A New Frazer BigY Test Completed

I am descended from Frazers from North Roscommon County, Ireland on my paternal grandmother’s side. I have tested a Frazer cousin to get Frazer YDNA results. Similarly, Mansoor has used his maternal Uncle by last name of Barker to take a BigY test to get his Frazer results. Mansoor’s goal is to find the identity of his grandfather Thomas’ true father. Autosomal testing of Mr. Barker already showed that he was related to a branch of the Frazers even though his last name is not Frazer.

Barker’s BigY Results

These results were not what I had expected, but they are very interesting. I had thought that Barker’s result (shown as ‘your branch’) would help to identify clarify Dingman’s results. However, what Barker’s results have done so far is split the James Frazer Branch where Rodney and Jonathan are.

The Archibald and James Frazer Lines

Genealogical evidence shows that there were two male head of household Frazers named Archibald and James living in North Roscommon in 1749.

Their father believed to be another Archibald Frazer has died by this time as indicated by the enumeration of Mary Frazer, ‘widdow’. From this all Frazer genealogy starts with two Frazer Lines: Archibald and James. Here is an image I have from a previous Blog. These are the lines of those who had previously taken the BigY test including their YDNA Branch names:

Previoiusly Rodney and Jonathan were in the Y151390 Branch which was the only known branch of the James Line at the time. Barker’s BigY results have pushed Rodney and Jonathan down a level on the YDNA tree to FT421607 as seen on the Block tree above and in the next image.

A New Genealogy/YDNA Tree

Here is my revised tree:




  • All 6 testers come under FT421618.
  • It appears that all testers genealogically come under Archibald Frazer born about 1690. Therefore, it must follow that this Archibald Frazer was FT421618 and passed that down to all his Irish Frazer descendants.
  • Dingman is also FT421618 with no further distinction. This chart had that he descends from John Frazer born 1775. I had previously wondered if he possibly had descended from John’s brother Richard or from the James Line. However Barker’s new testing makes it seem more likely from purely YDNA testing that Dingman is on the Archibald Line
  • I have the new Y151390 between James born 1720 and Archibald born 1751. There is no way right now to know who was the first to have this SNP. It may also be Archibald Frazer born 1792.
  • If Dingman was from the James Line, then James could not be the one to first have Y151390, but it seems for now that Dingman is in the right Frazer Line.
  • We know that Rodney and Jonathan both have FT421607. Therefore, Thomas Henry Frazer must have that SNP. However, we do not know if he was the first in that Line to have that SNP.
  •  We don’t know the genealogy for Barker. However, we know that he did not descend from Thomas Henry Frazer. That means that Barker descended from either Archibald Frazer born 1792, Archibald Frazer born 1751 or James Frazer born 1720.

Some More BigY Detail

In order for Barker to have split the previous SNP Block, he must be positive for Y151390 and negative for FT421607. In some ways, the negative results are more important:

This is Barker’s test results showing that for every read that the location of FT421607 there was no mutation. That means that Barker is negative for FT421607.

This shows the results for the new SNP that Barker is in:

A mutation from C to T puts Barker as Y151390.

As a new branch has formed, FTDNA will likely perform a manual review.

Also, Y151390  and FT421607 will be split out and placed in FTDNA’s Time Tree which should give a date for these two SNPs. The Time Tree currently does not have FT421607:


Summary and Conclusions

  • The new Barker test shows that his genealogy is in the James Line
  • The new BigY test split the old James Line branch into two
  • The test shows that Barker must descend from James Frazer born 1720 or his son Archibald born 1751 or the next Archibald born 1792
  • The new test seems to support that Dingman is from the Archibald line
  • FTDNA should do a manual review on this test
  • FTDNA will also update their Time tree to include the new FT421607


FTDNA’s Time Tree for YDNA BigY Testers

FTDNA has a new Time Tree which is interesting. I have three trees that I am interested: Frazer from my father’s mother’s side, Hartley from my side and Butler from my wife’s side

Frazer Time Tree

The Time Tree is under Discover More:

Then there is a menu on the left:

Here is the Frazer Time Tree:

I didn’t take the tree all the way back. I thought that back to the time of Christ was probably far enough.

A Closer View

Here we can related more and focus in on the genealogical timeframe. I assume that between the years 1200 and 1400, the clans were forming as the top 6 BigY testers are five Frazers and on Frazier/Frasher. The Frazier tester has an American Flag as the genealogy is colonial and cannot be traced back – though it likely goes back to Ireland or Scotland. This branch of Frazers is called R-YP6489. Down from Frazier on Time Tree above is Dingman. Then there are Rick and my by cousin Paul. Then there are Rodney and Jonathan.

Here is how I have the North Roscommon Branch of BigY-tested Frazers:

Dingman on the left has the generic North Roscommon Frazer Haplogroup of R-FT421618 because no one else on his branch has tested.

This is how the ‘Block Tree” at FTDNA looks like:

Here I have Frazier also in the image. By comparing the two previous images, there are some interesting things:

  • Jonathan and Rodney share an average of 5 private branches. That would seem to indicate the potential for some branching below R-Y151390 which is the branch for Thomas Henry Frazer born 1836. There is also a spare SNP which is FT421607. This is available for branching between James Frazer born about 1720 and Archibald Frazer born about 1792.
  • Rick and Paul show an average of three Private Variants. These would be for branches below James Frazer born 1804. The Private Variants in this case and for Rodney and Jonathan are not as important as the genealogy is better known in these two lines where these Variants would be applicable.
  • Perhaps what seem unexplainable at this time is why R-Y85652 has two additional equivalents. That would imply that, if my tree is right, that Philip Frazer would have had two mutations. I don’t think that is very likely. As these are equivalent SNPs, the other potential, given the above tree would be that Philip had one mutation and James had two mutations. I posed the question to the BigY Facebook Page as to whether one man could have two variants or SNPs. Some thought that two mutations in one person was possible.
  • Dingman’s line has four Private Variants. They would have ocurred in the seven generations since Archibald Frazer born about 1743.

Hartley Time Tree

This is from my own family.

The man in red represents my father as he is the one my brother and I have as a common ancestor. The man with the blue cross is a Smith. We have a common ancestor around 500. It is not clear as to whether our ancestors were from Scotland or if his branch moved North. Going up a branch, it would seem that most of the people from this line were in the area of England. A few testers in the branch above had ancestors from Wales:

For reference, the blue circle three from the bottom of the above image is Smith.

Hartley and Mawdsley

The top tester above is a Mawdsley. There had been some question as to whether this person should have been a Hartley. If we go with this timing with a common ancestor between Hartley and Mawdsley of around 1100 AD/CE, then there would be no need to group the two as surnames were not common at that time for the average person. I like to quote FamilySearch on this topic:

The custom of applying a man’s by-name to all his children began in the late 12th century and spread slowly, with the manorial classes and the south of England leading the way. The first legal recognition of an hereditary surname is found in 1267; it was de Cantebrigg meaning ‘of Canterbury.’ By 1400 three-quarters of the population are reckoned to have borne hereditary family names, and the process was complete by about 1450 in England. Wales is an exception, in that although they had surnames they were patronymics (derived from the father’s first name) and thus changed each generation.

The Hartleys seem to fit this general statement as the first Hartley common ancestor (if FTDNA’s estimate is correct) is shown to be:

In general terms, the Hartley “Time Tree” shows two major branches of Hartleys. The first group branches off from R-A11134 and the second group branches off from R-A16717:

This branch is about 140 years more recent than R-A11134. The common ancestor of this branch was born, according to the tree in 1572. This date is about 90 years off from the to the actual genealogy. However, it could be that A16717 first ocurred in the grandfather or great-grandfather of Edward Hartley:

I call this the Quaker Branch of Hartleys. Edward Hartley from Little Marsden came to Pennslyvania and started the US branch of this Hartley family. There is another YDNA tester who is considering the BigY test who descends from the Thomas Line above. This is the line from the Hartley researcher I have corresponded with:

>Edward Hartley born 16 May 1666 married? Sarah Midgley
>Thomas Hartley b. 29 Dec. 1700 Solebury, Bucks County Pa. married Elizabeth Paxon
>Anthony Hartley b. 3 Dec. 1730 married Elizabeth Smith
>Jonathan Hartley b. 221 Octoner 1761 married Elizabeth Bunting
>David Bunting Hartley b. 28 Sep. 1786 married Phoebe Park
>Hiram J. Hartley b. 27 March 1824 NJ married Rebecca Church Lee
>Harry Lee Hartley b. 9 June 1864 married Emma Bell Leach
>Robert Hartley b. 17 June 1896 married Grace Maloney Roberts
>John Robert Hartley b. 4 August 1922 married Alice Buren Wrighy

One way to look at it, is if the Quaker Line is about 90 years too old on the tree, then perhaps we could move the other branches ahead 90 years. That wouldn’t work for my father’s branch as the timing on that is so close. Here is my tree with the John Robert line added:

Butler Time Tree

My wife is a Butler and there are a few Butlers who have taken the BigY test:

On this line, it doesn’t take much to get back to over 3,000 years ago. The Frazer lines were R1a, The Hartley lines were R1b. This line is in the I Haplogroup. Let’s start with the red Haplogroup I-FT241245. The two testers are my brother-in-law and father-in-law. In this case, my father-in-law is the common ancestor who has FY241245. The estimated date for that Haplogroup is 1907 or close enough to 1932 when my father-in-law was born.

