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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *