McMaster ThruLines Through William McMaster and Margaret Frazer

AncestryDNA uses ThruLines. These are usually good hints that connect DNA matches and genealogy. Here is my ThruLines match with Deborah:

I have written about Deborah’s ancestor Jane in past Blogs. I have mentioned her genealogy, but I don’t think that I have written about DNA matches from her line until now. Here is a photo of Jane:

Jane is in the middle. I descend from her sister Fanny who stayed in Kilmactranny Parish, County Sligo, Ireland. Jane and the rest of her family traveled to Ontario.

My DNA match with Deborah is not that large at 9 cM.

Jane McMaster ThruLines for My Sister Heidi

Here is what my sister Heidi shows for the Jane Line of ThruLines:


It looks like I cut off Joseph’s child Kelci who is also a DNA match. My sister Heidi also matches Deborah. Deborah is from the McMaster Line. Jane first married George McMaster, then a Thompson.

My Brother Jon’s ThruLines

My brother shows goosie on the Thompson side of the Jane McMaster Line:

Jon doesn’t match Deborah. Jon has a discrepancy on the James Line. How can Robert Trent have two different mothers?

My Siblings’ Summary

This chart doesn’t get to the strength of the DNA matches. However, the more of my siblings match a person, the better the match. We had more matches on the Fanny line, but I didn’t include the closest matches.

Here are the matches that only matched on of my siblings:

Frank on the Robert Line

Of the above, Frank is interesting, because it adds another McMaster Line. Here is what AncestryDNA shows:

Ancestry would like me to evaluate Frank’s ancestry. This should be interesting as McMaster genealogy can be confusing. It turns out that I have already started a tree for Frank:

Here are wedding the same year for two Margaret McMasters:

The first was my 2nd great-grandmother and the daughter of James McMaster. The second was Frank’s second great-grandmother and the daughter of Robert. These two were both married at Kilmactranny Parish. That means that Frank’s Margaret’s father was Robert.

I have this Robert on my genealogy website:

That means that Frank’s Margaret could be Margaret Mae McMaster. In fact, I am leaning that way:

I also note that Lori and Frank have shared a shared DNA match with Ron who I circled. I added in Frank in the Abraham McMaster tree:

If this is not right, then there would have been three Margaret McMasters around the same time! I have Frank in a different color which means I am not positive. Under this scenario, my ancestor Margaret and Frank’s ancestor Margaret Mae would be first cousins. Here is the baptismal record for Margaret Mae:

Goosie on the Jane McMaster Thompson Line

Goosie matches my four siblings who tested at Ancestry (but not me). It should be easy to trace her tree back.

My tree apparently already goes down to Robert Henry Lowry. In this case, it would be easier to work my tree down. That way, I won’t have to create a new tree for goosie.


I found a photo of Lee Senior at his 50th wedding anniversary:

The caption:

I was able to build my tree down to Lee Robert Lowry Jr. I couldn’t easily make the connection to goosie, but I assume that she knows who her parents were.

Here is goosie on the first row of the William McMaster tree:

The tree is getting quite large and I am missing a lot of DNA matches.

Deborah Also from the Jane McMaster Line

I first mentioned Deborah above.

She shows as my half 5th cousin, but is likely a full 5th cousin. I’ll try taking her genealogy down from mine like I did with goosie.

I’m already confused as this view is different than the ThruLines:

However, I see the confusion as Jane McMaster married George McMaster. This is the connection I was looking for:

Here is the family in 1880 in Iowa:

William was clearly born in Ireland, but many of these Irish McMaster families liked to stress that they were from Scotland. Here is William’s baptismal record from Kilmactranny Parish, County Sligo, Ireland:

George was no doubt named for his father’s father:

Here is George’s daughter Ethel in Nebraska in 1910:

Here is how I worked my tree down:

I didn’t enter all the maiden names of the spouses. In this case I was able to see the connection to Deborah from an Obituary Index at Ancestry. Here is my family’s connection to Deborah:

That is just one connection. We are also connected through George McMaster – apparently on a differnt line.

Summary and Conclusions

  • In this Blog, I looked at some of my unexplored ThruLines on one branch of my McMaster ancestors. This branch starts with William McMaster and Margaret Frazer.
  • One of the ThruLines went through a Robert McMaster. After lookinng at the genealogy, it appears that this Robert Line belongs on a different Branch of McMasters. This branch is likely related to the other branch but beginning with Abraham McMaster born about 1764.
  • I looked at Deborah and goosie. They both descend from Jane McMaster. Deborah descends from Jane’s first McMaster husband and goosie descends from Jane’s second Thompson husband.
  • I have tried to combine the McMaster trees in the past, but it is difficult to tell how the lines tie together. Here is one guess that I have made in the past:

My ancestors are James McMaster Sr and Fanny McMaster who married each other. Under this scenario, they would be 1st cousins once removed. Of course, there are other possibilities.




Irish Petty Sessions and My Frazer Ancestors and Relatives

I recently came across Irish Petty Sessions at Ancestry. These could be helpful in sorting out relationships and/or adding some interesting information to my family history.

Let’s look at some of these records.

Let Your Light Shine in 1918

Here is the simple case of George Frazer of Derrycashel who was operating a vehicle at night without a light.

This actually happened on March 16th at 8:20 p.m. George was fined one shilling. Here is George (#27):

My great-grandfather’s brother George was born in 1879 and lived in the old family house – the one his father George grew up in in Derrycashel, Roscommon before moving to Ballindoon, Sligo.

Wild Times in Augrafinegan on 12 May 1886

I get the impression that Catherine Frazer and Anne Jane McMaster were not getting along. The first column is the complainant, the second column is the defendant and the third column contains the witnesses. It appears that Anne Jane was charged:

Who are these people? Here is the charged Anne Jane Frazer (wife of James McMaster):

James McMaster died in 1874. Here is Anne Jane’s family:

That means that in 1886, Anne Jane was about 57.  That means she low-balled her age in 1901 when she was probably 72. Under this scenario, Richard could have been her brother.

Who Were the Other Frazers in This Court Case?

We may never know why Anne Jane Frazer McMaster and Catherine Frazer were assaulting each other. But who was Catherine Frazer?  We know that in 1886, she was living in Aughrafinegan:

Also, I would assume that Anne and Richard Frazer could also have been living there. One guess would be that Catherine Frazer was her mother. However, Anne Jane’s mother could have been around 77 years old at that time (if she was even alive then). It does seem from the record above that that Catherine was a widow. Another guess would be that Catherine and Anne the witness would have been daughters of Richard:

For some reason, animosity between mother and daughter seem more likely to me than between Aunt and niece. Perhaps someone else will come up with a different possible scenario.

Who Was James Hartley of Oldbrook?

My third great-grandfather was James Frazer of Derrycashel, so this entry interested me:

Acconrding to this research from the mid 20th century,  Oldbrook is another name for Shanvoley (or Shanwilly).

This list has Oldbrook in County Leitrim. However, other references to Leitrim should be County Roscommon. I believe Oldbrook should be in Roscommon here also. Oldbrook or Shanvoley was not from from Derrycashel.

I notice that I have a document of transcriptions – I believe from a fellow Frazer researcher:

James Frazer Complainant April 19, 1867: Defendant [Thaddy Devauny of Fermoyle] allowed his three cows to trespass on the Complainant’s lands at Fermoyle on 14 April 1867. “To pay 1/6 costs to Court”

James Frazer of Derrycashel in 1867 owned one black sheep dog and one black and white sheep dog and paid the due fees for its license.

James Frazer of Oldbrook in the Parish of Kilbryan shopkeeper Complainant June 1868: Civil Bill: An action for the sum of 3..0 for that the defendant [Patrick Rorke from Cornacwita in the Parish of Boyle] is indebted to the said plaintiff in the said sum for shop goods sold and delivered in the year 1867. “decreed payment and 2/6 costs”

James Frazer of Ballymote labourer Complainant; Defendant Mark Connelly 27 July 1871; for following Complainant  into Catherine Dockry’s house and assaulting him there on 17 July 1871 at Ballymote. “No A”.  Same complaint against Margaret Connelly of Barrymote married woman; Mary Morrison of Barrymote married woman. The same day Mary Frazer of Ballymote [widow]; Defendant: Mark Connelly for assaulting Complainant and making use of scandalous and abusive language towards her at Ballymote on 17 July 1871.  “No Ap”.  Same day James Frazer of Ballymote Defendant – assault of Complainant [Mary Morrison] on 17 July 1871.  “No Ap”

James Frazer of Ballymote letter carrier Complainant 22 June 1876; the Defendant John Cawley assaulted and violently threatened the Complainant and challenging him to fight on the night on 15th inst at Ballymote.  “No appearance.”

James Frazer of Ballymote Defendant: Defendant did unlawfully and violently assault the Complainant [his wife Marion Margaret Frazer] at Ballymote, Sligo on 3rd July 1888.  Knocked her down abused and blackened and injured her and did so abuse and beat.  Kick, knock down and injure and did endeavour to take her life within the last two months several times.  Complainant claims protection. “No app”

James Frazer of Derrycashel owned a black & white sheep dog March 1875 and paid the required fee.

In March 1878 he had a black spaniel.

James Frazer Complainant: the defendant [Thomas Coyer] on 22 June 1878 at Athlone Roscommon did leave his horse and cart on the public street without anyone in charge of the same. ‘Fine 5/- costs 1/-“

James Frazer Complainant 14th June 1875; that the defendant [Michael Higgins of Kilmactranny] did refuse to pay the sum of 17/-  for a pig sold and delivered purchased on 3rd January 1875 at the Boyle fair the property of the Complainant. “No appearance”.

Here is Shanvoley. It is to the SE of Derrycashel:

Archibald of Shanwilly (aka Shanvoley) had a son named James Parker but he moved to Australia before this time:

Here is another case from 1875 involving James Frazer of Oldbrook:

When I Google Oldbrook, Roscommon, I see this MyHeritage record:

This George Robert Frazer was said to have a father named William James Frazer from Oldbrook. Was this William James the shopkeeper?

Here is another possibility from the tree of fellow Frazer researcher Joanna:

If this is the right James Frazer, he would have been a shopkeeper at age 21 in 1868. This must be the same family in Edgbaston, Warwickshire in 1811:

John W and Margaret would have been the children of Archibald Frazer. Archibald was the son of Alexander and the Mary Frazer of the above Census (though Alexander had died before this Census). Archibald Frazer is the one who lived in Shanvoley or Oldbrook and moved to Drumatybonniff Farm in the Parish of Tumna, County Roscommon (see below).

While I’m At Old Brook

Here is an early case:

This is no doubt, the same Alexander:

My guess is that this person was renting property from Alexander and deserted his wife. That meant that she had to end up in the work house. Of course, Alexander would have lost the rent of his property by this man deserting his wife. These were very difficult times.

Apparently, there was a different James Hartley from Ballymote:

I hope he was not related as he was a wife beater. His wife had the same name as my grandmother’s maiden name, though my grandmother was born in the US in 1894.

Other Mentions of James Frazer, My Third Great-grandfather

There are two other mentions of James Frazer in Derrycashel. He was supposed to license his sheepdog, but he didn’t until he was caught. This suggests that James was raising sheep. My relative in Ireland said that the Frazers butchered some of their sheep to help feed the neighbors during the potato famine. This also suggests that he didn’t like to pay to license his dogs.

My guess is that James also raised Pigs as there was mention of him selling a pig to Michael Higgins of Kilmactranny at the Boyle Fair and not receiving payment.

