Cousin Mike Joins the Fray

I was presently surprised when looking over my AncestryDNA matches recently. I saw my second cousin Mike. Now due to the fact that I have many second cousins descending from James Hartley and Annie Snell, I don’t happen to know them all personally. Fortunately, I do know Mike and if I met him somewhere would surely say hi.

Mike at AncestryDNA

At AncestryDNA there is a button to push called Shared Matches. When I look for Shared Matches between me and Mike, I get a lot of people. I first get my 4 tested siblings. Then I get 11 second cousins. These are actually 2nd cousins by DNA. In other words, Ancestry looks at the amount of DNA shared and guesses that these should be in the 2nd cousin range. So Ancestry has the first four of my list of shared second cousins in the 1st to 2nd cousin range. The rest on the list are in the 2nd to 3rd cousin range. However, these are all actual second cousins that Mike and I share. These would be descendants of the 13 children that my great grandparents James Hartley and Annie Snell had. Actually, first on his list of 2nd cousins is Joyce. She is a first cousin once removed. I had her tested at the last family reunion. I wrote a Blog about her results here, and about Mike’s sister Holly here. Down in the Third Cousin Shared Matches there may be 2nd cousins once removed. There is also one non-Hartley Snell relative listed there.

Mike at Gedmatch

I asked Mike to upload his DNA results to Gedmatch. That is where you can find out more about your DNA. For example, here is how Mike matches his sister Holly on Chromosome 15:

I bring up this example, because full siblings match each other in a different way than any other relationship.

  • We all get a chromosome from our mom and one from our dad. They in turn got one from their mom and one from their dad. That means there are four ways that we can get DNA from our parents. Those four ways are from our four grandparents
  • The blue bar on the bottom shows where Mike and Holly match by DNA.
  • The yellow bar above the blue means that Mike and Holly share the DNA from one parent only. And they get their DNA from only one parent of that parent. However, we don’t know which one right now.
  • The green bar above the blue bar means that Mike and Holly share DNA from both their mother and father. Not only that, they share the DNA from one of the mother’s parents and one of the father’s parents. However, we don’t know which one yet.
  • The red area is where Holly and Mike share no DNA from either parent. That is the opposite of the green area. That means Mike may get his DNA from a maternal grandfather and Holly from a paternal grandmother in that area. I’ll give some examples below.

Here are Mike and Holly’s grandparents:

Here is how Mike and Holly match each other on Chromosome 7:

Below the first green bar (which is called a Fully Identical Region or FIR), I have split this out for Mike and Holly. This is split to identify Mike and Holly’s maternal and paternal sides (but we don’t know which yet). Mike and Holly have two of the same colors. That means that they got the DNA from the same two grandparents. One of those grandparents is paternal and one is maternal. We don’t know which is which yet, but we can easily figure out the paternal grandmother. We can do that because all of Mike and Holly’s second cousin DNA matches on the Hartley side that I mentioned above.

The first match is Mike’s 1st cousin once removed Joyce. Then there are my 4 siblings. #6 and 7 are two other Hartley-descended 2nd cousins. That means that all this DNA maps to Mike’s grandmother Grace May Hartley. Put together, these matches go from 15.6M to 95.6M for Mike.

Here I assigned blue as Mike and Holly’s paternal grandmother. In the green area, Holly had to have the same DNA from the same Hartley grandmother. In the red area, Holly had to have the DNA from her Gifford grandfather because neither grandparent matches in a red area. Now let’s look at Holly’s 2nd cousin matches.

Above, Holly matches Joyce from 6-42M.

Because Holly gets her DNA from her Hartley grandmother before about the 16M mark, that must mean Mike gets his paternal DNA in that area on his Gifford side. Otherwise, he would have matched at least one of his Hartley cousins there.  Then I moved some of the orange DNA to the left. This would be maternal DNA which is from either Jenney or Murray. This also meets the requirement of the first yellow area. That area is called an HIR or Half Identical Region. It is where Mike and Holly share the DNA from one grandparent but not the other. In order to know which grandparent that DNA is from, we would need to have a match to a Murray or Jenney. In order to do this right we would also need another color for the 2nd maternal grandparent.

