Frazer DNA Analysis for Martha (Richard’s 3rd Cousin)

I need to come up with catchier titles on these Blogs. I have already written two Blogs about Richard. They are here Part 1 and here Part 2. Richard tells me that Martha has little interest in DNA which is fine. She is glad to let Richard handle her DNA. That reminds me of when I drove my mom to Philadelphia to visit her sister. While there, I did some genealogical research on my mom’s side of the family. My Aunt Muriel was surprised that I was interested in dead people. Putting it that way, I do sound like a nut.

Martha’s Genealogy

I have this tree for Richard and Barry:

This reminds me that I had also written a Blog about Barry. This tree is put together with a combination of traditional genealogy, guesses, DNA matches, naming patterns, and research done by a Frazer relative about 70 years ago. Irish genealogical records tend to disappear for the most part before the early 1800’s. Note also that Richard and Barry’s green line is long and narrow. This is not always the best for DNA matching. The fact that two brothers tested is a help to this problem. Also adding a third cousin helps. Here is what I get from Richard’s e-mail:


As I have us all in a Philip branch, I like to see another Philip Frazer (albeit under the Johnston name).

Purpose of the Blog

I would like to see if the DNA supports the tree I have. This tree goes up to the Philip Line. The green line of Ann Frazer born 1832 who married Robert Johnston appears to be a good one. As far as we know, they have no other Frazer Lines to confuse things. [However, note later in the Blog we will find out differently.] The yellow line above is in two other Frazer Lines. The blue line is  also at least in one other Frazer line. Comparing the DNA of these three lines should tell us if these groups belong together or not. It will not tell us for sure if these three groups descend from the Philip born in the latter part of the 1700’s.

Looking at the DNA: Martha Matching Richard and Barry

When I look at Martha’s ‘One to Many’ match list at Gedmatch, I see that Richard and Barry are not her closest Frazer matches based on DNA. Here is how Martha matches her two third cousins, Richard and Barry:

They have a match of 17 cM on Chromosome 17. This is on the low side of reported matches for third cousins:

Martha and Barry also have an X Chromosome match:

The X Chromosome match is interesting as the X Chromosome is never inherited from father to son. That means that this match must be from Ann Frazer born 1832 and not her husband Robert Johnston. Ann Frazer could have gotten her DNA from her Frazer father or Taylor mother. It would be interesting to know which it was. If it was from Philip Frazer, then Philip Frazer would have had to have gotten this X Chromosome from his mother. This is the mother we know nothing of. I won’t follow up specifically on the X Chromosome, but it is an area of possible future research and something to keep in mind while looking at other matches.

Martha and the Archibald Frazer Line

When I plug Martha into the Archibald Line of Frazer, this is what I get for DNA matches:

These comparisons get a bit small. Martha is highlighted in blue. I see that she has a good match with Jamie on the Stinson line, but this may be due to a Johnston connection. It would be a good idea for me to look at some Johnston genealogy at some point to see how some of these people are connected to that family. The above chart is simplified in that many of these people match on different Frazer Lines. That would explain why Michael and Jane have large matches. Jane and Michael do not descend from the Phillip Line but they and my family both descend from the Richard Line of Frazers which explains the good matches that Michael and Jane have.

Martha’s top three matches are with Gladys, Jane and Michael. Assuming that Martha and Gladys both descend from Philip Frazer, that would explain that match. But how do I explain Martha’s match with Michael and Jane? [More on this later in the Blog.]

Some Background on Richard’s Johnston/Frazer Family History

Richard tells me his line is well-documented back to Ann Frazer who married Robert Johnston. I don’t know much about this line, so I’ll see what I can find. Here is the 1916 Census for Manitoba:

According to this Census, Richard’s grandmother, Gertrude was a young teacher in Souris.

Souris is about 150 miles West of Winnipeg.

Richard’s Great-Grandfather, William Archibald Johnston Born in Ontario

Here are the first two trees I found at Ancestry for Gertrude’s father:

Ancestry wanted to give me a hint that Mariette was William Archibald Johnston’s father. The second tree agrees with what I have from Richard. I ended up accepting the second tree for the tree I am working on. Once I did that, I got this hint from Ancestry:



This tells me that Philip F Johnston got married in 1888 at the age of 33. He was a widower at the time. So Philip would be Martha’s great-grandfather. Here is Philip’s first marriage in 1880:

Here, Philip’s birthplace is given as Blenheim:


Here is the 1871 Census for Blenheim, Ontario that pulls things together:

The enumerator got Johnston as Johnstone. Robert was 33. Ann was 22 and Rebecca was 24. Here Robert was listed as a cooper. Rebecca is an added bonus. She looks like she could be Ann’s sister. Based on this Census Ann would have been born 1849 and Rebecca 1847.

Ireland to Ontario

I note in my Frazer Web Page that there was a Philip Frazer family living in Plympton, Ontario in 1871.

From what I understand, Ireland was not a very good place to live during and around the Potato Famine. This Philip had a son born in Ontario around 1858, so that would put Philip Frazer and Jane in Ontario at least at that time. My guess is that the elder Philip above who was born about 1826 is the same as this Philip from my web page who I have born 14 January 1825:

That would mean that Philip’s [#10 above] second wife was probably Mary Taylor.

Putting the Philip Frazer Family Back Together Again

When I reassemble the Philip Frazer family, I get this:

I even have an explanation as to why Ann Frazer was not included in my web page. Here is a compilation of Frazer vital records that Michael from the Frazer DNA project put together:

There are no Frazer Vital Records at Kilmactranny between 1831 and 1841. For some reason, the records are missing at Kilmactranny for that period. A local genealogist, Arthur coined this period, the Maxwell Discontinuity. Maxwell was the parish priest for Kilmactranny. One could say that this period constituted the peak years for Ireland before people left due to the Potato Famine.

I’ll back this Frazer Line out another generation:

[Edit: Note I did not consider that the Philip who married Jane may have been the first son of James and Violet Frazer. This may be a more likely scenario.]

All we need to do next is to see if there are descendants of Philip W, Alfred, Mary, Emily and George and see if they would take a DNA test.

This appears to be Philip W and his mother Jane Frazer in the 1861 Census for East Oxford, Oxford County, Ontario:

I have not located the father Philip in this Census. Jane could have been living with her parents in 1861.

Here is a map of Oxford County:

I mentioned above that Philip Johnston was born in Blenheim.

More on the Johnston Family and the Archibald Frazer/Stinson Line

I found this marriage for Robert Johnston:

I assume that Ann Frazer died between the Census in 1871 and 1876. Here Robert marries Jane M Lindsay. This gets us back a generation on the Johnston line as it gives Robert’s parents as William and Mary Jane Johnston. I have a theory here based on my web page on the Frazers:

Here are Mary’s siblings:

This puts Mary in the Stinson line. If this is right, then Richard, Barry and Martha would be in the Philip Frazer and Archibald Frazer/Stinson Lines. This could also explain the DNA matches from Frazers in the Stinson Line. Here is a simple tree:


The Mary Jane Frazer above is from the Frazer/Stinson Line. Ann Frazer who married Robert is from the Philip Line based on my reckoning. I like this so much, I’ll add this to the big Archibald Frazer/Stinson Line:

Here Martha, Barry and Richard have joined John and Jamie in light blue on the Mary Frazer/William Johnston Line. John and Jamie are third cousins once removed to Martha, Richard and Barry by this tree. Jane is in the duller green and Michael is at the end of the salmon colored line. By this tree, Archibald Frazer and Ann Stinson had five children who had ancestors that had their DNA tested.

Here is my current thinking of who is in the major Frazer Lines:

I had previously thought that Martha, Richard and Barry would be just in the Philip Line. Now I see that they are in the Philip and Archibald Lines. The names in red are in all three lines. Note that I have no one that is just from the Philip or Richard Lines. I do have several that are just from the Archibald Frazer who married Ann Stinson Line.

This represents a shift in my thinking concerning Martha, Richard and Barry. I was so concerned about the effect of Johnston DNA between their line and the Frazer/Stinson Line and I missed the fact that they were related to the Frazer/Stinson Line on the Frazer side.

Some More Genealogy

Here is Robert Johnston’s death record:

Based on this record, he would have been born around 1828.

Checking the Philip Line and Archibald/Stinson Lines by DNA Matches

First, the Archibald/Stinson DNA

But before that, I will look at the common ancestors of Mary Frazer and William Johnston:

Here Martha matches John and Jamie a little better than Richard and Barry.

There is something interesting about this tree – assuming that is correct, of course.

  • If John or Jamie match Martha, Richard or Barry by DNA, the match will be from either one of the two common ancestors: Mary Frazer or William Johnston.
  • The next part has a twist to it. If Martha matches Richard or Barry by DNA, that match will represent either Robert Johnston or Ann Frazer. However, the part that matches Robert Johnston may also have Frazer DNA from Robert mother’s Mary Frazer.

The Archibald Frazer/Stinson Matrix

In this Matrix, I have separated DNA tested descendants into the five children of Archibald Frazer and Ann Stinson. Looking at the Mary Line, they will match the Ann Frazer Line either on that Line or in the Philip Line (not shown). This is because the Ann Frazer Line also descends from Philip. As far as I know, the Mary Line will match the John, Archibald and Alexander Lines on only those lines. If there is triangulation between the Mary Line and two of the other Lines, then that should represent DNA from either Archibald Frazer or Ann Stinson.

Looking for Frazer Triangulation Groups (TGs)

In looking for this TGs, I find it is best to spread the net widely. For example, if I limit the group I am looking at to just the Archibald Frazer/Stinson Line, I will miss those that are not in that group. The downside to this is that it is more work. I need to compare everyone in the Arcibald Frazer Line DNA project to everyone else.

TG Chromosome 1

Here is Martha in part of a large TG at Chromosome 1:

These matches are from position 233M to 237M on Chromosome 1. I had already shown a TG in this area:

I had assumed that this TG was in the Richard Frazer Branch. Assuming Martha’s TG is on the Frazer Line, then this would go back to Richard’s father Archibald. This is one way of portraying Martha’s TG:

Here I don’t show it, but Martha, Jane, and Michael are also in the Archibald Frazer/Ann Stinson Line on the right. In the Richard Frazer TG, we also had Emily, Gladys and Bill. Those matches dropped out about 231M. So it would be more accurate to say that TG01D in the table above should go from 203 to 231. This represents Richard Frazer DNA. Then TG01E should be from 233 to 237M and represent DNA from Archiabald Frazer born 1747 or his wife Mary Lilley.

I haven’t been maintaining this chart, but here is one update:

The reason I have TG01E going all the way up to Achibald who was born around 1747 is because:

  • I don’t have Michael and Jane in the Philip Line
  • I don’t have Heidi, Jon, Lori and Paul in the Frazer/Stinson Line
  • I don’t have Martha in the Richard Line which is where I had TG01D
  • That means the common ancestor must be Archibald Frazer and Mary Lilley

Martha’s TG Chromosome 9

This one appears a bit simpler:

In this TG, Doug and Rita match each other as nephew and Aunt. Also Martha matches Doug and Rita. This is the basic definition of a Triangulation Group.

This identifies this portion of DNA on Chromosome 9 for Martha, Rita and Doug as being from either Archibald Frazer or Ann Stinson.

TG Chromosome 12

I probably have found this before. I bring it up because it is similar to the TG above at Chromosome 1 in that appears to go back to Archibald of 1747:

I’m not sure what other connection there could be. It would be interesting if Philip Frazer born 1758 married a Johnston. I’m not sure how long the Johnstons have been in County Roscommon. It would be interesting to check out that possibility. Note that the birth dates are different on this chart. I’m not sure which version is right. I sort of favor this earlier version for the three brothers near the top of the chart. Even if Philip did marry a Johnston (and I don’t have any genealogical evidence to support that), the connection would be at the same level at the top. It would just mean a double connection for those involved.

A Frazer/Stinson TG on Chromosome 13

All TGs are good, but this is an especially good one due to the relational distance between Martha, Jamie and Caz. Think of it as a triangle with a large stable base. This also brings in the one of the Australian Frazers in the plum color. This, of course, assumes that we have the genealogy right. There is a chicken and the egg aspect as the DNA supports the genealogy, but is also dependent on it.

Unravelling Chromosome 17

I had mentioned near the start of the Blog that Martha matched Richard and Barry on Chromosome 17:

Martha also matches Jamie, Michael, Lori and me on Chromosome 17. This is a rolling TG. People are dropping out and adding in. Jamie drops out at 61M. Joel and Lori are added in at 66M. That means that if I lowered thresholds at, I would see a match between Jamie and Joel and Lori.

