Summary and Conclusions

  • The results are just in and are interesting. However, some waiting is still required while the dust settles
  • FTDNA is working on finalizing a shared haplogroup between Rick and Richard
  • YFull will also come to its own conclusion and come up with some dating estimates once they get the BAM files from the Big Y results.
  • Once the branching has settled out, I expect that there will be some answers and some more new questions.


An Update on an Irish Butler’s Big Y

Not too long ago I wrote about my Butler father in law’s Big Y results here. I found it a bit frustratinng that FTDNA changed their matching criteria. Richared is I2 on the YDNA nomenclature and his terminal SNP is now I-A427. Here are the matches shown at FTDNA:

However, there was a catch to the matching. Now Richard has a match if:

A person is considered a match if they have 30 or fewer differences in SNPs with you, and their haplogroup is downstream from your haplogroup or downstream from your four closest parent haplogroups.

Since my last Blog, I uploaded Richard’s VCF file to YFull.

I made sure to show that his ancestor was from Ireland, as I didn’t see any other Irish Flags. Now Richard is in an I-A427 group with no further branching along with two other YFull people. I’m hoping that once the next Y Tree comes out, that Richard will be on a new branch of the Y Tree. But back to the matching. If I count the id’s above, I get 17 other than Richard that are positive for I-A427. Yet Richard has no A427 matches by the FTDNA criteria. And that holds true for the four branches above A427 even though there are likely many more people that are positive for those SNPs.

Once Richard was on YFull, I joined him to the I-M223 Group. That way, group adminsters can see his results there and do any needed analysis.


I was unable to get FTDNA’s SNP tree working for my last blog. Here is how it looks for Richard:

I have a little trouble reading the FTDNA tree. I went two levels above A427 to P78. It looks like the two branches under P78 are the larger S25733 and the smaller Y7219. Under S25733 there is A427 and PH2670.  This leads me to modify the tree I had drawn in my previous Blog:

This was drawn to show that FTDNA may be ahead of YFull in some aspects and YFull may be ahead of FTDNA in others. The yellow level and down don’t  apply to the Butler/Whitson I-M223 Branches. Peter from the Project and Richard have both tested negative for S23612. That means that they are awaiting to be put in a  new branch below A427 that is parallel to S23612.

Here is where I expect the new branch to be:

Eventually, there should be additional branching below this yellow level. I would expect there to be more than just Butlers and Whitsons in this branch as this branch could still be over 4,000 years old. Note that probabably due to planned family testing, the Y24488 Branch got down to as recent as 150 years ago for their common ancestor.

VCF and BAM files

The two files that are generated when your Big Y results come in are the VCF and BAM files. FTDNA has not been generating the BAM files due to their conversion from HG19 to HG38. Due to a better understanding of YDNA a new standard was needed as new locations were found on the Y Chromosome. Thus the new HG38. For example, here is a list of some of Richard’s Novel SNPs:

YFull shows the HG19 position and the HG38 position.

The BAM Files are much larger than the VCF files. Other than that I don’t know a lot about them. YFull used to only accept the BAM files, but now that BAM files are held up, they wisely decided to accept VCF files. They get their money ($49) and we get most of the analysis. The rest of the analysis is done for free once the BAM file is available. Here is YFull’s ad:

Note they state that they only get about 50-70% of what they need from the VCF file. Also note that no age estimation is done without the BAM file. That is one of the most popular features of YFull. So I will definitely send YFull my BAM link once it is available.

Any Shared SNPs at YFull?

Again, no. YFull doesn’t do SNP sharing on old SNPs. Isn’t that age discimination? This is from the YFull site:

Q: What is YFull’s “SNP matches” methodology?

A: The methodology is reflected in the SNP matches table, which provides information about Shared SNPs and Assumed Shared SNPs of compared samples. The table is limited to SNPs having an estimated age of 3500 ybp or younger (using TMRCA from the YTree), with a maximum of 100 lines of information.

I-A427 has a TMRCA of 4700 years before present. That is ancient. Richard is only off by 1200 years.

Are the Novel SNPs At YFull the Same As the Unnamed Variants At FTDNA?

I think so. From my last Blog, FTDNA showed that Richard had 33 Unnamed Variants of High Quality. YFull shows 18 Novel SNPs of best quality and 11 of acceptable quality. That adds up to 29 which is two off from FTDNA’s 33 Novel SNPs and Unnamed Variants appear to be the same thing. However, based on differing interpretations different Novel SNPs were reported at different reported qualities:

This is a partial listing of all of Richard’s Variants. YFull is on the left and Big Y is on the right. I lined everthing up by the position numbers. YFull reports two Novel SNPs as ‘Ambiguous Quality’ that FTDNA reports as High Quality. Then FTDNA has 7 Novel SNPs rated at High that YFull does not even report. Again, it’s good to have a second opinion.