The next person up on the tree is Butler researcher Peter:

This tree is showing that Peter and my in-law’s have a common ancestor born around 1557. In a Blog I wrote on 1 March 2021, I came up with these dates:

That’s a difference of about 125 years.

Next Branch Up

The next Branch going back in time includes a Whitson and a Batt.

The date that FTDNA gives for the common ancestor at I-BY50783 is 1449. This is interesting as it seems like only one SNP separates these two ancestors. That comes up with 108 years per SNP in this case. That is about what I was using in my guess – 100 years per SNP.  But I came up with a different result somehow.

Comparing the Three Time Trees

I am impressed with the regular branching on the Time Tree that the Frazers are on:

This is true especially starting after 900 CE with some sort of branching in every 200 year period following. This may be a result of the fact that many people with Scottish origins tend to have their YDNA tested. Another explanation would be lines that were successful and prospered.

The Hartley Time Tree does not have the same regularity in its branching:

Here we see no branching between around the years of 500 and 1100 CE. This could be due to fewer testers and/or lines that were not doing as well. Intermediary lines may have died out. This could be due to wars, famine, disease or simply famiilies have no males born.

The Butler Time Tree has even less branching:

There are two main branches that ocurred before 1,000 BCE. After that there was no addition branching until almost 1500 CE. That is about 2,500 years without branching. This line is probably severely undertested and/or went through very tough times. This is picked up somewhat at the SNP Tracker Website:

Notice that whole eras are skipped. Medieval and Iron Ages are missing.

Summary and Conclusions

  • FTDNA has a new helpful representation of a timeline for BigY testers. This is not the final say, but a helpful tool to compare with other estimates and with genealogy where available.
  • I looked at the trees that I have looked into. Those are Frazer, Hartley and Butler
  • I compared the three trees to each other. I noted that the Frazer Time Tree has the most consistent and regular branching going back in time. The Butler Time Tree has the sparsesest branching going back before the time of Christ.
  • As a result, I would ten to have the most faith in the Frazer timelines. There is good branching and somewhat of a check as we believe that common Rocscommon Frazer ancestor represented by R-FT521618 was born around 1690. I feel the Hartley Time Tree is slightly less reliable due to fewer branches but we have the genealogy for the common ancestor for the ‘Quaker Line’ born in 1666. In my opinion, the Butler Time Tree could be the least reliable of the three due to no ancient genealogy to check and the fact that branching in the line is sparse – especially before the genealogical timefrane.
  • FTDNA is continuing to calibrate its age estimates. One good example of how FTDNA’s Time Tree can be calibrated is with Edward Hartley born 1666. If this person is reported to FTDNA, they will be able to use that information to correct their current estimate of a common ancestor of 1572.


A New YDNA Match to the Frazers of North Roscommon

I was notified by two Frazer relatives recently of a new match to the Frazers who have had their YDNA tested. YDNA is the best test for paternal lines because it specializes in only testing the DNA that males pass down from father to son – all the way back from genetic Adam.

I am not a Frazer, but I am interested in Frazer YDNA because my grandmother was a Frazer, so I had my 2nd cousin once removed Paul tested.

Barker Match to My 2nd Cousin Paul

Here are the list of STR matches at the 111 level that my cousin Paul has:

Barker is the third match to my cousin Paul, but really is tied for second at 4 steps away. Barker took the 111 STR test but not the BigY test.

A Frazer BigY Tree

Based on BigY testing and known or supsected genealogy, I came up with a Haplogroup tree:

The overall North Roscommon Frazer Haplogroup is FT421618. Apparently Dingman knew that his grandfather was actually a Frazer. We believe that he descends from Archibald Frazer from around 1743 and that he also has the North Roscommon heritage identified by FT421618. Next is my cousin Paul and Rick. They are on the overall Archibald Branch (2nd generation from the top) and they are designated as Y85652. From the tree above, this was a new SNP that appeared in either James Frazer or his father Philip. On the right above is the James Frazer Branch identified as Y151390. Both Rodney and Jonathan are in this branch. Y151390 developed in one of the four generations between Thomas Henry Frazer and James Frazer born around 1720.

A Frazer STR Tree

A STR tree is difficult to make due to parallel mutations and back mutations of STRs. However, this is somewhat offset as the BigY test has been taken. That provides a framework for the tree.

In this tree, I brought in a Frazier. He tested, but does not know his genealogy past colonial America. That puts him in a more distant group – going back to Scotland perhaps. The way I have this drawn, Jonathan has the STR profile that is closest to the ancestral Frazer. At Ancestry, here is the Block tree:

Above, the “Your branch” refers to my cousin Paul. The Block Tree looks at the world of SNPs and Barker has tested STRs. Hopefully, Barker will take the BigY test to place him in the group also.

How Does Barker Fit In?

Barker is clearly in the Frazer lineage. Further he is most certainly from the James Frazer (born about 1720) half of the Frazer Tree. Barker matches Jonathan perfectly:

However, perfectly may not always be perfect. That is because of the parallel mutations and back mutations of STRs which I mentioned earlier.  The CDY STR which defines the James Frazer Line is a fast moving STR. That means that Barker’s CDY could have mutated independently of Jonathan’s and Rodney’s line ancestor. However, let’s assume that didn’t happen.

Still the CDY mutation could have happened anywhere between James Frazer born around 1720 and Thomas Henry Frazer born in 1843:

Now the James Frazer in the Tree above was thought to be born around 1720. I believe that the Archibald Frazer with the red DYS710=34 value was of the next generation or from about 1743. If that is the case, it is theoretically possible that the match could even be on the Archibald (1715) side of the tree. However, so far based on the autosomal results so far, that does not seem to be the case.

We know that Barker does not have the same STR that defines Rodney’s branch. That STR is DYS552=24. That means that Barker, based on STRs descends from anyone between James Frazer born about 1720 and Edward Fitzgerald Frazer born 1867. As my understanding is that the father for Barker’s grandfather born in 1901 is unknown. That would make Edward Fitzgerald Frazer the latest possible ancestor of Barker. However, it appears that the autosomal results (see below) are too low for Barker to descend from Edward Fitzgerald Frazer.

Autosomal Results

Right now, we don’t have autosomal results for Barker, but we have some for his nephew. Barker’s grandfather was born in 1901, so he would be probably one generation removed from Rodney and Jonathan and Barker’s nephew would be two generations removed.

Here is a chart I have made up of those who have tested autosomal DNA from the James Frazer Line:

Not all these people have tested at the same company including Barker’s nephew. However, Barker did test at Ancestry which has the largest database, so that is good. At Ancestry, Barker’s nephew matches Madeline, Janet and Jonathan. There may be additional matches.

There are two major sides of the James Frazer Branch. They are the Archibald and Michael sides. From what we know so far from Ancestry, it appears that Barker’s nephew matches on the Archibald side.

Barker’s nephew matches:

  • Madeline at 17 cM
  • Janet and Jonathan at 14 cM

Ancestry usually considers 20 cM to be the cutoff for a 4th cousin, so this match may be a further out level than fourth cousin.

One guess that I had was that Barker may descend from the Edward Frazer Branch on the right side of the chart above. He was the one who married Mary Kirkwood. However, that branch is not well-represented by DNA testing or may just not be a prolific branch. The reason that I chose that branch is that Barker’s nephew matches people from the Archibald Frazer (born abour 1792) Branch at about the same rate. That could mean that Barker could be from a parallel branch. Edward Frazer is a parallel branch to Archibald Frazer.

