Fraserville or Rivière-du-Loup
Ancestry of Malcolm Fraser (1733-1815)
According to family tradition, Malcolms father Donald was killed at the battle of Culloden in 1746. On July 8, 1757 Malcolm Fraser from Abernethy, Strathspey was gazetted an ensign in the 2nd Highland Battalion, also called 63rd Regiment of Foot and 78th Regiment of Foot (Frasers Highlanders). He was wounded at the battle of the Plains of Abraham on September 13, 1759, promoted to lieutenant on September 25, 1759, and again wounded at Ste-Foy on April 28, 1760. After the regiment was disbanded in 1763, he purchased the seigniory of Mount Murray from James Murray. With the outbreak of the American Revolution, Malcolm Fraser helped to recruit former Fraser Highlanders for the 1st Battalion, 84th Regiment (Royal Highland Emigrants), in which he was gazetted a captain on June 24, 1775. In 1797 he was Brevet Major and Captain in the 1st Battalion, 60th Regiment of Foot but, as the regiment was ordered to embark for England [August 3, 1798 Military papers, C931, p. 106-107], and he wished to remain in Canada, he resigned, and the sale of his commission was ratified in the London Gazette [October 8, 1798 Military papers, C931, p. 109-109a].
Little is known about Ontario Archivist Alexander Fraser (1860-1936) who emigrated to Canada in 1886, except that he was the eldest son of Hugh Fraser, of the Frasers of Little Struie, and of Mary (Maclean) Mackenzie of Fanellan [The Celtic Monthly, No. 1, Vol. XX, January 1912, pp. 1-2]. Alexander Fraser claimed descent from the Clan Mhic Fhionnlaidh sept of the Struy Frasers and called his Toronto home Kineras".
October 1933, in his capacity as Archivist of Ontario, Alexander Fraser wrote to Captain Jack Fraser, son of Archibald Fraser and grandson of
William Fraser (1830-1908):
November 1933, he wrote to Alice (Fraser) Prevost:
January 1934, he again wrote to Mme Prevost:
Frasers journals provide a first-hand account of the British conquest of Canada and
his stature among his fellow soldiers has been well documented. However, in
spite of the exaggerated lineage attributed to him, Malcolm Fraser was circumspect about
his personal life. He corresponded over a thirty-year period with Rev. John
Grant (1740-1820), Minister of Abernethy (1765), through whom he regularly sent money to the families of his
sister Janet and his half-sister Sarah, but it was not until he was reproached by his old
friend, that he let down his guard, in a letter dated 13th June 1802:
Contrary to the delusions of his grandson, John Fraser de Berry (1816-1876), there is no evidence to suggest that Malcolm Fraser succeeded in tracing his roots through his correspondence with Rev. John Grant in Abernethy, Strathspey.
Family of Malcolm Fraser in Canada
In his 1992 article Finding Mary Allaire The French (and German) Ancestry of John B. McLoughlin [published in English and French by the Quebec Family History Society], George T. Brown notes that John B. McLoughlin (or Jean-Baptiste), later known as the Father of Oregon, was the son of John McLoughlin and Angélique Fraser. Angélique was the daughter of the common-law liaison between Malcolm Fraser, a lieutenant in the Fraser Highlanders during the Conquest and later Laird of Mount Murray (Malbaie) and Mary (Marie) Allaire. Malcolm was a staunch Presbyterian and comrade-in-arms to John Nairne. George Brown notes that Mr Lizotte attributes six children to the Allaire-Fraser liaison including Juliana or Julienne; he further contends that all the children of Malcolm Frasers liaisons, except possibly Juliana, were baptized in the Catholic faith. Yet, when Malcolm had custody of the children at Mount Murray he raised them in the Protestant faith.
By Marie-Louise Allaire, known as Marie, (1739-1822), Malcolm Fraser had Angélique (1761-1842); Alexander (1763-1837); Joseph (1765-1844); Simon (1768-1844); Marguerite (Apr-Jul 1770); and Juliana (1772-1847). [Marie-Louise Allaire had a younger sister, born in 1749, also named Marie-Louise, who was known as Louise.]
By Marie-Josephte Ducros (1763-1837), referred to as Marguerite in Mr Lizottes book on Rivière-du-Loup, Malcolm Fraser had Anne (1792-1877); William (1794-1830); Marguerite (1797-bef.1812); and John Malcolm (1800-1836). There is a hand-written certificate by Rev. Lecourtois, giving the names and dates of birth of Malcolm Frasers children by Marie Ducros, dated at Les Escoumains on 7 April 1855. [Marie-Josephte Ducros was the same age as her step-son Alexander Fraser, whom she predeceased by two months.]
Just when we felt that nothing more could possibly be discovered about Malcolm Fraser (1733-1815), 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 and his daughters, Angélique and Juliana.
Paul had located a document dated 16 July 1762 [Notary Antoine-Jean Saillant] covering 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], discovered by his colleague, 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. They got the distinct impression that this was an act of separation between Malcolm and Marie. If so, who was the mother of Juliana, born later?
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. Paul found a Margaret McCord married to Josiah Bleakley in Quebec St Andrews 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. 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.
