A New Frazer TG and a New Gedmatch Tool

In this blog I’d like to look at a new Frazer Triangulation Group (TG) that one of the Frazer DNA Project’s testers tipped me off to. (Am I OK ending a sentence in a preposition?) Then I’d like to take a first look at a Gedmatch tool called Traceability.

A Dual Line Multi-Continental Triangulation Group

I can tell that Joanna from the Frazer DNA Project has been reading my blogs. In a recent blog I highlighted Michael’s DNA. He is another member of the project. Joanna knew that her sister Janet also matched Michael, so she ran a Gedmatch utility that finds others that match both Janet and Michael. She came up with at least 3 new matches. I took a look and noticed that one of her ‘new’ matches was actually one of our project’s new testers that I mentioned in a recent blog. (I won’t address the other 2 new matches in this blog as they matched on a different Chromosome.)

Here is what Joanna’s sister’s Chromosome 7 DNA matches looked like:

Janet's Chr 7 Matches

#1 is Jean’s mom. Jean is from Australia and she and her mom are the newest Frazer DNA Project testers. #2 is the match with Michael. This looked like a prime candidate for a Triangulation Group. All that is needed for a TG is for Jean’s mom to match Michael to get our dual line multi-continental TG. The dual line means that Janet is from the James Line of our project and Michael and Jean’s mom descend from the Archibald Branch of the Frazer DNA Project. I suppose that multi-continental is a little over-hyped. Janet and Michael are from England and Jean’s family is from Australia. Here is the match between Jean’s mom and Michael:

Michael and Jean's Mom

The Start Location on Chromosome 7 where Michael and Jean match is the exact same Start Location where Janet and Michael matched (start of the blue segment above).

We Have a TG: Who Are the Common Ancestors?

The theory behind TGs is that when is found, it should represent the DNA from a common ancestor – or from a common ancestral couple. The problem is, who is the common ancestor? The parents of the Archibald and James Frazer Lines is always a possibility. If we use that first known Frazer set of parents as a common ancestor, Janet is a 6th cousin once removed to Michael and Jean’s mom. This seems like a long way for autosomal DNA to be valid. However, the Ancestry DNA Shared Ancestor Hints go all the way up to 8th cousins, so maybe a 6th cousin once removed or a 7th cousin is not too far off. Also a real life person should be able to do better than Ancestry’s computers which blindly mush together Ancestry Trees and DNA results. If anyone would like to find the common ancestor between Janet, Michael and Jean’s mom, you will get the Frazer DNA Project highest honors!

Traceability: the New Gedmatch Tool

The Traceability tool is a bit difficult to find at Gedmatch as it is not shown on the front page of Gedmatch. After multiple kits are chosen for comparison, it shows up as an option to choose.

Traceability Option

The Traceabililty option is the 3rd from the bottom.

I’ll start with a simple example. I’ll use the same Janet, Michael and Jean’s mom (VO) that I mentioned above. The first part of the fairly new Gedmatch Traceability report starts with a estimate of how many generations the matches’ common ancestors could be just based on the DNA matches. Note that these numbers especially between Janet and V.O or Michael would be very low if we use the Early 1700’s Frazer couple. The actual generations to that couple would be more like 7 or 8.

Generations Estimate
F383447 A541738 A007097
F383447 Janet 4.9 6.2
A541738 *V.O. 4.9 4.4
A007097 Michael 6.2 4.4

Next is the graphic and the where the matches were:

Chr 7 TG Traceability

The dark triangle is our TG. Michael is at the top left, Jean’s mom is at the top right, and Janet is at the base. Janet’s matches with Michael and VO are in blue. The note says that Dark gray line represent more than one segment. That would be the match between Michael and VO on Chromosomes 1 and 7 that I mentioned earlier. Those matches are not spelled out as it would make things too messy, apparently. I guess the utility was not made for so few matches as it cut off a few numbers.

Let’s Kick Up Traceability a Notch

The next example I’ll use will be the line of Richard Frazer born about 1777. In that line, we have the Frazer Project DNA testers Michael, second cousins Bill and Pat, my second cousin once removed Paul and myself and my 2 sisters. In addition, we have added to that group, based on triangulation, Jane who was already in the group from a different line and David who was not previously in this group. Unfortunately, this example may not be that simple, as all except David appear to be in multiple Frazer lines. I’ll start first with Michael, Bill, Pat, Paul and my family:

Generation Estimate Richard Line

This shows that we all match each other to varying degrees based on the DNA. The exception is that Patricia does not show a match with Heidi nor with Paul. [However, in reality she does match us as she is related to Bill.]

Richard Line Traceability

Now our dark triangle has grown to have 7 sides. This shows in a simple way, the 2 Richard Line TGs. One is on Chromosome 12 (in blue) and one is on Chromosome 1 (in green). Actually, the Chromosome 12 TG is not a true TG as it includes 2 siblings, but once we add Jane and David back in, it will be a true TG. Right now TG 12 includes Bill, myself (Joel) and my sister Sharon. TG 1 includes Bill, Michael and Paul. From previous experience, I know that my sister Heidi is also in that TG. She matches Bill, Michael and Paul, but because she matches on more than one segment, her Chromosome 1 matches with them are not highlighted. Her matches are therefore shown in dark gray.

This chart also sorts us by family. My sisters Sharon and Heidi are at the top and I am to the lower right of them. Paul, my second Frazer cousin once removed is to the lower left of my sisters. We are all above the red line and all descended from George Frazer b. about 1838.

Richard Line Globe w 2 lines

Below the red line is Michael, Bill and Patricia. They are all descended from George’s grandfather Richard Frazer b. about 1777.

Adding Jane and David to the Richard Line Traceability

Now we are up to 9 people. The blue TG has gotten quite large.

Richard Traceability Sphere

Richard Line Traceability Table

Jane (A974138) is shown now in the Chromosome 1 TG. She is also in the Chromosome 12 TG, but as she matches in more than one segment, that fact isn’t perfectly clear.

All the Frazers!

Next let’s try all the testers. I’ll have to leave some testers out as the Traceability seems to only work on up to 20 people. I’ll take myself out. Also Joanna and any children of testers. Also I’ll take out Patricia as her cousin Bill has some good matches.

