My Hartley YDNA

After writing over 50 Blogs on genetic genealogy, I realized that I hadn’t written a blog on my Hartley YDNA. I have written on Frazer YDNA and my wife’s family YDNA (Butler), but not one just on Hartley YDNA. This will not be on all Hartley YDNA as I know the most about mine. There are other Hartley Lines that aren’t closely related to mine.

Many reading this blog will know already that the YDNA is used often in Surname studies. This is because YDNA is passed mostly unchanged from father to son. I say mostly because there are slow changes that occur. These slow changes are what make the differences in the different STRs and SNPs.  STRs and SNPs are the 2 major types of YDNA of importance in genetic genealogy. In this Blog, I’ll write about my own STRs and SNPs and how they relate to each other. I’ll also look at a few ways of analyzing YDNA results. There is a lot to cover here.

SNPs – Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms

SNPs are formed due to genetic mutations and are very specific and unambiguous. They can be used to trace one’s line back to a genetic Adam and place one into a specific group of people. Here is the broad difference between SNPs. They are listed between the letters A and T below.

All SNPs

My Hartley Line is broadly R1b. My Frazer line is R1a. They split off at some point and appear to have taken a more northerly route through Europe. R1b is the most common YDNA in Western Europe. Further, there are 2 branches that are common within R1b. These 2 types are listed by their test names. They are R-U106 and R-P312. In England, the R-U106 represents the Anglo Saxons. They came from the areas around Germany.  It turns out that I am R-P312 and further L21. See the bottom left of the tree below.

Tree to L21

L21 is known for the Irish and Scots. But there are also English L21. Actually, I would like to think of myself as British. The British represents the older stock in England whereas the Anglo (hence English) Saxon are the late comers. More of the U106 are found in the Southeast England where the Anglo Saxons entered. The L21’s are found more in the North and West of England and in Ireland.

L21 Map

For some reason, I was relieved to find out that I was R-L21. I guess I liked the idea of being associated with the old timers vs. the invaders. Also, even though the Celts are not a genetic group per se, they have been associated with R-L21. Here is a map of England in 600 A.D showing the British/Anglo Saxon split.

Briton 600

More on L21

It took me quite a while testing my YDNA to find out that I was L21. There are many levels of subdivisions below L21. Here is an L21 Tree that is almost 2 years out of date. On it, I tried to place some of the Hartleys that had tested up to that point. Some that I wasn’t sure of I put in the upper left of the chart.

L21 2014 Map

At that time, I had put my ancestor, Robert Hartley in the L513  Group (dark yellow) and one step under that at S5668. Due to in a large part, people doing a Big Y test, many new SNPs have been discovered and placed  in the tree. Now R-L513 has it’s own Tree.

L513 map

Finally, I have tested positive for Z17911 and Z17912. These are equivalent SNPs.  The people listed on the main tree are ones that have taken the Big Y or equivalent tests. Once I get my results, my name will show above with Merrick and Thomas – or perhaps in my own group.

L513 Tree Section

As far as I know, Z17911 is the end of the line or what has been referred to as a terminal SNP. However, Big Y testing may reveal more. There are also SNPs which are called private or family SNPs. One or more of these may be found in my BigY results for the Hartley family.

STRs – Short Tandem Repeats

The STR was the first type of YDNA to be used for genetic genealogy. I think of these as a stutter in the DNA. These are extra copies that happen in specific areas of the YDNA that are noted and used for comparison purposes. Standard tests range from 12 STRs to 111 STRs or more. The more you test, the more you pay. Each of these STR locations have their own rates of change. There are the fast changing STRs and the slower ones.

My Hartley STRs

Here are some of my Hartley STRs. First I’ll explain the headings below. Dark blue is the first panel of 12 SNPs. Maroon represents the faster changing STRs. The next set of lighter blue is up to 25 STRs. The next lighter blue is up to the 37 level. The  lightest blue on the right is STR 38 to 67. I didn’t include all my 67 in the image below.

STR Locations JoelJoel's Z Strs

This image is small, and it is taken from the Z17911 group. These people have tested positive for Z17911 and are listed in the FTDNA R1b-L513 Project. The rows of numbers are the STR values (or numbers of repeats). The rows are:

  • Minimum value (in this case of those that have tested positive for Z17911)
  • Maximum value
  • Mode – this has also been used to approximate an ancestral value for the group
  • Hartley (me)
  • Thomas
  • Goff
  • Merrick
Genetic distance (GD)

There are a few ways STRs are used. One is GD or Genetic Distance. When I compare my STR test to another Hartley, for example, it counts the number of differences between the two tests. Some of the numbers in the rows above are highlighted in either purple or pink. The purple values for the 4th line (Hartley) are less than the mode. The pink values are more than the mode. So in the first 37 STRs for my results there are 6 highlighted values. That would be a GD of either 5 or 6. There are 2 ways of counting. For the 5th maroon named marker there are 4 values. There is a method called Infinite Alleles Model which would only count any changes within that named maroon region as one.

Note that of these 6 differences or GD’s in my results, 4 are in the slower moving areas and 2 are in the faster moving areas. I note that at Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) I am not shown as related to any within my Z17911 Group. However, that is OK. For 37 STRs my highest GD is 4. I don’t think FTDNA shows higher than that. For 67 STRs, FTDNA’s highest GD is 7.  This is because, when more STRs are compared, more GDs are allowed to make a match.  I further note that at 37 STRs, I match 3 Hartleys, one believed to be descended from a Hartley and 2 non-Hartleys. At the 67 YDNA match level at FTDNA, I have the same person believed to be descended from a Hartley and 3 other with the Hartley surname. So it seems like the FTDNA system is working. However, to get the matches that are further away, one must look at a SNP project or surname project.

where is the common ancestor for STR matches?

FTDNA uses a TIP Report to guess how closely related I am to my YDNA matches. My closest match at the 67 STR level is at a GD of 4. That isn’t very close. However, close is relative.

The first one on my YDNA match list is Sanchez – believed to be of Hartley descent. The TIP Report tells me this:

Sanchez TIP

The second on my 67 STR YDNA match list has a Hartley surname. We also have a GD of 4 and the TIP Report looks like this:

Hartley TIP

Notice that the TIP Report shows a better likelihood that I’m related to Hartley than Sanchez. This is because the TIP Report considers the speed of change of the markers. The markers that are different between Hartley and myself are faster moving ones than the ones that are different between Sanchez and myself. As there are only averages of how often these markers change, this is not an exact science. The tables just show likelihood of when we may have had a common ancestor.

strs used to predict the r-L513 SNP

Here I should mention the difference between a haplogroup and a haplotype. I mention it partially, because I forget which is which. A haplogroup has to do with a SNP. Examples of a haplogroup are R1b, L21, etc. Sometimes the smaller groups are called subclades or subgroups. According to Wikipedia, “Subclades are defined by a terminal SNP…”. So my Z17911 would be a subclade.

Apparently there is more than one definition of haplotype. The one I am thinking of refers to a specific grouping of STRs that stands out. One such grouping of STRs (haplotype) defines the R-L513 Haplogroup. Before the L513 SNP was discovered, people analyzed the STRs and noticed certain patterns. Based on those patterns, the STR results were put into different groups. One such pattern was (and is) DYS406s1>=11 and DYS617=13. When people testing their STRs found these 2 values, they were almost always L513 as confirmed by their SNP testing. So for the longest time, the group was called the 11-13 Combo group rather than the L513 group. Let’s look at the top of the L513 YDNA results page to see if this pattern is true:

406S1 617

Notice that there are a few here that are different, but these may represent rare mutations.  In my Z17911, we all meet the criteria.

Strs predicting Z17911 SNPs

I noticed in the L513 Yahoo Mail Group that I belong to, there were some predictions based on STRs that there could be more Z17911’s. Here is part of a post from March 2016 on the Yahoo L513 Group from the administrator,

“Below is a list of the people I’ve added in the last three weeks, the project I found them in and their predicted variety. This is sorted by variety label.
293533 William Hartley b. 1745 d. after 1807 Hartley 513-5668-16357-16343-17911-JM
372104 Sanchez, b. Spain L513 513-5668-16357-16343-17911-JM”

Sanchez believes he has a Hartley ancestor. So it is interesting that I will likely have more company at the Z17911 SNP. Here is another interesting post from the administrator of the L513 Yahoo Mail Group in October 2015 to Jared who felt he was mis-grouped:

Hi Jared, I mis-grouped you. I will fix. I intended to put you in the “J” STR variety/cluster.  I’m not positive you are in “J” and could be in “H” or a little different yet. It’s hard to make judgements on this, particularly at only 37 STRs.

Here are all the people that I’m aware that off modal values for STRs 390=25 389i=14 458>=18 449>=31 464c=16 and high CDY numbers. You might actually fit in better with the Phillips and Vaughan side of “J” than the Merrick or Thomas.

We think this group is all Z17911+ but I’m not sure. I would say you are Z16343+ at he very least. Z16343 also marks the “H” variety people (Hayes/Pillsbury). No guarantees.

f307773    Smith    R1b-L21>DF13>L513
fN56253    Gilroy    R1b-L21>DF13>L513
fN114296    Gilroy    R1b-L21>DF13>L513
f275990    Hartley    R1b-L21>DF13>L513>S5668>Z16343>Z17911
f280251    Hartley    zzL21suspect
f117349    Hartley    zzL21suspect
f200669    Head    zzL21suspect
f160646    Phillips    zzL21suspect
f271571    Phillips    zzL21suspect
f158089    Phillips    zzL21suspect
f160637    Phillips    zzL21suspect
f113390    Phillips    zzL21suspect
f306961    Phillips    zzL21suspect
f116935    Vaughan    zzL21suspect
f160729    Vaughan    zzL21suspect
f271772    Vaughn    zzL21suspect
f105064    zzzUnk(Phillips)    zzL21suspect

I am the first Hartley mentioned above. Then there are 2 others that may be Z17911. So that means that rather than me being all alone at Z17911, there may be 4 other Hartleys joining me. That is progress. Based on the L513 Administrator’s (Mike’s) STR analysis those 4 would be Z17911. Here are my STR values highlighted in blue with Mike’s Z17911 signature STRs.

Z17911 STRs

I meet all the Z17911 signature STRs which makes sense as I have tested positive for Z17911. These predictions can save a lot of money for people testing SNPs. Rather than testing a series of 4 or 5 SNPs to see where they are on the SNP Tree, they can just test for Z17911 to see if they are positive for that.

Using STRs to Create New SNPs

ISOGG is the International Society of Genetic Genealogists. They have a guidelines for naming new SNPs:

The objective of the ISOGG Tree at this time is to include all SNPs that arose prior to about the year 1500 C.E. This guideline may be measured through STR diversity or alternative evidence.

Where a new terminal subgroup is being added, STR marker results or other evidence described below for two men with the new SNP are needed.

STR Diversity
To be accepted the SNP must be observed in at least two individuals and must meet the STR diversity requirement. A SNP that does not meet this requirement will be classified as a Private SNP (see definition above).

The STR diversity requirement is met if the following conditions are satisfied:

  1. If the SNP is a Non-Terminal Branch SNP, no further proof of diversity is required.
  2. Genetic distance is calculated using the Infinite Alleles Model (IAM). A marker for which there is a null value in one sample must be discarded from the calculations. Otherwise, most laboratories use the IAM.
  3. All markers tested by both individuals must be compared.
  4. If 74 markers (or fewer) are compared, the minimum genetic distance to meet the diversity requirement is 5.
  5. If 75 (or more) markers are compared, the diversity requirement is a minimum of 7%, computed by dividing the genetic distance by the number of markers compared, and rounding to the nearest integer value.

This is what happened when my Terminal SNP was accepted. Usually, one would be looking for a low GD for a match, say. Here, for the addition of new SNPs a higher GD is needed to show that the SNP is not a private SNP. Here is another message written June 2015 by a fellow Z17911 from the Yahoo L513 Mail Group that I’m in:

Hi Mike,

I tried to figure the Infinite allele GD for the three current SNP-tested members of Z17911 (if I understood DYS464 and CDY correctly):

Hartley/Merrick = GD 14
Hartley/Thomas = GD 12
Merrick/Thomas = GD 10

I hope this is helpful.
Charles Thomas 8633 

Mike followed up with:

Yes, Charles. It looks like Z17911 and Z16855 are clearly public making upstream Z16343 public too.

And the rest is history – at least for my little branch of the YDNA tree.

Analysis of STRs Using the RCC Method

The RCC method may be somewhat obscure to some, but I find it very interesting. This method uses STRs to create trees of descent, like the SNP trees I showed above. As it uses STRs and not SNPs, it is helpful as a check to the validity of the SNP trees. The RCC method was developed by Bill Howard. In November 2014, Bill came up with the tree below based on 67 STR results. I was at the top of the list in that study of a relatively small group of people.

RCC 67

Note how this method mirrors today’s SNP tree:

L513 Tree Section

The RCC method show that Z16855 branched from Z17911 out of Z16343 at over 60 RCCs. For this 67-marker analysis, 1 RCC = 38.05 yrs. So that would be over 2300 years ago. The present year is considered as 1945-1950. Hartley shows as splitting from Merrick and Thomas at about 30 RCCs. That is over 1140 years from 1945 or around the year 800 A.D. As there were no surnames at that point, this would explain why Hartley, Thomas and Merrick could be in the same grouping. The closest RCC to Hartley at the time of this study was Gilroy. An RCC of 18 translates to 685 years. This brings us up to about the year 1265 A.D. Surnames in England were being sorted out around the 1400’s.

Here is my interpretation of the RCC 67 STR Tree with SNPs and dates added:

RCC 67

Assuming that the vertical line at RCC 30 represents Z17911, it appears that there is room for at least one other SNP on the Hartley Branch that includes Gilroy, Phillips, Vaugh[a]n and Griffin.

