My Look at an R1a Administor’s Review on Frazer BigY Results

Sorry for the awkward title on the Blog. Things are moving quite quickly after a 4 month wait for Frazer BigY results. I wrote my first review the day the initial results came out on December 29th. Martin’s initial review came out on January 2, 2021. Happy New Year.R1

Martin’s New S2880 Tree

Martin, who live in the Netherlands, is the L664 Project Administrator for FTDNA’s R1a YDNA Project. Here is L664 on the left of the image below:


This is from a 2015 R1a Tree.  At that time, L664 was dated around 3,000 BC.  L664 is in blue on the bottom left of the image above. Martin has updated what he calls Section 2b or S2880 as of January 2, 2021. Here is where that is on the bottom left side of the 2015 tree:


Here is where S2880 is on Martin’s new tree:

The date for S2880 is about 1800 BC:

Here are the four Frazer BigY testers on the tree:

Here is a more close-up version:

Above YP6489 is the date 1200 AD. Below that box is 1600 AD. That is an important jump as it brings us into more of a genealogical time-frame. It is also important to understand the what these two dates mean. It says that the SNP YP6489 (which is actually a group of SNPs) formed about 1200 AD. The shared group of Frazers go back to 1600 AD (by DNA). This is probably 1690 or so by our genealogy, so a pretty good agreement. However, others outside our group who descend from our 1690 Roscommon Frazer and who share YP6489 could have have an earlier shared date. We are currently awaiting BigY results for a Frazier/Frasher who may fit into this category. His results should show where he fits in.

The last four vertical lines are the Frazers in our group. They are Rodney and Jonathan in the James Frazer Branch. The last two are Paul and Rick in the Archibald Frazer Line. They are the two with all the projected private SNPs.

Martin’s Review

Rick and Paul’s Shared Private SNPs

This is the most important part, because these shared private SNPs willl become a new Frazer YDNA branch. Martin writes:

You have 13 private SNP’s and I found that you share 3 of your private SNP’s with the private SNP’s of Frazer #[number deleted for privacy]. This means you both create a new subclade downstream Subclade YP6489, which I have called Y85652.  

In my first review, I only found two private SNPs that Paul and Rick shared. Martin was able to find three:

These three are shown in the block where the bolded Y85652 is. Here were the two variants that I found:

Positions 8162400 and 21457649

These were the two that I found. Martin has these as SNPs Y85652 and Y112046. In my previous Blog, I had identified that Rick and Paul had matching SNPs Y85652 and Y112046. So that looks like we agree.

Position 16784516 aka Y102972

This is the posiition that Martin found and that I didn’t see in my initial review. Here is my spreadsheet:

I Show that Rick and Rodney have position 16784516 as a non-matching variant but that Rick and Jonathan do not. I may have deleted this entry by mistake. Actually I see this variant above on Jonathan’s list, so I just did not match these correctly:

You have to think backwards with these lists. So if Rick has non-matching variants with both Rodney and Jonathan who are in the James Line. That means that he must have matching variants at those locations with Paul in the Archibald Frazer Line.

Here is Richard Frazer born 1830:

Here is George Frazer born about 1838:

Assuming that this is right (and it appears to be) that means that there was on average one SNP mutation every generation for Archibald Frazer born 1720, Philip Frazer born 1758 and James Frazer born 1804. Also this assumes that we have the genealogy right. We don’t know which ancestor had which mutation. However, it would be possible to find that out if we had descendants from each of these lines test. That is also assuming that there is an unbroken male descendant in each of these lines.

Here is one of Martin’s comments:

Normally we find in the BigY-700 on average a number of 100 years per SNP (or one SNP mutation in every 4-5 generations). So when we assume the Frazer family splits around 1600 AD in 4 branches, then you expect on average for each about 4 private SNP’s. You and #444958 have now about 12-13 SNP’s downstream subclade YP6489 and the other two Frazer’s only 1-3 SNP’s. But sometimes we see large differences in the SNP mutation rate in individual cases.

My opinion is that a male generation was longer between 31 and 38 years so on average 34.5 years. Of course this varies at different times and in different places. Still, with my version, there would be a new SNP every three generations as opposed to the one generation we are seeing here.

The bottom line is that I see my mistake and Martin and I are in agreement on the number of matching private variants that Rick and Paul have in the Archibald Frazer Line.

A Side Thought on Male Frazers

A little ways above, I mentioned the need for an unbroken male line for Frazer YDNA testing. Here is the line of Archibald Frazer born about 1778 and Ann Stinson. This Archibald was the son of Archibald born about 1720 and Mary Lilley:

Out of about 27 or so who tested for autosomal DNA under the Archibald Line born about 1720, I see only about two who would be eligible for YDNA testing. If these two tested, it would confirm this line by YDNA. Their common ancestor would be Archibald born about 1778.