When I put these together in a spreadsheet and sort by date, I get this short Frazer history over a period of 59 years:

These people were almost certainly all related and assuredly knew about these events as they also lived in fairly close proximity to each other.

John Frazer of Dereenargan

Here is a John Frazer from Derreenargan in 1890. I have written about a different John Frazer from Derreenargan here. The John Frazer I wrote about was living in Lockport, New York in 1870 and had a son, John Jr., who was born in New York

Here is Derreenargan in the heart of Frazer country, County Roscommon:

Here is the charge:

Here is the Complainant:

Based on other information these two were assaulting each other.

Is this the family in 1901?

The transcriber got the name as Frozier.

However this appears to be a different Derreenargan:

This John was born about 1856 in County Roscommon. I see that Frazer research MFA has a John born at Kilmactranny to Edward and Mary:

This was at Kilmactranny which is technically in Sligo. However, one may have lived in Roscommon and gotten baptized in Kilmactranny. Also, there was an Edward who was the son of John (circumstantial evidence).

Here is another John from nearby Shanvoley, but I don’t have any more information on him:

Edward Wynn Frazer

As I recall, there were two Edward Wynn Frazers. This always confuses me. This one lived in Derreenargan in 1862:

Notice this Edward from Derreenargan of Klbryan. The John above appears to be from Derreenargan of Ballyformoyle. Edward had a case against Michael Partlane for failure to pay rent:

I believe that Partlane was another name for McPartland. I have written quite a few blogs on this family. Who knew that Derreenargan was such a popular place in the day?

This is the Edward Wynn I have:

Here is the other Edward Wynn Frazer:

According to the Frazer tree of my researcher friend Joanna, this Edward Wynn’s daughter Kate Peyton Frazer was born in Derreenagan. That means that this court case would be for the Edward Wynn born in 1838 and he would have been about 24 years old at the time of this court case. The Edward Wynn pictured above is the second great grandfather of fellow Frazer researcher Kathy who lives in Massachusetts.

Here is a simplified tree of the Frazers based on YNDNA testing:

This tree goes back to about 1690. Edward Wynn Frazer from the photo is the brother of Thomas Henry Frazer on the right branch. James Frazer with the unlicensed dogs was born about 1804 and is on the left branch.

More on Edward Wynn Frazer

Here Patrick Gallagher claimed that Edward Wynn assaulted him:

This would have been about a month before his daughter Katherine Peyton Frazer was born. Here is some more background:

I appears that the Gallaghers were damaging and breaking Edward’s door with stones.

Edward Wynn brought Widow Jane Doyle to Court:

This is one tough dude. “Your chickens step on my property and we’re going to court.” I’m not sure how much damage chickens could do to “fattening grass”. Here is another complaint from Edward against Widow Doyle – apparently a neighbor:

In 1861, Edward Wynn was looking for rent from Bartley McKeon of Aughnasurn:

Here a shopkeeper is looking for money owed him from Edward Wynn:

Perhaps Edward couldn’t pay because people owed him money.

Edward M Frazer Aughnasurn

This Edward M Frazer was from Aughnasurn and was a Gentleman. He owed Jones Cuttle some money. This Edward appears not to be the same as Edward Wynn as he is not from Derreenargan.

Edward Frazer of Annagh died 8 March 1863, so that rules him out. This is leaving me stumped, unless this is the same as Edward Wynn Frazer. However, the Gentleman part and living in Aughnasurn seem to distinguish this person from Edward Wynn Frazer.

Archibald Frazer of Drumatybonniff Farm in 1876

There are a lot of Archibald Frazers, so perhaps this record will help sort things out.

However, finding these locations could be difficult. If John and Edward were under 14 years of age, that means that they would have been born 1862 or later. Here is one possibility by name but not by place:

More on Archibald Frazer

Here we see that this Archibald was from Tumna Parish. Here is a more standardized spelling:

From here, I can find them in the 1901 Census:

Archibald was born about 1840. He lived at the same place in 1866:

Thomas Malone who lived in the same Townland as Archibald was not doing his contracted work:

More problems in 1870 from Patrick Doran:

Edward Little was also listed as a compainant. I think that this is a hint that Archibald of Shanvoley was the same as this Archibald. Of course Frances would be Frances Little and Edward Little a likely relative of Frances. I assume that Mary Doran listed as the Defendant below was Patrick Doran’s wife:

There was a lot of assaulting going on in County Roscommon 150 years ago. She was not happy with Archibald. Mary Doran, married woman, charged that she was assaulted by Archibald Frazer on the same day.

More Assaulting in 1879

Let’s check Archibald for bruises:

I believe Toomna would be the same as Tumna.

Here is Frances Little Frazer from Doug Vaugh’s Web page:

That means that between at least 1866 and 1901, this couple lived at Drimitybonniff (or some variation of spelling). Here is Tumna:

Here is Drumatybonniff:

Here is another mention of Archibald Frazer in Oldbrook in 1862:

Said Archiald of Aughrafinegan to Archibald of Oldbrook, “Just put it on my tab”.

Here is my spreadsheet sorted by date:

Alexander, who was Archibald’s father was 53 in 1859. He could have passed away early in the 1860’s. Archibald marries in 1861 and becomes a shopkeeper in Oldbrook. Around 1868, the Archibald Frazer family moves from Oldbrook to Drimatybonniff where Archibald apparently farms the land. He is there for at least 32 years as he is there with his wife in 1901.

Archibald Frazer Junior of Aughrafinegan

This junior Archibald owed Archibald of Oldbrook money. Here junior does not imply that he was the son of Archibald, but just a younger Archibald. As Archibald the shopkeeper was only 24, we are looking for a younger Archibald in Aughrafinegan. Here is a guess for Archibald Junior:

If my guess is right, then this Archibald would have to have been born after 1838 and would have had to have left Ireland after 1862.

Summary and Conclusions

It’s time to bring this Blog to a close as it is becoming unwieldy.

  • It is important in Court cases to properly identify people. As such, detail is given to where these people lived to distinguish them from other people with the same names. This can be helpful in sorting out who belonged to which family.
  • Many of these cases involved assaults. Money was in short supply and neighbors did not always get along well. Other cases involved owing money. My own ancestor James was guilty of not obtaining three dog licenses and went to court when someone didn’t pay him for his pig.
  • I probably learned the most about the Frazers of Shanvoley. Due to the number of Petty Session cases, it was possible to monitor what was going on in the lives of at least some of these families  for about four generations.
  • I found out a little more about Kathy’s ancestor Edward Wynn Frazer. I was able to sort him (I think) from the other Edward Wynn Frazer. He was the only one I looked at from the James Frazer Line. He was in Derreenargan. I also looked at others in Derreenargan.
  • I looked at a John Frazer from Derreenargan. But this Derreenargan appears to be in Ballyformoyle and different from the one in Kibryan Parish. However, bother are in County Roscommon.
  • I started a spreadsheet of some of these cases noting the people and where they lived.
  • Times were difficult in Ireland. Looking at these Frazer lives through the lens of the Petty Sessions helps to keep us from romanticizing these times and lives. It seemed there may be a correlation between the number of Court cases and the families that moved out of Ireland. For example, I didn’t see my second great-granfather George Frazer listed in any case (yet) and part of that family is still in the Ballindoon area of County Sligo today.
  • I will likely be writing more on the Petty Sessions.


New DNA Results for My Frazer Cousin Susan

I recently heard via the Frazer Facebook Page that my cousin Susan had her DNA tested at MyHeritage. That was good news for me as I am interested in DNA – how it shows where we are related and how we share parts of our common ancestors.

How Susan Fits In On the Frazer DNA Tree

I create trees of people who have had their DNA tested. Here is a partial Frazer Tree:

Earlier this year I wrote a Blog about Brenda.  She, like Susan and Paul, is my second cousin once removed. She tested at 23andMe. Brenda is also Paul’s first cousin. Susan descends from William Frazer and James Robert Frazer. That section of the Frazer DNA tree is spreading out:

This part of the Frazer tree is interesting to me because I have met many of these people. They would be most familiar with the farm where my great-grandfather James Archibald was raised.

Here is a photo of the family in front of the old family house in Ballindoon. MyHeritage has a new program that colorizes old photos. My great-grandfather James Archibald, Susan’s grandfather William and another brother Richard were in Massachusetts at the time this photo was taken. Brenda’s grandfather Hubert is probably the first one in the back row in the photo above. The girl on the right is Susan Frazer. I wonder if the Susan of this Blog was named after her?

Here are five Frazer Brothers in Boston, Massachusetts:

Susan’s grandfather William is sitting on the right next to my great-grandfather James Archibald Frazer. James was a year and a month older than William.

My DNA Match with Susan

Here is where I match Susan:

I should note that MyHeritage has some matches that are under 7 cM. The first match on Chromosome 1 and the match on Chromosome 5 are in this category. Matches under 7 cM can have a lower probability of being actual matches.

Painting Susan’s DNA

I use an online program called DNA Painter to map out my DNA matches when I can identify the common ancestors. DNA Painter has a default of 7 cM for what it paints, so these two segments would not be painted under normal circumstances. Here is the paternal side of my existing Chromosome 1:


The green part is already taken up by Hartley matches. That means that the small match that I have with Susan on Chromosome 1 cannot be real. The maroon section is a match I have with Kat, so that represents Frazer/McMaster.

Here is my existing mapped Chromosome 5:

Again, my Chromosome map didn’t leave much room for Frazer matching. My siblings have different configurations, so they probably have better matches on Chromosomes 1 and 5. The small maroon match I have at the end of Chromosome 5 is with Brenda from position 173 M to 175 M. My match with Susan above is between 175 M and 177 M. I take that to mean that the match I have with Susan is real, but the reason that it is small is that it is clipped off on the end of the Chromosome. That means that I will want to add this match in.

In order to paint Susan’s results onto my tree, I first download the matches. They look like this:

The Location numbers are important. This shows what I was calling the position numbers above. So rounding off, Chromosome 5 starts off at 175 million and ends at 178 million.

At DNA Painter, I choose paint a new match. Then I am changing the default from 7 to 6 cM:

I copy the results into the blank space and save the information. I choose Frazer/McMaster for the common ancestors.

Next I have to delete the Chromosome 1 match as that doesn’t fit.


Percent Painted

One thing I like to look at is my percent painted. This is overall:

This is just my paternal side:

My numbers are creeping up. In my Blog about Brenda, my overall percent painted went up from 41% to 42%. Now I am at 43%. When I was mapping Kat, she brought be up from 50% paternally mapped to 51%. Now I am at 52%.

More About Susan’s DNA

There are a lot of different directions I could go from her. I could look at my siblings’ DNA matches to Susan. Or I could look at my cousin Paul’s matches to Susan. Or I could look at shared matches to Susan.

My Siblings and Susan

Here is how I matched Susan at MyHeritage:

This is a pretty good match for a second cousin once removed. Actually, there is a new report out:

122 cM is typical for a second cousin once removed. In my previous Blog, I mentioned my Frazer third cousin Karen. I didn’t match her at all which is within the possibilities but below the average of 73 cM.

Here are how my other siblings match Susan:

  • Heidi – 202 cM
  • Sharon – 143.5 cM
  • Jon – 113.0 cM
  • Lori – 154.0 cM
  • Jim – 139.7

These are all above average – except for Jon.

