Grannie MacNab bore thirteen children and raised ten. She had sixteen grandsons, three of which were named Robert. Her husband struck her the once, to which she responded by bashing him over the head with an iron girdle; he never again laid hands on her or the children.
Events of the NovelsEdit
When Jamie goes out to the mill to figure out why the wheel is stuck, Grannie MacNab joins Claire at the shore of the millpond to ask a favor of "his lairdship," though since Jamie is engaged in aquatic investigation, she will confide her request to the new Lady of Lallybroch.
Grannie explains that her son, Ronald, takes a violent hand to her grandson, Rabbie, whom she has particular affection for. Ordinarily, she says, she would not see fit to interfere, but because Rabbie is a favorite she asks that the boy be taken on as a stable lad at the manor house under Jamie's supervision.
She is interrupted by the arrival of a troop of English soldiers, who stop to buy a sack of meal. Grannie instructs Claire not to speak, so as not to reveal that she is English. When Grannie informs the soldiers that the mill isn't working and thus they cannot buy any meal, the corporal volunteers his services to repair it. The women, knowing that Jamie is hiding somewhere in the water beneath the millhouse, stall the corporal long enough to allow Jamie to free the wheel and get it moving again.
Once the soldiers have gone and Jamie reemerges from the icy water, Grannie starts in on her request to Jamie, but he forestalls her by asking her to hand him his shirt before his "parts fall off wi' cold."
She speaks her mind and has no compunctions about asking favors, but speaks circuitously.
Grannie MacNab had small gray eyes and iron-gray hair, with hands gnarled with age and "cheeks like withered apples." She customarily wore a proper white kertch over her hair, and clothes that probably fit her twenty years ago, but now hang loose on her shrunken frame.
- MacNab is derived from the Scottish Gaelic Mac An Aba, which means "child of the abbot".
Grannie MacNab does not appear in the Outlander television adaptation.