Fergus History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Fergus family comes from the ancient Scottish Dalriadan clans of the mountainous west coast of Scotland. The name Fergus is derived from the Scottish surname MacFergus, which means "son of Fergus", which is in turn derived from the Gaelic personal name "Fearghus," composed of the elements "fear," meaning "man," and "gus," meaning "vigor" or "force." This Gaelic name was found early in both Ireland and Scotland. The name is a cognate of with the Cymric "Gwr-gwst," Old Bret. "Urorgost" and the Pictish word "Forcus." This last Pictish form of the name is found on a monument at St. Vigeans in Angus as "Fercos."

Fergus I ( fl. 330 B.C.?), "son of Ferchard, was the first king of Scotland, according to the fictitious chronology of Boece and Buchanan, is said to have come to Scotland from Ireland about 330 B.C. to assist the Scots already settled in Scotland against the joint attack of the Picts and Britons. After succeeding in this he is further said to have gone back to Ireland to quell disturbances which had arisen in his absence, and to have been drowned in the passage off the rock or port which got the name of Carrick Fergus from him. " [1]

Early Origins of the Fergus family

The surname Fergus 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), Ireland where St. Fergus (Fergustian) (circa 730 AD) was an Irish bishop, who went to Scotland as a missionary.

He settled near Strageath and founded three churches in Strogeth and two in Caithness. It is possible that he was the Fergustus Pictus who went to Rome in 721 AD. According to Irish lore, a family of this name descend from Fergus, Prince of Galloway (d. 1161), who is said to have married a daughter of Henry I of England.

Constantine Mac Fergus (d. 820), was King of the Picts, he "acquired the monarchy by the defeat of Conall Mac Taidg (Teige), who was assassinated in 807 by another Conall, son of Aidan, a Dalriad king in Kintyre. " [1]

Early History of the Fergus family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fergus research. Another 148 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1466, 1499, 1582 and are included under the topic Early Fergus History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fergus Spelling Variations

Spelling variations were extremely common in medieval names, since scribes from that era recorded names according to sound rather than a standard set of rules. Fergus has appeared in various documents spelled Fergus, Fergie, Forgie, Forgus, Ferris, Farris and many more.

Early Notables of the Fergus family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Fergus Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Fergus family to Ireland

Some of the Fergus family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 70 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Fergus migration to the United States +

Dalriadan families proliferated in North America. Their descendants still populate many communities in the eastern parts of both the United States and Canada. Some settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists, in the wake of the American War of Independence. Families on both sides of the border have recovered much of their heritage in the 20th century through Clan societies and highland games. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Fergus or a variant listed above:

Fergus Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Owen Fergus, who settled in Boston in 1739
  • James Fergus, who arrived in North Carolina in 1740
  • James Fergus, who arrived in North Carolina in 1740 [2]
  • James Fergus, who settled in New York in 1774
Fergus Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • David Fergus, who settled in New York, NY in 1822
  • David Fergus, who landed in Cincinnati, Oh in 1822 [2]
  • William Fergus, who arrived in New York in 1827 [2]
  • Mary, Janet and David Fergus, who arrived in New York in 1832

Canada Fergus migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Fergus Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Christian Fergus, who settled in Quebec in 1820
  • Catherine Fergus' death was registered at Grosse Isle, Quebec in 1847
  • Miss. Bridget Fergus, aged 1 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Naomi" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [3]
  • Ms. Catherine Fergus, aged 21 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Naomi" departing from the port of Liverpool, England but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [3]
  • Mrs. Susan Fergus, aged 32 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "John and Robert Liverpool" departing 9th June 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 6th August 1847 but she died on board [4]

Australia Fergus migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Fergus Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Owen Fergus, aged 41, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Utopia"

New Zealand Fergus migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Fergus Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Mary Fergus, (b. 1861), aged 10 weeks, British settler travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "Matoaka" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 10th February 1862 [5]
  • Mr. James Fergus, (b. 1831), aged 30, British farm labourer travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "Matoaka" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 10th February 1862 [5]
  • Mrs. Jane Fergus, (b. 1834), aged 27, British settler travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "Matoaka" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 10th February 1862 [5]
  • Mr. Samuel Fergus, (b. 1859), aged 2, British settler travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "Matoaka" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 10th February 1862 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Fergus (post 1700) +

  • James Fergus (1813-1902), Scottish-born, American miner, rancher, businessman and politician in Minnesota and Montana, founder of Fergus Falls, Minnesota and Fergus County, Montana
  • Tom Fergus (b. 1962), American professional NHL ice hockey player who played 726 regular season games
  • Keith Carlton Fergus (b. 1954), American professional PGA golfer who has had 3 PGA wins
  • Dylan Fergus (b. 1980), American actor, known for Hellbent (2004), Passions (1999) and Come Away with Me (2005)
  • Jim Fergus (b. 1950), American author
  • Thomas Fergus (1815-1914), Scottish-born, New Zealand politician, Minister of Defence (1887-1889), Minister of Justice (1887-1889), Minister of Public Works (1889-1891) and Minister of Education (1889-1891)
  • Dr. John Fergus (1700-1761), Irish physician and man of letters
  • Rev. James Fergus (1895-1989), Irish Catholic priest, Bishop of Achonry
  • Michael Fergus, 18th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorn, Chief of Clan Lyon
  • Mr. William Fergus Mitchell B.E.M., British recipient of Medallist of the British Empire Medal 29th December 2018 for services to the Golf Handicapping and Course Rating Systems in the UK and Abroad [6]


Suggested Readings for the name Fergus +

  • 158 The Gold Rush Widows of Little Falls: A Story Drawn from the Letters of Pamelia and James Fergus by Linda S. Peavy.

  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 28)
  4. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 75)
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  6. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists


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