My Second Cousin Once Removed Paul

I manage my cousin Paul’s DNA also. He has a huge match with Susan:

This is about 200 cM above average. Susan is Paul’s top match at MyHeritage. As this is as good as it gets, let’s take a look:

All of Susan and Paul’s matches are between Chromosomes 1 and 15.

Painting Paul

Here is what I have for Paul so far:

I was only interested in Paul’s paternal side as that is where we match. Paul is about 12% painted on his paternal side. The key shows that George Frazer and Margaret McMaster DNA are in green. That is the DNA that Susan and Paul share.

After I paint Susan’s matches to Paul’s profile, this is what I get:

That is quite a jump.

Here is Paul’s new profile:

Some More DNA Detail

Susan and Paul have a huge match on Chromosome 7. Here is the detail:

There is another Susan who matches Paul there also, but a smaller match. Here is what happened:

Susan, Susan and Paul (sorry left out Paul in the diagram above), get their Chromosome 7 DNA from James and Violet Frazer. However, because Paul and the Susan of this Blog share overlapping Chromosome 7 DNA, that DNA must have come from George Frazer and not Margaret McMaster. The one catch is that the three must triangulate. That means that the Susan in the yellow box needs to match the Susan in the blue box. I assume that to be true, but because these two Susans tested at different companies, I don’t know for sure.

I’ll do that in DNA Painter:

A Complicated Chromosome 12 for Paul

On the left, Paul matches Emily and John. John has McMaster ancestry:

Paul and John from Australia show as 4th cousins.

MyHeritage shows that Paul, Emily and John triangulate:

The yellow match is between John and Paul. The red match is between Paul and Emily. The circle around the two indicates triangulation, so John must match Emily. That also means that the DNA match that Emily and Paul share must have come from the McMaster side:

Even more speificially, the DNA came from James McMaster as opposed to his wife Fanny McMaster.

Joanna, Susan and BV

Here is another case where it would be helpful if Susan was to upload her DNA results to Gedmatch:

I have written many Blogs about BV as the match is very interesting.

BV and Paul have the common ancestors of William McMaster and Margaret Frazer. This couple left Ireland for Canada with their children. Except for Fanny McMaster. She stayed back in Kilmactranny Parish, County Sligo and married James McMaster.

So where does Joanna fit in? It appears that she could triangulate with BV. Unfortunately, I don’t see BV at Gedmatch anymore, so she may not have re-signed when the ownership changed hands. My previous note says that Joanna does not triangulate with BV:

That would probably make sense as Joanna has no known McMaster ancestors.

John, Keith and Susan

Here is an even more confusing situation on Chromosome 12:

Susan overlaps with both John and Keith. John and Keith both have McMaster ancestry, but from different lines. The other problem is that I have never figured out how the two McMaster Lines fit together. I did make a guess here:

Probably the confusion is on the McMaster side. The matches John and Keith above are both McMaster matches.

Summary and Conclusion

  • I have been hoping for quite a while that one of my Irish Frazer relatives would have their tested. Susan did this and I am glad to see the results.
  • Susan matches most of my family above average as well as my cousin Paul. This may partly be due to the extra McMaster connections
  • I was able to narrow down from which of our ancestors our DNA matches come from based on matches with other Frazer or McMaster relatives.
  • Some aspects of the DNA matching was confusing. This is probably due to the fact that we don’t know who all our ancestors were and the ones that we do know tended to marry relatives in several cases.
  • If Susan uploads her DNA to Gedmatch, it would be possible to compare her matches with other Frazer relatives who tested at different companies.
  • I like seeing how the old Frazer photos look with added color.

Looking for Frazer DNA Matches: Karen

Recently I was looking at some of my Shared Clusters on Tier 1 of Gedmatch. These Shared Clusters show groups of your DNA match that match each other. That means that this would show my Frazer relatives who match me by DNA and who match each other.

Here is a Shared Cluster that I ran on myself. I had the upper limit set at 27 cM and the lower limit set at 250 cM:

The orange cluster is my mother’s father’s side. The green cluster is my mother’s mother’s side. The red cluster is my Father’s mother’s side (Frazer).  The rest may be my father’s father’s side, going back to Colonial Massachusetts.

The Red Frazer Cluster

The first two in Cluster 3 are Emily and her daughter Mel:

Emily is my second cousin once removed and Melanie is my third cousin. Also Paul is the fifth person in Cluster 3. I didn’t circle him above. Emily and Mel tested at MyHeritage and Paul tested at FTDNA. Having them at Gedmatch gives some common ground for comparisons. Others in the Cluster go back another generation:

There is another Gladys on the list that goes back a further generation.

Finding More Frazers By DNA

I found a Frazer last night at AncestryDNA using these Shared Clusters and then using Shared Matches at AncestryDNA. I can shortcut that by looking for Shared Matches with Rebecca from my first Frazer DNA match tree above. She tested at AncestryDNA. I wrote a Blog about Rebecca here. Rebecca is my third cousin. When I check the shared matches I have with Rebecca, I don’t see any obvious Frazer relatives. However, I have 4 more siblings who have tested at AncestryDNA I can check on.

The easy way to do this is to go to Rebecca’s Account Profile at Ancestry. This shows her match with me. But there is also a down arrow where I can choose other DNA kits that I manage:

When I scroll down I see my four siblings and my son JJ. I’ll start with Heidi at the top and look at the shared DNA matches she has with Rebecca. This list will be different than mine due to the way we inherited our DNA differently from our parents.

In Heidi’s list of matches with Rebecca, I find Karen. She is the one I was looking for:

Karen shows as a potential 4th to 6th cousin. However, anything over 20 cM could be a 4th cousin according to AncestryDNA. The blue dot means that I have not found Karen yet. This is not totally true. I found her last night, but it must have been under a different sibling match.

Here is the paternal side of Karen’s family tree:

I recognize Karen’s great-grandfather William Frazer as the brother of my great-grandfather James Archibald Frazer. James was born 1867. That makes Karen my 3rd cousin along with Rebecca.

MyHeritage has a new photo coloring software, so I’ll try that out on William and his four brothers:

My great-grandfather is sitting down on the left next to William who is sitting down on the right.

Karen and Susan

Here I have added Karen and Susan to the James Robert Frazer DNA Tree:

One interesting thing about Karen is that she matches my three sisters at Ancestry, but not me and my brother. It may be that if Karen uploaded her AncestryDNA results to Gedmatch, that we would show a match.

I’ve been in touch with Susan on the Frazer Facebook page and have met her in Ballindoon in the past. Susan has tested her DNA at MyHeritage and is waiting for her results. I will certainly have a Blog for those results as Susan is my second cousin once removed. Also of interest is that James Robert Frazer married a McMaster. My second great-grandfather also married a McMaster. That means that I am related to Karen, Kat, Rebecca and Susan on two different McMaster lines.

Shared DNA Between Heidi and Karen at AncestryDNA

The next step is to look at the shared matches between Heidi and Karen and see if anything jumps out at me. I already did this last night and came up with Sid. Sid has a tree showing her two parents. Of the two, the mother’s last name of Craig sounds familiar. I’ll look into that side of Sid’s family.

However, as I look into the Craig name, I see that it is a collateral family. That means that the Craig family married into the Frazer family. That means that the Craig I am thinking of would not be closely related by DNA. In fact, when I look at shared matches between Sid and Heidi, I see Keith who is related on the McMaster side:

The shared match is Keith. The common ancestor is James McMaster who married Fanny McMaster. It gets confusing. I’ll try to build out Sid’s tree. This looks like Sid’s mom Elizabeth Jane in 1911 when she was 5 years old:

I may come back to Sid later as it seems that there may be a distant McMaster or Frazer connection.

Summary and Conclusions

  • Based on my own DNA matches, I would have missed my Frazer third cousin Karen.
  • I found Karen as a result of DNA matches with my sisters.
  • Karen helps fill out the DNA profile of James Robert Frazer, the son of William Frazer. This family is also interesting as James married a McMaster. That gives me at least a double connection with McMaster between myself and Karen.
  • I started to look into a shared match Sid and her ancestry, but I decided to save that exercise until a later time.
  • Next I want to look into my DNA match with Susan at MyHeritage. Her results just came in.


Karen must have been a new match because now I see that she does match me:


A 23andMe DNA Match with Frazer Relative: Kat

It took me a while to figure who Katherine was at 23andMe. Here is how Katherine and I match by DNA at 23andMe:

Here is what 23andMe says:

Katherine and I should be in the range of third cousins. Fortunately, Katherine posted a photo at 23andMe. After looking at Facebook photos, I found some that were the same as Katherine’s photos at a Frazer Family Facebook page we are both on. The mystery is solved.

Here is how I show Kat on our Frazer tree:

I recently wrote a Blog on Rebecca and our match at AncestryDNA. So it has been good to find these Frazer DNA matches. My blog on Rebecca showed that I matched her more on the McMaster side than the Frazer side. This was not surprising as our common ancestor Margaret McMaster had two McMaster parents. Also Kat’s grandfather James Robert Frazer born 1927 married a McMaster. The advantage of Kat’s test compared to Rebecca’s DNA test is that I will be able to see how Kat and I match on specific chromosomes.

Painting Kat’s DNA Match

There is a web tool called DNA Painter that I use to show where my DNA matches are. Here is my current DNA Map:

This shows my paternal and maternal sides. My Frazer matches are on my paternal side. This shows I am 41% painted overall. I circled some of the areas that Kat could match me.

Here is just my paternal side where I am mapped at 50%:

I have a lot of green as I have a lot of Hartley 2nd cousins.

Adding Kat to the Mix

Kat got my DNA mapping up a percent from 50% to 51% on my paternal side. I mapped our DNA matches to “Frazer McMaster 1838” because that is where our shared DNA comes from.

Next, I’ll expand Chromosome 19 as that is where our largest match is:

Kat’s match with me in maroon overlaps with Keith’s match with me in blue. Keith has McMaster ancestry. That means that my match with Kat on Chromosome 19 is from the McMaster side. But which McMaster? For that we have to look at Keith’s genealogy.

Keith descends from Fanny and James McMaster. That means that the DNA that Kat and I share on Chromosome 19 must be from Margaret McMaster. For simplicity, I didn’t make a new box for Kat as Kat and Rebecca both have similar genealogy. Here is Margaret McMaster on the left who married George Frazer :


Because I know something more specific about this DNA, I’ll make a new category for Margaret McMaster’s DNA.

I added a dark green for Margaret McMaster’s DNA.

Emily’s McMaster DNA

The reasoning is the same for Emily who matches me on Chromosome 19, but the common ancestor goes back another generation:

This match with BV seems to indicate that the DNA is coming down from the McMaster side. BV also has Frazer ancestry, but that Frazer connection is too far back in time to consider.

My Chromosome 1 Match with Kat

Most of my paternal Chromosome 1 matches are on my Hartley side:

That explains why I don’t have room for a larger match with Kat. I can’t tell if my match with Kat is Frazer or McMaster, so I’ll leave it maroon which means it could be either.

Chromosome 7

Here I have a pink arrow pointing to my match with Kat. Right below Kat is a match with my cousin Paul and I have that as a George Frazer DNA segment in yellow. If I did that right, then my match with Kat also came from George Frazer. My reasoning is based on the two blue matches. They are from Susan and Ken:

Susan and Ken are related on the Frazer side. That means our overlapping segments came from the Frazer and not the McMaster side.

Here I have turned the match that I have with Kat from maroon to gold to indicate that it is a Frazer match. Right after that I have two blue matches. That represents a crossover that my father had from his mother. My dad’s mother had a Frazer father and a Clarke mother. Where I have the arrow pointing represents the change from Frazer to Clarke in the DNA that my father got from his mother and passed down to me.

Chromosome 10 – More Frazer DNA

I have a small match with Kat on Chromosome 10 that is right below a match I have with Michael in red:

Here is Michael:

This DNA comes down from Richard Frazer to his daughter Violet Frazer. I don’t want a new entry for Violet, so I’ll say that this DNA is from George Frazer. However, the DNA Kat and I share is actually from George’s mother Violet Frazer.

Chromosome 12

Chromosome 12 gets a little tricky, but it looks to be McMaster DNA for sure:

The first maroon match is with my cousin Paul. The second maroon match is my match with Kat. The purple match is with BV. BV had that small match with Emily on Chromosome 19 above. I have the other two pink matches going back to Abraham McMaster born in 1764. There is a lot of confusion about McMaster genealogy and how all lthe McMasters fit together. This cluster of matches may be a hint to unravel that confusion.

For right now, I’ll sign over to the two maroon segments to Margaret McMaster DNA (green segments):

I also showed some of the detail of my match with Warwick and our common ancestor of Abraham McMaster.

Here is Kat’s summary from DNA Painter:

  • The maroon is George Frazer or Margaret McMaster DNA
  • The yellow is George Frazer DNA
  • The green is Margaret McMaster DNA

Kat and I have a lot more McMaster and Frazer DNA, but this is just where our DNA intersects or matches.

Summary and Conclusions

  • The fact that Kat tested at 23andMe made it easy for me to see where we matched, and by how much on each chromosome
  • Once I added Kat’s matches to my other matches using DNA Painter, I could see whether our match was on the Frazer side or McMaster side for each segment where we matched.
  • One match that I had with Kat and descendants of Abraham McMaster may be a clue as to how Abraham McMaster fits in with the other McMaster genealogy.
  • If Kat uploads her DNA results to, she will be able to see how she matches other Frazer descendants by DNA.


An Update on Jean’s McMaster/Frazer DNA

Here is a short chronology of what has happened so far.

  1. Jean got in touch with me because she wanted to figure out the ancestry of her great-grandmother Effie McMaster who was born in Ontario in 1861. She found that she had a DNA match to Keith who recommended she get in touch with me. Keith like me and others descend from William McMaster and Margaret Frazer.
  2. I looked at Jean’s genealogy and found a connection to my ancestors William McMaster and Margaret Frazer. Effie lived with her Aunt Susan McMaster Beckett in 1871 and with an Isabel McMaster. In the 1861 Beckett household Isabel McMaster was already there as well as a George A. McMaster. George A. McMaster was the son of George McMaster and Jane McMaster. Jane McMaster was the daughter of William McMaster and Margaret Frazer. Jean’s tradition was that William McMaster and Margaret Frazer were the parents of Effie. However, given the time-frame, that would be physically impossible. I believe that William and Margaret McMaster were Effie’s grandparents. Isabel could have been Effie’s mother.
  3. I asked Jean if she would upload her DNA to Gedmatch for comparison. Based on comparisons with other descendants of William and Margaret McMaster, it seemed probable that William and Margaret McMaster were Effie’s grandparents. Jean also matched other people from a Frazer DNA project that I manage. I noted that Jean had an ancestry that could result in an X DNA match with other descendants of William McMaster and Margaret Frazer. However, Jean’s DNA upload to Gedmatch did not include her X Chromosome.

Jean’s Surprising Lack of X Chromosome Matches on the McMaster/Frazer Line

That brings us up to present. Jean did upload her X Chromosome results, but I could find no matches with known descendants from the McMaster/Frazer couple that we have been looking at. I can think of three possible reasons:

  1. The first would be that Jean does not descend from William McMaster and Margaret Frazer. However, all other evidence seems to lead to the conclusion that Jean does descend from that couple. There are other explanations.
  2. It could be that Effie’s parent was a male McMaster. However, that would only eliminate the William McMaster as a possible X Chromosome donor to his son. This possibility seems less likely.
  3. Isabel or a female McMaster is still the parent of Effie, but the X Chromosome representing William McMaster and Margaret Frazer were not passed down to Jean. This is the option that I am favoring.

How To Explain Jean’s Lack of X Chromosome Match

First of all, it is possible for relatives to match or not match on any Chromosome. For example, here is Jean’s match with Keith. Jean and Keith match each other on two of their 23 Chromosomes: 

Here is how Jean inherited her two X Chromosomes. She got one from her dad which is the same as the X Chromosome he got from his mom. However, we are not interested in that line in this Blog.

It is Jean’s mother who descends from Effie. Etta gave Jean her X Chromosome which was some combination of the DNA from Paul Swayze and his Adams wife. However, we don’t know what that combination was. It could have been half Swayze and half Adams or all one or the other. I have mapped out my three sisters’ X Chromosomes and it looks like this:

My three sisters are Sharon, Heidi and Lori. They all got the same DNA from their dad. That was the Frazer DNA that he got from his mom. The mother’s side is what we are looking at. Sharon got about 1/3 of her mother’s father’s purple DNA followed by about a third of her mother’s mother’s DNA, then back to her mother’s father’s DNA. On the bottom row, Lori, got a variation of that theme but in reverse order and in different amounts. Heidi got a tiny bit of her mom’s mother’s DNA followed by the rest being all her maternal grandfather’s DNA. My guess is that Jean’s X Chromosome could be all of her paternal grandmother Adams DNA and little or no Swayze DNA. That would explain why she wouldn’t match other McMaster/Frazer descendants on the X Chromosome as her McMaster and Frazer X Chromosome DNA would come i on the Swayze side.

It is possible that if Jean has siblings that had their DNA tested, they would likely have a different combination of X DNA that may show the descent from McMaster and Frazer. The reason I say this is that when Paul Swayze passed down his X DNA to his daughter Etta, it was the same X Chromosome that he got from his mother Effie. Effie had two X Chromosomes that she got from what we are saying was her McMaster mother. Her McMaster mother who we are initially guessing was Isabell passed down some combination of X DNA from William McMaster and Margaret Frazer. That is why, if our genealogy is right, the main reason that Jean doesn’t match other McMaster/Frazer descendants on the X Chromosome is the reason I explained above. Actually, there is another possinbility. That is that the inherited X McMaster/Frazer Chromosome that Jean inherited isn’t lining up with the X McMaster/Frazer DNA that the other McMaster/Frazer descendants inherited.

Summary and Conclusions:

  • Some previous large X DNA matches lead me to suppose that I was matching some people on my McMaster/Frazer Line. This came to be true as I was able to line up genealogy and DNA matches. As it turns out, I am still finding descendants of William McMaster and Margaret Frazer.
  • Jean found me and I was able to connect her genealogy with my McMaster/Frazer ancestry.
  • As a result, I thought that the reverse would be true, that she would match certain McMaster/Frazer descendants on the X Chromosome.
  • I was reminded that just because there can be a match doesn’t mean that there has to be a DNA X Chromosome match.
  • I discussed some ways in which Jean would not match other McMaster/Frazer descendants on the X Chromosome.


The DNA of Effie Jean (Jane) McMaster Born Ontario 1861

In my previous Blog on Effie, I looked at some possible parentage. In this Blog, I’ll get into some genetic genealogy, looking at the DNA of Effie’s great-granddaughter, Jean. Jean recently uploaded her Ancestry results to Gedmatch for comparison.

Effie’s Possible Ancestry

Based on reasons I presented in my previous Blog, it seems like Effie’s grandparents should be William McMaster and Margaret Frazer. Here is a pre-Effie tree that combines DNA-tested descendants of William and Margaret McMaster with an ancestry chart:

I had guessed that Effie was the daughter of Isabel McMaster who should fit in on the second row above. I note that Jean told me that she matches Keith by DNA. So that is further evidence that Jean and Effie may belong on this chart.

Here I entered Jean’s line in a different color as we are still figuring this out.

Jean and Keith

It turns out that Jean is Keith’s fourth highest DNA match and my brother Jim is Keith’s fifth highest DNA match at Gedmatch. Here is how Jean and Keith match:

The DNA doesn’t tell who the common ancestor is, but suggests that Jean and Keith have a common ancestor. On the chart above, Keith and Jean’s common ancestors are 5 generations away. Gedmatch is guessing that the common ancestor could be as close as 4 generations away. By the chart above, if I am right, Keith and Jean would be 4th cousins.

By comparison, here is where Keith and my brother Jim match:

If Jim, Keith and Jean all matched on overlapping areas, then we could say that the three triangulate and share the same common ancestors. However, the fact that they don’t all match on the same segments doesn’t mean that they don’t share common ancestors. Sounds confusing, I know.

Jean and Emily

The next person I recognize on Jean’s DNA match list is Emily. Here is how they match:

Jean and Paul

Jean has a smaller match with my cousin Paul:


None of my family has DNA matches with Jean but that is not unusual for a 4th cousin once removed. However, one could say that we are related in the sense that Paul and Emily are related to Jean as my siblings and I are 2nd cousins once removed to Paul and Emily.

BV – Descendant of Mary Ann McMaster

BV had uploaded her results to Gedmatch, but now I don’t see them. It could be that there was a problem with the results or a private button was turned on. I wrote a Blog about BV’s DNA here. It’s too bad that those are missing as I would have liked to have seen how Jean matched BV. Right now the only DNA uploaded to Gedmatch is from Jean and descendants of Fanny McMaster. [However, see below in the Blog.]

Jean and the X Chromosome

Jean probably would be a good X Chromosome match with others, but her X Chromosome DNA did not get uploaded to Gedmatch. The reason that she would be a good match is that the X Chromosome is never inherited by a son from the father. So for example,

The places that I have red boxes, show where there cannot be an X Chromosome passed down. This means that BV can match Jean, my sisters,  or Emily by the X Chromosome. In order to show this, we would need to get BV’s DNA back up on Gedmatch and get Jean’s X Chromosome results to Gedmatch.

Jean’s Matches with Frazers

I have a Frazer DNA project, so I’ll check some of these people to see if Jean mathes any of them. Here Jean matches Cathy:

Here is Cathy’s tree as it relates to the Frazer family:

Jean and Cathy’s common ancestors could be Frazer, Stinson, Parker, Moore, or someone not even on this chart. Cathy is on the Archibald Line of the Frazer family. The best guess for Jean’s ancestor Margaret Frazer is that Margaret is on the James Line of the Frazer family.

Jean and Jamie

I found a small match here:

Jean and the James Line of the Frazers

Here Jean matches Toni:

Here is where Toni is on the DNA/genealogy chart for the James Frazer Line:

This means that if I Margaret Frazer placed right and Toni placed right, they would be on opposite sides of the James Line Chart. That means that Toni and Jean would be about 6th cousins, or something may be wrong in the chart. The other possibility is that they match on a  different line.

Rodney and Jean’s DNA Match

Here is Rodney on the Chart:

All the same caveats are in effect for this match that were in effect for Jean’s match with Toni above.

Frank and Jean

I’m looking for trends here. So far the trend is that Jean is matching more Frazers on the James Line side as compared to the Archibald LIne.

Here Frank shows as a closer relative to descendants of Margaret Frazer based on where I have her placed in the tree.

Keith and Jean

I already mentioned Keith above.

However, above, I was thinking about the McMaster side. The assumption is that Keith and Jean match on the McMaster and Frazer sides, so we wouldn’t know which side the matches above are on.

