MacDonald and Fraser families

In 1940 my father, Hamish Fisher, married Elizabeth Fraser Macdonald, a science teacher in Breadalbane Academy the local school. My mother, known as Betty, was brought up in Blairgowrie but her family came from Inverness-shire.


My great grandparents with some of their children and grandchildren at the front door of Glentore.
Back : Donald MacDonald Fraser b.1899, Grace McKenzie Fraser b.1898, Fraser Tavish MacDonald b.1875, Margaret MacDonald b.1873, Jane Fraser MacDonald / Rae b.1865, Donald MacDonald b.1877, Robert Rae b.1898
Middle : Eliza Fraser b.1836, Donald MacDonald b.1831
Front: John Fraser b.1901, Isabella Fraser b.1907, Elizabeth Fraser b.1903

Having Alasdair Fha Feidh, the great deer hunter from Choire-Dho, at the head of our MacDonald genealogy adds a certain mystique to this story. Alasdair might be mythical, who knows, but the place exists and undoubtedly had connections with Inchbrine and Balnain. In these townships, 18 miles to the north east, known ancestors eked out a living in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Sadly my MacDonald, Fraser and Grant ancestors, like the Fishers, were not people of high rank. Rather they were agricultural labourers, servants and tenants of small farms.

As the highlands changed many had to seek work in Scotland's fast developing central belt. My great grandfather Donald became a police constable in Dumbartonshire where he and his wife, Elspat, had 9 children. His wife subsequently returned with the children to her roots and farmed Easter Cudrish next door to her Fraser family who were tenants in Wester Cudrish. When Donald retired he joined his wife in the highlands. They later downsized to Glentore, the Glenurquhart croft which featured so strongly in the early life of my mother and her cousins. Mother's generation witnessed the end of her family's life in the Inverness-shire highlands as remaining siblings and cousins joined the exodus south and abroad.

On 4 July 1912 my maternal grandfather, Donald MacDonald, and his brother Fraser sat down with their parents at Glentore on the occasion of their golden wedding. The notes made on that occasion and typed out in 1946 form the backbone of the Macdonald family tree.

For readers wishing a detailed history of the area I would refer them to William MacKay's Urquhart and Glenmoriston. Olden times in a Highland Parish (1914).

Family trees

MacDonald ancestors

The first recorded is Alasdair Fha Feidh (great deer hunter) also known as Alexander Dubh. We have no dates for him but we might presume that he lived in the 1600s. My grandfather wrote that his instructions were that, at death, he should be buried at Clachan Mhercheird, in Glenmoriston with his body laid north and south so that his face should look towards his beloved Corry Gho (?Dho) at the resurrection (ie feet to north). My great grandfather got his directions wrong. Corrie Doe is west of the graveyard.

His son, Alexander, was followed by John, born in Glen Urquhart. We know that John's son was called Duncan. Separate pages give more information about those that followed:

1913 re-union

In 1913 George Archibald McLean, who was born in New Zealand, came to Scotland with his family and visited Inverness-shire, the home of his wife Mina (Jemima) Fraser. Mina emigrated to NZ with her younger brother Malcolm when she was 17 and he 15 shortly after their parents died within a short time of each other in 1887. They met up with an uncle who was already there.

The MacDonald and Fraser families arranged a grand reunion and this photograph was taken in the field across the road from Glentore. (Click photo for larger picture).

On the back of the photo is written 'A small momento of our visit from Mina and George. Taken at Glentore on 10th Aug. 1913.'

  1. Jessie Fraser b.1888 - Corrick
  2. Mary Fraser b.1894 - Corrick
  3. 1913 reunion Glentore reunion large James Cumming b.1852 - Balnaglaic
  4. Mary Cumming his daughter
  5. John Michael b.1839 - Achnacloich
  6. Tinie McIntosh
  7. George McLean b.1872 - N. Zealand
  8. Margaret MacDonald b.1873 - Glentore
  9. Jane Rae (nee MacDonald) b.1865
  10. Donald MacDonald b.1831 - Glentore
  11. Donald McPherson b.1856
  12. Jeannie MacMillan - Oakbank
  13. Grace Fraser b.1898
  14. Catherine Cumming (nee Macmillan) - Balnaglaic
  15. Jean Michael (nee Fraser) b.1841
  16. Elizabeth Fraser b.1903 - Inverness
  17. Jemima McLean (nee Fraser) b.1870
  18. Elizabeth MacDonald (nee Fraser) b.1836
  19. Mary MacPherson (nee MacLean) b.1856
  20. William MacMillan b.1836 - Oakbank
  21. John Cumming - Balnaglaic
  22. Duncan Cumming his brother
  23. Donald Fraser b. 1899 - Glasgow
  24. Archibald McLean b.1907 - NZ
  25. Isabella Fraser b.1907 - Glasgow
  26. Fraser McLean b.1907- NZ
  27. Malcolm McLean b.1911 - NZ
  28. Robert Rae b.1898
  29. John Fraser b.1901 - Glasgow

Page last updated - 15/5/16