Cousin Frank on the James Frazer Line and His DNA

Joanna is great at finding Frazer’s and getting them to upload their DNA to Gedmatch. That is where I do my analysis, to see how they compare to other Frazer’s in the Frazer DNA Project. Here is an old map of the general area where the Frazer’s came from in Ireland:

The early Frazer’s settled in the lands between Lough Arrow and Lough Key around the early 1700’s.

Frank’s Genealogy

Frank’s DNA will not make a lot of sense outside his genealogy. Here is Frank’s Ancestry Tree:

There are two sides to the Frazer DNA Project. There is the Archibald and the James Branches. Frank is from the James Branch.

This tree represents the James Line descendants in red who have had their DNA tested and uploaded to Gedmatch. There are two major branches above under the James Line: Archibald born 1751 and Michael born 1764. Frank is from the Michael Line. I’ll add him in there:


Here Frank sits comfortably with other Michael Frazer descendants. However, he is in the Fitzgerald Frazer Branch all by himself. Fitzgerald Frazer moved to New York from Ireland. I assume that he felt his prospects would be better there. He was living in Haverstraw, NY in 1850.

The Census indicates that he was in New York at least by 1835 when his eldest daughter was born. He apparently married in New York before that time.

Frank is 4th cousin to the other DNA-tested Michael Frazer descendants. Frank is 5th cousin or further out to other James Line descendants. My guess is that Mary Gordon, Fitzgerald’s wife, was not related to Fitzgerald. At least, if she was not related to him, that would make the DNA analysis easier.

Frank’s DNA

I would like to look at Frank’s DNA to see how he matches with other Frazer’s. First, I ran Frank’s matches against all in the Frazer project with no known genealogical link to the James Line and came up with this:

Paul is my 2nd cousin, once removed. Karen, Chris, and Charlene are from the McPartland Connection. I forget how Jenn fits in. I have written a lot about my family’s connection with the McPartlands and likely James Line connection. I hope to make some suggestions later in this Blog.

Here is how Frank matches the above and those from the James Line:

This Matrix is difficult to interpret.

  • The McPartland Group seems to match the Archibald Frazer/Peyton Group the best
  • Marilee has a large match with Bob from the McPartland Group. I have discussed Marilee in past Blogs.
  • Frank’s best match is with Betty from the Archibald/Peyton Group. He also has good matches with the McPartland Group. Frank matches one of the four Michael Frazer descendants above 7cM.

Triangulation to the Rescue?

I like to look at triangulated segments or Triangulation Groups (TGs). The theory is that when three or more people share the same DNA that indicates a unique shared ancestor for the group. If Frank triangulates with any of the above people, it could shed some light.

Chromosome 12


Here Frank is in a TG with Paul and Joanna. I find this interesting for a few reasons. First, I believe that this TG represents Paul’s McMaster/Frazer side. This is from my web page from about 15 years ago.


Here I speculate that Michael Frazer could have been Margaret Frazer’s father or brother. If Margaret was 20 when she married, she would have been born in 1793. I now have that Michael Frazer could have been born in 1764 which would have made him 29 at the time of Margaret’s birth – assuming I am on the right track.

Here I will try out my theory:

Here I have Paul and my family under the Michael Line, but we are one or two generations down from the others. I don’t know if we belong here or to the left under Archibald and Catherine Peyton. Here is what the triangulation would look like assuming that Paul and family descend from the Michael Line:

The common ancestor would be the same whether I put Margaret Frazer under Michael or his brother Archibald.

Not Being in TG12

Interestingly, Prudence, Karen and Chris could have been in this TG, but they were not.

A wild guess could be that Karen and Chris from the McPartland Line descend from Archibald born about 1792. Then it would have to be that Chris, Prudence and Karen were sharing the DNA from Archibald’s mother Catherine Peyton. That could explain some of the McPartland DNA matches here:

This is what the McPartlands would look like under this scenario:

They would be the green family on the left. I would be in the green family on the right. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. It doesn’t hurt to build these make-believe trees as it helps to see where these families could be. However, I would rather have the McPartlands and my green branch under the same side. I’ll explain why in the next section.

Chris and My Sisters Match on the X Chromosome

Here is how Chris from the McPartland Line matches my three sisters on the X Chromosome:

Those are pretty big matches. The only way for Chris to match Lori, Sharon, and Heidi on the Frazer Line is by going through the McMaster side. This is the scenario that I am proposing:

Under this scenario, the X Match would head up to Catherine Peyton. My second choice would be to have both green branches under the Michael Line. In that case, the X Chromosome matches would go back to Margaret Stewart. I’m sure I’ll do more analysis on this in the future. If we had more information on where all these people lived it may also make things more clear.

Usually X matches are not helpful in surname studies such as this. That is because the X Chromosome is not passed down from father to son. However, this case is different. On the McPartland side, the Frazer ancestor is deep in the ancestry on the maternal side. In my family’s case, I have Frazer on more than one line. One of those lines goes back on my grandmother’s father’s mother’s line which is McMaster. In fact, my three sisters got all their paternal side X Chromosome from their paternal grandmother. She in turn got all her paternal side X Chromosome from her paternal grandfather who was Margaret McMaster born 1846.

Back to Triangulation and Non-Triangulation

Above, I had mentioned how Paul, Frank and Joanna Triangulated, but Prudence, Karen and Chris did not even though they matched on the same segments. How can that be? Here is one possible explanation:

Prudence, Chris and Karen could be matching on Peyton DNA and Joanna, Paul and Frank could be triangulating on Frazer DNA. With DNA, at a certain level, there are only two choices. The DNA is either from the mother or the father. In this scenario, either Archibald Frazer or Catherine Peyton. Of course, there are other possibilities, but those would be based on different possible family histories.

I have more Triangulation Groups (TGs) in this Blog. However, some of them need to be updated based on the information from this Blog. It is interesting after that reading that Blog to see how I was heading in the right direction and see the answers starting to unfold. In this Blog, the answers are continuing to unfold as to how my family, the James Line and the McPartland Line all tie together.

Frank’s DNA Matches

Here’s a summary of Frank’s matches:

The facts of Frank’s DNA matches are simple. The interpretation is complicated as the genealogy is skimpy.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Frank’s DNA results are important as he provides a new Michael Line on the James Line.
  • That line is a bit isolated from other Michael Line descendants and Frank only matches Bonnie from that Line. Statistically, Frank should be matching 4th cousins on this line at greater than 50%. In reality, he matches one out of four of his fourth cousins on this line.
  • On the Archibald Line, Frank matches five out of about 15 tested descendants. That is better than the >10% reported for fifth cousins.
  • Frank is in a Triangulation Group with Paul and Joanna. For Paul, who is my cousin, that most probably on a line that goes from Frazer to McMaster to Frazer.
  • I proposed a scenario where Paul’s Line and the McPartland Line fits on the Archibald Frazer/Peyton Line.
  • This proposed tree includes that fact that Frank’s closest matches seemed to be with the McPartlands. The McPartland line and my sisters share a large block of X Chromosome. The pathway of X Chromosome inheritance narrows down many matching possibilities and therfor common ancestors. Paul, Frank and Joanna were in a TG which gives rise to certain possibilities for common ancestors.
  • As I look at the genealogy, I notice that Frank has a William and a Fitzgerald in his anestry. I see those names also on the Archibald Line. However, Fitzgerald also appears in Beverly’s Line on the Michael Frazer side.
  • As I look at previous Blogs, it seems like the answers are coming together slowly, though there is no definitive answer yet. I am not sure how much more definitive one can get with just DNA testing and minimal genealogy.

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