Fraser Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History
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Fraser-The earliest recorded and recognized variation of the name Fraser is from the 12th century. There are records which bear the names de Fresel, de Friseal and de Freseliere, which are considered to be Norman-French. Researchers have found it difficult to locate any of these earlier spellings in France.-(Norman surnames are usually a name meaning from________.) It is thought the original Fraser family came from Anjou and crossed the channel during the Norman ascendancy in the time of the conquest of England and of a large Norman presence in Scotland. ( many Scottish families and clans have a Norman adventurer as an ancestor, de Bruce, being one such example, who married into the Scottish royal family and established the Family Bruce.)
Because of the varied spelling of Fraser, Frazer, Fraizer, experts have declared it Scottish surname. It is thought to be a derivative of the Gaelic word Fraisse, which translates to Strawberry. Many portions of the area controlled by Clan Fraser grew Strawberries in the medieval era. It is an emblems long associated with nobility and the rank of a Duke, and one of the symbols associated with Clan Fraser as seen in their heraldry.
One of the more notable personages within Clan Fraser history is Sir Simon Fraser. His name appears in the 14th Century as one of the landowners in the North-East region of Scotland, primarily centered around the township of Keith. During the time period of the Scottish Wars for Independence, Sir Simon Fraser known as the “The Scottish Patriot.” Born in Tweedale at Oliver Castle. Incidentally he was one of Sir William Wallace, the Guardian of Scotland’s staunchest supporters. Sir Simon fought as Sir Wallace’s lieutenant at the battle of Roslin, in 1302.
Sir Simon Fraser captured by the English in 1306 and was taken to London, with his brother John. The Fraser brothers were executed alongside their friend Sir William Wallace, and had their heads placed on pikes next to his.
In the later half of the 14th century the family became split between two heiresses due to the large casualties taken by the family and its heirs during the war of Scottish Independence. The Senior line is descended from Sir Alexander Fraser who fought at Bannockburn and signed the Declaration of Arborath, and they are known as the Fraser of Philorth and the lords of Saltoun. The cadet or junior branch are known as Lovat or Lords of Lovat. They are descendants of Sir Simon Fraser, the ‘Patriot’ brother to Sir Alexander.
Both sides of clan Fraser still exist and are active today. They are one of the most widespread, and largest Scottish families. Fraser descendants can be found in virtually every country of the commonwealth and the United States of America. They have fought in almost every war and engagement Scotland has had since their founding in the 12th century.
They have long fought against the English, and Fraser clansmen were found in the ranks at Bannockburn; later in 1745 they fought once more against the English at Culloden. They raised up regiments to serve under General Wolf in the Canadian campaign and the battle of the Plains of Abraham. Frasers have fought both for and against the British forces during the American war of revolution. Both family branches has raised up regiments of soldiers for the Boer wars, World War One, World War Two, and The home guard. Clan Fraser posses’ one of the most distinct and proudest military tradition in Scottish history.
The Clan Fraser Chieftains have both been recognized by the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs.
Flora Fraser, Lady Saltoun is the sole heir of the name Fraser and the Fraser Arms.* She is a hereditary member and an elected member of the House of Lords. She is a widow of Alexander Ramsay of Mar, (one of Queen Victoria’s great, grandchildren.*) She has three daughters.
*This also means Lady Saltoun’s children are related to HM Queen Elizabeth II and her family.
Simon Christopher Joseph Fraser is the 16th Lord Lovat. He inherited from his Grandfather in 1995. He is also the 18th Baron of Lovat.
*although the Lord Lyon Court of Arms ruled Lady Fraser is the sole heir of the name Fraser, the ruling only applies to the lowland side of the family, as it (the court) does not have jurisdiction over a highland clan. The Lord Lovat has deigned to ignore the ruling.
Places associated with Clan Fraser:
Castle Fraser, Kenmay in Aberdeenshire. Cairnbulg Castle, in Cairnbulg, Aberdeenshire. The castle was destroyed by enemy forces to the Frasers, and subsequently rebuilt by the family in the early 14th Century. The property was once the Home of the Chieftain Lady Flora Fraser. It is the residence of her daughter and heir Lady Katherine Fraser, Mistress of Saltoun.
