Fraser of Philorth


The first of the Scottish family of Fraser appeared in the Borders during the 12th century. Their earlier years are given under Fraser of that Ilk, from which page there are links to Fraser of Lovat, Fraser of Muchalls, and to here to continue the line of Sir Alexander Fraser of Touchfraser, son of Andrew Fraser, yr of Touchfraser (and grandson and heir of Sir Richard Fraser of Touchfraser).

Readers may find the heraldry of this branch of the Frasers of some interest. An essay currently in preparation will examine the progress in detail, but for the present we shall just note that the arms at the head of the page are those best known until Fraser of Philorth succeeded as Lord Saltoun of Abernethy. In sequence down the page are the arms of Sir Alexander Fraser of Touchfraser and Cowie; the arms noted by Sir David Lindsay, Lyon King of Arms, and possibly used by Sir William Fraser of Cowie and Durris before he succeeded to the Representation; the arms of Sir Alexander Fraser of Durris and Cowie on marrying the daughter of the Earl of Ross and quartering with the three fraises one of the Ross silver lions rampant; the arms of Alexander Fraser of Durris, which show only the three fraises differenced by a mullet and include no brisure for the suspected bastardy; the arms of Sir William Fraser, 2nd of Philorth, who appears to have reversed the tinctures of the second and third quarters; the arms of Lord Fraser of Lovat's son, Thomas Fraser of Knockie, later of Strichen, who took his father's arms differenced by a plain bordure; and finally the arms of the 10th Laird of Philorth after he succeeded as Lord Saltoun of Abernethy.

Lady Saltoun, present Chief of Clan Fraser, has kindly sent us the amendments and suggestions added here, to distinguish them from the text of the February upload, in this purple colour.

Alexander Fraser of Touchfraser and Cowie, Knight, Chamberlain of Scotland 1319, Sheriff of Stirling and of Kincardine, rewarded with wide lands, which included the baronies of Cluny and of Kinnaird, for his support to King Robert I, m 1316 Mary Bruce, widow of Sir Neil Campbell of Lochow, the King's sister, dtr of Robert Bruce, Earl of Carrick in right of his wife Countess Marjorie, Mary's mother, and was k at the battle of Dupplin 1332 having had issue:
..A1 John Fraser of Touchfraser mand d young, leaving a dtr and heiress:
....b1. Margaret Fraser m William de Keith, Great Marischal of Scotland, and took to him the lands of Touchfraser and many others.
..A2 William Fraser [see below]

The successor as Representer of this branch of the Frasers,
William Fraser of Cowie and Durris, knight, b ca 1318, assisted in the capture of Edinburgh Castle by Sir William Douglas in 1341, m Margaret (still alive 1364), believed to be a dtr of Sir Andrew Moray of Bothwell, and was k 1346 at the battle of Durham while invading England, leaving issue:
..A1 Alexander, his heir [see below]
..A2 John Fraser of Auchinschogill, m Marjory, dtr of Sir John of Monymusk and had by her a son
....B1 John Fraser, dsp
John Fraser of Auchinschogill had also two illegitimate sons:
....B2 Andrew Fraser
....B3 William Fraser.

The heir,
Alexander Fraser of Durris and Cowie, 1st of Philorth, knight, Sheriff of Aberdeen, m 1st, in 1375, Joanna 2nd dtr of William, Earl of Ross, with whom he received Philorth, and m 2nd ante 1400 Elizabeth believed a dtr of David Hamilton of Cadzow. By his 1st wife he had a son:
..A1 William, his heir in Cowie and Philorth [see below]

Sir Alexander Fraser of Durris and Cowie, 1st of Philorth,
had also a second son:
..A2 Alexander Fraser of Durris, once claimed to be the son
of the second marriage but now believed to be illegitimate,
ancestor of the Frasers of Durris (today spelt Dores) and the Frasers of Forest.

The heir,
William Fraser, 2nd of Philorth, knight, sold much of his lands, m Elinor Douglas, believed illegitimate dtr of James Douglas, 2nd Earl of Douglas and Earl of Mar, and d ante 1441 having had issue:
..A1 Alexander, his heir [see below]
..a1. Agnes Fraser m 24 July 1423 William Forbes of Kinaldie (k at battle of Arbroath 1446), 2nd son of Sir John Forbes of the Black Lip and Margaret Kennedy of Dunure, and brother to Sir Alexander Forbes of Forbes, 1st Lord Forbes.
..a2. Isabel Fraser m Gilbert Menzies of Findon.

