More On Frazer DNA

In this blog, I’d like to finish a few thoughts on Frazer YDNA and look at some new Frazer autosomal DNA Results.

YDNA Thoughts and Summaries

  1. The 2 Frazer Lines have now successfully tested their YDNA. The YDNA test Jonathan and Paul took is called a 37 STR (Short Tandem Repeat) test. This test has indicated a common SNP Haplogroup for the 2 lines called R1a-L664.
  2. As the 2 Frazer Lines indicate a match, this gives us confidence in our genealogy and in the autosomal DNA matches testers have between the Archibald and James Frazer Lines.
  3. These 2 tests have resulted in a unique STR signature for each line. This STR signature is called a Haplotype.
  4. The difference in the STR values between the 2 Frazer Line YDNA test results is called the Genetic Distance (GD). The GD between the 2 lines is 3 by FTDNA.
  5. When I count the GD by hand, I get a difference of 4, but FTDNA tells me this about the CDY marker: “CDY is counted using the infinite allele method.  Basically this marker is so volatile we can see multiple numeric value jumps in a single mutation.  So even if it is off by five it would still only be counted as a genetic distance of 1.” So that explains the anomaly.
  6. I had expected the GD to be lower between the 2 lines. The 2 testers should have a common ancestor 7 generations from present if our genealogy is correct. This person is believed to be Archibald Frazer b. about 1690.
  7. Some STRs have a rate of change much faster than others. The markers that have changed between the 2 lines are the faster moving markers.
  8. The haplotype for the YDNA test representing the James line appears to me to be more likely to be the haplotype of the Archibald Frazer b. about 1690. This is difficult to determine based on only 2 YDNA tests. However, I base my theory partly on the fact that the haplotype representing the Archibald line has many fewer matches to other testers than the one representing the James Line. My theory is that the Archibald Line YDNA has mutated to a more distinct state from that of the original YDNA and thus has fewer matches.
  9. More STR testing has been ordered to further refine the 2 Frazer Line Haplotypes. These results should be out by the latter part of January 2016.

I hope that makes sense. Please email me if you need further clarification.

You Gotta Lovat

All this YDNA testing has created renewed interest in some of the Project Members concerning family lore of descent from the Lord Lovat Branch of the Frasers. YDNA can certainly reach to that era and beyond.

Part of Jonathan's YDNA Match Map
Part of Jonathan’s YDNA Match Map

These striking results show that 3 out of 4 of Jonathan’s YDNA mapped matches have their most distant ancestors located in NE Scotland. At least one part of the family lore has the earliest Frazers at Keith. Notice on the map above that Keith is located to the East of the middle marker. To me, this supports traditions of the Frazers being in NE Scotland at some time before being located in Stirling and Ayrshire to the SW of Scotland. The leap of faith part is believing that both these families were in that area about 500 years or more before our respective families’ earliest verifiable ancestors.

Back to the Autosomal DNA

While we’ve been pondering our Frazer YDNA results, the autosomal testing has been moving on apace. Patricia (or Pat’s) results have come in. I was interested in her results for the following reasons:

  • Her second cousin Bill had many matches. Some of these were also with the James Line Testers
  • Pat, Bill, Paul and I also share a pair of Frazer cousin ancestors who married. These were James Frazer and Violet Frazer. DNA representing Violet’s father has already been found by triangulation. However, James’ DNA and certain genealogy have been more difficult to nail down.

Pat’s Genealogy

In an earlier Blog, I touched on Pat’s second cousin Bill’s genealogy. I’d like to expand on that here. Bill and Pat have as their common ancestors, George Frazer b. 1858 in Martinsburg, New York and his wife Susan or Susanna Price. According to one Ancestry tree, the handsome family looked like this:

Frazer Price

I mention this, because half of the autosomal DNA that Pat and Bill share would be from Susan Price. Now, again, according to Ancestry, Susan Price’s parents were John Price and Margaret Stinson both born in or around Enniskillen, Ireland. Perhaps this Margaret Stinson was related to this George’s mother’s grandmother Ann Stinson. If so, do you think that will complicate the DNA results?

Here is the DNA that Pat and Bill share in orange (representing George Frazer and Susan Price) as seen on FTDNA’s Chromosome Browser:

Pat and Bill's Shared DNA

Frazers in Martinsburg, New York in the 1850s

Here on the bottom 3 lines of the New York State 1855 Census are George Frazer’s parents: Richard Frazer and Ellen Hassard or Hazard. As mentioned above, Ellen is also the granddaughter of Archibald Frazer and Ann Stinson.

Richard Frazer 1855 Census

I have included the Johnston family above because the father William Johnston was married to Mary Frazer, daughter of Archibald Frazer and Ann Stinson. So you are perhaps seeing a Stinson pattern here as well as a Frazer pattern. In fact, in the 1901 Census for Clanwilliam, Marquette, Manitoba, we see a William Stinson b. in Ireland living near the George Frazer family. Also living in the Frazer house was George’s mother, the (by 1901) widowed Ellen (Hassard) Frazer.