This is also a lot easier when there are three siblings to compare because then we could find out where the crossovers are. An example of a crossover is on Mike’s DNA where the DNA he got on the paternal side goes from Gifford to Hartley.

Me and Mike and Our DNA

When I look at my DNA matches at Gedmatch, my match with Mike is the highest level shared between any of my second cousins – at least the cousins that have uploaded to Gedmatch. Mike’s sister Holly had the record before that. Here is what the specifics look like between Mike and myself:

At the bottom of the list is a number of 2.7 generations. That is how far back it looks like our common ancestors are. They are actually 3.0 generations away. That is just the way it is. Some of my second cousins will share more than average amounts and some will share less than average amounts of DNA. If I look at Mike’s match list, he shares more DNA with two of my sisters and another 2nd cousin than he does with me.

Mapping My DNA By Cousins

I showed one way to map DNA from your grandparents comparing siblings’ DNA. Another way is to directly map your cousins’ matches to a chart. Kitty Munson has developed some software to do this. Right now my map looks like this:

The darker blue maps to James Hartley and Annie Snell. That would be via my 1st cousins once removed and my 2nd cousins with the same ancestors. Mike’s DNA fills in a few blanks in my map:

I guess the changes are subtle. The Hartley side should only ever fill up about one half of my paternal chromosomes. The other half for me would be for Frazer and Frazer ancestors.

Mike’s X Chromosome Matches: No Hartleys There

Mike’s biggest X Chromosome match is with his sister Holly:

Mike, like me, won’t match any Hartley relatives on the X Chromosome. That is because a father never passes an X Chromosome down to a son – only a Y Chromosome. The big match between Mike and Holly is from their mom. She got her X Chromosome from some combination of Jenney and Murray.

Mike’s Lancashire DNA Match

These matches above represent Lee’s DNA matches on Chromosome 13 with 5 siblings in my family, our two 1st cousins once removed and Mike in the green.

I have mentioned in a previous Blog about Joyce, that Hartley descendants have a match with Lee at AncestryDNA and Gedmatch. Lee shows all his ancestors as being from England. The Snells came to this country in the 1600’s and the Hartleys in the 1800’s. That means that Lee’s matches would be on the Hartley side vs. the Snell side. Lee has two interesting people in his ancestry. One is Margaret Hartley b. 1836 and another is Mary Baldwin b. 1836.

  • Although these two women were born in 1836, they are in different generations from Lee
  • Margaret Hartley is on Lee’s paternal side and Mary Baldwin is on Lee’s maternal side. If Lee were to ever test his mom, we would know on which side the Hartleys match.
  • Lee doesn’t show any parents for Margaret Hartley or Mary Baldwin

I have our Trawden born ancestor Greenwood Hartley with a Baldwin grandmother:

This is really on the edge of my knowledge. I chose Betty Baldwin and James Hartley as the most likely parents for Robert Hartley out of many potential candidates.

Lee had a dead end for his Margaret Hartley ancestor. Here are some potential parents I found for Margaret:

This was the same issue I had for finding parents for Robert. Was Margaret the daughter of John and Susan Hartley, John and Hannah Hartley or John and Margaret Hartley? Or perhaps even someone else?

Greenwood is staring at me from the past and saying, “You can’t figure out who my are grandparents are? They are _______ and _______”

a look at Mary Baldwin b. 1836

Due to a problem finding Margaret Hartley’s parents, I’ll take a look at a less common surname in Mary Baldwin. Based on this scrawly writing, she was baptized a Wesleyan in Colne:

This baptism was outside the Church of England.  A Wesleyan, perhaps what we would consider Methodist was considered a non-conformist church. Here is some information on Mary’s dad Eli:

And here is a brother of Elis:

I still need to get back a ways to get to our potential ancestor, Betty Baldwin who was born perhaps around 1780. Any potential shared ancestor would likely be Betty’s parents. We’ll say that Jane Baldwin was actually Jenney Spencer:

Again, we get a multiple choice for the father of this James Baldwin. Here is a batch of them from around 1790:

Here I will choose the James from Barrowford for a few reasons. One is that his dad was Elias and two, he was from Barrowford. Here is the 1851 Census showing that this James Baldwin was born in Barrowford.