Frazer Generational

In general, the Archibald Line is first, up to Janet. However Doug looks like he is with the James line as he is last. Actually, his only match is with the Archibald Line (Jane). So the Archibald Line is mostly top left and the James Line is bottom right:

Frazer Generational 2 Lines

I have 3 Frazer Lines. One I have not identified, but I expect that it is a James Frazer Line. That may be why it appears that my family and Paul are pulling part of Joanna’s family into the James Line section.

Here are the Frazer Global matches:

Frazer Globe

Frazers Around the Globe

We’ll give the James Line the Western Hemisphere and the Archibald Line will take the Eastern Hemisphere:

Frazer Globe w 2 Lines

Janet and Michael are on either side of the dividing line on the top right. Clyde (CS) and Doug are on either side of the James Line/Archibald Line divide. This globe shows matches within one’s line and outside of one’s line. For example, Bonnie (A154993) shows matches with everyone on the James Line except for Jonathan and Janet on top of the globe. In addition she matches the 1st four Archibald Line testers on the bottom of the globe (Doug, Bill, Heidi, and Sharon).

Bugs in the Traceability?

I noticed that in the Generations Estimate above, Doug had one match. On my own spreadsheet, he had 3 matches. However, on the ‘globe’ above, he has 7, so there seems to be a glitch in the system. Some of his matches I can’t reproduce at Gedmatch using a ‘one to one’ query. That’s too bad, because the results were getting interesting. Perhaps I overloaded it with too many names. I tried it again with the same names and Kit numbers and got this:

Frazer Globe 2

This globe had more realistic matches, at least based on Doug’s results. Doug had 3 Project matches and here Doug (F437682) has 3 matches. The only problem is, that he appears to be placed on the James side. Perhaps the computer thought he fit better there. He does show the 2 matches to the Archibald side in yellow above so he clearly belongs there. This would be the TG he is in on Chromosome 4.

Now let’s see if we can find Joanna’s TG that we mentioned in first part of the blog. That TG was with Janet, Jean’s mom, and Michael. I’ll highlight the top right part of the globe where they are.

Janet's TG on globe

The dividing line between the James Line and the Archibald Line goes between Janet and Jean’s mom. There are 3 lines forming a triangle between the 3 people. Between Janet and Jean’s mom there is a white line. On that line it says C7 0M-8M which is the Chromosome number and the position of the match. There is a longer line between Janet and Michael. Their match is also shown as C7 4M-8M. Then, to complete the triangle, there is a dark gray line between Jean’s mom and Michael. Dark gray is good because it means there is more than one DNA segment in the match. However, they are a little more difficult to see. That dark gray line finishes the triangle of the TG.

Where Are You On the Frazer Globe?

Frazer Globe with names

The above Frazer Globe is a good summary of the entire autosomal portion of the Frazer DNA project in one image. The matches going across from the James Line side in yellow to the Archibald Line side in red are the more distant matches. The closer matches are along the outside of the circle – especially where there are many lines (indicating matches).  In red, the Archibald Line testers seem to fit neatly into either a Richard Line or an Archibald Line. Finer groupings seem to be indicated also. For example, the bottom 4 testers of Bill, Heidi, Sharon, and Paul all descend from 2 Frazer cousins born in the early 1800’s. On the top of the globe in yellow, there are six James Line testers that appear to group together. Prudence is by herself which makes sense as she is on her own line. Here is the James Line by genealogy:

James Line Chart for Traceability

I didn’t need to include Carol in the globe as she is the daughter of Clyde. The groupings on the Globe other than for Prudence don’t match perfectly with the genealogy that we have. I have noted this before and the Traceability showing all the Frazers also seems to point that out. Charlotte and Mary Holly do seem to be grouped with Joanna’s family. That makes sense as that is what the genealogy shows. But in between those two groups is Bonnie and Judith who are shown on the right in the above diagram. We may have thought that they should be grouped with Beverly. Then Beverly and Clyde seem to be grouped together. They are also shown on opposite ends of our genealogy diagram. Finally Doug, who I have in yellow (but should be in Red for the Archibald Line) is on the wrong side of the globe entirely. I hope that he doesn’t mind swapping out his ancestors!

Another Look At the James Line DNA

I was going to end this blog above with the large globe of all the Frazers as the grand finale. However, I’m still curious about the James Line. I am glad I took a second look. Here is the generational estimate just based on the James Line testers:

James Line Generations

It looks like the Archibald Line was interfering with the James Line results. This now lines up with the genealogy chart above. Prudence is by herself but closest to Charlotte. Charlotte is in the right group with Mary Holly, Joanna’s family and Clyde (CSW). Then Beverly is where she should be with Bonnie and Judith. Those  3 are descended from Michael Frazer. The most important family groups are those that are closest to the diagonal line that goes from the top left to the bottom right indicated by dashes where I drew a red line. The matches further out from the red line may be considered secondary matches.

James Line Generations w diag line

James Line Globe

James Line Globe

I find this James Line Globe a little more confusing to look at than the Generations Estimate above. Remember that a dark gray line is multiple matches. A colored line therefore is a weaker match. Prudence is at the bottom of the globe. She is by herself in that there is no match on her left and only a weak one to her right (in blue on the outside of the globe). To the left of Prudence are 3 Michael Frazer descendants (Judith, Bonnie and Beverly). Going clockwise from Beverly there is a weaker green match to Clyde at the top left who continues the group all the way to the bottom right where Charlotte is.

The right of the red line below indicates descendants of Archibald Frazer b. 1751 and Catherine Peyton. This couple had another Archibald. All those to the right of the red line except Prudence are believed to be descended from him. Prudence is descended from Edward Frazer b. 1803. He married Mary Kirkwood.

James Line Globe Mich Arch

Here is how the globe looks like in numbers:

James Line Globe Chart

The chart above is similar to one I keep for Frazer DNA matches. However, the one I have for the James Line is over 100 rows long. It is also worthwhile to check matches of the same color above. These would have the potential for being Triangulation Groups. The ones above are not, but perhaps indicate stronger matches. Some of the matches of the same color are due to multiple matches in Joanna’s family to other James Line testers.