Comparing two Rcc studies (67 Vs. 111 Strs)

More recently, at the end of March 2016, Bill Howard ran the data for 555 L513 testees that had 111 STR markers or more. I have only tested for 67 markers, so I was not included, but there was one Hartley in that group. He does not show up on my match list as I count that I have a GD of 10 with him at the 67 STR level. This is beyond the match limit of 7 for FTDNA.

Here is the small section of the 555 that included the Hartley I mentioned above.

RCC 111

Now the vertical dashed lines happen every 20 RCCs. For this study, the RCC = 44.8 years. Mike Walsh, the Administrator of the L513 Project looked at this and felt that, based on his experience with SNPs, that the 44.8 may be a bit high and mentioned a factor of 34.65 years that he thought may work better.

Here is my interpretation of the 111 STR RCC Tree with dates and SNPs. One RCC = 44.8 years.

RCC 111

First, because there are fewer results at 111 STRs, this spreads out the branching. I don’t know who Pitt is. In the previous study Z17911 and Z16855 branched at about 490 B.C. Here, it appears to be in a similar location, I guess about 440 B.C. In the 111 Tree ZS849 branches off in the 1400’s Vs. the 1600’s in the 67 STR Tree. I would assume that the previous study could be slightly more accurate due more available results at the 67 STR level. However, the results are quite close to each other.

Historical 37 STR RCC Tree from September 2014

All these RCC Studies reminded me of a study done in the old days – back in 2014. At the time, I was amazed at how close Bill Howard got to the SNP tree with just using 37 STRs. At the time, I had recommended that the results of 21 L21’s be included in the study, but Charles was too quick in sending 14 L513 results to Bill Howard and Bill gave us this tree:

37 STR RCC Tree

Charles said that 1 RCC should equal 43 years. I’ll put what we know now onto the 2014 RCC tree.

37 STR RCC Tree

The main difference in the older study is that the Z17911/Z16855 branching is shown at a later date (A.D. Vs. the newer studies’ B.C. dates). Also there is an Evans in my group here. I’m not sure who he is.

So Which is Better, SNPs or STRs?

Most people tend to like SNPs over STRs. SNPs may be considered UEPs or Unique Event Polymorphisms. It is the unique part that makes them better. I like the way my L513 Administrator, Mike Walsh says it,

Some people say have used the words that SNPs trump STRs. That’s probably the correct general perspective. Assuming the specific SNPs considered are actually very stable Unique Event Polymorphisms (EUP), any SNPs that differentiate are most important and therefore provide fencing for which do additional evaluation using surnames, genealogy, geographies, etc. AND STRs.

STRs may back mutate, which is a hidden weakness in a way. Say that you have a perfect match with someone based on STRs. One of those STRs may have mutated and back mutated. This would mean that you are not a perfect match, but a GD of 2. There is not an easy way to know if that has happened or not. So that introduces some uncertainty. However, that is not to say that STRs are not important. I feel as they are underrated by many and should still be considered for the reasons I mention in this Blog and in the section below.

Summary, Conclusions and Comments

  • I’m looking forward to my BigY results to see what they may include
  • I am currently classified as Z17911 – a relatively recently discovered terminal SNP
  • By STR signatures, there appear to be 4 other Hartleys who would test positive for Z17911. These Hartleys should be encouraged to take the Z17911 SNP test.
  • I have used a similar method to analyze STRs and predict my own SNPs before I tested positive for them.
  • STRs are useful for determining relatedness to other STR matches using GD and FTDNA’s TIP Report
  • The TIP Report also gives an estimate to the Most Recent Common Ancestor for YDNA matches.
  • STRs are also useful in determining whether a new SNP is private or public using ISOGG guidelines
  • The RCC analysis is useful in creating STR trees and for confirming SNP trees
  • The RCC analysis can also give a time period for the branching of different SNPs and families.
  • STRs and SNPs complement each other





My Mom’s Autosomal DNA on the Lentz Side

I’ve written a few blogs on my mom’s DNA. I did an initial look in December 2015 and wrote more in February 2016. These are listed under Rathfelder/Lentz/Nicholson DNA. This blog will look at my mother’s Lentz mother’s side of the DNA in a little more detail. This is the red side in the chart below. Since my last blog, there has been a newly found relative.

Mom's DNA Lines

That new relative is Joshua. Unfortunately, he makes me feel a bit old as he is 2 generations below me. I made a distinction in my chart as there is a Joan from the Lentz Line shown as Joan(L) and a Joan (N) from the Nicholson line. I have a photo of Annie (Ann Eliza) Nicholson Lentz with Florence and Joan (L).


Joshua’s grandmother Joan(L) is the littlest girl. Florence is the girl behind her. Florence is Annie Nicholson Lentz’s granddaughter.  Annie Nicholson Lentz is Joan’s great grandmother. So that makes Annie Joshua’s 3rd great grandmother!

Splitting the Lentz Family from the Nicholson Family

It would be interesting to try to determine what DNA comes from the Lentz family vs. what comes from the Nicholson family. That way, we will be able to tell which branch our DNA matches are on. At first, it looks like Joshua should not help as he is on the same branch as Judy. Both Judy and Joshua descend from William Lentz.

Mom's DNA Lines

However, Judy has not uploaded to yet, so Joshua does help. Plus he contributes different Lentz DNA than Judy does. Also he matches on the X Chromosome with my mom. In the above chart, Catherine, my mom, Judy, Joshua and Joan(N) have tested. Here is what their results show. Judy’s results are from her match to me.

Mom's Chromosome Map Apr 2016

It gets a little confusing as the peach colored regions can only be Nicholson. The red sections are Lentz, but the Lentz family is also descended from the Nicholson family.  Note also that the red DNA (Nicholson) is one generation older than the peach colored Lentz DNA.

The X Chromosome

As I mentioned above, only Joshua and my mom share the X Chromosome. It appears that Judy or Joshua could have gotten the X Chromsome, but only Joshua, 2 generations down did. Joan(N) has 2 males in a row in her ancestry, so that means she would not have a chance to share the X Chromosome. There is one other point about the X Chromosome. The red DNA shown in the Chromosome map above on the X line. This DNA shared by my mom and Joshua has to be Nicholson DNA from Annie Nicholson (Lentz). This is because no X Chromosome is inherited male to male. So no X Chromosome was inherited from William Lentz from his father Jacob. Any time we can tell that DNA came specifically from one ancestor and not the other, it is a good thing, so I will change the Chromosome Map a little.

Mom's Chromosome Map Apr 2016 rev

Here Annie is now shown to be the sole owner of the X match between my mom and Joshua. The match is shown in yellow, which isn’t the greatest color, but I don’t feel like changing the default.

Is the X Match a real match?

Sometimes small matches can be false. The match between my mom, Gladys and Joshua barely meets the thresholds. So let’s look at that. Here are a few considerations.

  • Gladys and Joshua have a path to match on the X Chromosome. That is, they do not 2 consecutive males in their ancestry leading up to Annie Nicholson.
  • Joshua’s X matches are more likely to be real as he is male. That means his matches are already phased. Joshua’s X matches can only be from his mother’s side.

If any of my mother’s children also match Joshua, that would also give weight to the validity of the match. When I ran Joshua against my 2 sisters and myself at standard thresholds, I got no match. But perhaps that is because my mother was already close to the thresholds. Let’s look a bit more closely at this. Below is how I have mapped out my X Chromosome and my 2 sisters based on how we compared with each other. The maternal matches are on the top in green and orange. I had guessed that orange may be my mom’s Lentz side which leads up to Nicholson.

X Chromosome Map

S is my sister Sharon, J is me. H is my sister Heidi. Here is where Joshua and my mom match on the X Chromosome:

Joshua Gladys X match

If I guessed right in my orange-green chromosome map above, then Sharon and I would not have inherited any X Chromosome in the region from about 5 to 10. My sister Heidi would only have inherited a tiny amount. This amount would be likely less than the lowest amount that gedmatch would allow. So that was inconclusive. I will just assume that my mom and Joshua are a real match.

Nicholson/ellis DNA

This is the easy part. Anyone that matches with Joan(N) and my mom has to be a Nicholson/Ellis and not a Lentz. I can find this using a utility at gedmatch called:

People who match Gedmatch

When I run that, the people who match both include myself and my 2 sisters, which I already knew about, so I do not need to consider those. Here is the list. The first three are myself and my 2 sisters. My mom is represented by the 1st 3 columns and Joan is represented by the 2nd 3 columns. My 2 sisters and myself are 1 generation away from my mom, so that makes sense as a reference. We are actually all 4 generations to a common ancestor with Joan, so my family members all share a bit more DNA with Joan than expected. There is nothing wrong with that.

People who match Mom and Joan

Now these matches are in general out about 5 generations from my mom and 5 from Joan. That doesn’t make total sense as Joan is one generation away from my mom which would translate to one half a generation further out when considering a common ancestor. I’ll take a worse case scenario and look at ancestors 5 generations out from my mom.

Nicholson Line

Remember, they have to be on the Nicholson Line. No Lentzes allowed. Ann is my mom’s grandmother, so we are starting here at 2 generations. That means that 5 generations is out to the 1700’s and I am missing 3 last names.


I chose those people that matched both my mom and Joan at Gedmatch. Then I chose the Traceability Utility. This gives me 3 things. It gives a chart of how the people match each other, it gives a physical representation of how they match and then show on what chromosomes and at what level they match. Here is the chart. I see probably 2 ancestral families represented here. I’ll call them Family One and Family Two.

Mom Joan Trace Chart

The last 3 on the list may belong to Family One or Two, but not have the DNA match to show it. Or they may belong to another family. The DNA is inconclusive. Based on my mom’s Ancestry Tree, chances are these two families could include the following families: Nicholson, Clayton, Ellis or Roebuck. That is assuming I did my genealogy right. All of these families were from the Sheffield, England area, so that is also a clue. Here is how the physical representation looks. I call it the Globe.

Nicholson Globe

My mom is at the bottom and Joan is to her right. The yellow lines show a Triangulation on Chromosome 5. Unfortunately, this utility doesn’t always work well. There should be a gray line line between the close relationship of A324950 and A793540. Also there are too many yellow lines. Here is my correction:

Nicholson Globe

So that exercise gave me some new names that I may follow up on.

My Mom’s Lentz DNA

My mom’s Lentz DNA should be trickier to find. As I mentioned, the Lentz family is descended in part from the Nicholson line, so how do we separate the two? Here is what I will try. I will look at my mom vs. Joan(N) as above, but this time, I will take the comparison between the two and then look at the names that don’t match Joan. This will be quite a long list. Then I will look at the list of people that do match between my mom and Joshua. This is the Lentz list which could include Nicholsons. Hopefully, the names in common with both lists will tend to be Lentz.

I took the first list of 348 matches and put them in a spreadsheet. Again, these were the ones that didn’t match Joan aka those that don’t match the Nicholsons. The second list was very short. There were only 2 people in it when I took out myself and my two sisters. Hopefully, these 2 will match the people in the other list. It turns out that they did. So was it a waste of time finding the 348 matches? I don’t think so. The correlation in the two lists gives me extra confidence that the 2 in the second list are Lentz rather than Nicholson matches.

The other good news that the 2 matches triangulate with Joshua. Here is a part of my mother’s DNA match spreadsheet, so these are matches to my mom.

Joshua Triangulation

These are matches on Chromosome 6. Pink means my mother’s mother’s side. Green means a match of over 15 cM. Joshua is the first match and the other two below him match each other. This gives more credence to a common ancestor that is on my mother’s Lentz side.


While I’m on Chromosome 6, I’ll mention crossovers. On any particular Chromosome, we get half our DNA from our mother and half from our father. Here we are looking at my mom’s mother’s DNA. Further when my mom got her DNA from her mother, her mother’s parents’ DNA mixed in alternating segments. I showed that in my orange and green map above of my sisters’ and my X Chromosome. Here is part of my mom’s chromosome map based on her cousin matches:

Mom's Crossovers

Notice on Chromosome 6, the segments turn from red to peach on my mom’s Maternal side. On Chromosome 9, they turn from peach to red. That is where my mom got her DNA from her 2 maternal grandparents. The red should represent the DNA my mom got from her grandfather Jacob Lentz and the peach should represent the DNA my mom got from her grandmother Annie Nicholson (though through Annie’s 2 parents). If my mom had more cousins tested, more of these crossovers would show up.

Summary, Comments and Questions

  • My analysis only turned up 2 potential Lentz matches. That is the question part. I’m not sure why.
  • There were more leads on the Nicholson side, even though, or perhaps because of, the common ancestor was one generation further back
  • Both lists resulted in good leads.
  • My best lead had nothing to do with DNA. While I was writing this blog, someone saw my Nicholson Web Page and informed me they had the Nicholson family bible showing the exact time of day and dates when many in the Nicholson family were born in the 1700’s!
  • Chromosome mapping can be fun and educational
  • X Chromosome matches can be helpful. One needs to know the inheritance patterns of both the matches to see if an X Chromosome match is even possible.
  • A Chart showing relationships like the one I have at the beginning of the Blog is very important. That way one can know which DNA matches with which common ancestors.
  • Everyone says the more known relatives that test, the better. Everyone is right.





My Father In Law’s Grandparents’ DNA

In this Blog I will use a technique described by Kathy Johnston to look at some of my father in law Richard’s DNA. I will map out his 4 grandparents on Chromosome 15. These would be 4 of my wife’s great grandparents. Then I will try to figure out which grandparent goes with each segment of the mapped Chromosome.