Next Steps

Next, we can wait for any additional autosomal testing or BigY YDNA testing on Barker’s side.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Based on YDNA testing, It appears that Barker must descend from a North Roscommon Frazer historically
  • Futhermore, Barker appears to descend from the James Frazer (born about 1720) Line of these Frazers.
  • Based on Frazer YDNA tester Rodney, Barker does not descend from Rodney’s ancestor William Frazer
  • Based on autosomal testing of Barker’s nephew, it appears that Barker could be a third to fifth cousin once removed to Jonathan and Rodney. That would have him descending from James Frazer born around 1720, his son Archibald Frazer born 1751 or James’ grandson Archibald Frazer born abut 1792
  • More DNA testing should clarify Barker’s place in the Frazer genealogical tree.

Dating Some of My Frazer Relatives’ YDNA Haplogroups Using a New FTDNA Tool

FTDNA has a new YDNA tool called Discover:

Here is a tree I made up of my Frazer relatives who have BigY tested:

Here Dingman’s grandfather is a Frazer. However, there is some confusion at the point of John or Richard Frazer in his line. This Branch has the umbrella Frazer Haplogroup of FT421618. It looks like Y85652 should be older than Y151390, but they are in parallel positions on the tree. What it should mean is that there has been more time to develop privant variants on the James Frazer Line of 1804 as compared to the Thomas Henry Frazer Line of 1836.

Here is what all that looks like on the FTDNA Block Tree. This is from the perspective of Jonathan (Joanna’s brother):

Here I went back one haplogroup to bring in the Frazier name. We don’t know how Frazier fits in with the Frazer tree except that the connection predates what we know about the Frazer tree. On the tree above, Paul is my second cousin once removed.

Dating R-Y85652: James Frazer c. 1804

I’ll start with my closest relatives’ Haplogroup.

I’ll zoom in on my image from above:

We know that James Frazer must have been Y85652 and if we have the tree correct above, Archibald Frazer born about 1743 was not Y85652. That means that it is possible that Philip Frazer was Y85652.

Here is the verbal part of the report:

Now I will need you to check my math on this one. It is 2022 and 350 years before that is 1672. I’m not sure how that ended up as 1700 CE. When I checked on my own Hartley dating, it seemed like the years were being subtracted from the date of 2000.

I had assigned FT421618 to Archibald Frazer who we think was born around 1690. This estimate would have him born about 50 years earlier or perhaps 1650. This estimate seems closer to the date we think that Archibald Frazer was born. However, we will have to wait until later in the Blog when I will plug FT421618 into the Discover tool.

Dating Y151390 from the James Frazer Branch

Here, the good news is that FT421618 is 400 years ago. That would have to be consistent.

Here again, I’m baffled by the math, but 150 years ago comes out to about 1900 CE. When I was young, I learned about the rules for rounding numbers and this doesn’t seem to meet those rules. Furthermore, 150 years ago with 150 years either way is a large margin. For example, it would be impossible to have a common ancestor with someone who was born zero years ago. At any rate, we are quite sure that the common ancestor for Rodney and Jonathan was born in 1836:

My guess is that the issue is that there is an average of 5 private variants between Rodney and Jonathan:

It would seem that is a large number of private variants for three generations. Usually, I believe that there should be about one private variant per every two generations or about every 84 years. That is close to one every three generations. It may be worth taking a second look at these Private Variants at some point. I looked that these private variants here in January 2021, but these were still in a state of flux at that time. For example at that time, there were only an average of 4 private variants in this Branch.

Dating FT421618 – The First Frazer in Roscommon, Ireland?

We believe that this Haplogroup represents Archibald Frazer born around 1690 and believed to be the first Frazer in North County Roscommon.

Here, the dates have normalized and they have been subtracted from the year 2000 to get the year 1600 for FT421618. I am quite sure that the large number of private variants that seemed to have occurred later in the two Frazer lines were creating havoc with the dating tool.

Note that above it says that there is 1 yet unnamed lineage. This would be the Dingman Line which still has the designation of FT421618. This report gives the next Frazer Branch going up the line as 600 years ago. That is the Branch that includes Frazier (or Frasher). If that is subtracted from the year 2000, then that date would be around 1400. As we think the 1600 date may be closer to 1690, I would feel comfortable in adding 90 years to 1400 to get 1490. Here is some information on surnames in England, some of which may apply to the Frazers who may have been in SW Scotland around this time.

According to familysearch.org:

The custom of applying a man’s by-name to all his children began in the late 12th century and spread slowly, with the manorial classes and the south of England leading the way. The first legal recognition of an hereditary surname is found in 1267; it was de Cantebrigg meaning ‘of Canterbury.’ By 1400 three-quarters of the population are reckoned to have borne hereditary family names, and the process was complete by about 1450 in England. Wales is an exception, in that although they had surnames they were patronymics (derived from the father’s first name) and thus changed each generation.

During this early period a married woman could be known either by her maiden surname or by her husband’s surname with wyf added, as in Mary Walker, wife of Henry Field, or Mary Fieldwyf. The term Mrs. for a married woman was not used until after 1500.

Dating YP6489 – Frazier

This Haplogroup goes back a ways.

As I had thought, this Haplogroup goes back to a predicted year of 1400, though as I mentioned above a somewhat later date by 90 years would not be unreasonable. The later date of 850 years ago or the year 1150 would most certainly be before surnames were commonly used.

YP6488 Includes the Stuart and Grant surnames.

Summary and Conclusions

  • It seems like FTNDA’s new Discover Tool gives Frazer Haplogroups within reasonable time frames
  • The large number of private variants on two of the newer Frazer Haplogroups seem to be giving the tool some problems.
  • I would like to take another look at Frazer Haplogroups and Private Variants in an upcoming Blog.

A New Addition to the R1a Frazer BigY Tree

I wa s surprised to find a 111 STR match to our R1a Frazers of Roscommon last Summer. I wrote one Blog which wrongly supposed that Dingman’s common ancestor with our Frazers predated our common Frazer ancestor who we believe to be Archibald Frazer born in 1690 and probably lived in North Roscomon County, Ireland. Working with Frazer genealogist Joanna, we put together a tree for Dingman. I wrote another Blog on August 4, 2021.

Part of the reason (aside from the apparent genealogy) that I put Dingman in the Archibald Frazer Branch was his value of DYS710. I made a STR tree in that same Blog:

Here, I supposed that DYS710 = 33 was ancestral and that a value of 34 defined the Archibald Line and that a value of 32 defined the Frazier Line. Here are some values for DYS710 at the FTDNA R1a Project near the Frazers within a green grouping:

.The values in the boxes are Max, Mode, Minimum numbers. It looks like I went too far as the last three numbers are under an orange group.

  • 31 – 2
  • 32 – 2
  • 33 – 5
  • 34 – 6

This shows that the value of 34 appears most often, so would be the mode. However, I still like my STR tree. I believe that there is something called the rule of parsimony when building these trees. That means that you shouldn’t build these trees in a more complicated way than you have to.

Dingman and the Current R1a Roscommon Frazer BigY Block Tree

That is quite a mouthful. I am represented by my 2nd cousin once removed Paul, so I will look at the Frazer Block tree from his viewpoint:

My Previous Prediction for DIngman

In my previous Blog on DIngman, I wrote:

Assuming the chart above is correct, Dingman will be positive for FT421618 as he descends from Archibald Frazer born 1690. He will be negative for Y151390 which is in the James Frazer Line.  We don’t know if  Dingman will be positive for Y58652 even though he is from the Archibald Frazer Line

In the reference above to the chart, I meant my STR tree. It’s fun to predict how BigY testers will turn out. My prediction was right. Dingman was neither Y151390 (James Frazer Line) nor Y85652.

What Else May We Gather from the Frazer Block Tree?

One thing that I gather by the placement of the Frazier tester is that the Frazer name is old and that our Frazer name has likely come down through the ages relatively unaltered. Assuming that the line above the five Frazer testers is 1690, the connection to Frazier goes back an additional three SNPs. If we take a SNP to represent 83 years, then that would go back to the year 1441. Then there are three SNPs above Frazier. At that time, there are many different surnames that match our Frazers. However, these surnames seem to be located around Inverness in Scotland. This brings us back to around the year 1192. At that time most people only went by their first name. That means that our match with Frazier is fortunate as it could represent close to the beginning of the use by our ancestors of the Frazer surname.

