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 test 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.

2 Replies to “Toni’s DNA and Ancestry on the James Frazer Line”

  1. I am confused lol. I don’t show up in the Frazer/Knott line? How is this possible when I descend from Archibald Frazer and Catherine Knott?

    1. Hi Beverly,

      I was looking at triangulation. You were in no triangulation groups with Bonnie, Gary and Judith who all descend from Archibald Frazer and Catherine Knott. However, looking at the Autosomal Matrix, you will notice that your largest match is with Bonnie at 46.5 cM. This is more than twice the level that you match anyone else in the Frazer DNA Project. Triangulation is (as is DNA matching) a very random occurance. Your good match with Bonnie shows that you are definitely in the Archibald Frazer/Catherine Knott Line. Bonnie, Gary and Judith all triangulate with each other, but that also does not in itself prove that they are in the Archibald Frazer/Catherine Knott Line. That just shows that they all descend from Michael Frazer and Charlotte Davidson.

      Sorry for any confusion.


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