My Father In Law and His Two Sisters

The mapping technique requires 3 siblings. My father in law tested at FTDNA and his two sisters tested at AncestryDNA. I have those results and have uploaded them to

fully identical and half identical

In the first step, I compare the 3 siblings to each other using using their chromosome browser. Here is how Lorraine and his brother Richard (my father in law) match each other at on Chromosome 15. I chose this chromosome because it is one of the smaller chromosomes, hence easier to map. Also I already knew there were some other cousins on Richard’s maternal side that had tested and had fairly good results with Richard on this Chromosome.

Lorraine V Richard
Lorraine V Richard

As shown in the above, Lorraine and Richard have one long match on Chromosome 15. I will use locations in millions, so I’ll say the match was from 18 to 94. This is represented by a sold blue line. According to FTDNA, the area before 18 is a SNP poor area not used for comparisons. The solid green sections are where Lorraine and Richard share the same DNA from 2 of their grandparents. These would be one maternal grandparent and one paternal grandparent. The green is also called a Fully Identical Region or FIR. The yellow area is called a half identical region. This means that Richard and Lorraine share the DNA from one maternal or paternal grandparent. The red area with no blue line below it is the area where Richard and Lorraine don’t share any DNA. However, this information is actually quite helpful. This would mean that if Richard got his DNA in this segment from his Paternal Grandfather and Maternal Grandmother, that Lorraine’s DNA would have to be from her Paternal Grandmother and Maternal Grandfather, for example. There are only 4 choices, so process of elimination can be used.

Comparing three siblings at a time

Next I line up the results of the three siblings.

Chr 15 3 siblings

I am now looking for crossovers. This is where Richard’s DNA, for example, switched from being inherited from one grandparent to being inherited from another grandparent.

Chr 15 with crossovers

Next I look down every line to see who owns each crossover. Let’s just look at the first vertical crossover line. In comparing Lorraine V Richard, nothing is changing there as there is green on either side of the line. At Lorraine V Virginia, and at Richard V Virginia, there is a change from no match to an HIR. The one in common in those 2 changes is Virginia. So she is the one that owns the first crossover point. That means at that point (to give a number would be 27) she received her DNA from one grandparent to the left of that point and she received her DNA from another grandparent to the right of that point. We don’t know which grandparent, or whether it was on her maternal or paternal side. We do know that both grandparents on either side of the crossover are either maternal or paternal grandparents. That fact will help me as I try to figure out which grandparent Virginia got her DNA from.

Assigning crossover points

Here we will give a name to each crossover point. We are building a DNA skeleton or frame for each person so to speak. These are assigned by each persons’ initial at the bottom of each vertical crossover line below.

Assign Names to Crossovers

This tells us that there are 7 crossovers for the 3 siblings. Virginia has 3 and Lorraine and Richard have 2 each.

The chromosome map

Next I will build a Chromosome Map based on the above information. This map will be for the 3 siblings and have a maternal and paternal side with 2 grandparents on each side. [That should make sense as you think about your own family situation.] To begin with, these grandparents will be represented by 4 different colors as we won’t know which grandparent is which. Here is the bare bones skeleton:


I kept the crossover designations on each of the vertical lines. I’ll add the 3 chromosome maps to the right of the L, R, and V on the left side for Lorraine, Richard, and Virginia. On the bottom, I have the locations on the chromosome for each crossover point. I am missing a location for the next to the last crossover line. This could be guessed or estimated based on where Virginia’s actual crossovers are later. By eye it would be about 90.

Let’s map it

Assign Names to Crossovers

I could start with any area, but I’ll start with the top left. This is the green FIR match between Lorraine and Richard. Fully identical means they both received the same DNA from the same 2 grandparents. Those 2 grandparents were one from the mother’s side and one from the father’s side. Those will be represented by green and blue.

Chr 15 First FIR

Lorraine will have one crossover preventing one of her lines (colors) from extending beyond her crossover further to the right. Richard has no crossover at this point, so his two grandparents’ DNA can extend to his ‘R’ crossover line. Meanwhile Virginia doesn’t match at either grandparent in this area, so we need to give her 2 different colors representing the DNA she got from her 2 other grandparents.

Chr 15 part 2

Due to the place I started, I’m stuck already – at least on the FIRs and no matches (green and red sections of the chromosome map).

Assign Names to Crossovers

The next step is to map an HIR. As HIRs are more ambiguous (one matches and one doesn’t) I only get one shot at guessing. Once I make one guess, then this locks in the grandparents and no further HIR guessing is allowed. Our choices for HIRs are between 27 and 35. I’ll choose Lorraine V Virginia. They are HIR between 27 and 31.

Chr 15 part 3

Now comparing L and V from 27-31, I see that their 2 green segments match and their blue and purple segments do not match. This was my one chance at guessing. I could have guessed the other way around and it wouldn’t have mattered, but at this point the colors are locked in and no more guessing is allowed. Next, Virginia has no crossovers for a while, so I’ll extend the DNA she got from her green and purple grandparents to the right to her next crossover point.

Chr 15 part 4

Next I notice that Virginia has no match with Lorraine from 31-46 and no match with Richard from 35-60. That means that Lorraine and Richard got their DNA from the opposite grandparent on their maternal or paternal side. So far, everything is relative, so the top orange and green may be maternal or paternal. We don’t know yet.

Chr 15 part 5

Scanning up from Virginia’s Chromosome 15 map from location 35 to the right, we see that Richard and Lorraine have the opposite colors. That corresponds with the no match comparisons we had in the gedmatch comparisons. We would be stuck here except for the fact that on Richard’s bar, he has no crossover at location 60. [That crossover at 60 belongs to his sister Virginia.] That means that the DNA that he got from his orange and blue grandparents can extend to his next crossover at 95.

Chr 15 part 6

Assign Names to Crossovers

Now we again are almost stuck, except that Richard and Virginia have a green FIR from 90 to 95.

Chr 15 part 7

We can then extend Virginia’s grandparents’ DNA to the right.

Chr 15 part 8

Assign Names to Crossovers

Now we truly are stuck. We only have HIRs left and I already used my one guess for those. There is a no match between Lorraine and Richard on the right hand side, as we have no DNA to go against after 95 for those 2.

Cousins to the Rescue

There is one more way to fill in these segments. That is with the matches from actual cousins. We will want to figure out which grandparents these segments go to if we can anyway by using cousin matches. First, let’s look a little at the genealogy of the cousins that have tested.

Pouliot LeFevre Diagram

In the bottom box is Richard, but I should have included his sisters Lorraine and Virginia there also. These siblings have 4 cousins that have tested on the maternal LeFevre side. Here I got a snapshot of Estelle LeFevre (b. 1905) while getting DNA from Virginia:


There are 2 testers descended from the Pouliot Grandfather. The other 2 testers are descended from Pouliot and LeFevre. I discussed the issues in separating the DNA from those two ancestors in my previous Blog.

Pouliot LeFevre Diagram rev

Here are the 3 siblings as they match their reference cousins. The more important cousin, in a way, is Fred as he descends from the Pouliots and not the LeFevres. Note that there is no overlap between Fred versus Patricia and her brother Joseph in each comparison. That is where the crossover is occurring between the Pouliot grandparent and the LeFevre grandparent. Now for each sibling (Lorraine, Richard and Virginia) that crossover is at a different location. For Lorraine, it is at 31. For Richard, it is at 35. For Virginia, it is at 28. Now refer to the second image below. The place where all those maternal crossovers occur is on the top row of each bar between the orange and green segments.

3 sibs on Chromosome Browser to All

Chr 15 part 8

So for this try, the green represents the DNA that the siblings Lorraine, Richard and Virginia got from their Pouliot grandmother and the orange represents the DNA that each sibling got from their LeFevre grandfather.

Just to confuse things – a completed chromosome 15 map

Here is a completed Chromosome 15 that I did previously. In the version below, I started more on the right and worked my way to the left. That left blanks on the left that I was able to fill in by the actual cousins. Note that the colors are relative and are reversed for the Pouliot and LeFevre grandparents which I have labelled on this Chromosome Map:

Completed Chromosome 15 Map for 3 Siblings
Completed Chromosome 15 Map for 3 Siblings
what about the paternal side of the map?

The paternal side is mapped out, but I have no reference testers. These testers would ideally be 2nd cousins that are related on only one paternal line. I only need one of these 2nd cousins to identify one grandparent. Then the leftover grandparent belongs to the other side due to process of elimination. There are already likely people that have tested at AncestryDNA, but due to lack of a chromosome browser there, I don’t have where the matches are. For now I will leave them as colors or I can call them paternal grandparents 1 and 2. The actual paternal grandparents are Edward Butler (b. 1875) and Lillie Kerivan (b. 1874).

My Wife’s DNA

The DNA represented in the map above comes from my father in law’s grandparents. However, for my wife, this represents the DNA that she got from 4 of her paternal great grandparents. How could I map that out for her?


The short and simple answer is this: My wife got her DNA from her 2 parents. That is a given. So she, like her father, Richard, has a maternal and paternal side. She will have a similar map as her father. However, now her paternal side will have her father’s 4 (or in this case 3) grandparents all on one chromosome. To make room, something has to give.

Completed Chromosome 15 Map for 3 Siblings
Completed Chromosome 15 Map for 3 Siblings

Here is Richard on the middle line. Note that he only received DNA from one of his paternal grandparents. As my wife got all her paternal DNA from her father (sounds obvious, but still worth stating), she will potentially only get DNA from 3 out of 4 of her great grandparents. Here I am borrowing a Figure from a very helpful blog called Segments: Bottom-Up:

segments greatgrandparents

In that Segmentology Blog, Chromosome 5 is used as an example. Here all the great grandparents are represented. Unfortunately, I have not tested 2 of my wife’s siblings. If I had, then I would have the first line which indicates her grandparents (in this case on her paternal side). The second line of the image above, shows in a generic way, the new crossovers that my wife could have for her great grandparent level.

My wife and her 2 aunts

Here is how my wife looks compared to her 2 aunts at gedmatch compared to those Aunts’ Chromosome 15 map. I won’t show the match to her father as she matches him in all places.

Marie Chr 15

Completed Chromosome 15 Map for 3 Siblings

From this, I take away that my wife matches her 2 Aunts on their maternal side. The gedmatch match between my wife and her Aunt Lorraine shows a break at 31 which corresponds to Aunt Lorraine’s maternal side. Likewise my wife’s second match with her Aunt Virginia starts at 60 which corresponds with Aunt Virginia’s maternal start of her switch from Pouliot DNA to LeFevre DNA. When I merge these 2 results together, it looks like the Chromosome map for Richard, above with a crossover break at 35. This makes sense, as my wife got her paternal DNA from her dad. If I was making a Chromosome map for my wife, it would include her 2 great grandparents: Martin LeFevre b. 1872 and Emma Pouliot b. 1874. Her Chromosome 15 Map would look like her father’s up to location 95. After that point it may also be the same as her father’s, but I don’t believe that I can prove that.

It is beginning to look like there may have been no recombination for my wife on Chromosome 15. So far, we have not seen any room in Marie’s DNA for the purple paternal DNA that I mapped out for Richard above.

Enter cousin John

Recently, my wife and I contacted her cousin John at AncestryDNA. He kindly uploaded his DNA to gedmatch. I said that I would use his DNA for research. Then I thought, “Now how am I going to use his DNA for research?” Here is one way. We will look to see how cousin John matches his Uncle and 2 Aunts at Chromosome 15.

John Chr 15

These red and yellow show us that Cousin John likes to eat at MacDonalds. Not really. It does show:

  • coverage of the entire Chromosome 15 from position 18 to 100.
  • one large match with Richard. This would correspond to Richard’s paternal (Irish) side
  • the match with Lorraine could correspond with her paternal side also in the purple area on my Chromosome 15 map above.
  • The 2 matches with Virginia could also be on her Paternal (Irish) side in the blue and purple segments
  • If I were to make a Chromosome 15 map for cousin John, it would be more complete than my wife’s. It would be filled in with 2 great grandparents on his father’s father’s side.

I think I will make a great grandparent Chromosome 15 Map for my wife and her cousin John, but only because this is my 50th genetic genealogy blog. This map will just be for my wife and cousin John’s Paternal side of their Chromosome 15.

Map John Marie

It is a somewhat unusual chromosome map as there are only 2 great grandparents mapped for each cousin. My wife inherited the DNA from her dad’s maternal grandparents  Her cousin John inherited his DNA from his dad’s paternal grandparents. The part in the upper right corner should probably been left blank as I have only implied Pouliot DNA there.

further deductions

I have shown that it looks like my wife matches her dad on his Maternal Side. It looks like my wife’s cousin John matches his Uncle and 2 Aunts on their Paternal sides. Remember, I am talking about great grandparent matches, so I am going back a bit. The question is, should my wife match her cousin John on Chromosome 15? I would say no. Let’s look. Here is my wife’s matches in the area of Chromosome 15 down to a level of 3 cMs:

Marie and John

As you can see, there is no Chromosome 15 match. From that I can imply, but not prove, that my wife’s Chromosome 15 after position 95 is the same as her father’s and that she inherited her father’s mother’s Chromosome 15 intact.

To Recombine or not to recombine?

