Under Official Charter ...
From Simon Christopher Joseph Fraser, 24th MacShimidh, 17th Lord Lovat, President
and His Chairman Alasdair Fraser,
Signed and Dated July 1, 1964-in perpetuity
This is an older version of the main index page. It is retained here for posterity. Much of it is the same as the main page, but there have been updates to the main page that aren't here.
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FRASER NAMES: Fraise, Fraiser, Frasher, Frashier, Frasier, Fraze, Frazee, Frazer, Frazier, Fresel, Freseliere, Frezel, Frisale, Friseal, Frisealach, Frisell, Frizell, Frizelle, Frizzell, Frysell and other variations of English, Norman-French or Gaelic.
SEPT NAMES: Bisset, Bissett, Brewster, Cowie, Fitzsim, Fitzsimmons, Fitzsimon, Grewar, Gruar, Lovat, Lovatt, Lovet, Loveth, Lovette, MacGruer, MacKim, MacKimmie, MacTavish, Olifer, Oliver, Sim, Sime, Simon, Simonds, Simpson, Sims, Simson, Sym, Syme, Symon, Symons, Symson, Twaddell, Twaddle, Tweedale, Tweeddale, Tweedie, Udard, Udart and other variations of English, Norman-French or Gaelic.
Glad to see you made it to the Clan Fraser Association For California's website. We are not a "national association" built on a monthly newsletter, but an association for Frasers in California built on a yearly schedule of participatory activity, with a few exceptions. We focus on outdoor events and Gaelic-Scottish culture.
We hope this website will serve asThe online resource for Frasers and Sept names of Fraser ALL OVER THE WORLD! Sept names (above) are the names of associated families that, in the time of the Highland feudal system, were under the protection of the Clan Chief.
Use our site as a resource for Scottish Genealogy . We will make the effort to cross all barriers of time and distance to nourish and strengthen ALL Fraser bonds, in the way that Clan Does.
Join our association and participate in Clan activities that preserve your heritage. If you are not a resident of California, you may apply for non-resident membership - see the Join link for requirements.
First, We Proudly Present the Clan Fraser...
By * Angus Fraser
Click on a Chief's picture to read some history of them!!!
Click on a Chief's picture to read some history of them!!!
From the top down-
Simon (The Fox) Fraser, 18th MacShimidh, 11th Lord Lovat (1668 - 1747)
Simon Fraser, 24th MacShimidh, 17th Lord Lovat (1911 - 1995)
Simon Fraser, 25th MacShimidh, 18th Lord Lovat (1977 - )
*The information exhibited below is decided upon by the editor, Angus Fraser, and his interpretation of available historical records. It is not necessarily the opinion, or belief of The Clan Fraser Association For California.
History Outlines ...
... can almost always use refinement or correction. Comments or corrections, with citations, are encouraged, as there is much the same information about the Clan Fraser available to everyone, it is up to each to view everything with skepticism, read much before judgement, and then make up one's own mind about what one has collected. There can luckily be more found written about the Frasers than any other Scottish Historical family.
The Scientific Approach to History
In December 1973, the Altlantic Monthly printed an essay called The Principal of Tolerance, drawn from the book The Ascent of Man, By J. Bronowski, a mathematician and author of numerous studies, covering topics from William Blake to Nature and Knowledge. Bronowski states that what physics has done is to show "there is no absolute knowledge. And those who claim it, whether they are scientists or dogmatists, open the door to tragedy. All information is imperfect. We have to treat it with humility. That is the human condition, and that is what quantum physics says. I mean that literally."
"In 1800 (Friederich) Hegel presented a thesis proving that although the definition of the planets had changed since the Ancients, there still could only be, philisophically, seven planets .... There is a passage in King Lear, in which the Fool says to the King: "The reason the stars are no more than seven is a pretty reason." And the King wags sagely and says: "Because they are not eight?" And the Fool says: "Yes indeed. Thou wouldst make a good Fool." And so did Hegel. On January 1, 1801, punctually, before the ink was dry on Hegel's dissertation, an eighth planet was discovered: the minor planet Ceres."
