I last looked at my brother-in-law’s BigY 700 results in April of 2020. That was quite a while ago. At that time, Ken had 17 Private Variants. That was odd as his father had also tested and he shouldn’t have had that many Private Variants. He should only have one if any. The problem was that FTDNA had not yet finished their manual review and dealt with all of Ken’s Private Variants. The other problem was that Ken had done the BigY 700 and his father had taken the BigY 500 which does not have as good of coverage in identifying SNPs on the Y Chromosome. That means that Ken had extra SNPs identified that his father’s test did not cover.
Here is a look at Ken’s Private Variants now:
Ken is now down to 3 Private Variants from a previous 17. That is a big difference. Here is Ken’s Block Tree:
Ken;’s three Private Variants are averaging out to 1 Private Variant on the Block Tree. Ken’s late father had no Private Variants.
Dating the Block Tree
Now that the tree is finalized with respect to Ken’s results, let’s try to date it. SNPs form between about every 83 and 144 years. I’ll use 100 years as a round number. The common ancestor of the two Butlers, Whitson and Batt should be at the level just above what is shown on the image above. To get to that level Ken’s branch has four SNPs and the next Butler branch has three SNPs. I’ll average that at 3.5 SNPs. The Whitson/Batt Line has 6 SNPs to get to the same level. 6 averaged with 3.5 SNPs is 4.75 SNPs or 475 years. 475 years ago is about the year 1545. That is quite a while ago.
From there we can work forward. We had 3.5 SNPs on average on the Butler Lines. 475/3.5 is 135 years. That means that the common ancestor on the Butler Lines could be around 1680.
More on Dates
1680 is a possible date for a common ancestor between the two Butler Lines. Both these lines are from Ireland, so that would also be a top candidate for the location of the common ancestor of the Butler side of the Block Tree. Butler researcher Peter thinks that my wife’s branch of Butler originates in Wexford County, Ireland.
The 1545 date is more complicated. My understanding is that the Whitson side is said to be from England. Here is some information from the Batt tester’s tree:
Assuming that this information is right, then the Butler family could have been in England in 1545. So far, the Butler genealogy stalls out in Ireland in the early 1800’s. Then the other question is why there is a Butler Line and a Whitson Line. Did one Whitson Branch move to Ireland and change the name to Butler? Was the English Whitson Branch originally Butler and change the name to Whitson in England?
YDNA and SNP Tracker
There is a website called SNP Tracker that makes some guesses as to dates and places also. Here is the SNP for Whitson – BY115420:
This map misses the Roman and Iron periods. That must be the big Block of SNPs where there are no matches. So between the blue dot and orange dot on the map there is a great unknown. Here is a timeline going back 10,000 years:
SNP Tracker for the Butler SNPs
This should be a little more refined as there are three testers and one father-son pair:
This shows Butler as going through England in Medieval times. Here is the timeline:
Here I don’t agree with the timelines – especially for FT241245. This is a SNP that both Ken and his father share. However, it was formed much earlier. In my own dating I had the date of 1680 above this SNP. That means that this SNP could have formed around 1700 – so I am not too far off from SNP Tracker. However, before that SNP Tracker has Y128364 at 1300 CE. That should only be one SNP older than FT241245, so I don’t agree with the 300 year period between these two SNPs. As a reality check, Y128364 appears to be at the same level as the Whitson BY115420 which is dated at 1700 CE by SNP tracker. Bottom line: I like my own dates better.
SNP Tracker also has a new mapper just for Great Britain and Ireland:
This shows Butler going to County Kilkenny. I’m not sure I agree with that. I think that many of the Kilkenny Butlers may be R1b, instead of my wife’s Butlers who are in the I Haplogroup. I’m not sure if SNP Tracker accounts for that. Here is some more detail from SNP Tracker:
Where DId Ken’s Other Private Variants Go?
In my previous Blog, I had suggested that most of Ken’s Private Variants should end up here:
However, I notice another change since this image. Before the right column was just Batt. Now there are Whitson results.
A New Whitson BigY
I see by the new Whitson match list, that his test must have been finalized last October:
Here is the new Whitson Block Tree:
Here I have highlighted some of the new SNPs that have appeared in the block above since my brother-in-law Ken tested. There are now 15 new SNPs in that Block potentially representing about 1500 years of time. Also of interest is that the Batt match on the Block Tree has Whitson ancestry. That means that we can simplify this tree somewhat between Butler on the left and Whitson on the right.
The new Whitson tester had a good result for Batt. Previously, Batt’s defining SNP was I-Y128591. That was 35 SNPs from present based on the previous image with the pink arrow. That could be from around 3500 years ago or roughly 1500 BC. Now Whitson and Batt have a defining SNP of I-BY115240 which I have dated at approximately a little later than 1545. That is an improvement of 3,000 years.