The heir,
Alexander Fraser, 3rd of Philorth, knight, b ante 1410, accompanied William Douglas, 8th Earl of Douglas, to the 1450 Papal Jubilee at Rome, m ante 1430 Marjorie dtr of Gilbert Menzies of Findon, who survived him, and d 7 April 1482 having by her had issue:
..A1 Alexander, his heir [see below]
..A2 James Fraser, ancestor of the Frasers of Memzie
..A3 William Fraser, alive 1464
..A4 John Fraser of Ardglassie, alive 1464
..A5 Andrew Fraser, alive 1464
..A6 George Fraser, alive 1464

The heir,
Alexander Fraser, 4th of Philorth, m Margaret dtr of William Hay, 1st Earl of Erroll (who survived him and m 2nd Sir Gilbert Keith of Inverugie and m 3rd January 1499/1500 Sir Robert Douglas of Lochleven) and d ca 1486 having by her had issue:
..A1 Alexander Fraser, 5th of Philorth, was judged to be of weak mind and had as guardians at various times Sir Walter Ogilvy of Boyne, his two younger brothers William and George, and John Fraser of Ardglassie. William Hay, 3rd Earl of Erroll, and Sir Gilbert Keith of Inverugie jointly purchased Alexander's ward and marriage from the Crown, and although he was subsequently intended to marry Marjorie, dtr of the Thane of Cawdor, he did not do so and dsp ca 1500.
..A2 William, heir to his brother [see below]
..A3 George Fraser, known to be in 1496, together with his brother William, curator of his brother Alexander Fraser, 5th of Philorth, but no details of his life, any marriage or descendants are known.
..a1. Janet Fraser m..... Baird of Ordinschives.

The heir,
William Fraser, 6th of Philorth, knight, succeeded his brother 1501, m ca 1494 Elizabeth dtr of Sir Gilbert Keith of Inverugie and d 1513, possibly in Paris, having had issue by her:
..A1 Alexander, his heir [see below]
..a1. Christina Fraser m Andrew Chalmers of Strichen

The heir,
Alexander Fraser, 7th of Philorth, an energetic man who much expanded the Fraser lands and influence in the north-east. He m 1st ca 1516 Catharine dtr of Patrick Barclay of Gartly, and m 2nd ante July 1532 Catherine dtr of Gilbert Menzies of Findoun, Provost of Aberdeen, widow of Alexander Stratton of that Ilk, and d November 1569 having had issue:
..A1 Alexander Fraser, yr of Philorth, m Beatrice dtr of Robert Keith, Master of Marischal (papal dispensation 15 June 1534) and predeceased his father 1564 having had issue:
....B1 Alexander, heir to his grandfather [see below]
....B2 Walter Fraser, reported to have acquired the lands of Rathillock and Crechie (?), had issue:
......C1 Andrew Fraser
......C2 Alexander Fraser
....B3 John Fraser of Quarrelbuss had issue:
......C1 John Fraser of Quarrelbuss (and Crechie ?), acquired the lands of Aberdour
....B4 Alexander Fraser of Tyrie, whose heir general was in 1624 was Alexander Fraser, 9th of Philorth
....B5 Hector Fraser
....B6 James Fraser
....B7 William Fraser
..A2 William Fraser of Techmuiry, whose lands stayed with his line until 1686 when Jane only dtr and heiress of Alexander Fraser of Techmuiry took them to her husband James Gordon
..A3 Thomas Fraser of Strichen, bought Strichen from Alexander Chalmers, m Isobel, dtr it has been reported of an otherwise unknown John Forbes of Corsindae (probably an error for James Forbes, 5th of Corsindae, whose dtr Isobel m 1st Robert Forbes of Milnbowie). Isobel subsequently m Thomas Fraser of Knockie, whose arms are shown here and who bought up the interests of his step-daughters, thereafter being designated of Strichen (which may not have confused his wife as much as it confused some later genealogists). Thomas Fraser of Strichen (the earlier, not the later) had issue by his wife Isobel (who d 30 November 1611):
....b1. Katherine Fraser m William Forbes of Corsindae
....b2. Violet Fraser m 1593 James Sutherland of Kinstearie
..A4 Simon Fraser, d unm ante December 1561
..A5 James Fraser of Skatterty
..a1. Christiana Fraser m William Crawfurd of Fedderat
..a2. Elizabeth Fraser m (contract 4 November 1566) William Gordon, yr of Awdiale
..a3. Margaret Fraser, known to be the youngest dtr, m 1st Alexander Cumyn of Inverallochy, m 2nd Alexander Annand of Octerellon, and d 1602.

