clan fraser of lovat - 1000 years of history

What follows is an enormously long post – so I’d better explain what it’s for. There is such a huge revival in the interest in Highland history – in the clans, and in clan Fraser of Lovat in particular, as a result of the smash hit TV series Outlander. I want to give a run through of Fraser history to point out some of the high and low points for the clan. Where we have come from, and I end by looking at where we are now. Sorry it’s so long. You don’t have to read it all at once….

Traditional Clan Fraser of Lovat territory lies at the centre of the Highlands. It leads west from Inverness, down Loch Ness to the west coast.  The Lovat heartland has centred on Inverness, the Aird of Lovat and the Beauly Firth for about 700 years.

Clan lands in the 1700s

Clan Fraser of Lovat:  1.  1100-1300s:  origins to the scottish wars of independence

Historians believe we came from France, following William the Conqueror’s Norman invasion in 1066. Scotland experienced a wave of Norman immigration in the late 1100s. And it’s likely that this is when the Frasers arrived in Scotland.


About Sarah

I am a writer, broadcaster, blogger and vlogger, wife, mother, granny and carer. We live in the Highlands of Scotland and London.

The name, Fraser, is not native Gaelic. It is of French origin. There is evidence of Frasers over centuries in Anjou, the region on Normandy’s southern border. This French connection of Frasers, or Frisels, Fresels or Frezelieres is thought to have something to do with the strawberries on the chief’s coat of arms. Fraise is French for strawberry.

One of these Frasers became Lord of Neidpath Castle (then called Castle Oliver). They grew in influence and took a dominant role in the Scottish Wars of Independence.

Sir Simon ‘the Patriot’ Fraser, companion of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, is the most important of them. Born at Neidpath in 1257, Wallace handed him command of the Scottish forces in 1303.

Edward I of England, called Scotorum Malleus , ‘Hammer of the Scots’, had decided to mount an invasion to crush Scottish unrest and desire for independence.

Sir Simon met the invading force at Roslyn and defeated a

30,000 strong invading force with only 8,000 men of his own. Given the unequal numbers, Sir Simon had to show tactical brilliance. And he did.

A contemporary called Sir Simon a man totally gifted for war. Another hailed him as ‘manly, stout, bold and wight’ – meaning brave and nimble.

He later saved the Bruce’s life three times during a defeat at Methven, near Perth. His luck ran out and he was eventually captured, and taken to London. In 1306, Sir Simon met the same gruesome death as his companion in arms, William Wallace. He was hung, drawn and quartered, before they stuck his head on a spike next to Wallace’s.

Another Sir Simon fought at Bannockburn, where he and two of his brothers died.

A third Sir Simon married a Bisset heiress and received a charter of Bisset lands around Beauly, Inverness-shire.

The Beauly Firth & Aird of Lovat, the clan’s heartland – Castle Dounie was also called Beaufort Castle.
Fraser arms, showing strawberry flowers and the 3 crowns won by Sir Simon ‘the Patriot’ Fraser for saving Robert the Bruce’s life 3 times.
Neidpath Castle – birthplace of Simon the Patriot

2.  1300s – 1500s:  the birth of clan fraser of lovat in the highlands & clan feuds

From the early 1300s, then, Frasers established themselves in what has ever since been recognised as the Lovat Fraser homeland – Beauly and the Aird.

The first document linking a Fraser with these lands of Lovat and the Aird is dated, 12 September, 1367. Hugh Fraser is styled Dominus de Loveth et portioarius de le Ard – the Lord of Lovat and guardian of the Aird. The tombstones of Fraser of Lovat lairds dating from this period can still be seen in Beauly Priory.

The Aird of Lovat, Beauly Firth

From the early 1300s, then, Frasers established themselves in what has ever since been recognised as the Lovat Fraser homeland – Beauly and the Aird.

The first document linking a Fraser with these lands of Lovat and the Aird is dated, 12 September, 1367. Hugh Fraser is styled Dominus de Loveth et portioarius de le Ard – the Lord of Lovat and guardian of the Aird. The tombstones of Fraser of Lovat lairds dating from this period can still be seen in Beauly Priory.

Showing your ability to call out your fighting men to defend your people and see off predators commands respect from neighbouring clans. Strength at the top allows the clan to prosper without the continual threat of raids, feuds and depradations from clans smelling weakness – and an opportunity.

The clan also involved itself in national conflicts. They came out for the Crown to support Mary, Queen of Scots at the Siege of Inverness in 1562. The most famous historian of his era, George Buchanan recorded that ‘as soon as they heard of their sovereign’s danger, a great number of the most eminent Scots poured in around her, especially the Frasers and Munros, who were esteemed the most valiant of the clans inhabiting those countries in the north.’ The Frasers and Munros took and held Inverness for Mary, Queen of Scots.

The Fraser chiefs needed their strong arm and strong fighting men, since feuds and warfare plagued the clans until the end of the 1600s.

The Great Glen.  Beyond Loch Ness lies the location of Blar na Leine, Battle of the Shirts
Tombstones of old Lovat chiefs
Beauly Priory

3.  1600s:  union of crowns & civil wars throughout britain

When Elizabeth I of England died in 1603, her closest male heir was King James VI of Scotland. James united the thrones of Scotland, England and Wales, and Ireland, to create Great Britain. He became King James VI of Scotland and I of England. The Union many Scots fought off and many English fought for over centuries took place in peace and contentment. The contentment did not last.

