Peasants to Puddles
My Family History - By Nicky Rowberry
William Fraser was one of my 4xgreat grandfathers on my mother's side. So far I know very little about his life. He married Elizabeth (or Betty) Fraser in 1805 in Boleskine, Inverness-shire. The marriage entry reads "William Fraser in Croftmore married 24th January to Elizabeth Fraser daughter to the late Alexander Fraser tenant in Dalcrag." So far I have traced 4 children born between 1805 and about 1816. The first three children were baptised at Boleskine according to the IGI. According to the death certificates of three of his children (John, Janet & Margaret) he was a Crofter and according to another (Alexander) he was a farmer.
Other than those snippets of information, I know very little about William and Elizabeth Fraser. Finding the correct family of Frasers in the censuses is proving difficult, as Fraser was a very common name in the Inverness area. I have found a widow Betsy Fraser, aged 80 living in Boleskine in 1851. However, as she is living alone and described only as a "Pauper formerly Housekeeper", I can't be sure this is my Betty Fraser. So far I've found no trace of William Fraser.
Their eldest daughter Janet Fraser married another Fraser - John, who was a shoemaker and twenty years her senior. I've managed to find this couple in both the 1841 and 1851 censuses, living in Dores, Inverness-shire.
William & Elizabeth's eldest son was John Fraser, my 3xgreat grandfather. For more information on John Fraser and his family, please click on the following link:
This John Fraser married Ann Cameron sometime in the 1830s. When Ann died in 1855, her parents were named as Donald Cameron and Ann Smith, both deceased. So far I've managed to trace three other children for this couple, although I've not found the baptisms of any of them, nor their parents marriage. I think Ann Cameron (nee Smith) was still alive at least in 1851. There is an Ann Cameron living at Elrig in the parish of Daviot & Dunlichty in 1851, with two daughters (Elizabeth & Mary Cameron) and two grandchildren (Margaret & Ann Fraser). These details seem to match up with what I know about Ann Smith and suggest she died sometime between 1851 and 1855 when she was described as deceased on her daughter's death certificate. I've yet to find any trace of Donald Cameron; all I know about him is that his children's death certificates describe him as a labourer.
William & Elizabeth Fraser's youngest daughter Margaret married another Fraser - Hugh - I think the marriage took place in 1842 in Dores. As far as I can tell Margaret & Hugh had 5 daughters but no sons. Their middle daughter Jessie married her first cousin Donald Fraser - the son of my John Fraser and Ann Cameron. I have recently been contacted by Barbara, a descendant of another daughter - Catherine Fraser who married Donald MacDonald. Barbara has very kindly given me this photo of Catherine Fraser as an old lady and also the accompanying one of her gravestone.
The family tree below summarises what I know about the above generations of my Fraser and Cameron families. It is hopefully reasonably accurate, but if you spot any errors, or any relatives, please feel free to E-mail me
Please click on one of the red links on the tree to move to a different page.
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If any of the above is of further interest, please feel free to contact me at: email@example.com
© Nicky Rowberry 2023
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Peasants to Puddles - My Family History. By Nicky Rowberry