One way to check my dates is by using SNP Tracker:

This is the map for the James Frazer Line. Here are some of the dates from SNP Tracker:

These are close to the dates I came up with.

How Does Dingman Fit In?

I can re-draw the genealogical chart with the SNPs added on:

Here is what I gather from this tree:

  • Although it appeard that Y85652 defined the Archibald Line of the Frazers, it only really defines the Philip Frazer or James Frazer Line (born abut 1804).
  • In this case, the Archibald Frazer Line is better defined by the STR DYS710 = 34. This STR mutation must have first appeared in Archibald Frazer born about 1715 or his son Archibald born about 1743.
  • Dingman’s line is defined by his four Private Variants. These formed in his line between John or Richard Frazer and Dingman. These could be defined if Dingman tests a close relative for the BigY. It would interesting information. However, it is probably not necessary.
  • On the James Line, R-151390 formed sometime between James Frazer born about 1720 and Thomas Henry Frazer born 1836
  • Dingman is a welcome addition to the Frazer of Roscommon BigY tree and provides the earlies branching so far on the Archibald Line of North Roscommon Frazers.


Big Y “Backbone Tests”

I recently noticed that a Backbone Test had been ordered for my late father-in-law. This surprised me as it was a bit dated.

I mentioned this at the BigY Facebook group and got an interesting answer from Bob:

I think you will find that this Y-HAP-Backbone was ordered as a part of a manual review process triggered by another user’s test results.
Originally, the Y-HAP-Backbone test was performed if FTDNA was unable to unambiguously predict a person’s high-level haplogroup from their STR test results. They would actually perform enough SNP testing to resolve the ambiguity.
In the case of somebody who has actually done a BigY test, there should be no necessity to predict a haplogroup from the STRs.
Normally, the automated caller will consider a result to be a no-call if there are not at least ten reads for that position. If a new kit has a result that might affect the haplogroup definitions, a manual review of the other kits assigned to the haplogroup may occur. The analyst doing the review will look at the raw data and may decide to override the no-call reported by the automated caller. To do this override, the analyst orders the Y-HAP-Backbone procedure. In this case, no actual lab work is involved. It is simply a database operation to report the new result for that SNP.
If you display the user’s Private Haplotree, you can scroll to the top of the page and click on the “SNP Results” link, you will see a list of SNPs. If there are any overridden SNP results, they should be sorted to the top of the list. The test type will be shown as Y-HAP-Backbone. The result may be positive or negative.
If you scroll down through the pages of this report, in addition to any BigY test results, if the user has done any other SNP testing, you will see those results listed. In the case of BigY test results only positive results are shown. (After all, you are negative for several hundred thousand SNPs.)
In my own surname project, until recently our haplogroup had one subclade. We had three men assigned to the main haplogroup and six men assigned to the subclade. Even though our BigY test results actually showed the three of us to be negative for the SNP defining the subclade, these negative results were not being shown in the SNP Results list in our Private Haplotree. During an early manual review, the analyst ordered the Y-HAP-Backbone procedure for the three of us. The result is that we now are shown as negative for this SNP. The color coding in the tree now indicates that we are “Tested Negative” instead of being indicated as “Downstream”. Since that time, a new kit was found to share an additional SNP with one of the three. This resulted in a second subclade being defined. The analyst creating the subclade did not bother to override the calls for the two men remaining in the main haplogroup, so we show “Downstream” for the new subclade.
By the way, the order status for the three of us with negative results for the Y-HAP-Backbone procedures for the SNP defining the original subclade still shows that order as pending. Apparently because no lab work was performed, they failed to mark the order as completed. We have other Y-HAP-Backbone procedures (with positive results) that did get reported as completed.
Does the entry in the SNP Results list for your member’s kit show negative results, or are they all positive?
I was happy to get this reply as it answered many questions I had for my Butler father-in-law’s test as well as a Frazer project I am working on. I posted this image of my father-in-law’s SNP results at the BigY Facebook  Page:
I asked Bob this clarifying question:
Sorry, though, still a bit confused. Are you saying an override does not involve SNP testing? So in this case, the Backbone means no test and the tested negative means that a test was done?
Bob’s response:
While it may be a little confusing, the answer to both is yes. FTDNA does not offer a single-SNP test for FT241245, so the backbone procedure did not involve a laboratory test. They just looked at the raw data from the BigY test. You should be able to do something similar using the chromosome browser. When looking at this user’s BigY Results (Named Variants tabs, change the Derived? filter to Show All and enter the SNP name in the SNP Name Search box.
I suspect that it will show a ? In the Derived? And Genotype columns. Click on the SNP name to bring up the chromosome browser. I suspect that you will have fewer than ten reads shown, resulting in a no-call.
By the way, the Y-HAP-Backbone procedure results in the line being added to your SNP Results list. However, it does not actually result in a change to your raw data or what is shown in the Named Variants tab.
In response, I posted this image of my father-in-law’s results for FT241245:
I wanted to memorialize Bob’s comments as they were so helpful. I have been looking at “Backbone Test” results in a Frazer YDNA Project that I am involved in and Bob’s response answered so many of my questions.

Butler and S23612

As alluded to above, S23612 shows on the SNP results as ‘tested negative’. Let’s look for those results:


Just as Bob predicted, this shows up as tested negative. However, I’m not sure why this particular SNP was chosen. I would think that I-S23907 would have made more sense or perhaps BY115420.

Here are my father-in-law Richard’s results for S23612:

He is already clearly negative. Plus this SNP appears to be about 4 or 5,000 years old.

Speaking of S23897

I see that I mentioned S23897 in a previous Blog on Butler YDNA.

This is for a Butler relative with common Irish roots, but we have not yet established a genealogical connection. Now, thanks to Bob, I know where to find this Butler’s secret testing results:

Well, perhaps not secret, but they were to me previously. This Butler has a surprising 7 Negative SNP results. What I am seeing is that this Butler relative must have ordered these SNP separately before he did his BigY:

Frazer Backbone Tests

I have been waiting for Frazer ‘backbone tests’ to complete. However, according to Bob, these could be manual overrides instead of actual tests. Also, confusingly, these tests may not have an end date if the reviewer forgot to put in a date.

Here is a view of the Frazer BigY testers from the view of one of the testers from the James Frazer Line who took the BigY500 test:

My labels didn’t come out too well. The first column represents the James Frazer line and the ‘Your Branch’ represents the BigY500 tester on that line. At the top of his SNP results, we see this:

From the comments from Bob, the Y-HAP-Backbone should represent a manual override for Y151390 which is the defining Haplogroup for the James Frazer Line. Here is the order history for that same tester:

This is confusing because of the batched designation which shows after the ‘completed’ designation. However, I assume that these three entries were for the one override for Y151390. Here are his test results:

Here, he only has 7 positive reads where FTDNA would like to see 10. However, the manual review said they were all positive, so let’s say he is Y151390.

BigY700 on the James Line

The same thing apparently happened for the BigY700 tester.

Here is the James Line BigY700 order history:

This takes some interpretation. I assume that the Backbone got entered twice by mistake and that only the one entry that was actually done shows as completed. Keep in mind here that ‘backbone’ means manual override of inconclusive test results. Here are the BigY700 test results for Y151390:

This is a bit surprising as the results show positive for Y151390, so there were no questionable results to override.

My guess is that the manual review took a look at these results and agreed with them.

Archibald Line Results and Frazier BigY results

The BigY500 tester had no overrides in his SNP results. The same for the BigY700 tester. That must mean that FTDNA had no questions about their results.

That leaves the Frazier BigY results. He also has no unusual results on his list of SNPs. That means that the review was completed for Frazer/Frazier BigY’s some time in early February.

Summary and Conclusions

  • It was a help for Bob from the BigY Facebook Page to show me where to find the SNP Results link at the top of the BigY Haplotree view
  • This gave more clarification to the manual review which FTDNA performed and explained why it looked like a Backbone test was outstanding
  • FTDNA has a confusing array of places where they store information and show the results of the work they have done. They also seem to do things inconsistently. However, with perserverence and help from others who have gone through the process, it is possible to get an idea of how one’s BigY test was reviewed and processed.