Any Shared Novel SNPs at YFull?

I think so. I copied all the Noved SNPs into Excel and filtererd all the ones that said ‘shared’ on them:

Here is what I gather:

  • Even though these 14 Novel SNPs are shared, I can’t tell who they are shared with
  • There are an equal amount of low quality Novel SNPs shared as well as Best Quality Novel SNPs
  • One Novel SNP is new as there was no HG19 Position given
  • All these Novel SNPs have been named except for two. The YF designation is a YFull numbering system, but as far as I know, not a SNP naming designation.
  • I expect these Best quality and acceptable quality shared Nove SNPs to form a new branch or branches.

Summary and Conclusions

  • The Big Y Results have gotten tbe ball rolling for the I-M223 Group of the Whitson/Butler YDNA Project
  • Once the BAM file is available from FTDNA it will be uploaded to YFull
  • Richard’s Big Y VCF file has been uploaded to YFull. I expect new branching once a new Y Tree comes out. These seem to come out about every two months. The last one came out at the beginning of January.
  • FTDNA’s I-M223 administrators will also be looking at the Big Y results and the Y Full results for Richard, to see if further branching of A427 is warranted.
  • One or two others from the Witson/Buter I-M223 Branch have expressed interest in taking the Big Y test. These tests could get to how the Butlers and Witsons are related. This may also give some geographic information on common ancestors. The Butlers were known to be in Ireland? Were the Whitsons also there? If so, when?


My Father In Law’s Big Y Butler Results

I ordered a Big Y test for my Butler father in law last Summer and got the results right before the start of the New Year. Unfortunately my father in law passed away last Spring, but Family Tree DNA had kept his DNA sample from a previous Family Finder test.

Recap of Butler YDNA

My wife’s father’s family is in the I2 Haplogroup. He is also in a Whitson Project which I administer. Here is a summary of the Whitson Project which includes Butlers, Whitsons, Whetstones and others:

The group has grown from 12 to 15 since I last wrote about it. My father in law’s ancestor was Michael Butler. Here is a general idea of where I2 – M223 can be found:

Richard shares I-A427 Haplogroup with another Butler. These Butlers believe that their ancestors were origninally from the SE of Ireland. It is likely that all the Whitsons and Butlers in the I-M223 Group above are also I-A427

From I-M223 to I-A427


This tree is a bit over a year old. A427 is at the bottom right of the tree. Somehow these Germanic Butler ancestors made it to Ireland. Of course, they had thousands of years to make it there.

A427 and Children at YFull

The normal strategy is to upload Big Y results to YFull. YFull takes a look at the results and likely puts you in a downstream group to A427. YFull has a YTree. This is the A427 portion of the tree:

  • I am quite amazed at the span of years in this tree.  The Time to Most Recent Common Ancestor (TMRCA) for A427 is 4700 YBP (Years before present). The TMRCA for I-Y24488 is 150 ybp. That is a span of about 4700 years for this branch!
  • The other observation is that it appears that a family group at the bottom of the tree got together for some planned Big Y testing.
  • Not all kits have flags, but I don’t see any Irish Flags for the kits that do have flags.

The FTDNA I-M223 Project

This project has the results from about 3500 men who have had YDNA tests. Here are the results of those put in the A427 group:

There are others below this group that have been put into branches below A427. Among this group are 3 Butlers and 3 Whitsons. I have written before about signature STRs. The signature STRs are highlighted for Butlers and Whitsons:

The mode of the STRs are at the top of the list. Deviations from that mode are in pink or purple. The areas where the STRs are in a colored block or similar within the Whtison/Butler Group are the signature STRs for Whitson/Butler.

Big Y Results

The Big Y Results so far have been dissapointing. I had thought that the results would bring the Butlers into a more recent SNP than A427. Apparently that will have to await YFull analysis or analysis by the M223 administrators. Here are my father in law’s Big Y Matches:


At first, I thought this was a mistake, so I wrote to the M223 Activity Feed. There answer was that there is a new matching definition:

A person is considered a match if they have 30 or fewer differences in SNPs with you, and their haplogroup is downstream from your haplogroup or downstream from your four closest parent haplogroups.

To me, this seems like a backwards way of matching. However, I’m sure FTDNA have their reasons. According to YFull, the TMRCA for A427 is 4700 years ago. YFull uses an average SNP rate of 144.41 years. That would mean that there would be about 32.5 SNPs in that time. I assume that there would be many more SNPs due to branching.

More Snooping Around and Problem Solved

I finally downloaded the SNPs for Richard, my late father in law. At the top of the list was this:

Note that S23612 tested negative. Under Test is also S23612. That tells me that FTDNA did a special test for S23612 in addition to the Big Y as they also questioned the results. That means that Richard’s Big Y results are actually stuck back in antiquity – for now.