Barbara and Jean

It’s a good thing that I went through my list twice, as I missed Barbara the first time:

Finding BV

It turns out that the Barbara above is actually the BV I was looking for. If I search for BV at Gedmatch by her kit#, Gedmatch tells me that there is no such kit. But if I put in her kit number into Gedmatch for comparison, I can find matches. This is the missing information that I was looking for.

Based on the proposed tree, BV and Jean are third cousins, once removed.  Based on Gedmatch’s best guess, BV and Jean have a common ancestor 4.4 generations away. William McMaster and Margaret McMaster are 4 generations from BV and 5 generations from Jean. That averages out to 4.5 generations. Seeing as a common ancestor would never be 4.4 generations away, that is pretty close.

Triangulation, Crossovers and Chromosome 8

If BV, Jean and Emily each matched each other on Chromosome 8, that would be a strong indication that they each received that DNA from the same ancestor. However, look at what happened. BV and Jean match each other on Chromosome 8 between positions 57M and 71.  Emily and Jean match each other between positions 71 and 104M:

This could indicate a crossover. A crossover is where the DNA we inherited from one ancestor cross over to the DNA we inherited from the spouse of that ancestor. In this case, the crossover could be between William McMaster and Margaret Frazer. Our crossovers are inherited from our grandparents. So, if this is a crossover between William McMaster and Margaret Frazer it would be a crossover that came down to BV or Jean either through Elizabeth Shannon or Effie McMaster.

Here is Elizabeth:

Here is Effie:

Summary and Conclusions

  • Jean uploaded her DNA to Gedmatch for comparison. That comparison shows that she matches BV, Emily and Paul. These four descend from William McMaster and Margaret Frazer.
  • By a proposed chart, Jean would be third cousin once removed to BV. She would be fourth cousin to Keith, Emily and Paul. She would be 4th cousin once removed to me and my five siblings. Jean and my direct family do not show shared DNA, but that is not uncommon for that level of relationship. However, our family has matches to BV, Keith, Emily and Paul and the genealogical connection is more secure.
  • Jean’s X Chromosome results did not get uploaded to Gedmatch. A comparison of those results should give further evidence that Jean shares the common ancestors of William McMaster and Margaret Frazer with BV, Keith, Emily, and my direct family.
  • I was not able to triangulate Jean’s DNA matches. Triangulation would indicate a specific common ancestor. However, the fact that Jean’s matches didn’t triangulate does not mean that the proposed genealogy is wrong. I also looked at a possible crossover between DNA inherited from William McMaster and DNA inherited from Margaret Frazer.
  • In general, the DNA results support the assumption that Jean descends from William McMaster and Margaret Frazer. In order for that to be the case, Effie McMaster would have to have been the child of one of William and Margaret’s children. I had proposed Isabel as that child. However, I have no direct proof that Isabel is the child of William and Margaret and no proof that Effie is the daughter of Isabel. Having said that, there is a likelihood that Isabel could be the daughter of William and Margaret and that Effie could be Isabel’s daughter.
  • So what I am saying is that the DNA gives more evidence that William and Margaret are the grandparents of Effie, but do not supply additional evidence that Isabel is the mother of Effie. The evidence that Isabel may be the mother of Effie has to do with the fact that Isabel was in the right place at the right time and had the last name of McMaster.


The Mystery of Effie Jean (Jane) McMaster Born 1861 Ontario

I recently had an email from the great-granddaughter of Effie Jean McMaster whose name was also Jean. She has been trying to find out more about her mother’s favorite grandmother. Here if Effie’s photo at age 18:

The Mystery of Effie McMaster

Effie’s great-granddaughter states:

Family oral history and limited documentation indicate that the McMaster’s immigrated to Toronto, Canada in 1845 from Sligo. My great-grandmother, Effie Jean (Jane) McMaster, b. 1861, Effingham, Ontario, Canada was born to William McMaster and Margaret Frazer. He is said to have died before she was born and that her mother, Margaret, was unable to care for her and she was “adopted” by a Susan McMaster, b. 1834, Sligo, Ireland, and her husband, John Beckett, b. 1806, Ontario, Canada. In family oral and written history, Susan and Margaret were ‘sisters’ but both belonged to the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) who referred to each other as ‘sisters’ by religious tradition, casting doubt on any biological connection.  

Then in a follow-up email:

I started my genealogy journey because I wanted to find out more about the woman my mother adored, my great-grandmother Effie Jean (Jane) McMaster. Ironically, I’ve never been able to unlock the mystery of her parentage. I have been through the Canadian Census’s, the Quaker Meeting notes, read notes in autograph books and the back of pictures and queried family members when they were alive but still no answers. The family oral history says her father, William McMaster, died before she was born in 1961 and her mother, Margaret Frazer, died when she was 16, about 1877, indicating she probably knew her mother. Effie does show up in the 1871 Census as the ‘adopted’ daughter of Susan McMaster and John Beckett but I’ve been unable to find any death certificates, gravesites or mention in church records of William McMaster/Margaret Frazer. I’ve looked at Canadian immigration records and have found a Margaret McMaster traveling with a child but it is before my g-grandmother was born. Again, dates and ages do not match.

Effie in 1871

Here is Effie in 1871:

Effie shows as adopted at age 9, but either with a line through adopted (or underlined?). She goes by the name Effie J Beckett. Her father is a miller. Also living in the house is Alfred Beckett and his family:

The location of this Census is Pelham, Ontario:

The John Beckett Household

Isabel McMaster

I assume that John’s wife Susan was a McMaster. I assume that the 40 year old single “Esibel” is Susan’s sister. That would put her birth at about 1831 in Ireland. She is likely Isabel. Effie is said to be short for Euphemia.

Here is Isabel in 1861:

Now Isabel is 35 which means she was born about 1826. Now there is also a George A McMaster living in the house. Perhaps he is a younger brother to Susan and Isabel. George appears to have been born in Canada in about 1847. John and Susan are listed as Quakers. Isabel and George however are W M which I take to be Wesleyan Methodists.

The 1851 Census didn’t come out until 1852. There, we see Isabella living with Mary Ann McMaster Shannon in Vaughan, York County:

That puts Isabella born in 1827. A working theory is that Isabella is a daughter of William McMaster and Margaret Frazer.

A Clue With George McMaster?

A search for George brings up this birth in the Wesleyan Methodist Baptism Register:

This is where you need to read the fine print. The George A McMaster of the 1861 Census is very likely George Arthur McMaster, son of George and Jane McMaster from Vaughan, Ontario (where other McMaster relatives lived). This George fits in with the George from my Blog on the four McMaster sisters:

Jane McMaster was the daughter of William McMaster and Margaret Frazer. George was her youngest son with George McMaster. Susan McMaster, above was 28 in 1861, so that would mean she was born about 1833. In 1871, Susan listed her age as 36, making her a bit younger.  Now we have a few possibilities for Susan (McMaster) Beckett. Was she the daughter of Jane McMaster or Jane McMaster’s sister? Also how does Effie fit in? As George, born 1847, was the youngest son of George and Jane McMaster, he could not be the full brother of Effie who was born about 1861.

Part of the mystery of Effie is that there are lot of similarities between the family stories about her and my McMaster relatives. I mention those relatives in a Blog about four McMaster sisters and their brother. One of those sisters, Catherine McMaster lived in Burford, Ontario. Her husband, Henry Bennett was also a miller. Family lore has William McMaster and Margaret Frazer as Effie’s parents. My ancestors were also William McMaster and Margaret Frazer, though they were born much too early to be Effie’s parents. In 1852, Catherine Bennett, the miller’s wife was living with her mother Margaret Frazer McMaster who put her age at 63. That means that Margaret was probably born around 1789. The miller connection may be a coincidence, but I mention it in case it isn’t.

Summing Up the 1871 Census

We learned that Effie was living in a house where George A McMaster used to live. George was the son of George McMaster and Jane McMaster. Jane was the daughter of William McMaster and Margaret Frazer (my ancestors). Also sharing the Beckett house with Effie was Isabel McMaster. Isabel was single and in 1852 lived in the household of Mary Ann McMaster Shannon. Mary Ann, Jane and my sister Fannie McMaster were all sisters originally from Kilmactranny Parish in the Southern part of County Sligo. Sometime between 1852 and 1861 Isabel moved from the Shannon household to the Beckett household. We can deduce that Effie was not a full sibling of George Arthur McMaster as George was the last child of George and Jane McMaster.

Effie in Antioch, California

In 1880, the Census shows that the Beckett family had moved to California:

Here Effie is shown as a niece. That would normally mean the daughter of a brother or sister of the John or Susan. The birthplace of Effie’s parents is interesting:

This has Effie’s father born in Ontario and mother born in Ireland. That brings up the possibility that Effie’s mother may have been a McMaster. If that is the case, then her birth name may not have been McMaster. My reasoning goes like this: Jean has the McMaster family immigrating to Canada in 1845. My previous guess was 1844, so pretty close. Effie’s father could not be from the McMaster family that came to Canada in 1844 if he was born in Ontario 1841 or earlier. I’m guessing that if Effie was born in 1861, then her father should have been at least 20 in 1861. That means that if the 1880 California Census is correct, then Effie’s mother would more likely be a McMaster. A scenario would be that Effie’s mother is a McMaster born in Ireland. She comes to Canada and marries and has Effie. For some reason, possibly the death of both parents or the remarriage of one of the parents, she comes to live with the Beckett family.

Susan Beckett

One question is whether Susan Beckett is the same as Susan McMaster, daughter of George McMaster and Jane McMaster. If this were the case, that would mean that George Arthur McMaster would be Susan’s brother and it would make sense perhaps that he would live with her for a while.

I don’t have much information on Susan McMaster in my tree. I just have that she was born in Dromore, Sligo in 1841. I’m not sure where I got this information. It may actually not be right. Jean has that Susan Beckett was 19 in the 1851 Census:

The 1951 census wasn’t taken until 1852. So that would put this Susan Beckett’s birth at about 1833. This seems too early for her to be Susan McMaster, daughter of George and Jane McMaster. I have that George McMaster was born around 1820 and married Jane McMaster in 1839. Here is Jean’s photo of Susan McMaster Beckett:

Was Susan Beckett the Daughter of William McMaster and Margaret Frazer?

Margaret Frazer McMaster was born about 1789. That means that in 1834, she would have been 45. This is not an impossible age to have a baby. Here are the known children I have of Margaret Frazer McMaster:

Jean asked me if any of her photos looked like any of my photos. I don’t have a photo of Fanny, my ancestor. Here is Jane in the middle of the photo:

Susan McMaster Beckett (from Jean):

I’m not good at comparing photos.

Under this scenario, if Susan was the younger sister of Jane McMaster Thompson, then George Arthur McMaster would be her nephew. My working theory is that Isabel McMaster is one of Jane’s sisters. That would make her Susan’s sister also. That doesn’t directly help us figure out who Effie was but it helps define who she may have been related to.