This also shows James son David b. in 1812. That gets us back to the old-timers: Elias and Peggy Baldwin. Unfortunately, it looks like Elias didn’t do too well:

He died of decline at age 35. Betty could have been his daughter, but it would have made for some tight time frames. She would have had to have been born perhaps late 1783. Then she would have been only about 17 at the time of her marriage. So the genealogy is the difficult part of the genetic genealogy.

 

Tracking Down DNA from Colne, Lancashire or Part One of the Hartley Brick Wall Series

So far, I have done pretty well at finding out from which grandparent I get my DNA. However, figuring out where the split is for my great grandparents is a bit more difficult. Due to a brick wall problem with the Hartley genealogy, I would like to know which of my DNA is Hartley and which is Snell. There are different ways to do this. One way is to find matches with UK, NZ or AU at the end of their emails. These matches would also match where I got DNA from my Hartley grandfather who was the son of a Hartley and a Snell. My Hartley ancestors came from England in the late 1800’s. My Snell ancestors were in England also, but going back to the 1600’s which should be too far back for the DNA to track in most cases.

One match I found was Linda. She has a UK address to her email. She is on Ancestry and Gedmatch and has trees at both places. Here is her match with my siblings, Heidi and Jonathan:

Linda also has a smaller match with my father’s cousin Joyce on Chromosome 10.

Linda and the Colne Connection

Linda has a large tree with over 16,000 people. I am interested in some of her ancestors in the Colne area. My ancestors lived in Colne, but the church where they were baptized and wed was in Colne.

This is the Ancestry map enlarged to the max. My dot is blue in Trawden. Linda had more than one ancestor in Colne and lists one in Winewall and one in Wycoller. Wycoller is now a park which explains the green area. It would be a short walk from Trawden to Winewall. All the places may be walked to with not too much difficulty. Linda’s ancestral surnames in the area are:

  • Jowett, b. 1878 Colne: too recent for what I am looking for
  • Three male Waddingtons, born in Colne: 1710; 1737; and 1805. The last male Waddington would be too recent my purposes.
  • Thomas Rycroft b. 1684; Matilda Rycroft b. 1772, both in Colne
  • Female Crook, b. 1711, Colne
  • Hannah Foulds, b. 1720, and a male Foulds, b. 1692 both in Colne. I recognize the Foulds name as a prominent local name from my previous research in the area.
  • Allison Blackburn, b. 1688, Winewall
  • Robert Waddington, b. 1770, Wycoller

Of course, there is a possibility that none of these names are associated with Hartley. However, as there is a DNA match and a place match, there is a possibility that there is a match on one of these lines.

Linda’s Colne area tree

I feel like I’m exploring in someone’s house when I look at their tree. Here is the part of the tree that I am interested in:

Coghill didn’t show up on the Colne area map as her birthplace is listed as Lancashire. There should be a sweet spot in the tree above assuming that we are related. I am looking for a connection to my tree, so connecting person cannot be too recent. If we go back too far, it becomes improbably that there is an autosomal DNA match. Here is my Trawden Tree:

Going down the middle row, I am not certain about James Hartley and Betty Baldwin. I am quite sure about Greenwood Pilling and Nancy Shackleton. That means that my first choice would be to connect Robert Hartley to Linda’s tree somehow. In Linda’s Waddington line, the William Waddington or Foulds Rycroft family could have had a daughter that married a Hartley that had Robert. That daughter would have come about following a Hartley/Waddington or Hartley/Rycroft wedding.