On the James Frazer Line the first two circled on the bottom have taken the BigY test.

There are two others on the left hand side who haven’t taken the YDNA test.

Rick and Paul and Private Variants

To me the private variants are not as important as the shared SNPs. These are variants that should describe a line after the shared ancestor of the two testers.

So Rick’s Private Variants would describe his line starting with Richard Patterson Frazer. Paul’s private variants describe his lineage starting with George Frazer born about 1838. George is my second great-grandfather.

Here is what Martin has to say about Rick’s Private Variants:

You and #444958 have now about 12-13 SNP’s downstream subclade YP6489 and the other two Frazer’s only 1-3 SNP’s. But sometimes we see large differences in the SNP mutation rate in individual cases. I have also checked your 10 private SNP’s in the Yfull results of #444958, but for these 10 private SNP’s of yours, 8 gave a negative result and 2 gave a “no-call” because these two were not tested in his BigY-500 test.  

I am a bit confused by Martin’s use of what he calls downstream SNPs or private SNPs.

These are the numbers in the last yellow boxes for Rodney, Jonathan, Paul and Rick. Paul currently has 4 private SNPs. Because of his three matches with Rick, that will go down to one. However, Martin adds in private eight private SNPs identified by YFull.

Here are some of Paul’s ‘Novel’ Variants at YFull:

I highlighted the first Private SNP that Martin has identified on Paul’s yellow box above. Paul has two more Novel SNPs under his Best quality tab. I see that some on the YFull list say private and some say up to R-YP6489. According to YFull:

The words up to [name of subclade]  after a Novel SNP means that the eventual location of the SNP may be as far in the past as the named subclade or closer to the present than the current Terminal Hg.

That means that they aren’t sure if those SNPs belong in with YP6489 or after it. Just another way to slice and dice things. For the SNPs that say ‘private’, they must be after YP6489 for sure.

Rick then shows 10 private variants. These also don’t make sense in a way. If these are valid, then these would all be in five generations of his Richard Patterson Frazer line. That would mean that there were two mutations per generation. I’ll just depend on Martin’s analysis for now and wait to see if FTDNA’s manual review reduces these SNPs at all.

Dating the YDNA Tree

We can use what we know about Frazer genealogy to get better dates on this tree. The date of ca 1600 is probably a bit early. We think that the father (probably Archibald) of the Archibald and James Lines was born around 1690. Our best bet at dating is from the Elphin Census:

For sake of argument, we’ll say that Archibald Sr was born in 1690 and died at age 50 or so around 1740.  Perhaps Mary was younger and born in 1695. Let’s say she had Archibald in 1718 and James in 1720. We’ll say they both married at age 25. We know that James married in 1745. He had two children by 1749. We’ll say they were only age 1 and 3 at the time. Archibald could have married in 1743 and had children aged 1 3 and 5 in 1749. Just a guess.

All this to say that Archibald Frazer Senior could not have been born 1600. I would stick to 1690 and put that date in where the 1600 is. Then we know that the common ancestor for Rick and Paul is James Frazer who was born about 1804:

Summary and Conclusions

  • I appreciate Martin’s quick and thorough review of Rick’s test results and his incorporation of those results into Setion 2b of his L664 Tree
  • The new name Frazer Branch in the Archibald Frazer line will include three SNPs
  • I was able to identify four people who would qualify for YDNA testing from my charts of Frazers who have already taken autosomal tests. These people are rare because they have to have unbroken male line Frazer ancestry
  • I looked at Rick and Paul’s private variants briefly and will wait for the FTDNA manual review on these.
  • I looked at fine-tuning the dating of the Frazer YDNA BigY Tree based on what we know about our Frazer genealogy.
  • Next on the horizon is the Frazier/Frasher test we are waiting for and Rick’s FTDNA manual review.

Addendum on 16784516 and New Information from David Vance

This is the extra SNP that I missed. Here it is at YBrowse:

This would have been discovered at the time of my cousin Paul’s initial BigY test. David Vance recently posted a chart with the regions of the Y Chromosome:

DaveidVance has this as a good region even though it shows in a darker region on the YBrowse browser.

So SNP Y102972 is a SNP that Rick and Paul share. We’ll have to wait and see which SNP FTDNA calls this portion of the Archibald Frazer Branch.


David Vance lists this in not the best region:

Here is more from David:


David doesn’t list this as the greatest either. Based on David’s chart Y102972 would be the best SNP name for this section of the Archibald Frazer Line. Whatever the name, I think that it is interesting that the BigY test has defined a specific area of the Archibald Frazer Branch of the Frazers from Roscommon, Ireland.


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