BigY Update On R1a Frazers

The Frazers originating from North Roscommon, Ireland are R1a in YDNA terms. That makes them a bit of an oddball compared to other Frazers. Most other Frazers spell their name Fraser and are R1b. Our Frazer branch is L664 under R1a. That group of people lived around the North Sea according to the L664 YDNA Project administrator.

That means that at some time our Frazer ancestors probably moved from the Netherlands or Germany up to Denmark or Norway and then over to Scotland. Or they may have gone directly to Scotland or up through the England. We don’t know. We do know that this probably happened before the time when surnames were used. Once in the area of present day Scotland, they mixed with the earlier Britains who were R1b. Perhaps this is the area where they lived when they took on the Fraser/Frazer name:

The map above shows Fraser, Chisolm, Grant and Stewart. All these names have been found to be related to Frazer by YDNA. Hayes is also related by YDNA, but I think Hayes may actually be a Grant around the year 1600 or after. Here is a closeup of the Fraser Lands in 1587, showing proximity to the Chisolm and Grant Lands:

Stewart Update

In my previous Blog on BigY, I had drawn a STR tree without Stewart. Here is the new one with him included:

Stewart/Stuart is in red above. He is important, because his STR signature is the same as the common ancestor for Grant, Hayes and Stewart. If I had room, I would draw another line to the bottom of the page with Stewart showing no STR changes. Here is Stewart added to the SNP Tree:

The Stewart on the chart has expressed interest in BigY testing, so there should be more updates to come.

Grant Update

I was pleasantly surprised to see the results of a recent Grant BigY test. In the SNP tree above, the bolded names have taken the BigY, so I will need to update Grant. In my STR tree, I had two Grants. The one that took the BigY test had his most distant ancestor as:

James GRANT “of Carron”, 1728 – 1790

Here is my STR update for Grant of Carron. All I did was make it more clear which Grant was which:

Grant of carron BigY

The Grant BigY test threw me off a bit as the results showed that he was one SNP away from Paul and Jonathan. Usually, I am looking for a zero SNP difference. Grant of Carron shows a L1012 SNP that Paul and Jonathan do not have. Unfortunately, I don’t know why that is the case. Also I don’t know much about the L1012 SNP. It could be that the L1012 SNP was tested in error, or that Paul and Jonathan should have that SNP or that the L1012 SNP is branching below the green box where I have Grant on my SNP tree. The last option does not seem likely as I don’t have named SNPs in the green box, so there shouldn’t be named SNPs below the box.

Grant matched Paul and Jonathan on Variant 23614618. However, Hayes did not match on that variant. That could lead to this tree:

This change pointed out an earlier mistake I had made. I had 23619535 in the Archibald Line and in the orange box. I should have had 23614618 in the orange box. At any rate, that variant is now moved up to the Frazer/Grant mustard colored box. Another option would have been to move 23614618  to the green box of Hayes, Grant and Stewart. This would be assuming that Hayes should have been positive for 23614618 but had a poor test result. All these trees are preliminary until I wait for the R1a Administrators to come up with a more official tree. Another option would be to wait for the YFull analysis. However, that is dependent upon testers using their service. At any rate, it is good to have fewer SNPs in the orange box as we are bumping up against a likely Frazer date of 1690. The final change in the SNP Tree has to do with Chisolm. We don’t have a BigY for this YDNA relative. That means I don’t know if Chisolm goes with the mustard box or the orange one. I’ll leave him with the orange right now as there are so many SNPs there.

Summary and What’s Next

  • I have added Stewart to my SNP Tree and STR Tree
  • A BigY Test for Grant pointed out a mistake I made earlier for one of the variants on my proposed tree
  • The Grant BigY results may result in a small node where the Grants and Frazers had a common ancestor.
  • Once the R1a and L664 administrators are done with their analysis, I would like to see three or four levels below the official level of R-YP432 for Frazer. These would include branching for Hayes and Grant also.
  • I’m a bit unsure of Patton. He tested positive for R-YP5515 but is missing some of the other variants that are seen in other BigY results. However, that would not make a difference in the overall structure of the SNP Tree.
  • I am looking forward to a BigY test for the Stewart/Stuart in the group.

Comparing Frazer Big Y Tree With STR Trees

Recently, I have written some Blogs on Frazer BigY results. Here is the most recent BigY Blog. My cousin Paul’s results are in and Jonathan’s results are in. These two people represent the major Frazer lines from North Roscommon, Ireland in the early 1700’s. Maurice Gleeson was one of the first people to compare BigY results and STR results. His video on the subject is here:

Building a Family Tree with SNPs, STRs, & Named People (Maurice Gleeson)

BigY Frazer Results: Looking Into the Future

I have built a tree based on the initial two Frazer BigY results. I call this looking into the future as the variants shown as just numbers below, will be the future SNPs which people will test to find out what branch of the YDNA tree they are in. Here is the SNP tree I have so far:

This is a compressed zig zag tree to save space. The tree is with the reference of the Frazers as those are the tests I’m familiar with. This doesn’t mean that Frazer descended from Hayes who descended from Patton. Patton and Hayes should have their own branches descending down also. This tree means that at the Hayes level, Frazer and Hayes shared the same ancestor (and variants). Likewise, at the R-YP5515 level, Patton, Hayes and Frazer all shared the same common ancestor in the quite distant past.

STR Trees: What About the Grants?

My distant cousin on the James Line of the Frazers wondered what happened to the Grants after we did the BigY test. She wondered because the Grant name was the one that came up quite consistently as a Frazer STR match. Well, I don’t think that the Grants that matched Jonathan have taken the BigY test, so they didn’t show up there. However, the closest non-Frazer match in the BigY test was a Hayes. Here is a first shot at a Frazer/Grant/Hayes STR Tree with dates:

The idea behind making a STR Tree is to find the common STR values. These become the ancestral STRs at the top of the tree. Then find the fewest changes going down to create a tree. Finally, make a guess as to the dates. At the 67 STR level, I think there is a chance of a new STR every 150 years or so. However, this varies. Also, as in the SNP tree above, I know that the common ancestor between Paul and Jonathan is about 260 years ago. This STR tree should correspond roughly with the SNP Tree up to where the Hayes come into the picture. That means the 700 year guess for my STR tree corresponds with the SNP tree of 260-760 years plus 348-900 years or 608-1660 years. What the second tree does is to help calibrate the dates. As the SNPs are more set in stone than the STRs, the SNP tree also sets the structure for the STR tree. The STR tree has to follow the SNP tree.

The STR tree also points out that Paul and Jonathan should be equally related to Grant1, Hayes and Grant2. That is because, if the tree is drawn correctly, they all have the same Frazer/Grant/Hayes ancestor. This is despite the fact that Grant1, Hayes and Grant2 have different genetic distances to Paul and Jonathan. This is also assuming that they all have about the same number of generations to the common ancestor.

The other thing that the STR tree shows is that Hayes should be more closely related to Grant than the Frazer family.

On the Chisolm Trail

Now that I see that the SNP tree supported the Frazer/Grant/Hayes STR tree, I will add Chisolm to the STR Tree. Two names that are on Paul and Jonathan’s STR match list are Chisolm and Stuart. I had looked at Stuart before and the Stuart STRs seem to fall in line with Grant and Hayes. However, after my first look at the Chisolm STRs, it appears that Chisolm is more aligned with the Frazers.

Chisolm STRs

Here are some of the Chisolm STRs at the Chisolm YDNA Project page:

The first line is the Chisolm mode. The mode is the most commonly occurring STR value. The next four lines are R1a Chisolms. The Chisolm that matches the Frazers is on the bottom line. Note that any of the highlighted STRs indicate a variation from the mode. That means that this Chisolm is not a very good match to the other Chisolms. Here are some of the Chisum/Chisolm STRs on the bottom row compared to Frazers, Grants and a Stuart:

Most notably, Chisum is aligning with Frazer at position 389b = 30 and 534 = 14 rather than with Grant, Hayes or Stuart. This appears to be leaving 447 – 24 as a signature Frazer STR.

New STR Tree with chisolm

This is a bit of odds and sods tree with four different surnames.

Paul/Chisolm Parallel mutation

Paul and Chisolm have a parrallel mutation at 576=19. This has the effect of the STR test making it look like Paul is a closer match to Chisolm than he really is. Chisolm shows up as Paul’s closest STR match after Paul’s match with his cousin Jonathan. FTDNA show that both Paul and Chisolm have a value of 19 for STR 576. However, assuming the STR Tree is correct, Paul and Chisolm both developed that STR mutation independently. Regardless, if my STR tree is correct, then Chisolm is a closer match to Frazer than to either Grant or Hayes. I had not expected this result.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Ideally, a BigY test for Grant and Chisolm would sort things out.

