Visual Phasing of My Canadian Frazer Relatives

One of the Canadian Line of Frazers descends from my 2nd great-grandfather’s brother. His name was Richard Frazer born 1830 in Roscommon County, Ireland:

My 2nd great-grandfather was George William Frazer, born about 1838. Here are the two lines as shown with their descendants that have taken a DNA test:

Visual Phasing

Visual Phasing is comparing the DNA results of three siblings (or more) and figuring out from which of their four grandparents they got their DNA from on each of their chromosomes. I did that with myself and my four tested siblings. Now on the yellow line we have Susan, Doreen and Ken who have all had their DNA tested. I am 4th cousins to Susan, Doreen and Ken. However, by figuring out where we got our DNA from, it will be almost like comparing our grandparents to each other. Richard Price “Pat” Frazer will be compared with my grandmother, Marion Margaret Hartley. These grandparents would have been second cousins to each other. Now we didn’t get all our grandparents’ DNA, but what we did get, we will be able to identify and compare.

Steven Fox’s Excel Spreadsheet for Visual Phasing.

If you do a Google search for Steven Fox and Visual Phasing, you will find a lot of information and blogs of other’s that have used his spreadsheet. It is possible to do Visual Phasing without his spreadsheet, but his spreadsheet makes it easier, more organized and more standardized.

Jumping in with Chromosome 22

Chromosome 22 is the shortest, so some people start with that one. There should be fewer crossovers on this Chromosome. The downside is that there are also usually fewer cousin matches on this short Chromosome.

This image is small but if you click on it, it should get larger. The top bar compares Ken (K) and Susan (S). The vertical lines represent crossovers where DNA received changes from one grandparent to another. The location of these changes or crossovers are important. It is also important to know to which sibling these crossovers get assigned to. The first crossover is found where the match between Ken and Susan goes from HIR or FIR. HIR is Half Identical Region. That means that Ken and Susan both got the DNA from one of their 4 grandparents at that segment. The problem is, we don’t know which grandparent. After the crossover, represented by the first vertical line, Ken and Susan have an FIR. This is a Fully Identical Region. That means that Ken and Susan both got their DNA in that segment from two of the same grandparents. One matching grandparent was on the maternal side and one was on the paternal side.

Finding the Location for the First Crossover

The second crossover is easy to find, because it is at the same place where Susan and Doreen go from no match to a match. This spot is recorded by Gedmatch at 23,564,890. I could call that 24M or 23.6 depending on how exact I want to be. In the case above, I called it 23.6. To get the first crossover, we have to look at the comparison between Ken and Susan at full resolution at Gedmatch.

Here is the first part of Ken and Susan’s comparison at Chromosome 22:

This says that the beginning of Chromosome 22 doesn’t even start until position 14.5M where M is million. Every little ^ is one million. So counting back from 20M, Ken and Susan go from HIR to FIR between 15 and 16M. I’ll call it 15.7M. The pink part is a centromere. Usually this would be at the center of the chromosome, but there must be information at the very start of Chromosome 22 that isn’t used.

One Crossover or Two on the Right Side of Chr22?

Here is a blowup of the last two crossovers. On the top bar, there is a spot where Ken and Susan go from HIR to FIR. However, this does not line up with position 45.4M where Ken and Doreen go from no match to an FIR. However, to be sure, I need to know where Ken and Susan go from an HIR to an FIR.

According to Gedmatch, the end of Ken and Susan’s match is at 49.5M. That means the last ^ is 49M. That means that Ken and Susan’s change from HIR to FIR is between 45 and 46. I’ll say 45.7. This is pretty close to 45.4, so a judgement call. I’ll just leave it as I had it.

Assigning the Crossovers

The crossover usually gets assigned to the person that is in two of the changes. This is easier to see in the second crossover. There is a change in the top and bottom comparisons. The first comparison is Ken and Susan. The last comparison is between Susan and Doreen. Susan is the common denominator, so she gets the crossover.

I gave the first crossover to Ken:

I had forgotten why. Now I remember. I think that there is actually a very small match that doesn’t show up between Ken and Doreen at the beginning of the Chromosome. It is very subtle, but I’d say that there is more green in the beginning of the K&D comparison compared to the S&D comparison. These crossover assignments can be a bit of an art. If I had lowered the match resolution it should have shown up as a blue match there.

The last two crossovers were not easy either:

These changes have to come in pairs. That means that I had to treat the little segment between D and S as an FIR on the bottom comparison. That means that there are two changes for Doreen first making that her crossover. Then there are two changes for Susan (top and bottom comparisons).

Working on the Segments

This image is the end result, but I will say how I got there. First I started with K&S. They have a FIR for the second segment. This shows as dark green. In the image above, that means that Ken and Susan have two of the same colors. They match with one maternal grandparent and one paternal grandparent. Because Ken has no crossover to the right of the second segment, I can extend that DNA all the way to the right end of the Chromosome on both Ken’s maternal and paternal sides. Also in the second segment, Doreen has no matches with Ken or Susan. That means she has the spouse of the other two grandparents in that slot. So instead of orange and purple, she gets blue and green there. She has no crossover to the left and none on the right until near the end of the Chromosome.

At some point I have to deal with a HIR. I did that with Susan after the second segment. Susan has a HIR to Ken and Doreen. I made Susan match Ken’s purple but not his orange. We already knew that Ken and Doreen had no match in the third segment, so Doreen got the opposite colors there.

The last three bars in the image above represent Gladys’ match with Ken, Susan and Doreen. She shows a match with only Ken and not Doreen nor Susan. This has to be in Ken’s orange section as that is the only place along the match with Gladys that one of his segments is different than Doreen’s or Susan’s.

Gladys and Ken only match on the Frazer Line. Gladys has no Gray DNA. That means orange has to be Frazer. The only other paternal side is Gray so blue has to be Gray. I don’t have specific information on Ken, Susan and Doreen’s maternal side, so those are just labeled G3 and G4 for now. Actually, they should be M1 and M2 for maternal grandparents:

Ken and siblings’ father’s name is Stefansson and their mother’s surname is Gudmundsdottir.

How to Use Visual Phasing

Now that we know where Ken, Susan and Doreen got their DNA from on most of their Chromosome 22, what can we do with this information?

Part of the information is educational. Knowing how our DNA recombined by way of our grandparents is interesting. It is a kind of snapshot of what went into our makeup at conception.

Another part has to do with DNA matches. This focus us as to where our matches are. However, there is still one hitch. We still need to know if our matches are on our maternal or paternal side. If we don’t have a parent to compare our matches with, then it is possible to compare matches with known relatives.

Use of Crossovers

The exception to this is if Susan were to have a match that started before her crossover at 23.6 and continued beyond it. For a match that goes through a crossover, it has to be on the other side. So for such a match for Susan, this could not be a Frazer match but must be on her mother’s side.

These visual phasing maps work best when you have downloaded all your matches. Then you will know for every Chromosome which grandparent they will match depending where in the Chromosome your match is. If you have a lot of matches that end at a certain place and then other matches that start up again at that spot, that could be indicative of a crossover.

Separating Real Matches from Far Away or False Matches

Another way to use these results is to tell if a match is real or not. Here is part of mapped Chromosome 22 showing a small match between Doreen and Michael of the Frazer Project:

It shows that Michael only matches Doreen and not Susan nor Ken. Michael’s match is indicated by a blue bar at the bottome right of the image above. However, Doreen has no Frazer DNA in that segment. She only has Gray DNA on her paternal side. So, it may mean that Doreen matches Michael on the Gray line going way back or less likely on the Icelandic Line. But Michael could not be matching on the Frazer Line assuming I have mapped this correctly. As I mentioned, this is a small match of 5.6 cM. Matches under 7 cM have more than a 50% chance of not being real matches.

Comparison with My Visual Phasing

Here is my Chromosome 22. It is mapped along with three of my siblings. I didn’t get around to mapping Lori.

When I compare the two maps, I can see where my siblings have the potential to match with Ken, Doreen and Susan along the Frazer Line. It doesn’t mean we have to match there. For example, my Frazer grandparent DNA also has Clarke and McMaster DNA that Ken, Doreen and Susan don’t have. Likewise, Ken, Susan and Doreen have other DNA in their Frazer line that I would not share.

Extra Chromosome Mapped

While I was at it, I mapped Chromosome 12:

This was a little easier, because more cousins matched on this Chromosome. One interesting thing about this Chromosome is that between about 88 and 104M, there is no Frazer DNA. That means that if any of these siblings have a match in that area, it could not be a Frazer match.

This map had three spots that appeared to go from a no-match to a FIR or from a FIR to a no-match. This is impossible, so there needs to be a HIR transition. That is why there are three places where the crossovers are close.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Visual Mapping shows the process of our makeup based on how our grandparents’ DNA combined to form us
  • This mapping can be helpful in identifying DNA matches
  • Special attention should be made to crossovers. That is where DNA on one side of our Chromosome changed from one grandparent to the other.
  • If a match goes through a maternal crossover, for example, it means that match must be on the paternal side.
  • A lot of genetic genealogy is about separating out the DNA and visual phasing goes a long way in doing this.
  • Other sorting can be done by names or location of matches. As Ken, Doreen and Susan’s mom is Icelandic a clue as to the matches’ names, locations or genealogy can be a hint as far as placing them.
  • Visual Phasing works best when there are good cousin matches on all four grandparent sides.






Toni’s DNA and Ancestry on the James Frazer Line

I had previously written a Blog about Toni’s sister Penny here.

Toni’s Genealogy

The genealogy I will be looking at will be for those that have tested their DNA. This simplifies the trees.

This is Toni’s Frazer branch going back to about 1821. William somehow made his way from Ireland to Sacramento, California by 1860:

William was a lumber dealer based on the 1860 Census and others. Here is up and coming Sacramento about 1857:

According to William’s will, he had a son Edward F Frazer who was to inherit his lumber business. The will mentions a deceased daughter Mary A Quinton. It mentions a daughter Angelina in Ireland:

Finally, the will mentions William’s deceased daughter, Margaret “Whiton”

Sadly, Margaret died in 1880 at age 33 of puerperal fever. This was a death related to child birth.

The Larger Picture

Here is one step up from William Fitzgerald:

At this point, the trees start getting less certain. Joanna is very keen on finding out about this branch as are other DNA tested descendants. Note the Mary Ann Quinton noted in the Will in the tree above Clyde and Carol.

Perhaps Mary A Frazer’s daughter Grace Angelina was named for William’s daughter Angelina G.

Here is the whole James Line of known DNA-tested descendants:

Penny and Toni are on the bottom left. They descend from an elder son William, son of Archibald who was an elder son of another Archibald, who was an elder son of James at the top of the Line. It would be nice if the DNA could give us some clues as to whether we are on the right track with this tree.

The  Plan

A simple plan is to see how Toni and Penny match the people on the chart:


I have taken some reported match figures for the different relationships from an ISOGG web page. I would think that the zero matches may be under reported, so the averages may be high. In the table above, I have Carol and Kathy in italics. That is because they are daughters of Clyde and Charlotte, so any DNA they got, they got from their mothers.

When I compare everyone, I see that there are 17 people tested for DNA in the James Line. I had missed Madeline, Charlotte’s sister in my chart above, so I added her.

James Line Autosomal Matrix

The first tool I use at Gedmatch is the Autosomal Matrix. This compares everyone to everyone else in the James Line.

Here I see something interesting. In this matrix, Penny and Toni are matching with the Thomas Line with larger numbers than within the William Line. That is true except for their matches with Jonathan. I should note that the autosomal matrix uses a smaller cutoff than the general matching number of 7 cM.

How do I explain this?

Here is how I filled in my earlier chart:

I can make a few observations:

  • In general, Toni had higher DNA matches with other Frazers than Penny
  • Penny and Toni’s matches within the William Fitzgerald Line are dependent on Clyde.
  • It seems clear from the genealogy that Penny, Toni, Clyde and Carol are all in the William Fitzgerald Frazer Line. That means that Penny and Toni’s closer matches to the Thomas Henry Line are due to the randomness of DNA inheritance.
  • Penny’s matches with the Thomas Line are a little below average. Toni’s matches with those in the Thomas Henry Line are above average.
  • Toni and Penny’s matches with all others in the James Frazer Line are below average, including within their own William Fitzgerald Line.
  • All matches are within reported matching ranges.

Triangulating in the James Frazer Line

Triangulation Groups are where three or more people’s DNA match each other on the same segment. This should result in a common ancestor. I need to do a major overhaul on the James Line Triangulation Groups (TGs), as I haven’t looked at them in a while.

Chromosome 1

Here *B is Betty on the chart below.

This TG appears to confirm that Achibald born about 1792 (or his unknown wife) is the common ancestor for Toni, Betty and Joanna.

Chromosome 2 and 4: Bonnie, Judy and Gary

This is like one TG that was broken up, so it is now two. Bonnie has an interruption in her match between about position 6 and 10M.


Here is a TG with the same people in Chromosome 4:

This TG is from 110 to 123M at a minimum. This brings up and interesting point as there is already a TG on the Archibald side from 11-115M.

How can this be? This could be for many reasons. There is a 50% chance that the Judith/Bonnie/Gary TG could be a Charlotte Davidson TG. That would be the most obvious explanation. The other would be that the Archibald Line TG is a Stinson TG. There are other possibilities.

A TG at Chr 5 and 7?

I questioned this because Madeline and Charlotte are sisters:

Normally sisters are not included in TGs, but here Kathy who is Charlotte’s daughter is included. I would normally include an aunt and a niece in a TG. Plus this shows that if Kathy inherited the segment from her mom, that it is likely to be a valid match.

We have the same situation at Chromosome 7:

I think it’s a valid TG. I’m not sure if everyone would agree with me.

Chr 12, 15, and 16 Frazer or Davidson?


Without further information (matches) it is not possible to know if these are Frazer or Davidson TGs as discussed above.

Chr 14 TG

This TG is clearer:

This is quite a long-range TG. It goes all the way back to James Frazer (or his wife). There are other possibilities, but the one I drew seems the most obvious. For example, what if the Archibald  born 1792 married a Knott. Then the most recent common ancestor could be a Knott in the generation after James Frazer. At any rate, the fact that Toni is in the TG means that Gary and Judith should not be matching each other on the Davidson side – assuming Toni has no Davidson ancestors.

TG 16

I think I’m getting near the end. This is a four person TG including siblings Joanna and Jonathan.

This is also a James Line TG. That explains why the matches with Beverly are smaller than the ones between Toni, Joanna and Jonathan. Beverly is a 5th cousin to Joanna and Jonathan and a 5th cousin once removed to Toni. However, Toni is a third cousin once removed to Joanna and Jonathan.

A TG Summary

We now have a good collection of TGs for the James Line:



The two dark lavender TGs at the bottom go over to the Archibald Line. TG15C includes Paul and TG 17B includes Doug.

The orange looking TGs could be Davidson or Frazer TGs as discussed above. Other than the orange TGs there are no TGs that appear to be specifically Frazer/Knott or Michael Frazer (b 1764) TGs. Beverly is in two TGs, but neither one is in the Frazer/Knott group.

Toni’s DNA testing resulted in five new TGs. The Frazer/Peyton group seems more well-behaved as far as the TGs. That group has TGs that are just within what we have as the Frazer/Peyton Line and wihtin the Achibald 1792 Line below that.  Toni is a good example of why siblings get their DNA tested. Her sister Penny was not in any of the five TGs that Toni was in.

Summary and Conclusions

  • William Fitzgerald Frazer made his way accross the world from Ireland to Sacramento, CA to start a Lumber business and raise children
  • Without understanding of the genealogy and the randomness of DNA inheritance, it might seem that Toni belonged in Joanna’s line (Thomas Henry Frazer) rather than the William Fitzgerald Frazer Line that she is in.
  • William’s second great-granddaughter Toni took a DNA and matched many other Frazers that descended from the James Line of Frazers
  • Toni’s DNA testing resulted in five new Triangualation Groups
  • Those TGs have shored up the genealogy of the Line of Frazers that descend from William’s Irish father and grandfather.
  • In addition, Toni is in two TGs that appear to indicate a common ancestor with James Frazer going back all the way back to about 1720.
  • I identified a new group of 5 TGs that could be either Frazer or Davidson TGs.

Frazer-Johnston DNA and Genealogy: Part Two

In my previous Blog on the Frazer-Johnston connection, I looked at John’s DNA results. Recently John told me he had uploaded his sister Jamie’s DNA results to Gedmatch.

The Frazer-Johnston Connection on the Frazer/Stinson Line

John and Jamie are in the light blue. This is a good Frazer line as there are some on the line that are in other Frazer lines such as Jane, Michael and the yellow group. John and Jamie as well as the purplish line, Cathy and the bright green line are represent people that are believed to be in the Archibald/Stinson Line only. That gives some surety in what the DNA matches might mean. However, it could result in smaller DNA matches. There is a tradeoff.

The Johnston-Frazer connection is quite old. At the top of the blue line is a Mary Frazer born at the end of the 1700’s. She married William Johnston born about 1790. Having any information from Irish records before 1800 is considered great. I have more detailed genealogical information in my previous Blog.

Let’s Jump Into Jamie’s DNA

Well, not literally. The results are a little surprising:

Jamie is on the row below the top of the solid box in the bottom right. That box represents those that are only in the Archibald Frazer/Stinson Line. This shows that Jamie does not match anyone that is just in that line other than her brother John.  Jamie’s largest match is with Richard who I believe to be the only one that is only in the Philip Line.

We can look at the Jamie/Richard match when I look at the specific matches later. However, there are a few explanations for the match as I see it now:

  • Jamie and Richard would be 5th cousins, once removed through the Frazer side. That is pretty far out. The further out the relationship is, the more random the match is. That is likely why Richard and Jamie have a 31.6 cM match as 5th cousin once removed and why Jamie wouldn’t have a match with some of her 4th cousins that are in the Archibald Frazer/Stinson Line.
  • A second reason would be that Jamie could be matching on a line we don’t know about. We don’t know who the wife of Philip was. Also Jamie doesn’t know the name of the mother of the William Johnston that married Jane Frazer in 1815. I noted in a previous blog that a later Philip Frazer, married a Jane Johnston also in 1815.

Moving across, we see that Jamie matches Emily and Paul who would not be in the Frazer/Stinson Line. However the same reasons apply for them as applied to Richard. Note also that Emily and Paul are of the same generation as Richard, so more likely to match. Here is the whole Archibald Line:

Paul is at the bottom of the third blue column. Emily is shown to the left of Paul in the above image.

Dancing with DNA

Here are Jamie’s specific matches with those in the Archibald Line of the Frazer DNA Project:


I tried to put the matches into the appropriate Frazer Lines. Jamie has more matches with those in the Stinson Line. However, Jamie has higher matches with those that are not in the Stinson Line. Anywhere Jamie matches more than one person on a segment, there is a possibility of triangulation. Ir looks like Jamie could triangulate on every chromosome above except for Chromosome 12 with Paul.

Frazer Triangulation

Triangulation should mean common ancestors. This trouble is figuring out who those common ancestors are. As this is a Frazer project, and we all have Frazer ancestry, the assumption is that the common ancestor is a Frazer. However, there are other possibilities.


This TG can be shown like this:

The theory is that this TG points to either Archibald Frazer or Ann Stinson. Not both. However, we don’t know which unless there is a match to a Frazer that is not related to a Stinson or a Stinson that is not related to a Frazer. I have a spreadsheet that has a compilation of TGs and the triangualtion above I have previously named TG03C. So I added Jamie to that group.


This is a TG I had found when I looked at Richard’s results. Unless there is some other connection, this TG appears to go all the way back to Archibald born about 1743 or his wife Mary Lilley.

Note that my sister Lori and I are in the Philip Line as well as the Richard LIne. I didn’t put us in the Richard Line to save space. The same with Michael. Only his first ancestor in the Stinson Line is showing in peach color. It is tempting to think that I am matching Richard on the Philip Line and Michael is matching Jamie on the Stinson Line, but that is only one possibility.

