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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: Irish, Scottish-Alt, Scottish

Where did the Scottish Ferguson family come from? What is the Scottish Ferguson family crest and coat of arms? When did the Ferguson family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Ferguson family history?

The Hebrides islands and the west coast of Scotland are the ancestral home of the Ferguson family. Their name comes from the Scottish surname MacFergus, which means "son of Fergus".

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Medieval translation of Gaelic names could not be referred to as an accurate process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and names in documents from that era are riddled with spelling variations. Ferguson has been written as Ferguson, Fergusson, Farguson, Fargerson, Fargusson and many more.

First found in Galloway (Gaelic: Gall-ghaidhealaibh), an area of southwestern Scotland, now part of the Council Area of Dumfries and Galloway, that formerly consisted of the counties of Wigtown (West Galloway) and Kirkcudbright (East Galloway), where they were descended from the Prince of Galloway who married the daughter of Henry I of England. These ancient Lords of Galloway were independent rulers until they were annexed by Scotland in 1234. Alan, Prince of Galloway, was the last of the line. The Craigdarroch branch was the oldest but they also had branches at Cowal, Kintyre, Kilkerran, Atholl, Kinmundy, Pitfour. The Ayrshire Fergusons, who descended from Fergus, the independent 12th century Lord of Galloway, were established in the Southwest of Scotland even before they received their charter from Bruce, the King of Scotland, in the 13th century. Furthermore, numerous families of the name Ferguson were established throughout Scotland at an early date. In Argyll, where the Ferguson Clan is particularly numerous, the Fergusons held lands in Strachur until the beginning of the 19th century. The Fergussons of Perthshire were recognized as the principal Highland branch of the Clan and the chieftainship belonged to the Dunfallandy family, the head of which was designated "MacFhearghuis."


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ferguson research. Another 241 words(17 lines of text) covering the years 1715, 1745, 1621, 1667, 1699, 1705, 1637, 1714, 1672, 1734, 1723, 1816 and are included under the topic Early Ferguson History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 141 words(10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ferguson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Ferguson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 109 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Ancestors of many of the Dalriadan families who crossed the Atlantic still live along the east coast of the United States and Canada. Some Scottish settlers arrived in Canada during the American War of Independence as United Empire Loyalists, while others stayed south to fight for a new nation. The descendants of Scottish settlers in both countries began to rediscover their heritage in the 19th and 20th centuries through clan societies and highland games. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Ferguson or a variant listed above:

Ferguson Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Elizabeth Ferguson, who landed in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1630
  • Daniel Ferguson settled in New England in 1651
  • Agnes Ferguson, who landed in New Jersey in 1685
  • Elspeth Ferguson, who landed in New Jersey in 1685
  • Gilbert Ferguson, who arrived in East New Jersey in 1685


Ferguson Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Lawrence Ferguson, who landed in Virginia in 1716
  • Henry Ferguson, who landed in Maryland in 1716
  • Finlow Ferguson, who arrived in South Carolina in 1716
  • Duncan Ferguson, who arrived in Maryland in 1716
  • Duncan Ferguson settled in Virginia in 1716


Ferguson Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Jas Ferguson, who arrived in America in 1805
  • Thos Ferguson, who arrived in America in 1805
  • Andw Ferguson, who landed in America in 1805
  • Matthew Ferguson, who arrived in America in 1811
  • Robt Ferguson, who arrived in America in 1811


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  • Elsie Louise Ferguson (1885-1961), American stage and film actress
  • Homer Samuel Ferguson (1889-1982), American politician and lawyer, Senator from Michigan
  • Captain Christopher J. Ferguson (b. 1961), American NASA Astronaut with over 40 days in space
  • James Edward "Pa" Ferguson (1871-1944), American Democratic politician from the state of Texas and 26th Governor of Texas
  • Robert Bruce "Bob" Ferguson (1927-2001), American songwriter and record producer
  • Helaman Rolfe Pratt Ferguson (b. 1940), American sculptor and digital artist
  • Sir John Ferguson (1832-1907), Scottish statesman
  • Adam Ferguson FRSE (1723-1816), Scottish philosopher, social scientist and historian of the Scottish Enlightenment
  • James Ferguson (1710-1776), Scottish astronomer
  • Eustace William Ferguson (1884-1927), New Zealand entomologist

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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Dulcius ex asperis
Motto Translation: Sweeter after difficulties

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Ferguson Clan Badge
Ferguson Clan Badge

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A clan is a social group made up of a number of distinct branch-families that actually descended from, or accepted themselves as descendants of, a common ancestor. The word clan means simply children. The idea of the clan as a community is necessarily based around this idea of heredity and is most often ruled according to a patriarchal structure. For instance, the clan chief represented the hereditary "parent" of the entire clan. The most prominent example of this form of society is the Scottish Clan system...

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Septs of the Distinguished Name Ferguson
Ceddy, Cheddey, Cheddie, Cheddy, Fairadge, Fairage, Fairedge, Fairege, Fairidge, Fairies, Fairige, Fairis, Fairish, Fairitch, Faradge, Farage, Fareadge, Fareage, Faredge, Fareedge, Fareege, Farege, Fareidge, Fareies, Fareige, Fareis, Fareish, Fareitch, Fargason, Fargerson, Fargie, Fargoson, Fargus, Farguson, Fargusson, Fargyson, Faridge, Faries, Farige, Faris, Farish, Faritch, Farradge, Farrage, Farrass, Farredge, Farrege, Farress, Farrgus, Farridge and more.

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  1. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  2. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  3. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  6. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  7. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  8. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  9. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  10. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  11. ...

The Ferguson Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Ferguson Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 15 July 2014 at 12:43.

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