Fraser History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Fraser family name are somewhat of a mystery. The earliest recorded versions of the name, from the 12th century, are de Fresel, de Friselle and de Freseliere, which appear to be Norman; however they have never been found in Normandy itself. The other possibility is that the name was derived from Gaelic, but no-one has been able to locate a Gaelic name from which Fraser might be derived. It is thought that it was in later years that the "fraisse," or strawberry was adopted as part of the Armorial bearings of this family due to the similarity of the pronunciation of this French word to the Fraser surname.

Early Origins of the Fraser family

The surname Fraser was first found in Tweedale, Peebles-shire, where Sir Simon Frasee held part of the lands of Keith. There is a record of Symon Fraser giving the church of Keith to the Abbey of Kelso in Circa 1160. Early records include Gilbert Fraser, who witnessed a charter by Walter Olifard in 1210. A later Sir Simon known as "the Scottish Patriot" was a supporter of Sir William Wallace in the struggle for independence.

Early History of the Fraser family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fraser research. Another 185 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1302, 1375, 1692, 1332, 1293, 1537, 1623, 1610, 1681, 1607, 1681, 1667, 1747, 1746, 1654, 1715 and are included under the topic Early Fraser History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fraser Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Frazer, Fraser, Frasher, Frisell, Frasee, Frazie, Frazier, Friselle, Fresser, Friser, Fryssar, Fressell, Fresal, Fresale, Frichell, Fraysser, Fresall, Fresle, Fresill, Fressair, Fraisser and many more.

Early Notables of the Fraser family (pre 1700)

Notable among the family at this time was Sir Alexander Fraser (d. 1332), Great Chamberlain of Scotland, the eldest son of Sir Andrew Fraser, who was sheriff of Stirling in 1293. [1] Sir Alexander Fraser (1537?-1623), of Philorth, was founder of Fraserburgh, and was the eldest son of Alexander Fraser, son and heir of Alexander, seventh laird of Philorth. [1] Sir Alexander Fraizer (1610?-1681), was...
Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fraser Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Fraser family to Ireland

Some of the Fraser family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 82 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Fraser migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Fraser Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Hannah Fraser, who landed in Maryland in 1664 [2]
  • Zachariah Fraser, who landed in Maryland in 1675 [2]
  • John Fraser, who landed in New Jersey in 1685 [2]
Fraser Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Catharine Fraser, who arrived in New York in 1738 [2]
  • Elizabeth Fraser, who arrived in New York in 1739 [2]
  • Jean Fraser, who arrived in New York in 1740 [2]
  • David Fraser, who settled in Barbados in 1745
  • John Fraser, his wife Christian, three daughters and a son, settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1775
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Fraser Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Andrew Fraser, who landed in New York in 1805 [2]
  • Francis Fraser, aged 23, who landed in Virginia in 1813 [2]
  • James Fraser, who landed in Alexandria, Va in 1817 [2]
  • George Fraser, who arrived in America in 1830 [2]
  • Donald C Fraser, who landed in Ohio in 1840 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Fraser Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • J W M Fraser, who arrived in Texas in 1901 [2]

Canada Fraser migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Fraser Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mrs. Fraser, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1773
  • Mrs. Fraser, who arrived in Pictou, Nova Scotia in 1773
  • Alex Fraser, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1773
  • Alex Fraser, who arrived in Pictou, Nova Scotia in 1773
  • Alexander Fraser, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1773
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Fraser Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • James Fraser, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1801
  • Eliz Fraser, aged 6, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1801
  • Bell Fraser, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1801
  • Cath Fraser, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1801
  • Donald Fraser, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1801
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Fraser migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Fraser Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Alexander Fraser, Scottish convict from Edinburgh, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [3]
  • Elspet Fraser, Scottish convict from Aberdeen, who was transported aboard the "Amphitrite" on August 21, 1833, settling in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • Helen Fraser, Scottish convict from Edinburgh, who was transported aboard the "Amphitrite" on August 21, 1833, settling in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • Mr. Moses Fraser, British Convict who was convicted in Surrey, England for life, transported aboard the "Asia" on 5th November 1835, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land)1836 [5]
  • George William Fraser, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Ganges" in 1839 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Fraser migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Fraser Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Alexander Fraser, who landed in Kapiti & Mana, New Zealand in 1839
  • Thomas Fraser, who landed in Kapiti & Mana, New Zealand in 1839
  • Donald Fraser, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Blenheim
  • John Fraser, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Whitby" in 1841
  • Marjary Fraser, aged 29, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bombay" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Fraser (post 1700) +

