A new BigY 700 YDNA Test has been ordered for Rick. This is big news for my Irish branch of the Frazer family. This branch can be traced to the Northern part of County Roscommon in the early 1700’s. Rick had taken the 67 STR test previously, but not the BigY test until now.
The Two Roscommon Frazer Branches
The two Frazer branches are divided into the Archibald branch and the James Branch. These two were likely brothers living near the Northern border of County Roscommon in the early 1700’s. Here are the four Frazer YDNA testers:
Rick is on the lower left. His second great-grandfather Richard Patterson or Paterson Frazer left Ireland for upstate New York. From there the family moved to Canada where many of his Frazer descendants live today. Paul is my second cousin once removed. That means that Paul’s great grandfather George Frazer was my 2nd great-grandfather. Paul’s grandfather Hubert moved from Ireland to the Boston area after my his brother, my great-grandfather moved to Boston. This branch moved to America a generation after the Richard Patterson Frazer family.
History of Frazer YDNA Testing Back to 2015
YDNA testing for our branch of Frazers began in 2015. At that time, STRs were tested. A STR is a Short Tandem Repeat. These repeating markers have values that may go up or down. The combination of differences of these STRs can define a group of people. However, the STRs are not a accurate or precise as a SNP. A SNP only mutates once. The STRs were used to predict SNPs. I believe that Joanna’s brother Jonathan was the first of our Frazer group to test for 37 STRs. This put him into the very general R1a SNP group.
The R1a group is a bit of an oddball SNP for Frasers or Frazers. Most Frasers going back to Scotland are in general R1b. That means that before there was a Frazer surname our Frazer ancestors arrived from Scandinavia to the Inverness area to join a group of people that were to become Frasers/Frazers. This probably happened about 2,000 years ago. So there are the old Scot Frazers who were already in present day Scotland before 2,000 years ago. These would be the R1b Frazers/Frasers. Our ‘newcomer’ branch is R1a.
Here is my wild guess on the movements of our branch of Frazers:
Because YDNA reaches so far back, it is possible to know the general areas that Frazer ancestors lived thousands of years ago. Based on YDNA matches with other clans, it appears that the Frazers lived in the Inverness area since before the time that surnames were adopted. After that, family tradition says that our Frazers probably lived in Southwest Scotland before moving to Ireland.
I had my 2nd cousin Paul tested and he was a match with Jonathan. This showed that we were on the right track and that the Archibald and James Lines were connected. Paul’s testing seemed to indicate that his YDNA had changed more than Jonathan’s over the past 300 years or so. That means that Jonathan’s YDNA should be more representative of their common ancestor who was Archibald Frazer born perhaps in 1690.
Frazer YDNA 2017
In May 2017 Paul’s BigY results came in. This moved his Haplogroup down the R1a Tree to R-YP432. This SNP was still very old. The common ancestor for this SNP was 2800 years old, but this was an improvement on Paul’s previous STR testing. Based on that testing his common ancestor was over 14,000 years old!
In June 2017, Jonathan’s BigY results came in. These seemed to indicate that Paul and Jonathan should move down at least one step to R-YP5515. However, the company YFull was ahead of FTDNA in that analysis. Around July 2017, The R1a Administrator for FTDNA with expertise in the Frazer area of R1a came up with this tree in 2017:
This put the Frazers down the tree three levels below R-YP5515 and gave a common ancestor date for the two Frazer lines of about 1600 AD. This is certainly in the area of when we think Archibald, the father of the Archibald and James Lines was born (around 1690).
Rick tested for 67 STRs and his results came in also in July 2017. Rick’s closest match was with Paul. This makes sense as both Paul and Rick are on the Archibald Line and both descend from James Frazer born about 1804.
Here is a possible tree I made based on the STR testing:
The State of Roscommon Frazer YDNA to This Point
Basically, we have four YDNA testers. Three of these testers have taken the BigY test and one, Rick is in the process of having his BigY taken. When Rodney and Jonathan had their BigY, I was hoping that they would have a matching SNP that Paul did not have that would define the James Branch of the Roscommon Frazers. However, that did not happen. There could be a few reasons for this. The most likely reason is that no new SNPs formed between about 1690 when we think Archibald Frazer was born and Jonathan and Rodney’s common ancestor who was Thomas Henry Frazer born 1836:
That means that between Paul and Rick, I will be hoping to catch a new SNP between Archibald Frazer born about 1720 and James Frazer born about 1804.
Paul’s Private Variants
One of the reasons that I think that there may be a new SNP on the Archibald Branch is that Paul has four Private Variants:
FTDNA lists the private variants as position location numbers until they get a match. So far, Paul’s Private Variants do not match any that Rodney or Jonathan have on the James Line of Frazers. That means that Rick, if he has any of these Private Variants, will match with Paul. Then that matching variant will be named and will be the new name for the Archibald Branch of the Frazers of Roscommon. So getting one more SNP will put a cap on the process. The BigY describes a person’s SNPs from genetic Adam up to present day. This last SNP will be the closest to present day for the Frazer Line. Also Rick will be the first Frazer to take the newer BigY 700 test which is more accurate and complete. The previous three testers took the BigY 500 test. I don’t feel any need to upgrade Paul at this point as he already has four private or unknown variants.
If Paul and Rick match on one of their Private Variants, that will be good news for those on the Archibald Line of Frazers. That will mean that, assuming we got the genealogy right, the new SNP will be from either Archibald Frazer born about 1720, Philip Frazer, or James Frazer born 1804.
Next Step: Waiting
Next up is waiting for Rick’s BigY 700 results to come in. Once they are in, we need to wait again for FTDNA to do a manual review on Rick’s results. There is also a chance that someone else will decide to have the BigY test done.
Summary and Conclusions
- The history of YDNA testing for our branch of Frazers is about 5 years.
- This 5 years of testing has resulted in several thousands of years of Frazer history going back way before surnames were being used. Tracing those results show where Frazer ancestors likely lived in pre-historic times.
- Additional testing is needed to bring the Frazers into more modern times. It appears that we have a SNP that is so far, at least specific to the Frazer or North Roscommon surname. That SNP is R-YP6489.
- It is hoped that Rick’s BigY 700 test, in conjunction with Paul’s BigY results, will give a name to the Archibald Line of Frazers. This is one of the main Frazer Branches that formed in the early 1700’s. The other is the James Line.