Spotlight on Frazer DNA Testers: Bill the Universal Donor

I’d like to spotlight each Frazer descendant that has donated DNA to the Project, but I don’t know if I’ll get around to everyone. I’ll start with Bill from Canada.

My blood type is O positive and I get a lot of calls from the Red Cross to donate blood. However, O negative blood type is called the universal donor. I’m calling Bill the Universal Donor in our Frazer DNA Project because he has so many Frazer ancestors. When I first asked Bill to have his DNA tested, I thought it would work well because I had that we shared 2 Frazer 3rd great grandparents. These were James Frazer and Violet Frazer. I had that they were married first cousins. James Frazer and Violet Frazer are the most recent common ancestors (MRCAs) between Bill and me. Most related people only share one MRCA with the same surname. The MRCA is what we are trying to confirm by DNA.

Bill’s Genealogy

When I first contacted Bill, it was before he knew of the connection to our North Roscommon Frazers. After trying to piece things together, I became convinced that his ancestors fit in with the genealogy that I had put together. Actually, at the time, I wasn’t 100% convinced myself, but I believe if you are 80% sure, that is pretty good. Bill was understandably cautious as I would be if someone contacted me and told me I fit into their family history. After going back and forth a few times, he apparently was convinced. Since then, I’ve found other links between his ancestors and North Roscommon that make everything fit in.

In the Archibald Frazer portion of the Frazer DNA Project, we are looking at 3 brothers of Archibald (b. about 1743). These are Philip, Richard and another Archibald. Actually, there was another son, John, but we haven’t been looking at him as he’s been under the radar.

Archibald Line Chart

This may be difficult to see, but Archibald is at the top. Then there is Philip, Richard and Archibald under him. Bill’s lines are in yellow. However, Bill is also descended from James, son of Philip, who married his first cousin Violet Frazer. That means that Bill descends from 3 Frazer brothers. That means he is also related to everyone in the Archibald portion of the project. Here are those testers and how they are related to Bill:

  • Paul: (awaiting results) 4C (4th cousin) twice (via James and Violet Frazer)
  • Me 4C twice (via James and Violet Frazer) just like Paul
  • David: 4C, 1R via Richard Frazer
  • Jane: 4C, 1R via Richard Frazer and Archibald Frazer
  • Michael: 4C, 1R twice through Richard and Archibald Frazer
  • Ros: 5c via Archibald Frazer/Ann Stinson
  • Cathy: 4C, 1R via Archibald Frazer/Ann Stinson
  • Doug: 5c via Archibald Frazer/Ann Stinson

I hope you see how many connections there are. There are actually more connections, because for each Frazer, there is another spouse (except for James and Violet Frazer who are already counted). Including spouses, here are the numbers of MRCAs:

  • Paul: 2
  • Me: 2 (However, my 2 sisters have been tested also, so this increases the chance of matches)
  • David: 2 (though we don’t know some of the Frazer spouses’ MRCA names)
  • Jane: 4
  • Michael: 4
  • Ros: 2
  • Cathy: 2
  • Doug: 2

This adds up to 22 connections or MRCAs just from Bill if I have it right (not counting Paul or Pat yet)! Now not all of these will result in a good DNA match. Around 50% of 4th cousins should result in a match. We, as Archibald Line DNA Testers, are on average at about the level of 4th cousin once removed, so we should be getting a bit less than half of the matches coming through to Bill. This is offset by all the Frazer ancestors Bill has. Here is a chart that puts it all together and helps it all make sense (at least to me).

Bill's Matches

This explains how everyone is related to Bill on the Archibald side of the Project. When looking at this chart consider also this simple Family Tree DNA Chart:

FTDNA Chances of Finding a Match

For my family, out of at total of 6 possible MRCAs, there were 3 DNA matches. Although, this seemed a little disappointing to me at first, this is about average or  for 4th cousins. The fact that 2 out of 3 of me and my sisters matched Bill at all would meet the >50% criteria. Jane hit the jackpot. She is at the same relationship level as David, but has more possible connections. Still, one would guess about 2 DNA matches. By the way, Jane specializes in statistics, so it figures she should get the best statistics here! She had 5 matches. Everyone else seems to be in line with the statistics with the exception of Cathy. She went 2 for 2 or at least one more match than expected.

You Think This Is Confusing Now?

Just wait. We have more tests about to be revealed. My second cousin Paul should have test results in a few weeks. Bill has a second cousin Pat with results coming out after Paul’s. This should more than double our current DNA matches. When Bill first asked me about Pat, I said ‘sure’ based on the number of matches Bill already had. Now I know why he has so many DNA matches. Bill and Pat’s 3rd great grandparents were Richard Frazer b. 1830 and Ellen Amelia Hassard. They were second cousins as they had the same great grandparents. Ellen’s mother was a Frazer. We’ll worry about that when we see Pat’s DNA test results. Here is a double dose of Frazers: Richard Frazer and Ellen Hassard (daughter of Ann Frazer):


The James Line

I don’t like to leave the James Line out. Bill matches Jonathan, Janet, and Joanna. These are 3 siblings from the James Line. In addition, he matches Carol. Carol’s ancestor made his way to Sacramento, CA at some point and had a lumber business there. According to Joanna, she and Carol share Joanna’s 2nd great grandfather. I have that they are 3rd cousins, twice removed. Joanna has been pondering how Bill, Carol, and her family could be related.

These James Line matches do not constitute a triangulation group. If they did, it would show that those in the group had the same ancestors. Here, Bill matches Carol on Chromosome #4. He matches Joanna, Jonathan and Janet on Chromosome #6. Carol matches Jonathan on Chromosome #7 and she matches Jonathan’s 2 sisters on Chromosome #11. This could mean a common set of ancestors, or it could show that Bill matches Carol in a different way (or from a different line) than he matches Joanna and siblings.

Any Questions?

  • Bill is in 2 Triangulation Groups (TGs). These both seem to point to Richard Frazer b. about 1777 and his unknown spouse. If this is the case, then which TG is for which spouse?
  • The 2 TGs as mentioned are for the family of Richard Frazer. His daughter was Violet Frazer, Bill’s and my Most Recent Common Ancestor. I had that she married James Frazer, her 1st cousin. James would also be an MRCA of Bill and myself. If this is the case, where are the DNA matches for these 2? Did this DNA get lost? After all, Bill and I are 4th cousins which means we have a little more than a 50% of having matching DNA. This may be answered once Paul’s and Pat’s DNA results come in. Another possibility is that I was off on my genealogy.
  • Along with the fewer than expected connection between Bill and my family, my family had more than expected with Michael. I’m not sure if this is due to the contrary spirit of DNA or if this is saying something there is something in our genealogical connections that we haven’t yet found.

What did we learn about Bill’s matches?

  • By looking at all the 22 possible relationships (or MRCAs between Bill and the Archibald Line DNA Testers), we see how Bill had 14 DNA matches. This is not counting his James Line DNA matches.
  • Even though Bill and I match a common pair of Frazer ancestors in 2 different ways, it appears that I only have 2 Most Recent Common Ancestors with Bill. Those 2 happen to be married first cousins. I had to look at the colored chart a lot to figure this out.
  • Assuming I did it right, my chart showing MRCAs and relationship levels seems to compare well with the number of DNA matches everyone in the Archibald side of the project has with Bill.

Bill has gone from not knowing he was one or our Frazers to playing a large part in contributing to the DNA evidence of the Frazer Genealogy. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next batch of tests show.



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