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This article is about the daughter of Marsali Fraser. You may be looking for Marsali's sister Joan.

Joan Fraser is the second child and eldest daughter of Fergus and Marsali Fraser, and grandchild of Jamie and Claire Fraser.

Personal History

Joan was born to Fergus and Marsali Fraser in the North Carolina backcountry. Her mother became pregnant with her within days of weaning her brother Germain.

As an infant, she was baptized at the Gathering at Mount Helicon – clandestinely, for Catholicism was outlawed in the colony.

As she grew older, Joan and her younger sister became known affectionately by their grandfather as the "hell kittens".

Events of the Novels

The Fiery Cross

Joan is baptized during the Gathering on Mount Helicon in late October 1770. She lives on the Ridge with her family.

A Breath of Snow and Ashes

In 1774, at the age of 4, Joan moves with her parents and siblings from Fraser's Ridge to New Bern.

An Echo in the Bone

In 1777, Joan and her family move to Philadelphia, where they live above Fergus's new printshop. She and her sister often watched their grandmother perform medical procedures in the shop's backroom.

Written in My Own Heart's Blood

Joan continues to live in Philadelphia with her family as political tensions rise.

In September 1778, a fire spread throughout the printshop and it burned to the ground, Joan and her sister were present for Henri-Christian's fall and was devastated by his death.

After Henri-Christian's death, Joan and her family moved south to Savannah, before settling in Charleston.


Joan is an outwardly sweet and even-tempered child, though she can be a handful when combined with her more irascible younger sister Félicité.

She is a year and a half older than her sister, and has always been quick to defend her.

Joan is good at spelling, having played with discarded lead type since she was a toddler, and has in interest in learning the meaning of new words.

Physical Appearance

Joan is described as a "brown wren of a child."[5] She has light brown hair and brown eyes.


  • Joan is a Medieval English form of Johanne, an Old French form of Iohanna (Joanna),[6] an English and Polish form of Latin Iohanna, which was derived from Greek Ιωαννα (Ioanna), the feminine form of Ioannes (JOHN) [7] the Latin form of the Greek name Ιωαννης (Ioannes), itself derived from the Hebrew name יוֹחָנָן (Yochanan) meaning "YAHWEH is gracious".[8]
  • Laoghaire (LEER ee, LAIR ee, L'Heery) may come from the Old Irish name Laegaire, which may mean "calf-herder". Name of two saints and a king of Tara.[9]
  • Claire is the French form of Clara, which itself is the feminine form of the Late Latin name Clarus which meant "clear, bright, famous".[10][11]
  • 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.[12]


  • Claire is Joan's paternal adoptive grandmother, as well as her maternal step-grandmother. Similarly, Jamie is her paternal adoptive grandfather as well as her maternal step-grandfather.


  1. Age as of the end of Written in My Own Heart's Blood.
  2. An Echo in the Bone, chapter 18. Claire mentally notes that Jamie refers to his granddaughters Joan and Félicité as the "hell-kittens".
  3. 3.0 3.1 Although they are not related by blood, Joan's relationship with Jamie and Claire has been that of a typical granddaughter for her entire life. Qualifiers having to do with adoption or stepfamily are sometimes used in reference to Fergus and Marsali's relationships to Jamie and Claire, but never Joan's relationship to them.
  4. Non-biological. Jenny was a foster mother to Fergus, and considers her relationship with Joan to be that of grandmother/granddaughter.
  5. A Breath of Snow and Ashes, chapter 27.
  6. Behind the Name: Joan. Accessed 27 May 2016.
  7. Behind the Name: Joanna. Accessed 27 May 2016.
  8. Behind the Name: John. Accessed 27 May 2016.
  9. Celtic Female Names of Ireland. Accessed 11 May 2015.
  10. Behind the Name: Claire. Accessed 19 April 2015.
  11. Behind the Name: Clara. Accessed 19 April 2015.
  12. 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.