Higamus, Hogamous: Frazers Engogamous

I have written previously about the Frazers from Ireland and those who have tested their DNA who are descended from those ancestors. In 1749 this Northern County Roscommon Frazer family looked like this:

Elphin Census

If you click to make this larger, you will see the 2 Frazer lines which our testers are descended from (Archibald and James). As an added bonus, you see their likely mother, a widow Mary.  So far, I’ve written about the Archibald line. This blog will be more on that line.

Recently, Michael’s autosomal DNA test results have come in from England. I would have thought that his results would clear everything up. Well, they did enforce previous conclusions, but have also created some more questions. As I tried to map out the relationships for the various testers, I think I see the reason why. There were a lot of Frazers cousins who married each other back in the day.  There was a famous poem I’d like to modify to: Higamus, Hogamous, Frazers endogamous. What is endgamous? These are groups of people who married relatives due to several reasons. Some examples are the Ashkenazi Jews, the Amish, Colonial Americans and others. The Frazers as a protestant minority had few marriage choices in their area of Ireland if they wanted to marry other protestants. Some Frazers did get around this by marrying Roman Catholics (called Papists in the 1749 Survey).

This is what my Archibald line looks like. For simplicity, I’ve left out a few lines.

Archibald Chart

The relationships on the above chart range from 3rd cousin, once removed to 6th cousins. I’ve lopped off 3 or 4 of the more recent generations for privacy. My line is blue, but the way I have it, James Frazer married Violet Frazer. They are first cousins, so I could’ve had 2 sets of blue boxes. I have Bill from Canada in the same group on the left in yellow as being descended from James and Violet Frazer. He also is descended from another cousin, Ann Frazer born about 1807, shown on the right in yellow. This means our best guess at his genealogy has him with 3 Frazer ancestors. Jane from Colorado is in the green line but has an extra Frazer/Fraser ancestor also named Jane born 1846. We can’t quite place this extra Jane, but my guess is that she is descended from the John on the far left. We are still waiting for the DNA from Ros from Australia. Her line is in purple above and seems to be the only one so far who doesn’t have multiple Frazer ancestors.

Here is what the DNA tester’s Chromosome 1 results look like in a spreadsheet:

Chromosome 1

These 4 people form a super Triangulation Group. I mentioned in a previous blog where 3 or more match each other they form a Triangulation Group. This triangulation will represent a common ancestor or likely a common ancestral couple. In this case that couple is at the top of the chart above. That is the place where all these people merge. The couple is Archibald Frazer and Mary Lilley (or Lilly, I can never remember which). The numbers in green are pretty huge. I wonder if other families have such a large match representing a couple that far back (mid 1700’s). HHM is my sister Heidi. This same Chromosome 1 DNA didn’t make it to me. Also Bill got less of this extra dose of DNA.

Sorry, More Numbers

Other Archibald LIne Chromosomes

Above are where the Archibald Line DNA testers match each other on other Chromosomes. Chromosome #12 in purple is the other Triangulation Group. Notice that Michael (MFA) didn’t make it to this group. He should have, but that DNA dropped out like mine did for Chromosome #1. The other Chromosome matches don’t have Triangulation groups, so these are less certain as to predicting common ancestors. I tried to guess what these matches may represent as far as common ancestors on the right side of the spreadsheet above.

What Did I Learn and What Are My Further Questions?

  • I need to read up more on endogamy and how that effects DNA
  • The Archibald Line has 2 Triangulation Groups so far that represent a couple from the mid 1700’s. There are no Triangulation Groups from more recent Frazer ancestral couples. This is likely because we have more descendants from the earlier couple to triangulate on than on the more recent couples.
  • Usually matches representing more recent ancestors should have higher cM numbers. Here the older ones are higher. Is this due to endogamy?
  • The other line (James Line) testers don’t have the same high number matches but also don’t have any Triangulation Groups yet. I assume this is due to a lack of intermarrying.

More will be revealed and I plan to write more blogs as more DNA testing results come in.

How I Lazarus’ed My Dad

According to the Gospels, Lazarus was a man who died and Jesus raised him from the dead.


Lazarus is also a program on Gedmatch to recreate the DNA of those who are no longer with us. You won’t see this unless you kick in $10 for the Tier 1 Utilities. The Link says, “Lazarus, Create surrogate kits to create close ancestors.”

How I did it: first I practiced on my wife’s family.