Based on the STR tree, I have put in where I think Grant and Chisolm would be on the SNP tree. If Chisolm were to take the BigY test, then it would be clear which of the orange variants are Frazer variants and not Chisolm and which new variants are Chisolm and not Frazer. A BigY test by one of the Grants would also sort out the Grants and Hayes variants. By the way, a Stuart match STR match should be included with Hayes and Grant on the above SNP Tree.

Summary and Observations

  • In broad strokes a SNP change should happen about at the same rate that a 67 STR marker would happen. This means that a SNP tree should mimic a STR tree in both shape and the rough number of mutations of both STRs and SNPs.
  • A SNP tree should be the undisputed tree when comparing SNP trees and STR trees. This is because a SNP is a one-time event. A STR mutation may be a one time event, a back mutation or a parallel mutation.
  • Comparing SNP trees and STR trees can be helpful in calibrating dates of trees. A known common ancestor date is certainly helpful also.
  • When considering dates, it is important to know when the use of surnames became common practice. One reference I read for Scotland was that the date was the 16th century. That date is interesting as my STR tree guesses at a common ancestor for Chisolm and Frazer at about 1400 A.D.
  • The same reference says that in the Highlands and northern isles of Scotland surnames did not fully take root until the year 1800. If Hayes and Grant were from the Highlands, this could explain the different surnames.
  • This late date of adoption of surnames could explain why the surnames are not matching well with the YDNA testing. A late-adopted surname would not have time to build up a head of steam or a large amount of descendants.
  • I will be looking forward to FTDNA adopting the R-YP5515 SNP. FTDNA also needs at least two more levels of SNPs. One at the Hayes/Frazer level and one at the Frazer level.

Frazer Big Y Results: Archibald Line and James Line

I have previously written Blogs on my cousin Paul’s Big Y results here and here. Paul is my 2nd cousin once removed. He is from the Archibald Line. Archibald and James are believed to be two Frazer brothers living in North Roscommon in the early 1700’s. Just yesterday, Jonathan’s Big Y results came in. Jonathan is from the James line.

Paul is two steps below Hubert on the left and Jonathan is one step below Walter on the right hand side.

What is a Big Y?

The Big Y is an expensive YDNA test that looks at SNPs. SNPs are stable locations where mutation occur on the male Y Chromosome. These mutation happen around every 150 years. The could happen more quickly or more slowly, but 150 years would be an average. Like a laser beam, these SNP mutations make a map straight down the Frazer male line heading toward the distant past. The special feature of the Big Y is that it discovers new SNPs that have not been previously discovered. These newly discovered SNPs are helpful in verifying genealogical trees – especially when taken in tandem like we did with Paul and Jonathan.

In my previous Blog, I had looked at these SNPs for my cousin Paul and came up with a tree that looked like this:

FTDNA that does the Big Y testing has Paul as R-YP432. They don’t yet have listed YP5515 which YFull has. YFull is a service that looks a Big Y and similar results for a fee. Using that information, they create YDNA trees, date the connections, and do other things. Just yesterday I sent Paul’s Big Y results to YFull for analysis.

All the numbers in the green boxes above are SNPs. The numbers with no letters are SNP positions that haven’t been named yet. The bottom green box is for Paul. He has more unique SNPs that I didn’t include in the bottom box. I would expect that out of these SNPs, Paul will share some with Jonathan and that Jonathan and Paul would have their own unique SNPs that happened since the two branches split in the early 1700’s.

Let’s Compare Paul and Jonathan’s SNPs

According to FTDNA Paul and Jonathan share 36 Novel Variants. However, many of those shared between Paul and Jonathan are not uniquely shared. In other words they would be shared with Patton or especially Hayes above the Frazers. First, I’ll add in the SNPs that were only Paul’s before Jonathan’s results came in:

I compressed the tree above to save space. There is still a Patton block of SNPs and under that a Hayes block of SNPs. The orange SNPs under Hayes were Paul’s unique SNPs before Jonathan had his Big Y results. When I compare the 36 SNPs that Paul and Jonathan share, only six of those are in the orange block above. When I separate out Paul’s newly unique SNPs, I get the Archibald Line:

The brown box labelled Archibald Line is Paul’s version of the Archibald Line. If others were to do this test in the Archibald line, there would be some shared and some unique SNPs again. Those SNPs would represent the different branches in the Archibald Line. The orange box shows all the SNPs that are shared by the Frazers in the DNA Project. These SNPs represent the father of the Archibald and James Lines who was probably another Archibald. Note that Paul has 5 mutations since the lines split. That would be more than expected. If we use the average of 150 years, that would put the common Frazer ancestor at 750 years ago. As we believe that the common ancestor lived about 300 years ago, then there must have been a mutation in Paul’s line about every 52 years or every other generation. I am guessing that there will be fewer mutation on Jonathan’s James Line side.

Jonathan’s SNPs

I’m curious to see how these come out. Jonathan has 28 Novel Variants (the same number that Paul now has). From what I can tell, FTDNA calls the unnamed SNPs Novel Variants. Here is my spreadsheet showing the overlaps and unique SNPs between Jonathan and Paul:

Paul’s 5 unique SNPs are shown in blue. Jonathan’s 5 unique SNPs from Paul are shown in yellow. However, I have a note. The note is that Hayes shares 9510807 with Jonathan. Hayes is upstream from the Frazers SNPs. That means that Paul should have also had 9510807. That means that Jonathan has 4 unique SNPs compared to Paul.

Now For the Complete Frazer Y SNP Tree

I put the SNP that Jonathan had in common with Hayes up in the Hayes Block with an asterisk. That is the SNP that Paul should have had but didn’t test positive for.

A Problem With Dating the Frazer Common Ancestor

Let’s assume that the common Frazer Ancestor, the parent of Archibald and James was born in 1690. Let’s further assume that Paul and Jonathan were born in 1950. That leaves 260 years. I will double that for the two lines and divide by the total number of unique SNP which is 9. That gives me roughly 58 years per mutation. That seems to push down the rough estimate of 150 years per mutation quite a bit.

I do get a little consolation in the fact that if our genealogy is right, Paul is 8 generations from the Frazer common ancestor and Jonathan is 7 generations away. That means that Paul’s line had one more generation to form an extra SNP compared to Jonathan – which he apparently did.

Let’s assume that 150 years per mutation is correct. That would mean that the common Frazer ancestor would be 6-700 years ago. To me, this seems unlikely. We have two male Frazers living in North Roscommon in the early 1700’s. We also have a documented Frazer widow, believed to be the mother. Family tradition has the father of Archibald and James as an Archibald born around 1690. Also we have autosomal DNA matches between the Archibald and James Lines. These have not been proven to be linked to the Frazer common ancestor, but seem likely.

It figures that this Big Y test created additional questions! We will have to await more analysis from YFull and the R1a YDNA Project Administrators. Here is one more try at adding dates using the 58 years per mutation versus the 150 years per mutation:

Oddly enough, this makes me feel better. The reason is, that even with 150 years per SNP, I am getting up to 4200 years ago up at the YP432 Level. This is more than the 2800 years what YFull currently has for a most likely time to a common ancestor at YP432.

Summary

  • The Big Y test for Paul and Jonathan resulted in more unique Variants than expected for both Paul and Jonathan
  • Using average years per SNP mutation, this would push back the common ancestor for the James and Archibald lines quite a way into the past.
  • Future analysis may resolve this issue. YFull will be one company analyzing the Frazer Big Y test. I will also ask for advice from others.
  • There is one other Frazer from Canada who is expecting YDNA STR results. These results may also help
  • Once the James Line and Archibald Line SNPs are named and tests developed for those SNPs, male line Frazer descendants will be able to determine their Line by testing the new SNPs. Certain SNPs could also define sub-branches below the Archibald and James Lines.

 

First Frazer Big Y Results in a YP4415 SNP

In my last Blog, I wrote about my cousin Paul’s BigY results. The BigY takes a look at a large region of YDNA looking for existing SNPs and new SNPs. SNPs are what define the Y tree going back to genetic Adam. As a refresher, YDNA looks at the father’s father’s father’s line only. So if you are a Frazer, your father is a Frazer. At some point two different Frazer lines merge into one. That merging point is the two lines’ TMRCA or Most Recent Common Ancestor. (I don’t know what the T stands for – the?) Then at some point all the Frazers tested bump into a common ancestor. For Paul and Jonathan who took the BigY test, that bumped-into Frazer would be the father of the Archibald and James Lines. However, the YDNA doesn’t stop there, it keeps going back and back and back.

