Search just our sites by using our customised search engine

Unique Cottages | Electric Scotland's Classified Directory

Click here to get a Printer Friendly PageSmiley

Clans and Families of Ireland and Scotland
X. The Vikings and Normans

line of the family, adopted the alternate name of Fraissier, which means strawberry bearer, as a pun on their name because they adopted fraisses, or strawberry flowers, as armorial bearings in the twelfth century. The first of the family recorded in Scotland was Sir Simon Fraser, who in 1160 held part of the lands of Keith in East Lothian, called after him Keith Simon. These lands later passed through Simon’s granddaughter to the Keiths, Great Marischals of Scotland. The Frasers were important in the conflicts surrounding the Scottish war of independence in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. Sir Alexander Fraser, Chamberlain of Scotland, was one of the heroes of Bannockburn in 1314, and married a sister of Robert the Bruce. His line became established in Stirlingshire, and later inherited wide lands around Philorth in northeast Aberdeenshire from the Rosses in 1375. They are now represented by Lord Saltoun. A younger branch of the family, descended from Sir Alexander Fraser’s younger brother Simon Fraser, acquired the lands of Lovat at the mouth of the Beauley Firth by marriage to the last of a series of heiresses of the Bissets. It is from this Simon that the Highland Frasers of the Loch Ness and Strathglass area descend, their chiefs being known by the Gaelic title Mac Shimidh (MacKimmie), which means "the son of Simon." Sir Hugh Fraser of Lovat, Sheriff of Inverness, was made Lord Lovat about 1431. The Highland Frasers were important supporters of Prince Charles in 1745.

The Frenchs (de Freins). The ancestors of the Irish Frenchs were one of the original Norman families in England, a branch of which settled in County Wexford about 1300. A branch of the Wexford family settled in Galway in the early fifteenth century, where they became one of the more prominent of the tribes of that city. Walter French became Sovereign (Mayor) of Galway in 1444.

The Grahams (Greumach) are an Anglo-Norman family, and take their name from the manor called Grey Home (OE. "Graeg-ham") in the Domesday book of William the Conquerer. The first of the family in Scotland was William de Graham, a companion of David I (David I was also an English earl) who received from David I the lands of Abercorn and Dalkeith about 1128. The Grahams have been very prominent in Scottish affairs since the thirteenth-century wars of independence, when they were important allies of Wallace and Bruce. The first to come to the Highlands was Sir Patrick de Graham, who married into the native House of Strathearn, receiving land on Loch Lomond and other estates which he later exchanged for lands at Montrose in Angus.

In 1445 Sir Patrick Graham "of that Ilk" was made Lord Graham (lords were just beginning to be distinguished from lairds, or landholders, in the new peerage that was developing), and the third Lord Graham was made Earl of Montrose by James IV in 1504. James, the fifth Earl of Montrose, was one of the greatest military commanders in European history. Another famous Oraham royalist appeared in the next generation. This was John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee (a cadet of the House of Montrose) known to

Page 136


Page 138

[Page 137]



This comment system requires you to be logged in through either a Disqus account or an account you already have with Google, Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo. In the event you don't have an account with any of these companies then you can create an account with Disqus. All comments are moderated so they won't display until the moderator has approved your comment.

comments powered by Disqus