  • Joanna has pointed out a new TG without knowing it. In that email she wrote to me, “Oh – how I wish I understood what I’m looking at!!” I quote her because I believe that we all feel the same way looking at these DNA results. I have found that blogging has helped me to come to some understanding of what I’m looking at.
  • Although a DNA TG was found, it is not always easy to find the corresponding set of common ancestors. This is especially true as the TG included both relatively distant from each other Frazer Lines. This increases the number of ancestors known and unknown that could be the common ancestors indicated by the TG.
  • The traceability tool is good for visualizing the DNA match results. It needs to be used with caution. As the math teacher said, “check your work”. My initial foray resulted in some false matches for Doug that could not be replicated. These false matches went away when I tried re-ran the Traceability Report.
  • The first look at all the Frazers seemed to indicate James Line groupings that didn’t mesh with the paperwork genealogy that has been done to date. Isolating the James Line seemed to correct those groupings and produced results that matches well with the testers’ genealogical research. Yay!


Michael’s DNA Contribution to the Frazer Project

[Note: I originally wrote the first part of this blog in October 2015 but did not publish it.]

In this Blog, I thought it’d be a good idea to spotlight someone who has contributed to the Frazer DNA Project. Michael is from England and is one of the people who has done quite a bit of research on the genealogy of the Frazers in Ireland – specifically the area around Northern Roscommon where where our Frazers came from. He got me to update the Frazer Web pages with a lot of his input which is always a work in process – as is all my other web pages. So he didn’t mind it when I asked him to take a DNA test.

Michael at AncestryDNA

Michael took his test at AncestryDNA which is a good choice, because they have good Ancestry trees and 1,000,000 customers taking the DNA test to compare results. They don’t have the greatest tools you can use yourself, or specific information to view on your results, but you can get around that by uploading to gedmatch and/or Family Tree DNA (FTDNA).

DNA Matches Michael

Here Ancestry shows that Michael has 3 Shared Ancestor Hints. This is where Ancestry sees that there is a DNA match and also an ancestor in common between the 2 DNA matching ancestor trees. This is something that we were already looking for in Frazer project, so it was no surprise, but it can be helpful in cases where you are getting matches that you were not already expecting. Turns out these 3 Shared Ancestor Hints are my 2 sisters and me.

It All Averages Out?

When I click on the Shared Ancestor Hints I see my older sister Heidi as a 4th Cousin to Michael with a range of 4th to 6th cousin and then myself and my younger sister Sharon as distant cousins to Michael with a range of 5th to 8th cousins. Further the 3 siblings have DNA confidence ratings for our matches to Michael according to Ancestry. They are: Extremely High for Heidi; High for me, and; Good for Sharon. You may wonder why different levels of matches to Michael for 3 siblings? This is typical for DNA. That is part of the reason why it helps to have multiple tests done. I suppose I had an average match to Michael, while my sisters had higher than average and lower than average matches to him.

For comparison, Gedmatch shows the actual numbers that Ancestry doesn’t show. Here’s Heidi and Michael:

Michael and Heidi Gedmatch

Michael and me:

Michael and Joel Gedmatch

Michael and Sharon:

Michael and Sharon Gedmatch

So which answer is right? They all are. My 2 sisters and I all received different parts of our dad’s DNA which match Michael. Michael and I share more than average DNA for the distance of our relationship. Part of the reason for this is that we both had Frazer first cousins that married each other back in the early 1800’s.

AncestryDNA Shows Our Shared Ancestors

When I click on match between Michael and Heidi at the Shared Ancestor Hint, it shows this:

Shared Ancestor Hint Richard Frazer

Actually, it shows more. I didn’t include the more recent information. On the lower right, it goes down to my sister Heidi and shows her as a 4th cousin, once removed to Michael. Pretty neat, but we were able to figure this out without ancestry. Also we were able to use the actual DNA figures and triangulate the relationship which is more specific than what Ancestry does. Here’s another cool feature. See above, that Richard Frazer is Shared Ancestor Hint 1 of 2. Here is Hint 2:

Michael Ancestry Hint 2

Again, I’ve blocked out the bottom, but this shows that Michael and Heidi are now 5th cousins, once removed. Well, we knew that, but in case we had missed it, Ancestry didn’t. Now, we know that this Archibald is one generation older than Richard. And that is the way he is shown. Of course, this is just a dumb computer program with an algorithm. If you put a garbage tree into the system, you will get garbage out.

Shared AncestryDNA Matches

There is a relatively new feature at AncestryDNA called Shared Matches. When I choose the match between Michael and my sister and then choose Shared Matches up pops Jane from our Frazer Project. This means that AncestryDNA has figured out on their predicted 4th cousin or closer level, that Jane matches both Michael and Heidi by DNA. Well, we already new that and were looking at that. In fact, we already knew that Jane was in a triangulation group (TG) with Michael, me and my 2 sisters. See How I Added 2 Frazer Lines by DNA.  Also Bill is in this TG, but he didn’t test at AncestryDNA, so Ancestry wouldn’t know about him.

So why doesn’t AncestryDNA show Jane as having a shared ancestor with Michael? They show that they both have shared DNA matches. The shared ancestor has to do with the family trees. For some reason, AncestryDNA’s computer program isn’t picking up that Jane and Michael have common ancestors even though they do. Perhaps Jane’s Frazer ancestors weren’t entered in a way that Ancestry recognized.

[Note: end of October 2015 blog and start of the February 2016 blog]

I recently wrote “Mapping All My Frazer DNA” and was reminded of my sisters’ and my matches with Michael. One of my favorite ways of looking at matches is using Gedmatch’s

People who match one
or both of 2 kits

I’m usually interested in the part where someone matches 2 different people. In this case it would be between Michael and my family. I will match Michael with my 2 sisters and myself and see what shows up.

Michael and Heidi’s Matches

I have discussed the Chromosome 1 Triangulation Group (TG) before. Here it is with others that match Michael and Heidi:

Chr 1 Michael to Heidi

On the right hand side is the TG. The first 3 are Jane, Paul and Heidi of the Frazer DNA Project. This group has a common ancestor of Richard Frazer, b. 1777. The 2 groups of people below that are people that are not in the project and mostly not contacted yet. They may have the same common ancestor or one further back.