Paul’s YDNA Matches

In my last Blog, I had mentioned that Paul had been designated as YP432 by FTDNA. That SNP has common ancestors, but they go back to 2800 years ago. As such, others that are YP432 will be from diverse background. I had mentioned some Norwegian and Swedish names. This makes sense as the L664 SNP which YP432 comes from is Germanic. These Germanic people moved into Scandinavia, England and apparently Scotland at some point.

FTDNA R1a Projects: L664, YP432, YP431 and YP5515

In my previous Blog, I had looked at matches at the R1a and all Subclades Project. However, FTDNA has another YDNA Project called simply the R1a Project. I find it a bit confusing that there are two R1a projects, but here is what the R1a Project has under YP432:

This shows some of the people that have tested positive for YP432. There are two branches shown here. The larger branch looks to mostly have ancestors from Norway and Sweden and is the YP431 Branch of YP432. The Frazers are on the YP5515 Branch. The Grants are also listed under YP5515. This is likely due to STR similarities as the Grants have not had their SNPs tested – just the STRs. In my previous Blogs, I had mentioned similarities between the Grants and the Frazers in the YDNA.

This doesn’t mean that the Frazers came from Norway or Sweden. Perhaps one branch of YP432 went to Norway and Sweden (YP431) and our branch of YP5515 went to Scotland and/or England.

The Hayes that I mentioned in my previous Blog is also listed, but in a separate group. Our Frazers are called YP5515 – x and Hayes is plain YP5515. I’m not sure why.

another YP5515 Match – Patton

The YP5515 SNP Group is a very select group so far. There is Hayes and Patton. Assuming that these were the first two YP5519, then Frazer is the third. Patton shares YP5515 according to Paul’s BigY Match List:

I highlighted in gold the SNPs that Paul shares with Hayes and Patton and not the other YP432 matches. I haven’t seen Patton in the R1a Project, so he probably never joined it. Two of those SNPs have no name yet – just a position number. As far as I know, all YP5515 people share these 7 gold SNPs.

What Are the SNPs Unique to Frazer?

We will know that better when Jonathan’s BigY results come in. However, for now, I can guess. The BigY tells me the SNPs that Paul has that Hayes doesn’t have. There are 11 of these SNPs. The SNPs that Paul has that Patton doesn’t have are quite a bit more. Paul has 20 SNPs that Patton doesn’t have. What does this mean?

First, here are the 11 SNPs that Paul has that neither Hayes nor Patton has:

These would be the SNPs unique to Paul. I would expect to see some of these in Jonathan’s results.

Additional Shared SNPs With Hayes – A New Branch?

Recall that I said that Paul had additional SNPs not shared with Patton. There were 20 altogether. Here are the SNPs Paul doesn’t share with Patton that are different than the ones he doesn’t share with Hayes. I know, there are a lot of negatives here.

I have marked those 9 SNPs in blue. It turns out that those SNPs Paul doesn’t share with Patton, he does share with Hayes. To me, that means that Paul and Hayes should be in a new branch together.

In my new tree, I’ve simplified the YP431 Branch. In YP5515 there are 7 SNPs shared by Patton, Hayes and Frazer. Below that are the 9 SNPs shared by Hayes and Frazer. Below that are the 11 SNPs that Frazer has that appear to be unique. I say appear because there could be others that share at least some of these SNPs. All these SNPs together add up to 27 SNPs. I’m not sure how to date the SNPs. If these 27 SNPs were since 2800 years ago, that would be about 100 years per SNP on average. If I’m right, then that would mean around 1100 years up to the Frazer/Hayes common ancestor. That should be 900 A.D or before the time of surnames. It will be interesting to see if all my guesses are right.

Another interesting point is that Paul and Jonathan’s TMRCA was around 300 years ago. That means that there should be a few SNPs different between Paul and Jonathan. They will each have their own branch off the Frazer Tree.

 

 

A New Frazer Big Y Test Is In

I found out today that the Big Y results are in for Paul. He is my second cousin once removed on my Frazer side. So far, I can see that his SNP now is R-YP432. The Big Y will tell you what your lowest known FTDNA accepted SNP is. It will also tell you your SNPs that don’t even have a name yet.

L664

R-YP432 is a branch of L664 which is part of a much larger R1a YDNA group. The chart below shows the L664 people as “Germanic”. Who knew? Wouldn’t one think that the Frazers would be Scots – not Germanic?

A more likely guess would have been that the Frazers would be with the Norsemen at Z284. The Norsemen probably made their way to Scotland. However, the YDNA seems to see it differently. The insert map above gives possible routes of migration. It shows the L664 coming out of the area of Germany and going up to England or Denmark. My history is not the best, but I do know that the Danes invaded the British Isles at some point. Could this have been related to the start of our branch of Frazers? Or perhaps some R1a ancestors joined up with the Norsemen. The Frazers could have even come in with the Anglo Saxons or William the Conqueror. Who knows?

Previous Predictions Based on STRs

Back in November 2015, I had written a Blog on Frazer YDNA. At that time, I had talked to an R1a administrator, Martin. He was quite sure, based on the STR testing, that our Frazers were L664. Further, based on values of specific STRs that Martin knew about, I had shown this Chart:

Martin had thought it unlikely that the Frazers would be in crossed out SNP areas based on their STR values. Notice that they turned out to be in YP432 on the bottom right.

How Old Is YP432?

YFull is a service that dates SNPs among other things. Here is their date for R-M198:

FTDNA previously had put Paul into the R-M198 Group. This is a very general R1a Group. Comparing Paul with other M198’s would put their most recent common ancestor at 8500 years ago. Aah, the good old days. The YFull Tree above brings us through 4,400 years of Frazer history – up to 4100 years ago. This is where I left off on the last Blog. The L664 Administrator for the R1a Project could tell that is where the Frazers should be based on their STR testing.

The YFull YP432 Tree

YFull shows a common ancestor for YP432 at 2800 years before present. I’m sure that gave the Frazers plenty of time to go from wherever they came from to Scotland and then to Ireland.

I plan to submit Paul’s Big Y results to YFull for further analysis. People that have submitted their Big Y results to YFull show up as ID’s. For example, it appears that id: YF09214 has English ancestors. Once YFull has a chance to look at the results, they may show a new branch of the YP432 Tree. One goal would be for the Frazers to have their own family SNP identified.

Competing Trees

The YFull Tree is above and appears to be the better tree. Here is the FTDNA Haplotree which seems to be lagging in the YP432 Department:

One next step would be to compare the FTDNA “Novel Variants” to see if any of them are named SNPs on the YFull Tree. The other, as I mentioned is to submit Paul’s Big Y results to YFUll for analysis. I note that FTDNA does have YP431, but Paul is not listed under that SNP.

Where Are Our Frazers On the YP432 Tree?

I have trouble seeing the YFull Tree, so I drew my interpretation of it:

Our Frazers, according to FTDNA are at YP432*. However, as I’ve shown above, FTDNA doesn’t have as many SNPs listed as YFull does. All the ‘YP’ SNPs, in fact, are YFull identified SNPs. According to ISOGG:

YP = SNPs identified by citizen scientists from genetic tests, then submitted to the Y Full team for verification.

Who Are Some Other YP432 People?

The Frazers are part of the R1a YDNA Project. That project appears to have two small YP432 groups.

These five YP432 people appear to have ancestors from Norway or Sweden.

Other Big Y Matches

It took a little while for Paul’s matches to show up. It appears that the closest ones have a zero known SNP difference, so I chose them. Then the list is sorted by those that share the most Novel Variants. My question is, how novel could they be if they are shared? I think that what they mean is unnamed SNPs.

The numbers on the right are the SNPs that do match.

Paul’s matching Novel SNPs with Hayes

As noted above, Paul shares 30 Novel SNPs with Hayes. I looked up all the positions at ybrowse.org and many of those ‘Novel’ SNPs have names. Here are the first 26:

I was especially interested in the YP5500 series SNPs as that sounded like the YP5515 SNP which forms one of the branches of the YP432 Tree.

I did find YP5515. It was the 27th Shared Novel Variant between Paul and Hayes.