In 1927, the scientist Werner Heisenberg gave a new characterization to the electron which included saying: "The information the electron carries is limited in its totality: that is, for instance, its speed and its position fit together in a way that they are confined by the tolerance of the quantum. This is the profound idea: one of the great scientific ideas, not only of the twentieth century, but in the history of science. Heisenberg called this the principle of uncertainty. In one sense, it is the robust principle of the everyday."
"So what has all of this to do with Scottish history?" You may ask.
It does, in that in order to progress in our perspective on any studied subject we must understand that that the original perspective itself is imperfect. Whether it is physics, math, philosophy, or history, our view is subject to the principle of uncertainty inherent in the human condition. The number of historical accounts bearing different perspectives, interpretations and opinions on the same set of events is too numerous to count and each should be held, at least at some point to be just those; perspectives, interpretations and opinions, uncertain and imperfect. From there we may venture out to find our own "Ceres."
By A Number of Historical Accounts ...
... the Frasers first came to Scotland as a Norman family from Anjou and Normandy, in France, with William the Conqueror (1066). Their history in the South country regions of Stirling, Peebles-shire and Tweeddale in the 12th and 13th centuries is as colorful and impressive as any in Scotland; like Robert the Bruce or William Wallace. Out of the Norman family of Frasers grew a people distinctly different from their ancestors, the Clan Fraser of Lovat. Lovat in Gaelic means, 'swampy plain.' It is a place in Inverness-shire, Scotland. The foundation of the long since fallen tower of the Castle of Lovat still lay there. The Fraser country stems out from there in a 'V' shape on both sides of the Loch Ness, covering much ground. It is that Highland country that was the birthplace and since that time, home of the Highland Clan Fraser.
It Has Also Been Written ...
... by James Fraser, of Phopachy (1634-1709), author of The Wardlaw Manuscript, (begun in 1666) an oft referenced history of the Frasers of Lovat, that a (Sir) Simon Fraser, who reputedly died in 1287, was the progenitor of the Clan Fraser of Lovat.
The great Highland and Scottish historian Sir Fitzroy MacLean (The Highlanders and Scotland-A Concise History) understands the Lovat Family to have been established in those parts by a Sir Simon Fraser in 1254. Added to these records also, is a book edited by "Gillespie MacShimi the 38th,"(1795) that appears in actuality to have been written by Archibald Campbell Fraser, of Lovat, judging from it's foot notations, not only puts the Frasers in Scotland c. 800, but in Inverness c. 1242.
Other Historians State ...
... that in the Reign of Alexander II, Sir Simon Fraser, the renowned patriot, who was also bosom friend of William Wallace, on February 25, 1302-3, led 10,000 men to the astonishing three victories over 30,000 English, in one Day! These are known as the three battles of Roslin Muir. It is believed by some that the three crowns seen on the shield of the Lovat Coat of Arms are there to signify Sir Simon's great achievement. It may be said (in 1306) that the direct male line of this family of south country Frasers expired with him, after having the most considerable family in peebles-shire, during the Scoto-Saxon period of our history, from 1097-1306 Sir Simon had two daughters and his lands were married off into the families of Hay and Fleming.
"The Male Representation ...
... of the principle family of Fraser devolved, on the death of "The Patriot" Sir Simon, on the next collateral heir, his uncle, Sir Andrew Fraser. He and his son, Sir Simon, are frequently mentioned in the annals of the period for valorous exploits in defense of their country against the English usurper. Andrew is supposed to have died about 1308, surviving the death of his renowned nephew Sir Simon by only two years. He was, (says John Anderson, historian of the Clan) "the first of the name of Fraser to establish an interest for himself and his descendants in the northern parts of Scotland and more especially Inverness-shire, where they have ever since figured with such renown and distinction. His appearance as a Highland proprietor was about 1290". (Anderson's Historical Account p. 35.)
Sir Andrew Married A Wealthy Heiress ...