Fortunately, my wife’s dad has 2 first cousins and one second cousin on his mother’s side who have had their DNA tested. This came in handy. So I went about to create my father in law’s mom, Estelle LeFevre. Lazarus takes Group 1 people who are descendants of the target person to be Lazarus’ed, Estelle. In my case, the descendant was my father in law. I had him tested a while back at FTDNA. Then the program takes relatives who are not descended from Estelle. In this case, Pat and Joe who were the 1st cousins and Fred the 2nd cousin of my father in law. Those three are Group 2. Lazarus takes Group 1 and Group 2 and mushes them together to recreate Estelle. Actually only a part of Estelle is recreated. That is the part of Estelle that was mushed together from Group 1 and Group 2. If I had all of Estelle’s children and all of her relatives, I would’ve had a much more complete result. The trick is to get a Lazarus result that is over 1500 cMs. Then you can use some of the other utilities at Gedmatch with that kit such as the One to Many. It’s OK to create a Lazarus kit with less than 1500 cMs but it’s not as useful. Well, Estelle came out at about 1700 cMs, so that was good news. Buoyed with these results, I thought it would be a good idea to try to recreate my dad’s DNA.

A Slight Detour

I followed the Gedmatch directions. I took two Group 1 people. That was me and my sister. Then I took for Group 2, the only relative of my father that I had tested, his 1st cousin. I ran the program and came up with only about 700 cMs. Very disappointing. Then, as I’ve been working on my father’s mother line, the Frazers, I thought, ‘my father’s cousin isn’t related to the Frazers. He’s only related to my Hartley side’. Duh. What I had created was a Lazarus of my father’s dad, my Grandfather.

My Dad and His Dad
My Dad and His Dad

Sometimes I don’t mind making mistakes. Especially when they lead to the right answer.

How I did it the right way

Well, how was I to get up to 1500 cMs, when all I had was 700 cMs from my grandfather’s side? I only had 2 people for Group 1. I’m too cheap to have other siblings test. I noticed that Gedmatch had room for 100 people. Hmm, where to get 100 people? From working with my distant Frazer relatives, I knew I had their results, but this wouldn’t get me the numbers I needed. So I decided to use the phased matches of my sister and I. What is phasing, you may ask? Phasing is another utility that Gedmatch has. If you know the results of one parent, Gedmatch will subtract those out from your whole results and create 2 kits. One is a maternally phased kit of matches on your mom’s side. The other is a phased paternal kit of your matches on your dad’s side. Fortunately my mom is still alive at 93 and I had her tested. Based on her testing, I had already created phased maternal and paternal kits for myself and my sister. Now all the gedmatch matches are marked either P for Paternal or M for Maternal on a spreadsheet that I keep. I have one spreadsheet for myself and one for my sister. So I took a bunch of the top paternally phased matches from my matches and my sisters matches. I put in 100 of those top matches into the Gedmatch Lazarus Utility under Group 2. I ran the Lazarus program and got just over 1500 cMs for my dad.

Is This the Best Way to Create a Lazarus Kit?

I don’t know. It was certainly much more difficult than when I Lazarus’ed my father in law’s mom. For her, I only used 4 people and got better results. However, if you are cheap like me, or aren’t, but just don’t have the people to test, you might want to try this method and see if it works for you.

Joel Hartley

The DNA of Archibald Frazer and Mary Lilly

The Recap

This blog follows up on my first blog about the autosomal DNA of the Frazers of Ireland. In that blog, I established that there were 2 Triangulation groups of Irish Frazer descendants. These matching groups were at Chromosome 1 and 12 and they represented the common ancestors of Archibald Frazer and Mary Lilly. Now, from what I’ve been able to gather, Archibald was born about 1743. My sister Heidi and Jane Fraser share a whopping 43.7 cM of DNA on Chromosome 1 from one of this 18th century couple who lived in Northern County Roscommon. That is a lot of DNA to come down through all that time.

Next I looked at Chromosome 12 Triangulation Group. Below is my sister’s chromosome browser. I put myself in for fun. It shows the large match I have with her. Below me is David who has an Irish Frazer ancestor named James that we showed must have a common ancestor with the rest of us due to Triangulation. Below him are Jane Fraser and Bill Richards.Frazer Chr12

What Did We Learn?

We learned that the 2 triangulation groups lead us to 2 different ancestors. We don’t know that they are Archibald Frazer and Mary Lilly for sure, but as they are the 2 closest common ancestors for this group, they are a good guess. The triangulation can’t tell us who the ancestors are. The paper research can, but we aren’t always sure we got the right information with missing vital records going back that far. Together, we have a good case that we are on the right track. And we have learned that Heidi and Jane are carrying around a lot of DNA around from 18th century Ireland people!

By the way, my genealogy web pages are at the link below. See under PART II: THE FRAZERS AND IRISH ANCESTORS; then look under the Archibald Line for Archibald Frazer and Mary Lilly:


We also learned that there are matches to these Triangulation Groups that don’t know that they are related to the Groups, but the DNA is showing that they are related in some way and share a common ancestor or ancestral pair. This should help others if they are looking for places to direct their family history research.