The next interesting Chromosome showing Michael’s matches in common with Heidi is #10:

Chr 10 Michael to Heidi

This also looks like a TG. Those in our Frazer DNA Project are #2 and 3 (my 2 sisters). Then Jane is in pink with a tiny match and I am in blue. Note that Jane and I don’t overlap, so could not be in a TG. Let’s take Jane’s match level way down at Gedmatch to see if she matches Sharon or Heidi, my 2 sisters. Well, I tried it and it didn’t work. Jane matches neither of my sisters on Chromosome 10. She does match me which was unexpected. However, where she matches me is on my non-Frazer side. So perhaps Michael, Jane and I match somewhere in the past on a non-Frazer line. However, the other larger matches of 1-8 are likely in a TG. One has been contacted with the name Haslett.

Finally, here is my lone 22 cM match with Michael at Chromosome 17:

Chr 17 Michael

No TG here.

Michael and Sharon’s Matches

In order to be thorough, I checked, though I expected similar results. Heidi and Michael had 26 shared matches. Michael and Sharon had only 12. All of Michael and Sharon’s shared matches were the same as Heidi’s, except for one.

Michael and Joel’s Matches

Now we are down to only 8 matches. However, Michael and I have 2 unique matches and one that only matches with my sister Sharon. One of the unique matches that Michael and I had was with Pat who is in the Frazer DNA project. It makes sense that we would both match her as the 3 of us are believed to descend from Violet Frazer b. 1803.

Michael’s Frazer Ancestry

These are 2 brothers who lived near the Northern border of County Roscommon, Ireland: Richard Frazer and Archibald Frazer. Michael descends from both lines shown in peach color. He is 2 generations below what I show below.

Richard Line

Archibald Line

Michael is in one Triangulation group for each one of these brothers. Those two TGs include just people in the Frazer DNA Project. There are additional TGs if we include outside people. In addition, Michael matches others in the Project outside of TGs that indicate his ancestry in these lines.


  • It has been interesting sharing ancestors, genealogy and now DNA with Michael
  • Most of the best DNA leads appear to be from Triangulation Groups (TGs). TGs provide some surety of where the DNA is coming from based on common ancestors of the group.
  • However, there are some individual matches that may be worth investigation also
  • AncestryDNA has worked well for Michael. He overcame the universal complaint that they don’t have a chromosome browser by uploading his results to Gedmatch.
  • I neglected to mention that Michael has uploaded his DNA results to FTDNA, so he will have matches that may not be at AncestryDNA or Gedmatch





Mapping All My Frazer DNA

Thanks to a technique pioneered by Kathy Johnston, I have been able to map my DNA to my 4 grandparents. In the process of doing this, I can see where my 2 sisters got their DNA from also. One of those 4 grandparents is my father’s mother who was a Frazer. Both her parents were born in Ireland, so that helps in finding matches. I thought that it would be interesting to look at each of the Frazer DNA Project member’s matches to my family to see where they are on my family’s DNA maps.

The larger Chromosomes are the most difficult to map, as there are more potential segments and crossovers. The segments are the chunks of DNA we got from each grandparent. The crossovers are the vertical lines between the segments where the DNA we got crosses over from one grandparent to another.

Chromosome 1

I’ll spend a little more time on Chromosome 1 as it is the first.

Chr1 Frazer

  • The colors will not be consistent to a name between chromosomes. Also the position of the my and my sister’s chromosomes may not be the same
  • S and H are my sisters Sharon and Heidi. My bar is in the middle here (J)
  • The orange in this Chromosome is Frazer and represents my Frazer grandmother.
  • The numbers in the bars represent reference people. For Frazer, my reference is usually Paul, my 2nd cousin, once removed. However, I also used Jane above in this example
  • Note that if I had not tested my sisters, my chances for matching other Frazers would be very low for Chromosome 1. I couldn’t match a Frazer for most of this Chromosome. I would only be able to match another Frazer at either end.
  • When the 3 orange Frazer segments in my family are put together, we can potentially match a Frazer for the whole length of the Chromosome – except between 186 and 205.

The Triangulation Group (TG) in Chromosome 1

I’ve pointed this out before. The TG is to the right of the Chromosome and only my sister Heidi is in this TG.

TG Chr1 Frazer

Note that the first match in the TG above between MFA and Jane goes beyond where my sister Heidi could match a Frazer (198-205). This is fine as MFA and Jane have their own crossover points that are different than those in my family.

Chromosome 2

Here I’ll start with my spreadsheet matches.

Chr 2 Frazer

What might I expect here? Note that the matches are only with my 2 sisters. My guess is that I won’t have Frazer mapped on my Chromosome in these 2 areas (196-222). Also note a match with Jonathan who is on the more distant James Line of the Frazer Project. In addition, my sister’s matches with PF overlap by a small amount her match with Jonathan. This could be significant if this forms a Triangulation Group.

Here’s my family’s Chromosome 2

Chr 2 Frazer Feb

I had a little problem with this one, but it’s mostly right. Here the colors are switched, so Frazer is now green.

  • Notice that my 2 sisters, S and H have Frazer segments from at least half way through their Chromosomes to the end. This is where the matches are (195-221).
  • Notice that between me and my sisters, we should have good coverage for Frazer ancestor matches.
  • I (J row) cannot match any Frazer where my sisters matched as I have orange Hartley DNA in the area of 195-221.

Here is Jonathan’s family mapped out. He is on the horizontal line 1. Only Jonathan can match my 2 sisters from 142 to 221. His 2 sisters are on rows 2 and 3.

Chr 2 Jonathan

Any Triangulation Group?

It would be interesting if there was a triangulation group between these 2 distant lines. So far, we have not had much luck in finding one for Jonathan’s James Line. Perhaps we have one here. This is what Gedmatch shows for Sharon’s match with Jonathan in yellow and Paul in blue:

Sharon Chr 2 Gedmatch Browser Paul Jonathan

In numbers, Gedmatch also shows where the small overlap is with these 2 segments:

Chr 2 Sharon Paul Jonathan

The overlap is shown in the last column. The yellow (Sharon’s match with Jonathan) and blue (Sharon’s match with Paul overlap from 205 to 207. Let’s see what Heidi’s matches show:

Chr 2 Heidi Paul Jonathan

Here the overlap is pretty much the same, but is a bit shorter for Heidi.

