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Clergy families alias Fraser


In The Clan Fraser in Canada, Souvenir of the First Annual Gathering, Toronto, May 5th 1894, Alexander Fraser (1860-1936) quotes from the Allangrange MS with respect to the Rev. Wm. Fraser, of Kilmorack, to illustrate how members of some native tribes in Inverness-shire came to adopt the Fraser name.

"Bishop Hay, maternal uncle to Agnes [Fraser of] Lovat, carried away by Kenneth Mackenzie (a 'Bhlair), Seventh Baron of Kintail, when he sent away his first wife, Margaret, [illegitimate] daughter of John [of Isla, the forfeited] Earl of Ross [and last Lord of the Isles], advised Kenneth and the lady's friends that a commission should be sent to the Pope in 1491 to procure the legitimation of their union [c1480]. This was agreed to, and the following is the account of the commissioners:

"...'To that effect one called Donald Dubh MacChreggie, priest of Kirkhill, was employed. This priest was a native in Kintail, descended of a clan there called Clan Chreggie, who, being a hopeful boy in his younger days, was educated in Mackenzie's house, and afterwards at Beullie by the forementioned Dugall Mackenzie (natural son of Alexander 'Ionraic' VI of Kintail pryor yr of). In the end he was made priest of Kirkhill. His successors to this day are called Frasers. Of this priest are descended Mr. William and Mr. Donald Fraser. Sir Dugall Mackenzie was made priest of Kintail and married Nian (daughter) Dunchy Chaim in Glenmoriston. Sir Andrew likewise married, whose son was Donall Dubh MacIntagard (Black Donald, son of the Priest) and was priest of Kirkhill and Chaunter of Ross. His tack of the Vicarage of Kilmorack to John Chisholm, of Comar, stands to this day. His son was Mr. William MacAhoulding, alias Fraser, who died minister of Kiltarlity. His son was Mr. Donald Fraser, who died minister of Kilmorack; so that he is the fifth minister or ecclesiastical person in a lineal and uninterrupted succession, which falls out but seldom, and that which, in my judgment, nothing can more entitle a man to be really a gentleman; for that blood which runs in the veins of four or five generations of men of piety and learning and breeding cannot but have influence, and it confirms my opinion that the present Mr. Wm. Fraser (who is the fifth) has the virtues and commendable properties of his predecessors all united in him.'

"The author of the Ardintoul MSS gives a slightly different version, and says: 'To which end they sent Mr. Andrew Fraser, priest of Kintail, a learned and eloquent man, who took in his company Dugald Mackenzie, natural son of Alexander Inrig, who was a scholar. The Pope entertained them kindly, and very readily granted them what they desired, and were both made knights to boot by Pope Clement VIII, but when my knights came home they neglected the decree of Pope Innocent III against the marriage and consentricate of the clergy, or, otherwise, they got a dispensation from the then Pope Clement VIII, for both of them married."

Alexander Fraser notes: "We see here the ease with which a MacChreggie could become a Fraser..."

Line of succession: Sir Andrew Fraser [1]; his son Donald Dow Fraser [2]; his son William Fraser [3], minister at Kiltarlity (d. 1665); his son Donald Fraser [4], minister at Kilmorack (d. 1684); his son William Fraser [5]. Mr. William Fraser, minister at Kilmorack, who died in May 1710, by his wife, Janet (Jean) Baillie, had the following children [Kilmorack OPR]:

Donald - 18 Jan 1681 - Godfathers: Thomas Frazer, son to Struy & Mr. James Frazer, minister at Kirkhill.
William - 18 Jan 1683 - Godfathers: Mr. Hugh Frazer of Eskadale & James Frazer of Relick.
Alexander - 29 Apr 1684 - Godfathers: Mr. Hugh Frazer of Eskadale & Alexr. Chisholm of Teawigg.
Maria - 5 July 1685 - Godfathers: James Frazer of Dunballoch & Alexr. Chisholm of Teawigg.
John - 19 Jan 1688 - Godfathers: John Frazer of Culmiln & Mr. James Frazer, minister at Kirkhill.
Margaret - 12 Mar 1689 - Godfathers: Mr. Hugh Frazer of Eskadale & Thomas, son to James Frazer of Dunballoch.
Hugh - 27 Aug 1691 - Godfathers: Alexr. Frazer of Kinneries & Mr. Hugh Frazer of Eskadale.
Jean - 16 May 1693 - Godfathers: Hugh Frazer of Belladrum, Thos. Frazer of Struy & John Frazer of Culmiln.
Katherine - 29 Aug 1696 - Godfathers: Mr. James Frazer, minister at Kirkhill & Hugh Frazer of Culbokie.
Anne - 5 Aug 1697 - Godfathers: Hugh Frazer of Belladrum & James Frazer of Dunballoch.

Considering the number of people descended from the above, it should not come as a surprise to discover that the further one digs into the past, the greater the chances that one’s Fraser ancestors may not have been Frasers, and it may also help to explain why some of the early records in parishes within Inverness-shire refer to another name, alias Fraser…

Other Sources:
Sir Andrew Dow Fraser, descended from Clan Chrigger, priest of Urray, 2nd Feb 1547-8, died before 12th Jan 1567-8, when his natural son, Donald Dow Fraser, received letters of legitimation. - [Fasti viii, 652, 662 quoting Reg. Sec. Sig., xxxvii, 30; Ardentoul MS.]

Donald Dow Fraser [or Donald Dow Macintaggart] (the priest's son), was minister of Kirkhill in 1574, when Kilmorack and Kiltarlity were also in his charge; trans. to Kilchrist about 1580; returned before 1590, when Kilchrist was included with Abertarff in 1599. He married Agnes Mald "out of Lovat's family." - [Fasti vi, 472 quoting Auchnagairn Papers; Mackay's Wardlaw MS, 178, 183, 219.]


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