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Go Tell the Bees That...

This page may contain MAJOR SPOILERS about Ian Fraser Murray from the latest book in the Outlander series, Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone. Read at your own peril!

This page contains MAJOR SPOILERS about Ian Fraser Murray from the Outlander book series, which may not yet have aired in the TV series. Read at your own peril!

This article is about Ian Murray, son of Ian and Jenny. You may be looking for his father, Ian Murray.

Ian Fraser Murray is the youngest son of Ian and Jenny Murray. He is most commonly referred to as Young Ian, to avoid confusion with his father.

Personal History

The events on the day of Young Ian's birth prove a rather inauspicious beginning to an eventful life. His uncle, Jamie, living in a cave at the time, had come down to the house to be with his sister when she went into labor. The elder Ian was not there at the time, having been arrested and taken away to deal with the matter of who rightfully owns Lallybroch. There were redcoats still lingering in the district on the day Ian was born.

While Jamie is with Jenny, holding the newborn Ian, English soldiers enter the house, and Jamie hides in the closet without much thought – still with the infant in his arms. They manage to escape notice by the soldiers, but the closeness of this encounter prompts Jamie to arrange his own arrest into the crown's custody.

As though to live up to this fraught beginning, Ian gives his parents more trouble than his siblings do, possessing a lust for adventure and life beyond the Highlands.

Events of the Novels


Young Ian is born into a world in which his father is imprisoned for being a suspected Jacobite sympathizer, his uncle is a fugitive abiding in a nearby cave, and his home is a frequent draw for English redcoats in the district. At only hours old, he nearly gives his uncle away as a group of soldiers start to interrogate Jenny concerning the whereabouts of her brother, who a that very moment is hiding in the armoire of Jenny and Ian's bedroom – with the newborn Young Ian in his arms.

Around age fourteen, chafing at the limited scope for adventure at home in the Highlands, Ian runs away from Lallybroch to his uncle Jamie in Edinburgh, where he lives until his father finds him. Young Ian returns to Lallybroch with Jamie and his newly returned aunt Claire, and finds himself acting as a go-between when Claire leaves Lallybroch, and Jamie is shot by Laoghaire MacKenzie shortly thereafter. After a settlement is reached between Jamie and Laoghaire, the Frasers take Young Ian with them to retrieve some of the Silkies' Isle treasure located off the north coast of Scotland. Young Ian's penchant for getting into more trouble than he bargained for lands him in the hands of pirates, who seize him while he is retrieving the treasure.

From Scotland, the pirates transport Young Ian, along with several other boys his age, to the West Indies, where they are brought to Hispaniola, to the plantation of a Mistress Abernathy. He is held prisoner along with the other kidnapped boys, and one day, a boy is taken upstairs and never seen again. When it is Young Ian's turn, he finds out why that Mrs. Abernathy is searching for a stone only found in virgins. Young Ian is not a virgin, a fact which saves his life, though at a cost; instead of killing him like the others, Mistress Abernathy drugs him and uses him for sex.

Eventually Mrs. Abernathy takes Young Ian to a cave called Abandawe. Claire and Jamie find them there, and Claire kills Geillis in the struggle to save Ian.

Young Ian and the Frasers leave Hispaniola with their companions on the governor's pinnace, but the little boat is no match for the speed of the Royal Navy's ship that pursues them, nor yet for the approaching hurricane. The Porpoise is decimated by the violent sea, killing all hands, and the pinnace eventually succumbs as well. Jamie and Claire float ashore and take refuge with a family, only to discover the storm has swept them all the way from the Caribbean to the coast of the Royal Colony of Georgia.