So for a Triangulation Group, Jonathan would also have to match Paul. I would expect this to be a small match, so I bring down the gedmatch numbers. This is a bit controversial, by the way, but I think I’m on fairly solid footing here. I took the limits way down to 3 cM. Here are all the results of the match between Jonathan and Paul, but I’m really interested in Chromosome 2:

Jonathan V Paul 3cM

To me, it is more than mere coincidence that Jonathan and Paul match at the exact place where they have an overlap in my 2 sisters’ matches. In all 3 cases, the match is between 205 and 207 on Chromosome 2.

Is This the First James Line Triangulation Group (TG)?

Yes and no. What I mean is that this is not strictly a James line TG but a TG between the James Line and the Archibald Line of the Frazer DNA Project. We have what we need for a Triangulation group. Paul matches Sharon and Heidi. Jonathan matches Sharon and Heidi, and Paul matches Jonathan on the small segment where he needs to match him in order for there to be a TG.

A triangulation group should represent a common ancestor. But who is the common ancestor? I can think of 3 possibilities:

  • The common ancestor of the Archibald and James Lines. This is based on the known genealogies. This common ancestor probably goes back to the late 1600’s.
  • A more recent unknown James Line ancestor. I have an additional line of Frazers that I haven’t placed that may be part of the James Line. This would be a good candidate.
  • A common collateral family. That is, a common family that married into both of our families with a common ancestor. This would be the least known option.

Chromosome 3

Chromosome 3 should be simpler. There is one Frazer match with my family. That is between Heidi and Cathy. Cathy is a a descendant of Archibald Frazer b. 1802 and Catherine Parker.

Chr 3 Heidi CR

This is a small single match, so possibly not even a valid match. Let’s look to see if  this match is in a spot where Heidi got Frazer DNA from her grandmother:

Chr 3 Heidi

It looks like this match is in the about the only area where Heidi (row H) could’ve gotten any Frazer DNA match. Recall the match is from 15-21. But shouldn’t Sharon in the S Row also match Cathy in her purple Frazer segment? Actually, she does. I’m working from 2 spreadsheets and only had Sharon’s match on one of the 2 spreadsheets.

Chr 3 CR Heidi Sharon

See, the DNA corrected my oversight!

Chromosome 5

There weren’t any Frazer Project matches to my family on Chromosome 4 that I had recorded. Here is the match between my sister Heidi and our 2nd cousin once removed Paul. He also matches my sister Sharon at the same spots.

Chr 5 Paul Heidi

My prediction is that the map should look like the one for Chromosome 3 in the first part of the Chromosome. Chromosome 5 is another Chromosome that I found difficult to map:

Chr 5 Heidi Sharon Paul

Note that I didn’t get a lot of Frazer in my Chromosome 5 (last row J). There is also a section from 107 to 173 where there would be no Frazer matches with me or my sisters. Perhaps if I tested another sibling….?

Chromosome 7

Here I see a smattering of matches. I included my fairly close Frazer relative Paul as a reference even though he doesn’t match my family on this Chromosome.

Chr 7

Here, none of these matches come together. What does the Chromosome map show?

Chr 7 map

As with many of my maps, I have different version as I have tried to perfect them. But something looks wrong here. Either the map is wrong or my matches above are wrong. Sharon should have a Frazer match with Jane at 99 to 107, but that is showing as blue which in this case is my non-Frazer Hartley side. I had one other case where one of the Frazers matched on my mother’s side. After lowering the thresholds a bit, I got this match between my non-Frazer mother and Jane:

Chr 7 Jane Gladys+

That means that Jane either matches one of my mother’s ancestors way back or is identical by state or by chance in this area. But what about the match between my sister Heidi and MFA of the Frazer DNA Project? I lowered the thresholds a bit again at Gedmatch and checked to see if MFA also matched my mother.

Chr 7 MFA and Gladys

Oh, my. It seems like everyone is related to everyone! Welcome to the family. Actually, if MFA and Jane were to be related to my mom, it would make more sense on her orange Lentz side (which is where they do indeed match). That is the side where my mom has a grandmother from Sheffield, England. The green side would make less sense at that is primarily German and specifically Germans that lived for many years in a colony in Latvia. Well, at least I don’t have to revise my Chromosome 7 map.

Chromosome 9

I see one lone match between my sister Sharon and my cousin Paul.

Chr 9 Sharon Paul

Chr 8

That makes sense. Sharon is the only one with Chromosome 9 Frazer DNA in my family. As no other Frazers in the Project appear to match here, I can assume that this match is on my McMaster side. Paul and Sharon share a Frazer ancestor that married a McMaster, so half our shared DNA could be on the McMaster side coming down through our respective Frazer lines.

Chromosome 10

Chr 10

Chr 10 Map

Out of curiosity, I checked to see if my sister Sharon would match Paul on the first bar (S) if I lowered the Thresholds. She did between 6 and 9 (top left green segment). Again, this could be McMaster DNA.

Chr 10 Sharon Paul

Chromosome 12

This Chromosome has been discussed before as it is part of a TG.

Chr 12 TG

Chr 12 TG Map

Here are few more [probably McMaster] segments that are matches between cousin Paul and my family:

Chr 12 Paul matches

Chromosome 14

My sister Heidi has a small match with Charlotte of the James Line.

Heidi Charlotte Match

I don’t know if it is a valid match, but it falls in the right area of Heidi’s chromosome.

Chr 14 map

Chromosome 17

Here I have a lone match with MFA

Chr 17

Chr 17 map

Looks like I’m the only hope for Frazer matches in this Chromosome. As the chromosomes get higher in number, they get shorter. The shorter chromosomes have fewer segments and are simpler than the longer lowered numbered chromosomes.

Chromosome 20

Here I am again with Bonnie from the James Line:

Chr 20

I wrote a whole blog on this Chromosome on January 12, 2016.

Chr 20 Map

I have a bit to finish on this Chromosome. Note that Bonnie’s match with me on the bottom bar fits in from 47 to 54. It seemed like Sharon should match Bonnie also. I looked more closely at my spreadsheet and she was there. Here is what gedmatch shows.

Sharon Bonnie

Chromosome 21

My sister Heidi matches Cathy. These 2 also matched at Chromosome 3 above.

Chr 21

Here I have a problem.

Chr 21 map

I have some nice colors but no grandparents named. I don’t have enough cousins that match me on this short Chromosome to identify which grandparent is which. But maybe that’s OK. When I check to see if Cathy matches with Heidi’s paternally phased DNA (that is, her Frazer side) there is no match. Cathy matches Heidi’s maternal, non-Frazer side (or is Identical by Chance).