Help: The Butlers/Whitsons Stuck at 4700 Years Ago!


YFull named the only branch under A427 for Y4884. Notice that I underlined in red the equivalent level SNP S23612. For whatever reason, FTDNA decided that should be the name of the branch. There are two others that have had a Big Y or equivalent test and uploaded their results to YFull that are stuck at A427. It is possible that Richard will form a new branch with one of those.

I combined the YFull Tree and the ISOGG Tree and came up with this:

Now What?

What is needed now is someone in the I-M223 Group of the Whitson/Butler Group to take the Big Y test. This would bring the SNPs up to a more reasonable time frame. I suspect a new Whitson/Butler SNP branch will come down at the level of the yellow box above.

Richard’s Butler “Variants”

Remember that I estimated that in 4700 years there should be 32.5 SNPs? Well guess what. Richard has a total of 33 Unnamed Variants according to his Big Y test. What are Unnamed Variants? Unnamed Variants can be not-yet SNPs. These 33 Unnamed Variants are waiting for matches. Once there is a match, it is possible for these Unnamed Variants to become named SNPs that would form their own branches. So say that someone from the I-M223 branch of the Whitson/Butler Project were to take the Big Y test. It would be likely that there would be a match on 30 or so of those Unnamed Variants and that 3 may remain as Variants, sometimes called Private SNPs.

Here is what the Unnamed Variants look like for Richard:

To the right of the list, there is a Reference Letter and a Genotype Letter. These letters are A, G, C, or T. Then there is a confidence level. This is set to High by default. Each unnamed Variant is a Position Number. According to FTDNA:

The Position column displays the position (location) of the unnamed variant on the Y-chromosome with respect to the GRCh38 human reference genome, which is maintained by the Genome Reference Consortium.


It is possible to go to ISOGG’s YBrowse page to look up these positions I suppose this would take a while to look up 33. Here is the first Unnamed Variant 10005112:

This shows where the ‘Variant’ is on the Y Chromosome. If there were any named SNP or other information, it would appear below the Browser.

Unnamed Variants with SNP Names

Believe it or not, I went through every one of Richard’s Unnamed Variants in the YBrowser. Come to find out, some of them did have names – just not with FTDNA. Here are the six out of 33 that did:

This was interesting, but probably not any of these SNPs are on a tree right now.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Right now, Richard’s Big Y results have not shown him in a more recent Haplogroup than I-A427. That goes back to at least 4700 years before present or about 2700 B.C.
  • FTDNA tested Richard for the only presently known SNP below A427 which is S23612. This is equivalent to YFull’s Y4884. FTDNA found that Richard did not have this SNP.
  • I will upload Richard’s Big Y results to YFull for analysis once they are released by FTDNA. This may result in further branching below A427 other than S23612 (or Y4884).
  • A Big Y test by an additional Butler or Whitson in the I-M223 Branch of the Whitson project would result in many new matches of Variants which would become named SNPs and likely form new branches. This matching would give an approximate date of the Butler and/or Whitson’s common ancestor.

Visual Phasing: My Father in Law’s Chromosome 22

Looking through the visual phasing of my father in law’s family, I notice I am missing a map for Chromosome 22. Chromosome 22 is the easiest and hardest Chromosome to visually phase. It should be the easiest because it is the shortest Chromosome and should have the fewest number of crossovers. It should be the most difficult because it should have the fewest cousins matches. I assume that I haven’t visually phased Chromosome 22 because of the hard part.

Gedmatch One to One Comparisons

To do visual phasing, I need to compare my late father in law Richard to his two sisters in the Gedmatch Chromosome browser. Here is how Richard matches one of his sisters, Lorraine:

This shows that Richard matches his sister Lorraine all along the Chromosome except for a little segment between 43.6M and 43.8M. Hopefully this is accurate. Other comparisons should bear this out. By comparing siblings, we are looking at how many grandparents’ DNA they share. Green means that Richard and Lorraine share two grandparents’ DNA. More specifically, they share one maternal grandparent and one paternal grandparent.

Yellow means they share one grandparent on a maternal or paternal Chromosome and don’t share the grandparent on the opposite Chromosome. For example, if they share the DNA from a maternal grandparent, that means that they don’t share DNA from the same grandparent on the paternal Chromosome. This is all important information for visual phasing.

Finally, above the break in the solid blue line above is a red area. That means that in that little segment, Richard and Lorraine share DNA from neither of their grandparents. This is important information. Richard’s paternal grandparents are Butler and Kerivan. His maternal grandparents are LeFevre and Pouliot. So say Richard gets his DNA from Butler and LeFevre in that red area. That means that Lorraine must get her DNA from Kerivan and Pouliot in the red area. Those are the rules for Visual Phasing.