Hartley and Waddington

When I search the online Colne Parish records for Hartley/Waddington, I get these two records:

I was looking for a female Waddington that married a Hartley. We see that in the second listing above. Also of note in attendance was John Crook. Crook is a surname in Linda’s line. There is a Mary Waddington born in 1752, but she is the daughter of John possibly a generation earlier:

Here are some of the children of William and Mary Hartley in the time frame that I am interested in. There were very likely more than one William and Mary Hartley family. At least the family at Noyna-end and Aldershead seem to be different based on the closeness of baptisms. This is also assuming that the baptisms were close to the birth dates. In fact, three baptisms in 1773 could indicate three different families:

Baptism: 21 Mar 1773 St Bartholomew, Colne, Lancashire, England
William Hartley – son of Wm Hartley & Mary
Abode: Noyna-end
Register: Baptisms 1756 – 1774, Page 92, Entry 16
Source: LDS Film 1471023

Baptism: 12 Aug 1773 St Bartholomew, Colne, Lancashire, England
Jonathan Hartley – son of Wm Hartley & Mary
Abode: Aldershead
Register: Baptisms 1756 – 1774, Page 94, Entry 6
Source: LDS Film 1471023

Baptism: 17 Oct 1773 St Bartholomew, Colne, Lancashire, England
Robert Hartley – son of Wm Hartley & Mary
Abode: Greenfield
Register: Baptisms 1756 – 1774, Page 95, Entry 7
Source: LDS Film 1471023

Baptism: 25 Dec 1775 St Bartholomew, Colne, Lancashire, England
Robert Hartley – son of William Hartley & Mary
Abode: Wycoller
Register: Baptisms 1774 – 1789, Page 11, Entry 12
Source: LDS Film 1471023

Baptism: 22 Dec 1777 St Bartholomew, Colne, Lancashire, England
Ellin Hartley – daughter of William Hartley & Mary
Abode: Wycoller
Register: Baptisms 1774 – 1789, Page 25, Entry 24
Source: LDS Film 1471023

Baptism: 7 Oct 1781 St Bartholomew, Colne, Lancashire, England
Peter Hartley – son of William Hartley & Mary
Abode: Green-field
Register: Baptisms 1774 – 1789, Page 61, Entry 2
Source: LDS Film 1471023

Baptism: 2 Feb 1783 St Bartholomew, Colne, Lancashire, England
Richard Hartley – son of William Hartley & Mary
Abode: Two Laws
Register: Baptisms 1774 – 1789, Page 71, Entry 4
Source: LDS Film 1471023

I recognize the name of Aldershead where Jonathan was born. This was not far from Seghole where the Pillings lived. However, Jonathan appeared to have died young:

Burial: 16 Aug 1776 St Bartholomew, Colne, Lancashire, England
Jonathan Hartley –
Age: infant
Abode: Aldershead
Register: Burials 1774 – 1789, Page 7, Entry 12
Source: LDS Film 1471023

Robert would seem to be a good choice for the father of my Robert, but I see no Robert, son of Robert being born around 1803 when I believe my Robert was born based on his burial record:

Baptism: 8 Jan 1792 St Bartholomew, Colne, Lancashire, England
Robert Hartley – Son of Robert Hartley & Mary
Born: 8 Jul 1791
Abode: Edge
Occupation: Weaver
Register: Baptisms 1790 – 1812, Page 23, Entry 22
Source: LDS Film 1471024

Baptism: 22 Jan 1809 St Bartholomew, Colne, Lancashire, England
Robert Hartley – Son of Robert Hartley & Susan
Born: 26 Nov 1808
Abode: Lanshaw Bridge
Occupation: Innkeeper
Register: Baptisms 1790 – 1812, Page 254, Entry 13
Source: LDS Film 1471024

I have the same problem with Robert son of William:

Baptism: 7 Oct 1792 St Bartholomew, Colne, Lancashire, England
Robert Hartley – Son of William Hartley & Margaret
Born: 5 Jul 1790
Abode: Boughgap
Occupation: Weaver
Notes: [Robert & Henry bracketed together]
Register: Baptisms 1790 – 1812, Page 33, Entry 254
Source: LDS Film 1471024

Baptism: 20 May 1810 St Bartholomew, Colne, Lancashire, England
Robert Hartley – Son of Wm Hartley & Mary
Born: 6 Jan 1810
Abode: Spouthouses
Occupation: Weaver
Register: Baptisms 1790 – 1812, Page 279, Entry 158
Source: LDS Film 1471024

There was only one Robert born of a Peter Hartley in 1809. There was also only one Robert born of Richard in 1796. That seems to rule out those possibilities.

