Thursday, August 21, 2008

First Post: The Myth of "George Thomas" Frazier b 1725 Inverness Scotland

Greetings!  This is the very first post on Betty's Genealogy Blog. My name is Betty, and I love to do research.  This blog will be a place where I share new discoveries, little miracles, and "brick walls", as well as general discussions on history and genealogy, as I continue to search out all the branches of  my family tree in the United States and beyond.

To begin: an email recently sent out to family, fellow researchers and cousins, concerning an immigrant ancestor, "George Thomas" Frazier:   has led to an upsurge in interest in our immigrant ancestor, "George Thomas" Frazier b abt 1725, supposedly Inverness, Scotland, supposedly married to Mary Pugh, supposedly a Quaker.  The legend was that George and Mary came to Pennsylvania in the 1740s, married, then migrated to Guilford NC with the rest of the Quakers from Chester Co PA.

The truth is, not one of us has ever been able to find any records of any kind for any "George Thomas" Frazier (or any variant spelling of the surname) in any PA or NC records.

The first name "George" for this immigrant ancestor was originally obtained from a 1904 letter by Ann M. Frazier Way.  However, she admits in the letter that she was not certain about some of the first names.

Other descendants had previously shown the father of ISAAC FRAZIER (who was Ann M. Frazier Way's grandfather) as "Thomas Frazier".

Thus we ended up with "George Thomas" Frazier--and no records.

Now, I am not one to knock the reliability of the writings of Ann M. Frazier Way.  She was lucid right up into her 90's, and nearly everything she has written about our Frazier family I have been able to verify in records. However, I do believe she may have been incorrect in this instance. 

One of the Frazier Yahoo Group members, Jeff Frazier, recently posted a page from the 1838 Westfield Monthly Meeting in Hamilton IN, which clearly states that ISAAC FRAZIER born Jan 19, 1763 NC, who married REBECCA SAFERIGHT, was the son of THOMAS & MARY FRAZIER. A few years later, ISAAC FRAZIER and his son HENRY FRAZER/FRAZIER, who married MARY POLLY OTWELL, obtained a certificate to move to the Sugar Plains Monthly Meeting in Boone Co, IN.

I find that Quaker Monthly Meeting records are usually quite accurate.

If  THOMAS FRAZIER  was indeed a Scottish Quaker, then it is unlikely that he came from Scotland to America in the 1740s.  The Quakers in Scotland were a very small minority, and were uniformly & deeply despised by the Episcopalians and Presbyterians; they were long gone from Scotland by 1740.  

In Scotland, Quakers only held meetings in the towns of Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Kinmuck, Ury, Kelso and Hamilton.  There apparently were no Quakers living in Inverness, according to Robert Stewart, a researcher in Scotland who is attempting to help the Frazier Yahoo Group from that side of the water.

The Scots Quakers were pretty much completely ousted from Scotland in the late 1600s to early 1700s, according to the book, "Scottish Quakers and Early America 1650-1700" by David Dobson. Most of the Scottish Quakers settled in Perth Amboy, NJ.  I have checked records in that location, but no Quaker THOMAS FRAZIER shows up in records that I have found so far.

The only Scottish Quaker family with the Frazier surname that I have found so far in Chester Co PA was that of ALEXANDER FRAZIER b abt 1690s Scotland who married SARAH COPPOCK, but he did not have a son name Thomas, according to his will. Several of his descendants did move to Guilford, NC at the same time as some of the other Quaker families in our family tree.

At any rate I have changed our immigrant ancestor's name in all files to THOMAS FRAZIER.  Now that all of the Frazier Yahoo Group is working together and sharing records, I suspect that we may finally track down and find this family in early records and answer some long-standing questions. Stay tuned."


Unknown said...

I'm working on a George Frazier born circa 1830s or so. Allegedly he is from Germany or France. Have you stumbled over him at all in your research?

Betty said...

Sorry, No, I haven't!

Anonymous said...

This post says the "Scots Quakers were pretty much completely ousted from Scotland in the late 1600s to early 1700s" according to the book, "Scottish Quakers and Early America 1650-1700" by David Dobson. Not so: they were in Kinmuck, near Aberdeen, 1681-1940. Another source is: Paul F. Burton, A Social History of Quakers in Scotland 1800-2000, Edwin Mellen, 2007, 9780773454521.

Jennifer Taylor said...

I'm so glad to see this post as I have I've been trying to verify this account and have been unable to do so.

Since New Garden Meeting of Guilford, came from New Garden of Chester Co, PA, and from New Garden of County Carlow, Ireland, has anyone traced the Fraziers from that trail?

Frazierc88 said...

I am a Frazier starting my family genealogy and have possibly found my way to this George Thomas Frazier. Or at least i thought i had until i read this... Has anyone found any new information on this person that can shed some light on my search? I've made it from Missouri to North Carolina and need to catch the boat across the pond to continue my search.

