- CH2/1057/3 Records of Kennethmont Kirk Session, 1792-1871
P. 324 7 November 1868
Compeared An Fraser stating that she was with child and accusing George Thain as the father. It being a tri? and she being an adherent of the Congregational church she was dismissed and summoned to appear at next meeting of session.
by Mary Anne Hrubesky:
ALEXANDER FRASER AND HIS FAMILY
A number of questions remain about events in the lives of Alexander and his family. Census records in Scotland were not as helpful as usual but some facts were gathered from Old Parish Records. It is a sure thing that he and Helen Mackie hahahad a child together, Annie Susan Beattie Fraser. It isn't certain whether they were married or for how long they might have remained married. The few records available here are confusing and a lack of knowledge about family customs in Scotland in the mid-1850s made it more difficult.
In the 1851 census, about eight years after Alexander's daughter Annie Susan was born, he is living with his stepmother and brother. His wife (?) Helen Mackie appears to be living with her son James Anderson and daughter Annie Susan Fraser. Both she and Alexander list their addresses as "The Law" which may be a small village or a farming (Kinnethmont is often spelled as Kennethmont.) This may or may not be meaningful. Records for Alexander have not been found past this point. He may also have eventually immigrated to the United States but has not been located.
As for Helen Mackie, she used "Mackie, her maiden name, throughout her life in Scotland. This was a common custom for women in Scotland and likely has no other meaning. She was first found in the 1841 census, single and living with a large group of people, some of whom are Mackies. In 1851 she is with her son James Anderson, age 9-10 and daughter Annie Susan Fraser, age 7. No information on the father of James Anderson is given so, whether Helen was married for a short period before she and Alexander came together, is unknown. James could possibly have been a foster child.
Annie Susan Beattie Fraser, daughter of Alexander and Helen, had married and given birth to three children. Her husband's name, in current family records, was given as Thain Fraser. The Old Parish Registers list her three children as being born to Annie alone. This apparently was not unusual: the father's name may be included in the Register but one should draw no conclusions if it was missing. Only two further references to Thain have been found while doing this tree. Annie's third child is named William Thain Fraser, born in late 1868. Years later, in the 1925 state census of Iowa in the United States, William lists the name of his father as "Thane Fraser." Annie's first son is named James Anderson Fraser, indicating that she and her brother had a very good relationship.
In 1872, five of these persons would immigrate to the United States, settling in Iowa. James Anderson, son of Helen Mackie, became the head of the household. His mother accompanied them but now gave her name as Ellen Anderson. Helen and Elln are often used interchangeably in Scotland. She would remain Ellen throughout the remainder of her life in the United States. It's not known why she now used "Anderson" as her surname. Her daughter Annie Susan Fraser would also accompany them as would Annie's two younger childlren. Annie's first child, James Anderson Fraser was not with them. He may have died earlier or remained in Scotland. No further records have been found on him.
In 1882, Annie Susan would marry again - a William McHugh who was a neighboring farmer. Once she disappeared from her first home in America where she had lived with her mother, brother, and two children, it became very difficult to find her. A search for an Anne from Scotland finally showed someone of this background to be in the same county. But this person listed a later year of birth. And there were so many Anne's from Scotland now in Iowa. That she was the right one was finally verified by looking at marriage record for Anne and William McHugh. The bride's name, written as Annie S. B. Fraseur, could be no one else.
From old parish records in Scotland, Annie most definitely was born in 1843, making her a number of years older than her husband, William. Further census reports after her marriage list her year of birth much later than 1843, possibly an effort on her part to seem closer in age to her husband. Annie and William would have four children.
Annie's brother, James Anderson, would soon marry as would her daughter and son. They all raised families.
The following from Alan Hayes:
Alan: My name is Alan Hayes a great grandson of Anna Susanna's. She came to Iowa with her mother Helen Mackie and some more family. She married William J McHugh, had three children and is buried in Greene county Iowa. That is the short version.
Karen: I am very interested in learning more about the Frasier family!! I have two letters that Annie wrote to my great-great grandfather, Edward Frasier. I can send scans if you're interested.
I have much more to share with you. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear more than just the 'short version"...