Next I put the three comparisons into Excel.

Then I look for changes in the colors on the Chromosome Browser. These changes should come in pairs. The first two changes are in the first two bars. The colors go from green to yellow. That means that the shared DNA goes from two grandparents to one. Lorraine’s name is associated with both those comparisons, so we say that Lorraine has a crossover there. A crossover is where Lorraine’s DNA changes. Before the crossover, she is getting DNA from one grandparent, and after the crossover, she is getting her DNA from another grandparent.

Again, these crossovers show up in pairs. A top/top pair assigns the crossover to Lorraine. A top/bottom pair goes to Richard. A bottom/bottom pair of changes assigns the crossover to Virginia. Above, Lorraine and Virginia got 2 crossovers each and Richard got three crossovers.

Next, I show the two Chromosomes that everyone has – in this case for Chromosome 22. Unfortunately, I don’t know which side is maternal and which side is paternal at this point.

These two copies of Chromosome 22 are blank for each sibling right now, but I’ll fill them in with four colors representing the DNA they got from each of their 4 grandparents. When the DNA changes from Butler to Kerivan on the paternal copy, for example, that is where the crossover is for a particular sibling.

Visual Phasing

Richard and Lorraine share a large green area. That means that they got the same DNA from one grandparent on the maternal side and the same DNA from one grandparent on the paternal side. The DNA from those two shared grandparents will be represented by two colors.

The blue and orange colors represent the DNA that Richard and Lorraine both share from the same grandparents: the same maternal grandparent and the same paternal grandparent. Unfortunately, I don’t know which side is maternal or paternal at this point and which grandparents they share. I just know they share the same grandparents.

Note also that Richard has a crossover at the beginning and end of this colored-in segment. We don’t know if his crossovers are on his maternal Chromosome 22 or paternal Chromosome 22 – or it could be that one crossover is maternal and one is paternal. That means that we will keep his blue and orange segments where they are – for now. However, Lorraine’s first crossover is to the left of the green shared area. That means her blue and orange DNA segments can move to her first crossover. The same segments can also be moved to the right up to Lorraine’s next crossover. No crossover means no change in the DNA.

This show that Lorraine got two pretty long segments of DNA. Let’s say she got them from Grandparents A and C.

Next we need more grandparents. We only have two out of the four. In the middle of Chromosome 22, notice that Lorraine and Virginia have no match. There is a large break in the dark blue line. That means that in that area, If Lorraine has DNA from Grandparents A and C, Virginia has DNA from grandparents B and D. Now we need two different colors:

To check notice that Richard and Virginia also have no match in a smaller area, therefor they also show two different colors in that area. Virginia has the last crossover, so I move the brown and green segments to that crossover.

Richard and Virginia have a smaller green area starting at position 43.8.

Richard has no crossover that prevent the brown and green segments from going to the end of Chromosome 22. That is as far as we can go with the bright green areas (which are also called Fully Identical Regions or FIRs) and the red non-matching areas. At this point we could look at the yellow areas which are also called Half Identical Regions or HIRs. Or we could look at cousin matches to see if they give any hints. I’ll look at cousin matches.

Cousin Matches

A first cousin should sort out the maternal or paternal side. I pulled up Virginia’s spreadsheet where I have a lot of her matches. On Chromosome 22, I notice 2 of Virginia’s maternal 1st cousins, Joe and Pat:


In Virginia’s spreadsheet, I have these positions in pink for Virginia’s maternal side. Next, I checked out some of the matches at Gedmatch and got this:

Here, #1 is John, a nephew. Nephews are not as helpful as they can be related on the maternal or paternal side. Note also that something seems to be going on around 25.4 M. This could be Virginia’s maternal crossover. In fact, I think that is more likely than having four other people having their crossovers there. #2 and #3 are Pat and Joe.  #4 is a maternal 2nd cousin once removed named Sandra. More about her later. Now that I know where there is a likely maternal crossover at 25-1/2M, I’ll go back to the visual phasing.

Visual Phasing HIRs

So far with the visual phasing, everything is equal on the chromosomes. That is because, we have only dealt with FIRs and no matches. HIRs upset that balance and make us choose sides. Because the HIR creates an imbalance of one copy of the Chromosome vs. the other, we only get one shot at doing that. I don’t know if my reasoning is right, but because I have some information already for the left side of the Chromosome (Sandra), I will choose an HIR on the right side. I will choose the small HIR Lorraine and Virginia have starting at 43.5M.

Here on one copy of Lorraine’s Chromosome 22, the blue goes to brown while the other copy remains orange. Next, I see that Lorraine has no more crossovers, so I can move the DNA colors over to the right.