Cadet Branch Fraser of Lovat:
Castle Dounie established in the 12th century, destroyed by English forces in 1747 rebuilt by the 12th Lord Lovat in 1882, renamed Beaufort Castle. Sold by the 15th Lord Lovat in 1995 to pay for taxes owed. Heather Castle. Cherry Island in Lochness. The island had a fortification on it, but is now ruins. Erchless Castle, long associated with the Frasers of Lovat, was sold to the Chisholm Clan in the 15th Century. Moniak Castle, and Reelig House, home of the Frasers of Reelig.
Royal Personages associated with Fraser:
Every Scottish monarch since Alexander III of Scotland and, all the English monarchs. After unification, all the British Monarchs to the present day, to include HM Queen Elizabeth II.
Blazons & Genealogy Notes
1) (Oliver Castle, co. Peebles; two co-heiresses in 14th century divided the property, who in. Sir Patrick Fleming, ancestor of the Earls of Wigton, and Hay, of Locherworth). Az. five frases ar. two, one, and two.
2) (Lord Lovat). Motto—Je suis prest. Quarterly, 1 at and 4th, az. three frases ar; 2nd and 3rd, ar. three antique crowns gu. Crest—A buck’s head erased ppr. Supporters—Two bucks ppr.
3) (lnverallochy and Castle Fraser, co. Aberdeen; descended from a younger son of Simon, eighth Lord Lovat; on failure of heirs male these estates passed to the second son of the heir female, General Alexander Mackenzie Fraser, 1803, for whom are recorded the following arms). Motto—Je suis prest. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, az. a crescent or, betw. three frases ar; 2nd and 3rd, ar. three antique crowns gu.; all within a bordure erminois. Crest—A stag’s head ppr.
4) (Strichen, co. Aberdeen; descended from a second son of Alexander, sixth Lord Lovat; the representative of this branch became twelfth Lord Lovat). Motto—Vive ut vivas. Quarterly, as Lord Lovat, within a bordure gu. Crest—A stag’s head couped ppr.
5) (Struy, co. Inverness; from a third son of Hugh, fifth Lord Lovat). Motto—Amicum proba, hostem scito. Quarterly, as Lord Lovat, within a bordure or. Crest—A stag’s head couped ppr. attired or.
6) (Eskadale, a cadet of Struy). Motto—Vel pax vel helium. Quarterly, as Lord Lovat, within a bordure indented ar. charged with eight crescents gu. Crest—A stag’s head erased ppr. attired or, charged with an increscent and a decrescent interlaced ar.
7) (Belladrum, co. Inverness). Motto—Virtutis laus actio. Quarterly, as Lord Lovat, within a bordure engr. quarterly, ar. and gu. Crest—A stag starting ppr. attired or.
8) (Auchnagarne, co. Inverness). Motto—Pace et bello paratus. As Belladrum, the bordure charged with eight mullets counterchanged. Crest—A stag’s head erased ppr. attired or, charged with a star of eight rays issuing from a crescent ar.
9) (Fingask). Motto—Ubique paratus. As Belladrum, the bordure charged with eight annulets counterchanged. Crest—As Auchnagarne.
10) (Farraline, co. Inverness). Motto—Ready. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, az. a bend engr. betw. three frases ar.; 2nd and 3rd, ar. three antique crowns gu. Crest—A sword ppr. hilted and pommelled or, and an olive branch also ppr. in saltire.
11) (Leadclune, bart., 1806). Quarterly, as Farraline, and in the 1st and 4th quarters a canton gyronny of eight or and sa. Crest—A buck’s head erased gu. Motto—Je suis prest. Supporters—Two stags ppr. armed and unguled or, collared az. and pendent from each collar an escutcheon gyronny of eight or and sa. each supporter resting his foot on an anchor ppr.
12) (Dr. William M’Kinnon Fraser, of Bath, 1798). Motto—Je suis prest. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, az. a bend engr. betw. three frases ar.; 2nd and 3rd, gu. three antique crowns or. Crest—A stag’s head erased ppr. on its neck the rod of Esculapius or.
13) (Major Charles Fraser, brother of the last, 1803). Motto—Je suis prest. As the last, with a crescent erminois in tho centre of the quarters. Crest—A stag’s head erased ppr.