That is good news as that further defines the Frazer Branch. When I go back to the YFull Tree, I see that the one person there that is YP5515 is also YP5516, YP5517, YP5518 and YP5519. This is what is called a block of SNPs. Both Paul and Hayes are positive for these SNPs. YP5515 was probably chosen as representative of these SNPs and likely because it was the best quality SNP for testing.

What About Jonathan?

Jonathan’s test should be coming in shortly. His Big Y was ordered not too long after Paul’s. I had a bit of a scare, because I was looking at my old Blog. In that Blog, Jonathan was listed as R-M458. When I compared that to Paul’s R-L664, they were no where near each other. However, sometime since my old Blog and now, Jonathan has been stealthily changed by FTDNA to the more generic R-M198. I fully expect FTDNA to have Jonathan as R-YP432 when his Big Y results come out.

Next Steps

The Big Y’s strong suit isn’t in predicting the YP432. There are other tests that could have done that. The next step is to look at the private SNPs. Jonathan’s Big Y should be coming in next. That test should show some shared SNPs that should create a new branch off the YP432 tree. In fact, I’ve shown one branch already. I expect that there will be more branching off from R-YP5515.

It is interesting that the YDNA goes so far back. We wanted to find out where the Frazers were in Scotland. Instead, at this time, we’ve skipped Scotland and appear to be somewhere in Noway or Sweden! However, I feel like the Hayes match at YP4415 will reel us back into the area of Scotland and England at least.

The Frazers of North Roscommon, Ireland: STR Tree and Signature STRs

Now that a DNA sale is on at Family Tree DNA, my mind has turned to Frazer YDNA. I had thought that I had mentioned STR Trees and signature STRs for the Frazer family before. But after looking at my old Blogs, apparently I have not. I have talked about STR signatures, but will go into more detail here.

Present YDNA Testing of North Roscommon Frazer Descendants

At this time two male Frazer descendants have tested for YDNA. They are Paul and Jonathan.

Paul is two generations below on the left side and Jonathan is one generation below on the right side. If I have this chart right, that would mean that Paul and Jonathan are 6th cousins once removed. Their common ancestor was probably another Archibald Frazer born around 1690 who married a Mary. Both Paul and Jonathan have tested their YDNA for 67 STRs. YDNA tests male only lines – in this case if focuses on the Frazer Line .

A Signature STR

It would be interesting to know what the signature STR is for this Frazer ancestor born in 1690. How could we discover that? If we had  many Frazer testers, we would like take the most common STR values and assume that those would be the oldest values. However, we only have two testers, so that would be difficult.

The problem with STRs is that they could go up or down. We would like the older STR signature to go to our 1690 Frazer. That means we have to go back in time a step to try to see which way the STRs are moving. The other thing is that we hope that they are moving in one direction only!

Jonathan represents the older Frazer line

In my past Blogs on the subject, I have assumed that Jonathan’s STRs represented the common Frazer ancestor more than Paul’s STRs. My reasoning was that Paul had very few matches at all levels. Usually at a lower STR level one has more matches. That said to me that Paul’s line’s STRs had mutated away from the ancestral signature. Here are the three differences between Jonathan’s and Paul’s STRs:

Jonathan’s results are on the top and Paul on the bottom. None of these STRs are very slow moving STRs. CDYa is a very fast moving STR. So fast, that some genetic genealogists don’t like to use this STR in their analyses.

The L664 Mode

It is my assumption that our Frazers are part of the R1a-L664 Haplogroup. That is based on the fact that usually this group has a value of the 388 STR of 10. That is the case for Paul and Jonathan. The mode is the STR value that is the most common. The mode is also assumed to the be representative of the oldest values. The L664 mode for the 391 STR is 10 and the mode for 576 STR is 18. That confirms my hunch that Jonathan has the oldest STRs. The mode for the CDYa STR is 33-39, which is a little more like Jonathan than Paul. However, as I’ve noted that STR can be unreliable – especially over long time frames.

Here are some of the other SNPs under the L664 Haplogroup:

This is to give the reader an idea that there are many SNPs under this Haplogroup. It looks like there are 4-7 levels below L664. More SNPs could be discovered by the Big Y test.

How old is L664

It’s quite old. Here is the YFull Tree with dates:

Note that a common ancestor with another L664 person could go back 4100 years. That’s a long time. And our Frazer testers are not even confirmed to be L664. That means that their Frazer SNPs are still in the cave man ages. That is one reason why Big Y tests are needed. This YFull Tree above follows one branch down to where the common ancestors are 300 years ago. That is closer to where I would like to see our Frazer SNPs. Note that the YP1168 is also shown on the pink tree above. So while these SNP trees look quite innocent, it is not always obvious that they could represent close to 4,000 years.

The North Roscommon Frazer mode based on the l664 mode

In order to get our Frazer mode, I would just have to look at the STRs that the Frazer have that are different than the L664 Mode. The L664 is the going back in time Haplogroup that I mentioned above.

Above, I left out those Frazer STRs that were the same as the L664 mode. Of these STRs, the 450 is likely the most significant as it has the lowest likelihood of mutating. That is shown in orange with a value of 0.200.

Putting It All Together In a Simple Frazer Tree

Here is a simple tree:

A few comments:

  • There may be some refinements to this Frazer Ancestor Signature STR, but this is the main idea.
  • It seems odd that Jonathan would have no STR mutations between 1690 and when he was born. It is likely that he has had mutations – probably with one of the faster mutating STRs
  • A new Frazer descendant has ordered a 67 STR test. He is on the Archibald line, so that should clarify things there as far as where the mutations happened.

Keep an Eye on the Grants

By YDNA, the Grants seem related to Frazers. I am assuming the relation goes back in time in Scotland. I don’t know if this break happened before the adoption of surnames or after. Here is a Grant/Frazer Tree I had made some time ago:

  • The Frazers could be related to other Scots Lines. However, this one seemed to stand out.
  • I took the STR signature concept I brought up in this blog and applied it further back in time and have a Grant/Frazer Ancestor signature at the top.
  • In this scenario, the only genetic difference between a common Grant/Frazer ancestor and a Frazer ancestor is the 447 STR.

Things to Come

  • Pat has ordered a 67 STR test for her male cousin and a Family Finder test for his sister
  • Joanna and I have ordered BigY tests for Jonathan and Paul.
  • With all this YDNA testing we are coming from the distant past into the less distant path. The goal is to confirm our Frazer Lines and connect with some as yet unknown Frazer Lines.
  • The three pronged attack is: genealogy, autosomal DNA testing for the last 250 years, and the Big Y to cover from perhaps 2,000 years ago to as recent as we can get. We will wait and see.
  • The advantage of having two Big Y tests is that we should discover new SNPs that are unique to our branch of Frazers.
  • I plan to use YFull to analyze Paul’s BigY results to get dates for the SNPs.

Moving the Frazers Down the YDNA Tree

We have new YDNA results in for Jonathan and Paul. That’s good news. As you may recall, Jonathan had his YDNA tested about a year ago. He represents the James Line of Frazers. Then this year, Paul from the Archibald Line of Frazers tested. The tests were for 37 markers. The new tests are for 67 markers. Here is a tree that I sent to my cousin Paul who is not on the internet. Archibald, born around 1690 is believed to be our common ancestor and the husband of Mary Frazer at the top. Paul and Jonathan are 6th cousins, once removed based on our research. Paul is 2 generations below Hubert Frazer on the Archibald Branch and Jonathan is one generation below Walter Frazer.

YDNA Arch James Tree

Some Unexpected Results

  • Jonathan and Paul both showed a type of YDNA called R1a. I expected they would be R1b which is one of the most common Haplogroups in Europe. R1b is especially prevalent the further Northwest one travels in Europe.
  • Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) showed 3 mutations between Jonathan and Paul. I was expecting about zero to one. It turns out that all their mutations were on relatively fast moving markers.
  • Based on the markers, FTDNA puts people in a rough Haplogroup. Jonathan was put in R-M458 and Paul in R-M198 which is an even more broad or general category. With the new results, FTDNA has apparently backtracked and put Jonathan back into the more broad R198 Haplogroup. Usually, with more STR testing the Haplogroup should be more refined, not less.
  • At the different levels that FTDNA looks at (12, 25, 37 and 67 STRs), Paul matches on 4 people each. Normally there are many matches at the 12 level and the matches drop down to the 67 level. The apparent answer for this is that Paul has had more than the expected mutations in the earlier testing compared to Jonathan.

