8. A DNA NPE Success Story

A DNA NPE success story

by Beth Mansfield.

Our family has long known that my great great grandfather, George Washington Hutchinson, was born in 1848 in the township of Erwin in Steuben County which lies south of the Finger Lakes in upper New York State. In the 1850 federal census for the township George’s father is listed as Henry Hutchinson aged 51, born in New Jersey, and his mother as Becky Hutchinson, aged 35, born in Pennsylvania. A cousin of mine researched Henry Hutchinson but could not locate anything further back.

Then a few years ago I heard about the yDNA testing, and discovered that the Hutchinson Surname DNA project had identified three main Hutchinson families in New Jersey. As my mother's maiden name is Hutchinson and we do not have any male Hutchinsons on our side of the family, my cousin had to ask her uncle George Hutchinson, a grandchild of George Washington Hutchinson, to do the test for us. I sponsored him for the 67 marker yDNA test. When the results came in we got a very big surprise - George did not match to any Hutchinsons, but he did match several individuals with different forms of the name Erwin! Evidently there had been what I discovered is known as a non paternal event (‘NPE’).

When I went back and looked at the 1850 census of Erwin township again I noticed that the family listed immediately above the Hutchinsons was an Erwin family. I discovered that the township was named for Colonel Arthur Erwin from Antrim, Northern Ireland, who had emigrated to Bucks County, PA in 1768. After the revolution Colonel Erwin purchased land around Painted Post in Steuben County, NY. Although he never made it up there as he was killed in 1791, some of his sons moved up to Erwin township around 1800.

I was able to locate a known descendant of Colonel Arthur Erwin and I sponsored him for the y67 DNA test. He and George matched at 66/67 markers! When both tests were upgraded to 111 markers they still matched at 110/111, which confirmed that our Hutchinson line did indeed descend from Colonel Arthur Erwin.

I recently sponsored my brother with our surname, Mansfield, for the autosomal DNA Family Finder Test. When his results came in we had one that was either a 4th or 5th cousin whose surname was Lamphere. I already knew that one of Colonel Arthur Erwin's sons, Major Arthur Erwin, had married Sarah Lamphere: their son Arthur Erwin, Jr lived next door to the Hutchinsons on the 1850 census! This was the clue we were waiting for. Now we know how our Hutchinson family had originally been Erwins - George Washington Hutchinson was fathered by the Erwin next door!