By the late 1630s, Scotland, including the Highland clans, was embroiled in a series of brutal Civil Wars . Divided, very roughly speaking, along religious lines, the clans lined up for King Charles I and the established church Royalists; or behind various parliamentarian and Covenanting, low church, puritan minded, factions.

Highland soldiers in the 30 years war, c 1630

At the Battle of Auldearn in 1645, many Frasers opposed the charismatic royalist leader, the Marquess of Montrose. But not all. A poem on the battle gives a sense of the particular horror of civil conflict that sets families and clans against each other.

‘Here Fraser Fraser kills, a Browndoth kills a Browndoth.
A Bold a Bold, and Lieth’s by Lieth overthrown.
A Forbes against a Forbes and her doeth stand,
And Drummonds fight with Drummonds hand to hand…
Oh! Scotland, were thou Mad? Of thine own native gore,
So Much till now thou never shedst before.’

But by 1689, the Frasers were united behind the deposed and exiled Catholic Stuart monarch, King James II. With his flight from the throne, Jacobitism (from Jacobus, Latin for ‘James)’ was born.

The Scottish Parliament voted in favour of accepting the invading Dutchman William of Orange and Queen Mary as rulers of Scotland. Mary was James II’s daughter, and a Protestant. But many clans, while disliking James II’s Catholicism, believed him to be the rightful, anointed ruler. ‘Bonnie’ Dundee (John Graham of Claverhouse, 1st Viscount Dundee) rallied the supporters of the Stuart king, raised the royal Stuart standard.

The Fraser chief, Lord Hugh Fraser of Lovat, tried to prevent his clan rising for the exiled king, but failed. A weak chief, Hugh’s leading men deserted him. The heir to the second branch of the ruling family, Alexander Fraser of Beaufort marched a force of Fraser fighting men and put them under Dundee at the Battle of Killiecrankie.

This weakness at the top of the clan had become a real problem. The fact is, that by the late 1600s, Clan Fraser of Lovat was going under. We would have been swallowed up by powerful, predatory neighbours and in-laws.

Except, one man rose to the top of the clan family. He is the chief who went on to become Scotland’s most notorious clan chief, rebel and double agent:  Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat of the ’45

Soldiers at a re-enactment of the Battle of Killiecrankie

4.  1700s:  The Jacobite Quest & frasers in the new world

A series of weak chiefs, combined with premature chiefly deaths that left child heirs to the chieftainship. These boy chiefs came under the influence of their mother’s people.

It was normal for clans to form marital alliances. The daughters of ambitious, neighbouring clans married Fraser chiefs, and vice versa. But, if the chief died young, leaving only a boy heir, what should happen, is that the brothers and cousins of the late chief should assume the guardianship of the heir to raise him in the ethos, culture and history of his clan. And these men too were the natural managers of the clan’s territories and assets.

However, in the second half of the 17th century, on the death of their Lovat husbands, the widowed Lady Lovats brought in brothers and uncles from their own clan – particularly the Mackenzies and Atholl Murrays – to help them while the young Lord Lovat grew up. This created a clash of interest – for whose benefit did they run the Fraser clan? With everything alienated to the care of an ambitious neighbouring kin, the neighbouring kin started to appropriate what is not theirs. This had been happening to clan Fraser of Lovat for several generations until 1696. As a result, weakness had come to erode the standing of Clan Fraser of Lovat in the Highlands.

Only Simon Fraser, Lovat of the ’45, was strong and ambitious enough to stop the Fraser of Lovat slide to oblivion. There is a whole post devoted to the Old Fox, as he is so important in Fraser history and the history of the Jacobite cause.

Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat of the ’45, after Hogarth
The block in The Tower of London on which The Old Fox lost his head

But, after achieving so much, he raised the clan for Bonnie Prince Charlie at Culloden. He was captured, taken to London, condemned by his fellow peers, and was the last nobleman in Britain to be beheaded. The Lovat Estates fell forfeit to the Crown, their assets used to support British troops during the military occupation of the Highlands.

Fifteen years later, the Old Fox’s son, another Simon Fraser, was determined to work the Fraser’s passage back into government favour. The Anglo-French wars in North America offered him his chance. Simon raised a regiment of 800, and was commissioned as lieutenant-colonel. The regiment was first called the 78th regiment of foot, but soon renamed the Fraser Highlanders.

‘The uniform of the regiment was the full Highland dress, with musket and broadsword… and a sporran of badger’s or otter’s skin. An eagle’s or hawk’s feather was worn in their bonnets by the officers, while the soldiers ornamented theirs’ with a bunch of the distinguishing mark of the clan or district to which they severally belonged.’

(The photo of the current Lord Lovat below here show him in his 78th Fraser Highlander uniform.) Ordered to North America they distinguished themselves first at the Battle of Louisbourg in 1758. Then they fought in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham under General Wolfe’s command. Finally, the helped to capture Montreal in 1760.

Brigadier General Sir Simon Fraser (1726-1782)

All this helped Simon Fraser to gain a seat in the UK parliament and to be restored to the hereditary estates of Lovat in 1774. he was raised to the rank of Brigadier General. In 1778, he became a proud founder member of the Highland Society of London. The Highland Society members wanted to ‘promote the Interests of the Highlands’. They concentrated on obtaining a repeal of the ban on Highland dress, and celebrating the Gaelic language, music and literature. They sought to revive the region by establishing schools, improving agriculture, and providing relief to distressed Highlanders, and generally ‘keeping up the Martial Spirit; and rewarding the gallant achievements of the Highland Corps’.

