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

As one would expect Louise and Nicholas head the matches as children with my nieces Melissa & Elinor as close family.

There are two 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 dicussed below as part of the Cheasley family.

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 70 to 40 cM and there are currently 13 resolved to known descendants.  The key chromosome match is on 17 starting at position 3,452,318 in most cases.

The pivotal one is to Sally Howard, nee Underwood, who is descended from Henry's second son, George Atkin Jefferies via George's 4th child Henrietta, and who has been a major contributor to the family history in the days before the advent of DNA evidence. Sally's daughter Kara is also matched as are other descendants of Henrietta, namely Jill Allison Underwood, Sally's brother Mauurice's daughter, and her two children.  Another descendant of George Atkin Jefferies is Thomas Henry Jefferies Jr.

Sally Howards' GEDmatch DNA matches to MGJ are as follows. Chromosome 12, 12.6cM, 14, 20.9cM, 17, 14.7cM, 21, 9.4cM, 22, 21cM.

There a match to Jonathan Henry, Henry's eldest son, to Lee William Collins. His results are 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 MyHeritege are on chromosomes 3, 8.8cM, 5, 33.5cM. 7, 23.9cM, 9, 17cM, 13, 16cM. Research in progress implies that the DNA we share on chromosome 3 is from the Kent families of Lane/Streatfield.

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  but also a possible link to the Kent families.  Who this person is is undiscovered at this stage.

Note that the only tringulated segments between Lee, Sally and me is on chromosome 17 at 7.6cM

Martha Fanny Jefferies, Henry's 3rd daughter who married David Anderson, leads to Sue Diefenbruch, at 16cM on one segment and Martha's son David W Anderson Jr. has two daughters tested, Martha and Nancy.

Jane Jefferies, Henry's eldest daughter, links to Julie Ruth Stearns, with 41cM on 4 segments. 

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.

As expected cluster analyses on matches of myself, Louise and Nicholas show the relatedness of the persons mentioned above.

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 whch 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.  This may allow a better identification of the family connections to the large Button families in Suffolk.

In an attempt to explore the Jefferies line I have taken a y-DNA test and I hope to recruit other known Jefferies males to see if we can trace the name back much further.  My haplogroup is R-M269. So far my closest matches are 3 at 67 markers out of 111. No recognised surnames have appeared.The probability of the nearest shared ancestor is 20 generations at 80%. More is expected.


Page revised June 2022.

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