More About Chromosome 17

Here is my TG Spreadsheet for Chromosome 17.

I’ve squished it together a bit so it would show better. Note that Doug is in a purple TG with Bonnie and Beverly. Bonnie and Beverly are on the more distant James Line. I also note that Richard matches Doug from 70-74M on Chromosome 17. So something is going on here between the Frazer Lines.

Let’s look at this from Richard’s viewpoint. Here are his matches on Chromosome 17:

This shows that Richard has a large match with Michael. Interesting, but confusing.

A New TG Chromosome 18

This is a little like the previous TG. Is the DNA trying to tell us something? It seems to be saying that there may be a connection the Philip and Archibald/Stinson Lines that we don’t know about. Or, it is just a good match up to the Archibald born in the 1740’s and his wife Mary Lilley.


Here Jamie is added to an existing TG.

Triangulation Group Summary for Jamie


This spreadsheet accentuates what I have been trying to explain in this Blog. It seems like John and Emily have an affinity for the left side of the spreadsheet and not so much for the Stinson side. This could be by chance. However, there could be other explanations. What if Philip who we think may have been born in 1776 married a Johnston? That would tie these families together – I think.


Here I tried out my theory. I had a feeling that Michael would not fit in to this cinfiguration. However, his match with Jamie was small at 7.6 cM and could be the one that goes up to the Archibald born in the 1740’s. The tree above seems to fit the DNA. However, I’m sure there could be another explanation.

Here is another, simpler explanation. Under this scenario, Philip did not have to marry a Johnston. This would have Mary as Philip’s daughter instead of Archibald’s. This would require some rejiggering of the genealogy.

The above seems to fit the DNA better, but remember that DNA can be fickle.

My Two Laws of Genetic Genealogy

After looking at genetic genealogy for several years, I have come up with two laws:

  1. The DNA is trying to outsmart you. The matches you have are generally not on the ancestors that you were expecting.
  2. Your ancestors are messing with you. They married relatives and did other things to intentionally confuse us to keep us from figuring out their genealogy.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Jamie’s results gave some different results from her brother John. This is normal and is one reason why we test siblings.
  • Jamie’s DNA results showed no clear affinity for the Archibald/Stinson Line. This could be due to chance DNA inheritance or other reasons
  • I gave two guesses as to the other reasons. One was that Philip born about 1776 may have married a Johnston. The other reason is that the Mary Frazer that married William Johnston could have been a daughter of Philip Frazer rather than Archibald Frazer. I like this option as it seems to explain the DNA matches.
  • There may be other explanations. As always, more DNA testing could bring in more answers.


Adding 300 Years of Upshalls by DNA and Genealogy

In my last sprawling Blog, I wrote an Upshall update and had a breakthrough as to the English origins of the Upshalls. In this Blog, I’d like to summarize some areas and expand on some areas of that Blog.

The Key to the Breakthrough: Peter, Sarah, and John Upshall

Martha is an Upshall relative by DNA and genealogy. I have been in touch with her by various avenues. She has suggested a father for Henry Upshall. His name is Peter. She also suggested a mother of Peter named Sarah and a father of Sarah named John.

In the Hazelbury Bryan, Dorset Parish Registers Peter was ‘base-born’ to Sarah in 1800:

Base-born is such a heavy term. It seems like it could be used in some 1800’s English novel. The story seemed to go that Peter, being base-born, likely had no inheritance or much of a future in Hazelbury Bryan, so sought his fortune in Newfoundland. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But how could this theory be verified?

Confirming Henry Upshall’s (born about 1841) Ancestry by DNA

First I looked at my wife’s Aunt Elaine’s DNA matches at Ancestry. I used her matches because she has fewer Newfoundland matches than my wife’s great Aunt Esther. That narrows down the matches to Esther’s Upshall and Dicks ancestry. I checked for Elaine’s Upshall DNA matches.

Things got interesting when I started looking at Elaine’s more distant Upshall DNA matches at Ancestry. One was with Allen. Allen descended from Bethia Upshall who was the grandson of John Upshall born in 1739. Assuming that was the same John that Martha had as Sarah Upshall’s dad, I drew this tree:

From what I can tell, Allen lives in England and has no Dicks relatives. Next, I found Barry from New Zealand. Barry also has the same John Upshall in his tree and is also a DNA match to Elaine.

However, another important thing about Barry from New Zealand’s tree: it shows Sarah Upshall and Allen’s George Upshall as siblings.


Here I have circled Ann, Sarah and George Upshall. I also circled their father John. I note that Aunt Esther also matches Allen and Barry by DNA. That means that the person in common by DNA and genealogy with Allen, Barry, Elaine and Esther is John Upshall born 1739. Descendants of these three children apparently ended up in England, New Zealand and Newfoundland. However, the DNA and genealogy ties them back together to Hazelbury Bryan, Dorset, England.

A Ninth Upshall Great-Grandfather for Esther

Previously, Esther had her grandfather Henry Upshall documented and no Upshall before that. Now, thanks to work done by Allen and Barry, she has Upshalls going back to the 1500’s:

The first Upshall in the line is William Upshall born in 1543 – about 300 years before Henry Upshall of Newfoundland. William also lived in Hazelbury Bryan (spelled Haslebury at the time).

300 Years of Upshalls in Hazelbury Bryan

What do we know about Hazelbury Bryan, Dorset? Here is the Church:

I imagine that this is where the Upshalls were born, got married and were buried. Here is some more information from the internet:

Hazelbury Bryan is situated in the Blackmore Vale five miles south west of Sturminster Newton. The Parish was formerly in the hundred of Pimperne and has an area of 2359 acres. Today the village has a population of 800 (2001) slightly more than the 761 recorded in the 1861 census. The village consists of seven hamlets, namely DroopKingstonParkgatePidneyPleckWonston and Woodrow.

In 1201 the village name was spelled Hasebere. The name is derived from the Old English hæsel bearu, meaning a hazel grove or wood, plus the manorial name of the Bryene or de Bryan family; Sir Guy de Bryan, of Woodsford Castle, gave his surname to the village in the 14th century when he married the daughter of the First Earl of Salisbury.

The original settlement in the village is the hamlet of Droop, which is the location of the parish church. The 14th century church dedicated to St Mary and St James is a handsome edifice with a fine square tower. The north aisle is considered a good specimen of the Perpendicular style. Beside the church are dwellings some 400 years old. Miss Violet Cross from the Manor House, a benefactor of the church, gave these dwellings to provide homes for widows and daughters of the clergy.

The parish was also home to a Primitive Methodist Chapel built in 1863 which remains in use to this day, part of the North Dorset Circuit.

That gives some general information. Hazelbury Bryan is old and small is the message I am getting. I suppose that makes it a good place for tracking Upshalls. Here is the 1841 Census with what appears to be Sarah’s brother Benjamin Upshall:

He is living in the Hamlet of Droop. He appears to be an agricultural laborer. The person above Benjamin was listed as a Farmer. I suppose that meant that Benjamin worked on someone elses’ farm. Living with Benjamin was Elizabeth Upshall. She could have been Benjamin’s wife or George’s widow Elizabeth Whiller Upshall or some other relative.

Here is a Droop Farm Cottage for rent. Perfect for Upshall descendants looking to visit their roots:

Summary and Conclusions

  • DNA matches compared with associated trees has pushed the knowledge of my wife’s Upshall line back about 300 years.
  • Base-born Peter Upshall appears to be the first in my wife’s line of Upshalls to travel to Newfoundland.
  • Before relocating to Newfoundland, Peter’s ancestors lived in Hazebury Bryan as long as the Parish records have existed.
  • Tracing ancestors from Newfoundland back to England can be nearly impossible due to the lack of records in Newfoundland. However, the use of DNA matching paired with good on-line Upshall records from Hazelbury Bryan has resulted in a breakthrough in Upshall genealogy.

2018 Upshall Update – English Roots Discovered


Upshall is my wife’s mother’s mother’s side. Even more specifically, her mother’s mother’s father’s side. Upshall represents my wife Marie’s Newfoundland heritage.

The Genealogy: It’s Complicated

It’s complicated as Aunt Esther’s ancestry is from Harbour Buffet, Newfoundland. There were only so many families to marry into there. However, in some ways it is simple as we cannot right now go back too many generations:

Above is the tree for Fred Upshall. He is Marie’s great-grandfather, my mother in law’s grandfather and Marie’s 1/2 great Aunt Esther’s father. I can only go back one generation from Fred to Henry born 1841 likely in Harbour Buffet, Placentia Bay, Newfoundland. The records are not that good for Harbour Buffet.

Who Was the Father of Henry Upshall?

One guess is Peter Upshall born in December, 1800:

His mother was Sarah Upshall and he was baptized on the 21st at the Parish of Hazelbury Bryan. I suppose the story could be that Peter, not having a good future in England, set off to Newfoundland. Here is Hazelbury Bryan and its proximity to Bournemouth:

Here is something I wrote on the Upshalls years ago:

“Some of the earlier written information about Newfoundland comes from Edward Wix, an Anglican Missionary. On Thursday, March 5, 1835 in his journal, he mentions both Harbour Buffet (Beaufit) and Upshall (Upshore):

Was up before day-light, and after full service, administered the holy communion to this respectable old planter, who had for many years been desiring such an opportunity. A snow-storm prevented my proceeding to-day to Harbour Beaufit, upon Long Island, where I was very anxious to visit a family whom I had known at Petty Harbour, near St. John’s. I did not allow it, however, to prevent my walking by Red Cove and Back Cove to Famish Gut, which I reached by ten, A.M., and assembled nine adults, besides children, at the winter house of Thomas Upshore, where I held full service, and baptized two children. It was providential that a man, who lived some two miles from his summer house, in the interior, in a spot which it would have been most difficult, nay, quite impracticable, to have found, in the untracked snow, which was falling fast at the time, should have come out for some family supplies to his summer house, just as I reached the harbour. He was delighted at the encounter, and was rejoiced at the opportunity of introducing to the little settlement a minister of his church. By one, P.M., as the weather cleared up, I left this place, and took the ice upon a level lead of ponds, expecting to find my way to the adjoining settlement of Pinch Gut.