Genetic Distance

The Genetic Distance (GD) is the measure of how many differences there are in the STRs of 2 people. In the case of Jonathan and Paul, the GD was 3 for the 37 STRs and also 3 for the recent 67 marker test. That means all the differences were in the first 37 markers. Here are Jonathan’s results for the 37 STR test. The results of this test are also called a Haplotype.

Jonathan's 37 STRs

Here is what Paul has for STR results with the differences from Jonathan highlighted.

Paul's 67 STRs

Note that the there were 2 changes in the CDY marker. FTDNA informs me that they count this as one change as the markers represent a relatively fast mutating section of the YDNA. So in the roughly 260 years or 7 or 8 generations, there have been 4 mutations or a GD of 3 between Jonathan and Paul, assuming our genealogy is correct.

Refined TIP Report

FTDNA has a TIP Report that estimates the relationship likelihood of 2 YDNA matching people. For the previous 37 STR marker test, FTDNA thought that there was about a 44% chance that Jonathan and Paul were related at 8 generations apart. Now with the 67 marker test, that has gone up to about 65%. The percentage went up, because the GD was the same for 67 markers as it was for 37 markers. So it is more likely that these 2 are closely related. It is all based on statistics and probability.

Jonathan Paul TIP Report

Haplotypes and Haplogroups

The STR signature for Jonathan and Paul now consists of 67 markers. The combination of these markers is called a Haplotype. A Haplogroup is based on SNPs and is found one of 2 ways. The most accurate is by testing of the SNPs. The other way to estimate a Haplogroup is by the Haplotype. Jonathan and Paul have not had their SNPs tested, but have their STRs tested resulting in a Haplotype. Based on these STRs, people who are experts in looking at results can tell what your Haplogroup likely is. In our case, the L664 administer for the R1a project knew that if a DYS338 was 10, then it was veritably inevitable that if the SNP test for L664 was taken, then the tester would be positive for that SNP.

Climbing Down the YDNA Tree

FTDNA has Jonathan as R-M198 Haplogroup. This was from 6,500 B.C. Not good. Our astute L664 Dutch Administrator Martin got us down to 3,000 B.C. by noting that the Frazers are in the L664 Haplogroup. We appreciate him getting us an extra 3,500 years, but that still leaves us quite a way back in time. In my previous blog, Martin at first thought that the Frazers would not be in a SNP called S3477. Subsequently, Martin reasoned that we may be S3477 based on some similarities that he saw in the location of the Frazers and Prendergasts in Ireland. I made a prediction that the Frazers would be negative for S3477. The proof would be in the 67 STR test. If the Frazers did not have a value of 13 at DYS617, they would not belong to subgroup S3477. Let’s look at those results.

DYS617

It looks like I was right this time. Put another win in my win-loss column. The Frazers are not S3477. Speaking of SNPs, FTDNA recently came out with a new R1a panel for testing.

R1a Panel

All the grey hi-lighted SNPs above would apply to L664 Frazers. FTDNA boasts of over 40 L664 SNPs that they test for just under L664. This is a good introductory deal for $99 as it costs $39 to test a single SNP at FTDNA. To put these SNPs into context, here is how they look below our L664 Frazer Group.

L664 SNPs

The way it works, FTDNA doesn’t have to test 40 SNPs. For example, once they test S3477 and find it to be negative, they would not need to test the 10 SNPs below it. Remember, we were told that if the DYS617 STR marker was not 13, then we would be negative for S3477. In my previous blog, I mentioned that the L664 administrator didn’t think we belonged to the popular YP282 SNP. If that were true, then that would eliminate 13 SNPs. Likewise, Martin didn’t think we were part of the YP358 Haplogroup. It would be nice to know which branch the Frazers are on.

YDNA Matches

I had mentioned in an earlier blog that Paul had 4 matches at all of his levels of testing. This is quite unusual. Usually people have a large number of matches at the lower level of STR testing and fewer at the higher level. Apparently all of Paul’s mutations happened at these lower level of STR testing and wasn’t spread out over the 67 STRs. Here are his matches:

Paul's 67 STR Matches

These 4 matches are different than all the other levels of STR matches. At this level, Mr Frizelle drops out. This is not because he is not a match, but because Mr. Frizelle only tested up to the 37 STR level. Mr Latham was in the same category.  Replacing those 2 are a Stuart and a Grant.  However, the GD for these 2 are quite high and the relationship could go back to before the use of surnames. Jonathan’s matches appear to be with the same people that he matched at the 37 STR minus those who didn’t test at the 67 STR level.

Jonathan's 67 STR Matches

Here we see all of Paul’s YDNA relatives are on Jonathan’s list. So the YDNA relatives are starting to converge at this level – give or take 300 years! The Grants seem to be the most common name. It is possible that all these people came from the same area of Scotland and were related many years ago.

Summary and Future Considerations

  • A Genetic Distance of 3 at 67 STRs is closer than a match of 3 at 37 STRs for Jonathan and Paul. This was expected and supports the assumptions of our Frazer genealogy.
  • We are no further down the YDNA tree than L664 at this point. We know which part of the tree we are not on (S3477). To get further down the tree will take further analysis of the  recent 67 STR test or additional SNP testing.
  • We may want to look into the SNP panel for Jonathan and/or Paul to see where they are further down on the YDNA tree. I would assume that they both would have the same terminal SNP, so only one person would need to test for the panel of SNPs and the second could verify the terminal SNP with a single SNP test.
  • I will check with the L664 Administrator to see if he has any other analysis of the 67 STR results that would fine tune our Frazers’ place in the R1a Project

More On Frazer DNA

In this blog, I’d like to finish a few thoughts on Frazer YDNA and look at some new Frazer autosomal DNA Results.

YDNA Thoughts and Summaries

  1. The 2 Frazer Lines have now successfully tested their YDNA. The YDNA test Jonathan and Paul took is called a 37 STR (Short Tandem Repeat) test. This test has indicated a common SNP Haplogroup for the 2 lines called R1a-L664.
  2. As the 2 Frazer Lines indicate a match, this gives us confidence in our genealogy and in the autosomal DNA matches testers have between the Archibald and James Frazer Lines.
  3. These 2 tests have resulted in a unique STR signature for each line. This STR signature is called a Haplotype.
  4. The difference in the STR values between the 2 Frazer Line YDNA test results is called the Genetic Distance (GD). The GD between the 2 lines is 3 by FTDNA.
  5. When I count the GD by hand, I get a difference of 4, but FTDNA tells me this about the CDY marker: “CDY is counted using the infinite allele method.  Basically this marker is so volatile we can see multiple numeric value jumps in a single mutation.  So even if it is off by five it would still only be counted as a genetic distance of 1.” So that explains the anomaly.
  6. I had expected the GD to be lower between the 2 lines. The 2 testers should have a common ancestor 7 generations from present if our genealogy is correct. This person is believed to be Archibald Frazer b. about 1690.
  7. Some STRs have a rate of change must faster than others. The markers that have changed between the 2 lines are the faster moving markers.
  8. The haplotype for the YDNA test representing the James line appears to me to be more likely to be the haplotype of the Archibald Frazer b. about 1690. This is difficult to determine based on only 2 YDNA tests. However, I base my theory partly on the fact that the haplotype representing the Archibald line has many fewer matches to other testers than the one representing the James Line. My theory is that the Archibald Line YDNA has mutated to a more distinct state from that of the original YDNA and thus has fewer matches.
  9. More STR testing has been ordered to further refine the 2 Frazer Line Haplotypes. These results should be out by the latter part of January 2016.

I hope that makes sense. Please email me if you need further clarification.

You Gotta Lovat

All this YDNA testing has created renewed interest in some of the Project Members concerning family lore of descent from the Lord Lovat Branch of the Frasers. YDNA can certainly reach to that era and beyond.

Part of Jonathan's YDNA Match Map
Part of Jonathan’s YDNA Match Map

These striking results show that 3 out of 4 of Jonathan’s YDNA mapped matches have their most distant ancestors located in NE Scotland. At least one part of the family lore has the earliest Frazers at Keith. Notice on the map above that Keith is located to the East of the middle marker. To me, this supports traditions of the Frazers being in NE Scotland at some time before being located in Stirling and Ayrshire to the SW of Scotland. The leap of faith part is believing that both these families were in that area about 500 years or more before our respective families’ earliest verifiable ancestors.

Back to the Autosomal DNA

While we’ve been pondering our Frazer YDNA results, the autosomal testing has been moving on apace. Patricia (or Pat’s) results have come in. I was interested in her results for the following reasons:

  • Her second cousin Bill had many matches. Some of these were also with the James Line Testers
  • Pat, Bill, Paul and I also share a pair of Frazer cousin ancestors who married. These were James Frazer and Violet Frazer. DNA representing Violet’s father has already been found by triangulation. However, James’ DNA and certain genealogy have been more difficult to nail down.