Heidi Cathy Maternal

So either way, this is not a good match for the Frazer project. However, this is a good thing to know. This does not invalidate the match Cathy did have with Heidi at Chromosome 3.

Chromosome 22 (Last One)

There are just a few small matches in our family with cousin Paul left. They are small, and likely to represent the McMaster side of our ancestors. These McMasters apparently lived parallel lives to the Frazers in bordering County Sligo. Perhaps they came to their particular area of Ireland for the same reasons as the Frazers and stayed or left for the same reasons.
Chr 22

Finally, the last map.

Chr 22 Map


  • I have listed every known Frazer match to myself and my 2 sisters in the Frazer DNA Project
  • These matches were checked against my Chromosome maps to make sure they mapped to the correct Frazer grandparent
  • In some cases, the Frazer matches were found not be Frazer matches at all because they matched my non-Frazer mother
  • One pleasant surprise was finding an additional Triangulation Group at Chromosome 2. This TG was between the 2 main Frazer Lines in the DNA Project: The Archibald and James Lines.
















All My Mother’s DNA

A lot of my writing has been on the Frazer DNA Project. That Project involves DNA on my Father’s side. I’d like to focus on my mother’s DNA in this Blog.

Mitochondrial DNA

I have had my mitochondrial DNA tested in myself, so it would be the same as  my mother’s. mtDNA is interesting as one can trace the mutations down from genetic Eve. My haplotype (and my mom’s) is H5’36. I like the fact that there is a prime [‘] in the designation. I think this is because they ran out of room in the place where it belonged among the other haplotypes. I have 2 exact mtDNA matches. Both of their ancestries trace to Ireland. This is interesting as I have not traced my mother’s maternal line back to Ireland. As far as I know, her maternal line went back to the Sheffield, ENG area or just outside of it. However, the focus of this blog is not mitochondrial DNA.

Autosomal DNA Testers

Unlike mtDNA, which goes up the mother’s mother’s mother’s line, atDNA can go in any and all directions up the ancestral ladder. It is much less focused. Sort of like Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). In analyzing atDNA, it is best to have known testers that can be used as a reference point to sort the scattered matches into the right families. The testers I have with known genealogies are:

  • Catherine – She is the lone 1st cousin once removed representing my mother’s father’s Rathfelder/Gangnus side.
  • Judy – She is also a 1st cousin once removed representing my mother’s mother’s ancestral grandparents: Jacob Lentz and Annie Nicholson. Judy is my 2nd cousin. She tested at 23andme and matches me there but has not uploaded to Gedmatch yet for more comparisons.
  • Joan – She tested at Ancestry and is my mother’s second cousin once removed. Her common ancestors with my mom are William Nicholson b. 1836 and Martha Ellis b. 1835. Joan is also 3rd cousin with me and my 2 sisters which I have had tested. She is 3rd cousin to Judy through the Nicholson line but not the Lentz line as she has no Lentz ancestors.

Here is how the relationships look in a chart:

Glady's Cousin Chart

Here are 3 of my mom’s grandparents: Maria Gangnus; Jacob Lentz and Annie Nicholson. The last is her great grandfather, William Nicholson.

Maria GangnusJacob LentzWilliam Nicholson

Ancestor Chromosome Mapper – Kitty Cooper

Kitty Cooper has developed a popular Chromosome Mapper. We should be able to map my mom’s paternal side from her DNA matches with Catherine and her maternal side from her matches with Judy and Joan. Judy has not uploaded to gedmatch, so I just used her match results with me at 23andme to represent her DNA matches with my mom. The actual DNA Judy shares with my mom is much more than shown for Jacob Lentz and Annie Nicholson.

Gladys Chromosome Map

Some observations:

  • There are 8 autosomal chromosomes with no matches from these 3 cousins
  • The map phases the results into paternal (top part of the bar shown in blue) and maternal results (bottom part of the bar shown in red and peach)
  • Chromosome 9 –  On the maternal (bottom) side the 2 close segments indicate where my mom, Gladys, has a crossover point. the color goes from red (the DNA she got from her Nicholson grandmother) to peach (the DNA she got from her Lentz grandfather)
  • Chromosome 9 and 14 – Here we see results stacked up on top of each other. Without our testers, we would not know which side the results my mom’s matches came from. In these areas, at least, we will know for sure whether the matches are on the paternal or maternal side
  • All other matches – We will know if the matches between mom and anyone in these areas are maternal or paternal.
  • If anyone matches my mom in the red areas (and also matches Joan), we will know it is not with an ancestor of the Nicholson family.
  • Anyone who doesn’t match the people mapped out above in the area where they should match probably represent a match from the other side. For example, a large match along the area of Chromosome 18 that doesn’t match Catherine (who is on the paternal side) would likely be a maternal side match. The only other option would be a false match (Identical by State IBS or Identical by Chance IBC).
  • In the areas where there are no matches, it is a guess as to whether those are paternal or maternal matches. If someone has a tree showing that all their ancestors have been in Germany, that would be a hint that the match should be on my mother’s father’s side. He was German and born in Europe.

More on Joan and the Nicholson Matches

I have already written about Rathfelder matches in a previous blog. I haven’t yet addressed Joan’s Nicholson matches. I’d like to do that now. One way to look at how my mom and Joan match is through Gedmatch. They have a utility that will show the people that match 2 other people. I ran that and came up with myself and my 3 sisters as well as several others. One spot that looks like a Triangulation Group is found on Chromosome 5:

Joan Chromosome 5

#1 is Joan. I didn’t include myself and my 2 sisters, but I know they match Joan here. In fact, here is Joan’s match with me, my younger sister, my mother and my older sister on the same Chromosome:

Joan Chr 5 match w Hartleys

Now, back to the previous image. In order for my mother’s green matches above to be in a triangulation group (TG), they have to match Joan and each other. I’ll check:

  • Joan matches green #2 above at around 11 cM
  • Green #2 matches green #3 at about 10
  • Green #3 matches green #4 at about 15 cM
  • For comparison Joan and my mom match each other at about 30 cM

I didn’t do all the comparisons, but did enough to suppose that this is a TG. Technically, I’m supposed to do every comparison. I didn’t check the pink match as it was small and didn’t line up with the other matches.

