Fergusson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Fergusson comes from the ancient Dalriadan clans of Scotland's west coast and Hebrides islands. The name comes from the Scottish surname MacFergus, which means "son of Fergus".

Early Origins of the Fergusson family

The surname Fergusson 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."

Early History of the Fergusson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fergusson research. Another 121 words (9 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 Fergusson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fergusson Spelling Variations

The translation of Gaelic names in the Middle Ages was not a task undertaken with great care. Records from that era show an enormous number of spelling variations, even in names referring to the same person. Over the years Fergusson has appeared as Ferguson, Fergusson, Farguson, Fargerson, Fargusson and many more.

Early Notables of the Fergusson family (pre 1700)

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 Fergusson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Fergusson family to Ireland

Some of the Fergusson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Fergusson migration to the United States +

Many of the ancestors of Dalriadan families who arrived in North America still live in communities along the east coast of Canada and the United States. In the American War of Independence many of the original settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the ancestors of many Scots began recovering their collective national heritage through Clan societies, highland games, and other patriotic events. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Fergusson or a variant listed above:

Fergusson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Fergusson, who settled in Barbados in 1678
  • Donald Fergusson, who arrived in New Jersey in 1685 [1]
  • Duncan Fergusson, who arrived in New Jersey in 1685 [1]
  • Elspeth Fergusson, who landed in New Jersey in 1685 [1]
  • Gilbert Fergusson, who arrived in New Jersey in 1685 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Fergusson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Hugh Fergusson, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [1]
  • James Fergusson, who arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1821 [1]

Australia Fergusson migration to Australia +

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

Fergusson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Fergusson, Scottish convict from Glasgow, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [2]
  • Andrew Fergusson, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lysander" in 1839 [3]
  • Margaret Fergusson, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lysander" in 1839 [3]
  • Alexander Fergusson, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lysander" in 1839 [3]
  • Peter Fergusson, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lysander" in 1839 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Fergusson 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:

Fergusson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Peter Fergusson, aged 33, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duchess of Argyle" in 1842
  • Mary Fergusson, aged 32, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duchess of Argyle" in 1842
  • Mr. James Fergusson, (b. 1830), aged 29, Scottish farm servant and shepherd from Perth travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Victory " arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th May 1859 [4]
  • Mrs. Mary Fergusson, (b. 1833), aged 26, Scottish settler from Perth travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Victory " arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th May 1859 [4]
  • Mr. Alexander Fergusson, (b. 1851), aged 8, Scottish settler from Perth travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Victory " arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th May 1859 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Fergusson (post 1700) +

  • Harvey Fergusson, American writer
  • Francis Fergusson, American academic and critic
  • Harvey Butler Fergusson (1848-1915), American Democrat politician, Member of Democratic National Committee from New Mexico Territory, 1894-1908; Delegate to U.S. Congress from New Mexico Territory, 1897-99; U.S. Representative from New Mexico at-large, 1912-15
  • John Duncan Fergusson (1874-1961), Scottish painter
  • Robert Fergusson (1750-1774), Scottish poet
  • Jean Fergusson (1944-2019), English television and theatre actress, best known for her role as Marina on the British situation comedy Last of the Summer Wine from 1985 until it was cancelled in 2010
  • Sir Ewen Alastair John Fergusson GCMG GCVO (1932-2017), British diplomat and Scotland international rugby union player
  • Brigadier Maurice Alfred Fergusson (1895-1975), Australian Commanding Officer 8th Australian Infantry Brigade (New Guinea - Wewak) from 1944 to 1945 [5]
  • Muriel McQueen Fergusson, former Canadian Senator and Speaker of the Senate
  • George Fergusson, British High Commissioner to New Zealand
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Fergusson Motto +

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


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1820 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1820
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) LYSANDER 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Lysander.htm
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  5. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2011, August 30) Maurice Fergusson. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Fergusson/Maurice_Alfred/Australia.html


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