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.


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 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.


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,

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:
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.

Frazer Y DNA: Part 2

My first blog on Frazer Y DNA was called Why Test the Y? In that Blog, I introduced the concepts of STRs, SNPs and discussed some of Jonathan’s initial test results. Jonathan is the only male Frazer direct line descendant that has YDNA results so far. As such, we are assuming that his results apply to all Frazers. I’m not putting all my eggs in one basket, so I have had my second cousin, once removed, Paul, take a YDNA test also to confirm Jonathan’s results. A match should show that Jonathan from the James Line of the Frazers and Paul of the Archibald Line are most likely brothers. It would also show an unbroken line from these early 1700’s brothers to these 2 modern day male Frazers.

Joanna posted Jonathan’s results on the Fraser and Septs web page where anyone who has the remotest inkling of being a Fraser has posted their DNA results.

Fraser and Septs

However, as it turns out, there are not many Frasers/Frazers with the brand of YDNA that Jonathan has. Jonathan’s brand is R1a which took a Northern European route to Scotland – perhaps via Vikings. The majority of those in the Fraser group are R1b. These people took the Southern European route out of SW Asia to get to Scotland. As the common ancestor of these 2 is probably in the 10,000 year range, you can see we are not closely related to the R1b. However, there were two other Frazers in the R1a group. They are a Frazer and a Frazier. Interestingly they both have a ‘Z’ in their names, so that  was encouraging.

The R1a Project

The Frazer and Sept Group has about 1879 members. The R1a Project has 4390 members. I asked Joanna, Jonathan’s sister, to make sure that Jonathan was in the R1a Project. She did that as soon as she got back from a visit to France. R1a administrators would be able to further classify Jonathan. Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) had Jonathan as a R-M512. This is what they are sure he would test out if he had done a SNP test. This was based on the 37 STR YDNA test that Jonathan had. 37 STRs is a pretty basic level. 12 STRs and then 25 used to be the basic level. This R-M512 designation gets us up to about 6,000 years ago. It’s better than 10,000 years, but still not very helpful. At that point Jonathan’s ancestors were roaming around Asia according to the map below.


Above is the new R1a Tree which has changed since my last blog on YDNA of less than a month ago.  Notice that M512 is actually 6,500 B.C. and R1a goes all the way back to 16,000 B.C.! Let’s see if we can get Jonathan out of Stone Age Asia.


So, What is Jonathan’s New Classification?

People who are skilled at looking at the STRs can determine, based on the results, a better estimate of where Jonathan should be on the SNP tree. Each SNP can have a signature STR which can be determined by spreadsheet or a skilled interpreter. This interpreter would also be able to recommend focused SNP testing to get further down the YDNA R1a Tree. Previously, when I looked at Jonathan’s results, it said something like, “Awaiting Classification”. Now it looks like this:


The note in red now says, “L664 results ready for classification”. My interpretation of this is that the administrators took Jonathan out of the unclassified bin and put him with the L664’s. They will then likely separate him into the group of L664’s where he best fits.

An Unexpected L664 – Is This Right?

First the good news. L664 is about 3,000 B.C. So that moved Jonathan up 3,500 years and got him out of the Stone Age. Not bad. The shocker is that L664 is Germanic. From the R1a Tree above, I would’ve assumed that the Frazers were more in the Z284 Branch. These are the Norsemen on the R1a Chart. Below this branch is seen the Scots. However, the Germanic L664 did migrate North to Scandinavia, so the results apparently are the same. How we got there was different than expected. Note on the map, some of the L664’s made their way to SE Britain. This could have been a less likely path to Scotland.

What’s Next?

We’ll wait to make sure the L664 designation was correct. Then we’ll see on what branch of the L664 Jonathan is. I expect in a month, we will have Paul’s YDNA results. I am eagerly awaiting those results.

I wonder if the other 2 R1a’s in the Fraser and Septs project (Frazer and Frazier) are also L664. If they had uploaded their results to the R1a project, perhaps we would know the answer to that question.