What Do the Green TG Matches Mean?

A TG should indicate a common ancestors. Likely this common ancestor will be one of the ancestors of Annie Nicholson:

Nicholson Ancestors

All I have to do now is write to the 3 green matches. Then hope that the common ancestor isn’t too far back and that they have good family trees. Hey, it could happen.


An Old Frazer Triangulation Group and a Young One

I was happy to learn of a new Frazer DNA Tester from Australia. Even better, she had the foresight to have her mom tested. This makes 13 testers for the Archibald Line Branch of the Project and 12 testers for the James Line Branch of the Project. In addition, there are others who have tested and we are quite sure they belong to the project where they didn’t know this previous to testing.

Jean and Her Mom

In this blog, I will be using Jean’s mom’s DNA results. This is because in every generation, we lose some our parents’ DNA. Jean’s mom is from the Frazer line, but Jean lost some of that DNA to make room for some her dad’s DNA. So Jean doesn’t have any Frazer DNA that her mom doesn’t have or have more of.

Gedmatch Comparison

First, I used the Gedmatch feature where you can compare a bunch of people to Jean’s mom. I used our Frazer DNA testers as the bunch of people. This turned up some interesting results on Chromosome 8, that I hadn’t seen before.

Jean's Chromosome 8

#1 and #2 matches to Jean’s mom are BR and PW. PW is my second cousin once removed and BR is my third cousin once removed (though he has 3 Frazer ancestors – so this relationship is not consistent for all lines!). Note how the yellow match and green match overlap for a way. Here I was suspicious of a Triangulation Group. All that is needed in addition to what is shown above,  is for BR and PF to match each other. Then they will be a TG. I checked, and sure enough, BR and PF did match each other. In fact, they matched twice:

Chr 8 TG

Here, VO is Jean’s mom. Notice above, that BR and PF match in 2 spots. I had to lower the Gedmatch levels for the lower match to show. Even without the lower 6 cM match between BF and PF, there is still a Triangulation Group (TG).

Who Does This DNA Come From?

Up to now, the TGs in the project have all been around the 1777 to 1778 date range. This TG  appears to come from one generation earlier than that – to Archibald Frazer who was b. about 1743 and Mary Lilley. If this is right, this would be the oldest TG the Frazer DNA Project has had so far. Here is a partial chart showing some descendants of Archibald Frazer and Mary Lilley:

Chr 8 TG Chart

This is small and a bit difficult to see. Here is how the 3 Frazer DNA Testers in the TG fit into the above chart :

  • PF descends from James Frazer (blue line) and Violet Frazer (first yellow line). James and Violet were believed to be first cousins
  • BR descends from the same James and Violet as well as from Jane Frazer (the yellow line on the far right)
  • VO descends from only one Frazer line. This is the darker purple line to the left of the orange line.

The only common ancestral couple for these 3 testers is Archibald Frazer and Mary Lilley at the top of the chart. Now please endure a little wild speculation on my part. BR and VO have a fairly large match. This could indicate that this match is on the Archibald Frazer/Ann Stinson Line to the right of the chart. The 2 matches between BR and PF must mean something, but due to cousin marriages, it is a bit baffling. As PF is in 2 of the above lines and BR is in 3, there should be at least 6 combinations of ways they could match!

The Younger TG

Here is what I found on Chromosome 18:

Chr 18 TG

There is a lot going on for VO’s matches on the left side of the image above. This is where the TG is. I’ll ignore the pink matches, as they are under 5 cM. #1 match is RF who is VO’s 1st cousin once removed. Here they are showing off their largest autosomal match of over 60 cM. This gave plenty of room for a TG. #2 is Janet from the far away James Line. This match is 5.2 cM, so likely to not be Identical By Descent (IBD). Just to make sure, I checked to see if Janet matched RF and got no match down to 5.0 cM. VO’s green #6 match  is Jane. She is the one I wrote my last blog about. She was in 4 TGs and now in 5. The last blue match under Jean’s orange match with RF is #8 who is CR. However, she doesn’t match RF or Jane here. In chart form, the Chromosome 8 results look like:

Chr 18 TG

Above, the TG consists of the middle 3 matches. Note that CR is on either side of the TG. Also on paper, CR descends from Archibald Frazer and Catherine Parker. So perhaps something went wrong with her test, or that middle section of her DNA dropped out.

Introducing the Youngest Frazer TG

Yes, this TG is a mere 200+ years old:

Arch 1802 TG Chart

The first line above represents VO’s ancestors. The second represents RF’s. The third represents CR’s (who is almost, but not quite in the TG) and the last represents Jane’s ancestral family.

The Impossibility of Triangulation

There has been a lot of writing about Triangulation recently in the internet. One theory is that it is so unlikely to happen, that it should not happen. Or that, if it did, a TG would indicate common ancestors so ancient that they would be beyond the scope of normal genealogy. I can see the point. How likely is it that DNA that drops out randomly and is inherited randomly could come together over the ages at the same segment of DNA to form TGs? Many matches are of just one segment. That segment is one portion of 22 Chromosomes. That one remaining segment must be at least 3 people’s same last remaining segment to form a Triangulation Group. It doesn’t seem likely to me. Yet, how is it, that a small DNA project like this with 13 testers has had 6 TGs? 11 of the 13 DNA testers on the Archibald Line of this project are in at least one TG. One person is in 5 TGs. Perhaps it is like the story of the bumblebee which is not theoretically supposed to fly. Yet it does.

For the theorists who point to the unlikelihood of Triangulation, we can point to the James Line which has yet to find a TG. Still, I am hoping to see one there also.

Jane’s Frazer Triangulation Groups

This is part of my series on the DNA of the Frazers originating in North Roscommon. This project is further split between the 2 main Irish Frazer lines of County Roscommon. The 2 brothers from the early 1700’s were Archibald and James. As of now, there are 4 Triangulation Groups (TGs) for the Archibald Line. Unfortunately we have not yet found any TGs for the James Line. I remarked to Jane, one of the Frazer testers, recently that she was in all 4 TGs. So I thought that I would run the Gedmatch Triangulation Utility for her to see what showed up in the TGs she was already in.

