Here are the results of my Y Chromosome DNA test

The Y chromosome is passed on with little or no variation from father to son, and can therefore identify a family line through many generations. The sole function of the Y chromosome is to determine the gender of the person carrying it (it dictates you will be born a male). Apparently no other characteristics are passed on through the Y chromosome.

Our family line is identified as the Stutler family of Harrison County, which has been labeled Group 16 on the Statler/Stetler/Stotler surname project web site by Sandra Jones Hall (She has done the research and I have used her data). For more information on DNA tests of the various family groups see the Statler Y-Chromosome DNA project.

Our ancestor John Stutler was born before 1765 in Fredrick County or Harrison Co, Virginia. His wife's name was Sarah. I am a descendant of John Stutler through his son Elias.

I submitted DNA for the 25 marker test (I am identified as 34167 in group 16). Recently another Stutler male descended from John Stutler through his son John has also submitted DNA for testing, and the results show that our two sets of Y chromosome DNA match perfectly in all 25 markers, which indicates that there have been no mutations in the last 200 years, and gives a clear picture of the Y chromosome DNA of John Stutler himself. The results also show a fairly close match with markers of the following three family Groups:

  • Group 2, the Stetler family of Mongomery County, Pennsylvania (22 matching markers)
  • Group 4, the Stettler family of Lancaster, Pennsylvania (21 matching markers)
  • Group 8, the Statler family of Loudoun County, Virginia (22 matching markers)

What we know about our DNA connections

Group 2 can trace its line back to its first settler in America, Henry Stetler (or Stadler or Stettler) who was born around 1706, and died on September 16, 1763. Another web source says that Henry's original name was Heinrich, and he came from Switzerland.

Group 4 can trace its line back to its first settler in America, Abraham Stettler (or Stetler) who was born around 1710 and came to America on the ship "Thistle." Several web sites (1 2 3 4) have the passenger list of the Thistle which came from Rotterdam and arrived in Philadelphia on Sept 19, 1738. It includes the name Abraham (or Aberham) Stetler (or Stidler) and Christian Stettler (or Stidler). Abraham's country of origin was not listed, but fellow passenger Christian came from Guthingen, Switzerland. Another web source quotes "Pennsylvania German Pioneers" which lists both men as "Palatines imported in the Ship the Thistle." A Palatine was someone of the German Palatinate region, but was also a designation likely to be given to any immigrant with a German surname whose ship sailed out of Rotterdam during that era. 1 This source lists the last names of both Abraham and Christian as Stettler which is a Swiss name but many Swiss families spent a few generations in Alsace or the Rhineland of Germany before moving on to America. This was due to a combination of religious differences and over population of Switzerland and a loss of population in the Rhineland due to the Thirty Years War. 2 Germany and Switzerland share a common border.

Group 8 can trace its line back to Abraham Statler who was born before 1740 and lived in Loudoun County, Virginia in 1790. This one man's last name was spelled in various records during his own life time as Stedler, Stadler, Stetler, Stettler, and Stutler!


As mentioned above, our ancestor John Stutler was born before 1765 -- possibly in 1757 -- in Virginia. Since we now know that his Y chromosome DNA matched closely but not perfectly with these three other family groups, it seems likely that we share a European ancestor with these family groups.

Henry Stetler (Group 2) came from Switzerland, and Abraham Stettler's family (Group 4) was probably from Switzerland as well. Abraham Stettler's fellow passenger Christian Stettler was definitely from Switzerland, and all three men had the same last name (among other variations). As mentioned above, Stettler is a Swiss name. The original country of Abraham Statler (Group 8) has apparently not yet been documented.

Although this still does not tell us who our first immigrant was, it does tell us who he was not. Only 10 of the 25 markers in Stutler Y chromosome DNA match that of the descendants of Johan Adam Stadtler who came from Germany on the Alexander and Anne in 1730, and who had been identified as our ancestor. These test results show that he is not our ancestor at all.

The Stutler family is apparently descended from someone who came from Switzerand through Germany to America and was the father of John Stutler. Our original name in Europe was apparently Stettler.

Read more about the various speculations as to who our ancestor was in The Stutler mystery.

1 Thanks to Donna Gloff for this information.
2 Thanks to Sandra Jones Hall for this information.

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