Edward H Butler May Not Be the Son of Michael Butler and Margaret Croke?

In my previous Blog, I wrote an update on Butler DNA. In that Blog, I discussed a match between my wife’s Aunt Lorraine and Brian:

Brian shows up at AncestryDNA as a potential third cousin to Lorraine. That means that unless there is an unusual circumstance, my proposed DNA/genealogy chart cannot be right.

That chart shows Brian and Lorraine as 4th cousins once removed. However, reported data indicates that sharing 147 cM of DNA is outside the range of 4C1R possibilities, but is within the realm of likelihood (albeit on the high end) for a 3C1R:

As we have a birth record for George Butler, but not for Edward H Butler, that suggests that Edward H (likely Henry) Butler could have been the son of Henry Butler and Ann Russel.

Playing With the Butler Family Tree

There, I just made Lorraine and Brian third cousins, once removed. However, Edward H just lost MIchael Butler as his father. Here is the family tree that Butler researcher Peter has:

HENRY1 BUTLER was born in 1800 in Wexford. He married Ann Russel on 02 Jul 1824 in Wexford.

She was born in 1800 in Wexford.

Henry Butler and Ann Russel had the following children:

i. GEORGE2 BUTLER was born on 03 Oct 1826 in Wexford, Ireland. He died on 23 Dec 1890 in Hamilton County, Ohio. He married (1) MARY WHITTY, daughter of Richard Whitty and Margaret, on 12 Jun 1849 in Mountain Gate Rathangan Wexford. She was born on 03 Dec 1824 in Rathangan Wexford, Ireland. She died on 11 Jan 1865 in Hamilton County, Ohio. He married (2) MARGARET SINNOTT on 11 Nov 1868 in All Saints Catholic Church Cincinatti. She was born in 1845 in wexford Ireland. She died in 1887 in Hamilton County, Ohio.

ii. NICHOLAS BUTLER was born on 23 Apr 1828 in Wexford. He married Christina Lambert on 06 Oct 1848 in Wexford Ireland. She was born in Wexford.

iii. ELIZA BUTLER was born on 06 Mar 1830 in Wexford.

HENRY BUTLER was born on 29 Mar 1832 in Wexford.

MARY ANNE BUTLER was born on 23 Mar 1833 in Wexford.

BRIDGET BUTLER was born on 15 Jul 1836 in Wexford.

vii. ADAM BUTLER was born on 24 Jul 1839 in Wexford. I think this is a Baptism date

Peter also found another daughter for this family born in 1842:

Peter notes that George’s other name also appeared as Adam on his baptismal record and that the Adam born in 1839 went by Edward. There are a few reasons why Edward H may have been part of the Henry Butler/Ann Russell family:

  • The large DNA match between Lorraine and Brian
  • The fact that Edward did not name any of his children after Michael nor after Margaret
  • Edward did name his first son George and lived in Cincinnati for several years where the (presumably) elder George Butler lived.
  • The middle name of Henry which was carried down could have been for the Henry Butler born about 1800 in the genealogy above.
  • There has been no birth record found for Edward as son of Michael (nor as son of Henry).
  • Most records for Edward’s sons list his father born in Kilkenny. However, one record lists his father as being from Wexford.

Under my scenario, Edward is born to Henry in Wexford but is adopted by Michael Butler of Poulrone, Killkenny for some reason.

James Butler Born About 1823 Kilkenny, IRE

I have noted before that it appears that Edward was a brother to a James Butler. This was inferred from the US Census of 1910:

Here Mary Mellie is actually Mary Butler, the daughter of James Butler and Mary Quinn. She was born in 1858, though she would like us to think that she was born in 1880. That is quite a difference. Joanna, born in 1860 would have liked to have us think she was born in 1877. Edward Butler was clearly not Mary’s father. That lead me to believe that Edward and James could have been brothers and Edward was acting as Mary’s father. If Edward gave his correct age, he would have been born about 1832 (see below).

However, I note that this James Butler’s eldest son was Michael Butler:

Perhaps this James actually was a son of Michael Butler. James’ son Matthew could have been named for his brother.

Here is Mathias or Matthew Butler who is recorded as a son of Michael Butler and Margaret Croak:

So under this scenario (likely or not), Edward goes to live with and Uncle and considers the Uncle and Aunt his parents. He also considers James and Matthew his brothers.

