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Articles by Marie Fraser of Canada
The Fraser-McCord Connection

Stories passed down by family tradition can be very useful when you begin research on your family tree, but be prepared to amend your interpretation of the facts. Just when CFSC Vice-Chairman Malcolm Fraser felt that nothing more could possibly be discovered about his namesake ancestor who was the progenitor of this fascinating family in Canada, a new door has opened. The latest chapter began with Paul Lessard and Jean-Claude Massé collaborating on their research about Malcolm Fraser (1733-1815) and his daughters, Angélique and Juliana.

Malcolm Fraser of Mount Murray (Malbaie)

A document dated 16 July 1762 [Notary Antoine-Jean Saillant] covered the sale of land to Angélique Fraser, then a baby in her first year of life. Her grandmother, Marie-Joseph Molleur, acted for the child, whose mother, Marie Allaire, was also part of the contract. This was supplemented by another notary contract dated 8 Nov 1771 [Notary Jean-Claude Panet], whereby Malcolm Fraser gave lands situated at Beaumont to Miss Marie Allaire, asking her to take care of their children, namely, Alexander, Joseph, Simon and Angélique, as well as her mother, Marie-Joseph Molleur. The researchers got the distinct impression that this was an act of separation between Malcolm and Marie. If so, who was the mother of Juliana, born in 1772?

A document found in the Quebec Register Books, dated 10 July 1773, revealed the sale of land situated at Rivière-du-Loup by Richard Murray to Malcolm Fraser and Margery his wife. It was very intriguing. Was this a new wife and the mother of Juliana? What was her family name? The clue was contained in a draft letter, dated 22 July 1814 [Fonds Fraser], written by Malcolm Fraser to John McCord about Juliana and the recent death of Patrick Langan. Malcolm referred to "your niece and my daughter". The logical conclusion was that the mother of Juliana was a sister of John McCord, merchant of Quebec. There was a Margaret McCord who had married Josiah Bleakley in Quebec St Andrew’s in 1798. At her death in 1829, she was 63 years old, so she was born about 1766 and could not have been the mother of Juliana.

The last will of John McCord, dated 1st Oct 1817 and probated 26 Jan 1822, revealed that Juliana and Charlotte Langan were named as beneficiaries, but no relationship was given. Nevertheless, it was clear that they were part of the family. The answer finally came in a book about the McCord family written in 1992 and published by the McCord Museum in Montreal. Malcolm Fraser and Margery McCord had their place in the family chart. On page 31, it was written "Margery married Malcolm Fraser". On page 33, it was noted that John McCord sold the family property "to his brother-in-law, Malcolm Fraser" and that Thomas McCord "placed his affairs in the care of his nephew by marriage, Patrick Langan." There was no doubt that Juliana Fraser was the daughter of Malcolm Fraser and Margery McCord, whose sister Jane had married Alexander Fraser of Beauchamp.

The following chart shows the new family connections of Malcolm Fraser (1733-1815), Lieutenant in the 78th Fraser Highlanders, Captain in the 84th Royal Highland Emigrants, and Colonel in the local militia.

new family connections of Malcolm Fraser (1733-1815)

Alexander Fraser of Beauchamp

According to the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Vol. 4 (p. 276): Untangling the several Alexander Frasers who served with the 78th Foot in the campaigns of the Seven Years’ War has been a perennial problem.

This Alexander Fraser was commissioned Lieutenant 12 Feb 1757, wounded at the battle of the Plains of Abraham on 13 Sept 1759 and Ste-Foy in April 1760. He remained in Canada when the regiment was disbanded in 1763 and purchased from Brig-General James Murray, the seigneury of La Martinière, later acquiring other property. About 1765 he married Jane McCord, who died in 1767, leaving him to raise two infant daughters, Margaret and Jane. According to the Army List [War Office, 4th of June, 1779], John Nairne, Alex. Fraser and Malcolm Fraser were commissioned Captains 14 June 1775 in the 84th Regiment of Foot, or Royal Highland Emigrants, 1st Battalion, America; with John Nairne promoted Major 29 Aug 1777. The Royal Highland Emigrants were placed on the British regular establishment as the 84th Foot on 1 April 1779. Alexander Fraser, late Captain in His Majesty’s 84th Regiment of Foot, died at St Charles on the nineteenth instant, aged about seventy years, and was buried at Quebec St. Andrew’s on 22nd April 1799.

His daughter Margaret (c1766-1807) married John Reid (1765-1827), without issue. Jane (c1767-1790) married Arthur Davidson (1743-1807), with issue: Jane, born in 1785; Eliza, born in 1787; Walter, born in 1790. In 1799 Arthur Davidson married secondly, Eleanor Birnie (1756-1837), who survived him and, after 30 years in Montreal, she returned dutifully but unwillingly in 1822 to be a companion to her two elderly sisters in Ballymena, Ireland, where she died.

