Butler County Genealogical Society

PO Box 662 

Butler, PA 16003-0662


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Welcome to Butler County Roots, the web site of the Butler County Genealogical Society of Butler County, Pennsylvania.

The Butler County Genealogical Society is a group of volunteers dedicated to the collection and preservation of information about its families, past and present, of Butler County and to help its families obtain the information they need to document their family heritage. Our membership is open to anyone with an interest in genealogy.

Our Next Meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. in the basement meeting room at the Butler Public Library. The program for the evening will be DNA Testing and Genealogy, Part I: presented by John Ripper.

DNA Testing and Genealogy, Part I: Deep Ancestry Scientists currently estimate that the most successful migration of humans out of Africa and around the world began about 60,000 years ago. As groups separated and traveled in different directions, they became isolated from each other. As time passed, these separate groups accumulated distinct differences in DNA. Comparing a living person’s DNA to the DNA of reference populations may allow one to identify the path his or her ancestors took out of Africa to ancestral homelands. This session will examine how commercially available DNA testing (e.g. through the National Geographic’s “Genographic Project”) can provide clues to the journeys taken by our ancestors. Sample results of mitochondrial DNA analysis (as evidence of maternal lineage) and Y chromosome analysis (as evidence of paternal lineage) will be shared. The presenter will also reveal the extent of his Neanderthal ancestry!

June 10: DNA Testing and Genealogy, Part II: Recent Ancestry Several commercially available DNA testing companies will analyze an individual’s DNA and compare the results to others who have been tested and agreed to share their results. The idea is to look for matching DNA samples in an attempt to help those involved in genealogical research expand their family trees. Typically these companies claim to be able to detect relationships for up to five generations. This session will examine how this analysis is done, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of this type of testing. Sample results from Family Tree DNA will be shared.

The presenter has taught biology (including genetics, forensic science, human anatomy and physiology) for 23 years, mostly at Butler County Community College. He holds a B.S. in Biology from Allegheny College, an M.S. in Immunology from the University of Rochester School of Medicine, and an M.S. in Forensic Toxicology from the University of Florida.


2014 Officers

President - Richard E. Schnur

Vice President - Cindy Hays

Secretary - Nancy Updegraff

Treasurer - Sara McGee

Membership Secretary - Karen Grelling


Programs - Natalie Price

Research -

Projects - Pat Collins



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