Kent Frazier said...

Hi Betty, Thank you for this post it has reignited my research into my family. I have posted about my own recent "discovery" re: George and Mary on my blog at Also, there seem to be several Frazier groups on Yahoo! Groups would you mind providing the name of the specific group mentioned? Thank you.

Domestic Tranquility said...

This is not the answer, but it may be a clue. Huguenots fled to countries that welcomed Protestants, including Scotland-- many of them coming through the low countries first. It is claimed that the Frasier name is of French origin. Maybe it was no coincidence that Samuel Frazier married Rebecca Julian (of Huguenot origin.) Many of the Huguenots became Quakers in southern Virginia and North Carolina. Hypothesis: Frazier and Julien were both of Huguenot ancestry. The Pughs were Quakers in Nansemond County, VA and Chowan and Bertie Counties, North Carolina. That name Pugh is a clue to you. Don't discard it. You respect this elderly lady's work. She probably didn't come up with the name out of thin air. There were Frasiers in Chowan County in the late 1700s. Could they be related to your line?

Unknown said...

Is there an update to this mystery of Thomas Frazier? From what I have researched, he would have been my 5 times great grandfather and I would love to learn more.

Unknown said...

Do you ever solve the identification of Thomas Frazier? I am interested to learn more as I have discovered that Thomas Frazier would have been my 5x great grandfather. Thank you.

bdfraz said...

Hello to all, George Thomas Frazier b.1725 Iverness and Mary Pugh are my direct 7th great Grandparents through their son Thomas Frazier. I have linked them back from my Grandfather Dow Patric Frazier. These records are from the Quaker Encyclopedia and the will of my wife's 5th Great GrandFather Henerick Sigfred (morphed to Saferight)a German Quacker, His daughter Rebecca Saferight is my wife's 4th Great Grand Aunt, her Husband was Isaac Frazier my 6th Great Grand Uncle son of George Thomas Frazier. We have years of research on this line. Myth dispelled, these are real people and there is a paper trail, Ann Frazier Way's letter is part of that paper trail. Census, Church Records, a Will, etc.

Betty said...

@bdfraz Goodness, this article does not insinuate that this couple did not exist, only that I have only found RECORDS for THOMAS FRAZIER, not GEORGE THOMAS FRAZIER! You have completely missed the point here. Even Ann Frazier Way, a granddaughter of THOMAS FRAZIER & MARY PUGH, was uncertain whether his name was THOMAS FRAZIER, GEORGE FRAZIER, or GEORGE THOMAS FRAZIER! And this couple, in a record r.e. their son my ancestor ISAAC FRAZIER, was referred to only as "THOMAS FRAZIER & wife MARY" in Westfield Quaker MM records from Hamilton Co Indiana. Yours, Betty Tartas (author & owner of this blog)

Betty said...

@bdfraz A will?!? for "GEORGE THOMAS FRAZIER"?!? I find that highly unlikely. No one even knows exactly when and where he died, including such researchers as Kent Myrick who runs the Yahoo Frazier group.

If you do indeed have a will and other documentation, why on earth aren't you sharing it with other Frazier researchers??? To sit on that kind that kind of documentation for years on end while hundreds of other researchers struggle to find morsels of information is just plain SELFISH.

bdfraz said...

Look here for Clan Fraser true beginnings.

AmyLS said...

First of all I have to say I am new to genealogy research so if I am making a major foopah excuse me. I found on that this George Thomas Frazier born in 1725 Inverness Scotland died 1790 Randolph NC was the son of Simon "The Fox" Fraser of Iverness Scotland who was the last to be beheaded at the Tower of London. I am trying to get into contact with the person who did the research to see where her source came from. I have not found a source yet that names George Thomas as Simon's son. I am just saying a possibility may exist that George Thomas Frazier could be the son of Simon Fox Fraser or Lord Lovat and Janet Grant. From research shared with me George Thomas Frazier would be my 6th great Grandfather. The line for me would be from my mother Janeen Ward, her father Willis Charles Ward, his mother Carrie Osborne, her mother Mary Jane Saferight, her mother, Nancy Frazier, her father James Fraser, his father James M Frazier, then apparently his father the infamous George Thomas Frazier. Has anyone heard about this Lord Lovat being the father possibly of George Thomas?

Unknown said...

Any further discoveries on the true identity of George Thomas Frazier? I have traced my ancestry back to George L. Frazier III (born sometime between 1775 and 1777 in Pennsylvania, married Polly Lucretia Blackburn 1805 in Kentucky, died 1850 or 1851 in Illinois). From what I've found, George L. Frazier III was the son of George and Mary Frazier. The timing seems a little off for this George and Mary to be George Thomas Frazier and Mary Pugh. Possibly a grandson? Shear coincidence?

