A New Frazer STR Tree with Associated Families

First, I don’t like to make STR trees. They take a while to build and then when the SNP results come out, I can be proven wrong with my previous STR trees. Nonetheless, I’ll forge ahead based on the new 111 STR results from a Frazier relative.

First, Who Are the Associated Families

My understanding is that our Frazer ancestors came to Scotland at some time around the time of Christ. They probably formed a small group of people around the Inverness area. At the time when people were taking on surnames, they probably took on the surnames of the people who were surrounding them at the time. This would likely account for the names of Riley, Hayes, Stuart, Grant and Frazer/Frazier below. There were likely other names adopted. The name of Chisolm comes to mind and perhaps other names that haven’t had YDNA tests.

Building a STR Tree

First I extracted STR results from Frazers and other more distantly related families:

These are 25 STR results for Riley, Hayes, Stuart, Grant and Frazer/Frazier. From this, it appears clearly that a DYS447 of 24 defines Frazer/Frazier and a DYS447 of 25 defines the families above. It appears that the value of 25 is older as there are more of that number and it is applied to three different families.

Without getting into the details, here is a simple tree:

The important thing here is that our most recent Frazier tester falls solidly in with our North Roscommon Frazers.

Further, there is a clear break between Riley and Hayes/Stuart/Grant:

This is just with 25 STR testing.

Frazer and Related Families at 37 STRs

Here is the testing up to 37 STRs:

I took out the markers that were all the same. There was a further distinction I didn’t note above in the first 25 markers that identifies the Archibald line of the North Roscommon Frazers. That is a DYS391 of 11. This is where I was before Richard’s 111 STR results came in. It looked like he was fairly closely related to the Roscommon Ireland Frazers. At the 37 STR level, one of the Stuarts drops out as he only tested to 25 STRs.

111 STRs

At this level, some more families drop out:

There is still one Riley and one Stuart left. In the last column, there was a 16, 17 and 15 for results. In that case, I assumed that the 16 was the ancestral value and that Riley mutated up and Stuart mutated down. I made a similar assumption in the column that had 12, 13 and 14.

It is in the lighter blue 38-111 STRs that Richard shows some of his differences from the North Roscommon Frazers in DYS710, 717 and 712. These are the three markers that appear to put Richard further back as a match with our Roscommon Frazers before they were in Roscommon. Again, the SNP results should give a better idea if this is indeed the case.

This is my best guess for a STR tree:

The big question is whether Richard is under Archibald Frazer or further back as I have it in the above diagram. The main reason for putting Richard’s common ancestor with Archibald Frazer descendants back before the Irish Frazers is that Jonathan’s matches with other known Irish Frazer descendants appears to be closer than with Richard. Here are Jonathan’s STR matches:

Jonathan matches known North Roscommon Frazer descendants at a GD between 1 and 4. He matches Richard at a GD of 7 which is about the same level at which he matches two Stuart descendants.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I built a Frazer STR tree which tries to take into account other related families of Riley, Hayes, Grant and Stuart.
  • Frazier seems solidly in the Frazer camp based on one of the STR markers
  • However, based on genetic distance, it seems like Richard should have a common ancestor with the North Roscommon Frazers at some point before they moved to Ireland.
  • These findings seem consistent with what I looked at in my previoius Blog on Richard’s 111 STR results
  • My guess is that Richard’s BigY SNP results will confirm what appears to be happening with his less reliable STR results


Initial Frazier YDNA Results Show Connection to North Roscommon Frazers May Be Further Back in Time

I mentioned in a previous Blog that a Frazier has recently ordered a BigY 700 test. The first step in this test is going from his previous 37 STRs to 111 STRs. Richard’s BigY test is now at the stage where his 111 STRs have been completed.

Richard and Rick

Rick also ordered a BigY test and I am also awaiting the results of his tests. I was checking out Rick’s test and saw that he also matched Richard:

Rick matches Richard at 111 markers at a Genetic Distance of 8. That is out at the level that Rick matches two people with the Stuart surname. Initially, that seems to suggest that Richard’s match could be more distant to the Frazers of Ireland than originally thought. This has implications on Richard’s genealogy. If he matched Rick more closely, then we would be looking for Richard’s ancestors in Ireland. If they are matched more distantly, which seems to be the case, then it is likely that the common ancestor for Frazer and Frazier is in Scotland prior to the Frazer move to Ireland. At the the 37 STR level, it seemed like Richard would be more closely related to the Frazers. These 111 STRs give a more accurate level of information.

It would make more sense to show the connection from Richard’s perspective:

Richard is a GD of 7 to Jonathan and a GD of 10 to Paul. However, he is also a GD of 9 to a Stuart. What will be more important to know is Richard’s Haplogroup. That will be revealed when the results of his BigY are completed. However, based on this, my guess is that Richard’s connection should be further back than the time that my Frazer ancestors arrived in Ireland.

Here is a chart which I just saw today:

This chart was done for a different project (R-U106), so the numbers may not be the same for our R1a Frazers. However, based on the above, Richard’s most likely match with the Frazer family was a GD of 8. This translates to between 180 and 720 years. The midpoint of this range is 450 years, which is around the time-frame that I am guessing could be right for a common ancestor between Richard and our North Roscommon Frazers.

Here is the view from Jonathan’s results:

Based on my previous analysis, it appears that Jonathan’s YDNA results are more typical of our Irish Frazer ancestor. As such, Jonathan matches Richard between two Stuarts by STRs. However, as I mentioned above, what will be more important is Richard’s Haplogroup. Above, my Irish Frazer relatives are R-YP6489 and the Stuart Haplogroup is R-BY26344. That can be better seen on Jonathan’s Block Tree:

Further out, Jonathan matches a Hayes at R-YP6480. The question is, what will Richard’s Haplogroup be? My guess is that Richard could match Jonathan, Rodney and Paul with a Frazer (or variant spelling) somewhat further back than Jonathan’s, Rodney’s and Paul’s common ancestor who lived in Ireland. Further, Richard may break up the block of SNPs in the white box above starting with R-YP6489.

What Does It Mean to Break a Block?

Here is the block that needs breaking:

My Frazer relatives (Jonathan, Rodney and Paul) have five SNPs defining them all. R-YP6489 was chosen to represent this block of SNPs that defines the North Roscommon Frazers. That means that since before the time when surnames were popular, these SNPs have been collecting every 144 years or so in our North Roscommon Frazer line. We don’t know which SNPs happened first or last. Suppose that when Richard’s BigY results come in he is tested positive for three of the SNPs above, but not the other two. If one of Richard’s positive SNPs turns out to be YP6489, he will be called YP6489 and the other three Frazers will be named for one of the SNPs that Richard did not test positive for. Also, depending on the results, we should be able to figure out around what year our Frazers split off from Richard’s Fraziers/Frashers.

There is also a possiblilty that Richard’s YDNA will be more alignted with Grant and Stuart on the right. They are under BY26344. Right now, I am thinking that this possibility will be less likely.

Dating the Haplogroups from the Block Tree

In the image above, there are an average of two private variants between Jonathan, Paul and Rodney. One way to estimate the date of their common ancesor is to use 144 years per variant. That would put their common ancestor at about 244 years before their birth (say 1950) or about 1706. This is very close to when we believe that their common ancestor was born.

However, between Frazer, Grant and Stuart above, a lot more time has passed. Between YP6488 and our Frazer testers there are 7 SNPs. Between YP6488 and Stuart/Grant, there are 8 SNPs. I’ll average that out at 7.5 SNPs. Multiply that by 144 years and get 1,080 years.  My guess is that Richard’s results will fill in part of the gap between  the 11th century and 1706.