Why Test the Y?

In this blog, I want to look at YDNA. This is different from the previous blogs where we were looking at the autosomal DNA or the atDNA. The autosomal DNA is good for going back about 200-250 years. If you are lucky, it may go back some more. Also the atDNA is for both your parents and all of the parents of those parents. When you take the Family Finder test or AncestryDNA test or similar this is what you are taking. And when you get matches, you are getting matches to all of your ancestors. These are matching with everyone else’s ancestors. Not only that, these matches may represent matches with the descendants of those ancestors that not many people even know about. It is like finding a needle in a haystack.

The YDNA is much different. It just follows the father’s father’s father’s line. All the way back. Back to genetic Adam. I look at it like a LASER type of test vs. the scatter gun approach of the atDNA test.

There has been only one tester so far for YDNA in the Frazer DNA project. There is a reason that we only have one tester so far. In order for the YDNA test to be significant for the Frazer DNA project, you have to be a male Frazer. It turns out that there are relatively few of these male line Frazers around that are available and willing to test their DNA. My second cousin once removed, who is a Frazer, has recently agreed to test his DNA. His grandfather followed my great grandfather’s lead in coming to Boston, Massachusetts from Ballindoon, County Sligo, Ireland. So I’m anxious to see how his YDNA matches with our first tester and whether this proves an unbroken line between the 2 branches of our Irish Frazers back to the early 1700’s.

STRs, Genetic Distance, SNPs and Haplotypes

Our first tester tested for 37 STRs. STRs are Short Tandem Repeats. This is now the basic test at Family Tree DNA (FTDNA). However, at one time they were testing down to 12 or 25. These results are listed on the Fraser and Septs web page. According to that page, there are 1875 members. Our Frazer YDNA tester STR results are listed here.

Fraser YDNA Results

As you see, there are a lot of numbers. Everything seems to be reduced to numbers nowadays! These are the results for the R1a1 people in the Frazer group. There are only 3 people out of what I can only assume are 1,000 or more Frazer YDNA testers. The first R1a1 person is our tester. You see he has put down Archibald Frazer b. 1690 as his ancestor. The next tester also tested 37 STRs and the 3rd tested only 25 STRs. Note that all the testers spell their Frazer with a Z.

Each number in the chart stands for a different location on the YDNA. Taken together, these numbers create a YDNA type of fingerprint. The more STRs tested, the more specific the fingerprint. These locations were chosen as areas that are likely to change. The difference between the numbers of any 2 people is called the GD or Genetic Distance. This is a rough estimate of relationship. It is also a bit relative. Say someone has a GD of one when comparing two 111 STR tests vs. two 37 STR test. The GD of one for the 111 STR test comparison represents a much closer match. Here’s a closer look at the first 25 STRs of the R1a1 Frazers:

STR Locations

Frazer YDNA 25

The heading I put in doesn’t quite line up but are the locations of the STRs being tested. The first row below the heading is the maximum number for the STR. The second row is the minimum. The third row is the mode or the typical number. The purple numbers are below the mode and the pink numbers are above the mode. So our Frazer can be said to be a GD of 7 from the mode. This is because in the 7th column there is a difference of 2. All the other differences are one. For a GD of one in a 37 STR test, Family Tree gives the following chances of having a common ancestor:

Tip Chart GD1

Our current YDNA Frazer tester’s closest match is a GD of 1 match with a Frizelle. Perhaps this Frizelle was once a Frazer that changed his name to Frizelle. Or perhaps our Frazer name was once Frizelle. For comparison, his generations to the James of the James line would be 6 or 7 to the parents of the James and Archibald Lines.