A Summary of Jane’s Archibald Line TGs

This chart is a relative chart showing the various TGs. It is not from Jane’s perspective, but includes how everyone matches everyone else in the project. Under the column labeled ‘Match’ it shows who is matching whom.

Jane's TGs

There is a lot of information in the above chart. Here are a few observations:

  • These TGs are on Chromosomes 1, 4, and 12
  • The Most Recent Common Ancestors (MRCAs) for Chromosome 1 and 12 are Richard Frazer (and his unknown wife)
  • The MRCAs for Chromosome 4 are Archibald Frazer and Ann Stinson
  • JH, SH and HHM are myself and my 2 sisters.
  • The ancestors shown in pinkish colors are those specific to a closer relationship. For example, BR and my family have common ancestors in the early 1800’s. They are Violet Frazer and James Frazer (believed to be 1st cousins). However, as Violet descended from Richard Frazer and James Frazer did not, this DNA had to have come down through Violet Frazer.
  • There are 2 TGs on Chromosome 4
  • Note that Jane is in each TG
  • On Chromosome 4 note that Pat and BR are 2nd cousins. Their match with each other extends to both TGs in that Chromosome, but they do not match with Jane, MFA or DV on the second TG.
  • The most distant relationships represented in the above TGs are fourth cousins once removed.

Running the Gedmatch Triangulation Utility

This utility looks at least three people that match each other three different ways. The utility is not infallible. The best way to do triangulation is by hand, but the computer is good at doing tedious things and this is one of those tedious things. The results of the triangulation in the 4 areas shown above:

  • Jane has TGs in Chromosome 1
  • Gedmatch showed no TGs in Chromosome 4 for Jane
  • Gedmatch showed TGs in Chromosome 12

First, Why No TGs in Chromosome 4?

There are a few reasons. The main reason is that the Gedmatch utility can only handle so many TGs. The ones in Chromosome 4 are small. They only have 3 people in each TG. That is the minimum. Also the matches were on the lower side. Because Gedmatch can only handle so many TGs, the smaller ones are not included. So I believe that the TGs are there, but just below Gedmatch’s radar, so to speak. Here is what Gedmatch’s Triangulation Utility results looks like for Jane in the area of Chromosome 4 that we are interested in (134-174,000,000):

Jane Chr 4

Above we see portions of TGs before and after the area we are interested in on Chromosome 4. To the left of the image above, I left out two columns. In those 2 columns are the 2 Gedmatch numbers that match with Jane to form a the TGs.

Jane’s Chromosome 1 TGs

This is a TG with Richard Frazer b. 1777 as the MRCA. Interestingly, Jane didn’t know she was in this line until after she took the DNA test. She triangulated with others that did know they were descended from Richard and was added in based on that. Part of the reason for this exercise is to go on a fishing expedition. We are looking for others that are related. They may be related on Richard’s side or his unknown wife’s side. What if none of the others in the Chromosome 1 TG were related to Richard Frazer, but another common name came up? This could mean that that surname could be the surname of Richard’s unknown wife.

The area that we are interested in at Chromosome 1 is from position 198 to 231,000,000. Here is what Gedmatch shows for some of the first TGs on that section of Chromosome 1. The previous small TG is added for reference.

Jane Chr 1 TGA

The 3 large green bars above are from the Frazer DNA Project. They represent Jane’s matches with:

  • MFA and PF (my second cousin once removed)
  • MFA and HHM (my sister) and lastly,
  • PF and HHM

So these 4 make a TG of very large size. It is somewhat unusual that such large segments would make it to us from 1777! The first 3 shorter green segments represent someone that we likely don’t know. This person is also a match and in a TG with Jane, MFA, PF and HHM. That means we should all share a common ancestor with this person. It could be Richard Frazer, his unknown wife or and ancestor of either Richard or his wife. I’ll call this first short TG TG1A.

TGs Within a Larger TG At Chromosome 1

Next, there is a long line of shorter green TG matches below the 3rd longer bar. Notice that this shorter bar is to the right of the shorter bar above that had our first unknown TG person. In this group there are 5 new people. I’ll call this second short group of matches TG1B. Perhaps I will contact them to see if they know about their Irish ancestors. Here is that group as represented at Gedmatch:

Jane Chr 1 TGB

These 5 new people match Jane and the other 3 in the long green bars, but not the people in the shorter bars above or below them. Perhaps one these 5 people will have excellent records reaching back to their ancestors in Ireland.

If you catch the progression, the next group will be TG1C. Again, these are all contained within the larger TG. TG1B ended around 221 (million). TG1C starts at 223. In TG1C we have BR. We know him as he is in our Frazer DNA project already with more than one known Frazer ancestor. The next image picks up at BR’s 3 short segments. It will be (you guessed) TG1D. There is some overlap with BR, but not enough for a significant match:

Jane Chr 1 TGD

The next 3 matches after BR are all over 20 cM. This could be a hint, but, as it turns out, this person was adopted. I have been in touch with him before due to the size of the match. This person is, however, very interested in the Frazer DNA project. In TG1D, there are 4 new people. However, 2 have the same last name. The list looks long, but one person seems to be in twice.

Chromosome 1 Summary

All of these TGs are based on Jane’s results so she matches all of these. Also TG1A-D are all contained within TG1

  • TG1 – MFA, PF, HHM – all in the Frazer DNA Project. These are the big matches
    • TG1A – One new person
    • TG1B – 5 new people
    • TG1C – BR – Already in the Frazer DNA Project
    • TG1D – 4 people. One I’ve contacted previously who was adopted.

Chromosome 12 TG

This is fortunately a smaller TG. I have the previous TG in for reference.

Jane Chr 12 TG

This TG is pretty much as I had it. However, there is a new person. The last 2 small matches represent that new person and how s/he matches with Jane, myself and one of my sisters. So what we have above is a larger TG in the middle. Then before is a smaller TG of 4 bars. After there is another small TG of 2 bars positioned to the right of the 1st small group. The Triangulation Group in the middle ties the other 2 together.


  • This exercise was to look at the Gedmatch Triangulation tool to see if it would result in unknown cousins
  • The goal is to start with the known genealogy and known TGs and add some unknown people to the genealogy and TGs
  • I’ve written all the new people I found in the Gedmatch TGs. Now I just have to wait and see if anyone replies.