Recorded in an astonishing number of spellings, although it has to be said, many 'originating' from England, this ancient clan surname is Scottish. Derived from the base spellings of Fraser and Frazer, the variant spellings in the London lists of church register recordings include Fraizier, Frasure, Frozer, Frazeree, Freezer, Freezor, Freasor, Frasser, Friser, Phrazier and many more. The origins of the surname however spelt are open to conjecture and are probably French. The earliest recorded spelling forms include de Fresel, de Friselle and de Freseliere, clearly indicating a French locational origin, however, there is no place in France answering to the spelling. A possible explanation is that the name is not French at all, since the word 'fraisse' heraldically describes a strawberry, and it is known that early lands of the clan included an area at Neidpath where strawberries grew prolifically. Certainly the clan were know as the "Strawberry bearers", from their heraldic coat of arms. During the early medieval period the clan was the most powerful in Scotland. Examples of the early surname recordings include Symon Ffraser, who gave the church of Keith to the Abbey of Kelso in the late 12th Century, and George Freser who witnessed a charter by Walter Olifard in the year 1210. Sir Simon Fraser, known as "the Scottish patriot" was one of Sir Willam Wallaces commanders. It is recorded that in the battle of Roslin in 1302, he defeated three regiments of the English army in one day. The clan chiefs were equally as proficient at aquiring land. By a series of advantageous marriages they spread their influence right across Scotland, William Fraser, earl of Ross, being chancellor of Scotland from 1319 - 1326. He fought with King Robert, The Bruce, at Methven in 1306. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Sir Simon Frasee. This was dated 1160, in the charters of East Lothian, Scotland, during the reign of King Malcolm 1V of Scotland, 1153 - 1165.
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