5.  1800-1945: Frasers in war, the lovat scouts, world wars i & ii

In 1899, Lord Lovat raised the Lovat Scouts to fight in the Boer War. Kitchener mentioned Lovat in dispatches and he received teh DSO, Distinguished Service Order in 1900. Lovat commanded the Highland Mounted Brigade in World War I, and in 1915 his leadership and courage earned him the honour of becoming a Knight of the Thistle.

Lovat served in Stanley Baldwin’s Conservative government between 1927-29.

The monument in Beauly Village Square records eloquently the price the clan paid for service to king and country.

This monument celebrates ‘the raising of the Lovat Scouts … to show that the martial spirit of their forefathers still animates the Highlanders of today.’ But the cost shows on the other faces of the monument.
Not many of these have a Fraser surname, but for the majority, the blood they left on the field of battle had Fraser genes in it. The clans are tightknit. They allied over centuries with the Camerons, Macraes, Mackintoshes and Mackenzies.

They were rooted in small rural communities. Across the Highlands & Islands, communities failed to survive this loss of so many fit young men.

The Frasers continued to pay the price for their martial excellence in the world wars that dominated the twentieth century.

In World II, it is ironic that young Frasers gave their lives to liberate Normandy and Anjou from German occupation, when this is where we think the clan originated 900 years ago.

The World War II hero, Commando leader and clan chief, Shimi Fraser, 15th Lord Lovat, led his men onto Sword Beach during the D-Day landings.  Injured a week after, he retired and worked for Churchill’s government. When Churchill sent Lovat to build connections with Stalin on the side of the Allies, Churchill told Stalin, ‘I am sending you the mildest mannered man ever to scuttle ship or slit a throat.’

Shimi Lovat addressing his troups before D-Day
Simon Fraser, 14th Lord Lovat
Monument raised to the newly formed Lovat Scouts in the Boer War, in Beauly

7.  2000s:  Outlander & The New Clan Brand

The current clan chief, Simon Fraser, 16th Lord Lovat, wants to build up and maintain contacts between the Fraser kindreds. There are clan Fraser members and fans spread out across the globe.

American Frasers at the New York gathering and march of the clansOutlander – we cannot forget to mention the Outlander connection – and how Jamie Fraser of Lovat and his men symbolise our forebears.

Refreshing the clan brand, and keeping it fresh is vital. The clan has been global for centuries due to emigration, forced and voluntary. We want to acknowledge that – you can help by sending us your pictures of places and people and events with the Fraser name or connection.

Send to Sarah Fraser, clan historian at or post direct on Facebook at Sarah_Fraseruk, or Twitter @sarah_fraseruk and we’ll share them for all of us to enjoy.

What kind of thing could you send?

Placenames there is an Inverness and Culloden in Jamaica – witness to the Highlanders transported after Culloden

Or people like Malcolm Fraser the former Australian Prime minister

Or events pictures from clan gatherings across the world or Outlander conventions

We want to get a conversation going about who we are – where we come from, where we went, what we did, and where we are going….

Lord and Lady Lovat, 2016
Claire Randall Fraser in THAT dress
18th century Jamaica – Scottish placenames, given by transported or voluntary migrants
Malcolm Fraser, Prime Minister of Australia
Clan Fraser Gathering


  1. Sarah Fraser

    This is from Dan Frazier, in Iowa,

    Thank you for your blog post. It is well-written and informative, as is your book The Last Highlander which I bought and enjoyed. I offer you my contribution to the collection you have begun. Thank you for doing this.
    My Fraser heritage in the United States descends from a Thomas Fraser, my fifth Great-grandfather who arrived in the colony of North Carolina in the latter half of the 1740s, i.e., 1746 or 1747, maybe. The years appear linked to the aftermath of the Battle of Culloden. We have little evidence and no family lore to link him to the Jacobite cause. Doubtless there were many Thomas Frasers in the Highlands. Christian Aikman’s book No Quarter Given: The Muster Roll of Prince Charles Edward Stuart’s Army 1745-46 lists five Thomas Frasers. However, one name stands out. One Thomas Fraser was unaccounted for after the battle, and he was a tradesman, a blacksmith.

    Thomas Fraser, my Great-grandfather of North Carolina, was a renowned blacksmith. He was known for his iron work and particularly for his talent in casting bells. This trade he passed down to his descendants so that my own grandfather was a blacksmith, a trade running continuously through six generations.

    Not long after Thomas Fraser settled in New Garden in Guilford County near Greensboro, North Carolina, he joined the Church of Friends and became a Quaker and a pacifist. I can only speculate, but I wonder if this was his means of dealing with his own post-traumatic stress disorder, given the bloodshed he had witnessed.

    Last April, I finally made it to our ancestral homelands in the Highlands. I did a week auto-touring in Inverness and Beauly. I traveled across the Aird of Lovat and circumnavigated the shores of Loch Ness. And of course I made it to Culloden. The whole trip was a thrill. I will return again.

    I have enjoyed your writing and social media posts, and I have seen your YouTube video lectures. Thank you for taking this leadership role.
    Yours truly,
    Dan Frazier

  2. Sarah Fraser

    Karla Barlow Taylor sent the following, if anyone has any insights to help her tracing her ancestors?
    Dear Sarah,
    I am fascinated by your articles. I have long searched the ancestry of my late husband but have not been able to actually ascertain when they emigrated to America – it does seem to be very early.