In addition, Lorraine and Virginia have an FIR on the right, so I can copy Lorraine’s colors onto Virginia’s maternal and paternal side. Now I have a lot of Chromosome 22 mapped out, but I still don’t know which side is maternal and which is paternal. Here is how Pat matches with Virginia, Richard and Lorraine:

Remember that Pat is a maternal cousin. It is important to note that Pat matched Virginia and Richard but not Lorraine. The yellow pattern of Pat matching Virginia and Richard matches the green above that I mapped out. That tells me that green and orange are the maternal side and brown and blue are the paternal side.  So thanks to Patricia, my in-law’s have identified maternal and paternal sides. Yay.

Next I bring back some cousin matches:

I had guessed that Virginia had to have a maternal crossover due to cousin matches at about position 24.5M. #4 above is Sandra. She is one of my in-law’s top maternal Gedmatch matches. She also is a match at AncestryDNA. She doesn’t have a public tree but she told me who their common ancestors are:


Sandra is a 2nd cousin once removed to Lorraine, Richard and Virginia. As such, they share only one of my in-law’s grandparents’ lines which is LeFevre.

Here is how Sandra matches Virginia and Richard:

Now I can add in LeFevre in the green segments.

Once I know green is LeFevre, then orange has to be Pouliot.

Next, I was pretty sure that Virginia had a maternal crossover at 25.5. Knowing that, I can fill in the rest of the puzzle:

  • Note that on the left had side of Chromosome 22, there are three FIRs in a row going from top to bottom. That means the three siblings have their DNA from the same two grandparents. They all have Pouliot on the maternal side and either Butler or Kerivan on the paternal side.
  • The maternal side is French Canadian.
  • The paternal side is Irish.
  • There aren’t as many paternal cousins matches to fill in the blue and brown as there are maternal matches. I’m looking for cousin matches to fill in the blanks
  • Virginia has DNA from only one paternal grandparent shown in reddish brown.
  • Lorraine has DNA from only one maternal grandparent – Emma Alphonsine Pouliot
  • There will be parts of the Chromosome where there is no DNA representation from one grandparent. For example, no one got green LeFevre DNA at the beginning of the Chromosome. No sibling got blue paternal grandparent DNA at the beginning or at the end of Chromosome 22.



More On Early Butlers In the US

In my previous Blog on the subject, I noted how two Cincinnati Butler families were connected by DNA. These were the George Butler family and the Edward Butler family. Edward Butler is an ancestor of my wife. Since then, with the help of Peter Butler, I have expanded the George Butler tree a little. Now it looks like this side by side with the Edward Butler tree.

Previously, I was hoping that Edward and George were brothers and that they would have the same fathers. However, that now does not look likely. However, it could be that George and Edward were first cousins. If that is the case, that would make Lorraine, Richard and Virginia 4th cousins to Pat and 4th cousins twice removed to Uncle Naffy.

DNA Connections Between the George and Edward Butler Families

The tree above is pared down to include only those in lines that have had their DNA tested. Uncle Naffy tested at FTDNA and uploaded his results to Gedmatch. Lorraine, Richard and Virginia are also at Gedmatch, but Uncle Naffy matches only Richard and Lorraine. Here is the Uncle Naffy’s match with Richard which is the same as his match to Lorraine.

Assuming Richard and Uncle Naffy are 4th cousins twice removed, this was a fortunate match as the chance of them matching is only a little over 10%.

By comparing Lorraine, Richard and Virginia to each other and with the help of matches with Uncle Naffy and a paternal second cousin, I was able to map out the DNA for these three siblings:

Here I presumed that the Uncle Naffy match was on the Butler DNA side of my in-law’s family. That meant that the paternal cousin’s match below had to be Kerivan as that is the only other paternal grandparent my in-law’s have. Further, the paternal cousin Gaby only matched Lorraine on the left side of the pink segment, so that meant Gaby and Lorraine had to match on their Butler side DNA.

Lorraine and Virginia match Patty

Lorraine, Virginia and Patty all tested at AncestryDNA and match each other. Lorraine and Patty are predicted 4th cousins at AncestryDNA. Unfortunately, Ancestry doesn’t show on what Chromosome the match is like Gedmatch does. Virginia and Pat also show as 4th cousins. Further Pat, Lorraine and Virginia have shared matches with those on the blue line of the tree above. All of this confirms the DNA connection between the George and Edward Butler families.

Life For the Butlers in Civil War Era Cincinnati

I would not like to have lived in Cincinnati around the time of the Civil War. For one thing, there was a war going on. For another thing Cholera outbreaks were rampant. Here was a Mrs. Butler that died of cholera in 1866:

This could have been George’s first wife Mary Whitty – except the address seems off. At this time, people didn’t understand that cholera was the result of drinking contaminated water. At this time there was a George Butler, laborer listed in the Cincinnati Directories as living at 890 East Front Street. Perhaps around here:

The 17 on this 1869 map is for Ward 17 where George Butler lived in 1860 and 1870. My research friend Peter was able to obtain a copy of George Butler’s second marriage to Margaret Sinnott.

