The Frazer DNA project looks at descendants of two Frazer brothers that lived in North Roscommon in the early 1700’s. These brothers were Archibald and James Frazer. They are both presumed to be descended from another Archibald Frazer who lived in that area prior to 1749 where we find a widowed Mary Frazer, presumably his wife.
Frazer Project Testers
Here is an overview of the descendancy of the Frazer line showing links to those who have tested their autosomal DNA. One person on each of the 2 lines has also tested YDNA to ensure the relatedness of the Lines of Archibald and James.
Due to cousin marriages in the Archibald Frazer Line shown on the left, there are repeat lineages. There is at least one more repeat lineage that is not shown to save room. Partially due to these early 1800’s cousin marriages in the Archibald Line, there has been additional DNA that has come down to many of the descendants and resulted in Triangulation Groups which have given good confidence to the existing genealogies and added new people to some of the lines.
James Line Testers
Here are the 13 James Line testers shown in red. Just like the Archibald line above, there are more lines, but these are ones we currently believe these testers descend from. If we call James at the top Generation I, then there are 2 lines shown at Generation II, 3 lines at Generation III and 6 lines at Generation IV.
As there have been 2 new testers since I last wrote about the James Line, I thought that I would take a new look at the James Line DNA results to see if we can conclude anything new. Based on this chart, there are about 50 different relationships. I hid some, though, as Betty only tested at FTDNA, so it was not possible to compare her with many of the testers.
Second Cousins to Fourth Cousins
Here the green represents when a Most Recent Common Ancestor (MRCA) was in the Michael Line on the right of the chart. Yellow was when there was more than one segment matched at a level of 3rd cousin or further out. The first Average DNA column was based on a survey but doesn’t go below 3C, 1R. The second average DNA column is based on older more theoretical information. NM means ‘no match’ at the gedmatch thresholds.
Well, yes. Many of the matches between Charlotte and Joanna’s family were much lower than would be expected. Also the match between Beverly and Judith was quite low for third cousins. However, the match between Bonnie and Judith was above average for second cousin. I’ll have more on Judith later. Basically, the numbers were right for the second cousins, but something seemed to go wrong after that point.
Fifth Cousins – Way Out There
At the fifth cousin level, not many matches would be expected. And that is what we see with a few notable exceptions:
Anything Unusual with the Fifth Cousins?
I think so. Remember Charlotte who wasn’t matching Joanna’s family as expected? Now she is matching Bonnie who we had on the Michael Line. Judith and Janet match at 37.5 cM and match on more than one segment. This is usually indicative of a closer relationship. So we have relatively close relationships with low DNA matches and futher out relationships with some higher DNA matches. How is this possible? I have a few ideas:
- The DNA may be messing with us. This is always a possibility. But, less likely for the closer relationships with no matches.
- The genealogy could be off, or there my be half relationships we are not aware of. For example, a husband’s wife could have died, and he may have other children by a second wife. This would result in roughly half the match.
- For the further relationships with the higher expected DNA matches: sometimes the DNA just carries down well; or there may be cousin marriages we are not aware of or matches on other collateral lines we are not aware of.
The Janet-Judith Connection
I was curious about this match that Janet and Judith had. We have Janet on one side of our chart and Judith on the other. So what is the connection? Is the genealogy wrong, or are both these Frazer Lines related to another family? So I ran a report at gedmatch called People who match both kits, or 1 of 2 kits. But I am just interested in the first part. That it, those who match both Judith and Janet. I ran it and then chose all the people that matched each other. Then I looked at the people in the gedmatch chromosome browser. Chromosome 14 caught my attention.
The first row is just Janet matching herself as she is in Gedmatch twice. The second row is Janet’s match with her brother Jonathan. The third line is Janet’s match with Judith from the Michael Frazer Line. We can see the 2 segments where they match. It was the second segment that I was interested in. Notice how there are matches stacked up over other matches on the right hand side of the Chromosome.
James Line Triangulation Group
I’ve been disappointed in not finding a James Line Triangulation Group with the testers we have. So this fishing expedition is a way to manufacture one. Row 4 above is someone new (to me anyway) who is MW. Row 5 appears to be a child of MW. Row 6 didn’t match MW, so I didn’t include Row 6 (or Row 5). Here is the new Triangulation Group (TG).
Here note that Judith (JFS) matches Jonathan and Janet. MW matches JFS, Jonathan and Janet. That make a TG. Also note that I added Betty (BZ) in also. She is the one who only tested at FTDNA (without uploading to Gedmatch), but it appears that she could be included also in the TG based on where the match occurred and based on the fact that she matches Janet and Jonathan at this location and not Joanna.
What Does It Mean That We Have a Triangulation Group?
This means that MW, Judith, Jonathan and Janet share the same segment of DNA. This segment had to come from the same ancestor. This ancestor may be a Frazer or it may be a Frazer spouse. Or it could even be from a third family. Now if Jonathan or Janet check and MW has a good ancestral tree, we could be in luck and have the answer right away. If not, it may be possible to build out MW’s tree to find a connection.
- Despite quite a bit of testing, the James Frazer Line descendants have had some DNA matches that don’t seem to confirm some of the predicted genealogies
- Explanations to the inconsistencies between DNA results and genealogies include: DNA randomness; inaccurate genealogies and/or; unknown cousin marriages, or; other unknown ancestral connections.
- Using a Gedmatch utility, I compared an unexpected match between 2 of our James Line Testers. This comparison resulted in discovering at least one previously unknown person that formed a Triangulation Group (TG) with these other known James Line testers
- This TG may lead to a common ancestor which will clarify some of the other confusing results
- This process may be repeated to find other TGs and other Common Ancestors
- There are other matches between the Archibald Line and James Line. For simplicity, they have not been included here.