    My husband is Karl Edwin Taylor, Jr
    His grandmother was Daisy I Fraizer born 1885
    His Gr Grandfather, John Marion Fraizer born 1862 in Iowa
    His Gr Gr Grandfather, Hiram Bundy Fraizer born 1832 in Indiana
    His Gr Gr Gr Grandfather, William Fraizer born 1819 in Indiana.
    I long to discover where they came from along with the McAdoo family also in his lineage.
    I hope someday I can tie it all together.
    Keep up the very interesting and informative work.
    Thank you! Karla Barlow Taylor
    State of Oklahoma, USA

  3. Susan Fraser Moon

    Hi Sarah,
    I have been trying to trace my ancestry as far as I can but I seem to be at a standstill.
    My father is Ewen Fraser, born 1942 in Glasgow
    My Great grandfather was James Dawson Sinclair Fraser born 1913 in Galsgow
    My Great-great grandfather was James Gray Fraser born 1880 (I think) Aberdeenshire
    My Great-great-great grandfather was Alexander Fraser and that is as far as I have been able to go. I cannot find anything about him.
    I was hoping you might be able to help.
    Many thanks
    Susan Fraser Moon

    • Sarah Fraser

      Dear Susan,

      The first thing to confirm or eliminate is the Aberdeenshire connection. As you probably know, there are two main branches of the Frasers – the Lovats and the Saltouns. The Lovats are Inverness-shire based. The Saltouns are Aberdeenshire based. I would go to the NA Scotland and consult parish records of births, marriages and deaths first.


  4. Gary Fraser

    Hi Sara

    My name is Gary Fraser and I am from Montreal Canada. My father Cyril Fraser from Vernon River Prince Edward island and he was researching family tree and he got has Figured we are dependent Lord Lovet Fraser. Our direct descendents came over on the Polly Boat which belonged to Lord Silkirk and landed at Halliday Wharf near Vernon River P.E.I. I am wondering if you know of any of this as my father has past away and I am trying to finish what he started but not sure how to proceed.

    I hope to here from you Sara

  5. Andre Vrieselaar

    Dear Sara,

    In Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands I am busy with my family tree.
    Since 1360 the Vreseler / Frieseler / Vrieseler (now Vrieselaar) are in The Netherlands, Sinderen, Terborg.
    Before that time, about 1250 the Vreseler / Vrieseler came from the region Munster (Coesfeld) in Germany, they were knight, Judge etc.
    Before that time from about 1150 to 1450 the nights and Lords of Frijsel, van Vriesele, de Vrijsel, de Vrisselle were living in Kontich near Antwerpen as one of the oldest families in that neighborhood. There even was in ancient times a castle Vrijseler in Kontich according to the book ”history of Kontich” by Prof.dr. R. van Passen (1988).

    Perhaps de Friijsel / Frysel / Fraser come from Antwerp instead of Anjou? Formerly both were french regions. Or they were family?

    Andre Vrieselaar

    • Sarah Fraser

      Dear Andre,
      How very interesting. This is not a line anyone has suggested to me before. Good luck with your research. I’ll be pleased to hear if you make any firm connection between the Highlands and the Netherlands – as you say, France – and Spain of course – fought over these prosperous mercantile regions for decades. Thank you for sharing this,

  6. Gilbert A.Fraser

    My Grand Father name was Eroll Fraser his Brother was name malcom Fraser my Great Grand Father was Alexander Fraser
    My Grand Father was Born in Trinidad before coming to New York in the early 1900s.
    I Think this mother name was Sarah.
    I I was also told that he dedicated a wing and there’s a mirror and New York City at
    Lenox Hill Hospital.
    I Have Been Trying to connect the dots

    I often heard them talk about Hue Fraser.
    Another gentleman by the name of Pentta.
    Also lady Antonio Fraser married into the family she was a great author
    ALSO whenever the Fraser came to New York they always stayed at the Pierre Hotel in New York City off of Central Park I believe it was Fraser Clans Meeting Place
    1800 Late to Early 1900.

    Thank You
    Ga Fraser

  7. Teresa Frazer Gravlin

    My 4th ggf was Jeremiah Fraser/Frazer, born 1763 in New Jersey. I have found only 1 source that names his father as Colin Joseph Fraser/Frazer, born 1733, in an unknown location. I am trying to determine where and from whom my branch of the Frazers came to the US. Jeremiah served in the Revolutionary War at age 13 and is listed with other Frazers, including a Simon. I am unable to determine which Simon this was. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Sarah Fraser

      As I do with so many ancestor hunters, Teresa, I’d refer you to the Highland Archive Centre. The 1733 date is very early indeed. And it makes me wonder how many ships sailed to the New World at that time – unless Colin was a soldier posted to America? again worth looking into?

  8. Annabel Claire Norman

    Hi Sarah
    Thank you for the great summary of Fraser history, I have been slowly researching from various sites and books. My Grandmother was Annie Fraser, a delightful, gentle woman as I remember her from my childhood, was my Father’s mother and I am keen to track her heritage.