A Different Look at the Frazer YDNA Tree

In this Blog, I would like to look at the 5 BigY Frazier/Frazer testers looking at their FTDNA YDNA Trees. In the past, I have looked at the Block Tree. Here is the Block Tree from Rick’s perspective:

Starting from the left I first see Rodney. To find Rodney’s Y Tree (which FTDNA calls the Y-DNA Haplotree), I click on his YDNA Badge:

Here is Rodney’s Y-DNA Haplotree:

The difference between this tree and the Block Tree I showed earlier is that the Block Tree shows the tester and his matches. This Haplotree only shows the one tester’s results at a time. However, there  is more information on the quality of each SNP tested. Above, I show how Rodney descends all the way down from R-YP6483. The actual tree goes much further back. All the groups that he is positive for are in green and the groups that he does not belong in are in gray. Here is the heading for the tree:

The dots by Rodney’s SNPs are also either green for Tested Positive or gray for Presumed Negative. There are some SNPs within the green groups that have gray dots. I think that those should be yellow dots for Presumed Positive. That is because if you are in a group, you need to be positive for each SNP within that group.

Going back from his terminal Haplogroup, BY116270 is the first SNP that Rodney has that shows as presumed negative.

Also in the heading, FTDNA says ‘View by Variants’. These are technically Variants, but in order to not get mixed up with Private Variants, they could have called them SNPs.

Jonathan’s Y-DNA Haplotree

Jonathan’s tree must be the same as Rodney’s except for the gray dots. Jonathan had the older BigY 500, so he should have more gray dots:

Here, Jonathan does get a yellow dot for R-FT421618 and he gets yellow for the whole group which means presumed positive. To find Jonathan’s test results for FT421618, I need to get out of the Y-DNA Haplotree and look at his BigY Matches or Results. I usually look at the Matches and then choose the Named Variants Tab:

At the bottom of the list (not shown), Jonathan has 1051 Named SNPs. I’ll search for FT421618. I have to search under all results, because I won’t find this SNP under Derived. This SNP comes up with a question mark.

Here are Jonathan’s test results for that SNP. He was positive for each of the four reads for a Variant there, but usually 10 reads are needed to prove that he was positive for this SNP. However, as Jonathan is positive for child SNP of R-Y151390, he must also be positive for the parent SNP of FT421618.

While I’m looking at Jonathan’s results, he (like Rodney) has a gray dot for BY116270:

Rodney shows 17 reads where there is a mutation from T to G. However, he also shows 10 cases where there is no mutation. FTDNA must use some formula to determine that this does not make the grade.

Let’s see what Rodney shows:

This shows the same funny pattern. I don’t know what the black means. I guess it may mean that there was no read there. Rodney had fewer good reads compared to Jonathan. However, because this is in a SNP group that is four levels above Rodney’s and Jonathan’s terminal Haplogroup, they shoul both be presumed positive for this SNP.

Bottom line is that Rodney and Jonathan are solildly in R-Y151390. Y151390 represents the James Branch of the Frazer family or more specifically the Thomas Henry Branch from 1836:

All the other SNPs that are upstream of Y151390 based on the testing of the other matches are less closely related.

Rick and Paul in the Archibald Branch of Frazers – R-Y85652

Y85652 has a shorter number. This should be an older SNP, discovered in 2017 – probably when Jonathan had his BigY done. Rick, like Rodney has the newer BigY 700 test. Here is Rick’s private tree:

I went a little higher on the tree this time, just to show tht the tree keeps going back. One interesting thing is that we see that Rick is presumed negative for Y151390 that Rodney and Jonathan had. That may be worth looking into. Looking up at Rodney’s and Jonathan’s trees, we see that they were also presumed negative for Y85652.

When I put the trees of Rodney, Jonathan and Rick together, this is what I get:

There are a lot more question marks than are ideal. However, the positive tests so far, are what are breaking the testers into their two groups.

Do Paul’s BigY Results Help?

Paul had the older BigY 500 test. I am a second cousin once removed to Paul. That makes me a fourth cousin to Rick.

Paul also has no negative for sure results. If he did, these would appear as red dots. Ideally, Paul would show negative for R-Y15130 and FT421607 as he is not in that group. The last verified negative result that I had found was in the Frazier BigY that I had discussed in my previous Blog:

The negative is shown in red above and we will get to that test later in the Blog. Above with Rick and Paul, they are presumed negative because Rodney and Jonathan are positive for Y151390. This is what I see for Paul’s test at Y151390:

I assume that this is the same as not being tested as no position number is given. Next I’ll look at FT421607 for Paul:

Here he had one read but it didn’t make it to that Position. I would say that Paul has not been tested for this SNP:

Rick’s Testing for Y151390

That makes me curious as to how Rick made out on the James Frazer Line SNPs. So far, there are different flavors of SNP testing:

  • Positive
  • Presumed Positive
  • Negative
  • Presumed Negative
  • Not Tested

Here I am a bit surprised:

Rick is definitely negative for this SNP. So I had the wrong information previously:

Here I have a red N for Rick for Y151390.

Next, I’ll look at FT421607. This shows why it is important to check the results and the Y Chromosome Browser.

This means the results are better than I thought previously:

This chart shows a clearer demarcation between the James Line and the Archibald Frazer Line. When defining Haplogroups, it is important not only to show that one group is positive for a SNP, but that the other group is clearly negative for that SNP.

Clearing Up the SNPs

Looking at the above chart, I should check all the question marks. The first is for Jonathan at FT421607:

Here, Jonathan was 100% positive for FT421607, but only had one read.

Here are Jonathan’s results for Y85652:

These results are different from what I had previously. Either I entered them wrong before or FTDNA has clarified by additional testing. I think that the results of the Backbone Tests have come in, because, I am seeing different results now. I checked all of Jonathan’s Archibald Line SNPs and he is now negative for them:

Now we can see a clearer border between what I call the J Line and the A Line.

The next logical step is to re-check Rodney’s results. Starting with Y85652, Rodney is now negative:

He doesn’t have as many reads but quite a few more than 10. The other two SNPs from the Archibald Line followed suit for Rodney:

It appears that the only questionable tests now are Jonathan’s test for FT421607 which only had one read and Paul’s two James Line SNPs which didn’t get tested. These results have me going back to Rodney’s Y-DNA Haplotree. The one that I started out looking at in this Blog:

Rodney should have red dots next to the SNPs to the right of R-Y85652. Red would mean tested negative which is what Rodney’s Y Chromosome Browser now show. However, Rodney’s Haplotree still shows gray dots for presumed negative. Perhaps FTDNA is in flux.

In addition, it appears from Rodney’s order history that his backbone test has not yet been completed:

There is a completed the same day as the order whcih does not make sense. Then there is a later ‘Completed’ with no date.

Frazier Y-Haplotree

So far, I have not looked at Frazier results in this Blog. He will have a shorter Haplotree as he has an older terminal Haplogroup of R-YP6489:

The difference in the Frazier Haplotree is that it has a blue SNP or Haplogroup in it. That is FT421618. Blue indicates downstream. Here is what I already had for Frazier:

This started out being a chart for Private Variants, but now includes more. I’ll change it so, in general, the older SNPs are at the top.

First, I’ll look at the Frazier results for FT421618. Frazier split the previous Frazer/Frazier block in two by his results.

Frazier has no letter within the dashed results which means that he is negative for this SNP. My guess is that that this Haplogroup was chosen to represent the three SNPs in it because Frazier was clearly negative for FT421618. Frazier has a gray dot by YP6491. Gray means presumed negative:

This single T in the G column is why this test did not get a perfect score. However, I question this later in the Blog and presume that this is a negative result.

While we are at it, I will also look at YP6492:

Frazier is clearly negative for this SNP, so I don’t think that FTDNA is reporting these correctly in their Y-DNA Haplotree.

Frazier’s YDNA Haplotree shows that he is positive for the three SNPs in R-YP6489. I checked out the other Frazier results and get this:

The split in the former Frazer/Frazier Block occurs in the Frazier results where the results go from green to red or from yes to no. The last ? could be a no, but I don’t understand FTDNA testing requirements well enough.

Here are the rest of the results from the Frazier test as far as I have tracked them on this spreadsheet:

Next, I should fill in the blanks. That would be 24 tests. But if I add in Paul and Rick, that will show where the changes are between the Haplogroups. Here are Paul’s results:

Above on Paul’s Y-DNA Haplotree, I showed that he was presumed postive for FT421618. Here are his results:

I would put those results in the sketchy category. Paul had two low quality reads neither of which showed positive results. However, based on the other testing he gets to be presumed positive.

