Sorting Out the Philip Frazers of Roscommon, Ireland

I’ve written a bit about Philip Frazer. He was born probably in Roscommon, Ireland between the 1750’s and 1770’s. In one of my previous Blogs, I proposed this tree:


In a recent e-mail from Richard to myself and Bonnie, we have this to consider:

I am trying to tie up some loose ends about my Frazer family in Ontario in the mid-1800s.  

In Joel’s blog about my third cousin, Martha,

Joel speculates that Philip W. Frazer, in the household of Philip Frazer and Jane in Plympton, Lambton County, Ontario in the 1871 census, is the son of Philip Frazer, the first child of Philip Frazer (b. 1805) and Mary Taylor, b. in Kilmactranny Parish in January 1825.  However, Bonnie’s Frazer tree on Ancestry shows this Frazer family as descended from James Frazer and his wife Violet Frazer.  It seems clear that the Frazer family in Plympton, Ontario is related to my ancestor, Ann Frazer (b. 1832), m. Robert Johnston c. 1853 and raised their children in Blenheim Twp., Oxford County, Ontario and died in 1871.  Based on Bonnie’s Frazer tree, Philip Frazer (father of Philip W.) and Ann Frazer would be first cousins rather than siblings.  Does this sound right to both of you?

I have trouble picturing all this, so let’s look at Bonnie’s tree:

The way it worked, is that it would have been traditional to name your first son after your father. Well, Philip and James, under this scenario both were the sons of Philip and both named their first son Philip. Bonnie has Philip’s first son born in 1825 and James’ son born 1828  – both named for the elder Philip. This makes life for genealogists quite confusing. Under Bonnie’s tree, Richard descends from James and Violet Frazer. I would say that Bonnie’s tree looks better than mine:

I don’t even have Philip as the son of James and Violet – even though I have had him on my web page for a long time:

My October 2018 Blog – Philip Frazer Son of Philip Or James?

Here is the Blog that Richard was referring to:

In my Blog, I assumed that the 45-year-old Philip Frazer in the 1871 Ontario Census descended from Philip and not James and Violet. I can see that I did not at the time consider the other possibility.

Arguments For Philip Frazer of Ontario Being the Son Of James Frazer

Seeing as I did not consider this before, I will now. First, Bonnie’s tree has Philip Frazer married to Jane Hayward. I notice in the 1861 Ontario Census, Jane Hayward Frazer was living in the Haywood household:

Philip was an early Frazer with a connection to Kilmactranny. My own 2nd great-grandfather, George William marries a woman from Kilmactranny Parish and later moves to the area. This may or may not be a coincidence.

Richard Frazer who would have been Philip’s brother under this scenario also lived in Ontario for a while. This could also be considered coincidence.

Here is a photo from my grandmother’s photo album from Toronto:

I have no idea who this mysterious young woman is.

If Philip was the brother of my ancestor George, he may have named a son for him. However, I have that both Philip and James had a brother named George.

I have that my ancestor George lived in the house of his father James. If Philip or Richard, George’s older brothers, continued on in Ireland, then this may have not been the case.

I have not come up with a convincing argument, but I think that Bonnie’s tree is probably right. It feels right.

Other Trees

Joanna, who is a noted Frazer researcher, has this in her Ancestry Tree:


Joanna agrees with Bonnie though I think they do collaborate some.

The Counter-Argument: Philip Frazer is the Son of Philip Frazer

My original suggestion was based a lot on naming patterns. It would have been traditional for Philip, son of Philip to name his first son Philip. If Philip was the son of James, why didn’t he name his first son James instead of Philip? James’ first son was Philip. James’ second and third sons were Richard and George William. Richard’s first son was James Archibald born 1856. He died in 1861. George William’s first son was also James Archibald who was born in 1867.

Philip in Kilmactranny or Ardcarn?

I believe that Philip was from Ardcarn Parish. A search for Frazers in the Tithe Applotment Books shows 18 entries for Frazers in County Roscommon and none in County Sligo. Ardcarn Parish is in Roscommon and Kilmactranny Parish is in County Sligo. Here is Philip in 1834 in Derrycastle aka Derrycashel with some of his relatives:

Here is an early marriage record from the Kilmactranny Church:

This clearly indicates that Philip was from Ardcarne and Jane was from Kilmactranny. A search for Johnstons in Kilmactranny Parish in the Tithe Applotment reveals three Johnston families in Dromore in 1834: William, Alexander and John. Perhaps they were brothers of Jane. Here is Dromore:

The dotted line to the South of Kilmactranny is the County Roscommon border.

Here is another try at a Philip Frazer Tree:


This tree focuses on the Philip’s and omits some of the siblings. I have a Philip marrying Jane Johnston and then Mary Taylor. If he first married in 1818, I would guess that he could have been born around 1795.

Another Ancestry Tree

Here is a Tree that is not associated with the Frazer DNA Project:

Here they have more information on George Frazer. They also have a William Frazer who would make for a young parents for James and Violet Frazer. This William is also unexpectedly born in Edinburgh. The tree has the generally accepted Philip husband of Jane Hayward as the son of James and Violet Frazer:


The DNA?

I mentioned in the Blog that Richard referred to, “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.” I don’t know of any of the descendants of the Philip Frazer family of Plympton, Ontario who have had their DNA tested. Perhaps one will soon. This would be especially interesting to me as we would have the common ancestors of James and Violet Frazer – assuming the above tree is right.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Thanks to Richard’s diligence, he pointed out a disagreement between my previously proposed Philip Frazer tree and what others had in their Frazer Trees.
  • Given what I know now, I think that the most recent tree above should be fairly accurate. Next time I need to check existing trees before suggestiing a new line.
  • If any descendants of Philip Frazer and Jane Hayward have their DNA tested, it would likely give more proof as to whether the above trees are correct.
  • I haven’t seen a death record for the elder Philip Frazer. It could be that he died before there were good death records available. If that was the case, that would mean that it would be his son Philip who was in the 1834 Tithe Applotment.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *