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Septs (Branches) of Clan Fraser


The families listed below are either of Fraser descent or are descended from the dependents of the Frasers. Fraser and Frizell (in its various spellings) are thought to be variants of the same name by most sources and there is evidence of this in old charters. The spelling of names, and in fact of all words, was a very haphazard affair in olden times (and often still is!), and different spellings of Fraser, Frizell, MacKimmie and Simon should merely be regarded as different ways of indicating on paper the same name or the same sound.


Simon is the preferred Christian name for the Chief of Clan Fraser of Lovat, certainly in modern times, but is very common in most branches of the family at all times throughout history. So, illegitimate children of Lovat Chiefs, or indeed any Fraser whose name was Simon might well be given Simon, MacSimon, Sim or Simpson or one of their variants as a surname. But then one has to remember that the Christian name Simon was not exclusive to the Fraser family! A certain amount would depend on what part of the country the family came from, that is to say that a Simpson from the area round Beauly in Inverness-shire would be much more likely to descend from a Fraser of Lovat than one from some other part of the country.

All Welcome

All in all it is impossible to be precise as to who is or is not of Fraser descent, for, apart from anything else, so many records have been lost, and so many cannot prove their descent. But if someone greets Lady Saltoun or Lord Lovat as the head of their family, they do not tell him to produce his pedigree and prove it! They welcome him as a kinsman, whether his name be Fraser or Tweedie of any of the others on that list, which does not include all known spellings of those names.

List of Septs

  • Bissett
  • Brewster
  • Cowie
  • Frizzell
  • Frew
  • MacGruer
  • MacKim
  • MacKimmie
  • MacSimon
  • MacTavish
  • Oliver
  • Sim
  • Simon
  • Simpson
  • Sims
  • Syme
  • Twaddle
  • Tweedie