A New YDNA SNP for a Butler

My Last Update on my wife’s Butler YDNA was here. My wife’s Butler male line is designated an I2 for his YDNA haplogroup. That is somewhat rare considering that this is an Irish Family. A more typical Irish haplogroup is R1b.

The short story is that my late father in law Richard’s YDNA has gone from I-A427 to I-S17511. A427 was easier to remember. How did Richard’s SNP change? Basically, when Richard took the BigY test, many SNPs were tested for Richard. A lot of those were unidentified SNPs. Once someone came along and matched others of Richard’s SNPs they become known.

Richard at YFull

YFull is a company in Russia that analyses SNPs. They are popular because they also date the SNPs. The downside is that not all people use this service, so the results can be incomplete. The other downside is that they use a BAM file from FTDNA and FTDNA has not been making their BAM files available lately. However, they are adapting by using FTDNA’s VCF files from the BigY.

Here is the old YTree:

The Irish flag is for Richard. There are a bunch of people that tested positive for Y4884 that I did not include. The three above that tested negative for I-Y4884.

Here is the updated tree (as of April 2018):

This SNP is still really ancient. A427 had an TMRCA of 4700 years ago. This new SNP brings us ahead 600 years to 4100 years ago. What happened was that two new tests came in. Four of the people under A427 matched, so were put into a new SNP. The person with Canadian ancestry did not match the other four, so was stuck in the older SNP. Perhaps someone else will come along that matches him and they will form a third group.

Also note that there is someone in the group with a Russian background. That is not surprising given the age of this SNP. My recollection is that this SNP in general started in the area of Germany. I’m sure in the last 4,000 years people have had a lot of time to travel from Germany to Russia or from Germany to Ireland. Then there is a kit in the above listed results marked by an ERS prefix. When I hover over this, it says, “analysis in progress”. So this kit may produce further branching. It starts with ERS23. I’m not sure what that means. ERS25 was from a 2013/2015 Sardinian Study.

My Own Drawn Version of A427

I had trouble seeing FTDNA’s SNP Tree, so I drew my own:

I had predicted a new branch for the Butlers and Whitson at the top (in yellow). Now we know what it is.

The Y4884 Branch also has a new date which is 200 years older than S17511 for some reason. One more person in the Whitson/Butler YDNA Projet has taken a BigY test, so that should result in more recent SNPs.

Family Tree DNA (FTDNA)

Here is the FTDNA version of the same tree:

They have the order reversed from YFull. They also call Y4884 (the Branch that Butler is negative for) S23612. What happens is that a group of people match a block of SNPs. As the group matches a block of SNPs, there is no way to tell which SNP is older or newer. One SNP is taken as representative – usually one  that is a good quality SNP. In this case, two different companies picked different SNPs for their own reasons. For example, here are Richard’s matches at YFull:

Richard shared 17 SNPs with the man from the Russian Line. He shared 9 SNPs with the last person. Here is what YFull shows on their YTree:

Under the heading of I-S17511, YFull shows four SNP plus six more for a total of 10. I assume that these were the 9 SNPs Richard shared with the last person in the list plus one other SNP that the company felt everyone had to match on – perhaps one of the assumed shared SNPs.

The Advantage of the Whitson/Butler DNA Group

There are two ways to test YDNA. One is you take a test and wait a long time and hope that someone that is related to you tests. However, this method does not work well. In this case, someone did test. The terminal SNP changed, but the date is still in the range of 4,000 years ago.

The second way to test is in a more methodical way. This is apparently what some of the people in the Y4884 Group did. They came up with one SNP that was as recent as 150 years ago. I assume that this was coordinated testing. The good news is that another person from the Whitson/Butler YDNA Group has taken a BigY test and is awaiting results. One other person has also planned on taking the BigY test.

One problem with the Whitson/Butler Group is that there are many different Haplogroups within the Group. Within the Butler section there should be two or three BigY results soon. However, for some of the other branches of the Whitson/Butler group, there is only one BigY or no BigY tests taken.

Summary and Conclusions

  • It was a matter of time before someone tested to get my Butler in-law’s line further down the SNP ladder.
  • As this person was random, the results were not dramatic
  • It will be interesting to see the results of one or two new coordinated BigY tests.
  • One goal of SNP testing is to get to the level of a surname only SNP or SNPs. We are far from that level right now, but on the way to getting there.

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