The smaller Chromosomes have less of a chance of recombining.  Chromosome 15 has 100 cMs which means on average there should be exactly one crossover per Chromosome 15. Lorraine had one crossover on each of her Chromosomes 15 (maternal and paternal). Richard had 2 maternal crossovers and no paternal crossover so he meets the average. Virginia was an overachiever with 2 maternal and one paternal crossover for an average of 1.5 crossovers. My wife’s father inherited his father’s Chromosome 15 intact, so had no recombination there. Likewise there may have been no recombination from Richard down to my wife on this chromosome.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Kathy Johnston’s method of DNA analysis worked well on my father in law and 2 siblings to find the DNA they inherited from their grandparents who were born between 1872 and 1875.
  • This method worked especially well for the maternal side as there were reference points aka my father in law’s maternal cousins who had tested for DNA. For these segments with matching cousins, I could assign specific grandparents which contributed to my father in law and 2 siblings’ DNA.
  • The segments that my father in law’s family inherited from their grandparents’ Paternal Irish side is defined and in place. However, those segments are awaiting specific names. Once further testing is done or existing testing is uploaded to, then these names should be made clear.
  • This exercise on Chromosome 15 may be repeated for the other chromosomes.
  • This exercise showed two instances where recombination did not take place and another instance where it probably did not take place.
  • I would know more about my wife’s DNA if I had 2 more siblings’ DNA results.
  • I have been neglecting my wife’s DNA results as I had other test results from her older relatives. I need to update her FTDNA and matches. This may give more clues on how she inherited her great grandparents’ DNA from her father.
  • A cousin who has tested was used to triangulate between the 3 siblings and my wife to check the work.
  • Based on the results of the 3 siblings Chromosome Mapping, maps can also be made for the children of these siblings. For the children, the mapping would show which great grandparents they received their DNA from.

My Father In Law’s Autosomal DNA: Separating the LeFevres from the Pouliots

It’s been a while since I’ve looked at my Butler father in law’s autosomal DNA, so it’s time to look at it in a blog. Richard descends from an Irish father and a French Canadian mother. Richard has many large matches with many with French Canadian ancestry. In comparison, he seems to have smaller and fewer matches on his Irish side. This is probably due to several reasons:

  • The French Canadians have been around for many hundreds of years in North America.
  • Their descendants have spread throughout the region and many migrated to Massachusetts where Richard is from.
  • Many of these early French Canadians were intermarried. This tends to increase the amount of shared DNA among cousins.
  • The numerous French Canadian descendants perhaps were more likely to take DNA tests.
  • Conversely, the Irish relatives tended to emigrate later in time.
  • These Irish descendants seem less likely to have taken DNA tests.

Richard’s Known Matches – French Canadian

Richard has 2 pairs of known matches with cousins of French Canadian ancestry (other than my wife). They are:

  • 2 First cousins – They are on his mother’s (LeFevre) side
  • 2 Second cousins – They are also on the mother’s side but one generation up. The common ancestor is Pouliot. Here is a diagram of Richard’s mother’s side:

Pouliot LeFevre Diagram

My Confusion

I looked at these matches and wondered how I would be able to sort out the LeFevres and the Pouliots. This was confusing as the LeFevre line had Pouliot in it.

The Easy Answer

The easy answer is there is no easy way to pull the 2 apart with what I had. This is because at the first cousin level, it is not easy to pull out one family. If you think about it, your first cousins share 2 grandparents with you. This was the case with Richard’s 2 first cousins also. As they are on the mother’s side, they are useful for determining whether matches are on the Butler or LeFevre (Paternal or Maternal) side, but not a whole lot more. But that is quite a bit. This is a way of phasing your results. This also separates the French Canadian matches from the Irish matches.

Looking for more than can be found in a relationship can be frustrating and confusing and that was where I was a while back. I have found that it is usually good to keep it simple – especially when figuring these things out. The problem was I was comparing apples and oranges. Or in this case 1st cousins and 2nd cousins. This is why it is sometimes suggested that a second cousin is a good choice for testing.

The Pouliot Second Cousins

As mentioned above, the Pouliot second cousins represent all the Pouliot DNA shared. On the FTDNA Chromosome Browser Richard’s DNA shared with his 2 Pouliot 2nd cousins looks like this:

Butler Pouliot Chromosome Browser

From the image above, I gather a few things:

  • This is a map of the DNA that Richard received from his Pouliot great grandfather (and Fortin great grandmother) down from his Pouliot grandmother.
  • As this represents the DNA from Richard’s grandmother, it would theoretically cover about one half of his chromosome browser. This would be the amount of DNA that he actually did get from his grandmother as compared to how he matches his two 2nd cousins.
  • Richard’s theoretical amount of DNA he got from his grandmother would cover half of the browser because the browser contains both paternal and maternal matches.

Add in the 1st Cousin

I’m only adding in one LeFevre 1st cousin as the other one didn’t test at FTDNA. Here the first cousin will be in green.

French Canadian to Richard in Browswer

From looking at the above, I observe the following:

  • The green area represents Richard’s maternal side as shown through a match with a maternal cousin.
  • This green represents LeFevre on Richard’s parent level.
  • About one half of his green match represents LeFevre and one half represents Pouliot on the grandparent level.
  • Going further up the ancestor line the green represents every other ancestor of Richard’s mother. This would be French Canadians.
  • Richard got a full chromosome from his mother, so all the DNA received from his mother would fill the above chromosome browser.
  • There are areas on Chromosomes 1, 13 and 16 where Richard’s green LeFevre cousins matches overlaps with his matches from his Pouliot cousins. These areas likely represent where the LeFevre cousins match the Pouliots. This would mean that in this area of the LeFevre cousins’ chromosomes they got their DNA from the Pouliot side. I know that I said above that it was not possible to sort out what part of the LeFevre DNA was from Pouliot, but from looking at the Chromosome Browser above, it appears that it is possible. More on this later.
  • Areas where there are breaks in the matches or where the matches go from the LeFevre cousin to the Pouliot cousins likely indicate Richard’s crossover points. These are the points where the DNA he received changed from one [maternal in this case] grandparent to another. That is, the DNA he actually received went from his LeFevre grandfather to his Pouliot grandmother.
  • As the LeFevre cousins and Richard both descend from LeFevre sisters, they share X Chromosome matches. Both those sisters got their X Chromosomes from their 2 parents. Those 2 parents were LeFevre and Pouliot.
  • Due to the X inheritance patterns there can be no X Chromosome matches between Richard and his Pouliot 2nd cousins. Richard did receive Pouliot X Chromosomes from his mother’s mother. But Richard’s cousin did not as there is no X Chromosome passed down from father to son.

Triangulation – Thinking In Three Dimensions

Triangulation is when 3 or more people all get their DNA from the same ancestor and all match each other. Our best shot at finding this is at the right hand side of Chromosome 1. It looks like these 3 people who match Richard should match each other. Two are siblings, so that is a given. Here is how Richard’s 4 cousin matches look like at

Richard Gedmatch Chr 1

You will have to switch gears a bit here from the FTDNA browser. In this browser, the different colors stand for the size of the match. Here, #1 and #2 are the Pouliot 2nd cousins. #3 and #4 are the LeFevere 1st cousins. #4 was the cousin that didn’t test at FTDNA. As expected, in the area where the 4 cousin matches are stacked on top of each other, they also match each other. At this close of a match, they almost have to. The only other option would be if they matched somehow on Richard’s paternal Irish side, which would be unlikely. This means that the 5 cousins triangulate and they have as a common ancestor their great grandfather Pouliot. Another interesting thing about Richard’s Chromosome 1 is that with just 4 maternal cousins, he has much of his chromosome mapped out – at least the maternal side of it.





Slimming Down My Big Fat Chromosome 20

In a previous Blog, I mentioned My Big Fat Chromosome 20. I had discovered, for some reason, that more than one half of all my matches were on this Chromosome. This can be seen visually using a Swedish web site called

dnagen circle chart

Here the default setting is at 200%. That means that only the matches that are twice as large as the median are shown. This program uses FTDNA matches. The match names are on the outside of the circle and the lines going between the names are what FTDNA calls ICW or (In Common With). I just noted today that there is a group on this circle that doesn’t connect with others at about 9 o’clock on the circle. These matches like to stay in their own Chromosome apparently. They are in a dark color which I take to be Chromosome 3. However, that is an aside.

The real point is to show Chromosome 20 in the dark green in the lower right half of the circle. Chromosome 20 is the Hong Kong of Chromosomes. In a little space, I have  lot of matches. Remember that Chromosome 20 is one of the smaller Chromosomes. If I have about 4,000 matches, that means that over 2,000 of them are on Chromosome 20. In my previous Blog on Chromosome 20, I determined that these matches were on my Frazer grandmother’s side. Her 2 parents were born in Ireland. That means that these matches represented Irish matches and not Colonial American matches as I had previously assumed.

The Progression of Sorting Matches

Autosomal DNA matches may be grouped in different ways. When I first tested, I got a bunch of matches at FTDNA. I didn’t know who any of them were. FTDNA had suggested some relationships which were mostly optimistic. Here is some of the progression of how I have sorted my matches:

  1. Sorted by projected relationship or match level (cMs)
  2. Sorted by actual relationship if known
  3. Sorted by Chromosome. This option is not available at AncestryDNA. One has to upload the AncestryDNA results to gedmatch for this option. This is when I discovered all my Chromosome 20 matches.
  4. Sorted by Triangulation Groups. By using a Tier 1 option at Gedmatch or by finding by hand all the matches that match each other at a particular segment, I was able to find many Triangulation Groups (TGs)
  5. Sorted by Maternal or Paternal. All our valid DNA matches should match on either the maternal or paternal side. Once I tested my mother, I was able to phase my results at gedmatch and find out whether I matched other testers on my mother’s side or my father’s side. This was a big breakthrough for me. This cut down a lot of frustrating searches. For example, there are a lot of people that match my mother that have Frazer or Fraser ancestors. My Frazer ancestors are on my father’s side. Therefor, I knew that when looking for Frazers, I could eliminate all my mother’s matches who had them as ancestors and not worry about them.
  6. Sorted by other known matches. I had my father’s 1st cousin tested. This got to the level of my great grandparents on my Hartley side. However, it didn’t tell me which great grandparent. My Hartley great grandparent was a relatively recent immigrant from England. My non-Hartley great grandparent had ancestors going back tot he Pilgrims in Massachusetts. I also had other relatives tested and found other matches that I knew I was related to.
  7. Another breakthrough happened after I had my 2 sisters tested. I used a method by Kathy Johnston to find out where you got all your DNA from your 4 grandparents by comparing your DNA results to 2 siblings. This method worked pretty well on most of my chromosomes. Now I knew where the DNA was coming from at my grandparent level for most of my matches. When I had a match, I could check my map to see which grandparent that match belonged to.

That is about where I left it at my last Blog on Chromosome 20. I looked at my crossover points for Chromosome 20. Here are my sisters compared to each other and to me:

Chr 20 Crossovers

Here is how I used the above comparison to map my grandparents that gave me my Chromosome 20 segments. The blank parts are half identical and ambiguous, so rather than guessing, I left them blank. For example, on Sharon’s row on the top, either the orange goes to the left and blue starts at the lower half or the opposite: the purple continues to the left and the green starts at the crossover line.

Chr 20 Final Segment

My chromosome 20 is on the bottom. At the time I wrote my previous Blog on Chromosome 20, I discovered that the vast majority of my matches were due to my Frazer side (green) and not my Hartley side (orange). This was a surprise as my Hartley grandfather had a mother with American Colonial roots. The final point of my previous blog on the subject was:

The fact that all these matches are on my Frazer line doesn’t necessarily mean that they are Frazer matches. They could be McMaster, Clarke, Spratt or any other known or unknown ancestor of my Frazer grandmother.

It’s great that I now know that most of my Chromsome 20 matches are Paternal and that they are on my Frazer grandmother’s line. But I am still curious as to where they are coming from. Can I find out more? I would like to try.

Chromosome 20: Beyond Grandparents

One advantage I have is that I am working on a Frazer DNA project with 27 testers. There are 2 lines of Frazers. I am on the Archibald Line and there is another line called the James Line. These 2 lines are somewhat distantly related as these 2 brothers were born in the early 1700’s. Here are the matches for the project on Chromosome 20:

Chr 20 Matches

All of these matches involve at least one James Line tester which I am not on. The 2 major matches between the Archibald Line and James line are between myself (JH) and my sister (SH) on the Archibald Line and Bonnie (BN) on the James Line. As I show below, even my McMaster Line has Frazers in it, which could be the source of that match. Sharon had very few Chromosome 20 matches compared to her siblings Heidi and myself. The 1,000 plus matches I had were before the 47 million mark where I match Bonnie above. My mega-matches mostly occur on Chromosome at 44,000,000 (End Location) or before. This tells me that my mega-matches are not of the Frazer surname. If they were, I would have seen some of my closer Archibald Line matches on Chromosome 20 from the Frazer DNA Project.

Enter cousin paul

Paul is my second cousin once removed who tested for DNA. His great grandparents are my 2nd great grandparents: George Frazer and Margaret McMaster.

George Frazer Tree

When I compare myself to Paul, I get to either the Frazer or McMaster Lines. This will eliminate the Clarke line of my great grandmother and her Spratt mother as they are not in Paul’s line – only mine.

My McMasters: It’s a Bit Complicated

Here is my McMaster Line going back from my Frazer grandmother.

McMaster Ancestry

Not only did 2 McMasters marry each other, one of them had a Frazer mother! Marion Frazer is my grandmother, so she is 2 generations from me. Margaret McMaster is at 4 generations. James and Fanny McMaster are at 5 generations to me. Their parents (the left-most McMasters above) are at 5 generations out from my cousin Paul and six generations from me. This is useful to know in the Generations Estimate I have below.

Here is where the Frazer/McMaster split is.

Frazer Buggy

George Frazer b. 1838 is on the left and Margaret McMaster b. 1846 is on the right. The photo was taken in Ballindoon, Ireland in front of the Frazer family home.