Drums of Autumn

The Fiery Cross

Ian returns to Fraser's Ridge near the end of The Fiery Cross, with little explanation of how or why he left the Mohawk. His aunt and uncle, though overjoyed to have him back, notice the change that has come over their once buoyant, carefree nephew. Ian brings with him a journal written in Latin, which turns out to have belonged to Otter-Tooth, or Robert Springer—the man whose ghost Claire had seen while lost on the mountain a few years before, and whose story she heard from an old Mohawk woman, Tewaktenyonh, during their rescue mission for Roger. Claire, Roger and Brianna explain what they are to Ian, who had suspected something off about them, though more along the lines of the "fairy folk" than time travelers.

A Breath of Snow and Ashes

An Echo in the Bone

Written in My Own Heart's Blood


I dinna ken very much about myself, Auntie, but I think I wasna born to be a Quaker.
— Young Ian, An Echo in the Bone

Ian is very much a product of the many and varied influences on his life. His strong Scots self-assurance allows Ian to take the best of those influences and mold himself into a dominant but not arrogant individual. He is a good example of the "bloody man" by his uncle Jamie's definition, knowing his responsibility to take care of others by any means he deems fit. He is loyal and his love is unconditional and fierce. This is seen not only within his relationships with family, like Jamie, Claire, Brianna, Rachel, and of course Rollo, but also his dedication to William Ransom. If his love is unconditional and fierce, his capacity for vengeance is even more so.

During the years between his marriages, Ian often feels adrift, not quite belonging with either his Scottish family, or with the woman and tribe that rejected him. Still, he refers to himself as a Highlander and a Mohawk, and comes to be proud of both identities, but sometimes feels conflicted about which takes precedence, or might guide him best in a given situation.

Physical Appearance

Ian is described as tall and thin, like his father, with dark-brown hair and a homely face. Claire and Brianna both note that Ian's eyes are his one claim to beauty, these being "large and hazel... the colors of autumn, dark wet earth and crackling oak leaves, and the touch of setting sun on dry grass."[5] As part of his adoption in the Mohawk tribe, Ian has tattoos drawn across his face, looping in a double line of tiny dots from the bridge of his nose across his cheekbones, and his hair plucked from the sides of his head, leaving a thick strip of hair that runs over his skull and trails down in a long tail. After he returns, Ian wears his hair long, but the tattoos remain, and his long hours spent outdoors give him his usual dark tan and lean, hard muscularity.


Brianna MacKenzie

Ian met his cousin Brianna in September 1769, after her travel through time and across the ocean. They quickly became friends.

In October, Brianna's husband[6] Roger MacKenzie came to the Ridge, but due to a gross misunderstanding, Jamie and Ian believed that he was the man that had raped Brianna. They captured Roger and sold him to the Iroquois.

In late November, when it became clear that Brianna was pregnant while unmarried, Jamie wanted Ian to marry her for her child's sake. Ian gallantly proposed to his cousin, despite not being in love with her. Brianna was furious with her father and refused Ian's suit, insisting on waiting for Roger.

After Jamie and Ian's mistake regarding Roger's identity came to light, they departed with Claire in order to get Roger back. They found him in a Mohawk village in February 1770. When Roger killed a Mohawk man during a fight, Jamie learned that it was customary in such circumstances for the Mohawk to adopt a member of the enemy tribe to replace the man that was killed. Ian sacrificed himself so that Roger could return to Brianna, and asked Roger to take good care of his cousin and her child.

After more than two years' absence, Ian returned to the Ridge in October 1772. The family was overjoyed, but it was clear that Ian had changed during his time away.

In October 1774, he took Brianna on a three-day trip through the woods, leading her to a large, ancient skeleton he had found. He also told her the story of his marriage to Wakyo'teyehsnonhsa and the death of their daughter, for which he blamed himself, and Brianna comforted him.

Putting great trust in Brianna, Ian then asked her whether he should stay on the Ridge or go back to the Mohawk to his ex-wife. At first Brianna felt that she couldn't make the decision for him, but then realized that she is his family and the responsibility does lay in her hands, and so she gave him her opinion. Ian followed her advice and stayed.

In August 1775, when Brianna was abducted by Neil Forbes and Stephen Bonnet, Ian interrogated Forbes and cut his ear off.