... in the county of Caithness, she was the daughter of the Earl of Orkney and Caithness and through her mother, daughter and heiress of Graham of Lovat, came into possession of the territory of that name. They settled in the district known as the Aird, between the Loch Ness and the Beauly Firth, in Inverness-shire. Then and for many centuries thereafter. He and his family comprised a great wealth and also, in the right of his wife, acquired a very large estate in the north of Scotland. They were also the authority within the sheriffdom of Inverness. One can find a number of historical accounts bearing information about Sir Andrew and though many seem to have a different opinion on how many sons he had, in the main there is concensus that "Simon was the immediate male ancestor of the Lords Lovat, whose descendants and dependents, The Clan Fraser, in the manner of the Celts, took the name of "MacShimidh", or son of Simon. (Anderson's Hist. Acct. pgs. 34-38) Anderson supports his findings with citations from the, History of the Gordons, (1726) I. p. 37, and another from, Douglas' Peerage I. p. 644.
"The Proper Highland Clan Fraser ...
(according to Anderson ) ... in Gaelic, Na Frisealach, - whose badge is the yew and the battle cry was, 'Castle Dounie', the old residence of the Chief, was that headed by the Lovat line in Inverness as above mentioned. The Lovat line are the only line of Frasers that became Celtic and founded a tribe, or Clan and all the natives of the purely Gaelic districts of the Aird and Stratherrick came to be called their name."
"Clan" Is A Gaelic Word ...
... meaning children, or family. The use of Gaelic, (pronounced "GAH-lik", as opposed to the Irish "GAY--lik) was limited for centuries to Highland people. Fraser Chiefs and Lords Lovat have historically been called "MacShimidh", as mentioned above, by their Clansmen. "MacShimidh" is also a Gaelic word, meaning "Son of Simon".
It has become common belief in many parts of the world that if one is Scottish, then one belongs to a Highland Clan. This is not the case, though there were Gaelic out-croppings in many parts of Scotland who shared much of the same culture. As time wore on, the differences became more pronounced and it appeared that Highlanders were cut of a different cloth entirely. One could speculate that their way of life was longer preserved due to their distance from English influence, or the fact that they were largely misunderstood and so feared, and as a result left more to themselves. But, if one is a Gael, one must thank the stars above. And if one is of a Highland Clan one must appreciate a priveleged existence every day, as Highland Clans are amongst the most unique and romantic features of Scotland, and the world. Highlanders were, different in their customs and outlook, their manners, their dress, their language, everything. There are still many differences found today.
The milleniums old Clan social system was not based on land ownership originally, but on the Clansmen and their Chief as a people. The Chief was entrusted to care for the land and the interest of the Clan as a whole. The Feudal System was imposed on the Clan system, but even so, they continued to bear striking resemblences to other tribal systems of the world, thousands of miles away, such as Native American tribes, as historians came to see, and Afghan tribes.
It Is, for Most Scots, ...
... hard to find much of their family history before the 18th century, as many records are lost or simply came to be passed in an oral tradition, but it is easy for all of us to appreciate the Highland ways and promote and keep strong the life of those customs and their value to us.
These Arms Show ...
... the traditional three cinquefoils, or Fraises, as they have come to be known, in the first and fourth positions and three crowns in the second and third positions.
Alternate beliefs about the crowns are that they were given to Sir Simon "The Patriot", of the South country Frasers by Robert The Bruce, for saving his life three times in the Battle of Methven. It has also been said that they were given by Robert the Bruce to Sir Alexander Fraser, Chamberlain of Scotland, because he married Robert's sister, Mary. It has thirdly been said that they were given to Sir Simon Fraser "Filius" (an explanative used to distinguish him from his father, also named Simon) for defeating three successive English armies - a total of 20, 000 men, with only 8,000 of his own, all in one day. That was the battle of Roslin Moor, 1302. All of these suggestions are speculative, and each is hard to prove. In any event they were carried from the south country Frasers to the Lovat line.
Our Chief's Crest Badge and Motto, "I Am Ready"
I Appreciate Being Provided With ...
... this place to air my thoughts and observations, considering the effort put forth by a few folks to get them here. I live in the mountainous region of Arizona, keeping a simple lifestyle much in the way an old Highlander would. I do not enjoy the creature comforts found in most homes today. I do not have an e-mail address, a telephone or a TV for that matter. Having explained all of that, I want to open the lines of communicaton. I am very interested in other peoples opinions, or information. If you have anything to tell me, please don' t hesitate. Address it, "Attn: Angus Fraser", in the subject field and send it C/O:
Your comments will be printed and faxed to me at the local general store.
Hopefully we can start to get a global perspective about our un-paralelled history.