In the Anglican records we find that Sarah, daughter of Peter and Margaret Upshore was baptized on March 5, 1835 at Famish Gut, Placentia Bay. Interestingly the same day and at the same place, Joseph Shave was baptized. The following year we find that Elizabeth daughter of Peter and Margaret Upshall was baptized at Famish Gut on September 7, 1836. This Peter Upshall is likely an ancestor or related to Henry Upshall. Famish Gut is probably the current day Fair Haven.”

I suppose that one could say that this Peter named his daughter after his mother. However, that does introduce now a Thomas Upshall. The next record I have is from 1855:

Here we have a sort of census of Harbour Buffet. I no longer see a Thomas Upshall. Perhaps he went back to England or died. Perhaps Mrs. Upshall was Thomas’ wife. There are now 8 Upshalls. My assumption is that the listing is by age. If Peter was the only one having kids, then I could assume that George, Christopher, Henry, Eligh(?), Jane and Joseph were all his children. If Thomas had children also, then that confuses things. Further, if we assume that our Henry was born in 1841, then he would have only been 14 in 1855. Perhaps he was older. The records for the Upshalls give their donations to the Church in quintals of fish. I don’t know if there was a standard age at which donations would be given. Also, considering that most of the names are males, it is curious that there is a Mrs. Upshall and a Jane listed. I might assume that these were heads of households(?)

I note that one tree at Ancestry has a George and Sarah as Henry’s parents:

This tree has this further reference about George:

However, that George appeared to have a son that was living at Sturminster-Newtown in 1861:

For this reason, I would rule out this George.

That leaves the following options for the father of Henry Upshall:

  • Thomas Upshall mentioned in the Wix journal. However, I am not aware of the name Thomas being passed down in the Upshall family.
  • Peter appears to be a good choice. There was a Peter in the Harbour Buffet area in 1835 and 1836. The name Peter carries down
  • To be named later – This would be an unknown Upshall. One source even mentions that the original name of Upshall was Baker and that they changed their name. However, I am not so sure of this. Why would a person change their name and why from Baker to Upshall?

Children of Henry Upshall and Catherine Dicks

I have this list of children at my web site:

Based on DNA, I have added Jessie Kate:

This is a DNA tree of Upshalls, so it only includes DNA-tested people in it that are known to descend from Henry Upshall based on genealogy or appear to descend from Henry Upshall based on the DNA. Karen and Ruby were in the latter group. Unfortunately, Jessie’s marriage record did not give her parents’ names and the birth registrations started around 1891 after she was born. That means that I have 4 children of Henry Upshall on my web site plus Jessie.

Other Ancestry Trees

Some trees have a lot more in them than I do. Here is one that has quite a few:


Note that they have Henry passing away in 1891 and Walter being born in 1893, so something is wrong. Assuming I have the right Henry dieing in 1891, that must mean that there is another Henry and Kate.

Perhaps that Walter born 1893 was from the Little Harbour East Upshalls. Quite a few were there in 1921:

That also makes me question the Peter that I have being born at Flat Island in 1885.  Here is a portion of Peter L. Upshall’s death record:

So it appears that if this other Henry Upshall from Little Harbour East didn’t marry a Catherine Dicks, then I’m all set.

A Few Recent Facebook Posts

Here is one post by Martha:

more Upshall mystery: Peter Upshall born 1892/1893 in Little Harbour East (died 1968) married Alice Upshall born 1894 or 1897 in Chants Cove (died 1992) to George Upshall and Bridget Peddle. their children include Thomas, Nelson, George, Blanche, Lizzie, Joseph, Douglas, Ralph, & Gerald. does anyone know who Peter’s parents or siblings were and also who George’s parents were? Peter’s parents may have been Henry Upshall (b.1863) and Elizabeth Smith. 

I don’t have a good answer for Martha, but it answers my question of who the other Elizabeth was from Little Harbour East.

Here is a death record from the New Anglican Little Harbour East Cemetery:


Here is the post that got me going on this Blog. This one is also from Martha. I wrote a Blog on Martha here.

Have stumbled on yet another Upshall….. Elizabeth born 1837 to George Upshall and Elizabeth Dicks. Married John W Evans. at least one daughter, Fannie Belle who died in Gloucester, Massachusetts (husband Douglas McLean)

Elizabeth died in Gloucester, too, in 1908 and her parents’ names come from her MA death certificate. am guessing her father / mother would have been born about 1810-1820? her death cert also says father was born in England.

do these Upshalls tie into anyone’s research?

Gloucester rang a bell with me as my wife’s great-grandfather spent some time there:

But back to Martha. She mentioned a George Upshall. I have this reference:

This mentions a George Upshall settling in Buffett in 1856. Here is the death record that Martha mentioned:

A tree that has Elizabeth in it has a Chelsea, MA marriage record for the second marriage of Elizabeth’s daughter Fanny Tucker. Fanny was 24 in 1890 and said to be born in Fortune Bay, NL. So that would be about 1866.

Back to George Upshall. Assuming that he was born in England, there are a few choices:

Sturminster-Newton is nearer to where Peter may have been from:

Poole is near Bournemouth.

Upshall DNA

The simplest way to check for Upshall DNA is through AncestryDNA. First, I’ll check by my wife’s Aunt Elaine. That is because she has less Newfoundland DNA to confuse things with. Her main two known Newfoundland names are Upshall and Dicks. Elaine’s first two matches by DNA are Aunt Esther and Karen. I mentioned Karen above. I connected her to Henry Upshall through his likely daughter Jessie Kate.


Here is Elaine’s third Upshall DNA match. Ancestry thinks Barbara and Elaine could be 4th cousins by DNA. Here is Barbara’s paternal side:

Barbara’s maternal side is also from Newfoundland: Scott and Hodder, but we’ll go with her paternal side as being the likely side where the match is.  Unfortunately, a 4th cousin means the common ancestor is at rhe third great-grandfather level. Peter is Barbara’s grandfather. That means we could be as many as three generations away from a common ancestor. This also gets to Martha’s first Facebook post. I see Martha must have also matched Barbara.

Elaine and M.B. (Administered by Martha)

Here is Martha’s pretty good guess for a common ancestor: Base-born Peter, base born in 1800:


That would make Elaine and M.B. third cousins. That is pretty close to where AncestryDNA has them at 4th cousins. However, Martha has uploaded M.B. to Gedmatch. At Gedmatch, M.B. shows a common ancestor with Elaine at 3.9 generations. M.B. shows a common ancestor with Elaine’s sister Joan at 4.1 generations. That averages out to 4.0 generations which would be equivalent to a third cousin. That is the same as shown above. That tells me by the DNA that Peter Upshall is a good guess for a common ancestor. That further tells me that Jane Upshall is probably the sister of Henry Upshall. If Peter is not their father, then whoever is would also be a good candidate for Joan, Elaine and M.B.’s common ancestor. If Barbara would upload her DNA to Gedmatch, it may become more apparent whether she is related on the Upshall Line or not. When I check M.B. and Elaine’s shared matches Barbara does come up, so there must be some common ancestor somewhere.

Elaine and Son of Jacob Neil Upshall, b. 17 Sep 1923, Harbour Buffett

Martha posted on Jacob already, so I’m one step behind her. Here is my guess from the 1935 Harbour Buffet Census:

Next to this family:

This couple looks old enough to be the parents of Edward. I am reminded that Aunt Esther’s father was Frederick Nelson Upshall. Frederick was born perhaps 8 years after this Nelson.

Here is the 1921 Tickles Census:

Nelson is in this Census also but appears not to be living very close by. Here there is an elder Thomas born 1851 and a Peter Upshall born 1854. I guess it would take a while to sort out all these Upshalls.

Here Edward is marrying Martha Temple.


John is the witness (his brother?). A guess could be that Peter was the father of John and Edward. This marriage took place after the marriage of Peter and Alice Upshall mentioned earlier in the Blog.

Elaine’s Match with Pat

Pat is Elaine’s Last 4th Cousin by DNA match. Here is where it is helpful to look at Elaine and not Esther as Esther has Shave ancestry. Here is Pat’s paternal side tree:

Pat’s great-grandmother was Margaret Upshall (Sep 1857-15Jul 1924). This time I’m going to cheat a little and sneak a peak at Martha’s tree. Martha has Margaret as daughter of George and she has George as daughter of Peter the base-born.

I’m going to stick Martha’s tree for Pat onto my DNA tree like this:

This is quite small, but I have a Peter up there also. I wonder if this is the same Peter that was in the 1921 Census, born 1854. That would be interesting. That would mean that Margaret wife of the base-born would be 44 when the younger Peter was born. Under this scenario, Elaine would be third cousin once removed to Pat on the lower left. Another possibility is that there is another Upshall between the two Peters.


I just moved Peter, Jr. to the right side in case the Peter of the 1921 Census was the son of the Peter at the top. I also color-coded the people that had their DNA tested:

  • Green – people are uploaded to Gedmatch
  • Pat – in AncestryDNA
  • Wallace – at MyHeritage

Elaine’s Distant Cousin Matches at AncestryDNA

Allen from Bethia Upshall

Here are some of the names in Allen’s Ancestry Tree:

The names and places look like they could work. Here is some more from Allen’s tree:

I note that Martha has Sarah, the mother of Peter Upshall, having a father named John. Martha has Sarah born in 1774 in Hazelbury Bryan. That could mean that Allen’s John Upshall III could be the same as the one that Martha has. Here is a possible scenario:

That would make Elaine and Allen 5th cousins, twice removed. From what I can tell of Allen’s tree, Allen probably lives in England.

Elaine’s AncestryDNA Match with Barry from New Zealand

Here is part of Barry’s tree:

I even note that Barry’s tree appears to have the Sarah that Martha and I had that gave birth to the Peter that we believe is an early Newfoundland Upshall.

The John in Barry’s tree sounds familiar, so let’s add him to the tree I made:

It looks like my theory is working out – also Martha’s. This makes Barry and Elaine 5th cousins. Esther also shows as a DNA match with Allen and Barry, but she shows a closer match with Barry which would make sense.

Charles from Peter and Sarah

Now we are back to Newfoundland with Charles. Charles is Elaine’s last DNA match when I search for the Upshall name. I notice some Newfoundland names like Burton, Kirby and Pike. Charles has his line coming down from Peter b. 1800.

One interesting thing about this tree is that it takes the Dicks family out of the equation. Henry Upshall married Catherine Dicks. The Dicks family is large in Newfoundland from what I can tell. So the Dicks family could cause some interference as far as interpretation of the DNA.

Summary and Conclusions

  • It looks like I have found out where in England the Newfoundland Upshalls came from – at least my wife’s branch.
  • The Upshalls appear to have come from a Sarah Upshall from the Parish of Hazelbury Bryan, Dorset, England
  • Sarah in turn was the daughter of a John Upshall III, who would have been the son and grandson of a John Upshall if Allen’s tree is right.
  • This discovery used the AncestryDNA matches and good trees that those matches had. The combination of those two resources work well together.
  • This discovery is quite a breakthrough. Given the lack of records in Newfoundland, I am not sure that this breakthrough would have been possible had it not been through the use of DNA matching.



More Thoughts on Ron, Steve and McMaster/Clarke Genealogy and DNA

My last Blog on the McMaster/Clarke family was my 200th Blog on genetic genealogy. I was surprised that it was the first on Clarke DNA. The Blog focused on my McMaster and Clarke family and also on Ron and Steve. Ron and Steve both have McMaster and Clarke ancestors as do I. Neither the McMaster nor Clarke connection to me is cut and dry. However, there are big DNA matches between me, Ron and Steve. Usually, when I do these comparisons, I do them in as they make it easy to do comparisons and they have good DNA comparison tools. However, in this case, Ron tested at Ancestry and also has his results at MyHeritage. Steve tested at 23andme. He would be willing to post his results at or MyHeritage, but those sites are not ready to take the new 23andme DNA results.

McMaster/McMasters/MacMaster: Scottish or Irish?

First, here is the tree which shows how I think that Steve, Ron and I are related on the McMaster side.

Ron and Steve both had traditions that their ancestors were Scottish and not Irish. I am quite sure that they were Scottish, but that between their time in Scotland and the US, they lived in Ireland for quite a while. This is based on the fact that I have traced the McMasters back to Kilmactranny Parish in County Sligo to the early 1700’s. Here are some other pieces of evidence that indicate that Steve and Ron’s McMaster ancestry is more directly from Ireland:

  1. Steve and Ron’s ancestor Edward’s Naturalization Papers state that he was from Count Sligo:

2. Edward’s marriage states that he and his wife were from Ireland:

3. Edward’s son Frederick William’s birth record shows that both his parents were from Ireland.

4. Edward’s son Stanley Edward’s 1881 birth record shows that both his parents were from Ireland. By the way he shared a birthday with me. At that time Stanley’s mom was listed as Sadie.

5. Edward’s daughter Alice Jane’s 1885 birth record shows that both his parents were from Ireland.

6. Edward’s son Thomas Leroy’s birth record shows that both his parents were from Ireland.

7.  Edward’s daughter Edna Clark’s birth record shows that both his parents were from Ireland.

8. The 1880 Census shows that Edward McMaster and his wife were born in Ireland as well as both of their parents.

The 1900 Census is the first one that mentions that Edward was born in Scotland and Celia in England.

9. The 1889 death record for Edward’s son Frederick W McMaster has both his parents born in Ireland.

This seems to show that most the records indicate that Edward and Celia were born in Ireland as were both their parents.

The Clarke Side

In my previous Blog, I favored this tree to match up my tree with Steve and Ron’s:

This has me as a third cousin with Ron. That is consistent with our DNA matches. However, I don’t have a good paper trail. Celia does list her mother as Jane on her wedding record. However, she gives her father as James rather than Thomas Clarke.

Interestingly, one tree at ancestry does have a Celia as the daughter of Thomas Clarke and Jane Spratt:

I recognize the owner of the tree as someone I have corresponded with in the past and who knows quite a bit about the Clarke family.  However, Margaret my great-grandmother is missing as well as Jane. Also the owner has no references for Celia.

However, I did check my records. I have the memoir of the daughter of William and Catherine pictured above. She does mention Celia here:

In another part of the memoir, she mentions the children but in a different order:

Unfortunately, she gives no further detail on Celia other that she knew them all. I take that to mean that Celia lived in the Boston area. I favor the first listing above of the children as it has Celia first who was apparently born around 1856. This gives me more confidence that it was this Celia that married Edward Mcmaster.

Back to the DNA

It is possible to triangulate DNA. This happens when three people match each other on the same segment. When that happens, there is almost always a shared ancestor. The problem is figuring out who that ancestor is.

I match both Stephen and Ron on Chromosome 4:

These are both from my match list. In order for this to be triangulation, Ron would also have to match Steve. I assume that this is the case, but cannot prove it. Assuming that this is triangulation, this may indicate a Clarke ancestor.  I say this due to the large match with Ron indicating a closer relationship and the fact that my McMaster relatives that aren’t related to the Clarkes do not match here.

Steven and Ron both match me on Chromosome 6, but the matches don’t overlap. So I can’t show triangulation there.

I match both Stephen and Ron on Chromosome 18:

Again, it is not a large overlap, but there is an overlap showing that we have a common ancestor out there somewhere.

Does the Triangulation Indicate a McMaster Or Clarke Ancestor?

That is what I would like to know. If my cousin Paul triangulated with Steve and Ron, it would indicate a McMaster ancestor as Paul has no Clarke ancestor. Unfortunately, Steve tested at 23andme and Paul did not.

How I Match Ron and Paul at MyHeritage

When I put Ron and Paul into my matching chromosome browser, it shows that I do not match Ron and Paul in the same place. That means that we do not triangulate. That also means that it is possible that I am matching Paul on the McMaster side and Ron on the Clarke side. Unfortunately, something cannot be proved by not matching, but it could give a clue.

I match Ron on red and Paul on yellow. As I mentioned, I have no overlapping segments with Ron and Paul. Of special interest is Chromosome 7. My match switches over from yellow. Here is an enlargement of that segment and what it may mean:

Again, these are my matches. I am matching Paul in yellow. This could be Frazer as Ron doesn’t have Frazer DNA from what I can tell. My Paul [Frazer?] match stops and my Ron [Clarke?] match starts. This is a possible Frazer/Clarke recombination point that my father had and he passed down to me. Another possibility would be a Frazer/McMaster recombination point, but that doesn’t make as much sense as that should have been passed down to both Paul and me(?)

Here is how Paul likelly matches on the McMaster Tree:

Does Paul Match Ron or Stephen by DNA?

It looks like they don’t match by DNA. At MyHeritage, Ron is one of my closest matches:

However, Ron doesn’t match Paul at all at MyHeritage. Note that Ron should be more closely related to Paul than to me on the McMaster tree.

This is how Stephen matches me and my siblings at Genesis. Steve uploaded his 23andme results to that Gedmatch subsidiary:

Steve doesn’t match Paul at Genesis either. What are the chances? Here they are:

As 4th cousins, Paul and Ron should match better than half the time. As 4th cousins once removed, Paul and Steve should match only better than, say, 30%

Notice in the image above that my sister Sharon does not match Steve. However, Sharon does match Ron at MyHeritage here:

Note that these are all chromosomes where she wasn’t matching Steve above. That is why Sharon and Steve didn’t match by DNA.

I note also that Steve and Paul do not match at Genesis.

The other piece of the puzzle I am missing is where Steve and Ron match each other.

What Does All This Mean?

It means that the DNA suggests that the match may be through a closer Clarke line rather than a more distant McMaster connection. From what I can tell, there were two or three sisters that married McMasters or McMaster relatives.

  • Ron and Steve’s ancestor, Edward McMaster, married Celia Clark in 1876. Celia was born about 1856. In 1880 Celia Clarke McMaster was living in the same building as Celia Clarke McGarry, a known relation of mine – possibly her Aunt.
  • William McMaster married Catherine McMaster in 1882. This William signed Edward McMaster’s naturalization papers as a witness. Catherine Clarke was born 1863
  • My great-grandfather James Archibald Frazer married Margaret Clarke in 1892. His mother was a McMaster. Margaret was the sister of Catherine Clarke. William McMaster was the uncle of James Archibald Frazer. Margaret was born 1866.

Here is a photo of my great-grandfather James Frazer with William McMaster’s wife Catherine Clarke. This was apparently after the death of James’ wife Margaret Clarke and Catherine’s husband William McMaster.

It would appear that Celia, Catherine and Margaret were sisters. If this is the case then I would be third cousin to Ron and third cousin once removed to Steve on the Clarke Line. The best way to identify by DNA whether the match is on the Clarke Line or McMaster line is to find someone with only Clarke or McMaster DNA. Ron, Steve, and I have both. Paul has McMaster DNA but not Clarke. If Paul had matched Ron and/or Steve by DNA, then that would indicate the match was on the McMaster Line. However, I know of no one that has only Clarke and not McMaster DNA due to all the double-related marriages mentioned above.

If Celia’s marriage record had her dad as Thomas and not James, I would be more convinced that she was a sister to the other two Clarkes mentioned above. If Celia’s marriage record gave her mother’s maiden name (Spratt), that would have convinced me also. Steve should be taking a trip to the Department of Public Health to check for Celia’s death record. Perhaps this will straighten things out.

Running is Good for DNA Analysis

I came up with this idea on my run today. My idea is to compare Emily to my family and Ron at MyHeritage. I recently found another relative that I matched there. Actually two: Melanie and her mom Emily. Emily, like Paul, has McMaster DNA, but no known Clarke DNA.

