Outlander can at once feel both expansive and extremely intimate. A prime example of this phenomenon is the show’s vast ensemble: We get introduced to a new character (with a new Scottish name to remember) seemingly every episode, yet everyone is connected to each other in one way or another. Who knew 18th-century Scotland is a place where everybody knows your name?
All of that interconnectedness can be challenging to keep straight. Yet, in Outlander, to know one’s clan is to know one’s self. Take, for instance, the level of protection Jamie found back at Lallybroch on Sunday’s episode, “Surrender.” For six years, the saddest Dunbonnet you ever did see was kept hidden from the English by his sister, Jenny, and her husband, Ian, even though it put their entire family at risk. In other words, the Fraser bond runs deep. But it also runs long. Since we figure ourselves a regular ol’ Frank Randall — the dude loves family trees — Vulture has put together a guide to the Who’s Who of Outlander.
A note before we jump in: This family tree sticks mostly to what we’ve seen in the TV series thus far, supplemented with some background from the book series. Book readers will know there are some major branches yet to come, but for the sake of Outlander viewers who haven’t read Diana Gabaldon’s novels, we’re avoiding major spoilers.
Let’s start with James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser. You may know him as Jamie MacTavish, a.k.a. Red Jamie, a.k.a. the Dunbonnet, a.k.a. that hot redhead who pops up in your steamy dreams. Jamie’s ancestry, like most members of our Highland clans, is extensive, so we’ll stick to the basics. His parents, both deceased by the time we meet him in season one, are Brian and Ellen Fraser. Don’t they sound like that nice couple you’d meet on a cruise? Well, these two are a little more hardcore than that: Brian, as you may recall from season two, had a fraught relationship with his father (and Jamie’s grandfather), Simon Fraser. Grandfather Simon is super-into seers, and also he was a real dick to Jamie and Claire when Jamie came asking for some assistance with the Jacobite uprising — though he did, eventually, send some guys. But just because Simon didn’t approve of Brian and Ellen’s marriage doesn’t mean they had an unhappy one. In fact, it was quite the opposite over on Lallybroch. They had three children in addition to Jamie: William (deceased), Jenny, and Robert (stillborn), before Ellen died during Robert’s birth.
Of course, we all know and love Jenny Fraser Murray. She’s the badass bitch who keeps Lallybroch afloat while her brother is off fighting redcoats, being thrown in jail repeatedly, and falling in love with a combat nurse who magically travelled to the Highlands from the 1940s. (You know, as younger brothers do.) After Jenny married Ian Murray, a childhood friend of the Frasers, she proceeded to pop out a handful of bairns, starting with their eldest, Young Jamie. Honestly, how Jenny raises all those kids and still has time to bust everyone’s balls for being dummies might be the greatest mystery of this show. Jenny is a queen and her relationship with Jamie is a foundational one for the series.
The other major player in the Fraser clan, and our hearts, is Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser. This bearded romantic is second cousins with Brian Fraser, which made it super-awkward when both he and Brian vied for Ellen’s heart in their younger years. Obviously, she chose Brian, but Murtagh’s love was so strong, he vowed to take care of her son Jamie for the rest of his own life — and he was appointed Jamie’s godfather. Murtagh fought alongside Jamie at the Battle of Culloden, but as of “Surrender,” his fate is still unknown.
The missing piece to this part of the Outlander family tree is, of course, Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser. Claire was raised by her archeologist uncle, Quentin Lambert Beauchamp (call him Uncle Lamb, if you’re nasty) after her parents died in a car accident, and she stumbled into the Fraser line by mysterious ways. It is the reason why we’re all here today. (Honestly, if Claire hadn’t gone through those standing stones at Craigh na Dun and fallen for the ginger hottie with a body, what would we do with all of our time? Learn how to crochet? Practical, but way less sexy.) The epic romance between Claire and Jamie yields several children, including the stillborn Faith Fraser, their French ward Fergus, and their copper-haired daughter, Brianna Randall. Currently, this husband-and-wife team are separated by a minor time-travel issue, but that doesn’t mean this is the end of their ballad.
Jamie is most definitely a Fraser, but when we first come upon the lad, he’s being protected by the other side of his family: Clan MacKenzie. Jamie’s mother Ellen grew up at Castle Leoch with a whole slew of siblings, but the ones we know best are her brothers, Colum and Dougal MacKenzie, both now deceased thanks to Claire and Jamie. Colum, despite a debilitating disease, became laird of Castle Leoch and chieftain of Clan MacKenzie, much to the chagrin of his hotheaded younger brother. Colum and his wife Letitia have one son, Hamish, but it is perhaps the worst kept secret in Scotland that Hamish is actually Dougal’s biological son. Eventually, Colum’s physical pain becomes too much to bear, and he asks Claire to help him die peacefully … but not before leaving Clan MacKenzie to his nephew, Jamie. Again, not helping ease any tensions with Dougal.
Speaking of Dougal, he’s the third child of Jacob and Anne MacKenzie, and becomes war chieftain of Clan MacKenzie. This Jacobite-loving Scot marries Maura Grant MacKenzie, and although they have children together, he’s better known for his unclaimed descendents. There is, of course, little Hamish, but more important to the overall story is William Buccleigh MacKenzie. William is raised by William and Sarah MacKenzie, but he is the biological son of Dougal and Geillis Duncan, the second-most famous Craigh na Dun time-traveller. Dougal and Geillis’s love child becomes integral to the Outlander story, since, as Claire figured out, this child is the ancestor of another major player: Roger Wakefield.
Roger is yet another orphan of Outlander: Claire first meets him as a young child, while she and Frank are visiting Roger’s uncle and guardian, Reverend Wakefield. She meets him again as a grown man in the 1960s, when Claire returns to Inverness with Brianna after the Reverend’s passing and asks for assistance in tracking down some of her Battle of Culloden friends. Roger is a kindly historian who takes on Claire’s project and spends a lot of time awkwardly flirting with Brianna. No spoilers, but just know that this guy and his awkward flirting are sticking around.
Other notable members of Clan MacKenzie include the 18th-century Scottish version of Abbott and Costello: Rupert MacKenzie and Angus Mhor. A bromance for the ages, those two!
Okay, Clan Randall isn’t a real thing, but it should be! Claire’s other husband, Frank Randall, gets such a raw deal in the Outlander series that he deserves his own clan. Poor Frank, you guys! The guy searches for his wife for years, is willing to accept her crazy time-travel story once she returns, and loves her despite her obvious eternal and other-worldly connection to another man. Not to mention, he is a ridiculously good adoptive father. Is he kind of a bore? Sure. But he’s also crazy smart and crazy handsome. I mean, the dude can wear some glasses, if you know what I’m saying. Frank deserves a medal, but instead all he gets is tea in a bag. This is depressing.
Of course, it’s understandable that Claire has a tough time looking at Frank: She just spent years being terrorized by his ancestor, Jonathan Wolverton Randall, a.k.a. Black Jack Randall. The only good deed that Black Jack ever does in his entire miserable life is agreeing — at Claire’s repeated urging— to marry Mary Hawkins, the woman who is carrying his brother Alexander Randall’s child, Denys, when Alex dies. Of course, as both Claire and the audience know, Mary and Alex’s child is the start of a long line of descendants leading directly to Frank. Poor guy plays second bagpipe to Jamie and he’s related to a monster. Somebody give Frank Randall a hug.