Alan: Yes, I am very interested in seeing the letters. my e-mail is email@example.com I will have to shift my thinking cap over to that side of the family to get it all straight. One of my sisters probably knows more than I do but I can not get her motivated to put it all down. If you go to member connect for Anna Susanna I should show up. I do not know how it lists my tree, maybe A Hayes or jotc. I will get back with you via normal e-mail. Thanks, Alan Hayes
Karen: was in Scotland earlier this year on a genealogy trip - part of the goal was to learn more about my Frasier (Fraser) ancestry and I learned quite a lot. Annie Susan (as my family knew her) was descended from Alexander Fraser, and my side of the family is descended from Alexander's brother Andrew Fraser. Andrew's and Alexander's father was John, and I see that our trees on Ancestry are in agreement on all of this. John Fraser has been a dead-end for us for a long time. I had hohoped that my trip to Scotland would push the line back farther but I didn't have much luck. I did spend a lot of time looking at the Fraser/Beattie families. I also posted information on my blog. You will find the following posts interesting (it will make the most sense if you go through them in reverse order) .And by the way, I hope you don't find my blog writings offensive. You probably already know that Annie Susan was of illegitimate birth. Such matters were dealt with very quietltly on my Swedish side of the family, but in Scotland it was a matter for public discussion and discipline from the church. Andrew and Alexander had a younger half-brother Joseph who never married. He named his nieces and nephews in his will, annd there was a lot of correspondence between Scotland and America in 1900-1901 as his estate was probated. I am in possession of all of the original paperwork. I've attached the two letters from Annie to this email, but I've also included them in a zip file that contains everything I have about the estate settlement: I have my complete family tree online with all supporting documents. Here is a link to John Fraser, you can navigate from there (and download pedigree charts, gedcoms, etc.). I also have a wedding photo Elizabeth McHugh and possibly other photos from your side of the family - I am behind on my scanning so I will have to check. You are descended from Elizabeth, correct? Just this past week I have been communicating with cousins of mine regarding DNA testing on our Fraser line, hinting at a connection (maybe Andrew's and Alexander's uncle?) up in Canada. FYI, I am 56 years old living in Colorado with my husband. We have four children but are now empty-nested. My husband and I are both civil engineers. Genealogy is my obsession, it's why my house is never clean.
Alan: I looked at what I have put down in Ancestry. I got some of this information more or less second hand but it makes sense. Apparently she was married in Scotland to a Thain Frasier (or what ever way they spelled it) about 1862. They had three children: James born 1863, Helen Georgiana born July 4, 1865 and William Thain born 1868. She, her mother Helen Mackie and two of her children came to the states in 1878. In 1882 she marries William J McHugh in Greene county Iowa. I do knot think she gave her correct age as she was much older and probably did not tell him about the children being hers. I do remember hearing bits about "Cousin Nellie" who was actually Helen Georgiana but went by Nellie. She married a Runyon. She actually had 4 children with William J McHugh, but the oldest son Howard died very young. Then there was Mary Anna born 1884, Elizabeth born 1886 and William Foster born 1889. Elizabeth was my grandmother. Her older sister Mary Anna never married and we called her Aunt Mollie. Both of them used a lot of Scottish words and Phrases even in their older years. I was surprised to see someone researching this particular line of the family and really shocked to see a DNA match. Thanks, Alan
Karen: The records from Scotland seem to tell a somewhat different story. I believe Annie Fraser and Helen Mackie came to America with Helen's son James Anderson (Annie's half-brother) and Annie's two children Helen and William. Helen Georgiana''s father may have been a Ewing. William's father was George Thain. I don't know if "Thain Frasier" was a cover story or simply people not being able to keep a confusing set of facts straight... Of course I might be all wet on all of this! I have examples on both sides of my family and in my husband's family of people going to extraordinary lengths to conceal illegitimate birth once they get to America. Maybe it was just a chance to start fresh, I don't know. Makes for fun mystery-solving, though!
Alan: Wow this is very interesting. Yes, it has been said that she was born out of wedlock by others. I suppose she did come to a new world to start anew and she did. Dana as she refers to in the letter is where they lived in Greene county. Shhhe was very instrumental in the early Presbyterian church in Jefferson, where I was born, almost 68 years ago. Elizabeth was indeed my grandmother. She married W D Gilchrist who was a veterinarian. Aunt Mollie (Mary Anna) was a school teacher and never married. What a cool lady to say the least. She broke a leg in about 1949 and was bedridden at Grandma's house. She had my older sister reading and printing the alphabet at the age of three. William Foster or Uncle Foster as we called hi hiim farmed some when we knew him and always took good care of his sisters. He had to spend a little time in prison during the depression for making whiskey and we always thought that was pretty cool. The Ironic thing is the same whiskey he made i is now famous and being sold as Tempelton Rye to all the yuppies. to say the least she must have been quite a lady. As for me, I am a semi retired aircraft mechanic. I have spent the last 50 years working on, modifying and restoring agricultural aircraft. Two sons, one a graphic designer and one an airline pilot. I am very interested in learning more about Anna Susanna. Thanks, Alan