Then on the previous census page of the 1855 New York Census for Martinsburg:

Hazards 1855

Here is yet another Frazer. Ann Frazer is the younger sister of Mary Frazer Johnston. I have that Ann married a John Hazard on 24 Dec 1824 at Ardcarne, Roscommon, Ireland; by licence. John tried to confuse me by going by William in the US, but apparently he is one and the same.

Let’s go back 5 years to the US Federal Census of 1850 in Martinsburg:

Patrick Frazer 1850

and on the next page:

Patrick Frazer 1850a

Here is a James Line Frazer. Patrick Frazer would be a second cousin once removed to Mary Frazer Johnston and Ann Frazer Hazard. We have this Patrick married to a Jane Lacy. However, other Ancestry trees have him married to a Jane Mostown. In the 1855 census, Jane appears to have a middle initial of M. However, the 2 Janes are either the same, or Patrick remarried a second Jane. Or, less likely, there was more than one Patrick Frazer! This sidetrack shouldn’t effect the DNA results, but it is interesting to see how these Irish families stayed together in the US.

Two Side by Side Triangulation Groups

When I started looking at Pat’s results, I noticed a new Triangulation Group (TG) right near an existing one.

2 TGs with Jane

The existing TG has Jane, Doug and Michael and clearly indicates that the DNA represents that of Archibald Frazer and Ann Stinson. We know this because Doug does not to his knowledge have multiple Frazer lines – that is, Frazer ancestors marrying Frazer ancestors.

The newer TG is on the top and includes Bill, Pat and Jane. Note that Jane is in both groups. Also note that this could indicate the common ancestor the 3 have in Richard Frazer b. about 1777. Frankly, I’m quite puzzled and stumped as to who this TG represents. I have ordered a book on Endogamy by Israel Pickholtz. Perhaps that will help. Note also that Bill and Pat match each other to location 170,00,000 (say 170) This is the area where Jane, Doug and Michael match each other, but they don’t show a match with those 3 in that area. This will take some thought to decipher.

DNA Going Two Different Ways

In a previous blog, I noted difficulty in finding the DNA from my Frazer ancestor James Frazer. He was married to a Violet Frazer who I could find due to triangulation with her father Richard. Some matches with Pat may indicate additional DNA Pat and my family share that came down from this Frazer couple.

Pat Chr 4

Here, I have Pat’s match with me (JH) on Chromosome 6. I included above that, Pat’s cousin Bill’s match with Cathy. See they are at similar locations. However, these 2 sets of matches indicate different ancestors. The Bill and Cathy match represent DNA from the Archibald Frazer Line. I am not related on that line. So even though this segments overlaps, it could never triangulate. The match I have with Pat is most likely with James Frazer and Violet Frazer. This is what I think the above means. Remember George Frazer who was born in Martinsburg. Also remember, on each Chromosome we get DNA from both our parents or rather 2 sets of Chromosomes (one Paternal set and one maternal set). George had on one Chromosome #6 DNA from his father Richard Frazer and and on the other Chromosome #6, DNA from his mother Ellen Hazard.

George and Pat Frazer Tree

It looks like George passed on his father’s Richard Frazer DNA to Richard Price “Pat” Frazer. This is easy to remember because “Pat” is the ancestor of our Frazer DNA tester Pat. This is the line that would match with me, as Richard is the son of James Frazer and Violet Frazer. The maternal Hassard Line carrying the Archibald Frazer/Ann Stinson DNA went to George Harvey on our tester Bill’s line. This is the line that matches with Cathy. So in these 2 set of matches, we appear to be splitting out the related ancestors. Complicated. But at least I have an explanation for it, unlike the previous triangulation case.

Finally, here’s a match on Chromosome 9 between Pat and Sharon for about 11 cM. I take this to represent the DNA of my kissing cousin ancestors James and Violet Frazer.

Pat Sharon Match

A Triangulation Group with a Genetic Genealogist: But Who Are the Common Ancestors?

The next Triangulation group is with a genetic genealogist named Jennifer (JZ below). I mentioned that she was in a TG with Cathy and Jane in a previous blog about Cathy’s DNA results written August 2015.

Pat Jenn TG

This TG has Pat, Cathy, Jane and Jennifer. But wait. I don’t see a match between Pat and Jane. I lowered the levels a bit at and see that all four women match each other on Chromosome 5 and that they do indeed match and triangulate:

Pat and Jane Gedmatch

We know that Cathy and Jane have a Frazer ancestor born about 1802. Cathy and Pat share a Frazer ancestor b. about 1778. There is still a mystery as to how Jennifer fits in. She had a J. Frazer ancestor, that I guessed was a Jane Frazer. I further guessed that this Jane was a sister of the Archibald that married Catherine Parker. This theory still makes sense. Jennifer has subsequently found out that her ancestor was indeed named Jane Frazer/Frazier.