    What I have is her father, my Great Grandfather, was James Fraser. He was born in 1836 in or around Inverness, Glen Urquhart is referenced as his birth place.
    He sailed from Glasgow to Otago, New Zealand in 1861 on the a ship called “Storm Cloud”.
    He went to the Otago Gold fields where he was apparently quite successful and went on to Southland, New Zealand and bought land in a place called Forrest Hill. He married Anne McConchie, whose family came from Isle of Gigha and Kintyre. They had 6 children, Annie Fraser being the fifth child who married William Norman. They had 4 boys and 2 girls, my father being the 3rd son.
    The farm my father first farmed when I was young was called the Highlands, in Forest Hill and was possibly the land bought by James Fraser.

    The only other hint of his genealogy was my eldest brother was christened Simon Fraser Lovat Norman. The Lovat was later dropped, so it is only in doing this research I understand its reference.

    My research so far has lead to two possible links, John Fraser, b. 1797 & Janet Macintosh from Urquhart, Inverness area who appear to have had 8 children, the youngest being James born in 1836. The second being Robert Fraser & Janet McBain from Dores who had a James born 1934.
    I would be delighted if any info on this James Fraser is known. I know James Fraser is hardly a rare name among the Fraser Clan, as like my Grandfather William Norman!

    I travel to Scotland (for the first time ever) on 20 August 2018 and will walk Loch Ness 360, a 6 day circuit around Loch Ness through Dores, Foyers and Drumnadrochit, once the traditional lands of Clan Fraser of Lovat, I believe. I hope to explore Beauly and other areas of interest, before exploring the Forbes Clan around Moulin, Perthshire on my Mother’s side.

    Best wishes
    Annabel Norman
    New Zealand

    • Sarah Fraser

      I hope you had a wonderful trip, Annabel. We had great weather, for us, this summer. And I’d refer you to the Highland Archive Centre for more information. They have an excellent genealogy department.

  9. Jo-Anne Doreen Cooper

    I live in Canada and my grandfather was James Fraser 1881 from Urray, his father was James Fraser 1841 from Urray , then Kildrummond Dores, his father was James Lee Fraser 1805 from Kirkhill, his father was James Lee Fraser 1770 from Kirkhill. Thar is as far as I’ve researched. I can’t wait to visit Scotland. These were just the grandparents. There are many of their children I look forward to finding. I have done my DNA and found relatives here in Canada of my great grandfathers brother Alexander 1833. Wow it so great.

    • Sarah Fraser

      I’m sure you’ll find more evidence, Jo-Anne. There is a very old graveyard attached to Wardlaw Mausoleum in Kirkhill. There’s been a church on that site since the 1200s. You’ll also often see the surname Fraser-Lee (usually hyphenated) up here.



    • Sarah Fraser

      Dear James, Great to hear from you. I wouldn’t worry about the inner battle of your Highland and military sides – we are all a mix – I’ve got English and Irish blood – very volatile mix! all the best, Sarah

  11. Joan

    Found your blog when I put in the name of my direct ancestor Daniel Fraser believed to be born about 1735 either in Pennsylvania or Scotland. Many people erroneously say his father was one of the Lord Lovats but I find no record of any Lord Lovat in that time frame that had a son named Daniel. But once someone puts out the wrong info it is hard to correct it.

    • Sarah Fraser

      Dear Joan,

      In 1735, Lovat of the ’45 (see the link to my book The Last Highlander) was Lord Lovat. And you are right, he had no legitimate son called Daniel. But, like many lairds, there were rumours of love children… But, as I say to other people, if you want to follow it up., start at the Highland Archive Centre in Inverness,

      best wishes, Sarah

  12. David McKamey


    My name is David McKamey. Family research shows that we are descendants of a Robert Mac Kimmie (variety of spellings; MacKimmie, McKemmie, etc.). Research shows that Robert was born in and/or around Inverness circa 1620. His family moved to Ulster, particularly Ramelton, Co. Donegal. There he had 3 sons, Francis, Robert, John, and daughter Anne.

    The surname MacKimmie is said to be from Mac Shimidh, Gaelic for Son of Simon, as in Simon Fraser. Would you happen to have any information, or possibly steer me in the right direction, in looking for any information regarding the origins of the Mac Shimidh name? Thank you in advance!

    • Sarah Fraser

      Dear David,

      You’re right about about the Simon, Shimidh, MacKimmie etc evolution. Who knows which Simon it was though. Shimi, in an Anglicised form of the Gaelic for Simon was the name of the last Fraser chief. But uniquely – they are usually Simon now.

      For your purposes, I advise starting with the Highland Archive Centre in Inverness. They have a good website and genealogy section.

  13. David McKamey

    Thank you Ma’am, very much appreciated

  14. David McKamey

    Thank you for kind response, it is very much appreciated. Was just there in Inverness, my first trip. I can assure you it will not be my last. Beautiful country in the highlands but more importantly the folks there are such gracious, warm, and accepting of this wayward American.

    Take care and thanks again for your help.

    Best to all…

  15. Lenro Fraser

    Hi Sarah,

    your post is very informative and enlightening to say the least. i am situated in South Africa and am quite astounded about the rich history of the Frasers. We came across this post after one of my three boys asked “Daddy, Where do we come from?”

    thank you for your effort and passion.

    peace and joy till later!

    Lenro Fraser

    • Sarah Fraser

      Dear Lenro, You’re very welcome – I’m glad it gave you and your boys some pleasure. Frasers in South Africa – we get everywhere, don’t we? best wishes, Sarah

  16. Justin Penner

    Hi Sarah,

    Thank-you for this website. I have been researching my Scottish roots on my mother’s side; she is a Lee. I have wondered about a connection between the Lee’s and the Fraser’s, as my ancestors have lived in/around Fraserburgh since the late 1600’s (in places such as Strichen, Rathen, Lonmay, Cairnbulg, etc) to the present. My great-grandfather – Stephen Lee – emigrated to Manitoba, Canada, around 1913, and that is where my branch of the family now lives, with paucity of information about our Scottish roots.

    I notice in your reply to a previous comment, on Sept 26, 2018, you wrote: ‘You’ll also often see the surname Fraser-Lee (usually hyphenated) up here.” So, my question is, do you have any information/insight as to the relationship between the Lee surname/family and Fraser clan? Were the Lee’s a sept of clan Fraser?

    Any information you can provide would be much appreciated…I have hit a dead-end for now.

    • Sarah Fraser

      Dear Justin,

      I was told the name Lee was linked to the Gaelic leigheas – which can sound like Lees and means a ‘cure’. And that the name Lee often signified a medical person or healer.

      On a personal historical note – I always point people to the Family HIstory Room at the Highland Archive Centre in Inverness

      If they can’t help, they might send you to the National Archives of Scotland.

      Good luck,


  17. Trevor James Fraser Nikodym

    My Grandfather is Paul K. Fraser, my name is Trevor James Fraser Nikodym, great idea on making this website.

    • Sarah Fraser

      Thanks for your good wishes, Trevor. And – I noticed – for following me on Facebook. By the way, I’ve just posted on Facebook about the Royal Ecossais – a regiment of Scots Jacobites fighting in France for France during the Jacobite period – very strange!


  18. Pat Innes

    William Fraser, Labourer, d bef 1841 INV

    John (Simon) Fraser b abt 1796 INV, m 1818 INV, Janet McIntosh b abt 1798 d 1839 Liverpool
    William 1819
    Elizabeth 1821
    John 1824
    Simon 1826-1828
    John Simon 1828
    Thomas 1830-1876, m1 Christian Fox Cooper, m2 Phoebe Fox Cooper
    Janet 1833
    James 1836-1844
    John Simon 1839-1842

    John (Simon) Fraser b abt 1796, m2 1841 Liverpool,Hannah McLandsburgh/Landsborough
    Margaret Grace 1842-1901, m 1872, Peter Ellis Maynard
    Jessie 1844-1901, m 1873, James Windle
    Samuel Landsborough b 1845 d1900

    Samuel McLandsburgh/Landsborough b 1845, m 1867, Mary Ellen McGinn
    Christina 1868- 1957
    Mary Ellen 1869-1869
    Charlotte Landsborough 1870
    Samuel aka “Sidney Grant” 1872-aft 1932
    Jessie 1874-1876
    John Edward 1875
    Mary Ellen 1877-1877
    Thomas 1878

    Samuel aka “Sidney Grant” b 1872, m 1894 Emma Grant Warren
    Doris Landsborough 1895- 1985, d 1985 PA US, m 1918 Liverpool, Walter Ingram Innes
    Phyllis Mary Lillian 1898-1958, m 1920 John V Watson
    Violet Robina Grace 1900-1968
    Sidney Gladys 1904-1904

    Doris L Fraser was my grandmother. Recent Fraser DNA matches all lead to Kiltarlity.


  19. Pat Innes

    Here’s what I have:

    1 – William Fraser, Labourer, d bef 1841 INV

    Son, John (Simon) Fraser, is found as “John Fraser” in all documents located except in his son Thomas’ marriage where he is listed as John Simon Fraser.

    2 – John (Simon) Fraser b abt 1796 INV d 1847 Liverpool, m1 1818 INV, Janet McIntosh b abt 1798 INV d 1839 Liverpool
    William 1819
    Elizabeth 1821
    John 1824-1828
    Simon 1826-1828
    John Simon 1828-
    Thomas 1830-1876, m1 Christian Fox Cooper, m2 1864 Phoebe Fox Cooper
    Janet 1833
    James 1836-1844
    John Simon 1839-1842

    John (Simon) Fraser b abt 1796, m2 1841 Liverpool, Hannah McLandsburgh/Landsborough
    Margaret Grace 1842-1901, m 1872, Peter Ellis Maynard
    Jessie 1844-1901, m 1873, James Windle
    Samuel Landsborough 1845-1900

    3 – Samuel Landsborough Fraser 1845-1900, m 1867, Mary Ellen McGinn
    Christina 1868-1957
    Mary Ellen 1869-1869
    Charlotte Landsborough 1870-1939, m 1895 Edgar J Rogers
    Samuel aka “Sidney Grant” 1872-aft 1932
    Jessie 1874-1876
    John Edward 1875
    Mary Ellen 1877-1877
    Thomas 1878

    4 – Samuel aka “Sidney Grant” b 1872, m 1894, Emma Grant Warren b 1869 d 1963 NY
    Doris Landsborough 1895-1985 PA, m 1918 Walt Ingram Innes Sr b 1892 d 1963
    Phyllis Mary Lillian 1898-1958, m 1920, John Victor Watson
    Violet Robina Grace 1900-19668
    Sydney Gladys 1904-1904

    Doris L Fraser was my grandmother. Numerous recent Fraser DNA matches lead to Kiltarlity INV.