A Few Side Notes

You may have noticed that I didn’t inherit the Frazer DNA on Chromosome 1. Where did it go? I don’t know. That DNA lasted 200 years and then decided to drop out while my parents’ DNA was combining to form me. My father had that same DNA and gave it to my sister. That is a good reason why it helps to have more than one person in the family tested for DNA.

Other side note: See the red line above that represents my match with my sister. Does this mean that all the people I match from the beginning of the red line to the end are Frazer matches? Or are my Frazer matches only in the region at the right side of Chromosome 12 where the green is? I think that the entire red area are Frazer matches. I don’t mean that they all match Archibald and Mary. I mean that they should all match my Frazer Grandmother. I should have inherited roughly 25% of my DNA from her. In order to check this, I looked at a match I have with my father’s non-Frazer cousin – related on my Hartley side.

Gurney Chr 1-12

Well, look at that. Chromosome 12 shows no Hartley DNA in common with my father’s cousin and me. That leaves room for Frazer DNA. Also note that my match with my sister in red above was all one large segment. I will have to test it out, but it appears that all the matches I have that are on my father’s side where I also match my sister on Chromosome 12 should be related to my Frazer grandmother and her ancestors.

Well I think this blog has taught me something. I hope that it has been helpful to you.

Joel Hartley


Frazers in Ireland Autosomal DNA

Research for the family history of the Frazers in Ireland has been going on for at least 60 years. Recently DNA testing has been used to supplement that paper research. Documented Frazers in my line brings us back to 1749 where 3 Frazers were living in the northern part of County Roscommon in Aghrafinigan.

Down Survey Map Roscommon - Late 1650's
Down Survey Map Roscommon – Late 1650’s

The 3 Frazers were heads of households and their names were Archibald, James and the widow Mary. In the map above, the Townland is called Agharafinigan. In the Census of 1749, the Townland is called Ahrefinican.

My goals in using autosomal DNA are the following:

  1. Verify whether the 2 Frazer lines of Archibald and James are related
  2. Verify the existing paper genealogy
  3. Find new Irish Frazer relatives and confirm existing ones

I had originally thought that goal number 1 would require the use of YDNA testing which tests only the male line. I believe that the autosomal testing has already answered that question.

Goal #2 involves the analysis of the autosomal DNA using a process called triangulation. If there are 3 people who have tested who are not closely related and they all match each other on the same segment of a Chromosome, then they would have a common ancestor or ancestral couple. Here is an example of triangulation shown on a spreadsheet on Chromosome 1.

Chr Start Location End Location Centimorgans (cM) SNPs Match
1 205,319,654 237,417,351 43.7 8,565 HHM/Jane
1 222,994,591 230,852,310 8.4 2165 HHM/BR
1 223,053,736 230,852,310 8.4 2,140 BR/Jane

Here is what the Chromosome 1 match looks like from my sisters perspective as per gedmatch.com:

Frazer Chr1

On the right in yellow is my sister’s match to Jane and the blue on the right is her match to BR who is Bill Richards.

This represents 3 people who match each other on Chromosome #1. These 3 people all have traced their ancestry through the Archibald line. From what we can tell, they all have as a common couple:

Archibald Frazer b. about 1743 and

Mary Lilley

Now the interesting thing is that this couple is 7 generations away from my sister Heidi. However, based on the size of the match she has with Jane Fraser, gematch.com interprets her common ancestors as being about 4 generations away. This could be because my sister and I have 3 different Frazers in our lineage. This would make the relationship seem closer than it really is.  Also I don’t know for sure if this match represents Archibald Frazer or Mary Lilley.

Another Triangulation Group

There is a similar Triangulation Group found in Chromosome 12. I sometimes find these Triangulation Groups in pairs. This makes sense as each one could represent one of the analogous ancestral couple. I expect this match represents the half of the couple that wasn’t represented in Chromosome 1, namely Archibald Frazer or Mary Lilley.  It looks a lot like the Chromosome 1 Group except it has a few more people in it.  It has as before, my sister Heidi, Jane Fraser and Bill Richards. In addition there is myself, an Irish Frazer descendant from Canada and at least 2 other people who likely don’t know they are related. I had contacted the Irish Frazer descendant from Canada early on. He has an ancestor named James Frazer who gave birth to a John Fraser in Enniskillen in County Fermanagh in 1832. So who is this James Frazer of Enniskillen?


Above is a representation of research that was done over 60 years ago. These are the sons of the the Archibald Frazer and Mary Lilley. Under Richard, there is a James with no other information. He would be a candidate for this James of Enniskillen.

Well I’m tired of writing. There is much more that can be addressed in future blogs. This represents 4 known Frazer descendants from the Archibald line that have tested. Plus one person who is unsure that he is from this line – although DNA shows he is related in some way. There are many others who have tested who are also from the James line and others who have had their DNA tested who may not know they are even related.

Joel Hartley