Pat’s Genealogy

In an earlier Blog, I touched on Pat’s second cousin Bill’s genealogy. I’d like to expand on that here. Bill and Pat have as their common ancestors, George Frazer b. 1858 in Martinsburg, New York and his wife Susan or Susanna Price. According to one Ancestry tree, the handsome family looked like this:

Frazer Price

I mention this, because half of the autosomal DNA that Pat and Bill share would be from Susan Price. Now, again, according to Ancestry, Susan Price’s parents were John Price and Margaret Stinson both born in or around Enniskillen, Ireland. Perhaps this Margaret Stinson was related to this George’s mother’s grandmother Ann Stinson. If so, do you think that will complicate the DNA results?

Here is the DNA that Pat and Bill share in orange (representing George Frazer and Susan Price) as seen on FTDNA’s Chromosome Browser:

Pat and Bill's Shared DNA

Frazers in Martinsburg, New York in the 1850s

Here on the bottom 3 lines of the New York State 1855 Census are George Frazer’s parents: Richard Frazer and Ellen Hassard or Hazard. As mentioned above, Ellen is also the granddaughter of Archibald Frazer and Ann Stinson.

Richard Frazer 1855 Census

I have included the Johnston family above because the father William Johnston was married to Mary Frazer, daughter of Archibald Frazer and Ann Stinson. So you are perhaps seeing a Stinson pattern here as well as a Frazer pattern. In fact, in the 1901 Census for Clanwilliam, Marquette, Manitoba, we see a William Stinson b. in Ireland living near the George Frazer family. Also living in the Frazer house was George’s mother, the (by 1901) widowed Ellen (Hassard) Frazer.

Then on the previous census page of the 1855 New York Census for Martinsburg:

Hazards 1855

Here is yet another Frazer. Ann Frazer is the younger sister of Mary Frazer Johnston. I have that Ann married a John Hazard on 24 Dec 1824 at Ardcarne, Roscommon, Ireland; by licence. John tried to confuse me by going by William in the US, but apparently he is one and the same.

Let’s go back 5 years to the US Federal Census of 1850 in Martinsburg:

Patrick Frazer 1850

and on the next page:

Patrick Frazer 1850a

Here is a James Line Frazer. Patrick Frazer would be a second cousin once removed to Mary Frazer Johnston and Ann Frazer Hazard. We have this Patrick married to a Jane Lacy. However, other Ancestry trees have him married to a Jane Mostown. In the 1855 census, Jane appears to have a middle initial of M. However, the 2 Janes are either the same, or Patrick remarried a second Jane. Or, less likely, there was more than one Patrick Frazer! This sidetrack shouldn’t effect the DNA results, but it is interesting to see how these Irish families stayed together in the US.

Two Side by Side Triangulation Groups

When I started looking at Pat’s results, I noticed a new Triangulation Group (TG) right near an existing one.

2 TGs with Jane

The existing TG has Jane, Doug and Michael and clearly indicates that the DNA represents that of Archibald Frazer and Ann Stinson. We know this because Doug does not to his knowledge have multiple Frazer lines – that is, Frazer ancestors marrying Frazer ancestors.

The newer TG is on the top and includes Bill, Pat and Jane. Note that Jane is in both groups. Also note that this could indicate the common ancestor the 3 have in Richard Frazer b. about 1777. Frankly, I’m quite puzzled and stumped as to who this TG represents. I have ordered a book on Endogamy by Israel Pickholtz. Perhaps that will help. Note also that Bill and Pat match each other to location 170,00,000 (say 170) This is the area where Jane, Doug and Michael match each other, but they don’t show a match with those 3 in that area. This will take some thought to decipher.

DNA Going Two Different Ways

In a previous blog, I noted difficulty in finding the DNA from my Frazer ancestor James Frazer. He was married to a Violet Frazer who I could find due to triangulation with her father Richard. Some matches with Pat may indicate additional DNA Pat and my family share that came down from this Frazer couple.

Pat Chr 4

Here, I have Pat’s match with me (JH) on Chromosome 6. I included above that, Pat’s cousin Bill’s match with Cathy. See they are at similar locations. However, these 2 sets of matches indicate different ancestors. The Bill and Cathy match represent DNA from the Archibald Frazer Line. I am not related on that line. So even though this segments overlaps, it could never triangulate. The match I have with Pat is most likely with James Frazer and Violet Frazer. This is what I think the above means. Remember George Frazer who was born in Martinsburg. Also remember, on each Chromosome we get DNA from both our parents or rather 2 sets of Chromosomes (one Paternal set and one maternal set). George had on one Chromosome #6 DNA from his father Richard Frazer and and on the other Chromosome #6, DNA from his mother Ellen Hazard.

George and Pat Frazer Tree

It looks like George passed on his father’s Richard Frazer DNA to Richard Price “Pat” Frazer. This is easy to remember because “Pat” is the ancestor of our Frazer DNA tester Pat. This is the line that would match with me, as Richard is the son of James Frazer and Violet Frazer. The maternal Hassard Line carrying the Archibald Frazer/Ann Stinson DNA went to George Harvey on our tester Bill’s line. This is the line that matches with Cathy. So in these 2 set of matches, we appear to be splitting out the related ancestors. Complicated. But at least I have an explanation for it, unlike the previous triangulation case.

Finally, here’s a match on Chromosome 9 between Pat and Sharon for about 11 cM. I take this to represent the DNA of my kissing cousin ancestors James and Violet Frazer.

Pat Sharon Match

A Triangulation Group with a Genetic Genealogist: But Who Are the Common Ancestors?

The next Triangulation group is with a genetic genealogist named Jennifer (JZ below). I mentioned that she was in a TG with Cathy and Jane in a previous blog about Cathy’s DNA results written August 2015.

Pat Jenn TG

This TG has Pat, Cathy, Jane and Jennifer. But wait. I don’t see a match between Pat and Jane. I lowered the levels a bit at Gedmatch.com and see that all four women match each other on Chromosome 5 and that they do indeed match and triangulate:

Pat and Jane Gedmatch

We know that Cathy and Jane have a Frazer ancestor born about 1802. Cathy and Pat share a Frazer ancestor b. about 1778. There is still a mystery as to how Jennifer fits in. She had a J. Frazer ancestor, that I guessed was a Jane Frazer. I further guessed that this Jane was a sister of the Archibald that married Catherine Parker. This theory still makes sense. Jennifer has subsequently found out that her ancestor was indeed named Jane Frazer/Frazier.

Summary on Pat’s Autosomal DNA Results

  • Pat didn’t seem to have as many matches as her second cousin Bill. This means that Bill just seemed to get extra Frazer DNA including from the more distant James Line.
  • Pat did shed some light on the common cousin Frazer ancestors that her family and my family share: James and Violet
  • Pat’s DNA resulted in a new TG. This will need more analysis as to where that TG is pointing to as far as in common Frazer ancestors
  • A comparison of Pat and her 2nd cousin Bill’s matches on Chromosome 6 helped to untangle some endogamy in the family (multiple Frazer lines due to marriages of relatives).
  • Pat’s DNA solidified a TG with a genetic genealogist who didn’t originally test to show any specific Frazer ancestry

Frazer YDNA: Part 4

In the previous post, I wrote of how our Frazer testers Jonathan and Paul matched in their YDNA. This match, based on STRs, was not perfect but was a genetic distance of 3 at a level of STR testing of 37 markers. Perhaps more importantly, Jonathan and Paul both had a DYS388 Marker value of 10. This places them solidly in SNP group called L664. Here is the nice R1a Chart I had shown in Part 2 of the Frazer YDNA series from the R1a Project Page.

