From NE Essex & SW Suffolk.

The known surnames of persons in this group to 5th cousin level are; Jefferies, Britton, Button, & Skipper. The link to the descendant chart related to these matches are Jefferies, Button & Bretton.

Before describing the more detailed results for the family one of the problems yet unsolved is the origins of 'our' Jefferies.

In an attempt to explore the Jefferies line I have taken a y-DNA test with FamilyTreeDNA at the Y700 level, the highest one can go.

Of the results FTDNA says:-

Haplogroup R-BY33994 represents a man who is estimated to have been born around 3350 years ago, plus or minus 1000 years. That corresponds to about 1350 BCE with a 95% probability he was born between 2344 and 556 BCE. R-BY33994's paternal line was formed when it branched off from R-FGC49427 and the rest of mankind about 3500 years ago, plus or minus 700 years

So far my closest matches are 4 at 67 markers out of 700. No recognised surnames have appeared at this level nor at lower levels.  However at the 37 marker level one name stands out as Longacre from an ancester given as Anders Peterson Langacre (born 1657), with a country of origin as Sweden.  This is very interesting as the new feature on Ancestry showing genetic origins of parental genome suggests Swedish/Danish links on chromosomes 2, 5 and 16 and Germanic links on chromosomes 6 & 10..  The FTDNA site has a page that compares my test against DNA retrieved from archaelogical discoveries and the mostrecent of these suggest shared DNA with persons from Scandanavian sites such as one, for example from Jutland in the Viking Denmark cultural group around 800 years before the current era (CE) with our common ancestor living 4000 years ago.

For the Germanic matches the dates are, for example, for two for persons living in the early Bronze age in Bavaria around 1800 BCE but our common ancestor lived around 2500 BCE (4500 years ago).

Historical matches.

There are three 3rd cousins to me, MGJ, descendants of Peter Button Jefferies, and Sarah Harrington.

The first is Heather S Jefferies, (test name Heather Sharpe) descended from Peter Button's eldest son, William Frederick. The DNA share is 99cM on 4 segments. There are matches common to myself and Heather with the surnames of Shwky, Kirby, Wood, Sohye & Williams but not resolved.

The second is Vivienne Upton, descended from Peter Button's second son, Peter James. The DNA share is 139cM on 9 segments. There is one other matches shared by me & Vivienne apart from known family & that is to Eddie Pugh; his connection is discussed below as part of the Cheasley family.

The third is to Nicholas Alan Charsley, descended from Peter Button's daughter Alice Ethel. The DNA share is 220cM on 9 segments.

The link between the English and American descendants of the Jefferies is very well supported by a number of tests at 4th & 5th cousin level all descended from Henry Jefferies (Peter Button's brother) and Martha Atkin, whose family went to Florida after Henry's death in 1895. These matches are around 70cM maximum, and there are currently 13 resolved to known descendants.  Using DNA Painter a number of these matches are to chromosome 17 but it is clear that these matches can be to Jefferies or Britton lines and this needs more work. However there are matches on up to 6 chromosomes and not always the same ones.

The match to  Lee William Collins is particularly interesting in that he has matches to me on chromosomes that other descendants of Henry Jefferies do not show. The shared matches as seen on MyHeritage are on chromosomes 3, 8.8cM, 5, 33.5cM. 7, 23.9cM, 9, 17cM, 13, 16cM.

Another match on MyHeritage is to SK, a test managed by Marcel Scharf with a total of 8 segments totalling 94.5cM.  This person has matches which show Jefferies heritage from Jonathon Jefferies    Who this person is is undiscovered at this stage. Another close match to the family is Nick Jefferies with close matches to the US side but who this is is also not yet known.

A number of other 4th cousin matches are known, varying from 34cM downwards and with shared matches to other American lines, but not worked out fully as yet.  The main matches are on chromosome 17 and some on chromosome 22.

Another Jefferies descendant has been identified. He is Richard Jefferies, descended from Samuel Jefferies who is Jonathan Jefferies & Charlotte Britton's youngest son.  The match is at 10cM on 1 segment which is small but the documentary evidence is strong. This reinforces the connection to this pivotal couple.

Further back there are a number of matches that confirm a connection to families from Sible Hedingham, the birthplace of Peter & Henry Jefferies' father Jonathon.  The main link is to three matches with the surname of Cheasley and linked names including Pugh & Pickford. It now seems that the Cheasley family is descended from the daughter Lettice of John Bretton & Martha Bowtell, parents of Charlotte Britton. Charlotte has been suggested before as the mother of Jonathon Jefferies but, until now, not verifiable from documentary data.  Note that the DNA matches are to me and NGJ but not the other close family. 

Recently yet another match to John & Martha has come to light, descendants of another sister of Charlotte and Lettuce, namely Mary Martha down to Jane Hawkridge at 16cM.  This clears up a major unresolved question about the relationships around several Jefferies families in the area.  However the origin of Jefferies in Sible Hedingham earlier than 1782 is still unclear.

DNA matches have been found that establishes connections to Sarah Button, a daughter of John Button and Sarah Keer.  These lead to Carol Hill and Deborah Howlett, both matches only to my nieces Melissa and Elinor.  In addition 3 common ancestor matches have been identified that are related to another Button line at significant levels.  These are being worked on as of Feb 2023. This may allow a better identification of the family connections to the large Button families in Suffolk.

The analysis on DNA Painter shows many other matches both to Jefferies and to the Bretton/Britton roots but with no tree evidence available to resolve them as yet.

The DNA analysis created by DNA Painter is at this link.  Remember that this is a work in progress as more data is added and the way the data is handled may change over time as specific matches are labelled more accurately or reassigned to other lines.


Page revised February 2023.

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