Butler Surname DNA Project

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Posted by Jerry L. Butler on May 09, 19105 at 00:02:06:

Lord Dunboyne in The Journal of The Butler Society Vol.2 No.1 (1981) p.125 made �an attempt to distinguish between different groups of Butler families, by cataloguing their respective roots and references.� His objective was �to save the student a lot of laborious research and from it may emerge the beginning of a common basis for the exchange of information about Butler genealogy.� Forty-five Butler family members are currently working in the spirit of Lord Dunboyne�s vision by using Genealogical DNA Testing to map the various Butler family groups.

Genealogical DNA Testing

DNA is the carrier of our genetic information, which passes from generation to generation. At conception, a person receives DNA from both their father and mother. We each have 23 pairs of chromosomes and for each pair, one was received from the father and one was received from the mother. The Y chromosome is transmitted from father to sons. Scientists have identified a small portion, which is passed virtually unchanged from father to son. Testing of this portion of the Y chromosome provides information about the direct male line, which is the father, his father, and so forth back in time. This testing of the Y chromosome for genealogical research purposes is called Y-DNA testing.

The locations tested on the Y chromosome are called Markers. Occasionally a small change, called a mutation, occurs at one of the Markers in the Y chromosome. Since these mutations occur only about once very 500 generations per Marker, two individuals can be tested for a common ancestor that may be 100�s of years in the past. These occasional mutations are sometimes valuable for genealogists in identifying a branch of the family tree.

Butler Surname DNA Project

The objective of the Butler Surname DNA Project is to use Y-DNA testing to identify the various Butler families and to bring together those members with common ancestry.

The Butler Surname DNA Project is organized under the resources of www.FamilyTreeDNA.com and is open to all male Butler�s. There are currently 54 members with 9 members also being members of The Butler Society. Membership is predominately from the US but there are also members from Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, and Korea.

The results of the project are publicized through a web site at www.butlerdna.org with each member being identified with a private code to protect the privacy of the project members. The web page includes a column to map the results to the 38 Butler family groups identified by Lord Dunboyne. To date, we only have three members who are able to link their heritage to Lord Dunboyne�s Butler family groups. This is not surprising considering the large gap that exists in genealogical research between the US and our roots in other countries.

The project has identified seven distinct patterns of DNA with the two largest groups tracing their heritage to England and Ireland. One group is linked to Thomas Pincerna (born 1180 in England) of the Lancashire, Houghton Butler group. The second is linked to James Butler (born 1730 Ireland) of the Lancashire, Weeton group. The most important result of the project is that it has opened up channels of communication between Butler Family researchers that would not have otherwise been aware of their common ancestry.

The project also has fourteen project members who have unique markers that don�t match other project members. This is probably to be expected considering the large number of Butler groups identified by Lord Dunboyne. It may also be partially due to Butler being a �trade� name that could have been taken by several different family groups throughout history.

Joining the Butler Surname DNA Project

The Butler Surname DNA Project offers a unique opportunity to advance global Butler family research and to leverage the existing Butler family research on a broad scale. No other approach provides the opportunity to identify potential family links that have long since been forgotten in history.

Participation is easy, just go to www.butlerdna.org and click on the link at the top of the page to join the Butler Surname DNA Project. Payment is via credit card according to following payment schedule:

Y-DNA 12 marker male test $ 99
Y-DNA 25 marker male test $ 169
Y-DNA 37 marker male test $ 229

The 37 marker test is recommended to give higher confidence in matches among people not previously known to be related. The 12 and 25 marker tests can be utilized as a trial starting point and then upgraded later to the full test.

After ordering, you will receive a simple DNA test kit to return your DNA sample for laboratory testing. The procedure is painless and similar to brushing your teeth.

All Butler Society members are urged to take advantage of this unique opportunity to further map the 38 family groups identified by Lord Dunboyne. Who knows, we may even identify some new ones!

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