Pharris History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The age-old Hebrides islands and the west coast of Scotland are the ancestral home of the Pharris family. Their name comes 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 Pharris family

The surname P Harris 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 Pharris family

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

Pharris Spelling Variations

Medieval spelling was at best an intuitive process, and translation between Gaelic and English was no more effective. These factors caused an enormous number of spelling variations in Dalriadan names. In fact, it was not uncommon to see a father and son who spelled their name differently. Over the years, Pharris has been spelled Fergus, Fergie, Forgie, Forgus, Ferris, Farris and many more.

Early Notables of the Pharris family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Pharris family to Ireland

Some of the Pharris 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.

Migration of the P Harris family

Scottish settlers arrived in many of the communities that became the backbones of the United States and Canada. Many stayed, but some headed west for the endless open country of the prairies. In the American War of Independence, many Scots who remained loyal to England re-settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Scots across North America were able to recover much of their lost heritage in the 20th century as Clan societies and highland games sprang up across North America. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Pharriss to arrive on North American shores: Owen Fergus, who settled in Boston in 1739; James Fergus, who arrived in North Carolina in 1740; another James Fergus, who settled in New York in 1774.


Contemporary Notables of the name P Harris (post 1700) +

  • Chrystee Pharris (b. 1976), American television and film actress
  • Lieutenant Jackson Charles Pharris (1912-1966), American officer awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1941


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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