A chart showing the new family connections of Lieut. Alexander Fraser of the 78th (c1729-1799), Lieut. Malcolm Fraser of the 78th (1733-1815), Volunteer John Ross of the 78th and Thomas McCord, merchant of Quebec (1750-1824), is included in the December 1999 issue of Canadian Explorer, together with a chart of the Fraser Family of Mount Murray & Rivière-du-Loup.
Alexander Fraser of Beauchamp (c1729-1799)
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..."
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
Majestys 84th Regiment of Foot, died at St-Charles on the nineteenth instant, aged
about seventy years, and was buried at Quebec St. Andrews on 22nd April 1799.
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 Majestys 84th Regiment of Foot, died at St-Charles on the nineteenth instant, aged about seventy years, and was buried at Quebec St. Andrews on 22nd April 1799.
His daughter Margaret Fraser (c.1766-1807) married John Reid (1765-1827), without issue. Jane Fraser (c.1767-1790) married Arthur Davidson (1743-1807), with issue: Jane, born 10 Dec and baptized 23 Dec 1785; Eliza, born 16 Apr and baptized 1 May 1787; and Walter, born 7 Aug and baptized 26 Aug 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 Frasers ancestry is unknown. However, there is a curious clause in the 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...
the lawful issue of his own Body
[spelling not corrected]:
It is not practical, in this article, to speculate on the family connection to Alexander Fraser, 7th Strichen (c.1699-1775) 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 (c.1733-1794) who had several children by his wife, Jean Menzies who died in Aberdeen in 1798, only child of William Menzies, St. Anns, Jamaica. Alexander Fraser, 9th Strichen (1765-1803), died ten months after the birth of his only child, Thomas Alexander Fraser, 10th Strichen, later 14th Lord Lovat (1802-1875).
Le Manoir Fraser, Rivière-du-Loup
intrigued by the following comment in an article about Le Manoir Fraser which appeared in The Ottawa Citizen on July 17, 1999:
the Exhibition Notebook, available for purchase by visitors to the Fraser House in Rivière-du-Loup,
brochure tells us:
Le Manoir Fraser has indeed been beautifully restored. When you visit, take the time to remember Malcolm Fraser, one of the real heroes of Quebec, who came to conquer Canada and stayed to defend it for his descendants and ours. According to family lore, Philippe Aubert de Gaspé used Malcolm Frasers life as the basis for his fictional hero, Archibald Cameron, in the romantic novel The Canadians of Old (1864).
Reliability of published sources
When it comes to writing about Canadian history, no one can escape W. Stewart Wallace. However, being human, even this respected historian and author made mistakes. Whether they were his mistakes or originated with other writers is less important than ensuring that the mistakes are not repeated.
For example, the following item in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, 1945, Vol. I, p. 214, is attributed to W.S. Wallace, Notes on the family of Malcolm Fraser of Murray Bay (Bull-rech-hist., 1933):
Fraser, Alexander (1761-1837), fur trader, was born at Murray Bay, Canada, about 1761, the eldest son of Malcolm Fraser (q.v.) He married in the Indian country an Indian wife, known as Angélique Meadows (d. 1833), and by her he had one son and three daughters. After settling down at Rivière-du-Loup, and while his Indian wife was living in Indian fashion, at the Point at Rivière-du-Loup, he married, secondly, Pauline Michaud, and by her he had seven children. On his death a prolonged litigation over his estate took place between the children of his white and his Indian wife; and this was terminated only when in 1884 the court adjudged his marriage to his Indian wife valid.
Alexandre, son of Malcolm Frager and Marie Aler, was baptized on 22 Sept 1765, in St. Étienne de Beaumont, aged 2 years, of illegitimate marriage. This places his birth in 1763, although he may have been born as late as June 1764, based on a letter written by his father [private family papers]. There is no church record for Alexanders burial but a death certificate, by Notary Alexis Beaulieu, is dated 2 Nov 1837. Angélique died 31 March 1833 and was buried 2 April, in St-Patrice de Rivière-du-Loup, 65 years old, Indian born in the North-West Countries.
By Angélique Meadows (1768-1833), Alexander Fraser had two sons and three daughters, born 1789-1805. The sons were Alexander (1791-1829) who died in Paris; and Jean Henry (1805-c1832) who died at sea, returning from Scotland. The daughters were Angélique (1789-1857), Marguerite (1796-1861) & Marie (1799-1820). Angélique married Ignace Beaulieu (c1799-1841). Marguerite married Joseph Amiot (c1793-1816) and, secondly, Thomas Jones (1801-1853).
Unfortunately, the notes by W.S. Wallace, who has been extensively quoted by subsequent writers, did not mention the judgment, in 1885, invalidating the one made in 1884. Moreover, this was followed by a judgment in the Supreme Court, in 1886, again declaring the judgment of 1884 invalid. One of the reasons used in 1885 to invalidate the marriage between Alexander Fraser and Angélique Meadows was that Angélique could not be the wife of Alexander because when she came back to Rivière-du-Loup, her husband, Pierre Létang, was alive in the Northwest. The Judgment of 1886 repeated this argument.
