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Origins Available: Irish, Scottish-Alt, Scottish


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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The surname Ferguson was 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."

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.


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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 and 1816 are included under the topic Early Ferguson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Notable amongst the Clan from early times was James Ferguson (1621-1667), a Scottish minister; William Ferguson (d. 1699) of Badifurrow, Aberdeenshire, Scotland; and his son, James Ferguson (died 1705), of Balmakelly and Kirtonhill, Kincardineshire, a Scottish major-general, colonel of the...

Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ferguson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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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 and printed products wherever possible.

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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 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 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 United States in the 19th Century

  • James Ferguson, who arrived in America in 1805
  • Thomas Ferguson, who arrived in America in 1805
  • Andw Ferguson, who landed in America in 1805
  • Matthew Ferguson, who arrived in America in 1811
  • Robert Ferguson, who arrived in America in 1811
  • ...

Ferguson Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Marie Ferguson, aged 19, arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Baltic" from Liverpool, England [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
    "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6QS-5PR : 6 December 2014), Marie Ferguson, 19 Dec 1919; citing departure port Liverpool, arrival port New York, ship name Baltic, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  • Annie Ferguson, aged 37, arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Adriatic" from Southampton, England [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
    "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6QQ-5YZ : 6 December 2014), Annie Ferguson, 28 Dec 1919; citing departure port Southampton, arrival port New York, ship name Adriatic, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

Ferguson Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • John Ferguson, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Henry Ferguson, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Mr. Alexander Ferguson U.E. who settled in New Brunswick c. 1784 he is listed with the Loyalists and Disbanded Soldiers whose names appear as Passamaquoddy New Brunswick Loyalists [3]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  • Mr. Alexander Ferguson U.E. who settled in Eastern District, Cornwall, Ontario c. 1784 [3]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  • Mr. Farrington Ferguson U.E. who settled in Marysburgh [Prince Edward County], Ontario c. 1784 [3]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  • ...

Ferguson Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • James Ferguson, aged 33, landed in Pictou, Nova Scotia in 1815
  • Robert Ferguson, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1815
  • John Ferguson, aged 50, a farmer, arrived in Quebec aboard the ship "Dorothy" in 1815
  • Catherine Ferguson, aged 42, arrived in Quebec aboard the ship "Dorothy" in 1815
  • Margaret Ferguson, aged 17, arrived in Quebec aboard the ship "Dorothy" in 1815
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Ferguson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • John Ferguson, a weaver, arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Robert Ferguson, a weaver, arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Peter Ferguson, a brick-maker, arrived in Van Diemenís Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Daniel Ferguson, a nailor, arrived in Van Diemenís Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Elizabeth Ferguson, Scottish convict from Edinburgh, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on December 14, 1835, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • ...

Ferguson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Donald Ferguson landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Blenheim
  • J Ferguson landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • John Ferguson landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Blenheim
  • Donald Ferguson, aged 36, a miller, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blenheim" in 1840
  • Mary Ferguson, aged 35, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blenheim" in 1840
  • ...
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  • Art Ferguson (1944-2016), known professionally as Charlie Tuna, American radio personality and game show announcer
  • Helaman Rolfe Pratt Ferguson (b. 1940), American sculptor and digital artist
  • Robert Bruce "Bob" Ferguson (1927-2001), American songwriter and record producer
  • James Edward "Pa" Ferguson (1871-1944), American Democratic politician from the state of Texas and 26th Governor of Texas
  • Captain Christopher J. Ferguson (b. 1961), American NASA Astronaut with over 40 days in space
  • Elsie Louise Ferguson (1885-1961), American stage and film actress
  • Homer Samuel Ferguson (1889-1982), American politician and lawyer, Senator from Michigan
  • James Ferguson (1710-1776), Scottish astronomer
  • Adam Ferguson FRSE (1723-1816), Scottish philosopher, social scientist and historian of the Scottish Enlightenment
  • Sir John Ferguson (1832-1907), Scottish statesman
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Ferguson Historic Events



Arrow Air Flight 1285

  • Mr. Mark W Ferguson (b. 1966), American Specialist 4th Class from Kingsport, Tennessee, USA who died in the crash of Arrow Air Flight 1285 on December 12, 1985 in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada
  • Mr. James A Ferguson (b. 1955), American Sergeant from Orange Park, Florida, USA who died in the crash of Arrow Air Flight 1285 on December 12, 1985 in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada

Empress of Ireland

  • Mr. Ronald Ferguson, British Marconi Operator from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking on May 29th 1914
  • A. C. Ferguson, Canadian Third Class Passenger from Montreal, Quebec, Canada who survived the sinking on the Empress of Ireland on May 29th 1914

Halifax Explosion

  • Mr. George A.† Ferguson, Canadian Government Railway Worker from who died in the Halifax Explosion on 6th December 1917

HMAS Sydney II

  • Mr. Kenneth Charles Ferguson (1923-1941), Australian Ordinary Seaman from Shorncliffe, Queensland, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking
  • Mr. David Wallace Ferguson (1922-1941), Australian Able Seaman from Berala, New South Wales, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking

HMS Prince of Wales

  • Mr. George Cuthbert Irwin Ferguson (b. 1903), English Lieutenant Commander from England, who sailed in to battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died during the sinking

HMS Repulse

  • Mr. William W Ferguson, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking

RMS Lusitania

  • Mr. John Ferguson, American 2nd Class passenger from New York, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • Master Edward Ferguson, American 3rd Class passenger from Newark, New Jersey, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking and was recovered
  • Mrs. Mary Ferguson, American 3rd Class passenger from Newark, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
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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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Citations



  1. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6QS-5PR : 6 December 2014), Marie Ferguson, 19 Dec 1919; citing departure port Liverpool, arrival port New York, ship name Baltic, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  2. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6QQ-5YZ : 6 December 2014), Annie Ferguson, 28 Dec 1919; citing departure port Southampton, arrival port New York, ship name Adriatic, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  3. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X

Other References

  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  3. Black, George F. The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3).
  4. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  5. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  6. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  7. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  9. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  10. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. 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 9 August 2016 at 07:46.

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