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The Black Knee Chronicles

Volume 6


by Hugh Frazer

This Chronicle presents Wilson's studies of Archibald's military career, being a cavalry trooper in Ligonier's Regiment, mostly stationed in Ireland, where they were basically a peace-keeping force protecting the "Plantations" and settlers from the original inhabitants.

The expression “Plantations” describes the policy of the English establishment to make Catholic Ireland “British” during the 16th and 17th centuries by the forcible introduction of Protestant English and Scots, presenting them with lands taken by force from their original owners and inhabitants, and providing protection as required.

There was a parallel influx of settlers, with many restrictions being placed upon Catholics, such as being forbidden from owning land, or from residence in the towns that were growing under the new economy.
Our ancestors in Ireland were Protestant settlers, and the military in Ireland were there to protect the Protestants from the Catholics, or at least to provide disincentive for rebellion.

In the long term these policies were not successful in southern Ireland, and are still a source of conflict in Northern Ireland. The suppression became gradually weakened during the 19th century, until our ancestors were forced to leave sometime in the 1860’s. Deryk’s Legends suggests that the family were evicted from the farm for not managing it properly, presumably with some politics involved.

Then, secondly, to the will of Alexander Frazer of Nappagh, Co. Longford, giving names of many brothers and a sister, including Archibald with his sons Joseph and Robert. It is not known for certain that this our family, with Co. Longford being a good distance from Co. Laois, and there being other Frazer’s in that area.

Thirdly, in his military research, Wilson also looked into the possible careers of Alexander and his brothers James and John.

As is usually the case with persons of lesser importance, the record is not definitive, and Wilson had to make assumptions from the small amount of information that was available to him; but he clearly put in many hours of painstaking research. It is also worth noting that, at the time of doing this work, he was trailing the path that Simon of Brea was the elusive ancestor, with the assumption that Archibald’s birth was about 1715.

Current information indicates that there were Frazers at least in Counties Fermanagh, Sligo, Leitrim, Cavan, and Roscommon, all close to Co. Longford, and much further away from Co. Laois. So there a distinct possibility that this Alexander is not part of our family. Archibald was also a well-used name, at least in Roscommon. More research!


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