At, I compared Paul and myself at:

People who match one
or both of 2 kits

I chose most of those that matched both Paul and me. I left out an apparent duplicate and one who is anonymous for now. I also left out my 2 siblings. With those results, I chose the Traceability option and got this chart:

Generations Paul Joel

Those in red are in the Frazer DNA Project. We know their genealogy. Gladys descends from the couple above George Frazer and Margaret McMaster. Michael and Jane descend from one level above that. The circle above are those that are related to Paul and me, but not to others in the Frazer DNA Project. [One exception is Jane, but she matches at generation 7 which is about as far out as Gedmatch goes. This may or may not be a real match.] If those in the circle are not Frazer, then the apparent conclusion is that they are McMaster relatives.

Back to chromosome 20

See all the Chromosome 20 matches on my Gedmatch Traceability Report:

TG Chart Chr 20

Remember I said that my 1,000 plus matches on Chromosome 20 ended around 44M? This is what the above shows. It also shows a triangulation of matches. This triangulation is also implied by the cluster of matches within the circle of the Generations Estimate Chart above. The Chromosome 20 Triangulation Group (TG) includes:

  • Myself
  • *S. S.
  • Daphine
  • Feeney
  • Gladys

Now Gladys should not be in this list as she is in the Frazer DNA Project and has no known McMaster ancestors. In fact, when I run the ‘one to one’ at Gedmatch, she doesn’t match the others in the above list. There are glitches in the Traceability Report, so caution is needed. I will take out the last 3 names in the Generations Estimate to simplify the results. Unfortunately, that didn’t fix the problem, so I had to take out Gladys from the Frazer Project (sorry Gladys).

Gen Est Paul Joel

Now my presumed McMaster relatives are in the green circle. Here are the improved and simplified matches:

TG Chart Chr 20

I note now that the 2 ‘M’ kits (indicating 23andme testers) are now matching each other which is what I had expected previously. Note that I left my previous Traceability results in the blog as a warning that the Traceability utility is glitchy. Actually the new report is not indeed improved as now Michael from the Frazer project is matching my presumed non-Frazer McMasters. I took out Michael, and then Jane from the Frazer Project developed similar bogus matches with those she is not related to!

I’ll have to take out all the other Frazer Project people out for this Traceability to work. This was supposed to have worked so smoothly. Here below Joel and Paul should be the remaining McMaster relatives:

Joel Paul R3

Here is the Chromosome 20 TG. Note that Paul is not in it, but he matches others from the TG in other Chromosomes:

TG Chart Chr 20

This chart is only mostly right. Paul’s green match is actually on Chromosome 19 rather than 15:

Paul's Actual Match with Edge
Paul’s Actual Match with Edge

Here is the globe view of my proposed McMaster relative TG:

McMaster Globe

The colors in the lines correspond to the colors in the chart above. The light blue lines are the Chromosome 20 TG from my “big fat” area. The blue lines indicate a TG as they go from each of six people to the other 5. The gray lines represent multiple matches. I am at the bottom of the globe and my cousin Paul is to my right. He is not in the blue TG on Chromosome 20, but matches all my matches on other chromosomes at least once.

Conclusions and Further Research

From what I have shown above, I feel like I have found my McMaster relatives through DNA. However, these would have to be verified by genealogy. None of my proposed ‘McMasters’ have any gedcoms at gedmatch.

  • Daphine – she is on FTDNA but with no tree and no ancestors mentioned. An ICW search reveals 59 pages of matches – likely mostly on Chromosome 20.
  • Edge – He is at FTDNA. He has a limited tree. His paternal grandmother may be a lead. He has only 52 pages of in common matches at FTDNA
  • John – A search at 23andme showed nothing. Perhaps he is anonymous there.
  • Feeney – Same result – or perhaps these people are using different names?
  • *S.S – I see an S.S at Ancestry, but it is difficult to tell if it is the same person.

I have McMaster connections through DNA and genealogy at AncestryDNA, but there is no way to tell if the connection is on Chromosome 20 without a chromosome browser. My Mcmaster matches at AncestryDNA either don’t know how to upload their DNA to gedmatch, aren’t interested or haven’t gotten to it.

Opposition to TGs

Of late, on Facebook, there has been questioning as to the validity of  TGs – especially large TGs like I have at Chromosome 20. The thought is that no common ancestors will be found as there are just too many common ancestors in these large TGs. I have not explained the 100’s of matches in my Chromosome 20 TG, but I have shown 5 people that match both myself and my cousin Paul. These 5 by DNA do not have obvious Frazer ancestry and appear to be in my McMaster Line. So I suppose we have a stalemate. I cannot prove at this time (except to myself) that my Chromosome 20 TG matches are McMaster relatives and those who are not in favor of large TGs cannot prove that these matches are not McMaster relatives.








Mapping My DNA To My Four Grandparents

I was thinking of calling this Blog “Kathy Meet Kitty“. Kathy is Kathy Johnston who taught me how to map my ancestral segments by comparing my DNA to two of my siblings’ DNA results and determining our crossover points. The crossover points can then be used to map out which grandparent you got your DNA from without having to physically test those grandparents. This is quite convenient as all my grandparents have been gone for quite a while. Kitty is Kitty Munson who has developed a Chromosome Mapper here. I have not seen a blog using Kitty’s Chromosome Mapper to map ancestral DNA segments via Kathy Johnston’s method, so I thought that I would write one. Kathy’s method is posted here.

Two Types of Segments

There are two types of segments, thus at least two types of segment mapping. This concept is best explained at the Segmentology Blog in an article appropriately called, What is a Segment?

ancestral segments

That Segmentology article first mentions ancestral segments. These are the segments that Kathy Johnston knows how to map. I have written many blogs about mapping my ancestral segments using her method. Ancestral Segments are the segments that you actually get from your ancestors. They fill up all your DNA. Here is an example of the ancestral segments that I have mapped to my four grandparents.

Joel Segment Map

Look at Chromosomes 1, 5, 6 and 7 for starters. This shows all my DNA filled in. The 2 paternal grandparents are on the top half of the chromosomes in blue and grean and the maternal two grandparents are on the bottom in red and peach color. The DNA I received alternates between one grandparent and another and fills in all the area. In fact, that is the process of recombination and can be seen in the Ancestral Segment Maps.

shared segments

These are segments that you find at for example. These are our DNA matches. These matches may have a proposed relationship based on how much DNA you and your match share. Here is an example of some of my matches using Kitty’s Chromosome Mapper.

Chromosome map 4 Apr 2016

The best way to fill in a map like this is by testing as many relatives as possible. Now look at chromosome 1, 5, 6, and 7 on the shared segment map compared to the ancestral segment map above. The ancestral segment map on Chromosome 1, for example,  shows how much DNA I actually got from my Hartley grandfather. The blue in the Shared Segment Map shows how much I matched my father’s cousin. Next look at the maternal (bottom) part of Chromosome 1. Here the Rathfelder and Lentz matches on the right hand side are filled in on the Ancestral Segment Map. However, there is an additional section of Lentz on the left hand side of the Ancestral Segment Map where I don’t even have a match. I can tell I got my DNA there from my Lentz maternal grandmother. That is due to the crossover points I have and the fact that the DNA you get from your grandparents alternates between grandparent. On the maternal side, the alternation is between Rathfelder and Lentz.

If you find any inconsistencies between my Ancestral Segment Map and my Shared Segment Map, that means I messed up somehow.

More Ancestral Segment Mapping: Sister Heidi

In order to map my ancestral segments, I needed two siblings, so I used my two sisters, Heidi and Sharon. Here is Heidi’s ancestral DNA mapped out:

Heidi Segment Map

A few observations:

  • The areas of pale blue are where I had trouble figuring out how to map the ancestral segments, so nothing is mapped in these areas. I may have mapped out some of the segments, but then had difficulty telling whether they were maternal or paternal due to lack of known cousins that had tested. So I left these areas blank
  • The maternal areas shown as MG1 and MG2 – For these areas, I knew I had two maternal grandparents but I wasn’t sure which was which. Again based on lack of known cousins that had tested. I could perhaps guess, based on actual matches I had in these segments or where those matches were from, but I noted where the crossovers were and left these grandparents un-named.
  • These unknown grandparents are consistent within each chromosome and each sibling within each chromosome, but they are not consistent between chromosomes. So the unknown MG2 in Chromosome 8 may not be the same MG2 in Chromosome 11.
  • In my (Joel’s) Ancestral Segment Map, I don’t show any DNA on my paternal side for the X Chromosome. That is because males don’t get an X Chromosome from their father.
  • Heidi shows that she got her paternal X from her dad’s mom – a Frazer. Further, that chromosome did not appear to recombine. That means that she got that whole chunk from one of her great grandparents on the Frazer side.

How Do You Know What You Are Finding If You Don’t Know Where To Look?

These maps are very helpful in showing you where to look for DNA. Many people have matches that have ancestral names that are common to us but are not related. For example, my mother has matches with people that have Fraser or Frazer ancestors. I am related to Frazer on my father’s side. That means that I can forget about following up on maternal Frazer matches.

  • If I do want to look for Frazers, I need to look in my green areas (or my sister’s green areas) which is on her paternal side.
  • My sister Heidi is in an important Frazer Triangulation Group on her Chromosome 1 on the right hand side. She triangulates with others in a Frazer DNA Project I am working on. I am not in that group. Look at my Chromosome 1. It is nearly all covered by Hartley DNA. That explains why I don’t match these other Frazers at standard thresholds.
  • What if we were to want to look for Lentz ancestors of Heidi? We need to look at the red areas. Chromosomes 1, 6, 9. 14, 20, and 22 would be a good place to look. Fortunately, I also have Heidi’s matches on a spreadsheet. They are mostly divided by maternal and paternal matches. My mother has been tested for DNA. Based on that, I have Heidi’s phased maternal and paternal results and her matches to each of those results using

Finally Sharon

My sister Sharon completes the Ancestral Segment Mapping:

Sharon Segment Map

  • The autosomal DNA that is missing on Sharon’s Map is the same for her 2 siblings. This is because Kathy Johnson’s ancestral segment mapping technique compares the siblings to each other using the chromosome browser.
  • Sharon has a lot of Frazer DNA match potential at Chromosomes 1, 8-12, 15, and 22.
  • However, Sharon is also not in the Frazer Triangulation Group in Chromosome 1 on the right hand side. In that particular section, she got her DNA from her Hartley paternal side.
  • The above point shows why it is important to test siblings.
  • Heidi and Sharon both have a large match (50+ cM) with someone on their X Chromosome. This person also has autosomal matches with my sisters and others in the Frazer DNA project.

Summary and Observations:

  • Ancestral Segment Mapping can be useful in determining which grandparent your matches match.
  • I know already whether my matches are on my maternal or paternal side. However, this goes back one more generation and further sorts my matches to grandparents. This cuts down the guessing by another half.
  • The maps also point out the areas where you can’t be as sure as to which grandparent your matches match as those areas are not mapped yet.
  • Ancestral Segments should line up with Triangulation Groups
  • Ancestral Segment Mapping can show matches that are Identical by Chance (IBC) or false matches.


Summary of Frazer Triangulation Groups

Here I will attempt to summarize the Frazer Triangulation Groups (TGs). Not all the Frazer TGs in the World. I will be looking at just the Frazer TGs from this Project.

How to Organize TGs?

In organizing the TGs for this Project, I have a lot of options:

  • In the order they were found
  • In the order of chromosomes
  • By family
  • By level of relationship

And the answer is: by level of relationship. This perhaps isn’t as intuitive as by family. I would like to look at the closer relationships first and then those that are not as close. The reason I would like to do this is that the closer relationships are the most certain ones and the TGs representing the further out relationships would be the less certain. It is generally a good idea to go from the known to the unknown (or certain to less certain).

Unfortunately, I started out looking at level of relationship, but it seems too disjointed. I’ll organize this blog by order of chromosomes, but consider the relationship levels as I go.

Frazer DNA Project Participants

At a certain point, TGs are not needed. For example, I form a TG with my 2 siblings. The common ancestors are my 2 parents. Now if my parents were unknown, the TG would be more useful. Perhaps a look at the relationships that we have in the project would be useful. First, who is in the project? The core of the project are those that have built out Frazer genealogies and are related by genealogy and DNA. A second group is related by DNA and have a Frazer ancestor from the area of North Roscommon, Ireland, but can’t really place that ancestor. The third group is related by DNA but don’t even know of a Frazer ancestor or perhaps even an Irish ancestor.

We have:

  • 27 Testers – These are split into the 2 Frazer Lines of 14 Archibald Line testers and 13 James Line testers
  • 9 of the Archibald Line Testers have multiple Frazer ancestors

Frazer Chromosomes By the Number

Chromosome 1 – The Triangulation Super Group

I call this a super group for a few reasons. It was the first one found. It was very easy to find due to the large matches that made it seem obvious.

TG 1A: Violet frazer b. 1803 tg – Third Cousin level

This TG is thought to represent Violet Frazer who was married to James Frazer. I’ve guessed that the TG was specifically for Violet as she is the daughter of Richard Frazer and this TG is also in the middle of a Richard Frazer TG. She is my third great grandmother.

Violet TG

Here my sister Heidi (HHM), my second cousin Paul, once removed Paul (PF), Bill and his Aunt Gladys are in a TG. We all descend from Violet Frazer as well as James Frazer her husband. Each of these 4 people are related to the other three in overlapping areas of Chromosome 1. That is what makes up the TG.

TG 1B: The richard frazer tg on chromosome 1 (4th Cousins)

Here I have widened the net a bit to include others that are out at about the 4th cousin level with a common ancestor of Richard Frazer born about 1777:

TG 1 Richard

Note at the bottom, I added Bill, Gladys and Pat. These last 2 entries are not part of the TG. At this point, it is likely that other factors took over. One possibility is that this could represent the Price DNA that Bill, Gladys and Pat share. Note that the TG stops at 230.2 and the possible Price DNA starts at about 230.7. This is what is called a crossover point. If Michael or Jane were mapping their DNA, they could map a fairly large slice to Richard Frazer on this Chromosome.