After Brianna's return to the future, Ian missed his cousin, and the fact that he could say anything to her.

Lizzie Wemyss

Upon his cousin Brianna Fraser's arrival to Fraser's Ridge Ian met her bond maid Lizzie Wemyss. Lizzie developed something of a crush on him and vice versa at the start.

As a result of Lizzie mistakenly accusing Roger MacKenzie of raping Brianna, Ian and Jamie Fraser beat him and sold him into slavery among the Iroquois. After discovering the truth, and knowing his cousin was pregnant, Ian went with Jamie and Claire to find Roger. During their rescue attempt, a man among Roger's Mohawk captors was killed; as was customary, the injured party demanded that a replacement be offered in recompense. Rather than make Roger stay, Ian offered himself as replacement, allowing Roger to return to Brianna. Upon learning of Ian's decision, Lizzie was heartbroken.

When Ian returned in October 1772, Lizzie was betrothed to Manfred McGillivray. Following the breaking of the engagement, Brianna suggested that perhaps Ian would marry Lizzie. However, Ian explained that while he could be content with Lizzie, he considered her to be more like a sister.

Wakyo'teyehsnonhsa ("Emily")

Ian met Wakyo'teyehsnonhsa (Works With Her Hands) in the Mohawk village of Snaketown while searching for Roger MacKenzie. He nicknamed her "Emily". As part of the negotiations for Roger's release, Ian chose to become a Mohawk to replace a man that was killed, and married Emily. They experienced a number of miscarriages, including a stillborn daughter whom he privately named Iseabaìl. These tragedies irrevocably damaged their relationship, and Ian left Emily and the tribe at the suggestion of Tewaktenyonh.

In 1777, perhaps looking for closure after a talk with his Aunt Claire about his ability to have children, Ian sought and found Emily at her new home at Unadilla, where she and her new husband Sun Elk had moved to join Thayendanegea. She presented her children to Ian: a boy of about five, a girl of about three, and an infant daughter. She asked Ian if he would name her newest daughter, a great honor, but Ian refused, saying he would instead name her son Swiftest of Lizards.

Malva Christie

Ian had a sexual relationship with Malva Christie during the time that she was trying to obscure the identity of her unborn child's father. Ian knew that he was not the only man she was sleeping with, after he showed late for one of their meetings to find her having sex with Bobby Higgins instead. When word got out that Malva was with child, allegedly by Jamie, a fight broke out between Bobby and Ian. Ian confessed to Claire that he'd been intimate with Malva and could possibly be the father. He offered to marry her if the child was his, if it would get people to stop saying horrible things about Jamie, but Claire advised that doing so wouldn't stop the talk. When Claire asked Ian why he hadn't thought of marrying Malva before having sex with her, he admitted that after a few times he had considered it, but decided against it as he did not trust Malva, and knew he could never rest easy with her.

Mrs. Sylvie

For a number of years, Ian was accustomed to

Rachel Hunter

Ian met Rachel Hunter in summer 1777,[7] when he brought William Ransom to her Quaker settlement seeking medical help. Some days later, Ian visited her house briefly to inquire about William's health. They met again in a militia camp, where Rachel's brother Denzell was an army surgeon, and Ian's uncle Jamie a colonel. The Hunters became friends with Claire and Jamie, and when Denzell was captured by the British, Ian and Jamie rescued him from hanging.

Ian developed feelings for Rachel. In October 1777, while delivering a tin of goose grease for her brother, Ian kissed Rachel and she hit him, but after the first shock she allowed him to hold her hand. It was clear that his feelings were reciprocated. Ian was afraid that he might not be able to control himself if she touched him again, and that Rachel might be killed by Arch Bug because of Ian's love for her, and he left. He then asked Jamie and Claire to talk to Denzell, who respects them, about Ian's intentions to marry Rachel, but this counsel was forestalled by the appearance of Mr. X, who was blackmailing Jamie. Ian killed Mr. X and was forced to flee, and Rachel offered to take care of Rollo, who had been wounded and was unable to run with Ian.