Let’s try Rycroft

I haven’t eliminated the Waddington line for the mother of Robert – only for the father of Robert. And I have only eliminated Waddington assuming that the baptisms took place at Colne. I am also not looking for the mother of Robert as that would be a more complicated search. For example, what if a Waddington married and her husband died. She then married a Hartley. Likely the wedding record would show the married and not the birth name.

There were not a lot of Hartley/Rycroft weddings that I could find. Here is a fairly early one.

I did find a Susanna:

Baptism: 16 Oct 1714 St Bartholomew, Colne, Lancashire, England
Susanna Rycroft – filia Johannis Rycroft
Abode: Winewall
Register: Baptisms 1697 – 1734, Page 155, Entry 16
Source: LDS Film 1471023

However, Linda doesn’t have a John Rycroft in her ancestry after 1640, so I’ll rule that out for now due to the fact that a DNA match may not make it that far back.

I found this entry interesting:

Here we have the names Hartley, Rycroft, Foulds and Waddington. This Hartley Rycroft was the daughter of Betty Rycroft:

Baptism: 2 Sep 1798 St Bartholomew, Colne, Lancashire, England
Hartley Rycroft – Son of Betty Rycroft, Spinster
Born: 25 Jun 1798
Abode: Lane Head
Register: Baptisms 1790 – 1812, Page 99, Entry 200
Source: LDS Film 1471024

Here we are getting complicated as the Hartley is only the first name. Was the mother trying to name the father? This Betty was likely the daughter of Foulds:

Baptism: 6 Nov 1774 St Bartholomew, Colne, Lancashire, England
Betty Rycroft – daugr of Foulds Rycroft & Mary
Abode: Trauden
Register: Baptisms 1774 – 1789, Page 4, Entry 3
Source: LDS Film 1471023

Any Hartley/Crook Connections?

In looking through my Blog, I see that I didn’t look at the Crook surname. I use the Lancashire online search when I look for my Colne records. Linda has a Thomasin Crook born in 1711, so that goes back quite a way. I see two Hartley/Crook weddings in the early 1600’s which would likely be too early for a DNA match. Here is a later Crook/Hartley wedding, but I am not sure how John Crook is related. Also Mary Hartley is from Otterburn in Yorkshire. Otterburn looks to be about 20 Km North of Colne.

So this is all very interesting, and I have learned more about Linda’s ancestors, but not so much about mine. However, I do feel that breaking down the brick wall could come from these kind of back door methods in conjunction with DNA matches.

Snell Autosomal DNA

I don’t think I’ve written specifically about Snell Autosomal DNA. This DNA has been difficult to separate out. I have lots of 2nd cousins that lead back to our common great grandparents: James Hartley and Annie Snell. But it is difficult to separate out the DNA from those two. The best way to do this is to find someone who goes back before Annie Snell. Here is one apparent match before Annie:

This is actually a match to my sister Sharon. I asked the administrator for M.M. to upload to Gedmatch. I’m pretty sure this is the match:

About One Eighth of My DNA is Snell DNA

I get exactly one half of my DNA from my dad and one half from my mom. I get on average 25% of my DNA from each of my grandparents. It is that point that the numbers start to vary. I get on average 12.5% of my DNA from each of my great grandparents. At this level the 12.5% number varies even more. Here is how I have mapped me and four of my siblings on Chromosome 5 where the match is to MM:

The above maps my four grandparents to my DNA. Stated another way it shows how much DNA I got from my 4 grandparents and where I got that DNA on each of my chromosome. About half of each grandparent color should be split up into two great grandparent colors. The bottom part was done by Martin MacNeill. I created the top part with visual phasing. I assumed that the bottom part was correct. There are some discrepancies of where the crossovers occur due to scale. My crossover from Hartley to Frazer is at 172.6. That explains why I don’t match M.M. If I take Gedmatch way down, I actually do match M.M. here:

If I was mapping this tiny segment, I could say that it came from either Anthony Snell or Betsey Luther. If I wanted to limit it to one person, I could say that this is my Otis Snell DNA [Anthony and Betsey’s son].

