Peasants to Puddles
My Family History - By Nicky Rowberry

The Frasers
Page 2

John Fraser was one of my 3xgreat grandfathers. He was born in 1805 in Boleskine, Inverness-shire, the eldest son of William & Elizabeth (or Betty) Fraser. For more information on William & Betty's family, please click on the following link:

At some point in the 1830s, John Fraser married Ann Cameron. I don't know when they married, as there are several possibilities according to the IGI and I've not had the chance to check out the original records. Their first son William Fraser was born in 1835 in the parish of Daviot & Dunlichty. So far I have only been able to find baptism records for some of their subsequent children (and only from the IGI - I haven't had a chance to verify any of these).

Finding the family in the censuses is also proving difficult, as Fraser was a very common name in the Inverness area. So far I've found Ann Cameron and the oldest children (William, Donald & Elizabeth Fraser), living in Dores at Achageal in 1841. John Fraser seems to have been absent from home on the night of the census, but there was an Ann Fraser aged 19 living with the family - possibly a younger sister of John? John Fraser was a tailor, but there seems to have been more than one John Fraser plying that trade in the area, so I'm not sure yet where he was in 1841.

In 1851, Ann Fraser (Cameron) seems to have been living at Gortangour in Daviot & Dunlichty with 3 of her children - Donald, Eliza & John. Two further children, Margaret & Ann Fraser, seem to be living with their maternal grandmother Ann Cameron (nee Smith), at Elrig in the same parish. I don't know where the rest of the family, including the father John Fraser, were in 1851.

John Fraser's wife, Ann Cameron died in Boleskine in 1855. Her death certificate lists all her surviving children, 8 in total. It also gives the names of her parents - Donald Cameron & Ann Smith. By 1861, the widowed John Fraser was still working in Boleskine as a tailor, living with his son John & daughter Eliza(beth) Fraser. The table below gives a transcription of the 1861 census (Boleskine 1861 census Page 8 schedule 34)

Page 8]The undermentioned Houses are situated within the Boundaries of the
Parish of Quad Sacra Parish of Parliamentary Burgh of Royal Burgh ofTown ofVillage of
Boleskine          
No. of Schedule Road, Street and Name of HouseName and Surname of each personRelation to Head of FamilyCondition AgeRank, Profession or OccupationWhere Born
34 Tailor's HouseJohn FraserHeadWid 55TailorBoleskine
   Eliza FraserDaurUnmar 20HousekeeperDores
   John FraserSonUnmar12ScholarDaviot

Three of the other children were living in Daviot with their uncle William Cameron in 1861 - the table below shows a transcription of this census return (Daviot 1861 census Page 5? schedule 33):

Page 5]The undermentioned Houses are situated within the Boundaries of the
Parish of Quad Sacra Parish of Parliamentary Burgh of Royal Burgh ofTown ofVillage of
Boleskine          
No. of Schedule Road, Street and Name of HouseName and Surname of each personRelation to Head of FamilyCondition AgeRank, Profession or OccupationWhere Born
33 ElrigWilliam CameronHeadMar 60LabourerDunlichty
   Elizabeth CameronSisterUnmar 57Labourer's sisterDunlichty
   Donald FraserNephewUnmar22Tailor's apprenticeDunlichty
   Ann FraserNiece 13ScholarDunlichty
   Alexander FraserNephew 10ScholarDunlichty

By 1871 the family were even more scattered. Jessie Fraser had married Roderick Douglas and they seem to have taken in 3 of the family - Ann, John & Alexander Fraser. John Fraser senior was living in Boleskine with William & Margraet Fraser who were brother & sister. My John was described only as a visitor, so may or may not have been related to them. The tables below give extracts from the 1871 census:

Page 3The undermentioned Houses are situated within the Boundaries of the
Civil Parish Quad Sacra parish of Parliamentary Burgh ofRoyal Burgh ofPolice Burgh ofTown ofVillage or Hamlet of
Dores        Muirkirk
No. of Schedule Road, Street and Name of HouseName and Surname of each personRelation to Head of FamilyCondition AgeProfession or OccupationWhere Born
7 Ploughman's HouseRoderick DouglasHeadMarried 26PloughmanKilmorack
   Jessie DouglasWifeMarried 26WifeDaviot
   Ann FraserSis-in-lawUnmar24DressmakerDaviot
   John FraserBro-in-lawUnmar22PloughmanDaviot
   Alexander FraserBro-in-lawUnmar20ShepherdDaviot

Page 6The undermentioned Houses are situated within the Boundaries of the
Civil Parish Quad Sacra parish of Parliamentary Burgh ofRoyal Burgh ofPolice Burgh ofTown ofVillage or Hamlet of
Boleskine        Muirkirk
No. of Schedule Road, Street and Name of HouseName and Surname of each personRelation to Head of FamilyCondition AgeProfession or OccupationWhere Born
20 Easter DalcraigWilliam FraserHeadUnmar 51Merchant & GrocerBoleskine
   Margaret FraserSisterUnmar 58General ServantBoleskine
   John FraserVisitorWid66Retired TailorBoleskine

John Fraser died on 16th December 1872 at Balnaglaicha, Dores.

I've managed to trace the fate of most of John Fraser & Ann Cameron's children. Their eldest son William Fraser married Margaret McGillvary and they had at least 11 children who grew up at Leadclune or Laidclune in the parish of Dores, where William was a farmer. Donald Fraser married his cousin Jessie. Jessie Fraser married Roderick Douglas, and although they don't seem to have had any children of their own, they looked after several nieces and nephews at their home in Lasswade near Edinburgh. Ann Fraser ended up living near Edinburgh close to her sister Jessie, having married Joseph Todd.

Alexander Fraser moved to Longside in Aberdeenshire, where he met and married Margaret Rennie and had at least 9 children. At some point around 1890 Alexander & Margaret moved to Chile taking most of their children with them. Sadly Margaret died not long after they arrived in South America and Alexander and the children returned to Scotland. Alexander then married Elizabeth Scott and had 4 more children. Several of Alexander's children from his first marriage emigrated to Canada, where there are still Fraser descendants to this day.

The younger John Fraser (my 2 x great grandfather) also ended up in Longside, where he met the first of his three wives, Eliza Ann Cooper. For more information on this John Fraser and his family, please click on the following link:

The Fraser family seem to have been fond of Memorial Cards, as moving reminders of their loved ones, and two of these have survived.

Unfortunately John Fraser's card doesn't say where he is buried, but thankfully Jessie's says that she was buried in Loanhead cemetery, so I have been able to locate the grave.

The family tree below summarises what I know about the Fraser family. 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.



Please click on one of the following links to move to a different page:

If any of the above is of further interest, please feel free to contact me at: n.rowberry@btinternet.com

Nicky Rowberry 2018

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Peasants to Puddles - My Family History. By Nicky Rowberry