I have the greatest sympathy for the transcriber who wrote down Surwott for Margaret’s maiden name. The marriage was on November 11, 1866 at All Saints Roman Catholic Church in the Fulton area of Cincinnati. I’m not sure where Fulton is, but there is a Fulton Avenue in the map above. Apparently Fulton was a Town in the area that got incorporated into Cincinnati around the 1840’s.

Edward Butler and Family

According to the 1860 Census, Edward also lived in Ward 17. The Cincinnati Directory of 1860 lists a laborer named Edward Butler living at the c. (corner?) of Goodloe and Leatherbury. I was interested in this location because during the same year there was a listing for George who was also a laborer b. (boards?) Reed and Leatherbury. Here is the 1869 Ward 17 map again:

Here Leatherbury is spelled Litherbury for some reason. The Street above “Continued” is East Front. The Street below “Continued” may be Goodloe. For some reason, it gives me pleasure to figure out where ancestors lived. In this case, my wife’s ancestor Edward Butler and his likely cousin George Butler.

Edward: 17th Ward to the 3rd ward

For some reason, Edward Butler and family moved to the 3rd Ward where they are listed in the 1870 Census.  When I was looking at the Ward 3 map I found the All Saint’s Church. It looks like the Church also had a school.

It is near the T and L of LYTLE’S in the bottom right of the map above. The Church appears to be in Ward 1 and Whittaker’s in Ward 3. Here is how Wards 1, 3 and 17 connect:

Edward Butlers in the Cincinnati directory

There appear to be more than one Edward Butler in Cincinnati at the time. Here are some of my listings from 1859 to 1869:

The most consistent listing is for 66 Avery, but I don’t think that is our Edward. I mentioned that I liked the 1860 listing of Goodloe and Leatherbury. Then in  1862 928 R. Front looks good. After that, in 1865, Front and Whitaker looks good. That location is on the Ward 3 Map above. That listing matches up with his Civil War service that I have elsewhere. Here are some more listings from 1870 to 1876:

I had forgotten that I had ruled out Avery in the past as I have that Edward had a son George who was believed to be born in Chicago in 1873. Here the 1870 listing of e. 3rd is a possibility. The southern half of East 3rd is in Ward 3 which is consistent with Edward Butler’s 1870 Census listing. High Street in the Ward 3 map above is also 3rd.

The takeaway story could be that Edward lived near his cousin George in Ward 17 when he first moved from St. John, Nova Scotia to Cincinnati. He moved to nearby Ward 3 to work for the Navy at the end of the Civil War. He stayed in Ward 3 until moving out of Cincinnati. This move was probably around 1870 as his son George was believed to be born in Chicago in June 1873.

Edward Butler Family 1880 Census

That leads me to the 1880 Census. I had found this Census a while ago and have gone back and forth as to whether it is my wife’s Edward Butler family or not. There is a lot right and a lot wrong with the Census record.

I’ll look at each thing that appears wrong:

  • The mother is listed as Ellen rather than Mary. However, I have her as Mary E. Crowley. Mary’s mother was Ellen which is likely her middle name.
  • Ellen is listed as widowed which I don’t believe she is. She is also listed as what appears to be wife, though possibly transcribed as ‘self’.
  • Ellen is listed as being born in Illinois. However, her parents are shown as being born in Ireland which would be correct.
  • Edward Butler is not listed. Perhaps he is traveling or working away from home?
  • I have no record of Cornelius but he may have married in the area or died. He would have been born around 1871, so this agrees with the apparent early move date to Illinois for the family.
  • Henry born in 1875 could be Edward Henry
  • I have no other record of John being born in 1879, so he may have died young or stayed in the area.

This means that I am convincing myself that this is a valid document. I notice that other related Butler researchers have used this Census as a reference in their Family Trees. This does not place the family in Chicago, but at least they are in Illinois.

Milton, Illinois

Here is a Google map of Milton:

Milton is a lot closer to St. Louis than it is to Chicago. According to Wikipedia, Milton is in Pike County.

1920 Census: A nail in the coffin for Milton

On the other hand, there is the 1920 Census. This shows that we had the wrong family in Milton in 1880:

Here we have the same Ellen, Cornelius, George and John. However, this cannot be my wife’s family as the mother Mary (Ellen?) was dead by now and George and Edward Henry were living in Massachusetts. However, that is helpful as there is no need to further pursue Milton, Illinois. We still need to find the family in 1880.

where was the edward butler family in 1880?