Back to Ken’s Private Variants
Most of Ken’s Private Variants turned into older SNPs. These in effect moved back the I-Y128591 Block 1500 years to about 4500 years ago or 2500 BC. Here is my comparison spreadsheet of Ken’s old 17 Private Variants:
My guess is that the new Whitson BigY test was the one that moved these SNPs up to the I-Y158591 Block. In the chart above, N means that the SNP was not tested. Rich is Ken’s dad above. A question mark means that the SNP was tested but the results were inconclusive.
Comparing Ken’s Old Private Variants (PVs) to the new SNPs in the I-Y158591 Block.
As I had named 15 of Ken’s old PVs and there were 15 new SNPs in the I-Y158591, it seems like there could be a one to one match. But there wasn’t:
Three of Ken’s old PVs didn’t make it up to the Y158591 Block and three of Ken’s SNPs not previously named made it there. First, I’ll see if Ken’s first two PVs have names yet:
Ken’s first PV is the newer FT394377. I would say newer, due to the higher number of the SNP. Ken’s second previously unnamed SNP is now also named:
This gets us close to reconciling Ken’s list. Here are Ken’s present Private Variants:
I have put Ken’s current Private Variants on the table as PVs. That leaves one extra SNP not previously accounted for. Right now, of Ken’s previous 17 PVs, 14 made it up to the Y128591 Block and three remained as PVs. That leaves FT394717.
Here are Ken’s results for FT394717:
The reason that this position or SNP did not appear previously is that the results were ambiguous. Here are the detailed test results:
Ken shows that he did have FT394717. However, he had only one read and usually 10 positive reads would be acceptable. Next, I’ll check the new Whitson BigY results.
The New Whitson Tester and the New SNPs in Y128591
It appears that the new Whitson tester matched with many of Ken’s previously Private Variants. That resulted in FTDNA adding these as SNPs to the already large block of Y128591. Here is one that the new Whitson tester tested positive for:
This is FT394777:
The new Whitson tester must have been positive for the other SNPs in the orange box also.
Ken’s New Private Variants
In order for Ken to have new Private Variants, the new Whitson tester should have tested negative for those Variants. This is a little more difficult to determine. However, partial results are in the new Whitson tester’s csv file. Here are Ken’s Private Variants;
Let’s look at the Whitson tester at position 17140468:
The reference and the genotype are both T for Whitson. For Ken, there is a mutation from T to A. However, I would question whether this is a true PV for Ken as his father did not have that position tested. It is more likely that Ken’s father is also positive for that position:
Ken’s dad’s results clearly did not have position 17,140,468 tested. It would be likely that there would be no Private Variants when a father and son test.
New Whitson Private Variants
The new Whitson tester also has three Private Variants:
I’ll check Ken to see if he has no variant at position 12984909. I will have to download his csv file to find this out:
Ken is not positive for this variant.
What about Batt?
Batt is questionable for this position. That means that the Whitson Private Variant is also questionable. Whitson has it, but it may be a shared SNP with Batt and not just a Private Variant. In fact, all the Whitson Private Variants are in the same category:
Summary and Conclusions
- When I checked on the 17 Private Variants my brother-in-law had, I was glad to see that these have been resolved.
- I was also glad to see that there is now another Whitson BigY tester.
- It was probably the new Whitson BigY tester that resolved my brother-in-law’s Private Variants
- These Private Variants became older SNPs going back to the period between about 2500 BC and 1550 AD. They increased the age of the I-Y128591 Block by about 1500 years. This period is somewhat mysterious as
- The new Whitson tester matched with the Batt tester who has Whitson ancestry and gave them both a much more recent SNP than Batt already had. Batt’s defining SNP moved up from 1500 BC to about 1550 AD.
- I made a guess on the time and place for the common ancestors of the Butler BigY testers: about 1680 in County Wexford, Ireland
- I also made a guess for the date common ancestors of the Butler and Whitson Lines. This was the same 1550 date mentioned above. The place could be England. However, was the original name Whitson or Butler. Which branch changed and why is unclear. A single mother could have giver her name to her child, or there could have been an adoption. Those are two possibilities.
- I looked at the SNP Tracker to see what results were there for Butler and Whitson
- I looked at the Butler and Whitson Private Variants. It is unlikely that Ken should have any Private Variants. Also the Whitson Private Variants are questionable. The result, if Batt and Ken’s father upgraded to the BigY 700, is that these Private Variants could turn into Butler and Whitson shared SNPs.