A Third Frazer Big Y 500: Part 2

Last month, I took a first look at Rodney’s Big Y 500 results. At that time, I was looking for unnamed SNPs that Rodney and Jonathan shared on the James Line. I was unable to find any. It looks like FTDNA and YFull were unable to find any also. When I wrote my first Blog, Rodney’s results were not at YFull yet. YFull is a popular service for interpreting Big Y results. I’ll take a look at Rodney’s YFull Results in this Blog. Before I do that, here is where Rodney fits into the Frazer YDNA testing tree:

Paul, Rodney and Jonathan have taken the Big Y test and Rick has taken the YDNA STR test.

Rodney at YFull

Before Rodney’s results were in, this was the YTree:

Jonathan and Paul were the last two id’s. Here is the present YTree:

YTree Changes

I see two major changes to the YTree. One is that there is a new non-Frazer Branch. The second is that the Frazer branch common ancestor is refined from 475 ybp to 375 ybp. From what we can tell, at the tree above, Archibald was born around 1690. That is roughly 325 years ago. So 375 years ago by YDNA is pretty close. I was expecting a new SNP for the James Line of the Frazers. These SNPs form about every 144 years. Note that at 375 years ago, that should represent 2 or three new SNPs. From my work on the STR side of the YDNA testing, it has seemed like the STR differences have been primarily on the Archibald Branch of the Frazer tree and not on the James side. It seems like this must be true for the SNPs also. This would have to be verified by Big Y testing of someone else in the Archibald Line. The only other possibility is that there is indeed another SNP for the James Line, but the testing results were not clear enough to determine that.

A New Parallel SNP Line to the Frazers

Here is the new line of R-BY26344:

While I’m thinking of it, there is another interesting point. The YTree shows that YP6488 was formed 1100 years ago. [The date that the SNP was formed is earlier than the common ancestor dates listed above. For the formed dates, see the YTree above.] The two branches below YP6488 were formed 700 years ago. However, the Frazer branch of YP6489 consists of six total SNPs listed here:

From 1100 to 700 years ago is 400 years. SNPs are formed on average every 144 years but in 400 years somehow the Frazer seemed to get 6 SNPs. On the other hand, BY26344 has is only represented by two SNPs over 400 years. That could mean that the Frazer line had all it’s SNP mutations between 1100 and 700 years ago, so now they are just coasting, so to speak.

Who Does BY26344 Represent?

YFull uses ID’s, so it can be difficult to tell who these people are. In the past, I have been tracking the Grants as their YDNA STRs have had similarities to the Frazers. That appears to be the case. However, there is also a Stuart as well as a grant in the YP6488 Group.

Here Grant and Stuart are still listed as YP6488, so that means that FTDNA may be a bit behind YFull for Grant and Stuart.

This is interesting as it shows us that Grant and Frazer had a common ancestor about 1300 A.D. To me, this would be before the time that surnames were in common use. However, by 225-375 years ago, surnames should have been in common use. This should mean that the two SNPs at the bottom of the tree should represent Grant and Frazer respectively. This also has interesting parallels to my wife’s line. A surname that was related to hers was also found to be a common ancestor about 700 years ago.

As a reminder, here is a map showing how close the Frasers and Grants lived in 1587:

My assumption is that this is where the common ancestors of the Grants, Stuarts and Frazers lived around the year 1300. This is to the Southwest and West of Inverness. The Frazers had the Grants surrounded. Also the Grants and Frazers surrounded Loch Ness.

I also note that one of the YDNA Grants testers mentions Carron. If I have the right Carron, it is to the Northeast of Glasgow. The Frazers were believed to be from the area of Ayr. I have also added dates to the various areas that the Grants and Frazers may have lived these areas.

Note where I have Grant above, I should have also included Stuart.

Further Questions on the Grant/Stuart Line

Assuming that the two IDs at YFull on the YTree are indeed Stuart and Grant, that poses additional questions for those two lines:

  • A common ancestor of 225 years ago is within the surname era. That means that there was some mixing of the two surnames due to adoption or other event.
  • Stuart appears to have been in Virginia before 225 years ago and Grant in Carron before that time. If this is correct, then the 225 years for a common ancestors may not be right.

I point this out partly, because it shows some common issues that could arise in a surname project. Fortunately, the testing of the Frazers so far has not resutled in similar issues.

Big Y 500 STRs

YFull looks at STRs deduced from the Big Y test. Here is how Rodney matches Jonathan and Paul:

This shows that, by STRs, Rodney is much more closely related to Jonathan than Paul. I think that there is a way to convert the distance to years, but I can’t find it right now. However, it appears to show that Rodney is more than twice as closely related to Jonathan as Paul is. This makes sense based on the genealogical tree at the top of the Blog.

Rodney is Running Out of SNPs

Here are Rodney’s novel SNPs at YFull:

Note that Rodney has no best or acceptable quality Novel SNPs. Novel SNPs are the ones that don’t match others. That means that all of Rodney’s good SNPs are already matched up with Paul and Jonathan as they should be. This makes sense as the time between the birth of Rodney, Jonathan and their common ancestor of Thomas Henry Frazer is likely less than 144 years.

For comparison, here are Paul’s Novel SNPs:

Paul has 10 Best or Acceptable Quality novel or private SNPs. It is likely that one or more of these SNPs could become an Archibald Line SNP if another Archibald Line Frazer descendant tests for the Big Y.

Perhaps a better comparison would be with Jonathan’s novel SNPs:

Jonathan is really out of Novel SNPs. He has no novel SNPs of any kind of quality.

Summary and Conclusions


  • Rodney’s Big Y 500 test has refined the YTree and dates of common ancestors
  • Many new SNPs prior to about the year 1300 may account for no identified SNPs after that date for the James Line
  • Another Big Y tester on the Archibald Line may create a new SNP for that branch
  • Assuming that the new Branch of BY26344 was for Stuart and Grant, that raises questions about the origin of those lines and about the date of the common ancestor for those two surnames.
  • The common ancestors for the Frazer distant relatives of Stuart and Grant has been moved up from 800 years ago to 700 years ago.
  • The common ancestor for the three Frazer testers has also been moved up 100 years: from 475 to 375 years ago.
  • The STR testing confirms the relative DNA closeness of Rodney and Jonathan who are in the James Line. This is also confirmed by autosomal DNA test results.

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