So Where Does Edward H Butler Fit In?

Peter recently discovered  Naturalization papers for an Edward Butler from Poulrone:

In those papers, he gives his birth year as 1825. However, if he is the same as Henry born in Wexford in 1832, that would fit in better with other recorded birth years for Edward:

If Henry was named for his father, it would make sense that he might go by a different name to avoid confusion. One problem with the timing is that if Edward came to the US in 1843, he would have been only 11. That leaves a few possibilities:

  1. Edward was actually born 17 August 1825. To do that, he would have been squeezed in between his parents’ marriage and the birth of George in 1826.
  2. Edward was born in 1832, came to the US, say in 1848 when he was about 16 and was naturalized at about age 18. That would results in several fibs as his witnesses were supposed to have known him for 5 years before his naturalization.

More DNA Analysis

As I mentioned above, the DNA match between Lorraine and Brian has lead me to the above scenario. Here is an AutoCluster I performed for Lorraine earlier in the year:

These clusters are difficult to see. Clusters are where you match people in a group and that group of people match each other for the most part. Lorraine is part French Canadian and part Irish. The French Canadian took over for the most part. Lorraine’s Irish clusters are in the bottom right. Brian is in Cluster 35 which has 7 members.

Here is a closeup of the Clusters 33-36:


Brian is the second person in Cluster 35. He matches Barbara, Donna, Patty and Kim:

That means that in Cluster 35, there are three descendants of Edward H and three descendants of George Butler. I don’t know if the fact that there are three people on each side make the proposed tree more likely or not. To me, it suggests that it could be more likely.

Cluster 34

Brian also matches two people in Cluster 34. That is a Kerivan Cluster, but Edward H’s son Edward Henry born 1875 married a Kerivan, so that explains the connection. Brian is matching on the Butler side of the Kerivan Cluster. Brian matches Amanda and Dawn in Cluster 34. Unfortunately, Amanda and Dawn either have no tree or not enough to figure out their ancestors.

Analyzing the Size of DNA Matches

There are two ways to do this. One is by the Chart I showed at the top of the Blog. It is possible to analyze the possibilities at Ancestry also. Here is how AncestryDNA shows Brian and Lorraine:

Their most likely relationship given the match would be 2nd cousin once removed. However, they have a 1% chance of being 3C1R. I’ll put that into a chart:

I’ll be looking at my wife’s Aunt Lorraine and her sister Virginia as I manage their DNA results. Here is how the results look:

Were it not for the match between Lorraine and Brian, I would say that the results are inconclusive. However, there appears to be no chance that Brian and Lorraine could be fourth cousins once removed.

Looking at Gedmatch

I can also look at Gedmatch, however, there is not a one-to-one correlation between AncestryDNA and Gedmatch. Here is how the match between Lorraine and Kim looks at Gedmatch:

Gedmatch expresses it’s guesses in generations. So a 4.5 means generations to a common ancestor. That would be equivalent to a third cousin once removed. The green above represents the new chart that I have with George Butler and Edward H Butler as brothers. The yellow represents George Butler and Edward H Butler as first cousins.

Here is some more data, though, again, I don’t see any clear conclusions:

Summary and Conclusions

  • A high DNA match between Lorraine and Brian in conjunction with lack of some key birth records has lead me to believe that George Butler born 1826 and my wife’s ancestor Edward H Butler could be brothers.
  • That would mean that Edward H Butler’s parents would be Henry Butler and Ann Russell.
  • The why would tradition and records on the Edward H Butler line have his parents as Michael Butler and Margaret Croke? One possibility is that Michael and Margaret were Edward’s Uncle and Aunt and that he went to live with them and considered them to be his parents. Perhaps MIchael needed help on his farm or Edward had some falling out with his family.
  • This should lead to a renewed interest to find out more about the Henry Butler and Michael Butler families.
  • I would be open to other interpretations, but due to a high DNA match which indicates that George Butler and Henry H Butlers should be brothers, no other clear possibilities come to mind right now.
  • I still surmise that Henry Butler and Michael Butler could be brothers. I have a birth record for Matthew, son of Michael and my assumption is that Michael Butler had a son named James. James had several children. One of his daughters was Mary who married a Mellie and housed Edward H Butler in Newton, Massachusetts according to the 1910 Census.





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