On 25 June 1791 Alexander Fraser gifted the land and seigneury of St Giles to his grandson, Walter Davidson, then aged ten months, in the presence of Arthur Davidson. Walter Davidson (1790-1825) was 30 years old at the time of the Marriage Contract dated 25 April 1820 with Ann Bernie of Ballymena, Ireland. Under the terms of the gift from his grandfather, Walter had to wait until age 40 before taking possession of the seigneury of St Giles of Beaurivage. If he died before and without issue, the property would revert to his sisters or the survivor of them. When Walter died in Glasgow 13 May 1825, without issue, the survivor was Jane Davidson (1785-1866), married to David Ross (1770-1837).

Alexander Fraser’s ancestry is unknown. However, there is a curious clause in the detailed handwritten last will and Testament of Alexander Fraser of Beauchamp in the Province and district of Quebec County of Hartford in Lower Canada, dated 27 June 1798 and probated 7 April 1800, respecting all his lands and real estate in the Parishes of St Joseph, St Charles, St Gervais, St Giles, Houses 5, 6 & 7 on Rampart Street in Quebec, etc….

Failing the lawful issue of his own Body… [spelling not corrected]:

Then I give and devise the said Estat’s, To Alexander Fraser Esqr of Strichen (son to ye late Lord Strichen of North Britain), for and during his natural life and after his decise, Then I give and devise my said Estat’s to the heirs of the Body of the said Alexr Fraser lawfully issueing, The Youngest Daughter if such their be, alwise preferd, and the heirs of her Body lawfully issueing, and in default of such issue, or Daughters, Then I give and devise, my said Estat’s to the Youngest Son of the said Alexr Fraser, and the heirs of his Body lawfully issueing, and in default of such issue, The said Estat’s to go in the family, the Youngest alwise preferd ~… Executors: John McCord, the Rev. Alexander Sparks, Peter Stuart Esqr and Colonel John Nairne. Witnesses: William Napier, John McLoughlin Junior and Remi Quirouét.

It is not practical to speculate on the family connection to Alexander Fraser, 7th Strichen (c1699-1775) who married Lady Ann Campbell [d/o of Archibald, 10th Earl & 1st Duke of Argyll], first cousin to Primrose Campbell, Lady Lovat. Lord Strichen was succeeded by his son, Alexander Fraser, 8th Strichen (c1733-1794) who had several children by his wife, Jean Menzies of Culdares.

Other officers named Alexander Fraser who served in Canada during the Seven Years War between Britain and France (1757-63) under Lieutenant-Colonel Commandant Simon Fraser of Lovat (1726-1782) were:

Alexander Fraser

He was commissioned Ensign 15 Jan 1757, promoted Lieutenant 27 Sep 1758, wounded at Ste-Foy April 1760, retired on half-pay 1763. The will of Capt. Thomas Fraser of Boleskine, Co. Inverness refers to his father, Capt. Alexander Fraser, late of Bunchgavy, who had served in North America under Wolfe, his mother Janet MacGillivray, his sister Ann and brother Simon Fraser of Montreal in British America, known as Simon Fraser of Ste Anne’s (c1760-1832). After returning to Scotland, it is likely that Alexander became a captain in the local militia. Alexander Fraser (c1727-1814) was the younger son of Thomas Fraser of Garthmore, descended through Simon Fraser of Dunchea and the Frasers of Foyers, from Hugh Fraser, an illegitimate son of Hugh Fraser 1st Lord Lovat (c1436-1501) before he married the daughter of Lord Glamis.

Alexander Fraser

He was commissioned Lieutenant 22 Jul 1757, wounded at Ste-Foy April 1760, retired on half-pay 1763. Traveled down the Ohio and Mississippi after the Pontiac Rebellion. Lieutenant 25 Oct 1766 in the 9th Regiment of Foot, Ireland. Transferred 13 May 1776 to 34th Regiment, and promoted Captain 11 Nov 1776. There are several references to a special unit of British marksmen known as Fraser’s rangers, led by Alexander Fraser, and a connection to Brig-General Simon Fraser of Balnain (1729-77) who died at Saratoga. Lieutenant-Colonel of 34th Regiment 1 Mar 1794. Lieutenant-Colonel of 45th Regiment 1 Sep 1795. According to the History of the 45th: 1st Nottinghamshire Regiment (Sherwood Foresters) by Col. P. H. Dalbiac, Late Captain 45th Regiment (1902), they were in the West Indies from 1795-1807, leading an uneventful life, but suffered terribly from disease. "In 1797 and 1798, no less than 13 officers died, namely, Lieut.-Colonel Frazer; Captains Morrison and Hutchinson, etc…" I found baptism records for two previously unknown sons of Simon’s eldest half-brother Hugh, but further research is needed to prove that Alexander &/or John survived or entered military service. Hugh Fraser, 3rd Balnain, who had purchased Knockie from the Strichen family in 1727, was killed in 1735 by two soldiers off the shore of Nairn. Hugh Fraser was succeeded by is brother, William, an Edinburgh lawyer, who had a lot to do with the affairs of Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat, executed in 1747 for his involvement in the Jacobite rebellion of 1745 that led to the disastruous battle of Culloden in 1746, notwithstanding his strong support of the Government against the Jacobites in 1715.

Additional information about Malcolm Fraser of Mount Murray and other officers of the 78th Fraser Highlanders can be found on the Clan Fraser Society of Canada web site at

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