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The Lost Families of Stratherrick, Strathnairn, and Dunmaglass, Inverness-shire, Scotland

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The French and Indian War

Or the Seven Years War as they refer to it in Great Britain

From the two volume set Sons of the Mountains:  A History of the Highland Regiments in the French and Indian War, 1756-1767

By Ian McCulloch



John “Dubh” Fraser [2] aka John McTavish, of Garthbeg (c.1701-1775)

Lieut:  30 January 1757, 78th Foot; half-pay, 24 December 1763.


John “Dubh” Fraser of Little-Garth was born in Inverness-shire, Scotland.  His brother Alexander McTavish was initially proposed as a lieutenant in the new-raising 78th by the Duke of Argyll and described as “brother to McTavis of Garthbeg who is head of a small tribe”; but in the end John McTavish of Garthbeg himself took the commission under his real name, John Dubh Fraser, which had been proscribed since the ‘45.  He and his brother had fought at Falkirk and Culloden where their “small tribe” was considered a sept clan of the Frasers of Lovat.  He was nearly sixty years old when he joined the 78th; fought at Louisbourg in 1758; fell sick when the regiment gathered at Louisbourg for the 1759 expedition against Quebec under Wolfe.  An army return dated 8 October 1759 by General Monckton shows Lieut Jno. McTavish, as of 4 June 1759 “left sick at Louisbourg” so he did not participate in the siege of Quebec and the subsequent battle on the Plains of Abraham.  He rejoined his regiment by 1760 and fought at the battle of Sillery, 28 April 1760, but like many others, sickened with scurvy and deteriorated.  Governor Murray interceded on his behalf and General Amherst gave permission for the sixty year old lieutenant to be sent home in the fall of 1761, “as it would be an act of charity to him and his family.” An absent officers list shows him as having “gone to England 12th Octbr. 1761 by General Amherst’s leave.”   McTavish was the senior lieutenant cited on list of officers on half-pay after 1763 and he died 2 March 1775.   His second daughter married a fellow 78th officer, Lt. Hugh Fraser, and returned with him to North America. (see below)


CBs; SBs; BALs; CU 49/5; Amherst to Murray, 11 August 1761; WO 34/3: f.105.


Hugh Fraser [2] (1730-1814)

Adjutant: Appointed 12 January 1757, 78th Foot; resigned 24 July 1760

Ensign:  9 June 1758, 78th Foot;

Lieut:  29 April 1760, 78th Foot; half-pay, 24 December 1763.


Hugh Fraser was the original regimental adjutant, appointed 12 January 1757 and served in that capacity until 24 July 1760.  Gazetted ensign, 9 June 1758, the day after the Louisbourg landings; promoted to lieutenant the day after the battle of Sillery, 29 April 1760; exchanged to half-pay in 1763.  Hugh Fraser returned to Scotland and married Elizabeth MacTavish, daughter of fellow officer, Lieut. John MacTavish of Garthbeg and brought her back to Albany, New York by September 1764.  He also brought with him his younger brother-in-law, Simon McTavish (1750-1804) who would become the driving force behind the highly successful North West fur trading company and subsequently the richest man in Montreal.  Fraser apparently had an agreement with Sir William Johnson to settle lands in the Mohawk Valley and brought with him an undisclosed number of settlers.  By November 1780, disenchanted with the ongoing war, Fraser returned to Scotland with his family and settled on a farm called Brightmony, near Auldean, Nairnshire.  He died at Perth aged 83, 21 January 1814.


CBs; SBs; BALs.