TG 1C: the third TG at chromosome 1 – out to the mid 1700’s

There is yet another TG on Chromosome 1. This one is out to Archibald Frazer b. 1743 and his wife Mary Lilley. Now we have a solid chain of evidence. I have mapped my sister Heidi’s DNA to our grandmother Marion Frazer, b. 1894. We know Paul and our family have a common ancestor of George Frazer b. about 1838. We have a Triangulation Group identified for Violet Frazer b. 1803. We have a TG for Richard Frazer, her father. Then we go one step further out.


In this old TG, we have Jane (US), Vivien (AUS) and Michael (UK).

Jane Michael Vivien TG

I find this quite interesting. A few points:

  • How do I know that Jane, Michael and Vivien are matching as shown and not as part of the Frazer/Stinson Line on the right? This is because Jane is in the Richard Frazer TG as well as this TG. She is the bridge between the two TGs.
  • This shows that Michael, Jane and Vivien could have matched as 4th cousins (and probably do on the Frazer/Stinson Line) But on Chromosome 1, they are matching here as 5th cousins. This gets to the Frazer endogamy discussed in my recent Blog.
  • Note that Vivien’s 5th cousin matches with Jane and Michael above are smaller, indicating a more distant relationship. This does not always hold true as also note that there are small matches with Gladys and her family representing a 3rd cousin level relationship. A smaller match at a closer relationship can be due to the DNA crossovers that I mentioned earlier.
  • I mentioned that there is a sort of chain of custody going back to Archibald Frazer and Mary Lilley. Now that we know that, there is also a chain of Frazers going from top to bottom. That means that because we know the same DNA came down, that the middle TG represents Richard Frazer and not his unknown wife. Likelwise, the newer TG represents Violet Frazer, daughter of Richard and not James Frazer who was Violet’s husband.

Chromosome 4 – Two TGs



Here is a problem. There are really two TGs here. One is for Bill, Gladys and Pat. The second has Jane, Gladys and Bill. Then there are Ros and Vivien who don’t appear to fit in the TG. The first larger TG is easy. That is just for the common ancestor of Gladys, Bill and Pat who is George Frazer b. 1858. The second one is more difficult. This is because Jane, Bill, Gladys and Pat all are believed to descend from the same two lines. Now note that Ros and Vivien have a small match to each other. Let’s assume that is a valid match even though it is quite small. If that is the case, then this TG 4A would have to be on the Richard Line and not the Frazer/Stinson Line. However, due to TG 4B, this could also be a Frazer/Stinson TG.

TG 4B – The Frazer/Stinson line

TG 4B is easier to figure out.


I have noted before that Doug (DV) has very few matches but he has made them count by being in a Triangulation Group. Also note that Michael (MFA) and Jane should be 4th cousins, not 4C, 1R as I show above. Here is how their  Chromosome 4 TG looks on our genealogy chart:

Frazer Stinson Line

TG 7 – Does This Represent the First Frazer in Ireland – Born Around 1690?

I mentioned this TG last month in a blog called A New Frazer TG and a New Gedmatch Tool. This is the only known TG with someone from the James Line and the only known TG between the James Line and the Archibald Line.

TG 7

Janet is from the James Line. Michael and Vivien are from the Archibald Line. I need to pull out the big chart for this one. Note that Michael descends from 2 Frazer Lines, so he is included twice.

Whole Frazer TG

Here is how the TG matches look on the Frazer DNA relationship chart:

A-J TG on Rel Chart

  • The blue matches are the 2 places where Michael could match Janet and Vivien. He only matches once, but we can’t tell which.
  • The match between Janet and Vivien is in red as they only had one known chance to match by DNA.
  • The area within the square are the matches between the Archibald and James Line of Frazers. In that box there are 13 James Line people related to 26 Archibald Line People. That is a potential of 338 matches. There were actually only 2 matches in our TG. That represents about 0.6% of the possible matches between the Archibald and James Lines.
  • The matches to the left of that box are Archibald line matches. The 2 blue matches in that area are the 2 places where Michael and Vivien could match each other.
  • The matches below the box are James Line only matches.
  • Michael and Vivien would be related to Janet by 6th cousin once removed under this scenario.
  • There is also a possibility that they could be just 6th cousins. This is because the box in the top left representing an additional Archibald on the genealogy chart was added to try to make better sense of dates. However, if that person does not belong there, the relationships will be slightly closer. This would result in the whole left side (Archibald Line) moving up a step with respect to the right side (James Line).
  • Another option is that these three may be triangulating on a collateral Line. That is, a line that married into the Frazers. However, as we are all descended from the Frazer line, I would tend to go with the Frazer option first.

TG 8 – A Double TG

Here is another case where we have a chain of custody so to speak. We will start with the newer TG, which in fact is not that new.

TG 8a with Bill, gladys and vivien


Here are the three in this TG on the Archibald/Stinson Chart:

TG 8A Chart

That was the easy one. TG 8B is a little more difficult to see.

TG 8B – Archibald frazer and mary lilley


Here I zoom out a bit on my previous chart. That previous chart is just the right hand side of the chart below.

TG 8B Chart

Look at all the chances to match by DNA. My guess here is that Paul is matching Bill from the left hand blue line where to the right hand yellow line. The reason I think that is:

  • The earlier TG that Paul was not in was through the Frazer/Stinson Line on the right.
  • Michael and Jane are not matching with Vivien. Michael and Jane are not in Paul’s blue line on the left.

Confusing? Yes.

Chromosome 12 TG – Back To the Richard Frazer Line

Here is a double TG also. TG 12A would have as common ancestors James Frazer and Violet Frazer b. in the early 1800’s. TG 12B is Richard Frazer b. about 1777 who was the father of Violet Frazer. So that means that TG 12A should only include Violet Frazer.

TG 12

  • TG 12A has Joel, Heidi, Sharon, Bill and Gladys
  • TG 12B has the above plus Jane and David (DF) from Canada.
  • Cathy, Ros and Vivien  have DNA in the same areas of Chromosome 12, but don’t match the others in this Richard Frazer TG. Their DNA is perhaps from another Frazer line or a collateral line (perhaps a spouse of one of the Frazers).

TG 12 Chart

TG 18: Back to the Archibald/Stinson Line

Chr 18 TG

Frazer Parker TG

That’s last TG that I see for now. This could be a Parker TG as we have no proof that it is specifically a Frazer TG. If there was another TG on Chromosome 18 to the Frazer/Stinson Line, that would prove that the TG above would have to be a Frazer TG.

Summary by the Numbers

TG Summary by Chromosome

This chart shows the TGs by Chromosome. GBP means Generations before Present. I used the people in blue for this number as they were a little closer to the common ancestors than the others. The cousin level used was also for the people in blue. For example, I am 2nd cousin once removed with my cousin Paul, because I am one generation further away from Violet Frazer than he is.

  • This chart above shows 11 TGs
  • This represents 7 groups of TGs as there are 2 purple groups (TG01 and TG12) and one green group (TG08) with overlapping TGs.
  • The chart shows that 14 people from the project are in TGs 45 times.
  • As expected, the people in blue are usually in TGs more than the ones that aren’t. Bill was an exception to that rule.
  • The people that have more than one Frazer ancestor are more likely to be in the TGs. Vivien was an exception to that rule.
  • The first purple group contains 3 overlapping TGs. As these TGs go back to an early Frazer, we expect that the middle TG is for Richard Frazer and not his unknown wife. Likewise, the later TG is for Violet Frazer, Richard’s daughter and not for James Frazer, Violet’s husband.
  • TG04A is not colored in, because I can’t tell which line the TG is for. In addition, I can’t tell if the TG is for a Frazer or the spouse.
  • TG04B, I can tell that the TG is for the Frazer/Stinson Line, but I can’t tell if the TG is for the Frazer or Stinson Line.
  • TG08A I can tell that the TG is for Archibald Frazer b. about 1778 and not his wife, because there is an overlapping TG for Archibald Frazer’s parents
  • TG18 I don’t have colored in, because I can’t tell if the TG is for Archibald Frazer or his wife Catherine Parker.

Here is the same chart sorted from newer TG to older TG:

TG Summary by Age

This basically shows that most of the TGs that have been found for this Project are at about 5 generations before present or at the 3rd cousin level.

Things Learned About TGs

  • A critical mass of testers is needed to form a TG.
  • TGs are formed more easily when people have more than one Frazer in their ancestry
  • For overlapping Frazer TGs we can tell that the newer Frazer TGs have to be for Frazers also and not the spouses’ lines.
  • An Archibald Line/James Line TG seemed improbable due to the distance of relationship of the matches. However, that seems to have been overcome by the sheer mass of potential matches (338).











More Fun Counting Frazer Relationships

Two blogs ago, I started looking at how many Frazer relationships there were. I looked at some of the cousin marriages and how that might effect the number of relationships. I proposed this formula to count the number of relationships

Number of testers minus one plus extra relationships due to intermarriage

I discussed the definition of a relationship and how it can be based on a common ancestor. Based on that, the formula could be:

Number of testers minus one plus extra common ancestors due to intermarriage

In the Frazer DNA project, there are 27 testers.

Number of Additional Relationships

The first tester I looked at had 38 relatives and I enumerated each of those relationships. I also checked that number by the formula and was able to find 2 mistakes that I had made. Above, I reasoned that the second tester would have one less relationship as her relationship to the previous tester would already be listed. Going down the line I used the same reasoning for each of the 27 testers. I added the testers and got 675 relationships. I then checked to see how many relationships there would be if there were no additional common ancestors/relationships. I found out that due to the cousin marriages in the first decade of the 1800’s there were 324 extra relationships in the project.

any questions?

I felt a little uncomfortable using that number after just trying it out on one person. For one reason, the person I used had no known extra Frazer ancestors. I thought that I had better try this on Bill, one of our testers. He along with others in his family have 2 extra Frazer ancestors. I was worried that I might be counting too many or too few. For example, am I counting Bill being related to himself? Should I be? Or if Bill descends from 3 Frazer Lines, then should I be counting each version of Bill as he descends from those lines and relates to everyone else? This would be something like taking all the testers (27) subtracting one and then multiplying by 3 to get the ways that Bill relates to all of them? 26 time 3 is 78. This is quite a bit more than the 38 I came up with in my previous blog. But then I would think that Bill should not be counting his closer relative 3 times.

Let’s field test bill

Here is the simplified chart I am using to check Bill’s relationships:

Frazer chart

I say ‘simplified’ because Bill is actually in the first blue column with me but he isn’t shown. In addition, my cousin Paul isn’t shown there.  Bill’s cousin and aunt aren’t shown. Paul and my family aren’t shown on the first yellow long to save space. Two of Ros’ cousins aren’t shown on the purple line. Michael’s 2nd salmon line was abbreviated but actually continues down to him. The group that isn’t colored in is the James Line. In the Archibald Line on the left, I needed the color coding to keep the cousin marriages sorted out. If this was drawn true to life, the colored area would be a lot more built out.

Ground rules
  • I won’t count Bill’s relatedness to himself as that seems weird. This mimics DNA testing also as you don’t find matches of yourself to yourself.
  • I’ll try not to count duplicate relationships that shouldn’t be counted
  • I will count each of the 3 versions of Bill as he is descended from Philip, Richard and Archibald Frazer and how he is related to everyone else in the project.
  • I’ll look for a formula to keep everything straight – and save time for future counting.

I have a feeling that I’ll be close to my 78 number above.

Bill from Blue Line (PHilip)
  1. Bill to Patricia – 2C
  2. To Gladys – Aunt
  3. To Paul – 3C, 1R
  4. Joel – 4C
  5. Sharon – 4C
  6. Heidi – 4C
  7. Jane – 5C, 1R
  8. From Richard: Patricia – 6C
  9. Gladys – 5C, 1R
  10. Paul – 5C, 1R
  11. Joel – 6C
  12. Sharon – 6C
  13. Heidi – 6C
  14. Michael – 5C, 1R
  15. From Archibald: Ros – 6C
  16. Jean – 6C
  17. Vivien – 5C, 1R
  18. Cathy – 5C, 1R
  19. Jane – 5C, 1R
  20. Michael – 5C, 1R
  21. Doug – 6C
  22. Patricia – 6C
  23. Gladys – 5C, 1R
  24. Carol – 8C
  25. Clyde – 7C, 1R
  26. Kathy – 7C, 1R
  27. Charlotte – 6C, 2R
  28. Mary – 7C, 1R
  29. Betty – 6C, 2R
  30. Joanna – 6C, 2R
  31. Jonathan – 6C, 2R
  32. Janet – 6C, 2R
  33. Prudence – 6C, 2R
  34. Beverly – 6C, 2R
  35. Bonnie – 6C, 2R
  36. Judith- 6C, 2R

So there, I’m up to the 38 minus the 2 times I didn’t have Bill related to himself.

Bill from first Yellow line (Richard)

Now I have to make sure I don’t repeat any relationships. I’m tempted to call this 36 times 3 and call it quits. However, when I get to those within the yellow line (Patricia, Gladys, Paul, Heidi, Joel and Sharon) I think I need to skip them as the descent from James and Violet Frazer is pretty much the same as from Violet and James Frazer.