More On Effie

Effie was born in 1861 according to Jean. That means that she could not have been the daughter of Margaret Frazer McMaster who was born about 1789. Margaret would have been alive at Effie’s birth but would have been about 72 years old. Let’s assume that Susan McMaster was the Aunt of Effie. That would mean that Effie would be the daughter of one of Susan’s siblings. I’ll go through those quickly:

  • Jane McMaster b. 1816 – She had two families. The first by George McMaster. When she married her second Thompson husband, the children of the first marriage were sent out to different families. It is unlikely that Effie was a Thompson as that family seemed to stay together.
  • Mary Ann McMaster b. 1820 – She married in 1849 and had two children around 1864. She was taking in other family earlier. I don’t see any reason why she would give her daughter to a sister.
  • James McMaster b. 1822 – James was living in Michigan in 1861. I don’t see any reason why he would give a daughter to a sister in Canada.
  • Catherine McMaster b. 1827 – She was living in Wisconsin in 1861. I don’t see any reason why she would give a daughter to a sister in Canada.
  • Fanny McMaster b. 1829 – She is my ancestor and stayed in County Sligo. The records of baptisms were fairly good at this time. If Effie was a daughter of Fanny, I would probably already know that.

Any other candidates for parents of Effie?

  •  Isabel McMaster b. about 1827 – She would have been about 35 when Effie was born. Isabel was single  in 1861. If Isabel was Effie’s mother, she was either a single mother or got married quickly and had a baby the same year. However, in the 1871 Census, Isabel is not listed as married or widowed.
  • John McMaster b. about 1841 – I mention John in my previous Blog. He was living in the household of Mary Ann McMaster Shannon in 1852 along with Isabel. I don’t know much about this John. If he was Effie’s father, he would have been about 20 at the time of her birth. Also if the 1880 Census is correct, Effie’s father was born in Ontario. According to the 1851 Census, this John was born in Ireland.
  • Other – There may have been other descendants of William McMaster and Margaret Frazer living in Ontario that I don’t know about.

Based on the above, it appears that Isabel would be the best known candidate to be Effie’s mother.  That choice is followed by ‘other’. In fact, take another look at the 1871 Census:

Effie is listed directly under “Esibel”. Sometimes in a Census, this could indicate that Effie may be the child of the person directly above. It would be interesting to find out what happened to Isabel McMaster whether or not she was Effie’s mother. I think that if Isabel was Effie’s mother, it would answer more questions than it would raise. For example, if Isabel was Effie’s mother, then it is improbably that would become the family story. There would be another more palatable story made up. In this case, it appears that the story of  Effie’s parentage was borrowed from her Aunt’s parentage.

Based on Ontario Quaker records provided by Jean, the following six Becketts left the area by January 1, 1879:

One interesting point in the above minutes is that there is no mention of Effie. Why would Alfred’s children be mention and there be no mention of Effie? In addition, Alfred has another daughter Ruth who isn’t mentioned in the minutes.

Here is Alfred’s family in 1880:

Alfred continued to live next to his brother John in California.

An obituary for Alfred indicates that he was married to Mercy Ward in 1857:

Jean’s DNA

Jean doesn’t match me or my four siblings who have tested at AncestryDNA. If she uploaded her DNA to Gedmatch, she may see more DNA connections with other McMaster/Frazer descendants who tested at different companies. Jean tells me she matches Keith by DNA. I match Keith also and wrote a Blog about that match here.

I show as a 3rd cousin, once removed to Keith. Our common ancestor is Fanny McMaster. Of course, this gets confusing as Fanny married a McMaster. Assuming that Isabel is the mother of Effie and that Isabel is the sister of Fanny and Susan, one may see how Jean would be a DNA match to Keith. However, that is a lot of assuming.


  • I first made a connection with George A McMaster who was living in the household of Susan Beckett in 1861. I further identified him as the son of George McMaster and Jane McMaster born in Vaughan, Ontario in 1847. Jane McMaster was the daughter of my ancestors William McMaster and Margaret Frazer born around 1789.
  • From there, I made an assumption that Susan Beckett was the sister of Jane McMaster. I note that Jane also had her daughter Anna living with Jane’s sister Catherine McMaster Bennett based on the 1860 Census. Apparently the children of Jane’s first marriage were not welcomed by her second husband, so they were sent out to Jane’s sisters.
  • I then looked at possible McMaster parents for Effie Jean Beckett. By the process of elimination and based on the 1871 Census, it seemed like Isabel McMaster could be a candidate to be Effie’s mother. Isabel was in the right place at the right age.
  • If Jean uploads her AncestryDNA results to Gedmatch, it would be possible to check other matches that would give more evidence to support or detract from the Isabel McMaster theory.


My Strange McMaster ThruLIne

I have a strange McMaster ThruLine. There is some confusion on McMaster genealogy and the Ancestry computers have tied in to that confusion. It seems as if they make a stab in the dark in some cases. Here is my McMaster ThruLine:

I shouldn’t complain, because I have a DNA match with Catherine and there may be some valid match to my McMaster ancestors of County Sligo. One problem with the tree above is that it is not likely that there were two brothers by the same name. The second problem is that the Abraham on the right was said to be born in 1805. This would be when Archibald was 75 if I have my birth for him right.

Catherine’s Computerized Ancestry

Here is the breakdown from Ancestry’s computers:

Catherine has her mother from her own tree. Then her maternal Meehan grandfather is from Fred’s tree. Michael Meehan is from Victoria, Austrailia. Next, Elizabeth McMaster was from my own tree. I have this on my McMaster web site:

Complete with typos. So things look OK there. I can fix Ancestry’s Frankenstein tree with my own combination DNA/genealogy tree:

I have that James and Archibald had another brother named Robert, but I left him out for clarity. That means I have Catherine more closely related to me than Ancestry does. I am a fourth cousin once removed to Catherine. This was a case where it was worthwhile to look at more distant relatives in ThruLines.

Catherine’s DNA

Next, I checked to see if I had any shared DNA matches with Catherine. These shared matches have 20 cM or more of DNA. As I match Catherine by 14 cM, my chances were low, but I found a mother and daughter pair that I am familiar with. They are BV and Cheryl. Here is BV’s tree starting with her mother’s mother’s mother Maryann:

The problem is that I have Maryann in this tree:

BV’s tree has Abraham as the father of William McMaster. I don’t think that BV’s Ancestry tree is right for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that these two famliies lived in different areas. As these McMasters were farmers with three generation leases, they were somewhat tied to the land. The second reason is that Fanny McMaster married James McMaster. If Fanny descends from Abraham, that would mean that she married her Uncle James McMaster as James was the son of Abraham McMaster. Here is my solution:


Based on land records there was a John McMaster who lived in the area where William lived. He could have been William’s father and Abraham’s son. Say he was born about 1760. He could have been the eldest son of Archibald. Traditionally men named the eldest son for their father. For me, this is the best way to explain the McMaster family based on the DNA and land records. Under the above scenario, Fanny married her first cousin once removed. It would not be unusual to marry your first cousin in those days. I think that it would have been unusual to marry your Uncle. The above scenario would put Catherine and BV at 5th cousins.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I appreciate Ancestry’s ThruLines. Even the ones that are not right can be good hints as they are based on DNA and some sort of computer based pasted genealogy.
  • I easily fit Catherine in to existing McMaster families.
  • BV is a shared match between me and Catherine.
  • This shared match brought up a connection between McMasters that I had previously proposed in a previous blog based on a descendant of Samuel McMaster born 1853.


A Tale of Four Irish McMaster Sisters (and More)

In my previous Blog I set out to try to show that Margaret Frazer, wife of William McMaster from County Sligo was the daughter of Michael Frazer. In the process, I came upon a lot of genealogy for the four daughters of William and Margaret. My idea was to put this information into a narrative to work out some of the bugs in my genealogical tree and in others’.

A Tale of Four McMaster Sisters

I have done some research and now have a better idea of what was going on with this family.

William McMaster probably from Kilmactranny Parish married Margaret Frazer probably from North County Roscommon in 1813. I have information on four of their daughters, though they may have had other children. Those daughters were Jane (born 1816), Mary Ann or Marrianne (born 1820), Catherine Frazer (born 1827) and my 3rd great-grandmother Fanny McMaster (born 1829). These four sisters were probably born in Kilmactranny Parish, County Sligo. The older three sisters traveled to Canada and beyond and the youngest stayed in Kilmactranny.

Jane McMaster (1816 – 1893)

Jane’s younger sister Catherine gave testimony concerning a pension for Jane based on the death of Jane’s son George in the US Civil War:

That claimant and deponent are sisters and lived in County of Sligo, Ireland under the same roof, until the claimant above named was married. Deponent says though she was not present at claimants marriage with GEORGE MCMASTERS , yet they came back to my father’s house a day or two after as man and wife and that they lived in the neighborhood as man and wife until he died. That they were married by a minister named Scott. That the date of claimant’s marriage was August 25th, 1839. That deponent was present when George McMaster late of Co. B, 8th NY Heavy Artillery was born on the 22 day of May 1847 in York County, Province of Canada and parents were then both living and living together. The name of his mother was Jane McMaster and his father’s name George McMaster.

My records show that Jane had the following three first children in County Sligo:

They were said to be born in Dramore or Dramora, but I believe that Dromore may be the correct name:

Land records tie some of the McMasters to Dromore.

Kilmactranny Parish vital records are missing between about 1830 and 1840, but I have this one:

I don’t know where Burwich is or if it exists. I’m not sure where the reference comes from. Jane has two more children, Annie Wilmena and George Arthur, then her husband dies – presumably in Vaughan, Ontario.

Jane re-marries a carpenter who was also born in Ireland. Here is the 1851 Census which is a bit confusing:

These are Jane’s children from her first husband. Thomas and William are shown as 11 and 8 and born in Ireland. Thomas would be about the age that I have for James McMaster. William I mention above. Catherine and George are shown as 7 and 4 and born in Canada. Catherine is the age I would have for Annie Wilmena McMaster. William Thompson and Jane have a daughter Wilmena, so the Wilmena I have three images above may be wrong. George is the one that dies in the US Civil War. I have that Jane’s mother dies in 1853 though I don’t have that documented. [More about Jane’s mother Margaret later.]

The Trip from Ireland to Canada – 1844?

Assuming that the 1851 Census is correct and that these children belong to Jane, then we can place Jane’s move from Ireland to Canada quite precisely between the birth of William and Catherine. William was baptized 18 August 1843. That means the ocean voyage took place between then and when Catherine was born probably no later than 1845.

The Rest of the Story for Jane McMaster

It is unclear why George, a Canadian, fought and died in the US Civil War. Jane and family move to nearby Tecumseth. Here is the 1871 Census:

As William and Jane married in 1851, I assume that these were the four children of this couple.

This is Jane in 1881 in Tecumseth:


I can now read that Jane’s youngest son is Fraser A. Susan E Bates is listed as a servant. She looks suspiciously like Susan E Thompson from 1871.

In 1890, Jane was in Milwaukee applying for a Civil War pension with the help of her sister Catherine,

Here is Jane in a photo taken in Janesville, Wisconsin:

Janesville is about 60 miles WSW of Milwaukee. Jane is in the middle.

Here is the death record for Jane in the Costa County records. Under remarks, it says Antioch, so that may be where she died of pneumonia:

Jane is buried in Antioch, California with her sister Mary A. Shannon:

At the end of her life, Jane re-connected with her two American sisters, Catherine and Mary Ann. She likely visited her brother also who lived in Janesville, WI where her photo was taken.

Postscript on Jane

Much more could be said about Jane. However, I am checking the DNA also. I see my sister Heidi has an AncestryDNA ‘ThruLine’ with Jane here:

The match is with Joseph who is managed by KAH. I must say that KAH’s tree is in much better shape than mine. Joseph connects with my family through Mary Etta Jane “May” Thompson. The following is from KAH’s tree and profile on “May”:

We see that this family was in Janesville so perhaps May is one of the other two women in the photo of Jane. I used KAH’s Thompson children for Jane, now I have a better line-up of Jane’s nine children:

I see that Jane remembered her Frazer heritage through the name of her last child.