  20. Kathleen Allen

    I have been very interested to read your blogs and The Last Highlander. I have been researching my family history more than 30 years but it was only last year that I found the elusive link, my father had told me of, to the Macleod family. Ann Macleod married Professor John Hill of St Andrews and Edinburgh Universities (they are my 4 x great grandparents). Ann was the granddaughter of Norman Macleod of Macleod and Anne Fraser one of the 4 daughters of Hugh Fraser 9th of Lovat. In the meantime, Norman’s great aunt Sybella Macleod had married (abt 1665) Thomas Fraser who became 10th of Lovat – the parents of Simon Fraser (11th). As I am sure you are aware, Anne Fraser was descended from many branches of British and European Royalty and aristocracy through her mother Lady Amelia Murray.
    I am visiting Tomich this summer with family so I hope to visit some of the historical laces referenced in the history of these families.

  21. Tracie Kirby

    Excellent website. My husband’s 6th great grandfather was Simon the Fox. Great read on the history! Thank you.

  22. Kathleen Mallory

    I am an American Frazier. My grandmother’s maiden name was Frazier. I have been researching my ancestry and am very excited to find a that my fifth-great-grandfather, Andrew Fraser came to America from Sutherland, Scotland cir. 1772. The great history of Scotland in intriguing, full of such heart and soul, guts and glory, love and honor. I just love that I have a small connection. Thank you for offering a great tale of truth.

  23. Henry Thomson

    Hi my 3xgreat Grand mother was Margaret Fraser born In Daviot Inverness 1803 her parents were John Fraser and Christian MacArthur
    who recorded the birth at Croy parish church . Struggling to get further with the family tree any help would be greatly recieved

  24. Garth Frazer

    Hello Sarah.
    Just starting to read your book about Simon the Fox. I know the story at a high level but your book gives some interesting detail.

    I am inquiring as to what you might know about Frasers of Lovat owning and living in Golford, Auldearn Nairnshire? I know that lands there were granted to Hugh by King James in and later given to Earl of Moray in the 1400s.

    I have been able to trace my family back to Golford, Auldearn to early 1700s and ties to the Dunbars there. my ancestors were masons in the area. I am wondering what info you might have.

  25. John Roode

    My Grandmothers name Charlotte Fraser, she married my Grandfather albert in the 1920 in Cape Sown South Africa. They had 4 children Adelaide, John (My Father),Theodore and Joyce.
    my grandfather was adopted by the Roode family I have no real history of my Grand mother and wish to know the path to discovering more of the Fraser clan in South Africa.

  26. Roy Fraser Sparks

    Hello Sarah ,

    I am Roy Fraser Sparks from South Africa. My grandmother on my fathers side was born a Fraser ( Cathleen Fraser ). From what I have heard spoken about our link to the Fraser’s is that we stem from professional soldiers that were sent to South Africa. I know not if this link can be traced back to any Scots that may have arrived here as part of the 1820 settlers or only later on toward the Anglo Boer war. I know my grandmother and her sister traveled to Scotland and visited Beauly Castle and were well received as guests by the family then present there. I would love to know if any record exists of any other serving officers from Clan Fraser that were sent to South Africa prior the Anglo Boer War and then at the time coinciding with the Boer War.

    My sons name is Simon Fraser Sparks and we share so many of the characteristics of the men of Clan Fraser that I hunger for more information to join the dots. I do remember my grandmother speaking of direct family members here in South Africa that were high ranking officers. Many thanks for all you do to keep us vibrant and proud.

  27. Carole Fraser

    Hi Sarah
    My late mother tried researching her family for years. She was born in Inverness but her great grandmother was an Ann Fraser born 1811 in Kilmorack. She seemed to be connected to the Killachy/Bolblainy Frasers plus Guisachan. She married a John MacKenzie, shoemaker on7/6/1833.. Her father, we believe, was a James Fraser who married Mary MacKenzie but I can’t seem to find a match to confirm them as parents. My mother always believed James Fraser to be of the Culbokie/Guisachan family. Belladrum was also mentioned as was Moniack. I have found four tombstones, three inside Beauly Prioty and one outside who are ancestors. Any information would be extremely helpful.

  28. Laurie McWilliams

    It is lovely that the world has been exposed to Scottish history and her beauty through Outlander. I was an avid reader back in the 90’s when the series initially was published. But ironically married a man who’s family came out of the Kiltarlity, Kilmorack, Beauly area and they left shortly after Culloden for northern Ireland and then the States. His family were tenant farmers for the Fraser family. Are there Fraser records of their tenants in the 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th century.
    We had to cancel a trip this fall but will be rescheduling and I would love to show him the areas his family came from and what their history was. Thank you for all that you do to educate and represent your family!
    Laurie McWIlliams