The heir of Sir Alexander Fraser, 7th of Philorth, his grandson,
Alexander Fraser, 8th of Philorth, knight, b ca 1537, Commissioner to Parliament for the county of Aberdeen, built the town of Fraserburgh on the site of Faithlie, the town erected into a burgh of barony for his grandfather, continued his grandfather's economic expansion but overstretched himself and sold much of his lands to Fraser kinsmen (Lord Fraser of Lovat, Thomas Fraser of Strichen, Alexander Fraser of Durris, Robert Fraser of Durris), m 1st ca 1559 Magdalen dtr of Sir Walter Ogilvie of Dunlugas, m 2nd (contract 31 May 1606) Elizabeth eldest dtr of Sir John Maxwell, Lord Herries, and widow of Sir John Gordon of Lochinvar (whom she had m 1563), and d July 1623 having by his 1st wife had issue:
..A1 Alexander, his heir
..A2 William Fraser, d unm.
..A3 James Fraser of Tyrie had issue:
....B1 Alexander Fraser of Tyrie had issue:
......C1 James Fraser of Tyrie m Christian Abercromby of Birkenbog and in 1725 sold Tyrie to Leslie of Iden, it being reunited with the Philorth estates at the end of the 19th century.
....b1. Jean Fraser
..A4 Simon Fraser, alive 1613
..A5 Thomas Fraser, ancestors of the Frasers in Finland who today bear for arms (in Finland) 1st and 4th Azure three fraises Argent, 2nd and 3rd Azure on a mount Vert a lion passant Or
..a1. Magdalen Fraser m Patrick Cheyne of Esselmont
..a2. Anna (or Margaret ?) Fraser m (contract 14 May 1606) William Hay of Ury and d July 1663.
..a3. Elizabeth Fraser m Sir Robert Keith of Ackergill
..a4. Barbara Fraser m Sir George Ogilvy of Carnousie.

The heir,
Alexander Fraser, 9th of Philorth, b ca 1579, m 1st Margaret dtr of George Abernethy, 7th Lord Saltoun of Abernethy, m 2nd ante 1625 Isabel dtr of Sir Robert Gordon of Lochinvar, and d ca 1637 having had issue by his first wife:
..A1 Alexander, his heir
..a1. Anna (or Mary ?) Fraser m (contract October 1616) George Baird of Auchmeddan
..a2. Magdalen Fraser m James Forbes of Blackton
By his second wife Alexander Fraser, 9th of Philorth, had further issue:
..A2 John Fraser, who dsp ante 1630.

The heir,
Alexander Fraser, 10th of Philorth, 11th Lord Saltoun of Abernethy, (1st Lord Saltoun of Abernethy of the Fraser line) b March 1604, commanded a regiment in the expedition to rescue Charles I, Member of Parliament for county Aberdeen, wounded at the battle of Worcester 3 September 1651, heir of line to his maternal grandfather after the death in 1669 of his cousin Margaret, 10th Lady Saltoun of Abernethy in her own right, m 1st Isabel, 2nd dtr of William Forbes of Tolquhoun by Janet, dtr of Sir George Ogilvie of Dunlugas, and m 2nd Elizabeth dtr of Alexander Seton of Meldrum and widow of John Urquhart of Craigfintrie, and d 11 August 1693 having had issue (continued in linked article on the Frasers, Lords Saltoun, now in preparation ).



The First Frasers

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Frasers, Lords Saltoun (in preparation)
Frasers of Lovat
Frasers of Muchalls
Frasers of Strichen
Frasers of Inverallochy
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