  • Harold Fraser, American bronze medalist for golf at the 1904 Olympic games
  • Charles Carrolton "Chick" Fraser (1873-1940), American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Brendan James Fraser (b. 1959), American film and stage actor, best known for his comedic roles in movies like George of the Jungle (1997) and Dudley Do-Right (1999)
  • John Alexander Fraser (1931-2020), Scottish actor and author, known for his performances in the films The Good Companions (1957), The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960), El Cid (1961)
  • Charles Fraser (1788-1831), or Frazer or Frazier, Scottish-born immigrant to Australia from Blair Atholl, Perthshire, Colonial Botanist of New South Wales from 1821 to 1831, member of the Stirling expedition of 1827
  • Peter Lovat Fraser PC, QC (1945-2013), Baron Fraser of Carmyllie, Scottish politician, Lord Advocate (1989–1992), Solicitor General (1982–1989)
  • George Sutherland Fraser (1915-1980), Scottish poet
  • Eliza Fraser, Scottish shipwreck survivor, eponym of Fraser Island, Australia
  • William Simpson "Bill" Fraser (1908-1987), Scottish actor
  • Colonel the Hon. Archibald Campbell Fraser of Lovat (1736-1815), 20th MacShimidh, former Chief of the Clan Fraser
  • ... (Another 22 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. Frank Fraser (1865-1914), Canadian Third Class Passenger from Montreal, Quebec, Canada who was traveling aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [7]
Halifax Explosion
  • Master James  Fraser (1910-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [8]
  • Master Colin  Fraser (1911-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [8]
  • Mrs. Clement  Fraser (1877-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [8]
  • Miss Margaret  Fraser (1913-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [8]
  • Mrs. Bessie McGregor  Fraser (1881-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [8]
  • ... (Another 4 entries are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
HMAS Sydney II
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Robert W M Fraser, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [10]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. James Fraser (d. 1912), aged 29, English Junior Assistant Third Engineer from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [11]
  • Mr. J. Fraser (d. 1912), aged 30, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [11]


The Fraser Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Je suis prest
Motto Translation: I am ready.


Suggested Readings for the name Fraser +

  • 1206 Descendants of George Frazier (also Fraser), Joseph Journey, Patrick Calvert, Thomas Endicott, Sr., John Ashworth, Sr., as They Entered into This Fruitful Valley by Gloria M. Cox, A Genealogical History of the Louis Defoy(e) Fraser Family from Quebec to Redford, New York by Richard Leon Provost, Frazers (also Fraser), Baptists, Beautitudes: Descendants of James George Frazer (1799-1878) of Campbell County, Virginia and Highland County, Ohio by Margaret (Gruse) Frazer and Elva (Frazer) Shelton, TheHeritage and Legacy of Francis Frazier II (also Fraser), A Blacksmith by Zelda Schwarzkipf.

  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Agamemnon voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1820 with 179 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/agamemnon/1820
  4. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Amphitrite voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1833 with 99 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/amphitrite/1833
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 28th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1835
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) GANGES 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Ganges.gif
  7. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 16) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  8. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  9. ^ HMAS Sydney II, Finding Sydney Foundation - Roll of Honour. (Retrieved 2014, April 24) . Retrieved from http://www.findingsydney.com/roll.asp
  10. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html
  11. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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