I have been looking for census records for quite some time. I have basically lost track of the family between 1870 and 1890. I have the Cincinnati Census of 1870. I have indirect evidence that they were in Chicago for the birth of George Butler in 1873 and Edward Butler in 1875, but no direct records of the family being in Chicago. Here  is the Cincinnati Edward Butler family in 1870.

Here is Edward Butler 20 years later in Massachusetts.

This is from FamilySearch. The top says Newton. However, the bottom of the handwritten schedule says Newtonville. The transcription on the bottom says Watertown. All these places are very close.

The search continues.


Two Cincinnati Butler Families

One of my Butler genealogy breakthroughs happened with a DNA match between my father in law and someone I called Uncle Naffy. I wrote a Blog on that in 2015.

Prior to that breakthrough, I had trouble tracking my wife’s immigrant ancestor Edward Butler. Uncle Naffy was from St. John, New Brunswick and told me his great great grandmother was Mary A Butler. She was living in Cincinnati and moved to St. John. There she married. Armed with that information, I was able to find the marriage record between my wife’s ancestors, Edward Butler and Mary Crowley in St. John. The record was found in scrawly handwriting on a microfilm that was in the New England Historical and Genealogical Society Library in Boston.

This St. John/Cincinnati connection confirmed the research that I had done that had located Edward Butler and family in Cincinnati in the 1860 and 1870 censuses.

Uncle Naffy’s Great Great Grandmother Mary A Butler

Recently it occurred to me that it would be a good idea to create a tree for Mary A Butler to see if we could match up the two Cincinnati Butler families (George and Edward).

This was my first attempt. As I show later, the older children of George Butler would be from a second wife. My hope was that I would find that the George Butler above was the brother of my wife’s ancestor Edward Butler. One good thing is that I have that George Butler above, married Mary Whitty. Whitty is a less common name than Butler. A search for George Butler at Ancestry turned up this as a clue:

Here is a George Butler and Mary Whitty that gave birth to an Anne Butler on March 31st 1850 in the Parish of Ferns, Wexford. The good news is that the George Butler Family in 1860 in Cincinnati also had a daughter named Ann born about 1850 in Ireland. This is a good match.

A little more searching revealed a marriage between George “Butta” and Mary Whitty:

The transcriber saw Butta, but I can also see Butler there. I doubt that Butta is a very common name! As in the birth of Anne above, there is a Whitty and Hendricks as witness. The additional information is that they lived in Mountain Gate. I was curious as to where Mountain Gate is and was able to find a Mountaingate:

I have panned the map out a bit to show the relationship between Mountaingate and Mooncoin. They appear to be about 25 miles from each other. In one of my previous Blogs, I pointed out the my wife’s ancestor Edward Butler is listed as being from Wexford on one of his son’s death certificate.

Another Wife for George Butler?

There is also a tree at Ancestry that has Margaret Sinnett as George Butler’s wife. It appears to me that Mary Whitty died sometime between 1860 and 1870 and that George remarried.

Here is it clear that Mary must be from the first marriage as she was born before 1860 when Mary Whitty was still around. I could guess that Henry would be the son of Mary Whitty as there are 7-1/2 years between him and Rebecca. However, I cannot be sure just from the Censuses. So my basic take is like this:

I’m missing some children from George’s second marriage to Margaret Sinnett. I was having a hard time making this family come out right on the Ancestry Tree.

One last point about Margaret is that Pat has her mother Catherine as being from Killaspy, County Kilkenny. Here is a map showing an arrow where Killaspy is:

This was interesting to me because with the help of a Butler researcher in England, my wife’s Butler family has been located near Mooncoin on the top left of the map above. Mooncoin appears to be about 5 miles away from Killaspy.

Another Cincinnati Butler DNA Match

The previous image brings up another interesting point. My wife’s two Aunts have had their DNA tested at Ancestry. They both match Pat who descends from Rebecca Butler b. 1869 above. My father in law matches Uncle Naffy at Gedmatch. That makes a good case that George Butler is related to Edward Butler, my wife’s ancestor who also lived in Cincinnati.

Here is Rebecca Butler’s Certificate of Death showing her two parents.

This could be a case where the death record is not the best source of a birth date as Rebecca was shown as being 6 months old in the 1870 Census and born in October. So the day and month only are probably right in the death certificate.

Here is how my wife’s Aunt Lorraine matches Pat:

Pat matches my wife’s Aunt Virginia a little less: 29.9 cM across two segments.

Another Shared DNA Match At Ancestry

Pat and my wife’s two Aunts also have two shared DNA matches. These matches have this tree:

I’m not sure if it was Donna that took the AncestryDNA test. It appears that more than one in the family did. At any rate, the match is much higher. It is now at 183 cM across 9 segments. The average amount of DNA shared between a 2nd cousin once removed is 129 cM.

