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Mini Biographies of Scots and Scots Descendants (F)
Mother was a Fraser

Over the years we have received numerous letters from members and prospective members of Clan Fraser Society of Canada, some of them asking for help in tracing their Fraser ancestors. However, the following letter is unusual in that the writer was compelled to relate his story in response to an article that appeared in the Toronto Star in 1990:-

Following your quest for "Frasers" in the Toronto Star, I am pleased to inform you that my mother was a Fraser.

Mother was born Dec. 10, 1888 at Inverness County, Scotland. Her father was Robert Fraser, a Presbyterian and "very fond of his Bible". He was known as Red Robert and lived to be 105. He was 20 years older than his wife, born Christina Fraser Lee. Mother’s father worked for Lord Lovat, a prominent Catholic, as his Estate Man and Head Saw Miller in Inverness-shire. As far as I know, mother had two sisters, Elizabeth and Christine, and two brothers, one whose name was Robert. The family lived on a croft at 18 Culburnie. Mother trained to be a domestic but not being able to find work in Scotland she went to London in 1913.

She worked for Dowager Lady Concaleton at 13 Brianston Sq., London W. She was in turn 2nd housemaid, 1st housemaid and housekeeper. Her next employer was Sir Henry Sasoon, 25 Parklane, London West. She worked as kitchen maid, 2nd cook and chief cook. While changing jobs again at the outbreak of war, she was asked at the Registry office if she would consider going to Canada and said she would. She was promptly hired as cook by Doctor and Mrs. Hugh Fleming (retired) with money. They moved to Ottawa with their two children. Mother lived on Besserey St. in Ottawa. Hugh was the son of Sir Sandford Fleming who lived at Eskadale, Inverness-shire. Hugh became a Colonel in the Army Medical Corps. Mother spent the summers with them at the Manor Richelieu at Murray Bay. Subsequently, she was placed at the Ottawa Country Club as 2nd cook with the plan to oust the 1st cook. Mother made a lot of jealousies upon being made 1st cook.

Dad now comes into the picture. He was Ernest Legault, a Bell Boy. He was born in Casselman, Ontario in July 1889 and lived his childhood and early youth in Hull, Quebec. Mother was not happy with the chief steward. "He was always trying to get next to me. He was a most immoral man. When in England he was one of those English Publicans. He was a good looking guy and used to run a Public House on the outskirts of London. He was kicked out of London because of the immoralities and drunkenness and slums. Lord Neville got him his job in Ottawa and the Flemings were very friendly with Lord Neville. They were social climbers and would do anything to get high honours." One morning mother got fed up and gave her notice. Dad got word of this and decided to leave as well. Mother chose to go to Montreal and they agreed to meet at the Windsor Station. Dad worked briefly at the Windsor Hotel and mother became head cook for Benjamin Tooke (shirts) and his household in Westmount. Mother married dad and through a friend (Jimmy Cameron) got dad a job at Smith Marble Construction on Van Horne Avenue in North Montreal. In between times dad worked at a munitions plant.

Mother next worked for the Royal Victoria College of Nurses and was living at the corner of Union Avenue & Burnside where I was born in 1917. After having lived at several locations in Northeast Montreal (corner Delormier & St. Jerome - now Laurier), Des Erables, Parthenais, etc., during which time nine more children were born, mother and dad moved to City of Two Mountains in 1963. Dad died in 1970 at 81 years of age and mother died in 1982 at 94 years of age. Both are buried at City of Two Mountains Cemetery. Incidentally, you may be aware of a Scottish Fiddler named Alasdair Fraser. He is a relative of mother’s whom I have never met but he did visit mother some time before her death. I hope this information will help in your compilation of information about the Frasers.

Sincerely, J.E. Legault

It obviously did not occur to J.E. Legault to identify his mother by name. Margaret Fraser and Ernest Legault were married 6 May 1916 at St-James Cathedral in Montreal, Quebec. He died in Montreal on 22 April 1970, in his 81st year, husband of Margaret Fraser. She died in St-Eustache, Quebec on 27 July 1982, in her 94th year, wife of the late Ernest Legault.

Marie Fraser  Clan Fraser Society of Canada

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