Now the McMaster DNA tree is getting wider which is good for DNA comparisons. I did quite a few comparisons until I found this one:

This is how my sister Lori matches Paul. in red, Ron in brown and Emily in yellow. The interesting match is here:

This segment where Lori matches Ron and Emily appears to form a Triangulation Group (TG). TGs are good as they show that those in the Group have a common ancestor. Lori matches Ron from about 41-51M on the Chromosome. Above, Lori matched Steve at the same spot:

My guess is that Steve and Ron match each other at this spot also. That would form a triangulation group with Emily, Lori, Steve and Ron. As Emily is not known to be related on the Clarke side, we have identified McMaster DNA on Chromosome 13:

This shows how the DNA would have come down from Abraham and Margery to their sons Robert and James in the early 1800’s. How do you like that? I just found out about Emily last week and already she is helping out on the McMaster Line. This also points to the importance of DNA testing. Lori was the 5th sibling I had tested for DNA. You might have thought that 4 siblings were enough, but they weren’t.

Where Does This Leave Celia?

I think that there is still room for Celia to fit in with the large DNA matches that we have between my family, Steve, and Ron.  We match each other at a minimum on Chromosomes 4, 6, 10. 11. 13, 14, 15, 16 and 18. Today we have figured out Chromosome 13.

Another DNA Trick: Commom Matches

There is a utility at Gedmatch and Genesis that looks at your common matches. It is a sort of where there’s smoke there’s fire type of approach. When I plug myself and John in i get some matches. Here is someone with the Clark name that probably triangulates with Steve and me:

I’ve sent out an email to see if there is any known relation.

Here is someone with the Crawford name on Chromosome 18 that likely triangulates:

However, this is a smaller match. The common ancestor may be quite far back in time. I associate the Crawford name with the part of Ireland my ancestors were from. I sent an email to the Crawford match just in case.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I’ve done quite a bit with the DNA considering the fact that Steve and Ron tested at different places.
  • A new match with cousin Emily came in handy in identifying one segment of McMaster DNA on Chromosome 13
  • The fact that I have 5 siblings in my family DNA tested was helpful
  • Lack of other matches with known McMaster ancestry point to a likely Clarke match but don’t prove it
  • I’ve shown that the McMasters were from Sligo Ireland rather than directly from Scotland.
  • Working on this Blog got me digging more into the Clarke genealogy and I did find I had a little more on Celia daughter of Thomas Clarke and Jane Spratt. This makes me much more confident that this Celia married Edward McMaster
  • Based on that, I feel as though most of the matches between my family and Rona and Steve are on the Clarke side. That is despite the fact that I have positively identified a McMaster segment that we share.

More on Emily and Melanie’s Frazer DNA

In my last Frazer DNA Blog, I wrote about Melanie and Emily’s DNA match at MyHeritage. I was really hoping that Melanie would upload their DNA to gedmatch for a proper comparison and she did. I hope that I wasn’t too annoying in my asking.

A Frazer Photo Identified

How often is it that you have a photo that is over 100 years old and someone is able to identify it? That is what Emily was able to do with this photo:

I had always assumed that these were all Frazers in front of their house in Ballindoon. Here is Emily’s comment:

 The photograph of the group outside Ballindoon is obviously my grandmothers wedding. I have never seen it before and love it. I never saw a photo of my grandfather James Fairbanks. He died when my mother Susan was three years old.

That’s great collaboration. Emily’s grandmother was Violet Frances Frazer in the white. Her husband is between my 2nd great grandmother Margaret McMaster Frazer and Violet. This is a good example of collaboration. Even though it is sad that James Faribanks died young, I am glad to know who he is in the photo. And Emily is very glad. I can only guess that this photo was mailed to my great-grandfather James Archibald Frazer who was Violet’s older brother in the US. Now, over 100 years later, the photo has gone back from the US to Ireland over the internet to be identified by Violet’s granddaughter.

Frazer Trees and DNA

In my last Blog on Emily and Melanie, I showed this tree of DNA-tested descendants of the older couple in the photo above. The addition of this branch is a big help in the Frazer DNA Project.

That group in turn are part of a James Frazer/Violet Frazer tree which is part of a Philip Frazer tree:

Philip is part of the Archibald Branch of the Frazer Tree. He is one of two brothers (the other being James) that we first have a record of in Aghrafinigan, North County Roscommon in 1749.

The above represents the Archibald line on the left in color and the James Line on the right uncolored. The Archibald side is a bit out of date and is difficult to portray as some DNA testers descend from more than one line due to Frazer cousin marriages. For example, the single blue line on the left above is meant to represent the Philip Line. This also has other branches. However, the yellow group in the Philip Line are also in two other Frazer Lines. This makes for interesting genealogy and more interesting DNA results.

Emily and Melanie’s DNA at Gedmatch

Emily, as Melanie’s mom, gave half of her DNA in general to Melanie. That means that Emily has about twice as much Frazer DNA compared to her daughter. For that reason, I will be looking at Emily’s results rather than Melanie’s.

Before, I start with the DNA, I need to mention that Emily and Melanie are part of the Richard Frazer Line also:

That is because Violet, the daughter of Richard Frazer at the top of the chart married James Frazer who I believe to be a son of Philip Frazer. That would mean that they would be first cousins. David on the left of the chart was added due to DNA matches. Jane was also. Assuming that David is placed correctly, he is important to this line being the only one that is not also known to be in another Frazer Line. In the Philip Line above, Richard is the one not in another line.

Emily and the All Archibald Line Comparison

I like to compare people to all others in a project and then see how the DNA sorts out. I’ll do that first with the Archibald Line of Frazers as there are too many in the whole project.

The Archibald Frazer Autosomal Matrix

I like this matrix, because it is fairly easy to interpret. The higher the number, the closer the relationship.

I have highlighted Emily in blue. Looking across from Emily, her highest match is with Paul. Paul and Emily are 2nd cousins. That means that they share the same great-grandparents: George Frazer and Margaret McMaster. Here are some autosomal statistics from the ISOGG Web Page:

An average amount of DNA that two 2nd cousins might share would be 233 cM. Paul and Emily share 289 cM which is well within reported ranges. My siblings and I match Emily as 2nd cousins once removed. All of our matches are below the average of 123. They range from a low of 47 to a high of 107. By the way, the autosomal matrix uses a smaller cutoff for DNA matches so these matches will be a bit higher than if you do a one to one match at Gedmatch.

Emily matches Gladys at 127 cM. This is quite high considering the two are third cousins. After that, Emily matches Doreen, 3rd cousin once removed at 73 cM. The average, above is 48. (When I run a ‘one to one’ match between the two, the result is a bit smaller at 68 cM.) Overall, Emily’s autosomal matrix results are not surprising. She matches Richard who I believe is a litmus test for the Philip Line. They would be 4th cousins once removed. Emily does not match David, believed to be a litmus test for the Richard Line.

In the Stinson Line, Emily matched her 5th cousin Cathy at 24 cM and her 5th cousin, once removed Ros from Australia at 17 cM.

Triangulating Emily’s DNA

Triangulating means finding three people that match each other on the same segment of DNA. When this happens there is almost always a common ancestor involved. I already have a list of Frazer Triangulation Groups or TGs. Emily will be in some that have already been found and may form a new TG or TGs.

The first TG that Emily is in, is in Chromosome 1. This is a popular TG:

Note that Michael and Jane are in this TG (TG01C). Michael and Jane do not descend from Philip, so this must be a Richard TG. This further means that the DNA that Heidi, Jon, Lori, Emily, Paul, Gladys, and Bill share came down to them through Violet Frazer and not her cousin James as Violet was Richard’s son.

That is one huge TG. Another possibility for this TG would be through the Frazer/Stinson Line. However, Heidi, Jon, Lori, Emily and Paul do not descend from that line, so that possibility is unlikely.

A New TG On Chromosome 2

I’m still modifying my TG Summary Chart:

This TG02B includes Emily, Paul and Gladys. They all descend from James and Violet Frazer.

Note that these three are third cousins to each other. This means that because Gladys is in this TG, the DNA that Emily and Paul Share in this TG is not McMaster DNA (from Margaret McMaster) but Frazer DNA. Also, the TGs that are just in yellow descend from James and Violet Frazer as shown. However, as there are no matches with those in the Richard line where Violet comes from, there is more of a chance that these would be James Frazer TGs.

New TG – Chromosome 6

This TG06A is squeezed in at the beginning of Chromosome 6 before the existing TG. These TGs can be difficult to interpret. Note that Doreen is in both TGs. If Jane is in a TG, that represents the Richard Line or Violet Frazer. If she is not in the TG it implies that the TG could represent the Philip Line or James Frazer.

TG Chromosome 8

Emily seems to be joining an existing TG.

This looks to be a sliding TG. That means, that it could be a longer TG, but not all the people in the TG are in all parts of it. Emily’s TG is actually a little further along on this Chromosome and only with Emily, Paul and Vivien. Either that or Gladys and Bill are still in it, but matching at lower cMs. I know, confusing.

Unless there is a connection on other than a Frazer Line, then this TG goes back to about 1743 when we believe Archibald was born. Gladys should be on this tree also in the yellow section, but I haven’t built it out all the way yet.

Chromosome 9 – An Old and a New TG

I had TG09B in green and changed it to yellow. I added a TG09C which has the same people except for Doreen and Bill. These yellow TGs seem to come from James or Violet Frazer based on the genealogy of the people in the TGs.

Chromosome 18

Emily joins an existing TG:

A lot of people seem to have made room on this Chromosome for James or Violet Frazer. Here is a map of Chromosome 18 with 4 of my 5 mapped siblings:

Heidi (H), Joel (J) and Sharon (S) are in the TG from 35-52. Those are the positions on the map above where Sharon, Heidi and I got Frazer DNA. My brother Jonathan (F) got Hartley DNA on his paternal side in that segment. That is why he isn’t in the TG. The same is true for Lori.

A similar positioning of DNA would explain why others from the group are in or not in this TG and other TGs.

The Mystery of My Chromosome 20 Further Revealed

In my previous Blog on Emily and Melanie, I noted that they helped reveal a mystery I have had with my Chromosome 20 ever since I have been looking at my DNA. Emily and Melanie matched on Chromosome 20 where I have hundreds of other unidentified matches. Emily and Melanie were the first good matches I was able to link to a related Frazer. Now, it appears I also have a TG there.

Here is the spreadsheet I use to find TGs:

In this TG, I see Emily in blue, then Jonathan, Lori, Heidi and Joel are me and my siblings. Then there is John. John recently contacted me and I wrote a Blog about him here. I had lost John in my TG spreadsheet when Excel crashed. Now he is back in.

Here is John over in the Frazer/Stinson Line.

Mystery solved. Apparently. These results are a bit controversial. Some believe in areas where you have too many matches, it is not possible to determine a common ancestor. Others believe that it is possible. I have found at least three out of the hundreds that have a common ancestor.

Here is some more mapping of my Chromosome 20:

The green segments show large areas available for Frazer matches.

Emily and the James Line DNA

I know the Blog is a bit long, but one last topic. How does Emily match the more distantly related James Line?

Emily matches CJ (Charlotte) and Jonathan from the James Line on Chromosome 5:

This is interesting, because it looks like a TG, but it isn’t. CJ would have to match Jonathan for this to be a TG and they don’t match each other. This could mean one of two things:

  • One or both of the matches is a false match or
  • Emily may match one person on her maternal side and one on her paternal side. It happens. This is a big reason why TGs are used.

Emily matches Beverly on Chromosome 19:

Summary and Conclusions

  • There was one thing that I did not find. I hoped to find some triangulation with Richard, my family, Emily and Paul. That would have indicated a common Philip line ancestor. The matches between Richard, Paul, my family and Emily seemed pretty well spread out which made triangulation not possible.
  • One of my favorite photos from Ballindoon has been identified making it much more meaningful.
  • Emily added a third DNA branch to the George Frazer/Margaret McMaster Line. This branch has been pretty lonely for the last 4-1/2 years.
  • Emily’s matches with others in the Archibald Line of the Frazer Project did add evidence to past work on the Frazer DNA Project. For example, her matches with the Philip and Richard Frazer branches confirm the people that are in those branches.
  • Emily’s triangulation with my family and John, who recently joined the Frazer DNA group,  verified a common ancestor on Chromosome 20. That is an area in my family where we have hundreds of matches.

Aunt Esther’s Top DNA Match at MyHeritage: Wallace

Lately, I have been uploading DNA kits that I manage to MyHeritage. One of those kits was for my wife’s great Aunt Esther. Esther’s parents were both from Harbour Buffett, Newfoundland. I was surprised to see that her match, Wallace, had a grandparent with the Upshall surname.

Here is one of my favorites photos of Harbour Buffett. It looks quite tranquil.

A Little Upshall Genealogy

As genetic genealogy looks at how the DNA and the genealogy match up, I tend to draw simple trees with just the descendants in them that have tested their DNA. This is what I have before adding Wallace:

This tree is based on genealogy, conjecture and DNA. Karen and Ruby were added based on the DNA. Based on their DNA testing, we supposed that Frederick Nelson had a younger daughter named Jessie Kate. This still needs to be proved by genealogy. Also the Peter at the top has not been proven.

Here is Wallace’s paternal tree at MyHeritage:

Wallace’s paternal grandmother is listed as Elizabeth Upshall. That name sounded familiar. I had researched her before. Wallace had the marriage date and place for Elizabeth. The Cambridge, MA marriage record showed that Elizabeth’s parents were Henry and Kate. The marriage record’s stated birthplace for Elizabeth was a bit inaccurate –  St. John’s, Newfoundland. But close enough.

Here is how Wallace fits in on the Henry Upshall Line:


Wallace is Esther’s 1st cousin once removed. I also added Catherine Dicks to the top. She is important as I run a Dicks DNA Project. There are many Dicks descendants around that have had their DNA tested. About half of the DNA that Wallace and Esther share is Upshall and about half is Dicks. In addition, I have tied in the Crann family to the Dicks family by DNA. By comparing Wallace to other DNA testers, I should be able to further confirm this relationship. For example, at MyHeritage, Richard shows as a common DNA match between Wallace and Esther. I wrote a Blog about Richard’s connection to the Crann family here.

Looking at Wallace’s DNA

Here is how Wallace matches Esther looking at the MyHeritage Chromosome Browser:

In general, the larger matches indicate more recent ancestors. The smaller matches indicate more ancient ancestors. However, there are exceptions to that rule.

Wallace and DNA Triangulation

MyHeritage has a new feature that shows when people triangulate. Triangulation happens when three or more people match each other on same part of their DNA. I can check for triangulation for Esther, her two half nieces Joan and Elaine and Wallace as they are all at MyHeritage. When triangulation occurs, it is a strong indication of a common ancestor.

This is how Esther matches Joan in Red, Elaine in Orange and Wallace in Yellow:

The boxed areas at Chromosome 1 and 13 are the areas of triangulation. This feature works better when comparing only three people as there is more of a chance of triangulating.

Here is how Esther triangulates with Joan and Wallace:

This added triangulation Groups (TGs) on Chromosomes 3 and 9. Also the TG on Chromosome 13 is larger.

When I take out Joan and add Elaine, I get these TGs:

These TGs are more helpful for people when they are unsure if they have a certain ancestor. In this case, we already know that the common ancestors are Henry Upshall and Catherine Dicks. However, if Wallace uploads his DNA results to, we will be able to test others there to see if they triangulate. This will be helpful both for those with Upshall ancestry and with Dicks ancestry (and perhaps other ancestries).

Summary and Conclusions

  • I’ve gone over some of the basic matches between Wallace, Esther and Esther’s two half nieces Joan and Elaine.
  • The DNA agrees with the paper trail that shows that Wallace and Esther both descend from Henry Upshall and Catherine Dicks of Harbour Buffet, Newfoundland
  • There may be more analysis that is possible at MyHeritage, but the best DNA analysis can be done if Wallace uploads his results to There, he would find matches with many Upshall and Dicks descendants – as well as many others.



Emily and Melanie’s Frazer DNA from Ballindoon

Emily and Melanie are important matches for me at MyHeritage. From their family tree there, they show that they descend from George William Frazer and Margaret McMaster – the same as I do. Several years ago, I tested the DNA of my 2nd cousin once removed Paul who also descends from the same couple. I have also tested my siblings. Now we have another branch from George and Margaret. From what I can tell, Emily and Melanie are here:

They descend from Violet Frances Frazer born 1872 in Ballindoon. Violet Frances is an interesting name. This name could be from her two grandparents. Her dad’s mom was Violet Frazer (yes, a cousin to her dad’s dad from what I can tell). Violet’s mother’s mom was Fanny or Frances McMaster – also a cousin to her mom’s dad. Yikes.

It looks like Melanie has this photo which I got from a visit to Ballindoon:

Here is what I have from my web page.

    •     25.  i.   JAMES ARCHIBALD6 was born on 8 Jan 1867 at Ballindoon, Parish Killadoon, Co. Sligo. He married Margaret Clark, daughter of Thomas Clarke and Jane Spratt, on 5 Oct 1892 at Boston, MA. He married Maud Alice Rayne, daughter of George Rayne and Margaret Ross, on 28 Jun 1905 at Medford, MA. He died on 2 Apr 1940 at 26 Montrose Street, Boston, at age 73. He was buried on 4 Apr 1940 at Forest Hills Cemetery.
    •     26.  ii.   WILLIAM was born on 14 Mar 1868 at Sligo, Ireland. He married Amanda Skoog, daughter of John O. Skoog and Elsa Benson, on 29 Nov 1910 at Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts. He was buried on 13 Apr 1950 at Kilmactranny Parish, Sligo, Ireland.
    •       x.   GEORGE RUSSELL was born on 15 Apr 1870 at Sligo, Ireland. He was baptized on 26 Jun 1870 at Kilmactranny Church, Sligo, Ireland.
    •     29.  v.   VIOLET FRANCES was born on 14 Jul 1872 at Sligo, Ireland. She married James Fairbanks.
    •     28.  iv.   RICHARD was born circa 1875 at Ireland. He married Elizabeth Lenore Rice, daughter of Ivory Fogg Rice and Mary McCartee, on 12 May 1902 at Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
    •     30.  vi.   HUBERT ALEXANDER was born on 6 Jan 1878 at Ireland. He married Annie McKinnon, daughter of Daniel McKinnon and Christine McRury, on 5 Jun 1917 at Medford, Massachusetts. He died on 12 Dec 1954 at Quincy at age 76. He was buried on 14 Dec 1954 at Mount Wollaston Cemetery.
    •     27.  iii.   GEORGE was baptized on 12 Oct 1879 at Kilmactranny Church, Sligo, Ireland. He married Annie Craig. He died at Derrycashel. He was buried on 29 Jul 1960 at Kilbryan church yard, Roscommon, Ireland.
    •     32.  ix.   JOHN EDWARD was born in Mar 1882 at Ireland. He married Waitie Covell. He married Margaret Lillie McMaster, daughter of Hubert McMaster and Eliza Neary, on 13 Dec 1917 at Kilmactranny Church of Ireland, Sligo, Ireland. He died on 27 Mar 1970 at Marlboro, Massachusetts. He was buried on 30 Mar 1970 at Maplewood Cemetery, Marlboro.
    •     31.  viii.   DAVID was born on 8 May 1884 at Ireland. He married Annie E. Gray. He died on 27 May 1953 at 8 Howe St., Milton, at age 69. He was buried on 29 May 1953 at Forest Hills.
    •       vii.   SUSAN JANE was born in 1887 at Ballindoon, Sligo, Ireland. She married Edward Crawford on 4 Apr 1918 at Kilimactranny Church, Sligo, Ireland; Moved to Northern Ireland.

For some reason, my web page list of siblings was all out-of-order. George Russel must have died young. That leaves nine children. My great-grandfather James was in Boston in 1887. That leaves eight. Other than the father and the mother I am having trouble figuring out who is who.