It is difficult to see, but there is now some new light blue at the end of my Chromosome 5 for Otis Snell. For my siblings, they would have longer patches of blue. Actually, this would be true for all my siblings except for Lori. She doesn’t match M.M. This means I made a mistake on my Chromosome Sibling Map. It should look like this:

Matches are a good way to check your work. Lori’s last crossover from Hartley to Frazer (Yellow) is at about position 167.5M.

What About Other Snell DNA?

One way to find other related Snells is through a Gedmatch utility. This utility finds people that are matched to both you and your match. Here are a few that match my brother Jonathan on Chromosome 5 :

Unfortunately, I either couldn’t find these people with overlapping DNA matches easily or they had a tree that didn’t go back far enough.

Snells at Ancestrydna

Here is a match that is perfect at AncestryDNA. Our common ancestors are the parents of Annie Snell [Isiah Hatch Snell and Hannah Thomas Bradford]:

I have gone to his mother on the chart above. However, he hasn’t uploaded to Gedmatch.com for comparison. And there is the problem for genetic genealogists. AncestryDNA has good information but no chromosome browser and tools. Gedmatch has good tools but not as many people and the trees aren’t as good.

So for now, I will be content with my little bit of DNA that I got from Otis Snell’s parents on my Chromosome 5.

Frazer YDNA Update and Some Early Frazer Research

A few things have been going on the Frazer DNA and genealogy front:

  • Results are still coming in from our Frazer-related Stewart/Stuart BigY test results
  • A new YFull Tree has come out
  • A Frazer researcher has shared some of his information with us on Frasers in Scotland

Stewart/Stuart Big Y Results

In my last Blog on the subject I gave more information, so this is just an update. Once our Stewart tester got his Big Y results, there was still more analysis by the R1a YDNA project administrator, Martin. I was interested to hear what Martin has to say as these administrators are talented and take their volunteer position seriously. I found this part of Martin’s analysis interesting:

Around 1000 AD this subclade YP6488 splits in 3 family lines Grant, Stuart and Frazer. The date 1000 AD is not very certain because we see a wide variation in the number of private SNP’s in these family lines. Normally we calculate with 130 years per SNP (or one SNP mutation in 4-5 generations), but this average figure is only valid for a large number of samples. The total average number of SNP’s downstream M417 is on average about 50 for Subclade R1a-L664. However Grant and you have only resp 42 and 45 (see red number at bottom of chart) and the Frazer’s have more or less the average number of 50 (excluding the extra SNP’s found in the Yfull analysis). So the best guess for the MRCA of the Grant/Stuart/Frazer families is for me still 1000 AD, but with a large margin.

Here is the new R-YP5515 portion of the tree with Stuart added:

I erased the FTDNA kit numbers for privacy. I hadn’t realized that the red numbers were important at the bottom of the tree. Now I realize that they are, so I have included them. [See the explanation above in italics.] The addition of Stuart to the group has the effect of changing the separation date of the Frazers, Grant and Stuart to the year 1,000 A.D. Before Stuart, it showed Frazer and Grant separating at the year 900 A.D. Not a big difference, but it does show the effect of the Stuart test on  Grant and Frazer.

I was also in touch with Martin and he was seemed excited about a new member to the group:

Today we have new member, which I think is interesting for the members of subclade YP5515>YP6479  It is #______ from Sweden and he has the typical STR haplotype for this subclade. Up to now all members of YP5515 had their roots in Scotland/Ireland, but we expect YP5515 came originally from Scandinavia. This new member could be a proof that YP5515 came from Scandinavia if he is willing to do a BigY test.

