This site is in no way affiliated with existing Clan Fraser societies in North America, New Zealand, or the UK. However, the author is a part of Clan Fraser at large in the world and is using this site to explore family and clan roots and connections and to document his journey as he does so.
Matt Fraser was born in 1964 in Auckland, New Zealand. At the age of 5 he emigrated to the United States with his family, growing up primarily in or around San Francisco, California, and Seattle, Washington, and attending university in Atlanta, Georgia. Today he lives with his wife in Seattle where he works in the field of Information Technology and spends his spare time, when not researching genealogy, messing about with sailboats, hiking in the back country, or writing science fiction novels. His other interests include foreign travel, and to date he has visited
five six* of the seven continents.
* A recent excursion to South America has brought the traveler one step closer to his goal of visiting all seven. Can you guess which is the remaining continent?
4 thoughts on “About”
I have just discovered your Clan Fraser website by having Googled “John Augustus Yatman” – my interest in the subject having arisen through working on the family history of my partner’s cousin, which includes the Turners of Norfolk.
If you go to http://search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid=34438 you will find a book which contains a huge volume of information about the ancestry of your great-great-grandmother Anna Victoria Blachley Turner – back nine generations on the Turners alone!
I too was born in New Zealand (1942) but moved to Chester in England in 1988. I too have spent a lot of time messing about in sailboats of various sizes, having started yachting at the age of 12 (unfortunately little opportunity to continue this in the UK but I try to make up for it during visits back to NZ). I also have a (vicarious) interest in IT through my son, who has his own programming business in Auckland, and my son-in-law who works as a project manager with one of the larger IT practices in Auckland.
Bizarrely, I also have Fraser blood! I must concede that it is pretty thin, despite there being at least four doses. For one I have to go back roughly 20 generations to a daughter of John Fraser of Touchfraser – Margaret, who married Sir William Keith in 1351. Another goes back about 14 generations to Agnes, daughter of Hugh,3rd Lord Lovat and yet another is back about 24 generations – Mary, daughter of Sir Simon of Oliver Castle. The descent goes through various Stewarts, Munros, Hays, MacKenzies MacLeods and Macraes, etc.
I have read through all your blogs and you certainly have caught the genealogy bug. I don’t know how popular the pursuit is in the US (despite the preponderance of American websites and forums on the Internet) but I have found that lots of people here in the UK are very interested, not just those of more mature years like me. I will concede your point about the cost in time and the need to have time to travel an hour or two to view 4-greats granddad’s monumental inscription in a little village church or to (bravely) knock on the door of an 18th century townhouse to ask to see where another one lived – I have done these and have always been received with friendliness. I haven’t yet retired – I have a contract gardening business which provides each week’s physical activity and I don’t feel guilty about spending evenings/weekends on sedentary hobbies of reading, music and family history. I have reached complete blocks on both my tree and that of my partner, but I find the challenge of research sufficiently interesting to work on the family trees of friends and relations-by-marriage.
Perhaps you have already discovered Alexander MacKenzie’s “History of the Frasers of Lovat”, published in 1896. If not you can find it on http://www.archive.org/stream/historyoffrasers01mack#page/n5/mode/2up
He wrote several histories of Highland clans but I have to confess that I purchased that on the MacKenzies before I discovered that they are available on line at no cost – we live and learn.
I look forward to your comments.
Frances Mary Yatman’s second marriage was to Isaac Turner on 20 Sep 1898 at Winscombe, Somerset. I too have not found a connection to the Norfolk tribe above – the 1911 census indicates that he was born in Dundalk, Eire, a pensioned bank manager, married aged 63 – with him was daughter Iva Vera Yatman Turner aged 11. Frances is in the 1911 census as married aged 50, a visitor to the Queensborough Terrace, Paddington home of Sir Ford North.
Thank you for your kind words, and also for leading me in a new direction or two. I do have a fair amount of information about the Turner family, but was previously unaware of the resource you directed me to on Ancestry. I see that AbeBooks is selling a first edition of the Turner book for $241, so I think the online resource will be quite satisfactory.
I’ve had the Mackenzie book on my “wish list” for purchase for a while, again unaware that it is duplicated online at no charge. Others that I have purchased and found interesting are “Some Fraser Pedigrees” by Duncan Warrand and “Clan Fraser – A History” by Flora Marjory Fraser. Unfortunately, I have not yet been able to directly link my ancestors to any of the lines published in these books. I feel if I can find a link to Invernessshire then that will get me past my current brick wall, as the clan in Inverness seems quite well documented through the ages, but at this time I have only been able to follow back to the late 18th century in north Perthshire. One would think with fewer Frasers in Perthshire that this would make it easier, but there seems to be less documentation from that county.
For your own research, you might find “A History of Winscombe Hill and the Yatman Family” by Maria Forbes to be very useful, if you haven’t already unearthed this gem. Unfortunately, the book is out of print, but the author has commented on this blog before, and perhaps by contacting the publisher you might be able to obtain a copy.
Do keep in touch, and perhaps we might share notes to see where else our research crosses paths.
Dear Matt, I came across your website when I was researching the Yatmans, Sue Gunn of Winscombe was my mother and she inherited the family archives. They have now been distributed amongst my siblings who still live on the estate at Winscombe. I have the family miniatures. The big house, the Hall, was sold in 1983 and is now a retirement home. Sadly Mum died last year aged 91; she always welcomed overseas cousins and there were many in the Antipodes.
I have just ordered a spare copy of Maria Forbes book and will send it to you if it arrives (yes it is supposedly out of print but there may be a loose copy somewhere).
Hello Simon, and thank you for you comment!
As it happens, I was able to obtain a copy of Maria’s book (my uncle had an extra, as it turned out), and indeed I later had some minor correspondence with her via this site.
That same uncle, Brian Fraser, visited Winscombe some years ago and met with your mother, I believe. Sadly, Brian passed away just last night in New Zealand; he was 87 years old. I think my other uncle, David, who is still with us, may have been with him on that trip.
If you wish, I can send you an email. Perhaps we may be able to compare notes on our extended family.