Summary on Pat’s Autosomal DNA Results

  • Pat didn’t seem to have as many matches as her second cousin Bill. This means that Bill just seemed to get extra Frazer DNA including from the more distant James Line.
  • Pat did shed some light on the common cousin Frazer ancestors that her family and my family share: James and Violet
  • Pat’s DNA resulted in a new TG. This will need more analysis as to where that TG is pointing to as far as in common Frazer ancestors
  • A comparison of Pat and her 2nd cousin Bill’s matches on Chromosome 6 helped to untangle some endogamy in the family (multiple Frazer lines due to marriages of relatives).
  • Pat’s DNA solidified a TG with a genetic genealogist who didn’t originally test to show any specific Frazer ancestry

My Frazer Cousin’s DNA Results Are In

I’m so happy that my cousin Paul’s autosomal DNA results are in. He is my second cousin once removed. He is also a generation closer to my Frazer 2nd great grandparents. That means his DNA results should be better than mine in matching others. Here are my 2nd great grandparents (Paul’s great grandparents) at the farm in Ballindoon, County Sligo. Both Paul and I descend from the first 2 people in the photo: George Frazer b. about 1838 and Margaret McMaster.


I like this photo, but I can’t help but think the family looks a bit sad. Perhaps they missed my great grandfather who moved to Boston. There were 9 children and at least one additional child that appeared to have died young. Out of those surviving 9 children, there are only 3 in this photo taken at the family farm in Ballindoon.

Meanwhile, in Boston, here are 5 of the 7 Frazer brothers.


Let me introduce you to my great grandfather who is sitting down on the left. He is the oldest in the family. Hubert is Paul’s grandfather standing on the far right.

Paul’s DNA

So let’s look at some of Paul’s DNA matches. Here is how Paul matches my 2 sisters and myself. Also for reference, I have his 2 other largest Frazer matches at Family Tree DNA (FTDNA)

On the browser below Paul matches the following relatives:

  • Sharon is orange
  • Heidi is blue
  • I am green
  • Michael is pink
  • Jane is yellow


There are some places where I don’t match other Frazers in the project. These would be good candidates for McMaster matches as Paul and I both share Margaret McMaster as an ancestor. For example, look at Chromosome #9. Paul matches my sister Sharon for a large stretch shown in orange. There is a large match there where neither Paul nor my family match other Frazer testers in the DNA project. My guess is that is where Sharon and Paul share DNA with Margaret McMaster.

But, there is more going on at Chromosome #9 and it ties into a previous blog I wrote on the X Chromosome called The X Factor – Part 2. I’ll try to explain what Paul and Sharon’s match on Chromosome #9 has to do with the X Chromosome. First a word on triangulation.

A Possible Frazer DNA Triangle?

Paul’s testing resulted in an additional Triangulation Group (or TG). These are good things because they are DNA’s way of telling us that those in the TG come from a common ancestor.  However, is this common ancestor from a Frazer or a McMaster? This new TG looks like this.

TG Paul Sharon Karen

This is the classic 3 person TG where Paul (PF) matches Sharon (SH), Sharon matches Karen (KS) and Paul matches Karen. Now this is where I’ll tie it all together in an amazing or unbelievable way (depending on your point of view). Karen is the karen I mentioned on my X Chromosome blog. She had a huge X match with Sharon. My guess at the time was that karen’s X match went through Margaret McMaster back past her grandmother who was Margaret Frazer. Then back to Margaret’s unknown father as the likely common ancestor. It’s a little easier to see here:

Dad's X Inheritance

So in this scenario, Paul and Sharon’s large match represent Margaret McMaster above b. 1846. But the TG of Paul, Sharon and Karen represents (probably) the father of Margaret Frazer above. I had been thinking that Karen may be related on the McMaster side. That is another option. However, Karen isn’t aware of McMaster ancestors, but she is aware of one Frazer/Frazier ancestor from the area. Actually, if Karen’s TG ancestor is the same as her X Match ancestor, I suppose the match could be anyone in pink or blue to the right of Margaret McMaster on the chart above. I just thought the Frazer scenario fit in with what Karen knew about her ancestry. Another note is that the X match and the Chromosome 9 match don’t have to represent the same ancestor. One could be a Frazer and one could be a McMaster. At any rate, it is a case where genealogy, triangulation group and X Chromosome match appear to work together.

Paul’s Gedmatch Results on the Archibald Line

Paul and I are on the Archibald line which goes back to the early 1700’s. Here is how he matches up with those on that line by gedmatch. In this analysis gedmatch lowers their match results a bit to 5 cM.

Paul cf Archibald Line

Going across the top line, Paul matches the first 6 who have a common ancestor of Richard Frazer b. 1777. The last 3 people have as their ancestor another Archibald who was the brother of Richard. He has either no matches or small ones with them.

And the James Gang

The way the project has been split up we have looked at the Archibald Line and the James Line. These 2 likely brothers have a whole bunch of descendants. Here is how Paul matches James Line descendants.