Maryann McMaster (1820-1893)

I have been following Maryann for a while. I have a good match with BV who descends from Maryann and wrote to Cheryl who manages a tree for BV and Maryann. Here is my DNA match with BV:

I have this record from the Kilmactranny Parish Church:

Marrianne daughter of William and Margeret McMaster

Born                                  Bapt. Jan 09, 1820

Cheryl has this great photo of Maryann:

I’m not seeing a huge resemblance between Maryann and Jane. Perhaps someone else will. However, these two died about two weeks apart and share a grave marker as seen above.

Unlike her older sister Jane, Maryann came to Canada as a single woman. I don’t know if these sisters came to Canada together, separately or in combinations. I assume that Maryann was in Kilmactranny Parish at the time of her sister Jane’s marriage and would have been about 19. If Maryann joined Jane in her trip to Canada that would have been about 1844 and Maryann would have been 24.

Maryann’s Years Between 1827 and 1864

Maryann was in Canada about 20 years or so. She married Thomas Shannon in the Wesleyan Church in 1849:

James McMaster and Maryann’s recent brother-in-law William Little were witnesses.

Here is Thomas Shannon, again, thanks to Cheryl:

Here is the family in 1852:

Thomas was 35, Mary Anne says she is 29 and John, an apparent relative of Mary Anne is 11. 25-year-old Isabella is also on the next page as well as some Shannon’s:

I don’t know who these extra McMaster’s were, but it was nice of Thomas and Mary Ann to have them.

Mary Ann was on Page 177 of the Census for Vaughan. Jane was on Page 183 of the same Census. Here is Vaughan – outside of Toronto.


Next, I have said that Mary Ann’s mother Margaret died. However, I don’t know the actual date. I don’t see her in the 1861 Census.

Some information is missing for this family at this time. It appears that this family had two children, William and Elizabeth, 14 or 15 years after they first married. Mary Ann would have been in her mid forties at this time.

Mary Ann from 1870 to 1893

The family made its way from Canada to Contra Costa County, California:

The family appears to go missing from the Census again in 1880. Thomas dies in 1880:

This looks like it could be the same marker that marks Mary Ann and her sister’s Jane’s daughters. Again, I don’t see a death record for Mary Ann. It seems ironic that I found one for her sister Jane who was apparently just visiting but not for Mary Ann.

Elizabeth Frances Shannon

As if to offset all the mystery in Mary Ann’s genealogy, I still have a large DNA match with BV. BV is the granddaughter of Elizabeth, so she got about 1/4 of her DNA from Elizabeth.

Cheryl shows that Elizabeth married while her mother was still alive:

The 1900 Census shows that Elizabeth entered the US in 1865. She would only have been one year old then.

Catherine Frazer McMaster (1827-1917)

Catherine was born 7 years after Mary Ann and lived the longest of the three sisters. I was spoiled by photographs of Jane and Mary Ann, but don’t see any readily available of Catherine.

1827 – 1852

Catherine’s early life was similar to Mary Ann’s. Catherine’s sister Jane married in 1839 when Catherine was 12. Catherine gives testimony to living under the same roof as her sister Jane and recollects the day that Jane married George McMaster as well as some other events in Jane’s life.

Note that Catherine arrived in Canada in 1844. This is from the 1900 Census and matches the date I had guessed that Jane came to Canada from Ireland. Jane’s date was based on the births of two of her children. That lends credence to the idea that the three sisters and perhaps at least the mother arrived in Canada at the same time.

An Extra Confusing Marriage for Catherine

The above timeline shows that Catherine married Henry DeWitt Clinton Bennet at the end of 28 December 1850. Then what about this record?

This shows Catherine marrying William Little in November 1848. Thomas Shannon who is to become Mary Ann’s husband in 1849 is a witness as well as James McMaster. Then, to complete the symmetry, William Little and James McMaster are witnesses for Mary Ann’s marriage four months later in March 1849:

Both of these weddings take place at the Wesleyan Church in the Home District. That would lead me to believe that these are the sisters: Catherine and Mary Ann. The main possibilities seem to be that 1. William died not long after the marriage or 2. This is the wrong Catherine (not as likely).

The Bennett Family

Whatever happened in 1848, there is a less documented marriage between Catherine and Henry Bennett in 1850. Here is some information for a Sons of the Revolution application from 1956:

This says that the couple wed in Hamilton.

Here is the young family in 1852 in Burford, Ontario:

Catherine’s husband Henry is listed as a miller. Here is some more information from the 1851 Census:

It looks like Catherine has extra McMaster’s, including probably her mother Margaret Frazer McMaster. I would assume that she arrived in Canada also in 1844. Catherine gets extra points for housing relatives.

Further down on the page:

Perhaps this is the witness at the two weddings above. He is a cooper from Ireland married to Elizabeth from Canada and living with two people from England.

This is probably James’ marriage in 1851:

This looks to be James in Janesville in 1870:

The plot thickens. With any luck, Margaret could be his mother, Margaret Frazer McMaster. Until recently, I never knew Margaret left Ireland. Now she seems to be popping up in Canada and Janesville, Wisconsin. I shouldn’t have written Margaret off so quickly.

Refresher: May Lowry, daughter of Jane McMaster lived in Janesville in the 1870’s. Here’s Janesville:

Quite a trip from Burford, Ontario.

A Side Trip with James A McMaster

I need a place to put all this information, so I can create a tree for James or assume that he is a long-lost brother. I’ll go with the long-lost brother and add him to my tree for now. I’ll say he was born in 1832 as that was during the time when entries were not made into the Kilmactranny Parish Register. Here it is, written in stone:


This is from the Find A Grave Index:

This puts James Archibald in the right Parish, but doesn’t prove his parents.

Next, I’m interested in seeing what the 1900 Census says about his immigration. It says that his year of immigration was 1845. That fits in with what I had for Jane and Catherine. Catherine had 1844, but these dates can be off by several years. That means that he could have come over with the three McMaster sisters and his proposed mother Margaret. Here is Wayne Township where James was in 1900:

The family moved West from Janesville.

Backing up in time a bit, here is James and family in 1860 in St. Claire, Michigan:

I wonder where the mother, Margaret McMaster was in 1860? James likely named his first two children for his parents: William McMaster and Margaret Frazer. The McMaster family were just over the border in the United States:

I’m jumping a bit, but here is the family business in Janesville in 1876:

A Survey of Ancestry Trees for James McMaster

Many trees had Margaret as a mother for James. No one had a guess for James’ father. Two trees had Margaret Frasier as James’ mother which I think is brilliant. There must be a clue somewhere unless this is from oral tradition in their family. One tree had this information:

Some McMasters were from Cuilnagleragh, but I don’t know how they could know that. All this tends to support my theory that James is a brother to the four McMaster sisters.  Assuming his 1822 birth is correct, he would help fill in a gap between McMaster births between 1820 and 1827.

I can come back to James later, but the evidence seems to support James being a son of William McMaster and Margaret McMaster.

More on Margaret McMaster Born About 1789

I did some searching and came up with this record:

I think the ‘has bio?’ refers to the one who took the photo. I feel like this must be Margaret:

If Margaret was 82 in March 1872, she could have been born in 1789. Here’s another listing giving the plot address:

It looks like a substantial marker; however, it has minimal genealogical information on it. The heading above says M McMaster – even though I can clearly see that is not right from the head stone. Perhaps there was additional information from the Cemetery records.

A Quick Re-Cap for Margaret Frazer McMaster (1789-1872)

Margaret was probably the daughter of Michael Frazer born about 1764 and Margaret Stuart. Margaret was born about 1789 – probably in North County Roscommon. In 1813, Margaret married William McMaster. Some trees have William as the son of Abraham McMaster. However, this may be due to a misreading of a land lease. Now that I see he had a son James, that could be the name of his father. In a story about Jane (see my previous Blog) it was mentioned that Jane came from a McMaster family in Scotland and married into an Irish McMaster family. Abraham could have been the Irish McMaster and James could have been from Scotland.

The Tithe Applotment for McMaster’s

I might assume that there could be reference to the William McMaster lands in the Tithe Applotment but not in Griffith’s valuation. I see records for the Tithe Applotment for McMaster’s dated 1825 and 1833:

Here is Kilkere above.

Here is the 1825 listing for Kilcare:

Here is the 1833 listing:

I don’t see any difference in the two lists. I assume that the widow McMaster cannot be Margaret as she had children up to 1829.

Griffith’s Valuation

Here is the listing for McMasters in Sligo:

I assume that the William above is different than the one in the Tithe Applotment. This William is in Cloghmine:

This was printed in 1858 after Margaret McMaster was in Canada. In 1858. There is one house in Kilkere:

Archibald could be a son or relative of my ancestor William McMaster.

William and Margaret McMaster had four daughters – the subject of this Blog – and now we see one son. These children appear to have been born between about 1816 and 1829 in Kilmactranny Parish, County Sligo. It is unclear why Margaret, Jane, Mary Ann, James and Catherine moved to Ontario. It is also unclear what happens to Margaret’s husband William. One Ancestry tree has a different William McMaster who died in Aylmer, Ontario in 1835. There is no reference for this death. I don’t know if William traveled to Ontario or died in County Sligo. I assume that he was dead by 1852 when Margaret is shown living with her daughter Catherine McMaster Bennett in Burford, Ontario. At that time she was living doors away from her son James Archibald McMaster and about 100 km away from her daughters Jane and Mary Ann who were living in Vaughan, Ontario:

Margaret in the 1860’s?

We lose track of Margaret in the 1860’s. Here is a summary of the McMaster family as now known:

Based on what I don’t know Margaret could have been with Mary Ann or another unknown child or relative in 1860.

Margaret in the 1870’s

Margaret goes from Catherine Bennett’s house in Burford in 1852 to James McMaster’s house 18 years later in Janesville, Wisconsin.

Margaret would have been in a busy house in Janesville with 10 people in it:

You can trace James’ travels just based on the places of births: Ireland to Canada to Michigan to Wisconsin. James would have moved to Wisconsin between 1866 and 1869.

Here is Central Ave. The McMaster Cooper family business was somewhere along this avenue. Margaret was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery in 1872:

Back to Catherine McMaster (the Miller’s Wilfe) the Years After 1852

1852 is important due to the Canadian Census. The 1851 Census didn’t start in Ontario until 1852.

It looks like Henry and probably the rest of the family moved to Wisconsin in 1855 – soon after the birth of Sylvia:

William was the couple’s fourth child [Note: actually the third. See below] and the first born in the US . He was perhaps named for Catherine’s father.

Catherine had her last child, Harry, when she was 40.

This shows that Catherine’s husband Henry was a grist miller. Son Charles also worked in the grist mill.

This brings us up to the year 1900:

I had trouble finding the family in the 1880 Census. Here are a few directory listings for Henry to fill in the gaps:

1877, Milwaukee:

I added in Wauwatosa for reference.