Here is a photo from Boston:

  • My grandfather is seated on the left – James Archibald
  • That must be William seat on the right. He married in Boston and moved back to Ireland.
  • The man standing in the middle appears to be the oldest of the three in the back row. That could make him Richard b. 1875
  • The man of the right could be Hubert Alexander b 1878. He would be Paul’s grandfather.
  • I don’t think George ever came to the US

That still leaves a bit of confusion. One problem is that my web page has John Edward born March 1882. However, the Ireland Census shows him born about 1889:


Assuming the top photo had the youngest boys and the two girls that would make this a possibility:

I believe I have George and Hubert reversed. If I am right, that would put this photo at about 1896 or 1897. Violet married about 4 years later at Kilmactranny Parish Church:

Just to confuse things, here is another photo that I rescanned today. This was apparently taken at a later date.

Emily’s DNA

By the chart at the top of the Blog, Emily and I should be 2nd cousins once removed. MyHeritage predicts that we would be 3rd or 4th cousins, so we must share less DNA than average. Here is how my match looks with Emily.

All my matches are on Chromosomes 17-20. This represents DNA that came down to both Emily and me from George Frazer and Margaret McMaster. Here is what it looks like when I add these segments to my Chromosome map:

My Frazer matches are on my paternal side which is at the top of each chromosome. The matches representing George Frazer and Margaret McMaster are in a teal color.

The Mystery of Chromosome 20

When I first looked at my DNA matches, I was frustrated at the number of matches on my Chromolsome 20. There was a utility at the time that would give a graphic representation of your matches.

The light blue represented my Chromsome 20 matches. Even though Chromosome 20 is one of the smallest chromosome, I had most of my matches there. In January 2016, I wrote a Blog about this. At the time, I was learning how to do Visual Phasing. That is figuring out which grandparent you got your DNA from on each chromosome. I was surprised to find out that these matches were through my Frazer grandparent line. That didn’t mean that all the matches were Frazers, but they did in my case go through my Frazer grandmother. For example, they may be McMaster, Clarke, Spratt or other unknown matches to some of my grandmother’s ancestors.

Emily and Melanie Seem to Be the Key

One of my largest matches with Emily was on Chromosome 20. My only match with Melanie was on Chromosome 20. Finally,  after over two years, I have an actual match that I connect genealogically to my family.

Emily’s Match with Paul

I have had four of my siblings tested for DNA, but I have not uploaded their results to MyHeritage. They are all at Gedmatch where I have done a lot of work on analyzing Frazer DNA. I have, however, uploaded my cousin Paul’s DNA to MyHeritage.

Here is how MyHeritage shows the predicted relationship between Emily and Paul based on DNA:

Paul and Emily are actually 2nd cousins, so that would be right in the middle of what MyHeritage predicted. Here is how Emily and Paul match on a chromosome browser:

This is DNA that Emily and Paul share originating from George Frazer and Margaret McMaster. So about half of this DNA on average would be from each great grandparent.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I was glad to find two Frazer relatives that had their DNA tested.
  • These relatives descend from the younger sister of my great-grandfather. Her name was Susan Frances Frazer. I believe I have identified her in a photo.
  • Although my DNA match levels were less than average for Emily and Melanie, I was able to place them in a huge group of matches that has previously had no identified matches.
  • If Emily and Melanie upload their DNA results to Gedmatch, I will be able to add them to the Frazer DNA Project Group for further comparison with that group
  • I have uploaded more of my kits to MyHeritage in the meantime to see how they match with Emily and Melanie

My New Match with Anita from Latvia

There has been some buzz recently on the genetic genealogy Facebook Pages about MyHeritage and how useful it is becoming. Not too long after uploading my DNA to MyHeritage, a new match, Anita, showed up as my top match. This was MyHeritage’s estimate as to our relationship:

I guessed that Anita was related on my mother’s side as my mom’s dad grew up in Latvia. I wrote to Anita and she kindly and warmly wrote back. Anita lives in Latvia, so she is my first Rathfelder relative living in Latvia that I have a DNA match with.

A Rathfelder DNA Testing Tree

I have had another Rathfelder descendant tested, Catherine. She is even more closely related to Anita. Here are some Rathfelder descendants that have tested.

The Old Rathfelder DNA Testing Tree

This is the tree I have been working with:

Astrid is related, but more distantly than my second cousin Catherine, my mom, my siblings and two 1st cousins. I’ll use a different method to add Anita to the tree:

This chart gives the relationships between each DNA-tested Rathfelder descendant. I am a 2nd cousin once removed to Anita. MyHeritage had me as first cousin twice removed to 2nd cousin once removed by the DNA. They were right.

The Leo Rathfelder’s Line

Anita’s great-grandfather was Leo Rathfelder. Here is my web page on that Line:

Anita descends from Vera. It will be interesting to hear what that part of the family has been up to in Latvia since 1944.

I had asked Anita to upload her results to and she went along with my request. Here is how we match there:

Gedmatch has an estimated number of generations to our MRCA as 3.1. The MRCA is our Most recent common ancestors, Johann Heinrich Rathfelder and Maria Gangnus. I am three generations away from this couple and Anita is four, so that is an average of 3.5 generations away. This means that Anita and I share more than the average DNA for our 2nd cousin once removed relationship. Also I note that quite a few SNPs were used in comparison which is good. The test at MyHeritage is apparently much better than the one at 23andme which does not currently meet the threshold for normal sharing.

The Kitty Munson Chromosome Mapper

One fun thing to do with DNA is mapping. Kitty Munson has an on-line utility to map your DNA. All the DNA I have above will be mapped to Heinrich Rathfelder and Maria Gangnus. Right now my map looks like this:


Heinrich and Maria are a sort of orange color on the maternal (bottom) side of my chromosomes. Anita should make a good contribution to this map. Previously, Catherine’s matches with me contributed to this DNA from these two great grandparents. Catherine has a large match with me on Chromosome 18, so Anita will not add anything there, but she will on other chromosomes.

Here is the new map with my matches to Anita added:

Anita added a lot of DNA to my Chromosome map on Chromosomes 3, 11, 14, 15. 16, and 19.

Anita and the X Chromosome

The X Chromosome is more of a female thing than a male one. I say this because woman have two X Chromosomes and men have one. This is the X Chromosome DNA match that Anita and my mom share:

Gangnus DNA

The DNA that Anita and my mother share is from the Gangnus side. How do I know that? Here is the paternal side of my mother’s DNA inheritance chart:

The maternal side (not shown) does not apply to Anita. My mom inherits X Chromosome DNA from the blue and pink areas but none from the white areas. This shows that at the level that my mom and Anita match each other, the DNA that they share has to be on the Gangnus side. That is because my mother’s father Alexander didn’t get any DNA from his father. He only got a full dose of DNA from his mother Marie Gangnus that he sent down to my mom.

Anita’s X Chromosome DNA inheritance pathway is a bit longer:

Anita got a full dose also of her grandmother Vera Rathfelder’s  X Chromosome from her dad. However, I think that Vera’s X Chromosome would have been a combination of her father and mother’s X Chromosome.

I have mapped out the X Chromosome for myself and four of my siblings:

The Rathfelder part is in green. Lentz is my mother’s mother’s side. That was the part I didn’t show on the bottom side of her X Chromosome inheritance chart. As I mentioned above, all the Rathfelder DNA on the X Chromosome came from Maria Gagnus, so it could just as well say Gagnus instead of Rathfelder. I am on the J bar. I got Lentz DNA from 100 to 140. My mom matches Anita from 114 to 144. That means that I should match Anita from 110 to 114 as my green Rathfelder/Gangnus X Chromosome inheritance starts at 110. When I check gedmatch for an X match with Anita, at first I didn’t get a match. That is because gedmatch sets the SNP level for matching higher than  the other chromosomes. When I lower the SNP level, I get this match with Anita on the X Chromosome:


Anita and Catherine’s Mystery X Chromosome Match

At first, I thought that I had stumped myself with this one, but I figured it out. Anita’s largest X Chromosome match is with her 1st cousin once removed Catherine:

I confused myself by the way I drew the DNA inheritance map:

Here it looks like the X Chromosome is traveling from Leo to Catherine’s father which is impossible. After posting a question to the ISOGG Facebook Page, I figured it out. Obviously Leo had a wife, Lidia Vasiljeva. This DNA was from her. I was focused on the Rathfelder side and forgot the Vasiljeva side that I’m totally unrelated to. So if Anita and Catherine are ever sitting around pondering their X Chromosome match with each other, they will now know that their match is a Vasiljeva match. Mystery solved.

Here is Marie (Maria?) Gangnus.

Other matches with Anita are from Marie Gangnus or her Rathfelder husband and we can’t identify which. Matches with Anita and my family on the X Chromosome would be from Marie’s DNA.

Other DNA Matches

This could be a topic for further research. Gedmatch has a way to look for people that match two other people. In this case, I’ll choose my mom and Anita. When I put these two names into the Gedmatch Utility, I came up with a short list including myself and my siblings.

One prominent DNA match was David. He matched my mom and Anita. This chromosome browser is from the perspective of my mom:

On Chromosome 14, my mom matches #1 Anita, #2 Catherine and #3 David. David tested at Family Tree DNA, so I’ll check there. Unfortunately David has no tree posted at either FTDNA or Gedmatch, so I may write to say hi.

Anita and Astrid

I’m a bit puzzled by Astrid. I had written a few Blogs about her previously. The most recent Blog is here. It seems like the DNA is telling me that Astrid should be more closely related than she is.

This table gives different matches to Astrid. If I have the tree right, then all these people seem to be off by about one generation. At the time I wrote the previous Blog on Astrid’s ancestors, I had thought that the higher matches had something to do with her being related to the Gangnus family also.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I was pleasantly surprised to find Anita through DNA matching. I would like to find out more about her family.
  • I was able to match much more of my Rathfelder/Gangnus DNA thanks to Anita
  • X Chromosome matches that Anita and my family and cousins share is really Gangnus DNA coming through the Rathfelder male line.
  • It is possible that this DNA match with Anita will make it easier to find other Rathfelder relatives.
  • The Rathfelder family has been separated for over 100 years between Latvia, England, and the United State (and perhaps other places). Now thanks to DNA matches and the internet, connections are being made again.