Paul cf James Line AVG

Interestingly, Paul’s largest match here is with Judith. Judith is related to Bonnie, but Paul has no match with her. Also I did something different here. I deleted all the cM values for the close relations. Those are up to second cousins shown in pink. Then I added a column to the right. This adds up everyone’s matches (minus the close relations). At the bottom I took the average summed cM value for the James relations. What this tells me is that Paul is likely as related to the James Line testers as the James lines testers are related to each other. This report doesn’t seem to be the most accurate as Paul actually does have a match with Janet which doesn’t show here.

More On Archibald Line TGs

Aside from the new TG Paul is in (which may not be a Frazer TG), we had 3 Archibald Line TGs. The third, discovered after Doug tested, was in the Archibald-Ann Stinson Line that Paul is not in. That leaves 2 other TGs. I had previously thought both these TGs went back to Richard Frazer b. 1777 and his unknown wife. Now I’m not as sure.

The first of the 2 TGs is in Chromosome 1. Here is what it looks like.

Chromosome 1 TG

Note that in this TG are Michael (MFA), Jane, Paul (PF) and Heidi (HHM) with huge matches. Then there is Bill (BR) and Mike (MB) with smaller matches. Mike is someone who isn’t in the project but appears to be in the TG. Note that my sister Sharon and I are not in this TG due to the random way we inherited our parent’s DNA.

The second TG is on Chromosome #12

Chromosome 12 TG

In this TG is Dave from Canada. EG and RWT are other people not in the project but appear to triangulate with our group. This means they should share common ancestors. My sisters Heidi and Sharon as well as I are in this TG. Jane is here and Bill.

Why I doubted both these TGs were from Richard b. 1777 and his unknown wife.

  • DF is only in the second group. We’ll call that TG12
  • Paul is only in the first group. That would be TG01
  • Michael is only in TG01

Why I am staying with these 2 TGs both representing Richard Frazer and wife:

  • DF didn’t match Paul by DNA, so that makes sense that Paul wouldn’t be in a TG that DF (David) was in.
  • Paul is unquestionably related to me and my family. The link we have goes back to George Frazer who was born about 1838. That means before that time we share the same ancestry. Paul isn’t in TG 12 with my sisters and me, but he would share the same ancestors we have from that TG by genealogy.
  • I think I can extend the same logic to Michael (MFA). He can’t share a different genealogy with Paul separate from my family. This is because Paul and my genealogy are locked in from 1838 and before.

I think that makes sense. It’s a good brain teaser at any rate.

In Summary

  • Paul’s DNA results appear to solidify rather than question 2 existing TGs leading back to Richard Frazer b. 1777. As a side note, I don’t know if it’s normal to have 2 TGs for one couple – especially that far back. Something to look into, perhaps.
  • Paul’s DNA also netted a new TG. This one involves karen who had a mysterious huge X Chromosome match with my sister. The apparent common ancestor appears to go back on my McMaster line. However, this line had another Frazer in it.
  • Paul is related to the James as well as the Archibald line. This is likely due to the Margaret Frazer who married one of our McMaster ancestors.
  • Places where Paul match my family but not other Frazer DNA Project testers will likely represent our shared McMaster ancestors. These McMaster ancestors lived somewhat parallel lives to the Frazers. They started out farming in South Sligo and the Frazers started out farming in bordering North Roscommon.

New Frazer Tester: the Saga Continues

We have a new Frazer tester. This is always exciting as it brings new possibilities. The tester is Cathy. She is on the Archibald Frazer line which is mine but on an Archibald branch of that line which is not mine. Here is the Archibald Line.

Archibald Line Chart

There were actually 4 brothers below Archibald, but we’ve only found descendents for 3. I’m under the first 2 brothers due to a cousin marriage. Those under the first 2 brothers all have had Frazer cousin ancestors who married each other except for the purple line. This is for someone who didn’t know he was related but likely is due to triangulation. These first cousin ancestry marriages make figuring out the ancestry a bit tricky. One help is that under the 2nd brother shown above, Richard, we have a triangulation group. This means that Richard’s DNA was passed down to the 4 lines and testers today all match each other.

Now on the right is the Archibald that we are looking at today. Our new tester, Cathy is on the orange line. Ros’ line is to the left of her. Ros and Cathy don’t have ancestors that were Frazer cousins that married as far as we know, which should make things a bit simpler. The light green line is for someone who awaiting his DNA test results.

Here is a close up of the Archibald/Stinson Line. The thing I like about this line is that all of the spouses are identified. The other 2 brothers of Archibald (Philip and Richard) don’t have wives with names which leaves a bit to guesswork.

Archibald Stinson Chart

Just in this Archibald/Stinson Line, we have 5 testers and one planning on testing. 3 of those 5 testers have Frazer ancestors in other lines – those are due to the cousins who married as I mentioned previously. I was hoping to find a triangulation group here, but haven’t so far at the standard levels used at the website. However, when I look at Cathy’s results compared to the other testers at Gedmatch, I see this on Chromosome #6:

Chromosome #6

This looks like Bill, Ros and Cathy form the tiniest triangulation group. It is difficult to see the overlap in green above, but in the chart above a very slight overlap is shown. I don’t know if this is a triangulation group or not. I have seen in some definitions that the overlap has to be significant, but I don’t see that mentioned in the ISOGG web site. It would be interesting to run the Tier I Gedmatch Utility for Triangulation to see if Gedmatch thinks this is a triangulation group. This is something that takes up to 45 minutes, so it is a long process. If this is a true triangulation group, it is likely that this would indicate the common ancestors of Archibald Frazer and Ann Stinson.

I did try the Triangulation utility for Cathy at Gedmatch, but this group didn’t show up. It was too small. However, I did try other matches. The first was with my sister at Chromosome #3. She (and I) aren’t even on the Archibald Frazer and Ann Stinson Line.

Heidi CathyR match

It looks like my sister Heidi and Cathy are 5th cousins, once removed going by lines which we have identified. That match is fairly small at 7.2 centimorgans. When I check Cathy’s triangulation report, I find she has a triangulation group at Chromosome 3. In fact, she has a huge one there. On a spreadsheet, it goes from line 296 to line 1289. That is quite a large triangulation group. That doesn’t mean that there are over 900 people in the group as people match multiple people along the way. Once the trees of these people are identified, it may be possible to find out who the common ancestors are for this triangulation group. Recall that a triangulation group means that people in that group should share a common ancestor. These ancestors should either be on the Frazer side or the Parker side. However, as my sister also matches at least some of those people, I would think that the ancestor would be on the Frazer side. It is an important thing is that I checked to see if my sister matched any of the people in the triangulation group. This is because the triangulation group could be on Cathy’s mother’s side (the Frazer side) or her father’s side. By checking if these people match my sister I am making sure this is a Frazer side Triangulation group.

The next match of Cathy’s is her largest. I would think that this should represent Archibald Frazer and Catherine Parker. Here is her match with Jane – one of the testers in our Frazer group.

CathyR Jane Match

This match is on Chromosome 4 and is for 34.8 cMs which is quite large. Let’s check to see if there is a triangulation group here.

Cathy 5 TG

Here, Jane is A974138. She is in a triangulation group with F318689. So Jane or Cathy may want to get in touch with this person to see if s/he knows about his or her ancestry.  I then checked to see if Jane matched F318689. She does, but not large enough to make the Gedmatch cutoff.

So I what I did above was to go from the known to the unknown First I looked at the matches with the people in the Frazer testing group. We know they are all related in some way – either through the Frazer family or through spouses of Frazers. As we all know we have Frazers in our ancestry, the chances are that many of the matches do represent Frazers. I looked at the specific place on the Chromosome where there was a match. I ran a triangulation at Gedmatch to see if anyone else had the same or similar ancestors. In the case of Chromosome #5, I did contact the person (named Jen) and she did have a Frazer in her ancestry, though she didn’t know much about this person. The good news is that we have a person who we didn’t know before who has a Frazer ancestor and who we know must share a common ancestor with the Jane and Cathy from our DNA testing group.

Cathy’s Well Behaved DNA

When I say Cathy’s DNA is well behaved, this is what I mean. At her closest match with her 3rd cousin, Jane, she has her largest DNA match which is 34.8. Here are Cathy’s matches:

cathy matches

I rented a brand new Excel program for this blog and I thought it would sort better than it did. However, this shows my point. For the closer relationships, she larger cM matches (see green highlights). The correlation isn’t perfect, but it is about as close as one might expect for DNA.

What We Learned from Cathy’s DNA

  • Cathy’s DNA is well behaved. When DNA is not well behaved, I have issues. For example, if the relationship is not close but the DNA match is high, or vica versa, it is sometimes difficult to tell if the DNA is just being difficult, or if there is something wrong with the genealogy.
  • Cathy appears to have at least 2 triangulation groups.
  • One triangulation group is very large, but the match levels are smaller. This likely means that the match is more distant. The more distant the match, the more descendants there are which explains the large triangulation group. Either that, or this line had a lot of descendants that tested their DNA.
  • The other triangulation group is small. However, the matches are a bit larger. This could be a more recent group, with fewer descendants, explaining the smaller triangulation group.

Frazer DNA – Celebrity Edition!

In this Blog, I’d like to write about the other Frazer line. I’m in the Archibald line. The other line is the James line. These were 2 Frazer brothers born in Northern Roscommon, Ireland before 1750. Well, we think they were brothers. We’d like to prove that somehow. I had thought that we’d have to prove this by Y (male line only) DNA. I think we can show quite a few matches between the Archibald and James Frazer Lines with autosomal (every ancestor line) DNA.

Below I’ll mention:

  • Celebrities from the James Line
  • James Line DNA and Matches
  • Matches between the James Line DNA and my own Archibald Line

First, A Few James Line People You May Recognize

Does Mia Farrow ring a bell?


Or perhaps her mother Maureen O’Sullivan who starred in Tarzan movies? I used to watch Tarzan movies on TV when I was young. I wonder if the Jane I saw was her. I know there were different versions, but I bet I’ve seen Maureen in a Tarzan movie or two. Well, her mother was a Frazer from the James line.

Maureen O'Sullivan with Father and Frazer mother
Maureen O’Sullivan with Father and Frazer mother

I can imagine this conversation between my teenage father and his mother: “Ma, I’m going to see a Tarzan Movie”. “What, and see that woman Jane with hardly any clothes on?”. “Aw, c’mon ma.” All this with my grandmother not knowing she was related to Maureen O’Sullivan. Here are some photos of Maureen who played Jane from about 1934 to 1942.

Maureen Tarzan

You probably know about Maureen’s daughters. One was Mia Farrow. Before I knew I was related to this branch, I was traveling in the area of my ancestors and saw a sign mentioning that Mia’s family was from the area. So don’t mention Woody Allen, the sign warned. Then Mia has a younger sister named Prudence. The two Farrow sisters visited the Maharishi with the Beatles. The Beatles wrote Prudence into one of their songs, “Dear Prudence”. Here’s Prudence (lower left in the photo).


How closely am I related? If I have it right, I’m a 6th cousin twice removed to the Farrow sisters. Is that far? I’m nine generations away from a common ancestor. The Farrow sisters are only 7 generations away – that gets to how I’m twice removed. But I’m not from the James Line. [Actually I have 3 Frazer ancestors. Two are probably from the Archibald line and one may be from the James line. So I may be more closely related.] Other of my fellow testers who can show they descend from the James Line by their paper trails would be as close to the Farrow sisters as 4th cousins.

James Line DNA

Here is what a portion of the James line looks like starting with James himself from the early 1700’s at the top. I have the bottom generations cut off.

James Line Chart

On the left is the Minnie Frazer Line (#1). There are 3 DNA testers there (CJK, KK and MHB in the spreadsheet below). Next is the Edward Fitzgerald Line (#2). 3 testers here, all siblings (Joanna, Janet and Jonathan). The 3rd Line is the O’Sullivan (Famous) Line (#3). One tester (PB). On the far right is the Michael Line (#4). There is one lonely tester out there (JFS). I like these tester’s DNA for the same reason I liked Ros’ on my line. They don’t appear to have multiple Frazer ancestors like most on my line do.

We would expect that if Line #1 matches Line #2, then the most likely common ancestors would be Archibald of 1792 (or spouse). If line #1 or #2 match with Line #3, the common ancestors would be Archibald Frazer and Catherine Peyton. If Line #4 matches with any of the other lines, the common ancestors should be at the top with James Frazer (and unknown spouse). That means that the 3 boxes above representing most likely common ancestors of our James Line matches would represent 6 people (2 per box)

Now for the James Line DNA – Drum roll, please.

James Line DNA

Actually, it’s not all that exciting. The matches in pink are iffy according to Gedmatch. I color the matches above 15 cM in green, because those are pretty strong matches. Our famous O’Sullivan Line tester has one large match with CJK on the Minnie Frazer Line. Then 2 medium matches with sisters Joanna and Janet on the Edward Fitzgerald Line. They all appear to be 4th cousins which makes sense and have as a common ancestor Archibald b. about 1792 (and his wife whom we know nothing of). Notice there is no triangulation as the matches are on different chromosomes (#6 and #12).

Then of note are 2 large matches in green between brother and sister Jonathan and Janet and JFS who was out on the lonely Michael Line. The DNA has given us a bit of a backwards trick. The DNA match is high at the 5th cousin level for Jonathan and Janet. You would think it would be low there. But at the 3rd cousin level where we would expect a large match, there is only a small one. Joanna, the other sister matches 3rd cousin CJK on the Minnie Frazer Line at only 7.9 cM, not much above the Gedmatch cutoff level of 7.0 cM. However, all these families match as expected, but not at the levels expected perhaps.

I used a Gedmatch utility to look at the number of matches between the James Line testers. This is what I got.

3D James Line

The large numbers in the middle are due to mother, daughter, aunt, niece, cousin, brother and sister relationships. I ignored these when I added the segment matches on the side and bottom. This takes out the actual cM numbers which can be confusing. What this tells me is that everybody matches everyone else in the James Line which is what we would suspect and bolsters our paper trail research. Also notice that the celebrity line (PB) has one match for everybody (on the top row above). This is what the above Gedmatch chart looks like with Total Shared cM’s:

James Line Shared Segments

For this utility, Gedmatch uses a lower cM value of 5. Note that here, MHB doesn’t show any shared cM’s with the O’Sullivan Line. I’m not sure why when she shows a shared segment above. However, not to worry. She is the cousin of KK and the niece of CJK. That means that MHB should be related also.

How the James Line DNA Matches the Archibald Line DNA

When the Frazer cousins first started DNA testing, it was a bit discouraging as no one was matching at good levels as expected. However, after more people tested, I was surprised at the number and level of matches we had. There were also matches between the James Line and the Archibald line – the one I’m in. So apparently there is no need to have the Y test done on a male from each line to prove the lines are related.

Archibald James Line Matches

Here we see my family (Hartleys), Bill, and MFA from the Archibald Line matching Joanna’s family, the O’Sullivan Line and CJK from the James Line. Missing are Jane (who had large matches within the Archibald line) and Ros who didn’t have cousin marrying ancestors from the Archibald Line. Missing from the James line is mostly JFS if I take CJK to be representative of MGB and KK from the Minnie Frazer Line. However, her match is small and therefore suspect. Then my sister matches on the X Chromosome to CJK. The X matches follow interesting patterns. So that means my sister’s interesting pattern has to match CJK’s interesting pattern. My sister’s X inheritance includes a Frazer way back who married into my McMaster ancestors. This Frazer could have been in the James Line. That may eliminate my sister’s match as going back as far as Widow Mary the Cottier and joining the 2 lines. Mary is the supposed mother of the Archibald and James Lines. Here is the Census that shows all 3 Frazer families in 1749.

Elphin Census

Any Flies in the Ointment?

Sure, plenty. Let’s look at our chart again.

James Line Chart

In this chart we are focusing on Frazers. However, the DNA doesn’t know that. Can we assume that because the testers are all Frazers, then the matches must represent Frazers? No. To do this right, we would have to flesh out the ancestors for each of the DNA matchers. We have that Bill and Joanna match. From our charts, it looks like the match could be with Mary the Cottier, the mother of James. But that may not be the case. Let’s look at Archibald b. 1792 who is on Joanna’s line. He had a wife. She had 2 parents in the above generation; 4 grandparents in the James Frazer generation and 8 grandparents in Mary the Cottier’s generation. That adds up to 15 people we don’t know about. If we had started the exercise in a later generation, there would be many more ancestors. On Bill’s side there would be the same amount of unknown people. Plus, Bill appears to have 3 Frazers in his ancestry which would make for a potential 3 times the unknowns.

10 Generations of Frazer DNA: Combining the Two Lines

Here is the master chart of the Archibald and James Lines combined.  This represents 10 generations but shows 6. I took off 2 to 4 generations on the bottom. Mary is at the top. Archibald and James are her 2 likely sons. This is actually a simplified chart, showing only the lines where we have DNA testers. The goal is to make sure our genealogy is correct and to show the 2 Lines really are connected as we suppose.

Archibald James Combined Chart



  • The Frazers have some interesting relatives – especially in the James Line
  • Triangulation is the gold standard and shows common ancestors. The James Line hasn’t shown a triangulation yet. This may be because there are 4 lines and 4 testing families. However, as everyone matches everyone else by DNA that is good evidence to me that these people are in the same Frazer family.  However, there is still a chance that some of these matches may be non-Frazer matches. It would take a lot of work to figure all that out.
  • Does the DNA testing show that the very early Archibald and James Frazer were brothers? Definitely not. It may show they are related, but that is not even clear. DNA matches between the 2 lines seems more likely to show inter-relationships between the 2 lines at some later date than Mary the Cottier. There is a good chance that in my own family, I have a James line ancestor who was born probably 2 generations after James.
  • Let’s keep open the option of Y DNA testing. That is the surest way to link the Archibald and James lines.
  • I seem to be developing a knack for proving myself wrong

How I Added 2 Frazer Lines by DNA

Well, it looks like I’ve given away the blog in the title. I think I can add 2 more Frazer lines using DNA. Not just by DNA, but DNA helped greatly.

In my first 2 blogs I mentioned how I triangulated two Irish Frazer groups. These 2 triangulation groups I assumed, based on the people involved, had as their common ancestors Archibald Frazer and Mary Lilly. That couple would be the parents of the 4 brothers shown below: John, Philip, Richard and Archibald.

Early Frazer Research
Early Frazer Research


In this blog I will disprove my previous blogs and show that those common ancestors of Frazer/Lilly were probably off by a generation. What an idiot I was in my earlier blogs. Actually, as more DNA testing information came in from my generous Frazer relatives, the smarter I look now!

In my 4th blog, I mentioned endogamy and how many couples below the 4 brothers married 1st cousins with Frazer surnames. However, some of the triangulation matches were huge numbers considering the age of Archibald Frazer and Mary Lilly. This couple lived in the late 1700’s but I had a match in one case that was over 50 cM

Chromosome 1

When I compare the DNA of MFA (Michael) and Jane at Gedmatch, they look like this:

Jane Michael Gedmatch

That shows that Gedmatch thinks that Jane and Michael are 4 generations to  common ancestors. That’s not far. We are 1 generation from our parents, 2 to our grand parents, and 4 to our great great grandparents.

Archibald Chart

I know, the chart is small. You will have to click on it to make it bigger. Jane is on the green line. 4 generations only takes her up to the white box that has Archibald c. 1802=Catherine Parker. That is 2 generations closer than the top box where I previously thought her common ancestors were. In my Blog #4, I supposed that this discrepancy was due to endogamy. Ann Turner, who knows a lot more than I, saw my blog and commented that she thought endogamy should give you more matches, not necessarily higher matches. OK, I’m willing to be wrong if I can learn by it. I did check and the endogamous Frazers did have twice the matches as the non-endogamous ones (on another line). But I needed some common ancestors for Jane, Bill, Michael, my sister Heidi and me that weren’t so far away.

Ros to the Rescue

To tell you the end first, what I did was move Jane to the 3rd brother Richard Frazer on the second row above. Well, I didn’t move all of her, just half. What? And what does Ros have to do with it? Well Ros tested very recently. She is from Australia and her line is represented by the purple box. What I like about Ros’ DNA is that it appears that she doesn’t  have 1st cousins who married each other in her Frazer ancestry. So her results are, let’s say, more specific. She matches Ros, but only through Archibald Frazer (the brother on the far right of the second row) and Catherine Parker. Now these 2 are the parents of Richard Paton Parker Lilly Frazer (Jane’s ancestor). However, Richard blah blah blah Frazer (Jane’s ancestor) had a wife named Jane Frazer. Her descendent (also Jane) has had a difficult time figuring out where Jane Frazer fits in. This Jane Frazer certainly isn’t a sister of her husband Richard blah blah, so she must descend from somewhere else. I put this Jane Frazer goes under Richard who is brother #3 in the chart. How and why did I decide to do that?

Aunt Mabel and Triangulation

Aunt Mabel didn’t know much about DNA if anything. Our cousin Doug from England had an Aunt Mabel (family legend says) who scoured the Irish countryside for Frazer family history in order to get her brother a coat of arms around the year 1950. We think her information before about 1700 was pretty dicey, but after that, it seems pretty good and much better than what we can figure out from Irish records (or rather the lack thereof). She was likely the one responsible for the handwritten genealogy, part of which is at the top of this blog. She mentions an Archibald who was the son of Richard (brother #3). I have no other information on this Archibald and Jane Frazer had a father named Archibald. The dates also fit in well for Jane Frazer to be Archibald’s daughter and Richard’s granddaughter.

I’ve already mentioned the triangulation (above). Jane triangulates with 3 other people who are descended from Richard. DNA-wise, it would make sense if Jane through her ancestor Jane Frazer were also in that group of Richard-descendents. With large cMs, you want the triangulation group to be as recent as possible. It’s still off by a generation according to Gedmatch, but I don’t think that’s too unusual. Here is the revised Richard Line with Jane’s ancestor Jane Frazer added.

Jane in the Richard Line
Jane in the Richard Line


The Second Frazer Add to the Line of Richard

The second add to the line of Richard is David from Canada. Early on, before I talked Bill into testing and then the other Frazers, there was David. I noticed at FTDNA, he had a Frazer ancestor from Ireland. That was interesting. The earliest ancestor he could trace was a James Frazer who had a son in Enniskillen, Ireland. That son changed the spelling to Fraser and moved to Canada. My Frazer ancestors lived to the North of the Loch (Lake) above Boyle in the bottom left of the map below. It is about 40 miles from there to Enniskillen at the top right of the map.

Boyle to Enniskillen Map
Boyle to Enniskillen

So my 4 reasons for adding David to the line of Richard are the same for adding Jane; namely:

  • The genealogy done by David (and Jane’s research in her case)
  • My own genealogy research
  • DNA Triangulation
  • My secret weapon: Aunt Mabel

I wish I had a photo of Aunt Mabel. She was a classy looking lady. There was a picture of her on Doug from England’s web site, but that site is down as far as I can tell. Anyway, Aunt Mabel’s chart showed a James as a son of Richard. We have no other information on this James. Can we say this James took off to Enniskillen from North Roscommon and that his son moved to Canada? I say the evidence supports that theory.

Here is David (shown as DF) and how he triangulates.

Doug Triangulation

Well look at that. Have you ever seen a more perfect triangulation? Well perhaps you have, but it’s still pretty good. And unlike the Chromosome #1 triangulation above, it includes David. Note that everyone matches with everyone else. That’s what triangulation is, and it means these people have a common ancestor or ancestral couple. I didn’t include the matches between me (JH) and my sister Heidi (HHM) as that is too obvious. I hope that David doesn’t mind me plopping his family into mine.

So What Have I Learned From All This?

  • If you blog, you may get an expert opinion that is helpful
  • It helps to have an Aunt Mabel doing research in the past when people remembered who was related to whom
  • The relationships for Endogamous families are tricky to figure out; but the DNA helps sort out some of the problems solved my the first cousins who married in the early 1800’s
  • The more relatives that test their DNA, the less I look like an idiot

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.

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

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, 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