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.
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
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
This looks nicer, but I can’t say that it is more accurate given the TIP Reports. Here is a 3rd try:
This doesn’t seem to do the TIP Report justice either. I’ll go on to the more traditional trees made using STRs.
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:
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:
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:
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:
Here are the Mutation Rates for the applicable STRs extracted from the Robb Paper:
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:
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:
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.