Now all these STR numbers are used to estimate the Haplogroup. The estimated haplogroup is R1a1. This is the old name. The new name for R1a1 is R-M512 and  based on the test for that SNP. In the first screen shot there is a red R-M512 next to the 3 YDNA testing Frazers in the group. The SNP is red because it is estimated based on the STRs. If the SNP was tested, the color would be green. However, there is no need to test for R-M512 as the STRs already indicate that the SNP is R-M512. A SNP is a Single Nucleotide Polymorphism. In other words, it is a specific test aimed at finding a haplogroup or haplotype. So one might say that a STR test is a general description of the YDNA based on specific markers. The aggregation of these markers result in a profile that can be used to compare with other profiles. It may also be used to estimate a haplotype. The SNP test is a very specific test looking for a specific crucial spot in the YDNA that proves a specific haplotype.

One of the goals for this Frazer DNA project is to show by YDNA that the James line and the Archibald lines are related. We are pretty sure they are. However, over the years, things can happen, so it’s good to be sure. This YDNA could be used to trace our Frazer back to other Frazers in Scotland.

What is R1a1?

I’m glad I asked. When our first Frazer tested, I was expecting the results to be R1b. This is quite a common haplogroup. This is what my Hartley YDNA came back as. Some people associate the R1b with the old Celtic peoples of the area. My Hartleys were supposed to come from the NW England which is near SW Scotland where our Irish Frazer supposedly came from. So it made sense for me to guess that the Frazers would also be R1b. As I scroll down the Fraser and Septs – YDNA Colorized Chart,  I see that many of the Fraser/Frazer names are under R1b.

The difference between R1a and R1b is quite large. I would guess that these 2 haplogroups split from each other 10,000 years ago or more. The R1a people took the Northern route out of Asia accross Scandinavia perhaps and ended up in the Northern part of the British Isles. The R1b’s took the Southern route, generally, around Spain or possibly shortcutting through France and up into the British Isles.

There are also internet groups just for R1a1a people of any surname. Here is a map from one of those groups showing the migration and peoples descending from R1a.


Notice that the Scots are near the Vikings. It would be interesting to see if our Frazers are positive for the L448 and L176 tests. That was the 2012 chart. There has been an explosion of testing over the last few years which has been difficult to keep up with and new branches are being discovered on a regular basis. Here is the 2015 chart:

r1a chart 2015

See all the extra branches at the bottom. Many of these are based on the Big Y DNA tests, that basically tests you for anything Y. You can see many more Scots branches near the 3rd little figure on the bottom. Unfortunately, our STR testing only gets us to about 6,000 B.C. This is caveman days, when our ancestors were still in Asia perhaps. However, as R1a is rarer than R1b the test should be good enough to show a male line match. Plus, the STR profile should be very similar.

Why Are So Few of our Irish Frazers R1a1?

There could be many answers to this question.

  • The Frasers/Frazers are apparently a large clan with many branches. Ours could be a separate one.
  • An early adoption of a Frazer could have created a different branch of the Frazers
  • DNA testing predates the adoption of surnames, septs, and clans. More than one group of people could have adopted the same surname, or become part of the same sept or clan. A review or our YDNA testing Frazer shows that his closest matches are with a Frizelle (GD=1) and a Grant and a Stuart (GD=2). This could indicate that the Frizelles, Grants and Stuarts could be related a point that predated surnames.

What Will it Mean if the Two YDNA Tests Do Not Match Each Other?

I am hoping they will match. If they clearly don’t match, then there will need to be additional testing to determine why and where that lack of matching occured. However, based on the autosomal DNA analyses done so far, I think there will be a match. There are many autosomal DNA matches between the Archibald Line descendants and the James Line Descendants. Here are the matches between the 2 lines. There are about twice as many matches since I wrote about this before in Frazer DNA – Celebrity Edition!

Matches Archibald James Lines

However, I can think of 3 ways to interpret these matches:

  1. This could be due to the fact that there were common collateral lines and these  matches are picking up the Frazer spouses common ancestors;
  2. this could be due to the fact that autosomal test is picking up this old Frazer connection that goes back to the early 1700’s or;
  3. the matches could be due to intermarrying between the 2 Archibald and James Frazer Lines subsequent to the early 1700’s.

So for now, we will sit back and wait for the new YDNA testing to come in. Then, as they say on TV, we will have our YDNA reveal.