Here are Rick’s results:

Rick’s results were straightforward. There was a Frazier result with a question mark, but the more I looked at it, the more I felt is should be a ‘n’.

As Jonathan had a presumed positive for FT421618, I would like to check that.

Jonathan seems clearly positive for this SNP, but didn’t have as many reads as needed for the best results. I added an extra SNP result for Jonathan on my spreadsheet, to make it look better.

Summary and Conclusions

I could write more, but I think that I have enough for one Blog:

  • I wanted to take a look at the four Frazer and one Frazier BigY tester from the perspective of their Y-DNA Haplotrees at FTDNA
  • I found while looking at another project, that the labels on the specific SNPs on these trees are not always accurate. For example, a red dot by a SNP should mean ‘tested negative’. I did not see any red dots on these trees. Yet there are many negative tests shown in my testing summary above shown with a red ‘n’.
  • Because many of the results seemed to have changed for Rodney and Jonathan compared to what I had previously shown on my spreadsheet, I surmised that their backbone tests may now be completed or in the process of being completed. Whatever the source of the results, what I have found make the results of the testing between the James Line and Archibald Frazer Line Haplogroups clearer.


Waiting for the Frazier BigY Manual Review and Frazer Y-HAP-Backbone Test

A lot has been happening with Frazer YDNA recently. In January, Rick’s new BigY 700 came in. Rodney upgraded his BigY 500 to a BigY 700. This came in at about the same time as Rick’s results. At the beginning of February, the new Frazier BigY 700 results started to come in. However, there are still a few loose ends.

  • I assume that there will be a manual review of the Frazier results by FTDNA
  • Rodney and Jonathan from the James Frazer Line both have pending Y-HAP-Backbone tests ordered by FTDNA. These were apparently ordered to fill in gaps from their BigY testing.

What Gaps Do Rodney and Jonathan Have in Their BigY Testing?

This was discussed some in my Blog: Frazer YDNA Loose Ends and Private Variants. In that Blog, I looked at Private Variants. The conclusion of my review was that I thought that FT420438 and FT420010 should be added here:

Let’s see if that still makes sense now that the Frazier results are in. In my last Blog on the Frazier results, I came to the conclusion that these SNPs should be added:


The good news is that in both my analyses, I had FT420010 in the R-YP6489 Block. The bad news is that in my first Blog, I had FT20438 in that Block and not FT426078. In my more recent Blog, I had FT426078 in the R-YP6489 Block and not FT20438. Confusing, isn’t it? My assumption is that FT420010 does indeed belong with R-YP6489. I will just check Frazier to make sure:

Position #5987829 is the position for the SNP FT420010:

Here is a chart I just made to compare the testing results between the five testers:

This shows that for FT420010, the three people who had the BigY 700 tested positive. Jonathan and Paul had the BigY 500 and their tests were inconclusive. That means that there were not enough reads or not enough positive reads. All this to say that FT420010 checks out. What I don’t know is if it belongs even further upstream – say to where the Stuarts are on the Block Tree:


This is a SNP that I suggested should go in the area of YP6489. Here is the position number:

Did Frazier test positive for this SNP? Here are the six Private Variants for Frazier:

Frazier did have Position number 4056256.

Paul’s results were inconclusive for this position number on his YDNA test:

This is where my comparison chart should come in handy:

Next, I fill in the other boxes:

The unfortunate part about this is that Rick’s BigY 700 which should have had more covereage than the BigY 500 tests, did not test for Position #4056256. However, based on Rodney and the Frazier tester  testing positive, I think that FT426078 will be added to the Frazer/Frazier group of R-YP6489.


Prior to the Frazier BigY test results, I had suggested that FT420438 be added to the area of R-YP6489. Let’s see if that still makes sense.

Here is a summary of what I had for my earlier Blog:

At that time Frazier was not yet tested. What are the Frazier results for this position? Again, these are the six Private Frazier Variants:

I see nothing in that list starting with 118… Next, I’ll look at Frazier’s csv file:

It was worthwhile downloading the large Frazier csv file, because the results are interesting. This shows that Frazier has no mutation at this reference. If the Reference and Genotype are the same, that means that there was no mutation –  unlike Rodney and Rick:

In testing YDNA, a negative result is as important as a positive one. That means that FT420438 is a defining SNP for the Roscommon Frazer group along with the three others they already have.

A Predicted Frazer/Frazier Block Tree

Here is what this appears to show:

This view is from the perspective of the new Frazier tester who would be in the right column. Two of his six Frazier Private Variants will go up to R-YP6489 reducing the Frazier Private Variants to four. Rodney will have a reduction of four in his Private Variants. That will likely reduce the average Private Variants of Rodney and Jonathan from 4 to two. Rick will have a reduction of two Private Variants. That should reduce Rick and Paul’s Group from three Private Variants to two.

More on the Frazer/Frazier Block Tree

It seems like this area of the Tree where the red arrow is pointing is important:

This must be the are where the two Frazer/Frazier branches divided from each other. However when was this date? From the Rodney/Jonathan Line there should be 8 SNPs below the point where I show the arrow. On the Rick/Paul Line there should be 9 SNPs. On the Frazier Branch there should be a mere 4 SNPs if my analysis is correct. The average Frazer Line is 8.5 SNPs long. I’ll average that with the Frazier Branch that has 4 Private Variants to get 6-1/4 SNPs. I’ve seen various number of years to apply to these SNPs. I’ll try 84. 84 times 6.25 is 525 years. That brings us back to about the year 1495. That is a little earlier than my previous guess of 1600. If I apply the 84 years to the remaining 5 SNPs that I have in R-YP6489 that is another 420 years. That brings us back to the year 1075 when we are bumping up against the Stuarts and possibly Grant. That would make sense as it would help if this date was around the time (or before) of the adoption of surnames.

So where I have the arrow pointed should be about 1075. The next break in the blocks should be around 1495. The next break in the blocks on the left two Frazer lines should be around 1690 which is the date we are guessing that Archibald Frazer, the father of the James and Archibald Lines was born. The number of 84 per SNP breaks down between 1495 and 1690 as there would be four SNPs during this period. This is a little less than 50 years per SNP. As the 84 years should be an average, it could be that there were a lot of SNPs forming during this period of time on the Frazer Line. It seems like the Frazier Line was helpful here as this line perhaps had fewer SNPs forming between 1495 and the present. At an estimated 4 Private Variants over about 525 years, that is one SNP about every 131 years. The same effect can be seen in the Stuart and Grant Lines, though this could be partly due to the Stuarts taking the BigY 700 and Grant taking the BigY 500 test.

Rodney and Jonathan’s Y-HAP-Backbone Tests

I’m still not sure why FTDNA ordered Y-HAP-Backbone Tests for Rodney and Jonathan.

Jonathan was missing some information on these three positions. However, Jonathan had good result for these three positions. It could be that there were some discrepancies between Frazer/Frazier and Stuart/Grant with other SNPs that I don’t know about that FTDNA wanted to clear up.

Summary and Conclusions

  • In my previous two Blogs, I came to some conclusions as to where some of the Private Variants should end up for the five Frazer/Frazier testers. However, in this Blog I put that information together to give a fuller picture.
  • In order for there to be a new SNP that is unique to the Frazers of Roscommon, it has to be positive for that group, but also negative for the Frazier tester. That was the case for FT420438. That would also be true for the existing three SNPs in the Roscommon Ireland Frazerr Block of FT421618. I didn’t check FTDNA’s work for the existing three SNPs in the Block, but I assume that they were right.
  • I showed where I think that Frazer/Frazier Block Tree will end up once FTDNA has finished its manual review. I also did some guesswork as to the dates at some important junctures in the Block Tree.
  • The Stuarts and Frazers seem to go their separate ways around the year 1075
  • The Frazer and Frazier lines seem to separate around 1495.
  • I’m still curious as to why FTDNA ordered Y-HAP-Backbone tests for Rodney and Jonathan.


The First Frasher/Frazier BigY Results

The long-awaited Frasher/Frazer BigY results are starting to come in. This test was ordered around the time Rick from the Roscommon Frazer group ordered his test last August. However, the Frasher/Frazier test was delayed due to quality issues.