  1. From Philip: Gladys – 5C, 1R
  2. Carol – 8C
  3. Paul – 5C, 1R
  4. Joel – 6C
  5. Sharon – 6C
  6. Heidi – 6C
  7. From Richard: Jane –  Now closer at 4C, 1R
  8. Michael –  Now closer at 4C, 1R
  9. From Archibald: Ros – 6C
  10. Jean – 6C
  11. Vivien – 5C, 1R
  12. Cathy – 5C, 1R
  13. Jane – 5C, 1R
  14. Michael – 5C, 1R
  15. Doug – 6C
  16. Patricia – 6C
  17. Gladys – 5C, 1R
  18. Carol – 8C
  19. Clyde – 7C, 1R
  20. Kathy – 7C, 1R
  21. Charlotte – 6C, 2R
  22. Mary – 7C, 1R
  23. Betty – 6C, 2R
  24. Joanna – 6C, 2R
  25. Jonathan – 6C, 2R
  26. Janet – 6C, 2R
  27. Prudence – 6C, 2R
  28. Beverly – 6C, 2R
  29. Bonnie – 6C, 2R
  30. Judith

I think I did that right. The difference was we didn’t count the James and Violet descendants again.

Let’s Try Something Different

Rather than go one by one I decided to look at all the relationships in a grid. Gedmatch uses grids for some of their comparisons, and it seems like a good idea. My first version of this blog disappeared, so I’ll spare you from some of the previous mistakes I made.

Relationship Grid Revised

In the above grid, I finished the descendants of Philip and started with the descendants of Richard in yellow on the left. I decided not to repeat the relationships between Bill’s family and mine here. That is because they are the same relationships and are from the same common ancestors of James Frazer and Violet Frazer that had already been counted from the blue section.

The last column is the sum of the relationships in a row.

Archibald Rel Grid

Above is the start of the (green) descendants of Archibald. I only colored the areas where there were multiple descendants. Here I don’t include Bill’s 2nd cousin and Aunt as they were included previously with the same common ancestors – even though those common ancestors descended from different lines. However, I did include an extra relationship between Bill and Jane and Michael. Even though the relationship of 4th cousin once removed is the same as before, this time they have different common ancestors (Frazer/Stinson vs. Richard Frazer). I had mentioned that relationships are defined by the common ancestors, so I am trying to keep that definition consistently used.

And the Answer Is: 704

Somehow, I got the number of relationships up to 704 from 27 testers. Here’s the handy-dandy 704 relationship grid that no Frazer Project tester should be without:

704 Relationship Grid

Poor Judith at the bottom has zero relationships. Not really. Her Project number is 39, so her relationships can be read from the top right. This grid is a little bulky, so I decided to take out Jean from the Archibald Line and Carol and Kathy from the James Line. They have all had their mothers tested. So technically, their own results would not be as useful as their mother’s. Here is what the grid looks without them.

Grid wo 3

It doesn’t look much different, but it gets the number of relationships down to 593. [The correct total is in the next grid.] With the 3 taken out, that makes 13 Archibald Line testers and 11 James Line testers for a total of 24. If there were no additional relationships due to intermarrying with this number of testers, that would result in 276 relationships. So the early 1800’s Frazer marriages resulted in about 320 extra relationships in our project.

Grid wo 3

Here I have colored in the matches between the Archibald Line and the James Line (inter-line matches). Some observations:

  • The shaded area is 11 by 25. That means that there are 275 ways for Archibald Line and the James Line testers to match each other.
  • If our genealogy is right, the relationships between Archibald Line and James line is between 6th cousin, once removed and 7th cousin once removed.
  • The triangle to the left of the shaded area represents matches between Archibald Line testers and other Archibald Line testers. The triangle beneath the shaded area represents matches between James Line testers to other James Line testers.
  • The relationships favor the Archibald Line (larger triangle) which helps to explain the number of Triangulation Groups as well as overall matches as compared to the James Line.
  • The James Line has 55 relationships counted (for matches just with other James Line testers).
  • The Archibald Line has 263 relationships just among the Archibald Line. That’s about 5 times the potential relationships compared to the James Line
  • I know that I have one other Frazer ancestor line, but I can’t place it. Is this all the extra Frazer Lines that are out there, or are there many more?
  • The James Line relationship triangle is all filled in. This is due to no known cousin marriages there.
  • The Archibald Line relationship triangle has people in it more than once and blank areas where I tried not to count duplicate relationships or one’s relationship to oneself.
  • These relationship levels are based on genealogy which has not always been proven. However, the number of relationships should still be the same.
  • It would be interesting to tabulate the numbers of different relationships per Line, tester, etc. This may also help to explain the matches that we have.
  • There doesn’t appear to be a simple formula that could get us to this 704 number of relationship matches. My previous formula was an OK estimate.
  • I haven’t verified every relationship.
Test driving the grid

Grid Test Drive

Here is where the rubber hits the road. I want to see if the grid works.

  • How many matches do I have? I add up my 2 horizontal Joel Lines for 30 and 22. Then I add up my vertical lines (#5 and 12). Those columns have 4 and 6 matches. That gives me a total of 62 relationship matches.
  • How many times do I match Bill? I have highlighted 5 relationships. Logically one might think there would be 6, but I eliminated the extra relationship we had under James and Violet Frazer. That is where more of the dashes are. What are the 5 relationships I have with Bill? The first is 4th cousin (represented by the aforementioned James and Violet). The second is Bill’s descent from Philip related to my descent from Richard. The third is my descent from Philip to Bill’s descent from Richard. Note that both these last 2 relationships also had to go through James and Violet. So why did I add them? I look at it this way. Do your parents have common ancestors? Mine don’t that I know of. So I descend from them once. James and Violet had common ancestors, so that is why I am adding those common ancestors as my common ancestors resulting in an extra relationship. Finally my descent from Philip and my descent from Richard connects to Bill’s descent from Archibald to form the last 2 relationships. If I’m wrong, you can sue me for breach of relationship.
Well, I may be wrong: more on endogamy

In my previous blog, I wrote more on endogamy and relationships. Let’s take Bill and me for example. Bill and I are 4th cousins on the face of it. We are also 6th cousins. The below figure shows 6 of our 6th cousin relationships. Remember cousins are defined by the number of common ancestors they share. Here we share the same common ancestors 6 times. It looks like 5 times, but it there are 6 combinations or relationships between Bill and me: B1-J1, B1-J2, B2-J1, B2-J2, B3-J1, B3-J2.

Bill Joel 6C

Here is Bill and me with our 4th cousin relationships.

Bill Joel 4C

I tried to point my line to James in the first match and Violet in the second match. These are not endogamous relationships but there are 2 non-endogamous 4th cousin relationships that we have through common ancestors. It may seem like these were counted in the previous example, but they weren’t. That chart was counting 6th cousin relationships with the common ancestor of Archibald and Mary Lilley.

As a result, it looks like I am related to Bill 8 times, not the 5 I mentioned above. Unfortunately, my relationships chart above, only has room for 6 relationships. Rather than revise my chart, I think I’ll just bump Bill and my relationships up to 6 from 5. I’ll make that 2 – 4th cousins and 4 – 6th cousins.

taking it one step further

Now what about my cousin Paul and I? We are 2nd cousins once removed. We both have as a common ancestor George Frazer b. about 1838. He is in the blue line and the first yellow line. Am I related to him once or twice? According to the Segmentology blog, it appears that it should only be once. Here is a screen shot from the Segmentology Endogamy I Blog, that I didn’t cover in my previous Blog:

No Endog

And here is my ancestry showing that George Frazer appears in my ancestry only once:

JA Frazer Ancestors

The colored charts I had above made it confusing as it looked like George was in my ancestry twice, but that was because I had him coming down from two lines. Those lines actually merge into [one] George William Frazer as shown above. The bottom line is that I should only be counting my relationship with Paul once. This would also apply to Bill, his Aunt Gladys and his cousin Pat.

So all that work and I only added 3 relationships. There are other relationships out there, but I guess we only count them for the purposes of endogamy and extra DNA matches.

Final? Count of 707

I’ll stick to this chart for now.

Final Relationship Chart







More On Frazer Endogamy

I had written a blog quite a while back (July 2015) on Frazer Endogamy. In the Archibald Line of the Frazer DNA Project at least, there were some Frazer ancestor cousins that married. This creates more DNA for the project and more confusion in figuring out what DNA came from which ancestor. Since my earlier blog, Jim Bartlett has written two interesting blogs on Endogamy at his Segmentology Blog site.

I actually started out trying to write a blog on Frazer Triangulation Groups.

As a part of writing about Triangulation, I tried counting all the Frazer relationships. This was not as easy as I thought.

Then I saw that I needed to understand endogamy better before I could look at either Triangulation Groups or Frazer relationships. In this Blog, I’ll go through the Segmentolgy Blog from December 2015 called Endogamy: Part I. I will insert Frazer examples in place of the theoretical examples used.

Here’s a simplified view of the Archibald Line:

Archibald Line for Endogamy

For example, it doesn’t show that George Frazer, my second great grandfather in the middle blue box is the brother of Richard Frazer in the first middle yellow box. Here are the Archibald Line testers from the Frazer DNA Project. Jean is the daughter of Vivien, so isn’t included here:

ALine Testers

The testers in the colored groups are in more than one line so they appear more than one time. That’s the endogamy part. Here is the Segmentology Blog’s Figure 1:

Seg Fig 1

This shows the case with no endogamy.  The chart has a lot of information on it. It shows how much DNA one gets from one parent (half). It shows how much DNA siblings share (half).  In every generation, the theoretical amount that is shared by you and your match is 1/4 of the previous generation.  In the Frazer project, a lot of our matches are in the 4th cousin or 5th cousin level. Between these two levels of matches, the level of average match goes from 13.75 cM to 3.438 cM. As many of you know, 7 cM is a normal threshold for establishing matches. Fortunately, these are averages and we do have matches at the 5th cousin level in many cases.  I won’t be using Columns 6-8 in my example.

Frazer Endogamy by the Numbers

Frazer E1 example – no endogamy

For this example, we will have to choose a match between Ros, Vivien, Cathy or Doug as the other testers descend from multiple Frazer Lines. I’ll pick Ros and Cathy. I have that they are 3rd cousins, once removed. Here is how they actually match:

Ros Cathy Match

Their common ancestor (Anc) is Archibald Frazer and Catherine Parker. I have to pick an ancestor for the example, so I’ll pick Catherine Parker.

Frazer E1

I tried to make this chart look like Jim Bartletts, but added in actual ancestors on Ros and Cathy’s sides. This says that their assumed ancestor Catherine Parker passed down 220 cM of DNA to Ros and 440 cM to Cathy. However, the amount that we share with a match is much less than the total DNA that we inherit. Ros and Cathy share halfway between theoretical 55 cM and 14 cM shown in the chart above. Halfway is about 34 cM which is pretty close to what gedmatch showed for an actual match between the two at 31.4 cM. Gedmatch thought that Ros and Cathy should be 4.4 generations to a common ancestor. They are actually a tiny bit further out at 4.5 generations.

Frazer E2 example – Two ancestors (a little endogamy) [e2]

Again I’m borrowing Jim Bartlett’s Segmentology Blog wording and adapting it for the Frazer Program. Here is Jim’s Figure 2 from his Endogamy Blog:

Jim's E2

Here he added an extra column and a splash of color. The example here has one person with a double descent from an ancestor matching or being related to another person. This happened when two second cousin married and had children. It is important to know that the A1, A2 on ‘your’ side and A on the match side above are all the same ancestor being matched. Here the same DNA gets passed down to all the children, but the amount that gets passed down to the children of parents that are related to each other is doubled. This has the net result of doubling the expected match also. The yellow represents second cousins that married. In our example, we will use 1st cousins.

For the Match Column on the right, we will need to pick from those who don’t have multiple Frazer ancestors. Let’s try Cathy with one Frazer ancestor and Michael with 2 Frazer ancestors.

MFA CR Match

Here Cathy and Michael share 16.7 cM on Chromosome 15. Their Most Recent Common Ancestors (MRCAs) are as shown. This is where it can get a little confusing. (I sure was.) They only share those ancestors in a non-endogamous way – that is, in the E1 example above. To get to the endogamous situation, we have to back another generation. Michael’s ancestors, John and Isabella Frazer married. They were 1st cousins, so their common ancestors were their grandparents. Those grandparents were Archibald Frazer and Mary Lilley. Here is what I get:

E2 Figure

When Isabella was born in 1841, she got a double dose of Frazer DNA from her parents. This is shown in the net column.

Michael and cathy are non-endogamous Fourth cousins and endogamous Fifth Cousins

Note that there are 2 different things going on here. First, Michael and Cathy are related as fourth cousins through Archibald Frazer b. about 1778 and Ann Stinson. This is not endogamous as neither of those ancestors appear multiple times in Michael’s ancestry. However, because this relationship is closer at 4th cousin, the expected match would be around 14 cM as per figure 1. Here, the further out endogamous relationship only results in a suspected match of about 7 cM which is right about at the level one would even start seeing a match. If not for endogamy, this match would only be half that amount. So which match are we seeing? I would expect that it would be the closer 4th cousin match.

Here is a representation of the issue:

E2 FigureR

The left red line actually goes through the Richard Frazer box on the second row. The middle red line goes through the Archibald in the uncolored box in the second row on the right. This shows how Michael and Cathy are 4th cousins once, but 5th cousins twice by endogamy. What happened here is that the endogamy boosted the 5th cousin theoretical shared amount by 2.  In summary Michael and Cathy’s theoretical average matches would be expected to be:

  • 4th Cousin [E1] – 14 cM
  • 5th Cousin [E2] – 7 cM
Frazer E2 example (second try) – Two ancestors (a little endogamy) [e2]

While out on a training run, I came up with a better idea. I’ll take my cousin Paul, who doesn’t descend from the same group on the right and match him with a non-endogamous Frazer tester. That will be much clearer. Here is Paul from the Philip and Richard Lines and Vivien from the Archibald/Stinson Line.

