fraser Family  

Fraser: Scottish name of French origin, meaning unknown [1]


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Part 1: Hugh Fraser Sr (? - ?)


The first known Fraser was Hugh Fraser who lived in the latter half of the 18th century. 'Fraser' is a prominent name in the area around Inverness in the Scottish Highlands, and the Clan Fraser have been involved in major Scottish political events since they first appeared in Scotland in the 12th century. The Clan Fraser of Lovat is the branch associated with the area where Hugh and his descendants lived, though how (or indeed if) they might have been related is not known at present.

Hugh was a farmer married to Isabel Hutchen (or Hutcheson). No marriage record has been found so far (either because it has not been transcribed or, more likely, not survived). They lived in Kiltarlity Parish, south-west of Inverness, near Loch Ness. The settlements they lived in, near Balmore, have long since disappeared: Fassock ('Fasadh' in Gaelic) and then Foxhall (or 'Foxhole' - 'Bhog solla' in Gaelic pronunciation). [2]  

Hugh and Isabel had six children: Alexander, Thomas, Catherine, Donald, Robert and Hugh. [3] The witnesses for many of the baptisms were Thomas Hutchen, Robert Hutchen and Donald Fraser who were almost certainly relatives. Nothing else is known of Hugh Sr or Isabel.  

Alexander was born 09 July 1781 in Fassock, Kiltarlity Parish and baptised two days later. Nothing else is known of him.

Thomas was born 21 July 1783 in Foxhall, Kiltarlity Parish and baptised the same day. Nothing else is known of him.

Catherine was baptised 15 Dec 1785 in Kiltarlity Parish. It is likely she was born that day or a day or two earlier. Nothing else is known of her.

Donald was baptised 21 November 1788 in Kiltarlity Parish. It is likely he was born that day or a day or two earlier. He had an illegitimate son, Hugh Fraser, who was born 15 July 1834 and baptised 01 August in Nairn, Nairnshire. Hugh listed Inverness (probably the town rather than the county) on census records as where he was born. His mother was Elizabeth Stewart who may have married Donald later which would have made Hugh legitimate. Donald was a farmer and probably died between 1862 and 1878. [4] Hugh studied at King's College, Aberdeen and was awarded an MA in 1851 (it was not uncommon to be at university younger than 18). He became a minister for the Church of Scotland (like one of his cousins, also called Hugh Fraser!) and was ordained to Berridale Parish, Caithness-shire, 13 March 1862. He was presented by James, Earl of Fife and translated to Macduff Parish, 26 November 1863. His final translation was 19 May 1868 to Alvah, Banffshire. He married twice, first to Amelia Jane Scott 15 May 1862. She died in 1867 and he remarried Annie Bean 30 April 1878. They had seven children, two of their sons later received the Military Cross during WWI. Annie died 23 March 1916 and Hugh retired and died in Forres, Morayshire, 18 November 1923.  

Robert was born 24 August 1790 in Foxhall, Kiltarlity Parish and baptised two days later. Nothing else is known of him.  

Hugh was born in 1792. More information about him appears in Part 2. [5]

Next: Hugh Fraser Jr




[2] The co-ordinates suggested by Simon Taylor (see footnote 4) for Foxhall are 57.3514N, 4.6874W. NB: Many of the old shires listed on these pages have since been amalgamated into the Highland Council Area.
[3] Although Donald's mother is not listed and Robert's
mother is listed as 'Isabel Fraser' on the baptism records, the address for their father Hugh Fraser is the same, as are the witnesses so it is a strong certainty they are part of the family.
[4] On his death certificate, Hugh Fraser's parents were listed as Donald Fraser, Civil Engineer, and Margaret Mackintosh. His son James supplied the details so may not have known the correct information. Under Sots law, a child would become legitimate if the parents later married, as long as they would have been free to marry at the time of the child's birth. (This was not the case in other parts of the United Kingdom until the Legitimacy Act 1926.)
[5] International Genealogical Index [IGI]; Old Parish Records pre 1855: Births & Baptisms, Marriages & Proclamations of Banns. Deaths & Burials, Statutory Registers of Births, Marriages and Deaths 1855-2006, Wills & Testaments; Scotland Census 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881. 1891, 1901 (; Scotland Census 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, various family trees (; Clan Fraser Society of Scotland and the United Kingdom website (; 'Place-name Survey of the Parishes of Kilmorack, Kiltarlity & Convinth, and Kirkhall, Inverness-shire' by Simon Taylor, Dept. of Medieval History, St Andrews University (2002); Gazetteer for Scotland (; 'Fasti Ecclesiĉ Scoticanĉ: Vol VI Synods of Aberdeen and of Moray' by Hew Scott D.D. (1926) (; Wikipedia