The Status of the Frazer BigY Project

Prior to the Frasher/Frazier test results, there were four Frazer BigY testers. They all had pretty well-defined relationships based on genealogy:

Rick was the one who ordered a new BigY test. Also around the same time, Rodney upgraded his BigY 500 to a BigY 700. That means that now Rick and Rodney have BigY 700 results and Paul and Jonathan have the older BigY 500 results. Here is the Block Tree pre Frasher/Frazier:

My second cousin once removed Paul is R-Y85652. This is called in general the Archibald Branch. Rodney and Jonathan are in R-Y151390. This is called the James Branch of the Frazer Line. These two lines were previously under R-YP6489. For some reason, another group formed between YP6489 and the two Frazer Branches. This is R-FT421618. As it is usually necessary for a new tester to form a new group, I had assumed that the new Frasher/Frazier test would end up as FT421618.

New Frazier/Frasher Results

Here is the new Block tree from my cousin Paul’s perspective:

The new tester, Richard is listed as R-YP6489 and not FT421618. That means that it is likely that it was Richard that split the YP6489 Block into two. The YP6489 Block must have previously had had six SNPs. Now there are two blocks with three SNPs each.

FT421618 and YP6489

R-FT421618 is the newest SNP and represents the Haplogroup of the Frazers from Roscommon, Ireland. This is the SNP in common with the four BigY Frazers whose roots go back to Archibald Frazer who apparently lived in Roscommon Ireland sometime before 1749. The new Frazier/Frasher tester does not share these SNPs.

Based on the Block tree, it appears that Richard, the newest BigY tester shares three SNPs with the Roscommon, Ireland Frazers. These SNPs are YP6489, YP6490 and YP6493. Collectively, these are called YP6489.

Where and When is YP6489?

When Did YP6489 Form?

This is the big question. We can date FT421618 to about 1690 to when we believe that the first Frazer lived in Roscommon Ireland. That means that the oldest SNP in the Block of YP6489 formed three SNPs before 1690. The question then is, how often does a SNP form? I have seen a number as low as 86 years per SNP as I recall. However, the scale on the left is showing 9 SNPs up to FT421618. If we take that time from very recently then 2020 minus 1690 is 530 years. That means that it looks like a SNP formed about every 59 years.  Let’s use 86 years for the three SNPs in the YP6489 Block. That gives us 258 years before 1690 or 1432 for the formation of the oldest SNP in the YP6489 Block. However, see further down in the Blog as I surmise that there should be more SNPs in this Block which would make YP6489 even older.

When was the Common Ancestor Between Richard and the Roscommon Frazers?

This is a different question. It appears from the Block tree that Richard and the Roscommon Frazers share the top three SNPs in YP6489. That means that the common ancestor would be closer to 1690 than to 1432:

In the image above, “Your branch” is Frasher/Frazier. We know that Richard does not descend from Archibald Frazer probably born in 1690, but he could have descended from Archibald’s father or grandfather. Let’s say that the common ancestor between Richard and the Frazers of Roscommon was 1600. My reasoning is that the most recent common ancestor would have to have a SNP shared by Richard and the other Frazers. That would be the most recent SNP in the group of YP6489. That most recent SNP probably formed about 86 years or so before FT421618.

SNP Tracker

This is a program that gives a rough estimate of dates of and locations of SNPs. Here is what SNP Tracker shows for FT421618:

SNP Tracker has that SNP in Ireland in Medieval times. That is probably based on the 9 SNPs I mentioned above. I think that FT421618 should be 1690. Here is more from SNP Tracker:

Roscommon is in the top three here and the numbers are pretty similar for Armagh, Down and Roscommon. Here is some more information, though I don’t agree with these SNP Tracker results either:

Offshore means continental Europe. That part would be quite certain.

Back Before Frazer with the Stuarts and Grants – YP6488

Whereas YP6489 is the umbrella group for the Frazer/Frasher/Frazier group, YP6488 is the umbrella group for Frazer, Stuart and Grant. The explanation for these relationships is not clear. I can come up with a few guesses:

  • This could represent the period when surnames were adopted. One group adopted Frazer, one Stuart and one Grant.
  • There could have been a Frazer/Stuart marriage and the children of one group could have taken on the Stuart name rather than Frazer for some reason.

Whatever the reason, the YDNA is sorting out the matches between Frazer on the one side and Stuart/Grant on the other.

The Block Tree makes it look like Grant is one SNP away from being a Frazier/Frasher and vica versa. However, that is only because there are not other close matches for Grant and Frazier/Frasher. If there were, that would put their groups further down on the Block tree similar to Frazer and Stuart.


It is interesting to note that Grant only has three variants bringing him to an equal level with FT421618. I had dated this as 1690. My guess is that Grant had the BigY 500 which did not discover as many SNPs or Variants. If we use the older 144 years per SNP based on the BigY 500 test that would date Grant at 432 years ago or about 1590. This is still early for my proposed 1690 date for FT421618.

Where Was the Common Ancestor for Frazer and Frazier/Frasher – YP6489?

This depends partly on the dating of Richard’s common ancestor with the Roscommon Frazers and partly on genealogy and Frazer history. Perhaps other could speculate better than I. Did the same events that resulted in the Roscommon Frazers moving to Ireland result in Richard’s ancestors move to the New World? Did a common ancestor move to Northern Ireland and then one brother moved to Roscommon and another brother or relative move to Virginia? It is even possible that Richard’s ancestor moved to Roscommon, Ireland and then to America.

Here is a map from Irish Ancestors:

Here is some more information:

Richard’s DNA Testing

FTDNA will do a manual review if a new YDNA branch is formed. Technically, the new branch formed before Richard’s test results were completed. However, this new branch of FT421618 seems to have formed based on Richard’s results.

Richard shows under “Your branch”. What appear to be missing are Richard’s Private Variants.

Richard’s Private Variants

These are the Richard’s SNPs that have no matches at this time called Private Variants. They form Richard’s personal line since the three SNPs in the Block that form YP6489:

This is some of the most important information from the BigY test as these are for the most part new variants that have been discovered in Richard that have never been discovered in anyone else in the World. I haven’t checked Richard’s Private Variants to see if they are all truly Private. However, the number of Private Variants seem to be a reasonable number at six. Above, I gave a possible date of 1600 for a common ancestor between Richard and the Roscommon Frazers. That means that, since 1600, six Variants formed as opposed to the approximately 9 that formed in the Roscommon Frazer Line.

I can look up these positions in YBrowse. 10059190 is too new and does not appear there yet as a Variant:

The same is true for Richard’s next three Private Variants. I found some information on 4056256:

This is a new SNP as of 2021. My guess is that that this “Private Variant” may have come about from Rick or Rodney’s BigY 700 tests.

That leaves one more Private Variant for Richard. Position 5987829 has been named also:

Next, I need to check Rick and Rodney for these two positions. Rick has one of the two:

Rodney has both of these ‘Private Variants’:

Here is my guess of what should happen:

It seems like these two SNPs should go up into the YP6489 Group. Also Rick should lose one of his Private Variants and Rodney and Richard should lose two each. It could be partially due to these discrepancies that FTDNA ordered additional testing for Paul and Jonathan. The other question is, why didn’t Rick show that he had position #4056256? Here are Rick’s results:

It appears that Rick’s BigY 700 testing missed that position number.

For Jonathan and Paul, the results seemed inconclusive for these two positions. Here is what Jonathan’s results looked like for Position #4056256:

Summary and Conclusions

  • Richard’s BigY test represents the first BigY test for a Frazer/Frazier who doesn’t descend from Archibald Frazer of Roscommon Ireland
  • Richard’s BigY test benefits from the prior testing of four Frazers. Without this he would have shown that he is related to two Stuarts and a Grant.
  • Due to the Frazer testing and genealogy, the common ancestor between Frazer and Frazier/Frasher should be about 1600
  • I made some guesses as to where this common ancestor lived, but I don’t know. Finding a Frazer with Scotland-only genealogy who has tested for YDNA would help.
  • I made some guesses as to where Richard’s Private Variants would end up.

Frazer YDNA Loose Ends and Private Variants

In my previous Blog, I was caught a little off guard as I didn’t know that Rodney had tested for the BigY 700. However, that was good news as now we have a BigY 700 in both the James and Archibald Lines of the Frazer YDNA Tree. One confusing thing about FTDNA is that it is difficult to know when your BigY test has been completed. Here is Rodney’s order history:

This seems to indicate that his BigY was completed on January 14. However there are still more tests ordered by FTDNA. Another way to check is if Rodney’s Private Variants match up with the average Private Variants shown on the Block Tree. [Note: Later in the Blog I show that is not a good way to see if your BigY has completed.]

