- In 1935 Nellie Frasier, daughter of Edward Frasier (and grand-niece of Joseph Fraser who had lived in Scotland his entire life) would request any further information on their Fraser ancestors. Joseph was half-brother to Andrew Fraser who had immigrated from Scotland to the United States in the 1850s and was uncle of Nellie's father Edward. His will in 1900 had left bequests to each of Andrew's children. A copy of his will can be seen on Joseph's page in this family tree.
North of Scotland Bank Limited, Insch, 4th February, 1935
Telephone, Insch 28
Miss Nellie I. Frasier, Box 496, Glendale, California
Dear Miss Frasier, I am favoured with your letter of 4th ultimo with reference to the late Mr. Joseph Frasier and his antecedents.
I have been making enquiries of some of the older residenters of the district but the only information that I can get is that Joseph Fraser's father was John Fraser who was a farm labourer at The Law, Kennethmont, his Mother was Margaret Beattie and her Mother was Betty McIntyre, both being natives of the same district.
All the persons you mention in your letter are dead with the exception of Mr. W. A. McDonald, Solicitor, but he does not know anything about the late Joseph's Fraser's relatives.
We still have a fund here in Insch which is now down to about four pounds left by Mr. Joseph Fraser for the relief of poor people. I cannot meantime lay my hands on any book about the Fraser clan, but should I be able to trace one I shall send it on to you.
With kind regards,
R. D. Donald, Agent
- from Donna Fraser email@example.com
Ha ha! I see you've been down the same paths as I have trying to connect the dots. Even with Dr. Malcolm Fraser and yes, I bought the book too! Oh, and I think you took Chris Paton's course -- me too. He has stayed here with us at our home in British Columbia!! How come it has taken us so long to find each other??? I think you've even been in contact with Dr. Bruce Cockburn re the DNA study. He, too, has been to our home. To help Bruce with his study Ed upgraded his DNA to 111 and we even paid for some extra tests.
Looking at the Y-DNA test at 67 markers, Ed is a genetic distance of 3 to all three: Bruce Fraiser, Dr. Malcolm Fraser and Mr. Dennis Keith Frazier. Family Tree DNA tells us that A 63/67 or 64/67 match between two men who share the same surname (or a variant) means that they are likely to share a common ancestor within the genealogical time frame. The common ancestor is probably not extremely recent but is likely within the range of most well-established surname lineages in Western Europe. It is most likely that they matched 24/25, 36/37, or 37/37 on previous Y-DNA tests, and mismatches are within DYS458, DYS459, DYS449, DYS464, DYS576, DYS570, and CDY.
That sounds promising but upping the ante to 111 markers it becomes a bit more definitive and disheartening at the same time.
At 111 markers, Dr. M. is a genetic distance of 8 to my husband, Ed Fraser. On the FTDNA website in the 'learn more' section there is a question, "If two men share a surname, how should the genetic distance at 111 Y-chromosome STR markers be interpreted? The answer: only possibly related. A 103/111 match indicates a distant cousinship with only a chance of a genealogical relationship. Over half of matches at this level are related as 12th cousins or more recently. Most matches at thhis level are related as 18th cousins or more recently. The connections here can be highly informative for relationships with historic groups and events. If there is a tradition of a recent genealogical relationship, the best way to confirm it is to test additional family lines. By testing additional family lines, you can find the person in between who is a closer match to each of the others tested. This ‘in betweener’ is essential for you to find as their match proves the connection between the more distant matches.
I noticed that Bruce Fraiser has also taken the FTDNA Family Finder test. So has my husband, Ed Fraser. I couldn't find that they match anywhere that autosomal DNA could pick it up so not back to about the 4th great grandparents which is as far back as I can go with confidence with records for this family.
I have no doubt that there is a relationship because your family and ours lived very close to each other. I can trace my husband's Fraser family line back to the wee parish of Glass [Haugh of Glass on maps] on the border of Aberdeenshie and Banffshire (which is within 15 miles by road of where your family lived). My husbands 4th great grandfather, Peter Fraser and Janet Kelman farmed Greystonefolds there and are in church and land records from 1779.
We even have an Alexander Fraser that at first I thought might fit with Dr. M. Our Alexander Fraser's baptism was recorded as:
Febr. 7th 1790 Peter Fraser in Greystonefolds with his wife Janet Kelman had a son baptized called Alexr. before these witnesses, Alexr. Smith in Aswanly and Alexr. Kelman in Oldnaboil (sic).
That Alexander Fraser born 1790 either left Scotland or died prior to 1841 as he is not on the 1841, 1851 or 1861 census of Scotland; his death is not recorded in Scotland after 1855 and he did not leave a will in Scotland.
Peter Fraser and Janet Kelman had 13 children that I've found:
Not an Andrew anywhere in my extensive Fraser family tree.
BUT, we even have a James Fraser marrying a Catherine Fraser Mennie 2 Dec 1898 at Kennethmont! The bride and groom's parents were cousins and trace themselves back to "our" Frasers in the parish of Glass. Small world, isn't it!
The church records are spotty in the 1700s and I've pretty well resigned myself that we won't get back any farther. Others have grabbed the only Fraser with the correct first name anywhere in the north east of Scotland and linked themselves tto that family. Unfortunately they are more than likely grabbing someone from one of the few parishes where records have survived but not necessarily "their" Peter Fraser. Using the naming pattern our Peter Fraser's father would be John Fraser. There are a few to choose from. Janet's father was also a John which adds to the puzzle and makes one wonder, did they name their first son after the maternal grandfather. We will never know.
So, like you, I hoped DNA would solve the puzzle. Not yet!