The Outlander Family Tree: A Complete Guide to the Major Characters

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Photo: Aimee Spinks/Starz

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.

All of that interconnectedness can be challenging to keep straight, especially as Outlander shows no sign of scaling down as it, um, sails into season four. As Claire and Jamie’s world grows bigger, their connection to the past and to their family is more important than ever. It’s important for the audience, too! 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 to what we’ve seen in the TV series through the end of season three, 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. (As younger brothers do.) After Jenny married Ian Murray, a childhood friend of the Frasers, she proceeded to pop out an army of bairns. 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.

There’s the eldest, Young Jamie, showing just how strong the bond between Jenny and her brother is. You might remember Jenny and Ian’s eldest daughter, Margaret, from that time Claire assisted Jenny in delivering the baby on her bedroom floor. There are a whole bunch of kids born after Margaret, all with very Scottish names, but the child we’ve come to know the best on the show is Jenny’s youngest, Young Ian. Much like his uncle, Young Ian has a penchant for getting into trouble regardless of where he is or what his intentions are. He did not, however, inherit Jamie’s glorious copper curls.

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, and as of the end of season three, he’s been shipped off to the colonies after the closing of Ardsmuir Prison.

The missing piece to this part of the Outlander family tree is, of course, our heroine 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 (if you still cry about Jamie giving Fergus his name, you are not alone), and their 200-year-old-baby daughter, Brianna Randall.

As Claire discovers once she makes her triumphant return to the past, Jamie does have some relationships with other women, but he’s never loved another woman. We all, including Claire, should just keep that in mind always. So, yes, Jamie does have another child in addition to those he had with Claire: William Ransom. The boy’s mother is the late Geneva Dunsany of Helwater, the house where Jamie serves his parole after his stint in Ardsmuir Prison. Geneva is betrothed to the elderly Ludovic Ransom, Earl of Ellesmere and blackmails Jamie into taking her virginity before she gets married. Definitely not cool. Geneva die after giving birth and Lord Ellesmere (also, everyone else) is hip to William’s true parentage. William is still his heir, but he also threatens to kill the baby, until Jamie kills Ellesmere. (It’s this whole thing.) William ends up being raised by Geneva’s sister Isobel Dunsany, who happens to marry Lord John Grey, the one-time governor of Ardsmuir Prison, current Governor of Jamaica, and Jamie’s dear friend and most ardent admirer. It’s a complicated family.

Surprise! Jamie also has two step-daughters, Marsali MacKimmie Fraser and Joan MacKimmie. They became his step-daughters when he married their mother, Laoghaire MacKenzie. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because Laoghaire is the same woman who orchestrates Claire being put on trial for witchcraft. If there’s one person in all of time who Claire would not want Jamie to marry, it’s definitely Laoghaire. Thankfully, since Jamie and Claire were still technically married, Jamie and Laoghaire’s marriage isn’t valid. Jamie, the kindest of hunks, remains a father figure to the girls. Especially to Marsali, who falls in love with and marries Fergus. Yes, that Fergus. Is there any other?

Lest you think all the members of Clan MacKenzie are as devious as Laoghaire, remember that Rupert MacKenzie and Angus Mhor were also members. (A bromance for the ages, those two!) But more importantly, Jamie is half MacKenzie on his mother’s side. Ellen Fraser 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. He 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 and the only one whose skin care routine includes bathing in goat’s blood. (Geillis is killed by Claire in the season-three finale, while attempting to time-travel and murder Brianna.) Dougal and Geillis’s love child becomes integral to the Outlander story, since, as Claire figures 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. That awkward flirting turns into kissing, so, you go on with your bad self, Roger.

Speaking of Brianna, we should give her other dad a shout out. Frank Randall gets a pretty raw deal! 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. More importantly, the dude can wear some glasses. Does he carry on a long-term affair? Yes. But it’s not like he didn’t try to make things work with Claire. It’s tough when there’s a very burly Scottish ghost sharing your bed. Despite how he treats Claire — yes, he is an ass by the end of it — he is a ridiculously good adoptive father to Bree.

Of course, it’s understandable that Claire has a tough time looking at Frank: She 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. 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. So, Frank plays second bagpipe to Jamie his entire marriage, he’s related to a monster, and he dies in a car accident while on the outs with Claire. Frank isn’t the most likeable character, but that guy deserves a hug.

The Outlander Family Tree: A Guide to the Major Characters