Kent Frazier said...

@AmyLS To the best of my knowledge, there is no documented evidence that Simon Fraser has a son named George. In her biography of Simon Frasier, THE LAST HIGHLANDER, Sarah Fraser has a "Lovat Family Tree" chart. It shows a child (daughter?) named Georgina born in 1717 but no other information on her. My guess is that the individual who first entered the parents of George Thomas as Simon and Janet Grant was just wanting to have a connection to someone famous/infamous. I hate to say this as I am LDS (Mormon) but since there is no requirement for source or proof I find somewhat suspect. I'm in the process now of attempting to prove/confirm my Frazier line. Unfortunately, whenever someone makes a change in another will change it back. I have been watching George Thomas Frazier on for over a year now. It seams that people don't read or ignore notes and comments others have left. If you would like to contact me directly, my email is kent-at-kfrazier-dot-com.

Gail said...

Hello! I stumbled on this web site when I was researching George Thomas Frazier. If is to believed, this is my family line, starting with George's son John:
John Frazier 1769-1820
James Frazier 1790-1848
John Frazier 1814-1885
John Wesley Frazier 1864-1952
Verna Mae Frazier (who was my great grandmother)
Can anyone validate the accuracy of George having a son named John? All the research I have done talk about the Frazier line going through George Thomas Frazier's son, Thomas. On, it lists quite a few children, John Frazier (son of George) being his second to youngest. But other sites only list Thomas. I was also curious if anyone has been able to find any information on George's father? On it says 'Father Frazier 1700-1751' and that's it. It says both Father Frazier, and his son George were born in Inverness. Thank you so much for any information! :)

Unknown said...

Betty, I totally agree with your point. Without disparaging any researchers, suppositions such as "first name was George' creep into records. Without scrupulous references to sources, records get confused. Also, since the Frazier name is so common, it is easy for researchers to make suppositions that become 'facts' in the record. And the internet lets those 'facts' get spread so widely, the 'facts' seem to become stronger.

In my case, I have a researcher who shows the father of a William C. Frazier b 1805 (birthdate and name from family bible records and census records) as 'Thomas', with no sources cited. Without a source, I begin to doubt that fact 'father was Thomas.' (Because the 'C.' probably stands for 'Coltrane', for which many records show were associated with certain other Fraziers of Guilford County.) I despair of finding original source records from circa 1800. Which leaves me putting together a probabilistic case built on migration patterns of related families. I need to strongly resist the temptation to let my 'probabilistic case' become a 'fact'.

Unknown said...

U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s

Name George Frazier
Arrival Year 1745
Arrival Place Maryland
Source Publication Code 1243
Primary Immigrant Frazier, George
Annotation Date and place of mention in land survey. County and name of land purchased are provided. Original records are contained in Land Office Registers, indexed starting on page vii of the introduction.
Source Bibliography COLDHAM, PETER WILSON. Settlers Of Maryland 1679 - 1783. Consolidated Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2002.
Page 239
I hope this helps some--I'm Barbara Frazier Cogdill

Betty said...

Thanks Barbara, but please note that all Quaker records in North Carolina & Indiana refer to the individual I am writing about as "THOMAS FRAZIER" --not "GEORGE FRAZIER". No indication whether or not this GEORGE FRAZIER was ever a Quaker. There were so many Frazier families in the US at this time that it would be difficult to say whether or not it was the same family without further information.

Unknown said...

I am descended from Isaac Frazier (born about 1750 in Virginia and married to Olivia Lee. They migrated to Louisiana. We have gone no farther back than that to date. If anyone runs across parents of this Isaac Frazier, please be so kind as to let me know at The history is on Family Treemaker and Margaret Brunson Hickman (my mother was a Frazier)

Unknown said...

My DNA shows a connection to a John Calvin Julian ,this is news to me so i set out to find the connect ,I am hoping that one of you more knowledable Frazier folks will advise me ,I have figured that John Calvin Julian was the son of Lewis Julian and Martha Frazier .The only connection I can find that shows me how I might be related ,is to this Martha Frazier ,she is apparently the daughter of a Thomas Frazier and a Mary Gillium ,this Thomas is then the son of George Rudd Frazier and Jane Grimes. .The thing is many show Thomas the son of a Samuel Frazier,not a George Rudd Frazier , which does not fit into my DNA at all .I need to know is it possible that Thomas Fazier born about 1781 was the son of George Rudd Frazier and Jane Grimes ,or is it written in stone that he is the son of a samuel Frazier or some other Frazier ? I descend from Jane Graham,s sister Nancy Grimes (Graham ) both daughters of Richard Graham and Aseneth ?his wife of Randolph Co NC .