Thomas H.D. Jones tried to get more money on the grounds that his grandmother, Marguerite Fraser (1796-1861) was a legitimate child, but he failed to prove that the marriage between Alexander Fraser and Angélique Meadows was valid. Other attempts by Mr. Jones to legitimate his grandmother and invalidate the testament of Alexander Fraser terminated in 1886. He lost both cases. On the 9th and the 12th of March 1886, in the Supreme Court of Canada, the fifth and last will and testament of Alexander Fraser, dated 11 Feb 1833, was declared valid.
Fraser & Angélique Meadows Judgments re validity of marriage:
In effect, the judgment of 1884, declaring the marriage to Angélique Meadows to have been valid, was reversed in 1885 and 1886.
A curious postscript to this saga was revealed with the discovery in the Fraser papers of a letter to Alexander Fraser Esqr., ending with the words, I remain, Dear Father Someone else added: Angélique Meadows son [Fonds Fraser P81, 12 July 1812, Pierre Létang]. Since this son was not mentioned in the testaments of Alexander Fraser, it was surprising to find that Angélique Meadows had a son named Pierre Létang, as well as a husband of that name. It would be interesting to find the death record for Pierre Létang Sr. (Pierre Brunet dit Létang), although research has already proved that the succession of Alexander Fraser, like that of his father Malcolm, was also a real saga. For a transcript of the last will and testament of Malcolm Fraser, refer to The McLoughlin Empire and its Rulers by Burt Brown Barker (Arthur H. Clark Co., Glendale, Calif., 1959), pp. 286-295, a copy of which can be found in the National Library, Ottawa - Ref # CS90, M36, 1959.
Alexander Fraser had five sons and three daughters by Pauline Michaud (1799-1880) born 1816-1834. Elizabeth (1816-1901) married her first cousin, John Fraser (1816-1876) - see separate page for John Fraser de Berry. Suzanne Charlotte (1822-c1825) must have died before Alexanders third of five known testaments, dated 10 Dec 1825. Madeleine (1827-1898) married Alfred Aubert de Gaspé (1832-1907), s/o Philippe Aubert de Gaspé & Susan Allison. The sons were Malcolm Étienne (1817-1842), Elliot Simon (1825-1849), William (1830-1908), Edward (c1832-1874) & Alexander Fraser (1834-1922).
As mentioned in the Exhibition Notebook for Le Manoir Fraser, William Fraser & Anaïs Wilhelmine de Gaspé [sister of Alfred Aubert de Gaspé] had ten children. Their surviving sons were Malcolm Philippe (1859-1933), Joseph W. (1863-1891) & Archibald Fraser (1867-1936); all married, with issue. The only surviving daughter, Alice Fraser (1870-1962) married Hector Prévost, without issue. Malcolms daughter [& Alices niece], Thérèse-Caroline (1896-1986), was the last Fraser to occupy the manor house, with her husband Louis-Philippe Lizotte.
down in the family can be very useful when you begin your research, but be prepared to
amend your interpretation of the facts. The Quebec Gazette, Monday, 23 March 1829 reported
the death, in Paris, of Mr. Alex. Fraser, son of Colonel Alex. Fraser, of Riviere du Loup
(district of Quebec): His death appears
to have been caused by a quarrel and struggle with a Mr. Warren, a French officer, at a
public house on the night of Jany. 1st. The
dispute was about the Catholics. A
more revealing account appeared in The
Quebec Mercury, Tuesday, 24 March 1829.
According to family tradition, Alexander Fraser junior was a fur trader with the North West Company, and a talented artist with a bit of a temper, who had lost his life in a duel!
Thanks to Vice
Chairman Malcolm Fraser for providing access to family papers, and to Paul Lessard for his
meticulous research and enthusiasm for digging into Fraser history.
Here is a mystery that has eluded several researchers who have attempted to find a tangible link between John Fraser (c1791-1882) and John Malcolm Fraser (1800-1860), youngest son of Malcolm Fraser (1733-1815) by Marie-Josephte Ducros (1763-1837) Dictionnaire des parlementaires du Québec 1792-1992 (Les Presses de lUniversité Laval, Sainte-Foy, 1993, p. 293-294). John Fraser (Northumberland) was a good friend of old Malcolm Fraser of Murray Bay and of Malcolms eldest son by Marie Allaire (1739-1822), namely, Alexander Fraser of Rivière-du-Loup. He was a rich man, traveling around the world in 1836. His heirs were principally John Malcolm and his descendants. Like John Malcolm Fraser, John Fraser (Northumberland) was an auctioneer and broker in Quebec. He was involved in philanthropic efforts aiding Scots as well as many other groups and individuals. He was one of the founders of the Quebec Literary and Historical Society of Quebec (1824), and was said to be a friend of the family. However, in his testaments, he never mentioned any members of his own family, and he never married. John Fraser (Northumberland) died 21 April 1882 in Charleston, South Carolina.
Source: CFSC Canadian Explorer, December 1999.
Not to be reproduced, without permission in writing. Articles by Marie Fraser.
© Clan Fraser Society of Canada, 1998-2007. All rights reserved.