So we will have to wait to see how this plays out. It appears that if this person were to do the BigY test, this could give us a more exact time of when our ancestors came from Scandinavia to Scotland. Speaking of this, I thought about Martin’s comments to our Stuart tester and came up with this drawing:

I used a little bit of guessing. It seemed like the best route from Sweden to Scotland would be by water. Perhaps our ancestors made some stops in current Norway before settling in the Inverness area. Their route from Inverness to the shore SE of Glasgow is based on some Frazer traditions. I noted that it is a pretty straight shot from there to County Roscommon where they certainly were according to the 1749 Census. They could have traveled by boat again, but there have been Scots known to be in Ulster also.

A New YFull YTree v 5.06

YFull analyzes Big Y results. For those that use their service, they come up with a tree and other analyses. Here is the current version of YFull’s YTree:

Compared to the last YTree, this has added YP6488 and YP6489. The Stuart tester is not yet included in this analysis. So his analysis should come out as YP6488. Note that YFull has a TMRCA of 800 years before present for YP6488 or roughly 1200 A.D. This is an important date as it is where there is a split between the Grant, Stuart and Frazer families. I feel that Martin’s tree may be more accurate. On his tree, the analogous date appears to be 1,000 A.D. That seems to get into those red numbers that I mentioned above. Perhaps YTree saw the fewer SNPs for Grant and Stuart and figured that represented a more recent date. Martin, being a real person, was able to take ambiguities into account and give a more plausible date.

Early Frazer Research

I am grateful to Alan for bringing together and to light research on Frasers in Scotland that might link to our Frazers in County Roscommon, Ireland. Alan’s research appears to indicate the following:

  • James Fraser of Knock married Mary Ramsay in 1628.
  • That James was the son of John Fraser of Knock
  • Mary Ramsay was the daughter of “Mr Andrew Ramsay one the ministers of Edinburgh
  • James was associated with “…Montrose during the sojourn of the royal forces in the west of Scotland. The laird of Knock [James] denied having had any concern in the protection…”
  • “James Fraser of Knock
    March 13, 1649: Presbytery of Irvine: it was reported on this day to the Presbytery that “upon the day of tendering the Covenant, the laird of Knock, because it was told him that he wald not admitted to the Covenant, absented himself from the kirk in the afternoon”. For “his scandalouslie absenting himself fra the kirk the day of swearing the covenant”, the Session of Largs were ordered not only to proceed in the process against the laird, but that this latter offence should be taken into the process. Paterson states ‘that in 1650 the process was still continued against him, though meantime he had fled to Ireland to escape the persecution to which he and others were subjected’.
    [Paterson, James: History of the County of Ayr, Vol. II, p. 309]”
  • Apparently this same James shows up in 1673 in Aberdeenshire as a “minister of word of God at the Church of Ellen

Knock is part of Largs Parish:

Here is a modern view of the updated Knock Castle:

Alan informs us that the modern day spelling of Ellen is Ellon:

This looks like it would be an interesting place to visit.

  • There is mention of an Archibald and William Frazer in reference 11 compiled by Alan. This appears to be in a document signing over the property at Knock. However, the relationship of Archibald and William to James and his younger brother Alexander are not apparent.

So where does this leave us? Alan’s research adds some clarity to the traditions of the Frasers of Knock circulated among some of the Frazer descendants. It shows that there was a controversial figure named James Fraser of Knock who held the Knock Castle and property. He got into some trouble with the authorities in the area of Largs, fled to Ireland for a while and showed up in Aberdeenshire as a minister where he apparently died.

My assumption is that the Frazers that moved to County Roscommon were familiar with James of Knock and probably were living in the same area before moving to Ireland. What is not sure is whether our Irish Frazers were closely related, distantly related or unrelated to James Frazer of Knock. Joanna of our study group has mentioned that there are Frasers and Frazers still around in the area of Largs. It would interesting to find out if there is any DNA connection between these Fraser/Frazers and our Frazers.

Any comments are welcome in case I have misinterpreted Alan’s research.