Here are Rodney’s Private Variants:

Rodney now has 7 Private Variants. These are described by their position numbers to distinguish them from SNP which need to have a match with someone. To get the average number of Private Variants for the James Frazer Line, we need to know the number of Jonathan’s Private Variants:

Jonathan has two. This averages out to 4.5. The Block tree shows an average of 4:

4 is close to 4.5, so I would say that the BigY analysis is complete – except for the Backbone Tests. The number of Average Private Variants went up from 2 to four probably on January 11th when the backbone test was ordered or on on January 14th when FTDNA shows the BigY was completed.

Rick’s Results

Rick shows that his BigY completed in December:

However, Rick has nine Private Variants:

Paul who is on Rick’s Branch has one Private Variant.

That is a total of 10 for Rick and Paul’s Frazer Branch for an average of five Private Variants. The Rick and Paul Branch of the Block Tree shows an average of three Private Variants. That means that FTDNA’s manual review must not be completed yet.

The James Line Private Variants

These should be the variants that have formed since Rodney’s and Jonathan’s common ancestor.

That common ancestor was Thomas Henry Frazer. Thomas Henry Frazer had, for sure, these two SNPs – Y151390 and FT421607:

I say, for sure, but the backbone tests seem to be confirming these. The point is that Rodney and Jonathan’s Private SNPs formed after Thomas Henry Frazer in 1836. By the way, I made a mistake in dating the Block Tree in a previous Blog, so I’l correct that here:

The slightly confusing part is that the 1836 is higher on the tree than the 1804. I think that could change as the average number of Private Variants right now appears to be 5 between Paul and Rick under the R-Y85652 part of the Tree. Say that some of the testers were born around 1950. That would mean that this Tree represents 750 years of Frazer YDNA history.

Jonathan’s Private Variants

Here is Martin’s take on Rick’s initial results. Martin is the FTNDA administrator for the portion of the R1a YDNA Tree that our Frazers are on. These have since changed since Rodney’s BigY 700 upgrade came in.

This shows Rick with a BigY-700, but doesn’t show Rodney in that category yet. I mention above, that Rodney has 7 Private Variants. The BigY 700 is more comprehensive and finds more variants. Before Rodney’s BigY 700 results came in, he only had one Private Variant. Jonathan has two Private Variants. They are the last two in the yellow box aove.

Jonathan’s first formerly Private SNP became part of the new James Line Haplogroup:

I don’t see BY84935 on the Block Tree, so if it isn’t there and isn’t on Jonathan’s Private Variant list, where did it go?

Here are Jonathan’t test results:

The mutation should be G to A, but Jonathan shows at least two reads that are G to T.

Let’s see how Rodney tested for this. This is now a named SNP, so no longer a Private Variant for Jonathan. I don’t see Rodney having BY84935:

Based on these two test results, this should still be a Private SNP for Jonathan.

Rick and Paul Have a ? for BY84935

Rick is sometimes positive for this SNP and sometimes not. Also, he seems to have a lot of similar results in this region of the Y Chromosome. Now I see why they took away this Private Variant from Jonathan.

Let’s check out Paul’s results:

Very similar to Rick’s results:

Based on these results, I’m a bit surprised that Jonathan ever had a Private Variant at this position. For Jonathan’s other two Private Variants, I will assume that they are correct. The bottom line is that Jonathan has two Private Variants. These are:

  • 11718822 and
  • 11720223

These had to have formed in Jonathan’s line in either Edward, Walter, or Jonathan:

In a sense, these Private Variants are not important from a genealogical point of view. Jonathan already knew he was a second cousin to Rodney. However, if anyone else ever tests positive for these Variants in the future, it will show that they are from this same Edward Fitzgerald Frazer Line.

Rodney’s Seven Private Variants

There is another use of Private Variants. These can be used to date the common ancestor between two people. A number between 83 and 144 years is generally used. However, that time-frame does not work well in the case of Rodney and Jonathan. Their ancestor is believed to be Thomas Henry Frazer born 1836. Even if we take that date from 2021, that is 185 years ago. That means that, at most, there should have been an average of three private variants between Jonathan and Rodney where there are 4 (and actually 4.5). That means that these Variants were forming about every 40 years or about twice as fast as would be expected, on average.

Here are Jonathan and Rodney’s average of 4 Private Variants:

Rodney’s Private Variant at Position # 11830989

I don’t want to go through each of Rodney’s Private Variants, but I will at least look at one:

I don’t think that FTDNA shows test results in the browser for Private Variants if you are not positive for them. Here is Jonathan’s downloaded results for this position:

It looks like Jonathan’s results were less than conclusive.

Next, I’ll look at Paul’s results:

Paul was not tested at that position.

Let’s see what Rick has. I need to download his ‘csv’ file. I would expect that Rick would have good results as he has tested for the BigY700:

Here is a surprise. This shows that Rick has this Private Variant. That means that it can no longer be Private. That is good because it means that Rodney has one less Private Variant. I don’t know why FTDNA didn’t pick this up:

That means that this should be a new SNP included in the umbrella SNP group of Frazer. At YBrowse Position # 11830989 is FT420438:

The good news is that this will take away one of Rick’s Private Variants as he has too many already.

Rodney’s Private Variant at Position # 5987829

I did a comparison of Rodney’s and Rick’s Private Variants and found one more match:

This brings up another reason that Private Variants are important. If they match with someone else’s Private Variant, they form a new SNP. Usually FTDNA will catch that. In this case, they are still in the middle of some of their reviews and have ordered backbone tests for Rodney and Jonathan. It is possible that FTDNA is not sure where to put these new SNPs. This seems to indicate that they are Frazer SNPs, but perhaps they go back even further?

Here is what YBrowse shows:

These two SNPs are interesting as YBrowse shows that they are from an unknown Haplogroup. That seems to support my theory that FTDNA doesn’t know where these SNPs belong. Here are Rodney’s test results for the position:

Here are Rick’s results:

If Rodney and Rick are positive at this Position, then Paul and Jonathan should also be positive.

Paul’s results above were inconclusive.

How about Jonathan’s?

Jonathan’s test results were also inconclusive.

FT420438 and FT420010 Frazer SNPs?

If it was up to me, I would add these two SNPs to this area:

That means that there would be 8 SNPs in this area instead of the current six. So far, everyone how has tested for these SNPs have been Frazers. However, the six or eight SNPs represent four or five hundred years of history. It would be great to fill in some of the blanks for this time period. It may be that FTDNA hasn’t finished their review or are awaiting the results of the two backbone tests they are doing.

Changes to Frazer Testers’ Private Variants

The other change that should be happening is that Rick and Paul’s Average Private variants under R-Y85652 should be going up. They show 3 currently. Rick has 9 but two of these are shared with Rodney. Rick should have 7 Private Variants and Paul has one Private Variant. That should result in an average of four Private Variants under the Archibald Frazer LIne of R-Y85652.

Rodney currently has 7 Private Variants, but two of those are shared with Rick. That should results in 5 Private Variants for Rodney. Jonathan has two Private Variants. If FTDNA rounds down, that will result in an average of 3 Private Variants for the James Line Branch under R-Y151390.

Further, I note this under FTDNA:

This says it could be that the two matches I found between Rodney and Rick could be there because they haven’t properly been properly validated yet. Hence the backbone test which is in process.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I started out trying to figure out if Rodney and Rick’s BigY reviews were done or not.
  • I thought that perhaps Rodney’s review was done because the Block tree average number of Private Variants matched with his and Jonathan’s Private Variants.
  • Then, when I started comparing Rodney and Rick’s Private Variants, I saw that they had two in common. That means that if Rodney’s review was over, there was still two SNPs to be assigned to the Frazer Block Tree.
  • I guessed that perhaps FTDNA had trouble placing these new SNPs and that is why they ordered the Backbone tests for Rodney and Jonathan
  • I had thought that if your Private Variants matched with what the average Private Variants were on the Block Tree, then that meant that your BigY manual review was over. But then I found something at FTDNA that said that may not be true.
  • I had thought that the Backbone tests ordered for Rodney and Jonathan were to confirm their new Haplogroup of R-Y151390. Now it appears more likely that the Backbone test is for the two matching Private Variants that Rodney and Rick have with each other.
  • It could be a month or more before the dust settles for Rick’s new BigY 700 test and Rodney’s upgrade from BigY 500 to BigY 700. By then, we will probably have the results from the new Frazier/Frasher BigY 700 test which has been delayed.