Paul Vivien Match

They are both 5 generations from Archibald Frazer and Mary Lilley. Gedmatch shows them at 4.9 generations. The chart looks the same:

Endog 2nd try

The path of the relationships is clearer:

Paul Vivien Chart

Perhaps, were it not for endogamy, Paul and Vivien would not have matched by DNA at all. Here there theoretical match would be about 7 cM (vs. about 3.5 cM without endogamy). Their actual match was 15 cM.

Three Frazer ancestors (a little more endogamy) [e3]

Here, we will take Gladys who descends from 3 Frazer Lines and compare her with Cathy. Again, we will have the issue where Gladys and Cathy will be 4th and 5th cousins. Let’s just look at the 5th cousins as that is where the endogamy is. Gladys and Cathy match like this:

Gladys Cathy Match R

Gedmatch has them at a little better than 4th cousins.

Here is our Segmentology Example:

Segment Fig 3

The above chart represents 2 cousin marriages shown in yellow. Second cousins marry in Gen 3 and then their child marries another cousin in Gen 4. This is sort of what happened in Gladys’ ancestry. She had first cousins James and Violet Frazer (also my ancestors) marry. Then their son Richard married Amelia Hassard who was the daughter of Ann Frazer. Ann Frazer was another first cousin of James and Violet Frazer. So Richard Frazer married his 2nd cousin. However, due to Richard’s parents being cousins, Amelia was his second cousin twice – or two different ways.

Here’s our Frazer E3 Example:

E3 Chart

I still have chosen the common ancestor as Mary Lilley (though it could be Archibald Frazer). I don’t have Gladys’ ancestors by name as there are 3 sets of ancestors there. The end result is that Gladys and Cathy should share a total of 10.3 cM through this 5th cousin endogamous relationship. Normally 6th cousins would share 1/3 this amount.

Where did the matching dna come from?

E3 Frazer Chart

There are 3 chances to make it to a total of 10.3 cM in the endogamous red line 5th cousin relationships. That means a possible 3 different segments of about 3.5 cM each. There is only one chance that Gladys could match Cathy at 4th cousin for a 14 cM likely match. As Gladys and Cathy match on one segment, I think that the match may be from the 4th cousin relationship shown by the blue lines above. That non-endogamous relationship should average a match of about 14 cM. Gladys and Cathy had an actual match of about 15 cM.

Two frazer ancestors X 2 (more endogamy) [e4]

segment e4

What has happened here? We see a situation where one person has ancestors that were 2nd cousins matches another person who has ancestors that were 3rd cousins. Looking at the 3rd row, those ancestors were A1 through A4. The catch is that A1, A2, A3 and A4 are all the same ancestor. I’m sure we have a similar situation in our Frazer DNA Project. One example of that would be Paul matching Michael. Here is how they match:

Paul Michael Match

E4 Chart

According to Gedmatch, Paul and Michael look like 3rd cousins based on the level that they matched by DNA. Based on our genealogy charts, they are 4th or 5th cousins. Above I show the E4 Endogamy situation. That is, Paul with Archibald (top box) as his ancestor twice is related to Michael (who has red lines going twice to Archibald in the top box also). Those all represent 5th cousins. In addition Paul and Michael are 4th cousins going up to Richard Frazer. I don’t show that as it would get too messy.

E4 Chart

Actually, the 5th cousin relationship doesn’t explain the large match. The 5th cousin E4 only results in 14 cM. Paul and Michael are also 4th cousins also, but it is not an endogamous match. The best I understand this is that Paul and Michael should share:

  • 14 cM due to a non-endogamous 4th cousin relationships with Richard Frazer as Common Ancestor
  • A total of 14 cM due to an E4 engamous relationshipe with Archibald Frazer and Mary Lilley as common ancestors.

To show that Paul and Michael are not a fluke, here are some other matches:

Chr 1 4C matches

These are all project member in a Triangulation Group with E4 Endogamy and 4th cousin or 4th cousin, once removed relationships. As Michael (MFA), Jane, Paul (PF) and my sister Heidi (HHM) all have similar match numbers and are all in a Triangulation group, we can assume similar endogamy and ancestors for each. In fact, Jane was added to this group early on in the Frazer DNA Project due to the Triangulation.

Let’s move on to the next level of endogamy, to see if that makes more sense.

Three frazer ancestors; Two Frazer Ancestors(more endogamy) [e6]

Again, I borrow the figure from the Segmentology Endogamy Part I Blog:

Fig 5 E6

Fortunately, the Frazers also have this situation. We can use Gladys on the left hand side. One the right we have the choice of Michael or Paul. I’d rather use Michael, as Gladys and Paul are related in additional ways that might make the example more confusing.

E6 Frazer Diagram Gladys Michael

The above chart shows 6 endgamous 5th cousin relationships between Gladys and Michael. There are also two 4th cousin non-endogamous relationships between the two (represented below). One has Richard Frazer as the common ancestor. The other has Archibald Frazer and Ann Stinson as common ancestors.

E6 Frazer Diagram

I enter Gladys and Michael in at Gedmatch at get:

Gladys Michael Gedmatch

Now that is a surprise. An E4 at 5th cousin got an actual match of 54. This E6, 5C match got only 7.4 cM?

E6 Frazer Chart

In summary, Gladys and Michael have:

  • 6 – 5th cousin relationships for a theoretical total of 20.6 cM
  • 2 – 4th cousin relationships of about 14 cM each

To satisfy my curiosity, I ran Gladys and Michael at a low threshold of 3 cM and got many matches at

Gladys Michael Low Threshold

I expect the matches above 6 may be valid. The Chromosome 1 match is in a defined Triangulation Group (TG) with the common ancestor of Richard Frazer. The Chromosome 7 match is in an area where there is already a match with Vivien of our project. She has as her ancestor Archibald Frazer and Ann Stinson. So the Chromosome 7 match above likely represents those common ancestors. The Chromosome 15 and 17 matches over 6 cM also likely represent the Frazer/Stinson Line. All this is to say at the 8 potential relationships we showed above for Gladys and Michael, we can find DNA evidence for 4 DNA matches.

So that is enough on Frazer endogamy for now.

Some notes and summaries
  • Endogamy from the Archibald Line of the Frazer project account for many additional relationships and chances for DNA matching
  • The theory of endogamy as set out in the Segmentology blog seems to be consistent with the Frazer relationships and DNA matches
  • One set of matches that endogamy did not account for was the many high Frazer matches that also form a Triangulation Group in Chromosome 1. These actual DNA matches were well above what would have been predicted
  • By lowering the gedmatch thresholds, it may be possible to see additional endogamous matches where they were predicted by additional endogamous relationships
  • These extra endogamous relationships seem to be responsible for the many Triangulation Groups in the Frazer DNA Project
  • This exercise reinforces that relationships are based on Common Ancestors.
  • This Blog has also helped to sort out some confusing relationships and clear up which relationships are endogamous and which ones aren’t – and at what level of cousin-ship they are at.












Counting Frazer Cousins: Who Knew It Could Be So Difficult?

I started out writing a blog summarizing all the Frazer Triangulation Groups (TGs) in a Frazer DNA Project. In order to look at these TGs, I thought that it would make sense to figure out how many relationships there are in the Frazer DNA Project. Who knew it could be so difficult? The problem is that there are 3 testers that appear to have a least two Frazer cousins that married each other in their ancestry. There are 3 testers that are descended from 3 related Frazer Lines.

Here are some ancestors of some of the Frazer cousins I am counting:


A Brief Summary

The project is broken up into 2 Frazer Lines: The Archibald Line and the James Line. These are 2 very likely brothers that were living in proximity to each other in North Roscommon, Ireland at the time of the Elphin Census in 1749. The Archibald Line has descendants that have the cousin ancestors. The James Line does not have any known cousin marriages. There are 14 testers from the Archibald Line and 13 from the James Line for a total of 27 testers. Here is a view of some of the Archibald Line:

Archibald Frazer Line Chart

The Problem

Bill (along with his aunt and second cousin who have tested) is descended from the blue line and the 2 yellow lines. That means he descends from 3 Frazer brothers: Philip, Richard and Archibald. Here are the testers with multiple Frazer ancestors:

Multiple Frazer Ancestors

I added in Archibald at the top to show that he is the father of Philip, Richard and Archibald.

The Answer I Came Up With

When in doubt, I go to the ISOGG Web Page. According to the ISOGG Page on Cousin:

“A cousin is a relative with whom a person shares one or more common ancestors.”

There you have it. I was tempted to count the relationships more than once as my cousin Paul and I were both descended from James Frazer and Violet Frazer. However, those are not common ancestors. The common ancestors would be the grandparents of James Frazer and Violet Frazer: Richard Frazer b. about 1777 and his unknown wife.

Archibald Frazer Line Chart Common Ancestor

The red circle is the point at which I start to count the extra relationships. However, this still seems to be complicated. Let’s just look at VO from Australia. She is on the purple line (further down for privacy). She does not have any known multiple Frazer ancestors.

VO’s Archibald Line relatives are:

  1. Daughter Jean (purple)
  2. 1C, 1R Ros (purple)
  3. 3C Cathy (orange)
  4. 3C Jane (green on the right) to Common Ancestor (CA) Archibald Frazer who married Catherine Parker
  5. 4C Michael (salmon on the right)
  6. 4C Gladys (yellow on the right)
  7. 4C, 1R Bill (yellow): CA Archibald Frazer/Ann Stinson
  8. 4C, 1R Patricia (same yellow)
  9. 5C Michael (salmon): CA is Archibald Frazer/Mary Lilley
  10. 5C Paul as he descends from Richard
  11. 5C, 1R me (Joel)
  12. 5C, 1R Heidi
  13. 5C, 1R Sharon
  14. 5C Jane
  15. 5C Gladys as she descends from Richard
  16. 1R Bill
  17. 5C, 1R to Patricia
  18. 5C Paul as he descends from Philip
  19. 5C, 1R me (Joel)
  20. 5C, 1R Heidi
  21. 5C, 1R Sharon
  22. 5C Gladys as she descends from Philip
  23. 1R Bill
  24. 5C, 1R Patricia

The method I used was to go up each line to a common ancestor. Due to cousin marriages, there were multiple lines for some people going up to Archibald Frazer and Mary Lilley. Bill and his 2 relatives come up 3 times as they have 3 Frazer ancestor lines.  Six others come up 2 times because they have That method resulted in finding 24 relationships for VO just on the Archibald Line. Then there would be additional relationships on the James line for those 13 testers. Having said that, let’s move on to the James Line

Is 24 the Right Number?

Sometimes I like to check my work. With 14 testers, there should be 13 relationships as you are not related to yourself. In my chart of multiple relationships, I had 21 relationships with 9 people. That should be an additional 12 relationsips. 13 + 12 = 25. I seem to be missing one. I went through my list again, and see I missed Doug. Sorry, Doug. That makes the total 25. Always check your work.

VO is 4C, 1R to Doug

The premise still stands: Who knew it could be so difficult to count relatives? The Chart I was looking at above was made before Doug tested. I need to add him in there.

James Line Relatives

There are a couple of problems here. One person has pointed out that the James Line Chart that I have been using is inaccurate. No chart is perfect, so I use it as a working model. As more testing and analysis is done, as well as more genealogy, there may be minor or major adjustments made to the chart. There is also something on the Archibald Line Chart that effects the relationships. Note in the colored chart that above Archibald and Mary Lilley there is is another Archibald. This Archibald wasn’t there in the original research done 50 or so years ago. My understanding is that he was added more recently to make more sense with the dates. But if that Archibald doesn’t belong there, it would make the relationships between the two lines closer. All this is to say that there are a lot of variables in comparing DNA to genealogy.

Here is the James Line Chart:

James Line

In the above chart, there is hot dispute as to whether Archibald who married Catherine Knott should be under Michael or rather under the Archibald that married Catherine Peyton. However, with regards to VO from the Archibald Line and her level of relationships with testers from the James Line, these specific issues should not be so important.

VO and her James Line Relationships

I use VO from the Archibald Line of the Frazer DNA Project to continue the example. I am keeping the ‘extra’ Archibald on the Archibald Line that was added to make sense with the dates. Without him, the relationships will be a little closer and move all the relationships up half a step. I wonder if perhaps that extra Archibald should not be there. That might help explain the number of DNA matches between the two lines. Or are the number of matches between the two lines due to the cousin relationships on the Archibald Line? Or perhaps both reasons apply?

James Line matches to VO:

6C, 1R (6C if we take out the added Archibald on the Archibald Line)

  1. Charlotte
  2. Betty
  3. Joanna
  4. Janet
  5. Jonathan
  6. Beverly
  7. Bonnie
  8. Judith

7C (Or possibly 6C, 1R – see above)

  1. Clyde
  2. Kathy – as a daughter of Charlotte, her DNA results don’t get used
  3. Mary

7C, 1R

  1. Carol – as a daughter of Clyde, her DNA results don’t get used

The Grand Total

I get a total of 37 relationships for VO from Australia (25 Archibald Line plus 12 Archibald Line). Recall that she is just one of 27 Project testers. Hopefully, all the testers will not have 37 relationships.  I chose VO somewhat randomly, but she was a good choice. I mention her in 2 of my fairly recent blogs

Note that Triangulation Groups came up in both the above blogs about VO. So VO (or less impersonally, Vivien) will be mentioned in my upcoming blog when I discuss all the Frazer DNA Project Triangulation Groups.

Rechecking the James Line

As I said above, always check. There are 13 James Line testers, so there have to be 13 relationships there. I missed Prudence at 6C, 1R. That means we are up to a total of 25 Archibald relationships and 13 James Line Relationships for Vivien for a total of 38. Note that the effect of intermarriage increases the number of effective relationships by a factor of almost 2 in the Archibald Line (25 vs. 13).

In formula form the total is:

Number of testers minus one plus extra relationships due to intermarriage


That is my final answer (until proven wrong).