Ian and Rachel were reunited in May or June 1778, when Ian and William stopped Arch Bug's attempt to kill Rachel. The two became engaged and married in a double Quaker wedding in late July or early August.

In September, they learned that Rachel was pregnant with their first child, and she gave birth to a son in early June 1779. While still deciding on his proper name, they affectionately called him "Oggy".


  • Ian is the modern Scottish variant of the name John.[8]
    • John is the English form of Iohannes, the Latin form of the Greek name Ιωαννης (Ioannes), itself derived from the Hebrew name יוֹחָנָן (Yochanan) meaning "YAHWEH is gracious".[9]
  • James is the English form of the Late Latin name Iacomus which was derived from Ιακωβος (Iakobos), the New Testament Greek form of the Hebrew name Ya'aqov (Jacob). Thus, the names James and Jacob derive from the same source. Possible meanings of the name Jacob include "holder of the heel", "supplanter", or "may God protect".[10][11]
  • Fitzgibbons (alternatively Fitzgibbon) is derived from the name Gibb, a short form of the Norman personal name Gilbert. This name was originally derived from the name Gislebert, which is comprised of the Germanic elements "gisil," which means "hostage" or "noble youth," and "berht," which means "bright" or "famous." The name features the distinctive Irish patronymic prefix "fitz," which means "son of" in Anglo-French. This is derived from the Old French word "fils," which ultimately comes from the Latin word "filius," both of which mean "son." The Gaelic form of the surname Fitzgibbon is Mac Giobúin.[12]
  • Fraser may be derived from Fredarius, Fresel or Freseau. Another suggestion is that the Frasers were a tribe in Roman Gaul, whose badge was a strawberry plant.[13]
  • Murray is derived from the region in Scotland called Moray meaning "seaboard settlement".[14]


TV Series

Scottish actor John Bell portrays Young Ian in the Outlander television adaptation.


Season Three

Season Four

Season Five


22galeria.png Ian Fraser Murray has a photo gallery.


  1. Age as of the end of Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone.
  2. 2.0 2.1 In the book series, Young Ian has brown hair and brown eyes. In the television series, the actor portraying him has blond hair and light eyes.
  3. In An Echo in the Bone, Ian meets Emily's five-year-old son, who is nicknamed Digger. Digger tells Ian that Tewaktenyonh told Digger that he was the son of Ian's spirit. After Emily offers Ian the honor of naming her daughter, Ian instead chooses to name her son: Swiftest of Lizards. It remains ambiguous whether Swiftest of Lizards is Ian's biological son, or Tewaktenyonh only meant that the child is Ian's son by the Mohawk way of thinking – that is, a man's spirit must overcome a woman's to conceive a child. (See Compuserve Forum – Diana Gabaldon Folder – Diana responds to a question about Swiftest of Lizards' paternity; Compuserve Forum – Diana Gabaldon Folder – Diana addresses Swiftest of Lizards' paternity: "We don't know.")
  4. Outlander has filled two pivotal roles for season 3 - September 20, 2016
  5. A Breath of Snow and Ashes, chapter 55.
  6. Brianna and Roger were handfast, a form of trial marriage that lasts for a year and a day.
  7. An Echo in the Bone, chapter 36-38.
  8. Behind the Name: Ian – Accessed 17 March 2014
  9. Behind the Name: John – Accessed 17 March 2014
  10. Behind the Name: James – Accessed 19 April 2015.
  11. Behind the Name: Jacob – Accessed 19 April 2015.
  12. House of Names: Fitzgibbon – Accessed 19 April 2015.
  13. Way, George and Squire, Romily. Collins Scottish Clan & Family Encyclopedia. (Foreword by The Rt Hon. The Earl of Elgin KT, Convenor, The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs). Published in 1994. Pages 142 - 143.
  14. Behind the Name – Surnames – Accessed 17 March 2014