Here I compared myself to Jamie, lowering the threshold to 5 cM and 300 SNPs and got only one match:

As I predicted this match had to exist, I would say this is a valid match. For example, I share 3587 cM with my mom. The chance of this match being a coincidence woud be less than 0.2%. Here is one interpretation of this TG:

Again, it seems to be a pattern of my family or Paul’s with two with Johnston ancestry and Michael. It seems like there could be another explanation to these TGs, but I can’t think of one. We don’t know the wives for Philip or Richard above, so if they both married Johnstons, that would make things interesting for the DNA matches.

Martha’s TG 18: Philip or Archibald/Stinson Line?

Here Martha matches Bill, Gladys, Ken, Susan and Doreen. Bill, Gladys, Ken, Susan and Doreen are in both the Archibald and Philip Lines. However, my guess is this is the Philip Line as Martha goes on to match Emily and Mel

Emily is from the Philip and Richard Lines and not the Archibald/Stinson Line. It is likely that the match Martha has with Emily is from the same route as her match with those in yellow above.

Another Difficult to Explain TG on Chromosome 18

I had mentioned this TG in my last Blog about Barry:

Here is that familiar combination. Perhaps Emily has some Johnston ancestry?

TG20: Running Out of Chromosomes

Here Martha, Gladys, Jamie and Bill are in a TG. Bill and Gladys match each other by a large amount that isn’t shown in the spreadsheet. It is important to notice people that are not in the TG. Those are Emily, Joel, Jonathan and Mel. These four likely match on the McMaster side.

We had a chance to match on the Frazer or McMaster side. If we had matched on the Frazer side, we would be in the TG. Because we did not, that shows that our Chromosome 20 DNA was likely from the Frazer side.

Here is the TG:

This is my best guess. These people are all from the Archibald Frazer/Stinson Tree. That means that the matches with me, Lori, Jonathan, Heidi, Mel and Emily could also be from the Philip Line. The better guess would be the McMaster Line as shown above. Usually it is one or the other line, but in this case, there are multiple Frazer Lines.

That concludes the TGs. There are many more single matches, but the TGs are more significant.

Summary and Conclusions

  • After writing Blogs about Richard and Barry, I wrote one about Richard’s third cousin, Martha. I assumed that Richard and Barry were only in the Philip Frazer Line. After looking at Martha’s DNA results and genealogy, I realized that Richard, Barry, and Martha were also in the Archibald Frazer/Stinson Line.
  • I looked at TGs which fell into two categories. In one, the TGs went to either the Philip or Archibald/Stinson Line. Some went back to an earlier Archibald Line.
  • For the TGs that went back to the earlier Archibald Line, I couldn’t tell for sure if they were matching on another surname, or that they were actually going back to Archibald Frazer and Mary Lilley from the early 1700’s.
  • I made a guess that there may have been earlier marriages between the Frazer and Johnston families. However, I didn’t check the records to see how long the Johnston’s had been in the County Roscommon, Ireland area.
  • I also noted an X Chromosome match between Martha and Barry which would be worth following up on.
  • I was able to get Barry, Richard and Martha’s family history further back on their Frazer and Johnston Lines.

One Reply to “Frazer DNA Analysis for Martha (Richard’s 3rd Cousin)”

  1. Joel, thanks for compiling this insightful analysis that links the Frazers and the Johnstons for my ancestry through Philip Frazer and apparently also Archibald Frazer/Stinson. I also appreciate you drawing to my attention the names of Robert Johnston’s parents from the record of his second marriage to Mariette Lindsay. No record yet of his earlier marriage to Ann Frazer (who died August 30 1871).

    To complicate this analysis:
    1) Rebecca Frazer, assumed to be a sister of Ann Frazer, is shown in her 1865 marriage record (to William Geddis) with parents Philip Fraser and Mary Taylor.
    2) Rebecca Frazer’s marriage record shows her as aged 28 at the time of her marriage in 1865, equating to a birth year of 1836 or 1837, and so later than Ann Frazer (b. 1832).
    If Rebecca and Ann Frazer were sisters, I guess that the first Rebecca died and a second child named Rebecca was born.

    I hope to have more time in the next few months to follow up on the leads you have identified in this blog. Many thanks.


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