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.

 

 

 

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.

FTDNA’s SNP Tree

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.

YBrowse

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.

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

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

whitsonbutlerydnatestees

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

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

YDNA – What Does It All Mean?

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

The TIP Report

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

batt and butler TIP

i2whitson-burtler

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

batt-peter

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

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

tipchart

I found the results quite interesting:

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

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

A tree from tip reports

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

whitbuttreept1

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

simple-tree

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

tip-tree-2

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

tiptree3

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

STR Analysis

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

baber-example

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

I2 Whitson/Butler STRs

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

i2whitsonbutlerstrs

modes

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

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

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

butlerwhtson111tree

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

From Baber to Robb

John Bartlett Robb put out a paper in 2012 called:

Fluxus Network Diagrams vs Hand-Constructed Mutation History Trees

In that paper Robb gives a procedure for drawing trees.

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

robbstrs

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

mutation-rates

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

Proposed Whitson/Butler Tree

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

proposed-whitsonbutler-tree

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

treebaberrule

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

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

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

I think the above tree is a likely scenario considering:

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

Some other points:

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

Butler YDNA

This blog is not about all Butler YDNA, but about my father in law Richard’s YDNA. His results came in this week, so I thought I’d write a little about them. As he had 10 children, I thought that they might be interested.

Butler Genealogy

The Butlers are Irish. They are believed to come from the Kilkenny area. However, the documentation for that is not the best. Michael Butler was b. in Ireland around 1810. His son, Edward was b. in the 1830’s and made his way to the New World. He likely arrived in St. John, New Brunswick where he married Mary Crowley in 1855. I mention more details in my Blog on the Butler Brick Wall.

Deep Roots of the Butlers and Family Lore

My wife says that Butler is a Norman French name. She says the Butler name came from the fact that they were wine tasters. According to Ancestry.com:

Butler Name Meaning

English and Irish: from a word that originally denoted a wine steward, usually the chief servant of a medieval household, from Norman French butuiller (Old French bouteillier, Latin buticularius, from buticula ‘bottle’). In the large households of royalty and the most powerful nobility, the title came to denote an officer of high rank and responsibility, only nominally concerned with the supply of wine, if at all.

I had been a little skeptical about the family lore and figured that the Butler YDNA would be typically Irish which is R1b. According to Family Tree DNA:

R1b, which originated in western Europe, is the most common Y-DNA haplogroup among Irish men, at a frequency of about 81.5%. I1 is the second most common with 6%, followed by I2b at 5%, R1a at 2.5%, and E1b1b at 2%. G2a is found in only about 1%. Also rare are I2a (1%) and J2 (1%).

So What Did the Results Show?

I was wrong. According to FTDNA my father in law is I-M223. According to FTDNA:

I-M223 was known as I2b1 and is now known as I2a2a by ISOGG

ISOGG is the International Society of Genetic Genealogists. I’m not sure if that means that our Butler is in the 5% or 1% group in Ireland. However, they are either quite rare or very rare there. So I signed up my father in law for the Butler YDNA project and also the I-M223 Project at FTDNA. At the I-M223 project, they put him in the group with others that are fairly close matches. Three have the name Butler and one has the name Whitson. That makes me feel like we are on the right track. It is not unusual to have other surnames match on the YDNA line. However, it is better to not be in the minority.  The FTDNA group further put my father in law Richard into this curious category:

1.2.1.2.1.1.1.1- M223>…>L701>P78>S25733>A427: test I-M223 SNP Pack or I-M223 SNP Pack or S23612

This is a group with a lot of numbers. These first numbers probably went back to when someone could tell there was a certain signature in the YDNA results, but all the SNP tests weren’t developed yet. The second numbers are the SNP tests that the administrator thinks Richard would pass if he were to take them all. That is good, because it puts him several steps down the SNP tree. The last part is what the administrator wants the tester to do. One is to take a test that will test several SNPs. The other is to test for a specific SNP. In this case, the SNP is S23612.

Origins of the I-M223 Haplogroup

The I-M223 Haplogroup came into existence about around 17,600 years before present (ybp). Give or take a few thousand. The A427 branch is much more recent at 5,200 ybp. According to one YDNA Butler match to Richard, he feels that the origin of this branch of Butler that didn’t test positive for S23612 was in England and before that Germany. Some information from the Eupedia website also mentions that the L701 branch may have arisen from the Goths. I can imagine a stimulating dinner conversation with the Butler family: “So, I hear that the Butlers are descended from the Goths.” “What…???? I thought that we were descended from the Normans”. Who knows, maybe the Goths moved into France at some point and mixed with the Normans. Or they could’ve moved from Germany to England where the Normans were and then made their way to Ireland. I’m sure that there are many possible scenarios.

More Recent Connections

Two of the more recent Butler YDNA  matches to Richard had roots in Ireland, so that makes sense. One had his earliest known Butler ancestor from the border of Laois and Kilkenny County.  That is shown by a blue balloon below. That match had a GD or Genetic Distance of 4. The other was from Wexford and had a GD of 2 with Richard.

Kilkenny Wexford

This shows some likelihood of having a common ancestor within a certain number of generations when your match has a GD of 4:

4 GD Butler

Here is a match with a GD of 2. Note the differences in Percentages.

2 GD Butler

Kilkenny or Wexford?

The 2 GD match who had a mariner Butler ancestor in Wexford is interesting for 2 reasons. When Edward H Butler, the son of Edward Butler, the immigrant ancestor died in 1925, he listed his father as being born in County Wexford, Ireland. The second reason is that the photo we have of the immigrant Edward Butler shows him in a sailor outfit.

edwardh

Compare the above with the image of sailors our helpful YDNA Butler relative sent:

Sailor Outfit

Perhaps Edward Butler had mariner background in Ireland or perhaps he was in the Navy in the American Civil War.

Two Death Certificates

Here is Edward Butler’s Death Certificate from 1915 showing that he and his two parents were born in Kilkenny

Edward Butler Death 1915

Ten years later in 1925, his son, Edward H Butler died and recorded that his father was born in County Wexford, Ireland. Why had his birthplace changed in 10 years?

Edward H Death 1925

So although the YDNA results don’t clarify the death certificates, they are consistent with where the death certificates say the Butlers were from!