719235

The L664 SNP group is on the left side of the Chart in a medium blue color. This gets us to about 3,000 b.c. Now according to the L664 Administrator:

In our FTDNA R1a1-project only 5% belongs to R1a1-CTS4385 and therefor 95% belongs to R1a1-Z645.Probably R1a1-CTS4385 is also over-represented in our FTDNA R1a1-project, because many participants of FTDNA are American emigrants who have their roots mainly in NW-Europe and not so much in eastern Europe and India, where the majority of R1a1 lives. 
Now see the Chart above. CTS4385 is directly above L664. Most of the Haplogroups are to the right of CTS4385. This means that the Frazers are rare birds within their R1a YDNA classification. And, R1a is not the most common Haplogroup to begin with for people of the Northwestern Atlantic area.
More on L664?
Yes. More from our most helpful Dutch Administrator, Martin. This is what he wrote about Jonathan (which applies also to Paul):
We expect you will not belong to the largest subgroup under R-L664, which is subgroup 2.D (classified by SNP YP282) and also not to subgroup 2.A (classified by S3477) and also not to subgroup 2.C (classified by YP358).
So most probably you will belong to subgroup 2.B which is more or less a restgroup under S2857.
For this subgroup S2857 there is on the moment no relevant SNP’s which you can order separately.
So If you want to know more about your exact position in the halpotree of R1a you need to order the BigY test.
Here is a portion of the L664 Tree, which is a portion of a much larger tree.
L664 Structure
This is analogous to the left side of the Chart above (Northwestern Europe/Germanic). Martin says we Frazers are not likely part of the popular YP282 group. He doesn’t say how he knows that. Mysterious. YP282 is third from the right on the bottom row. For the same mysterious reason, Martin casts doubt on the Frazers being YP358 or S3477. So Martin seems to eliminate most of the above tree and places us somewhere under S2857 (Is that YP943?)
L664 Structure

 

The groups that Martin mentions above (i.e. 2.A, 2.C, 2.D) appear to be different L664 groups that the administrator has put Y Testers into based on the combination of STR values. Lastly, he recommends the Big Y test. This is the ultimate dream test to find out where you are on the Y Tree. This would further Frazer DNA research and help many others who are in this area of L664. However, at over $400, only the hard core YDNA researchers will likely pay for that test.

Are Our Frazers from County Mayo or Arberdeenshire?

Even though we crossed out the S3477 above, Martin had a subsequent theory in a follow-up email. His theory is that the Frazers are indeed S3477 and related to the County Mayo Prendergasts. These Prendergasts supposedly were in the County Mayo area of Ireland since the 1200’s along with the Normans. They also are L664 and apparently have some other STR similarities. I sort of doubt Martin’s theory based on our own Frazer traditions. However, Martin says, “You can also order 67 STR-markers and when your DYS617=13, then you also know you belong to this subgroup S3477.” I’m guessing that DYS617 will not be lucky 13 for Jonathan and Paul, but we’ll see. I’m willing to keep an open mind. Both Joanna and I have ordered additional STR testing for Jonathan and Paul. That will tell whether or not we are in subgroup S3477.

The County Mayo, IRE Norman Frazer connection does not have the right ring to me. Would any Frazer descendants vote for that option? I prefer the Aberdeenshire tradition. According to our Aunt Mabel researcher, the Frazers were in Keith in the late 1100’s. Now that’s a ways back. She thinks that not long after this time, they made their way down to Stirling and over to Ayrshire before they traveled to Ireland. Here is a map for some of Jonathan’s YDNA matches:

Part of Jonathan's YDNA Match Map
Part of Jonathan’s YDNA Match Map

These are 3 of the 4 matches that show up on Jonathan’s YDNA match map. The other match was Chisholm in North Carolina. Without a European location, that match location is unhelpful and inconclusive. I’m not sure why Paul doesn’t show up on the map. At any rate, I was struck by the number of YDNA matches that Jonathan has in this Northeastern part of Scotland at the 37 STR level. It seems more than coincidental. The marker in the middle is a Grant. The other two do not have their names listed. Note that Keith is in the area to the East of the middle marker. This is the place where Aunt Mabel had our first Frazer.

Simon of Keith

I’m not thoroughly endorsing the old research, but it is interesting that there can be some parallel conclusions between it and modern DNA testing. Also note that this would be about as early as there would be surnames. According to Scotlandspeople.gov.uk,

Norman influence filtered into Scotland after their invasion of England, and was actively encouraged by Scottish kings. Anglo-Norman nobles acquired grants of land around Scotland and introduced the feudal system of land tenure. For example, Robert The Bruce was a descendant of Robert de Brus who fought with William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings. Bissett, Boyle, Colville, Corbett, Gifford, Hay, Kinnear and Fraser are all originally Norman names, which first appeared in Scotland in the 12th century. Menzies and Graham are recognised Anglo-Norman surnames also first seen in Scotland at this time. 

Paul’s Other YDNA Matches

There are a few odd things about Paul’s matches. First at the level of testing that he did (37 STRs), he only has 4 matches where Jonathan has 13 matches. My unsupported theory on this is that the James Line as seen in Jonathan has more of the original Frazer STR type and the Archibald Line as seen in Paul’s results branched off or mutated away from the original STR type. Here are Jonathan’s 13 matches at the 37 STR level of testing:

Jonathan's YDNA 37 Matches

I don’t show it, but Jonathan has:

  1. One match at GD=1
  2. Two matches at GD=2
  3. Five matches at GD=3, and
  4. Five matches at GD=4

William Frizelle is at the top of both lists. However, Jonathan has a GD of 1 to him, where Paul has a GD of 3. That means that genetically, and without taking into effect the speed of mutation of the individual STRs, Jonathan is more closely related to Frizelle than our Frazer tester Paul. It does not mean that he is actually more closely related. This is due to the fact that DNA can mutate whenever it wants. Apparently it wanted to more between Jonathan and Paul than between Jonathan and Frizelle. Also, there is a phenomenon called back mutation which can confuse the issue. If a line had a specific STR value of say, 10 and it mutated to 11 and then back to 10, there would be 2 mutations, but it wouldn’t be easy to detect and it would look like there was no mutation at all. I’m not saying that is what happened here, or that it is common, but it is possible.

Obviously, Jonathan and Paul match each other. Other than that, Latham and Chisolm are on both lists. In additions, they have a GD of 4 on both lists.

Another interesting thing is that Paul does not show a match at this level with Stuart/Stewart or the many Grants that Jonathan matches.

Matches at the 25 STR Level

FTDNA posts matches at the different levels of YDNA testing. They turn out to have different matches in some cases, due to the specific STRs tested. At the 37 level, above, the cutoff for matches is a GD of 4. At the 25 level, they only allow a GD of 2 or less. Here, the differences between Jonathan’s and Paul’s matches are even greater. Jonathan has 20 matches and Paul has, again, 4. However, Jonathan’s 1st 4 matches match Paul’s 4 matches. At this level, Jonathan has a perfect match with Frizelle, where Paul has a GD of 1 with Frizelle. This tells me that Frizelle must be L664. Remember that a DYS388 Marker value of 10 means one is an L664. DYS388 is the 8th value. A 25 STR test includes the 8th value. A perfect match between Jonathan and Frizelle means that Frizelle must have a DYS388 Marker value of 10.

By the way, I wrote to Frizelle asking if he had a 10 at that marker level. It would be good to hear from him, but even if I don’t we now know he is L664. At this level of matches, Latham drops out (although, he still matches Jonathan). The common match that is replaced does not have a most distant ancestor, but the tester’s last name is listed as Plate.

Way Down to the 12 Marker Level

Here the matches between Jonathan and Paul are even greater than before. Now Jonathan has 2 pages of matches for a total of 38 matches. Paul, again, has only 4 matches. At this level, FTDNA only allows a GD of 1 or less. Here are Paul’s matches at the 12 level:

Paul's YDNA 12 Matches

Some facts and/or observations:

  • Paul has no perfect matches at any level. Again, I take this to indicate that Paul’s line has some unusual mutations in the YDNA compared to Jonathan’s YDNA.
  • If we hadn’t collaborated in this Project I wouldn’t know the STR values for Jonathan. So we wouldn’t know that Jonathan and Paul were both L664’s
  • Jonathan has 10 perfect matches. These all must be L664’s.
  • I wonder if testers #2 and #3 (Riley) in Paul’s match list above were testing to the same distant ancestor. It looks that way.
  • Tester #2 has a terminal SNP of L664, but we know that already as this person is a perfect match with Jonathan who is has the STR of 10 at DYS388.
  • Even at a level of 12 markers, Paul has a GD of greater than 1 with Frizelle.
  • Although the 12 marker and 25 marker results are interesting, the highest level of testing is most accurate and important.

Next up: I believe we have some more Frazer autosomal DNA results.

The Frazer YDNA Reveal: Part 3

In a previous Blog on the YDNA of the Frazers originating in North Roscommon, Ireland, I promised a reveal on the YDNA of my cousin Paul. As you likely recall, Paul is from the Archibald Line originating about 1715. Jonathan, who represented the James Line originating about 1717, had his YDNA tested a while back. This is what we were hoping to find out by having these two people test their YDNA:

  • Are the Archibald and James Lines related to each other?
  • Were the two Frazer Lines unbroken from the early 1700’s (or earlier) to now?
  • Were Archibald and James Frazer brothers?

YDNA, Autosomal DNA, Mitochondrial DNA, X Chromosome?

There are different types of DNA testing. They are well explained at 4 Kinds of DNA for Genetic Genealogy. Basically, with YDNA, we are looking at the father’s father’s father going back tens of thousands of years. The more you test the YDNA, the closer you get to present day. So this starts at the beginning of mankind and work toward the present. This type of testing is critical to one name studies. As we are looking the one name of Frazer, it makes sense to test YDNA. Autosomal DNA (atDNA) is pretty much the opposite of YDNA. This starts at the present and works back along all your lines. However, the further back you go, the more diffused the atDNA becomes. Some ancestors’ atDNA may drop out altogether.

First, the FTDNA Comparison

In my last Blog, I mentioned how Jonathan was R-M512. FTDNA has a computer program that looks at Jonathan’s 37 STR test. The STR test is like a YDNA fingerprint. Except in this example, the fingerprint is not always unique. FTDNA then classifies those STRs and determines what SNP test Jonathan would be positive for if he took the SNP test. The SNP is more of a positive unique ID test where the STRs can sometimes be ambiguous. However, R-M512 was not terribly helpful for Jonathan as it occurs sometime in the Stone Age. Ugh. Joanna put Jonathan’s results into an FTDNA Project called R1a1a Subclades. Based on the expert talents of the administrator there, that administrator was able to place Jonathan further down on the R1a tree at a place called L664.

Now last Sunday, when I was in New Hampshire, I got news that Paul’s YDNA results were in. This is what I was waiting for. This would tell us if the 2 branches were the same family and if the lines were unbroken. If this were to be the case, then the YDNA results would apply to all Frazers in the project and tell them about their deep ancestry.

FTDNA simply said that Paul’s Haplogroup (estimated SNP) was R-M198. This was further back in the Stone Age and less helpful than Jonathan’s results. For some reason, the combination of STRs did not compute well with FTDNA’s algorithms and they gave a very conservative answer. The good news was that both Jonathan and Paul were R1a which is a fairly rare YDNA for Northwestern Europe.

Jonathan and Paul by STRs

The STRs are the markers used to fingerprint the YDNA. According to Paul’s match list, Jonathan and Paul differ by a GD of 3. Now a GD is not a swear, it is something called Genetic Distance. It is simply how far off the markers are from another set of markers. So out of the 37 markers tested, there were 3 differences between the markers of Jonathan and Paul. The R-M512 is Jonathan and the R-M196 below is Paul. Can anyone spot the 3 differences?

Jonathan's STRs

Paul's STRs

I had to look very closely at the screen. The first difference between the 2 Frazer lines is at the fourth STR. Jonathan has a 10 and Paul has an 11. The other differences are on the right. 3 from the right end we see Jonathan with a 35-38 and Paul with a 35-40. The difference between 38 and 40 is 2 accounting for 2 of the 3 GDs. All of these positions have names.

STR Labels

Again a bit of an eye strain, but the differences between Jonathan and Paul are at DYS391 and CDY. Notice that these STRs have different colors. That is because the different STRs mutate at different rates. The red STRs have faster mutation rates. The blue ones change more slowly. The differences in the blues just represent different levels of testing. The higher the number of STRs tested, the lighter, the color of blue. So CDY where there was a GD of 2 is a fast moving STR. One would expect this would be where there would be a difference of 2 if there was to be one. The other marker of DYS391 is a slower mover. However, each STR has a published mutation rate. I have seen published rates for DYS391 that are faster than DYS385 which is shown as a fast mover. So there is more than meets the eye.

FTDNA’s TiP Report

FTDNA has a tool called the TiP Report. This is another mechanized way to estimate how closely you are related to a YDNA match. First, here are Paul’s YDNA matches:

Paul's YDNA Matches

I left out the tester’s names on the left. These are Paul’s 4 YDNA matches. He has fewer matches than Jonathan. Perhaps this is because he has a more unusual combination of STRs. Paul’s first 2 matches have a GD of 3, the last 2 have a GD of 4. That is why they are further down on Paul’s match list. When I run the TiP Report, this is what I get for Jonathan and Paul.

TiP Chart Paul Jonathan

This works out well, as our best guest is that Paul and Jonathan should have a common ancestor 8 generations ago. Given that, FTDNA thinks there is a 44% chance of Archibald, born around 1690 as being the common ancestor of these two. Hey, it could happen. FTDNA takes into account the speed of the mutations mentioned above, but as I mentioned above, there are differing opinions as to which  mutation rates to use.

R1a1a Project Administrator to the Rescue

When I had my own Hartley R1b YDNA a while back, I found the Project Administrator to be dedicated, intelligent and helpful. So I didn’t hesitate to join Paul to the R1a and Subclades Project as soon as I got home from New Hampshire as I had a feeling that the Administrators would have some good advice and information. I was surprised to get an email the next day from Martin from the Netherlands. He had written Joanna and myself and had some recommendations. Part of what he had was generic for the L664 group. Part of what he had to say was specific to Jonathan’s and Paul’s YDNA results.

The Reveal

I had promised a reveal. And the answer is…. [Break for commercial] Yes, they are related. Based on Martin’s expert opinion, he was able to determine that both Jonathan and Paul were from the L664 group. I had mentioned in my last blog that Jonathan appeared to be in the process of being placed in an L664 Group. I counted and there were 61 different L664 groups, so quite a few. Here’s where Martin’s experience came in. He could tell without testing for L664 that Jonathan and Paul were L664. Here is part of the standard L664 introductory email:

Because your haplotype shows DYS388=10 this means you are part of the subclade 2. (North-Western European Branch). For all other members of haplogroup R1a1 the value of DYS388 is nearly always 12, this means DYS388=10 is an unique marker for our subclade 2. This subclade 2. is further identified by the SNP’s CTS4385 and L664.
So back on the STRs above. DYS388 looks like the 7th marker. Actually it is the 8th as one marker before it is a double marker. Your will see that both Jonathan and Paul have a value of 10 there. This is the marker that sets the Frazers apart. Further I responded to Martin’s email and he wrote back:
I think both Frazers must be related because their STR-haplotypes are very rare in Ireland.
This is why I was surprised at the initial results from Jonathan: due to the unusual YDNA type he had. However, I’m glad that Paul matched him. I found this statement also interesting:
It is very remarkable that nearly all members of R1a1-CTS4385 (about 97%) have their origin only in the countries around the North Sea (British Isles, Norway/Sweden, Denmark, NW-Germany, Netherlands). The subclade R1a1-CTS4385 is represented by only 0,2 – 0,9% of the total population in the countries around the North Sea.
For clarification, R1a1-CTS4385 is the branch of the Frazer Tree above L664, so essentially the same thing. So L664 is rare, but rare can be good in identifying relatives. Here’s the North Sea for us geographically-challenged Americans:
northsea
One point of putting this map up is that Ireland does not border on the North Sea. If L664 types are 0.2-0.9% around the North Sea, they must be quite a bit less in Ireland. But how did these ancestors make their way from the circumference of the North Sea to North Roscommon. The answer to that question could lend or take away credence from some family traditions linking the Frazers to the Highland Clan Fraser of Lovat.
More On L664?

Nah, that’s enough for now. There will be more time later.

What Did I Learn?

  • The YDNA testing answer to whether the Archibald and James Lines are related was not as simple as I thought it would be. It took some digging and Project Administrator expertise to find the answer.
  • The 2 Frazer Lines are indeed related. This adds to family lore, older research and the Elphin Census of 1749 which shows the 2 families plus a third widow family living in Aghrafinigan, County Roscommon.
  • The 2 Frazer Lines as seen in the YDNA results have not changed from the time of the common ancestors. That is, other than expected minor mutations that occur in the STRs over time on a regular basis.
  • This strengthens the case for our autosomal matches between the 2 lines being just that (as well as being matches between related families).
  • It looks like we are on the right track with no skeletons in the closet
  • Asking whether 2 early 1700 men were brothers should be too much to ask of DNA results.
  • I am thankful for all those who have tested their YDNA in the past and provided information for YDNA trees which can be used today.
  • I am also appreciative of dedicated and talented Haplogroup Administrators.
  • A lot of other stuff, but I don’t want to be that boring right now. Wait until later.