1879, Milwaukee:

1885 Milwaukee:

This family moved around a bit within Milwaukee:

1899 and 1896 Milwaukee:

Some of these Street names may no longer exist. I couldn’t find Grove on Google Maps:

In 1900, the family is still at Grove Street:

Out of Catherine’s 7 children 4 were still living in 1900

This brings us to the end of Catherine’s life. In 1910, the couple had moved back to the suburbs of Wauwatosa. Harry is still with them and now their widowed daughter Lannie is also living there at 352 Second Street:

Here is the Wauwatosa Cemetery location where Catherine is buried:

It seems like this family lived a settled life. They stayed in the Milwaukee area most of their lives where Henry was a miller. I don’t know much about Catherine’s personal life other than a little from the testimony concerning her sister Jane and family. In 1852 she and her husband were listed as Presbyterian. Her mother Margaret was listed as Wesleyan Methodist along with two other unknown McMaster’s. James McMaster a little further down the page, Catherine’s brother, was listed as Episcopal.

Fanny McMaster (1829-1875)

Fanny McMaster is my 3rd great grandmother. She was the baby of the family:

Fanny’s mother and four siblings left her for Canada. They appear to have left Fanny behind or Fanny decided not to go. The other question is: did Fanny get married young because she was left behind or was she left behind because she married? I think that the McMasters left for Canada in 1844 or 1845. I don’t think that Fanny would have married before 1845 as she would have been 16 in 1845. I don’t know if Fanny’s mother and fours siblings were around when she married or not. My guess is that the five McMasters made up their mind to go to Canada and asked Fanny to go. Fanny likely intended to marry James, so decided not to go. When my second great-grandmother Margaret was born, Fanny was only 17. I don’t have a marriage record for Fanny and James McMasrter. It seems I just missed having my ancestor leaving for Canada. Then perhaps she wouldn’t have been my ancestor if she did that!

At any rate, Fanny did marry James McMaster Sr. He was born about 1806 or 1807, so he was about 22 years older than Fanny.

Fanny and the Potato Famine (1845-1852)

It is unclear to me whether Margaret McMaster and her four children left Ireland as a result of the Potato Famine or not. The Potato famine started in the 1845, so if they left in 1844, it would have been before the famine. If they left in 1845 it would have been right at the start of the famine. Whatever happened, it appeared that Margaret and her four children missed the Potato Famine and that Margaret’s youngest went through it. In fact, Fanny married James in 1845 at the beginning of the potato famine. Margaret would have been born in the second year of the potato famine.

Fanny After the Potato Famine

Again, we see the names of William and Margaret named for Fanny’s parents. William was born the year the Potato Famine ended. Margaret had children between the ages of 17 and 30. Fanny likely lived in Cuilnagleragh. Fanny’s daughter Margaret, my 2nd great-grandmother married in 1866:

Mar 15, 1866 George Frazer of Ballindoon son of James Frazer

                      Margaret McMaster of Cuilnagleragh, Kilmactranny daughter of James McMaster

If Margaret was from Cuilnagleragh, it stands to reason, that was where her parents James and Fanny lived.

And if Fanny lived in Kilkere as I guessed, then she would not have moved far from where she grew up.

Bad things happened in three’s for the McMaster family in the 1870’s. Fanny’s youngest son James was buried in Kilmactranny in 1873:

Mar 20, 1873     James McMaster   Age 13

Fanny’s husband James was buried in the same Parish in 1874:

June 15, 1874  James McMaster  Age 68

About a half year later, Fanny was buried at the age of 45:

Jan 16, 1875    Frances McMaster  Age 45.

I wonder if Fanny had moved to Canada with her family, would she have lived a longer life? Mary Ann, her sister, died at the age of 73. Her sister Catherine died at the age of 90 – twice the age of Fanny when she died.

Loose Ends: Margaret and Anna McMaster

I’m curious as to who Margaret and Anna McMaster are in the 1851 Census in Burford, Ontario:

It may be important to figure out who these two girls were. It turned out James was another sibling I didn’t know about. And finding James lead to other connections. He is also listed lower on this same page of the 1851 Census.

One interesting thing is that these two McMaster Girls were born in Canada. A search for Anna brings up nothing. Perhaps she was not interpreted as being a McMaster. I did find Margaret. Here she is in 1861 in Vaughan, Ontario:

Margaret is living in the household of Christopher Scanlon. Now Margaret is shows that she was born in Ireland.

Margaret in 1862

This looks to be the answer:

Remember Tecumseth? This shows that Margaret is the daughter of George and Jane. Mystery solved. That brings me back to this family tradition  about Jane McMaster that I quoted in my previous Blog. It is perhaps half-true. I have bolded some names for easy reference:

The following information written about my 2nd great grandmother, JANE MCMASTER, comes from a family history titled ‘The Wheeler and McMaster Family History as told by May McMaster Timmel, 1960’. It was sent to me by Geraldine Fickel of Glenwood, Iowa before her death in the 1990’s. William McMaster, Jane’s first child was born in Edinborough, Scotland although his home was Dramora, County Sligo, Ireland. A child of wealthy parents, he was never taught to work. Jane, his mother belonged to the Stuart line and was a lady in-waiting to one of the Queens. Her name was McMaster before her marriage to a McMaster. She was Scotch and he was Irish. Her husband (George) died when William was about 6 yrs. old and a few months before his sister Anna was born. Not wishing inter-marriage in her family as was the custom in Scotland, William’s mother Jane started to America with her family leaving six year old William with her brother in Edinborough. Anna was born at sea. The other children were Sue and James. She with her young family stopped in Canada for a short time and then came to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where her sister Margaret lived. After a few years she married again, a man by the name of Thompson. He died some years later and she continued to live in Wisconsin. She was very dainty and aristocratic and we all waited on her for she knew nothing of work. Sister Carrie looked very much like her and was our father’s favorite. ‘Grandmother’ Jane went back to Milwaukee with her sister Margaret who came for her and was much like her. Later she went to Oakland, California to live with her husband’s half brother E.A. Thompson and passed away there. She was extremely religious and often took the place of the circuit rider in (Wisconsin) in the winter when the snow was deep and the circuit rider could not make his rounds. She also lived with her son ‘Mac‘ and daughter-in-law Laura in their hotel in Western, Nebraska for about a year. Jane and ‘Grandmother’ Wheeler were exact opposites. They were given rooms as far as possible away from each other. Grandmother Wheeler firmly believed every one should work and wasn’t slow in speaking her mind. Written by Laura May McMaster Timmel Written 1957, Assembled 1960. 

In the above story, Margaret is listed as a sister to Jane. Perhaps the one they refer to as a sister was actually her daughter. As I pointed out above, Catherine lived in Milwaukee, but Catherine doesn’t sound like Margaret. Another interesting thing is that is if Anna was actually born at sea, that would put Jane’s trip to Canada in 1846. Anna is 6 in the 1851 Census. However, that Census in Ontario didn’t take place until January 1852. To be more confusing, the Census asked for the age at the next birthday.

The 1852 Census now tells a story. Here is Jane in 1852 in Vaughan, Ontario:

Jane’s husband George McMaster had died and she remarried William Thompson in 1851. Perhaps that was too many children to handle so out of Jane’s six children, two end up with grandma Margaret and sister Catherine in Burford. Note in the family tale above, William stays in Edinburgh and Anna travels to America. In my version, William lives with Jane and Anna lives with Catherine and Margaret – at least in 1852.

I will have trouble squeezing in these two new children in addition to the nine children I already had for Jane:

If I have it right, Mary Frances Thompson on the right was from a previous marriage that William Thompson had. Here are the children on the George McMaster side:

Margaret and Anna are the ones living with their grandmother Margaret Frazer McMaster in 1852. I wonder if Anna really was born at sea. That would have been a wild situation.  Now I have Margaret married off. Here is one tree for Margaret:

I don’t see Margaret going to Milwaukee in this tree. The closest she gets is Sand Beach Michigan in 1870:

This Margaret later moves to Southern California where she is buried in 1925.

Mac and Laura from the Family Story

As I was bopping around Ancestry Family Trees, I came upon this one which included a photo of William McMaster [who I assume was ‘Mac’ in the McMaster family story from above] and his wife Laura:

Here again is the tale of being born at sea, but this time the tale goes to William as a possibility. Laura is Laura Rickey Wheeler, so grandma Wheeler in the family story above. She must be the one who thought that Jane should do her share of work.

She also lived with her son ‘Mac‘ and daughter-in-law Laura in their hotel in Western, Nebraska for about a year. Jane and ‘Grandmother’ Wheeler were exact opposites. They were given rooms as far as possible away from each other. Grandmother Wheeler firmly believed every one should work and wasn’t slow in speaking her mind.

Based on Kilmactranny Baptismal records, I would say that William was not born at sea or in Scotland:

William son of George and Jane McMaster

Born                                      Bapt. Aug 18, 1843

At this point, I need to apologize for the length of the Blog. I could have easily done a Blog just on Jane McMaster.

Back to Anna McMaster Born 1846

A tree search for Anna brings up this top tree:

Above in the Blog, I had disregarded this Annie Wilmena because Jane McMaster and William Thompson had a daughter named Wilhemine Thompson. Also I could not find any Burwich in Canada. Time to take a second look. This same Tree had a marriage in Wauwatosa, WI:

Anna’s Aunt Catherine was in Wauwatosa at this time. Here is the family in 1860:

Here I missed something. Anna was living with the Bennett family as Anne Bennett. There are a few hints. First, is the six years between Anne and Charles. The second is that Anne is born about 1846 according to the Census and Henry and Catherine married in December 1850. Details. That means that Catherine gets more bonus points for taking care of Anna in 1852 and apparently bringing her to Wauwatosa with the family in the 1860’s. I imagine that Anna helped out in the Bennett house.

Anna Evans in 1870 in Mineral Point, Wisconsin:

So now I have Margaret and Anna safely married off. I also found Anna living with her Aunt Catherine in 1860. I also found a photo of their brother William and his wife Laura. These loose ends are tied.

Loose Ends #2: John and Isabells McMaster

In 1852, Mary Ann or Marrianne McMaster was living in Vaughan, York County, Ontario. She was married to Thomas Shannon, a Farmer. Also in the household were John McMaster aged 11 and Isabella McMaster aged 25. It would be nice to figure out who these two are. My assumption is that they are related to Mary Ann McMaster Shannon.

The two children living with Mary Ann’s sister Catherine, Margaret, 12 and Anna, 6 turned out to be Jane McMaster’s children. However, Isabella at age 25, would be too old to be a daughter of Jane.

Here is Thomas, Mary Ann and John in 1852 in Vaughan, Ontario:

There religion looks to be New Comer Methodist. Here is Isabella on the next page:


10 years later, this appears to be John:

The Census is a little difficult to interpret, but I think that it shows that John and James above were labourers on the James Hardie farm. In the household above the Hardie farm, I see an Isabella:

Isabella is about the right age to be Isabella McMaster. Did she marry the surgeon John De Evelyn? I found this grave marker:

It looks like this Isabella died that same year. However, Isabella appears to be 25 years old. At this point I am stuck with Isabella and John McMaster. However, I have them here as a place-holder.

Summary and Conclusions

  • When I went off to write about four sisters, I didn’t know that the story would be so long and intertwined.
  • The intertwining was helpful in finding a brother to the four sisters: James Archibald McMaster.
  • I was happy to find my fourth great-grandmother Margaret Frazer McMaster living with her son James Archibald at the end of her life in Janesville, Wisconsin.
  • I found out who Margaret and Anna McMaster were and how they tied in to the McMaster family. They were daughters of Jane McMaster.
  • I took another look at the family legend that I have had for a while. There was a lot of interesting and helpful information in it – along with some things that still don’t seem to be right.
  • When researching ancestors, I would recommend researching their siblings also.
  • Telling a story of your ancestors and siblings helps to tie the facts together and points out records or information that may be missing.