In comparison, here is Lorraine and Virginia’s tree next to the previous tree:

In the above scenario, Lorraine, Richard and Virginia would be 2nd cousins once removed to Donna and family. I’m not sure if Cornelias and John in Donna’s tree are right. Also, Donna’s tree has Henry, where I have Edward Henry. They are apparently the same person.

So Where Does That Leave the Butlers?

Here is a partially combined tree:

I say partially combined, because I haven’t connected the orange with the green side by genealogical research. I slimmed the tree down to just include the direct lines of those who have had their DNA tested. Uncle Naffy matches Richard at Gedmatch. Pat and Donna’s lines have not uploaded their results to Gedmatch. Pat and Donna’s line have shared DNA matches at AncestryDNA where they tested. Pat also matches Lorraine and Virginia at AncestryDNA. In addition, Donna matches Lorraine and Virginia. Richard and Uncle Naffy have tested at FTDNA, so unless Donna’s line and Pat upload to Gedmatch, those matches won’t be made known.

Summary and Conclusions

  • The George and Edward Butler families are linked by new and old world locations and DNA
  • More work is needed to link the George and Edward Butler families by paper research.


Chasing Down More Rooney Connections

In my previous Blog on the Rooneys, I looked at how my wife’s Rooney ancestors may be connected to another Rooney line by DNA and genealogy. I came up with a proposed genealogy/dna chart that looked like this:

Triangulation With the Rooney DNA Match

Triangulation is when three or more people all match each other on an overlapping segment of the Chromosome. This happens on Chromosome 14. Here are the Rooney DNA match’s matches with my father in law Richard (1), his sister Lorraine (2) and Gaby (3):

A Triangulation Group (TG) indicates a common ancestor. In this case, I believe the common ancestor to be Timothy Rooney:

Jenny’s Rooney Connection

There is another Rooney connection. Jenny doesn’t match my wife’s family as strongly as the Rooney match in purple above does.

It looks like Jenny has also tested her brother. The above chart shows that Jenny is a second cousin to the Rooney match discussed in my previous Blog.

Virginia and Richard match Jenny on Chromosome 11 from about 118 to 124M on the Chromosome Browser:

The DNA I have mapped for Virginia and Richard corresponds to their Kerivan grandparent:

This Kerivan mapped grandparent is the same one shown in green on the genealogy/dna chart above. It represents Lilly Kerivan, daughter of Alice Rooney.

Just so we don’t leave out Jenny’s brother, here are some of his matches with my wife’s family on Chromosome 3:

These matches are with Richard, Virginia and John. In my opinion, each match between my wife’s side and Jenny would represent DNA from Timothy Rooney born about 1807.

Here is Richard and Virginia’s Chromosome 3 mapped out.

The Rooney match would be in a Kerivan segment. That means that the dark red segment is probably Kerivan. The blue and purple above are on my father in law’s mother’s French Canadian side.

More Rooney Genealogy: Are Timothy and Terrence the Same?

Jenny and and her 2nd cousin Daniel have in their trees as their first Rooney ancestor Terrence Rooney. That is not surprising considering the marriage record of their great great grandfather, John Rooney:

Above are the listed parents for John Rooney and his wife. The date of the record is May 19, 1851. The record is for the Intentions of Marriage, so this would have been soon before the couple was married. Here is a marriage record for a John A and Mary Rooney:

The date of marriage was listed as May 9, 1851. Here quite a few things seem off. The wife is now Mary Rooney rather than McDermott and both parents are Patrick. They are listed as being in Boston rather than Dorchester although both places are very close. Note that John is a mason here. After a bit of digging, it appears that there were two John Rooneys of about the same age that married two Mary’s of about the same age. Isn’t that confusing!

A proposed sketch of Timothy Rooney

My thought is that Timothy Rooney, son of John Rooney and Ann was born in County Leitrim around 1807. He married Margaret Ann Gorman around 1828. Around 1830, he had a son that he named after his father John. Timothy’s first wife likely died and he then married Ann Nancy Lilly probably around 1832. She had about 10 children between 1834 and 1851.  John took off for Boston not too long before he married in 1851. Timothy landed in Boston in 1858 with his wife and some of his children in June 1858:

The 1860 Census shows Tim and family in Waltham:

Timothy died in Newton at the age of 74 in 1881. His occupation was listed as mason.

Summary and Conclusion

  • The DNA leads me to think that Terence and Timothy Rooney are the same person.
  • If they were the same person, the timing would seem to fit in. He would have had time to have two wives giving birth to the children that we know of.
  • The fact that Jenny, John and Gaby have matches seem to reinforce that the DNA that these two families share focus in on Timothy or Terrence Rooney.
  • I can’t prove that Terrence and Timothy Rooney by either the genealogy or the DNA. However, the DNA does point to a common ancestor. Why couldn’t that ancestor be Timothy or Terrence?