  29. David Crumb

    Hello Sara:
    It is April 3rd 2020, and I have just discovered your very interesting blog on the Fraser’s of Lovat. My wife and i have watched and read much of the Outlander series which has rekindled my interest in Fraser history.Through my mother’s side I am the great grandson of a man born 219 years ago in Fort Augustus Scotland. i am the last living of his 33 great grandchildren. His name was Alexander Fraser (yes another Alexander Fraser) . After more than 50 years of research I find the Frasers did not have much imagination when it came to family first names. Tradition notes that they usually named children after family members of the previous generation. Fortunately I have good reliable information on my Great grandfather Alexander born in 1801 and died in 1891. He arrived in Glengarry, Ontario, Canada in 1803 with his parents Donald and Sarah Fraser with a contingent of many Scottish families from Glengarry, Scotland under the leadership of the Rev. Alexander MacDonnell, later Bishop of Upper Canada. it was like a whole community from the Catholic highlands was shipped over on 3 sailing vessels to the flat lands bordering the St. Lawrence River just south west of Montreal over the border in Ontario which they named Glengarry.
    Like many Americans I have had the pleasure of visiting Scotland on several occasions. The first in the mid 1960s when a student. My eldest aunt at the time some 55 years older than I and who remembered her grandfather Alexander Fraser became excited when she learned I was going and suggested I go visit Lord Lovat. I figured why not. i wrote a letter a few months prior to my trip to his Lordship and never heard a thing, but after visiting in Inverness on the first day of my arrival I met a fellow who knew Lovat, and he arranged for me to be introduced to him the next day when his Lordship was presenting the silver cups at the sheep dog trials. A thrilling experience for a 23 year old at the time. Subsequently I was invited to Sunday dinner with his family. Following dinner Lord Lovat graciously gave me the “cooks” tour of Beaufort Castle, Wardlaw, Beauly Abbey, and other significant places relating to Fraser history. Unfortunately he advised me that Beaufort had burned during the bombing of World War 2 and all the old tenant records stored in the attic had gone up in flame.
    The best we could figure was that my Great grandfather’s family were millers on the Lovat Estate on Loch Ness near Fort Augustus. At Fort Augustus i had the pleasure of meeting Alex Campbell of Inverawe, a Water Bailiff on Loch Ness for many years and a great historian. He kindly took me in his Landrover to the 2nd milestone on the road to Inverness and showed me what he thought were the ruins of Donald Fraser’s ancestral home near Cherry Island. A little further North to the ruins of the old mill site. These are special memories for me, and I was hoping to visit Scotland again this September, but due to the Corona Virus will probably have to delay the trip, I would like to see if I could find a reliable connection to Donald Fraser’s family in Scotland. However i am afraid these ancestors may have been caught up in the aftermath of Culloden and that their information may be gone with the wind.
    I did not plan on writing so much, but I found your history and blog so interesting that I thought I should include my five cents for the record.
    As many other have said, it is wonderful and refreshing that you have taken the leadership to keep the flame alive on this colorful and proud old Scottish family. I would be pleased to hear form you if you are inclined with any suggestions.
    Thank you. David Crumb

  30. Nicola

    I was researching my family tree on my Fraser side from the highlands: I discovered there is a lot of Frasers in my tree were from Glasgow Rhu Dallas and Edinkillie Morayshire Dyke and Logie In Ross-shire and I still have other people and other areas I haven’t researched yet but I did find these are just some of my direct ancestors

    Vera Sylvia Fraser my grandmother
    Robert Kelly Fraser – my great grandfather was born in Kingussie and insh Inverness shire

    Alexander Fraser
    Elspet Fraser
    Donald Fraser
    Jane Fraser
    John Fraser
    William Fraser
    And another Donald Fraser
    Jane Black macgillivray Fraser

    Elsie Fraser my x2 great Grandmother
    And a Annie Fraser from Logie I managed to trace back to 1782

    The other names connected to my Fraser side are Anderson Macgillivray Mcquiban and Grant

    I also come from a long line of Grants and found out that the Frasers and the Grants were allies in battle

    As a child I spent a lot of time up in Scotland with my granny Fraser in Glasgow and Dunbartonshire and travelling through the highlands with my mother and father but any of the areas listed on my ancestry I have never even heard of.
    I have lots of Fraser names areas and dates of my ancestors births and deaths but finding there history is going to be a long one as theres that many Frasers
    But my granny Fraser said we were linked with the highland Frasers I’ve searched the Frasers of Lovatts like she adviced but haven’t found a link yet
    I did send off a dna test off with my heritage and currently waiting on my results by email it may connect me with other Frasers out there who share my dna and family tree on my Fraser side

  31. John Robert Stuart Fraser

    My Scottish ancestor, Samuel Fraser, went to Barbados, West Indies, where he got married in 1750. We have enjoyed the family stories of coming from Scotland ever since and for many years, even though many Frasers went to Barbados, after a while we were the only Fraser family remaining. Our family has enjoyed a wonderful and successful life in Barbados with ancestors who were: an apothecary, a successful businessman, a dentist, a Treasurer and most recently my brother, Sir Henry Fraser, as a doctor and Dean of Medicine. Our heritage helped ensure hard work and high values.

  32. Matthew Fraser

    Good day! This has been an excellent read. I’m actually from Jamaica and interestingly my family grew up in the west of the island in Culloden. Sadly, my family tree stops with the knowledge of my grandparents and I don’t have much information beyond that.

    Thank you for this article. It at least allowed me to pick up a new scent along the trail to my origin.

    Thank you again and take care.
    Matthew Fraser

  33. Marcia Parkes

    Hi Sarah
    Found your information interesting, I’m working on my genealogy and have a Simon & Ann Fraser coming to Australia, Simon born c 1811 and died 14 april 1893 at Warneton, New South Wales what I found interesting he died at Lovat Cottage.
    Children : Hugh Iken Douglas Fraser, Donald Fraser, Archibald Fraser, Elizabeth Fraser, Mary E Fraser,

  34. Theresa Hargrove

    I am wondering if the Scottish heritage in my family is the same lineage as my American family. I am related to Robert Wilson Fraser and Viola Graham Fraser who are buried in USA, Fayette County, Tennessee.

  35. Pauline Maclagan

    My great grandfather was David Henry Fraser he married Eliza Bush! In Australia! Was wondering if anyone had any history of him!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This