14) (Philip Fraser, Provost of Inverness, descended of Foyers, 1692). Motto—Estote semper parati. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, az. a fess betw. three frames ar.; 2nd and 3rd, ar. three antique crowns gu. Crest: A hand pointing upwards with the forefinger ppr.
15) (Col. Augutus Simon Fraser,1814). Motto—Je suis prest. Quarterly,as Lord Lovat, all within a bordure embattled quarterly, az. and gu. in the centre of the shield pendent from a mural crown or, a representation of the gold cross conferred in testimony of his services at Vittoria, St. Sebastian, Nive, and Toulouse. Crest—A buck’s head ppr. attired or.
16) (Philorth, co. Aberdeen; before succeeding to the title of Lord Saltoun). Quarterly, 1st and 4th, az. three frases ar., for Fraser; 2nd and 3rd, ar. a lion ramp. gu., for Ross. Crest—An ostrich’s head, holding a horseshoe ppr. Motto—In God is all.
17) (Lord Saltoun). Motto—In God is all. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, az. three frases ar., for Fraser; 2nd, gu. a lion ramp. ar., for Ross; 3rd, ar. three piles gu., for Wishart. Crest—An ostrich holding in his beak a horseshoe ppr. Supporters—Two cherubim with wings expanded and vested in long garments or.
18) (Fraserfield or Balgownie, co. Aberdeen; from William, second son of William Fraser, eleventh Lord Saltoun; now represented by Forbes, of Balgownie, as senior co-heir of line). Mottoes—Above the crest: Quam sibi sortem; below the shield: In God is all. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, az. three frases ar.; 2nd, or, a lion ramp. debruised by a riband sa., for Abernethy; 3rd, gu. a lion ramp. ar., for Ross, all within a bordure az. charged with eight garbs or. Crest—An ostrich ppr. holding in his beak a horseshoe az. Supporters—Two angels with wings displ. their habits az. fringed or.
19) (Tyrie, co. Aberdeen). Motto—In God is all. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, az. three frases ar.; 2nd and 3rd, gu. a lion ramp. ar. armed and langued sa. in the centre of the quarters a crescent ar. Crest—An ostrich holding in his beak a horseshoe ppr.
20) (Broadlands, co. Aberdeen). Motto—In God I trust. Quarterly, as the last, and with a fleur-de-lis in the centre of the quarters.
21) (Findrack, co. Aberdeen, 1864, as representing Dorris). Motto—I am ready. Quarterly, 1st and 4th grand quarters, az. three frases ar., for Fraser; 2nd grand quarter, counterquartered, 1st, az. three boars’ heads couped or, 2nd, or, three lions’ heads erased gu., 3rd, or, three crescenta within a double tressure flory counterflory gu., 4th, az. three frases ar. all within a bordure nebuly gu., for Gordon, of Invergordon; 3rd grand quarter, counterquartered, 1st and 4th, gu. a boar pass, or, for Baird, 2nd, az. a unicorn saliant ar. armed and unguled or, a bordure of the last, charged with eight half thistles ppr. and as many half roses gu. stalked and leaved ppr. conjoined paleways, for Kinnoull, 3rd, ar. three inescutcheons gu., for Hay. Crest—A stag’s head erased ppr. Supporters—Two stags ppr.
22) (Kirkton, co. Forfar). Motto—Nosce teipsum. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, az. three frases ar.; 2nd, gu. a lion ramp. or, all within a bordure indented or. Crest—A bunch of strawberries ppr.
23) (Hospitalfield, co. Forfar; heir of line of Kirkton, paternally Allan, 1851). Motto—Nosce teipsum. The same, with the addition of a canton erm. Crest—A talbot’s head erased, holding in the mouth a bunch of strawberries ppr.
24) (Lord Fraser of Muchalls, 1633, dormant or extinct since 1720). Motto—All my hope is in God. Az. three frases ar. Crest—A bunch of strawberries ppr. Supporters—A falcon and a heron ppr.
25) (Phopachy, co. Inverness; now represented by Fraser, of Torbreck). Motto—Non extinguar. Az. three frases ar. within a bordure compony of the second and first. Crest—A phoenix ppr.
26) (Ross Herald, 1680). Motto—In virtute et fortuna. Per pale az. and ar. three frases counterchanged. Crest—A winged globe surmounted of an eagle rising ppr.