Our Frazers are documented to North Roscommon in the first half of the 1700’s. Clans associated with the Frazers by YDNA bordered each other to the SW of Inverness. By YDNA, the common ancestor of these associated clans could have been living around 1,000 AD. By family tradition, the Frazers were living in Ayrshire prior to their arrival in Ireland. It may be this time period (1600 or so) that Richard could tie into.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Richard’s 111 STR results have come in as the the first part of his BigY 700 test
  • These STR results suggest that he matches our North Roscommon Frazers more distantly than suggested by his 37 STR results
  • My guess is that Richard’s results will fill in the YDNA gap between the Stuart, Grant and others whose common ancestor could go back to about 1,000 AD and the North Roscommon Frazers whose common ancestor lived in the early 1700’s.
  • Frazer/Frazier/Frasher descendants should be expectantly awaiting Richard’s results.
  • In addition to Richard’s results, Frazers are awaiting the new BigY 700 results of Rick. Plus Rodney will be getting an upgrade from BigY 500 to BigY 700. That is a total of three Frazer/Frazier BigY 700 results we are waiting for.

The First BigY 700 Frazer Results Starting to Come In

I wrote about the ordering of Rick’s new BigY 700 test here. This is good news for at least a few reasons. One is that he is on my particular Archibald Branch of the Frazer family. The second is that his is the first BigY 700 test ordered. There have been three other of the older BigY 500 tests that have been taken – two on the James Line and one on the Archibald Line:

Paul on the left is my second cousin once removed. His grandfather Hubert was my great-grandfather James Archibald’s brother.  Rick on the bottom left is the subject of this Blog.

Rick’s YDNA Order History

This shows that Rick’s BigY-700 has been completed. However, that is only part of the story. The only results I can see so far are his 111 STR results. Three years ago Rick’s Y-DNA67 results came in which were for 67 STRs. Now we can see how Rick matches Paul, Rodney and Jonathan at 111 STRs:

Rick’s first match is with my cousin Paul as expected. Second is with Jonathan, and third with Rodney. The last two matches are with Stuart surnames which is interesting. It appears that there is not much difference between Rick’s match with Rodney and the Stuart matches. However, that is where the BigY test comes in. Rick’s next to last match took a BigY test and that Stuart is at BY26344. This Stuart branch is on a parallell branch to the Frazer branch. This is how it appears at YFull:

The common SNP for Frazer and Stuart is YP6488 which was formed 1150 years ago and our common ancestor was 800 years ago, so say 1200 AD. The takeaway is that the BigY test with its SNPs is superior to the STR test.

A 111 STR Frazer Tree

With Rick’s results it will be possible to buiild a 111 STR tree for the four Frazers who have now tested to that level. To do that I first go to the Fraser and Septs YDNA Project Page.

These are the four Frazers who have tested plus one person who fits in with Frasher ancestry. I will just look at the four Frazers. There are 111 STR results but I have not shown that many. Rick is the one who doesn’t show his ancestor. The fourth row down gives the Mode. I will assume that is the oldest value for the STR.

Next, I take the results from the Fraser and Septs Page and put them into an Excel spreadsheet. Then I take out all the results that are the same:

I have Richard in for reference. He tested to the 37 STR level. However, based on that testing, I see how he seems to fit in with the others. When I copied the DYS385 results, Excel interpreted 11-14 and 11-15 as 14 and 15 Nov.

This appears to be the ancestral STR signature for our branch of Frazers:

Archibald Branch STRs

The Archibald Branch which Rick and I are on is defined by these STRs:

Note that the CDY had a double change. The James Line appears to have kept the older STR values.

Further Frazer Branching

Here is the tree I came up with:

I tried to combine the genealogy with the STR values. The Archibald Branch is defined by the three STRs on the left. These mutations ocurred sometime between 1720 and 1804. Rick has DYS444=13. This happened sometime between Richard of 1830 and our current Rick. Paul has DYS575=19 which ocurred sometime between his great-grandfather George and Paul.

For some reason I don’t have a date for William Fitzgerald Scarsfield Frazer. I have that Edward Fitzgerald Frazer was born in 1867. So the William Frazer Line has the DYS552 value of 24 which ocurred sometime between before 1867 and the birth of Rodney.

One interesting thing about Jonathan is that he shows no STR mutation between himself and Archibald Frazer of about 1690. This could be the case due to the randomness of STR mutations or it is possible that there could have been a mutation and a back mutation in his line. If this was true, we wouldn’t know it. Scanning across Jonathan’s line we can see that all his values are the same as the mode for the Frazers which we take to be the ancestral STRs:

This is offset by Rick and Paul who both had changes in four STRs.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Rick’s first change in his BIgY test is that he now has his 111 STR results.
  • These results are consistant with what we have for the Frazer genealogical tree.
  • A was able to build a 111 STR tree as all four Frazer testers have now tested to that level.
  • The STRs are the preview. The most important part of the BigY 700 test with SNP results is still to come.


A New Frazier BigY 700 Ordered

Thanks to Joanna, she got Richard and me talking. That lead to a new BigY being ordered. That means that two new Frazer/Frazier BigY 700’s are in the pipeline right now. I wrote about the previous new BigY here. That previous test was for Rick and this one is for Richard.

Richard’s Previous YDNA Testing

Richard has tested test to the 37 STR level and matches my second cousin Paul at that level:

Rick is in the first orange box and Richard in the second orange box. They are both considered to be R-M198 by FTDNA. Rick has tested to 111 STRs. Rick is a fairly close relative to Paul in terms of YDNA. He is a third cousin once removed:

The exciting thing about Richard is that we don’t know how he is related. We are hoping that the BigY 700 will shed some light on that. So far, on the above chart, Paul, Rodney and Jonathan have taken the BigY 500 test. Rick and Richard will be the first to take the BigY 700 test. The good thing about the BigY 700 test is that it is more accurate and tests for more SNPs. SNPs are what we are looking for to define the Frazer lines on the YDNA Tree.

I also wrote a Blog on Richard’s results back in 2018 when he first had his YDNA tested. At that time, I concluded that Frasher and Frizelle were related to the North Roscommon Frazers.

On this chart:

I notice that some are classified as R-M198 and some are R-M512. As far as I can tell, there is no distinction between these two Haplogroups:

My guess is that R-M512 was the older names because those that have that designation tested in 2015. The date for these two haplogroups is about 6,500 B.C. From an older Blog I wrote, our branch of Frazers are on the Germanic side:

However, this is a tree from about 4 years ago. A lot has happened since then. S2880 is the last Haplogroup on our Frazer Line showing on this tree. According to YFull:

S2880 formed about 3700 years ago. That gave our Germanic Frazer ancestors plenty of time to make their way to what is now Scotland. These are the dates that YFull has for our present-day Frazer BigY testers:

Richard in the Fraser and Septs Project

Richard has joined the Fraser and Septs Project. In that Project, the R1a Frasers/Frazers, etc are in the minority. Most Frasers are R1b. That is because our Frazers as being Germanic were relative late comers to Scotland, having arrived perhaps around the time of Christ. Here are the results from that Project:

Here I have only gone to the 37 STR level as that is what Richard tested to. The administrators of Fraser and Septs placed Richard in with our North Roscommon Frazers:

First is Rodney from my tree above, then Jonathan, then Richard, Rick and Paul.

Richard’s Family Tree

I think that I found Richard’s tree:

This tree starts with Richard’s grandfather. I am mostly interested in the Frazier/Frasher line as that is what YDNA looks at. I think that other Frazers that descend from the Frazers of North Roscommon, Ireland may be interested also. At this point, I usually try and do my own tree to see if it comes out the same way. At best, this will be a second opinion. I don’t have the time to go into it in great detail, but may find out if the tree is obvious or if there are problem points.

Richard’s grandfather is found in the 1920 Census:

His father, Frank was the enumerator:

Frank and his father were both born in Tennessee according to the 1920 Census. Here is Dickson to the West of Nashville:

Frank Frazier

I think that this is Frank in the 1900 Census:

Interestingly, this family is listed as Frasher. This is consistent with Frank’s death record which has his mother as Mary Graham born in Pennsylvania:

Interestingly, the marriage record spells the name Frasher also:

Morgan and Anderson Frazier/Frasher

Here is Anderson Frasher with his large family on the farm in Dickson:

Here Morgan is William M. It helps that the family lived in Dickson for so long. here is the family in 1870. Now Anderson just has initials none of which are ‘A’:

Findagrave has Anderson’s name as William Pellen Frasher:

This appears to reconcile the names:

However, the name is Frasher on the stone:

Here is a photo of W.P.A. that I found from an Ancestry Tree:

This was a Southern family and W.P.A. served for the Confederate army during the Civil War as a blacksmith. He was also a prisoner of war.

David Frazier/Frasher (1803-1890)

Here is W.P.A. in 1850:

William A was a farmer in Dickson. His father was a blacksmith:

They were both born in Tennessee. From this point, without a detailed Census before 1850, tracking this family should be more difficult. The 1880 Census gives a hint.

David’s father was born in Virginia and his mother in North Carolina. His wife, Elizabeth’s parents were both born in Georgia.

William Frazier/Frasher

All the Ancestry trees have William as the father of David. When I put in William Frazier as the father of David at Ancestry I get 7 hints Here is one from 1828:

It appears to me that the Frazier/Frasher name was phonetically spelled. Here we have a combination that came out as Frashier. This was in Hickman County. Hickson is quite close to Dickson:

In the record above, George Harvell is listed as an assignee of William Frashier. I am not sure what this meant. It seems like land was granted to William, but he gave it George? This seems to be our William Frasher due to the proximity to Dickson County. Here is the 8th District mentioned in the land record above:

However, there was a William Frasher listed in the 1790 Census for Randolph, North Carolina:

Here is Randolph, NC:

Here is the 1830 Census:

The simple interpretation is that William was between 60 and 69 and that his wife was between 50 and 59. It is likely that he was living with his four sons and one daughter. It appears that his son David was not included here as he is listed elsewhere on the Dickson 1830 Census:

Here is a good land deal in Hickman. One cent per acre for 100 acres:

Here is a portion of some tax records for Hickman:

The left part is cut off, but it looks like there is a David, William and Robert Frasher listed there.  My thinking is that Frasher was a fairly rare name. Meanwhile, in Dickson the tax record has a William Frasher and a David Frazier:

Of course, none of this shows that William was the father of David. I suppose it must be from family tradition.


Back in 1827, there was a William Frashier buying land in White County at 12 and a half cents per acre:

White County is to the East of Nashville:

Here is an 1825 tax record for White County:

Perhaps Thomas, William, Alexander Senior and Junior and Munford were related.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Richard has ordered a new BigY 700 test. These results will first show his 111 STRs, then extended STRs, then the SNPs which give the most accurate reading of his male line.
  • Richard’s past testing of 37 STRs has put him in a grouping with my Frazer family with roots in North Roscommon, Ireland. That means that it is possible that Richard’s ancestors came from that same place.
  • Richard’s ancestors had the last name of Frazier, Frasher or Frashier, but I haven’t seen their name spelled Frazer.
  • I took a look at Richard’s genealogy. His ancestors lived for quite some time in Tennessee. Before that they were proably in North Carolina and possibly Virginia. There is a lot of speculation on where William Frasher was born including one document claiming he could have been a German mercenary during the Revolutionary War. As it is claimed that William was born in 1765, that would have made him a very young mercenary during that War.
  • Next, I will review Richard’s 111 STR results when they come in.



A New Frazer BigY Test Ordered

A new BigY 700 YDNA Test has been ordered for Rick. This is big news for my Irish branch of the Frazer family. This branch can be traced to the Northern part of County Roscommon in the early 1700’s. Rick had taken the 67 STR test previously, but not the BigY test until now.

The Two Roscommon Frazer Branches

The two Frazer branches are divided into the Archibald branch and the James Branch. These two were likely brothers living near the Northern border of County Roscommon in the early 1700’s. Here are the four Frazer YDNA testers:

Rick is on the lower left. His second great-grandfather Richard Patterson or Paterson Frazer left Ireland for upstate New York. From there the family moved to Canada where many of his Frazer descendants live today. Paul is my second cousin once removed. That means that Paul’s great grandfather George Frazer was my 2nd great-grandfather. Paul’s grandfather Hubert moved from Ireland to the Boston area after my his brother, my great-grandfather moved to Boston. This branch moved to America a generation after the Richard Patterson Frazer family.

History of Frazer YDNA Testing Back to 2015

YDNA testing for our branch of Frazers began in 2015. At that time, STRs were tested. A STR is a Short Tandem Repeat. These repeating markers have values that may go up or down. The combination of differences of these STRs can define a group of people. However, the STRs are not a accurate or precise as a SNP. A SNP only mutates once. The STRs were used to predict SNPs. I believe that Joanna’s brother Jonathan was the first of our Frazer group to test for 37 STRs. This put him into the very general R1a SNP group.

The R1a group is a bit of an oddball SNP for Frasers or Frazers. Most Frasers going back to Scotland are in general R1b. That means that before there was a Frazer surname our Frazer ancestors arrived from Scandinavia to the Inverness area to join a group of people that were to become Frasers/Frazers. This probably happened about 2,000 years ago. So there are the old Scot Frazers who were already in present day Scotland before 2,000 years ago. These would be the R1b Frazers/Frasers. Our ‘newcomer’ branch is R1a.

Here is my wild guess on the movements of our branch of Frazers:

Because YDNA reaches so far back, it is possible to know the general areas that Frazer ancestors lived thousands of years ago. Based on YDNA matches with other clans, it appears that the Frazers lived in the Inverness area since before the time that surnames were adopted. After that, family tradition says that our Frazers probably lived in Southwest Scotland before moving to Ireland.

I had my 2nd cousin Paul tested and he was a match with Jonathan. This showed that we were on the right track and that the Archibald and James Lines were connected. Paul’s testing seemed to indicate that his YDNA had changed more than Jonathan’s over the past 300 years or so. That means that Jonathan’s YDNA should be more representative of their common ancestor who was Archibald Frazer born perhaps in 1690.

Frazer YDNA 2017

In May 2017 Paul’s BigY results came in. This moved his Haplogroup down the R1a Tree to R-YP432. This SNP was still very old. The common ancestor for this SNP was 2800 years old, but this was an improvement on Paul’s previous STR testing. Based on that testing his common ancestor was over 14,000 years old!

In June 2017, Jonathan’s BigY results came in. These seemed to indicate that Paul and Jonathan should move down at least one step to R-YP5515. However, the company YFull was ahead of FTDNA in that analysis. Around July 2017, The R1a Administrator for FTDNA with expertise in the Frazer area of R1a came up with this tree in 2017:

This put the Frazers down the tree three levels below R-YP5515 and gave a common ancestor date for the two Frazer lines of about 1600 AD. This is certainly in the area of when we think Archibald, the father of the Archibald and James Lines was born (around 1690).

Rick tested for 67 STRs and his results came in also in July 2017. Rick’s closest match was with Paul. This makes sense as both Paul and Rick are on the Archibald Line and both descend from James Frazer born about 1804.

Here is a possible tree I made based on the STR testing:

The State of Roscommon Frazer YDNA to This Point

Basically, we have four YDNA testers. Three of these testers have taken the BigY test and one, Rick is in the process of having his BigY taken. When Rodney and Jonathan had their BigY, I was hoping that they would have a matching SNP that Paul did not have that would define the James Branch of the Roscommon Frazers. However, that did not happen. There could be a few reasons for this. The most likely reason is that no new SNPs formed between about 1690 when we think Archibald Frazer was born and Jonathan and Rodney’s common ancestor who was Thomas Henry Frazer born 1836:

That means that between Paul and Rick, I will be hoping to catch a new SNP between Archibald Frazer born about 1720 and James Frazer born about 1804.

Paul’s Private Variants

One of the reasons that I think that there may be a new SNP on the Archibald Branch is that Paul has four Private Variants:

FTDNA lists the private variants as position location numbers until they get a match.  So far, Paul’s Private Variants do not match any that Rodney or Jonathan have on the James Line of Frazers. That means that Rick, if he has any of these Private Variants, will match with Paul. Then that matching variant will be named and will be the new name for the Archibald Branch of the Frazers of Roscommon. So getting one more SNP will put a cap on the process. The BigY describes a person’s SNPs from genetic Adam up to present day. This last SNP will be the closest to present day for the Frazer Line. Also Rick will be the first Frazer to take the newer BigY 700 test which is more accurate and complete. The previous three testers took the BigY 500 test. I don’t feel any need to upgrade Paul at this point as he already has four private or unknown variants.

If Paul and Rick match on one of their Private Variants, that will be good news for those on the Archibald Line of Frazers. That will mean that, assuming we got the genealogy right, the new SNP will be from either Archibald Frazer born about 1720, Philip Frazer, or James Frazer born 1804.

Next Step: Waiting

Next up is waiting for Rick’s BigY 700 results to come in. Once they are in, we need to wait again for FTDNA to do a manual review on Rick’s results. There is also a chance that someone else will decide to have the BigY test done.

Summary and Conclusions

  • The history of YDNA testing for our branch of Frazers is about 5 years.
  • This 5 years of testing has resulted in several thousands of years of Frazer history going back way before surnames were being used. Tracing those results show where Frazer ancestors likely lived in pre-historic times.
  • Additional testing is needed to bring the Frazers into more modern times. It appears that we have a SNP that is so far, at least specific to the Frazer or North Roscommon surname. That SNP is R-YP6489.
  • It is hoped that Rick’s BigY 700 test, in conjunction with Paul’s BigY results, will give a name to the Archibald Line of Frazers. This is one of the main Frazer Branches that formed in the early 1700’s. The other is the James Line.

Looking at Stuart’s Big Y-700

I told Stuart (his last name for privacy) that I would look at his Big Y-700. I hesitate to write this Blog, because I am not an expert on Big Y-700 and describing the differences between Stuart’s Big Y-500 and Big Y-700 is likely to be difficult. Stuart is not part of the Frazer YDNA Project that I am part of, but he is in a line that has had a common ancestor with the Frazer’s before the Frazer were Frazer’s. I am also interested in learning about the Big Y-700 as none of the Frazer testers have tested to that level yet. That makes Stuart a pioneer in this area of YDNA testing.

Stuart at YFull

Stuart has uploaded his Big Y-700 and previous Big Y-500 results to YFull. This is helpful in giving probable dates on when the different family lines had their origin. In the big picture, Stuart is R1a.

I see one difference already due to Stuart’s Big Y-700 test. Here are Stuart’s pre-Big Y-700 results:

Before, the number of years to Stuart’s common ancestors were lower. Stuart’s common ancestor with my Frazer relatives used to be 700 years ago. Now it is 800 years ago. Stuart’s common ancestor with his closest group of R-BY26344 used to be 225 years ago. Now it is 425 years ago. That has implications as there is a Stuart and a Grant in that group. The obvious implication is that the mixup in names could have happened up to 200 years further back in time than previously thought.

Stuart’s Big Y at FTDNA

Here is the same tree shown as a block tree at FTDNA but only up to the YP6479 level:

The thing I don’t like about the FTDNA tree is that it filters out too much. For example, I had my Frazer cousin tested shown as YF09981 at YFull above, but he doesn’t show as a match to Stuart at FTDNA. FTDNA shows a stingy 4 Big Y matches for Stuart

By comparison, YFull does a better job at matching SNPs and gives Stuart 71 matches:

More is better. My 2nd cousin with the Irish Flag shows correctly above, ahead of Hayes who has a common ancestor with Stuart of 1150 years ago.

Stuart’s Private Variants at FTDNA

Stuart shows an average of 13 Private Variants with his match Grant above. I would expect that Stuart would have more private variants than Grant as the Big Y-700 is supposed to pick up more than the old Big Y test.


This is the first page of Stuart’s Private Variants. He has 19 altogether. These Private Variants are shown above as position numbers. Once they find a match in another Big Y tester, they will be given a name. In order for Stuart and Grant to have an average of 13 Private Variants, Grant must have 7 Private Variants. As there are two in this YP6488 group, it would be helpful to have a third Big Y tester. This additional tester should refine the results in make a new branch for Stuart or Grant.

Tie-Breaking Candidates

Here is a group from the R1a Project:

The two testers with the green R-YP6488 results above are the ones who took the Big Y tests. The other two testers with the red R-M512 results would be the best bets for an additional Big Y test to match with the existing 26 Private Variants to form a new YDNA Branch on the tree of all mankind. I note that the one with the ancestor of Arthur Grant has genealogy that goes back the furthest. However, this is still within the 425 year timeframe for the common ancestor. In other words, there could have been an adoption or other name-changing event before the time of 1683 which separated Stuart from Grant.

Stuart At YFull

Stuart has two kits at YFull.

Big Y-500

I assume the shorter numbered kit is the Big Y-500. Here are Stuart’s 3 Private Variants:


This shows on Stuart’s original Big Y-500 test, he had one best quality Novel SNP and two that were acceptable. This SNP has two different position numbers based on the old system (HG19) and the new system (HG38). Due to newer technology and new SNPs being found, there had to be a new numbering system. It appears that this Private Variant already has the name of Y14660. However, different companies may have different names.

Here are the other two  private SNPs or Novel SNPs as YFull calls them:


They are of Acceptable quality. The last Novel SNP has a check by it:

It says that someone did a single test for this and it came up negative. Apparently the person who tested for this was someone other than Stuart.

Big Y-700

I’m curious to see any differences here.

Here are some huge differences. Now Stuart is up to 13 Best quality Novel SNPs. I can see the checked SNP from the previous Big Y-500. This has moved up from Acceptable to Best Quality.

Note that 6 Novel SNPs are marked as Homologous. I’m not sure what this means. I think it means that there is a SNP in a totally different haplogroup that looks the same.

One other difference is that YFull used the VCF analysis for Stuart’s Big Y-500. I checked the Big Y-500 test I had done for my Frazer cousin and the BAM file was used for that. My understanding is that the BAM file should be the one to use if possible.

Note that at FTDNA, Stuart had 19 Private Variants. At YFull, Stuart has 13 Novel SNPs of best quality and three of acceptable quality. This seems to be due to differences in how FTDNA and YFull choose which SNPs they should use.

Here is the side by side comparison between YFull and FTDNA:

For the YFull list, I only used the best quality list. That means that there were 7 Best Quality SNPs that YFull found that weren’t used by FTDNA.

Upon further review, I see that FTDNA has a second page of SNP Variants:


Now the comparison is closer. FTDNA has 19 Private Variants and YFull shows 15 Novel SNPs that match FTDNA’s. YFull has 13 SNPs of best quality and 3 SNPs of acceptable quality. These private SNPs are measuring Stuart’s non-matchedness. In other words, these are SNPs that are waiting to be matched, so that Stuart can form a new YDNA branch.

When I look at SNPs under different categories at YFull, it adds one SNP that FTDNA had. This brings up the importance of YFull. It is not necessarily showing that FTDNA is wrong but gives a second independent opinion to the analysis of the results.

YFull STR Matching

Here are the results of Stuart’s STR Matching at YFull:

When I try to choose Stuart’s old Big Y test, I get no results, so these are based on the more recent Big Y-700 test. The results are interesting, though generally not as precise as SNP results. Stuart’s closest match is correctly with Grant with a distance 0.03. After that, there are two Frazer’s, a Hayes and another Frazer. The last Frazer with the Irish Flag is my 2nd cousin once removed. Clearly the Hayes connection is much further back than the Frazer connection:

Extended STR Matching at FTDNA

This is available, but not in one place like YFull has it:

Here are Stuart’s 111 STR matches. If they have taken the Big Y test, then those results will show also. YFull showed 5 extended results. These are all the Frazer results. The rest of the group can be found at Stuart’s 67 STR match page:

For whatever reason, my second cousin once removed seems to have more than the average number of mutations, or that STRs that changed were the faster moving STRs to begin with.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Based on YFull, Stuart had a large increase of Private Variants or SNPs between his Big Y-500 and Big Y-700 test. Based on the Big Y-500, Stuart had 3 Private SNPs. This went up to 16 Private SNPs with the Big Y-700 test.
  • Stuart’s original YFull analysis was based on his VCF file and his Big Y-700 YFull analysis is based on his BAM file. My understanding is that the BAM analysis is more detailed.
  • Stuarts dates for a common ancestor to his Grant match and to his Frazer matches increased. This is apparently due to the increase of Stuart’s newly found Private SNPs. The more unmatched SNPs you have, the further you have to a common ancestor.
  • The new date for the common ancestor of 425 years before present between Stuart and Grant has genealogical implications. That goes back to before the year 1600. That means that the mixup between Grant and Stuart could go back that long, or it could be that these surnames were less set in stone at that time.
  • I don’t know how to look at Stuart’s old Big Y-500 results at FTDNA. It doesn’t seem like the old results are kept separately like YFull does.



Comparing Grant, Stuart and Frazer by YDNA

In my previous Blog, I looked at Frazer STRs and came up with a STR Tree. It is a bit of a mess, but it tries to show where the STR mutations are:

I like one explanation I read about STRs. STRs are short for Short Tandem Repeats. This excerpt is from an FTDNA article called Understanding YDNA Matches:

Our bodies work as copy machines when it comes to the Y-DNA. You can have a copy machine doing 1,000 copies without a problem, and then, the 1,001 copy may have an “o” that looks more like an “e”. And when we use this copy to make additional ones, all the new ones will now have an “e” instead of an “o”. This is a simple way to explain how mutations occur in our Y-DNA when it’s transferred (copied) from father to son. Mutations don’t happen frequently, on the contrary, very seldom, but they can happen randomly in time, which means that I could be one mutation off of my father. That is why all those matches or close matches on 12 markers will in most of the cases go away when they happen between different surnames, and we increased the numbered of markers that are compared: more mutations showing up, which means way back in time when the common ancestor lived.

Ancestral and Derived – What’s the Big Deal?

STRs are either ancestral or derived. That means that they are older or newer. Older or newer is important if you are trying to figure out timelines. It is also important in creating trees and figuring out who belongs in which branch of the tree.

Grant YDNA

In my previous Blog, I noted that the Frazer marker of DYS710 with a value of 34 was probably ancestral:

Assuming that to be the case, that meant that DYS710 = 33 would define the James Line of the Frazers above.

I wrote to Grant to get the STR values from his Grant BigY test. However, it appears that the Grant STR value for DYS710 is missing along with the STRs from 68-111. I don’t know if this is a mistake by FTDNA or not:

Grant Matches Paul by BigY but Not by STRs

Another surprise is that Grant matches one Frazer by the BigY and not by STR matching. Here is my cousin Paul’s matches by BigY:

Here are Paul’s 67 STR matches:

Here Paul matches a Grant, but not the same one who took the BigY test. Note that the Grant above doesn’t show that he had Big Y tested.

How Does Grant Match Jonathan?

Jonathan had fewer STR mutations, so perhaps he matches Grant. Below, we see Jonathan matches many Grants, including the one who took the BigY test:

There is one interesting thing to note here. Look at Jonathan’s match with Stuart who took the big Y. At 67 markers, there is a Genetic Difference (GD) of 3. With Grant the GD is twice as much at 6. However, when the BigY markers are added in, the differences between Jonathan and Stuart are 12 and only 11 with our BigY Grant.

Comparing Grants Extra 435 STRs with Jonathan

Thanks to the Grant family sending me the Grant BigY STRs, I can now compare them. In my previous Blog, I noted these differences between the Frazer Archibald Line and the James Line:

Paul is from the Archibald Line and Jonathan and Rodney are both from the James Line. Grant could be the tie-breaker to tell which values are older for these markers.


What do you think? Based on the above, and knowing nothing else, I would say that 12 is ancestral and 13 is derived. That puts FTY299 as a marker for the Archibald Line. I’ll add that to my STR tree after I look at the other two markers.

DYS523 and Good Old FTY269


Here we go again. The mutations seem to be skewed more toward the Archibald Line. However, recall that these are mutations that Paul has, so they could have taken place any time between Archibald in 1715 and Paul:

If Rick had taken the BigY test, we could have narrowed that down a bit.

A New BigY 500 STR Tree

With this new information, I can build a New BigY STR Tree:

Here I wrote Paul’s results a little differently as I didn’t have room at the top. The first number is ancestral and should apply to Archibald Frazer born around 1690. The second is Paul’s value. This mutation could have happened between about 1715 and when Paul was born.

Any Other Differences?

It seems that there must be. Jonathan had 5 additional differences in the BigY STRs. However, these may be differences between Grant and Frazer in general.

Here in DYS514, we see a difference between Frazer and Grant. We can’t tell which one is older, because we need a tie-breaker.

Parallel Mutation or Back-Mutation

Let’s consider DYS516. I had said that the value of 18 for STR DYS516 represented the overall Frazer line because it was shared by Paul and Jonathan whose common ancestor was the original known Irish Frazer from about 1690. However, Grant has a value of 17 shared with Rodney. In other cases, we had considered the value to be shared by Grant and Frazer to be the older one. What happened? This is a case of back mutation or parallel mutation. It could be that the old value shared by Grant and Frazer was 17. Then sometime before 1690 it went up to 18 for Frazer. Then Rodney’s branch went back down to 17. That would be a back mutation. For a parallel mutation, the original value that Grant and Frazer shared would have been 18. Then at some time Grant mutated down to 17. In an unrelated (or parallel) way, Rodney’s branch also went down to 17. By getting more information on other people’s BigY results, it might be possible to figure out which happened.

There is a less likely scenario where 17 would be ancestral. That would have to mean that Jonathan and Paul had independent or parallel mutations. As this would have happened over a shorter period of time, it is less likely that this happened.


Here is another of Jonathan’s 5 of 435 STR mismatches with Grant:

Note that Grant and Frazer have a difference of two. Again, we don’t know if 12, 13 or 14 was the ancestral value. It could be 13. In that case Frazer would have mutated up and Grant mutated down.


This should be the 4th out of 5 differences between Jonathan and Grant.


This should be the 5th difference or GD.

Grant Vs Rodney

I would suspect that Grant and Rodney’s results should be similar to Grant and Jonathan’s results.

They are the same except the number of BigY STR results tested are slightly lower.

FTDNA Block Tree Vs YFull’s YTree

Both FTDNA and YFull have SNP trees. Sometime one gets ahead of the other. Here is the FTDNA Block tree from Jonathan’s perspective:

Jonathan matches two Frazers at YP6489. Further out he matchs Grant at YP6488. At at more distant level he matches Hayes at YP6479. That doesn’t mean that Frazer descends from Grant and Stuart who descends from Hayes. It just means that these families descend from a common ancestor.

Another point to note is that the Frazer SNP of R-YP6489 is probably a family SNP. That means that this SNP probably applies to just our Frazer branch. YP3189 is one step below YP6488. That means that it is more recent. YP6488 is older and represents Frazer, Grant and Stuart. Because there is more than one family that shares this SNP, it would not be considered a family or surname SNP.

Here is the YTree version:

R-BY26344 Is for Grant and Stuart

This tree goes back one more level and includes dates. Then there is one important detail I missed previously. It appears that Grant and Stuart have a new SNP called R-BY26344. YFull uses IDs, but it appears that those IDs are for Grant and Stuart. This is the part where YFull’s YTree goes ahead of FTDNA.

My interpretation of the YFull YTree above:

Again, this does not show that Stuart, Grant and Frazer descend from Hayes, but that all four surnames descend from a common ancestor born around 900 AD. This shows that the tested Stuart, Grant and Frazer had a common ancestor from around 1300 AD. I assume at that time, surnames may not have been settled or commonly used in Scotland. According to scottish-at-heart.com:

The use of  ‘fixed’ (or recognized) Scottish surnames appeared occasionally as early as the 10th or 12th centuries, but didn’t begin to be used with any sort of consistency until the 16th century.

Even this, this practice was slow to ‘catch on’, and it took until the late 18th and early 19th century to spread to the Highlands and northern isles.

A New Terminal SNP for Grant and Stuart and a New Mystery

In my previous Blog, I had missed that Grant and Stuart have a new Terminal SNP. They are now BY26344. However, YFull gives a common ancestor for Grant and Stuart at 225 years before present. I roughly called that 1775. The problem is that if Stuart and Grant had a common ancestor in 1775, was it Grant or Stuart? Also, it appears that the Grant and Stuart genealogies don’t match up as to where these families lived at that time.

Grant and Stuart Genealogies

This is an area where I have very little knowledge. I have that the Grant BigY tester’s earliest verifiable ancestor was James GRANT “of Carron”, 1728 – 1790. From a quick Google search, this appears to be Carron:

The Stuart tester has this information:

Charles Stewart/Stuart b. abt 1695 d. 1753 Virginia

This is the problem. If Stuart and Grant had a common ancestor around 1775, then how could Stewart have been in Virginia in the early 1700’s and Grant been in Scotland in the early 1700’s? This suggests that one of the genealogies is wrong or that the common ancestor dating is wrong. The closest reconciliation that I could make up is that Charles Stewart was actually Charles Grant. He had James Grant in Scotland, then came to Virginia and changed his name. I feel uncomfortable making wild guesses for others’ genealogies that I know little about, so I will not go further in this direction.


What if YFull is wrong with their date of most recent common ancestor? Here is the 6488 Branch:

I don’t totally understand YFull’s dating. However, the reasoning is that the more SNPs in your branch, the older your branch. That makes sense to me. For example, the Frazer R-YP6489 includes 6 other SNPs. The Grant/Stuart branch of R-BY26344 has only two other SNPs. It stands to reason that BY26344 would have a more recent common ancestor than YP6489. The Frazer date checks out well, but three people tested. We think our common ancestor was born in the vicinity of 1690 which is about 329 years ago. YFull gives 375 years as a date. That seems pretty close to me.

A scroll-over of the 375 years before present for the Frazer common ancestor shows this:

This gives a pretty wide margin of error.

For BY26344, there is a larger margin of error:

I assume that the reason is that only two people tested for BY26344.

FTDNA is not as helpful with dates. In addition, FTDNA does not have Stuart and Grant as BY26344. Perhaps if they update their tree, they will and there may be a way to estimate a common ancestor then. However, having said that, the a YDNA project administrator has made this prediction for Grant and Stuart in an email to Stuart:

You had 19 Unnamed variants and now you have 19 – 2 = 17 left over. 

Out of these 17 SNP’s there was 1 SNP which you share with Grant.

So both of you create a new Subclade BY26344 downstream YP6488

(btw. FTDNA has not identified this new subclade yet)

Now my best estimate for your MRCA with Grant is about 1200 AD. 

This is interesting because this is an earlier date than what YFull has. The discrepancy may be due to the fact that Stuart did the Big Y 700 and other testers have only done the Big Y 500. Also, I don’t think that Stuart has uploaded his Big Y 700 results to YFull. It will be interesting to see if that makes a difference with YFull’s common ancestor calculations.

The FTDNA administrator further writes to Stuart:

Up to now you are the only one in subclade YP432 with a BigY-700, thus we will only know where these SNP’s are exactly located when they are willing to upgrade from BigY-500 to BigY-700.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Grant and Stuart are the closest YDNA matches to the Frazer family
  • I used some of the Grant and Stuart STR results to find out which of the STR vaules were older or newer for the two Frazer Lines.
  • Grant and Stuart are in a new Branch of R-BY26344
  • There are discrepancies for the date of the common ancestor between Grant and Stuart. These calculations were done by YFull and an FTDNA administrator. These dates may be fine tuned by Stuart adding his Big Y 700 results to YFull and/or by others in the YP432 Group doing Big Y 700 testing.



Frazer YDNA STRs Compared

Blaine Bettinger recently has started a project comparing STR differences to known relationships. It turns out in our Frazers of Roscommon DNA Project, we have four people who have tested where we know their relationships. Here are those relationships:

Rick has tested 67 STRs and Paul, Rodney and Jonathan have tested for the BigY 500. Here is how the numbers look:

Generally, what we see is that going from top to bottom, the further out the relationship is, the more differences there are in the STRs. The numbers between 0-5 above are the genetic differences. Then as the test gets higher there should be more differences going from left to right as more STRs are being tested.

Paul’s Odd Results

However, Paul’s number goes down when he is compared to Jonathan between the 111 STR test and the BigY 500 test. Why is that? My assumption is that the Big Y test missed one of the STRs tested in the 111 STR test. It should be possible to find this STR looking at the results.


Checking Paul’s result, he has a different result from Rodney and Jonathan for marker DYS710. DYS710 is the first marker tested in the 111 STR test. Paul has 34 and Rodney and Jonathan have 33.

Here is Paul’s BigY STR result for DYS710:

Here is Jonathan’s result:

So that is not the answer. I can’t explain how FTDNA came up with a lower genetic distance for the BigY 500 STR results.

A Frazer STR Tree

Over a year ago, I came up with this tree:

This shows the genetic differences. It basically shows that there is a difference of three between the two Frazer lines of Archibald and James. In general, the two lines differ over DYS391 and CDY. At some point between Archibald Frazer of 1720 and James Frazer of 1804, there were two mutations that defined the Archibald Line from the original ancestral Frazer DNA. Then under the James branch of 1804, there are two branches. Rick’s branch is defined by DYS444 and Paul’s branch is defined by DYS576 being 19. However, we don’t know when these mutations occured. For Rick’s branch it could be anyone starting at Richard Patterson Frazer down to Rick. For Paul’s branch it could be anyone between Paul and George Frazer.

An Updated Frazer STR Tree with DYS710

However, the above Frazer STR tree doesn’t explain all the differences. Paul and Rodney have a difference of 5 STRs at 111 markers. I need to add in DYS710. Recall that Paul had a value of 34 for DYS710 and Rodney and Jonatham had 33. But which is ancestral? Or which came first?

The last time I looked for ancestral STRs, I looked at the Frazers more distant relatives: the Grants and Stuarts:

Note that their SNP is R-YP6488. FTDNA now has a block tree:

This block tree was taken from Jonathan’s perspective. However, it shows that R-YP6488 represented by matches with Grant and Stuart is an older SNP. Hayes is from an even older group represented by SNP R-YP6479. I had originally thought that 33 was the older STR for DYS710 but Stuart has a value of 34. Hayes would make a good tie-breaker but he only tested out to 67 STRs.

Checking YFull

Perhaps Hayes has uploaded his results to YFull.

Under Paul’s distant STR matches I see someone who shows as R-YP6479. This is likely Hayes. However, it doesn’t tell me what his value was for DYS710.

Back to the Updated Frazer STR Tree

Assuming that there were no parallel mutations, I’ll try this:

This shows a value of 34 for DYS710 as ancestral. Then on the James line, somewhere between James and Thomas Henry Frazer DYS710 changed from 34 to 33. That means that at least the Thomas Henry Frazer branch is characterized by a value of 33 for for DYS710.

In order to check my tree, I look at Paul and Rodney:

They have a Genetic DIstance (GD) of 5 at 111 STRs. Looking at the tree, we see that the STR differences add up to 5.

  • The Archibald Line has 381 = 11 and CDY = 35-40
  • The George McMaster branch has 576 = 19
  • The James Line has DYS710 = 33
  • The William Frazer branch has 552 = 24

The Mystery of Paul and Jonathan Solved

I posted my question to the Genetic Genealogy – Tips & Techniques Facebook Page. Skip tells me that the 3 of 425 differences are additional differences. That adds up to 7 of 536 STRs. That leads to this observation. Rodney and Jonathan have a GD of 2 of 427. Paul has a GD o f 3 of 425 with Jonathan and 5 of 415 with Rodney. That seems to indicate, if my logic is right, that the extra two mutations are on Rodney’s side.

A BIgY 500 Frazer STR Tree

This leads to another change in the Frazer STR tree. In order to find the GDs between Rodney and Jonathan, I downloaded all the results. These appear to be the two extra differences:

These were on Lines 425 and 475 of my Excel Spreadsheet. This shows that the mutations belong to Rodney. The mismatch column was just to point out any differences between Jonathan’s and Rodney’s STR results.

Here I ran out of room to describe Rodney’s branch at the top of his branch, so the extra descriptors went on the bottom. Keep in mind that STRs can mutate up or down in number. These last two mutations that Rodney had went down in number. In fact, it appears that all the STR mutations on the James Line are going down.

Any Other STR Differences?

Yes. There are a few more differences between the Archibald and James Branches of the Frazers:

Here, Paul represents the Archibald Line and Jonathan and Rodney represent the James Line. Unfortunately, as the newer STR results are not posted on-line, I would not know how to figure out which values are ancestral and which are the newer values.

The Big Picture: SNPs and Haplogroups

The Big Picture is that our Frazers have the haplogroup of R1a:

Most Frazers in general are R1b and not even closely related by DNA. However, before Frazers became Frazers, some of our Scandinavian R1a’s made their way to Scotland and became Frazers when the R1b Frazers were also becoming Frazers.

The R1a Tree

Here is an outdated R1a Tree. It is still nice as it has images on it:

Here is another shot of our Frazer Block Tree:

The trick is connecting the two trees. The Block tree listing at the top mentions R-M198. The “picture’ tree has that at about 6,000 BC, so that is a start.

R-M417 shows as 4800 BC on the picture tree. Next is R-CTS4385:

This shows that before our Frazers were Scots, they were Germanic. Next were the L664 Group:

Our L664 ancestors entered the scene about around 3,000 BC. They still have plenty of time to make it to Scotland. They could have hopped over to England around then, but likely made their way up to Western Scandinavia first.

From there, our ancestors kept branching as families do:

That brings us down to the bottom of the picture chart. S2880. S2880 is right above R-YP432 where the Frazer Block Chart starts:

This shows flags. My interpretation is that during the time of R-YP432 our ancestors were living in Scandinavia. The flag on the right that connects to YP432 is the Swedish flag.

The YFull YTree dates YP432 at 3100 years before present.

Between looking at the Block Tree, the YTree and the R1a Administrator’s Tree, it could be that our ancestors could have made their way to Scotland around the time of Christ. At the time the Frazer Clan was formed, our ancestors were in the area of what is now Inverness, Scotland.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Getting data to a project which compares YDNA STR matches to known relationships gave me a chance to look at our Frazer YDNA STR matches.
  • This lead to a better understanding of what the BigY 500 STR results mean.
  • For the four people who have taken the YDNA test and especially the three Frazers who have taken the Big Y test, I was able to refine the YDNA differences between the different lines and branches.
  • After that I gave a rough overview of how our Frazer ancestors made their way to Scotland from Scandinavia perhaps around the time of Christ.
  • Based on the YTree and other DNA sources, our own Frazer branch of R-YP6489 began around the early 1300’s, but our common ancestor in that branch was from the early 1600’s.



A Third Frazer Big Y 500: Part 2

Last month, I took a first look at Rodney’s Big Y 500 results. At that time, I was looking for unnamed SNPs that Rodney and Jonathan shared on the James Line. I was unable to find any. It looks like FTDNA and YFull were unable to find any also. When I wrote my first Blog, Rodney’s results were not at YFull yet. YFull is a popular service for interpreting Big Y results. I’ll take a look at Rodney’s YFull Results in this Blog. Before I do that, here is where Rodney fits into the Frazer YDNA testing tree:

Paul, Rodney and Jonathan have taken the Big Y test and Rick has taken the YDNA STR test.

Rodney at YFull

Before Rodney’s results were in, this was the YTree:

Jonathan and Paul were the last two id’s. Here is the present YTree:

YTree Changes

I see two major changes to the YTree. One is that there is a new non-Frazer Branch. The second is that the Frazer branch common ancestor is refined from 475 ybp to 375 ybp. From what we can tell, at the tree above, Archibald was born around 1690. That is roughly 325 years ago. So 375 years ago by YDNA is pretty close. I was expecting a new SNP for the James Line of the Frazers. These SNPs form about every 144 years. Note that at 375 years ago, that should represent 2 or three new SNPs. From my work on the STR side of the YDNA testing, it has seemed like the STR differences have been primarily on the Archibald Branch of the Frazer tree and not on the James side. It seems like this must be true for the SNPs also. This would have to be verified by Big Y testing of someone else in the Archibald Line. The only other possibility is that there is indeed another SNP for the James Line, but the testing results were not clear enough to determine that.

A New Parallel SNP Line to the Frazers

Here is the new line of R-BY26344:

While I’m thinking of it, there is another interesting point. The YTree shows that YP6488 was formed 1100 years ago. [The date that the SNP was formed is earlier than the common ancestor dates listed above. For the formed dates, see the YTree above.] The two branches below YP6488 were formed 700 years ago. However, the Frazer branch of YP6489 consists of six total SNPs listed here:

From 1100 to 700 years ago is 400 years. SNPs are formed on average every 144 years but in 400 years somehow the Frazer seemed to get 6 SNPs. On the other hand, BY26344 has is only represented by two SNPs over 400 years. That could mean that the Frazer line had all it’s SNP mutations between 1100 and 700 years ago, so now they are just coasting, so to speak.

Who Does BY26344 Represent?

YFull uses ID’s, so it can be difficult to tell who these people are. In the past, I have been tracking the Grants as their YDNA STRs have had similarities to the Frazers. That appears to be the case. However, there is also a Stuart as well as a grant in the YP6488 Group.

Here Grant and Stuart are still listed as YP6488, so that means that FTDNA may be a bit behind YFull for Grant and Stuart.

This is interesting as it shows us that Grant and Frazer had a common ancestor about 1300 A.D. To me, this would be before the time that surnames were in common use. However, by 225-375 years ago, surnames should have been in common use. This should mean that the two SNPs at the bottom of the tree should represent Grant and Frazer respectively. This also has interesting parallels to my wife’s line. A surname that was related to hers was also found to be a common ancestor about 700 years ago.

As a reminder, here is a map showing how close the Frasers and Grants lived in 1587:

My assumption is that this is where the common ancestors of the Grants, Stuarts and Frazers lived around the year 1300. This is to the Southwest and West of Inverness. The Frazers had the Grants surrounded. Also the Grants and Frazers surrounded Loch Ness.

I also note that one of the YDNA Grants testers mentions Carron. If I have the right Carron, it is to the Northeast of Glasgow. The Frazers were believed to be from the area of Ayr. I have also added dates to the various areas that the Grants and Frazers may have lived these areas.

Note where I have Grant above, I should have also included Stuart.

Further Questions on the Grant/Stuart Line

Assuming that the two IDs at YFull on the YTree are indeed Stuart and Grant, that poses additional questions for those two lines:

  • A common ancestor of 225 years ago is within the surname era. That means that there was some mixing of the two surnames due to adoption or other event.
  • Stuart appears to have been in Virginia before 225 years ago and Grant in Carron before that time. If this is correct, then the 225 years for a common ancestors may not be right.

I point this out partly, because it shows some common issues that could arise in a surname project. Fortunately, the testing of the Frazers so far has not resutled in similar issues.

Big Y 500 STRs

YFull looks at STRs deduced from the Big Y test. Here is how Rodney matches Jonathan and Paul:

This shows that, by STRs, Rodney is much more closely related to Jonathan than Paul. I think that there is a way to convert the distance to years, but I can’t find it right now. However, it appears to show that Rodney is more than twice as closely related to Jonathan as Paul is. This makes sense based on the genealogical tree at the top of the Blog.

Rodney is Running Out of SNPs

Here are Rodney’s novel SNPs at YFull:

Note that Rodney has no best or acceptable quality Novel SNPs. Novel SNPs are the ones that don’t match others. That means that all of Rodney’s good SNPs are already matched up with Paul and Jonathan as they should be. This makes sense as the time between the birth of Rodney, Jonathan and their common ancestor of Thomas Henry Frazer is likely less than 144 years.

For comparison, here are Paul’s Novel SNPs:

Paul has 10 Best or Acceptable Quality novel or private SNPs. It is likely that one or more of these SNPs could become an Archibald Line SNP if another Archibald Line Frazer descendant tests for the Big Y.

Perhaps a better comparison would be with Jonathan’s novel SNPs:

Jonathan is really out of Novel SNPs. He has no novel SNPs of any kind of quality.

Summary and Conclusions


  • Rodney’s Big Y 500 test has refined the YTree and dates of common ancestors
  • Many new SNPs prior to about the year 1300 may account for no identified SNPs after that date for the James Line
  • Another Big Y tester on the Archibald Line may create a new SNP for that branch
  • Assuming that the new Branch of BY26344 was for Stuart and Grant, that raises questions about the origin of those lines and about the date of the common ancestor for those two surnames.
  • The common ancestors for the Frazer distant relatives of Stuart and Grant has been moved up from 800 years ago to 700 years ago.
  • The common ancestor for the three Frazer testers has also been moved up 100 years: from 475 to 375 years ago.
  • The STR testing confirms the relative DNA closeness of Rodney and Jonathan who are in the James Line. This is also confirmed by autosomal DNA test results.

A First Look at Rodney’s BigY500 Results – a Third Frazer BigY

I had some good news recently. Rodney’s BigY500 results were in ahead of schedule.

Rodney’s Genealogy

Here is Rodney with other Frazer that have had YDNA testing. Paul, Rodney and Jonathan have taken the BigY test and Rick has taken the STR test.

Frazer SNPs

Currently, the SNP that defines this whole Frazer line is R-YP6489. This is part of the R1a group. With the addition of Rodney to BigY testing, we should be able to get a new SNP that defines the James Line Branch and more specifically, the Thomas Henry Frazer Branch. This testing is bringing us into relatively modern times.

Paul Compared to Rodney and Jonathan

When I compare my cousin Paul to Rodney and Jonathan I see this:

Paul has these Non-Matching Variants compared to Rodney and Jonathan:

  • 7947875
  • 8162400
  • 16784516
  • 20957961
  • 21457649

These are likely Variants on Paul’s side (the Archibald Line) which are not on the James Line side of the Frazer tree. The problem with these Variants is that they will not be named as SNPs unless someone else tests positive for them. There are two ways that this could happen. One would be that Rick (from the Archibald Line) takes a BigY test. Or, tests could be requested for each of the variants above and Rick (or another Archibald direct line male descendant) could test for the individual SNPs once there is a test protocol.

Looking for the James Line Variant

Where is the Variant or Variants that will define the James Line? Here is what Rodney’s niece Kim sent me. This is how Rodney compares to Jonathan and Paul. The comparison is by non-matching variants which is a bit confusing. The non-match could be on Rodney’s side, Joanathan’s or Paul’s sides:


What I am looking for is where Rodney does not match Paul. I want these to not include the Variants that I have listed above representing the Archibald Line. That leaves:

  • ZS3186
  • 20102008

These would be potential candidates for the James Line

Here are Jonathan’s matches:

These appear to be unique to Jonathan:

  • BY26998
  • BY28746
  • BY28749
  • BY28761
  • F4038
  • ZS3186
  • 11718822
  • 11720223

I was hoping that these lists would match up better. Rodney’s results have been uploaded to YFull for analysis, but the analysis is not yet done. It could be that there is an issue on how these variants were reported. The only Variant in common is ZS3186. However, this is a named variant which would probably not be used for a new branch.

Further, Jonathan has this list of Unnamed Variants:

Here it seems we are dealing with a lot of double negatives. Jonathan’s results report Variant 11103209. As this is not on Jonathan’s list of Non-matching Variants, should I assume that Jonathan has this variant in common with Rodney and Paul? I’m confused.

Here is Paul’s list of unnamed variants:

This matches pretty well with my original list for Paul, but it does not include 20957961.


ZS3186 was shared by Rodney and Jonathan but not Paul. However, this is already named. The YBrowse website has this information:

This was found in 2014 but never added to a YTree. It is in the J1 Haplogroup. For this reason, this SNP may be not considered good. Or, it may be determined that the original sample was in error(?) Again, we need some help from FTDNA or YFull in figuring this one out.

Variant 20102008

I had listed this Variant above. Is this the defining James Line Variant? This is not on Paul’s list of unnamed variants. This is good as Paul is from the Archibald LIne. 20102008 is shown as a non-matching variant between Paul and Rodney, so that leads me to believe that Rodney has this variant. However, 20102008 is not a non-matching variant between Paul and Jonathan. This would lead me to believe that Jonathan does not have this variant.

Frazer Variant Summary

This left me a bit confused, so I found out Rodney’s Unnamed Variants. Here is a summary of the three tested Frazers:

Hopefully, I can explain the inconsistencies in blue. The first row is YP6489. All the Frazers have this SNP and it currently defines the project.

Variant 1103209

The second row shows that Jonathan has Variant 11103209. This is actually a double discrepancy. Rodney and Paul do not show this Variant listed on their results but neither do they show this as an non-matching variant with Jonathan. Here is what I believe happened. The results for Rodney and Paul were inconclusive. As a result, the first go at looking at this variant was not enough to list this variant for Rodney and Paul. However, due to the uncertainty, it could not be clearly said that this was a non-matching variant between Jonathan and Rodney and Jonathan and Paul. By looking at the raw test data, it may be better to come up with a better analysis. Right now, this does not look like a defining Variant for the James line if there is some question as to whether Paul has this Variant.

Variants 11718822 and 11720223

These Variants appear to be Jonathan’s private SNPs. Jonathan is positive for them, but Paul and Rodney are not. That means that these likely formed in Jonathan, his father or grandfather after the time of Rodney and Jonathan’s common ancestor Thomas Henry Frazer born 1836. Once YFull has done their analysis, they will give an estimated date of SNP formation and an estimated date of common ancestor. The SNP formation is always the older date. In this case, we know the date of the common ancestor: 1836.

More on Dating

While I’m on the subject of dating. Here is the present Frazer tree going back over 3,000 years:

Jonathan and Paul are at the bottom of this YFull YTree. Based on their BigY testing alone, it was estimated that the SNP YP6489 was formed 800 years ago and that Paul and Jonathan had a common ancestor 475 years ago. This is to illustrate that the SNP formation is before the common ancestor. Going up one step is YP6488. This was formed 1050 years ago. There was a common ancestor there 800 years ago. I assume that this date fits into the formation date of YP6489 800 years ago.

Paul’s Private Variants – The Archibald Line

Paul has four private variants. These formed in the Archibald line between the time of Archibald Frazer born around 1690. The Archibald Line needs another person to test to have some of these Variants named as defining SNPs for the Archibald Line.

Rodney’s Variants

Rodney’s first Variant 2012008 has a question mark under Jonathan. That means that there is some question on Jonathan’s read. However, the fact that Paul was negative for this Variant makes it looks like this could be the new defining Variant that gets named as the SNP for the James Line. Rodney’s second Variant is common to only him at this time. Like Jonathan, this variant formed in either Rodney, his father or grandfather.

This appears to be Rodney’s only Private Variant:

What’s Next?

Kim has uploaded Rodney’s BigY500 to YFull for further analysis. YFull will get this information onto their tree. They will give age estimations and produce 500 STRs from the results. FTDNA will also be doing further analysis on the results. In addition, the R1a administrators will take a look at the results. However, they will like be interested in seeing what FTDNA and YFull have to say.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Rodney’s results show that there are some clear SNPs that could be added to define the Archibald Line. However, as Paul is the only Archibald LIne BigY500 tested person right now, these SNPs will not be named.
  • The James Line results are not as clear. Interpretaion of the results are needed. It is likely that Variant 2012008 will be a new defining SNP for the James Line for the Frazer DNA Project. It appears that this SNP occured between James Frazer born about 1720 and Thomas Henry Frazer born 1836.
  • We need to wait and see if FTDNA and YFull come up with further analysis.