Fergusson

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Clan Fergusson is a Scottish chiefly family

Badge copyright Gaelic Themes Ltd.

Known as the 'Sons of Fergus' this clan spread across Scotland from Ross-Shire in the north to Dumfriesshire in the south-west. <ref>George Way of Plean and Romilly Squire, Scottish Clan and Family Encyclopedia, 136</ref> The Scottish Gaelic patronymic of Fergusson is MacFhaerghuis which can also be translated as son of the angry. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 136</ref> There is a tradition that attributes a common ancestry to the various distinct families bearing the name of Fergusson, however there is no evidence to support this and the heraldry of the chief's family is significantly different to that of other Fergusson families. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 136</ref> According to Dorward, the personal name 'Fergus' means 'super-choice' and it gained popularity in Scotland and Ireland. Many different families therefore adopted the name Fergusson. <ref>David Doward, Collins Dictionary of Scottish Surnames, 93</ref>

Argyleshire and Highland Fergussons

These Fergussons claim descent from Fergus Mor mac Erc, a king of Dalriada.In Perthshire, there were Fergusons in Atholl and Balquhidder who in keeping with many of their neighbouring clans (e.g. MacGregors) were of constant trouble to the King's authority. However many Perthshire Fergusons were strong supporters of the Stuart cause and fought under Montrose, Bonnie Dundee and with the Atholl Brigade at Culloden. Of the Highland Fergusons, those from Argyll, held the estate of Glenshellich and were hereditary sheriffs of Strachur, following the Campbells. <ref>http://www.electricscotland.com/webclans/dtog/ferguso2.html</ref>

Ayrshire and Dumfries Fergussons

There is evidence linking this group with Fergus, Prince of Galloway, who was an important figure in the reigns of David I and Malcolm IV. This Fergus restored the church at Whithorn, founded the Abbey of Dundrennan and died at the Abbey of Holyrood in 1161. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 136</ref> The Earls of Carrick descended from this Fergus. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 136</ref> The Fergussons held the lands of Kilkerran in Ayrshire, probably from the twelfth century. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 136</ref> The first certain record is John Fergusson of Kilkerran in 1464. He may have been descended from John, son of Fergus, who was a witness to a charter of Edward Bruce issused shortly after the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 136</ref>By 1600 there were Fergussons all over the southern part of Carrick who acknowledged Kilkerran as their chief. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 136</ref> This family adopted Presbyterianism during the Reformation, although Sir John Fergusson of Kilkerran fought for Charles I during the War of the Three Kingdoms. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 136</ref> Financial misfortune followed. Later Fergussons worked to restore the family finances and escape debt.

Sir James Fergusson (1832-1907)

Sir John Fergusson (b.1653) became a lawyer and member of the Faculty of Advocates in 1681. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 136</ref> His son, Sir James, became a judge of the Supreme Court with the title Lord Kilkerran, in 1749. He married into the Maitland family, Earls of Lauderdale. <ref>http://www.electricscotland.com/webclans/dtog/ferguso2.html</ref> A descendent, Sir James Fergusson, 1832–1907) was a British soldier, politician and colonial administrator who was associated with Benjamin Disraeli. <ref>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sir_James_Fergusson,_6th_Baronet</ref>General Sir Charles Fergusson of Kilkerran, was a famous soldier and military personality. From 1924 to 1930 he was Governor General of New Zealand. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 136</ref> His son Sir Bernard Fergusson later served in that same capacity from 1962 to 1966. <ref>http://www.maybole.org/notables/fergusson/clanfergusson.htm</ref> The current chief is Sir Charles Fergusson of Kilkerran. <ref>http://www.maybole.org/notables/fergusson/clanfergusson.htm</ref> Kilkerran House is still owned by the family. <ref>http://www.ayrshirescotland.com/mansions/kilkerran.html</ref>

James Fergusson of Pitfour (1735-1820)

Fergussons of Dunfallandy

This family may have had a separate descent but heraldry proclaims them as a cadet branch of Kilkerran. Dunfallandy is near Pitlochry in Atholl. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 137</ref> Another source claims that Fergussons of Dunfallandie have owned land in the area since the time of King John Balliol. Tradition states that Fergussons have been in the area since Angus McFergus defeated the Northern Picts in a battle near Pitlochry in 729 AD and then settled a number of his followers or Fergussons in the territory between Bridge of Cally in the east and Strathtay in the west. <ref>http://www.highlandperthshirenews.co.uk/history-heritage/clan-fergusson</ref>Another legend tells how, in the 14th century, a son of Adam Fergusson of Derculich fell in love with the daughter of Baron Stewart of Dunfallandy who refused his consent to the marriage. Adam is reputed to have hidden behind the "Bloody Stone of Dunfallandy" (now disappeared) and killed Baron Stewart with an arrow. The heiress later married Adam's son thus bringing to the Fergussons of Derculich the Estate of Dunfallandy. <ref>http://www.highlandperthshirenews.co.uk/history-heritage/clan-fergusson</ref>

Atholl Fergussons appear in the Act of Suppression drawn up by the Privy Council in 1587. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 137</ref> Later Fergussons were Jacobites who took part the risings in 1715 and 1745. Fergusson of Dunfallandy was captured in 1745 and narrowly avoided execution in Carlise in 1746. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 137</ref> His successor, General Archibald Fergusson 'The General', (1755-1834) spent 37 years in India on military campaigns in the service of the East India Company. <ref>http://www.dunfallandyhouse.co.uk/clan-fergusson</ref> In 1812 he rebuilt Dunfallandy House. On the death of his grand daughter, Margaret Fergusson in 1900 the title of 'Chief' and the estate passed to the descendents of his niece, Elizabeth Stewart of Dalnacardoch. <ref>http://www.dunfallandyhouse.co.uk/clan-fergusson</ref> Dunfallandy House is no longer owned by the Fergusson family, but has recently been restored as holiday accomodation. <ref>http://www.dunfallandyhouse.co.uk/</ref>

Fergussons of Pitfour

Prof. Adam Ferguson of Raith (1723-1816)

Pitfour is in Buchan. A prominent member of this family was James Fergusson (1700-1777), Lord Pitfour. Fergusson was an advocate and became a high court judge in 1765. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 137</ref> Pitfour was described as one of the greatest lawyers in the country. However, by the time he became a judge he was past his prime intellectually and thus did not make as much of an impact in that role. A Jacobite sympathiser, he is best known for his defence of rebels standing trial at Carlisle after the Jacobite risings. <ref>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Ferguson,_Lord_Pitfour</ref> His father, the first laird, is said to have nearly ruined the family by investments at the time of the South Sea Bubble. <ref>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Ferguson,_Lord_Pitfour</ref> Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Fergusson invented the breach-loading rifle in 1776. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 137</ref> His brother, James Fergusson of Pitflour was a Tory politician who was a close associate of Henry Dundas, 'Uncrowned King of Scotland' and contemporary of James Boswell. <ref>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Ferguson_(Scottish_politician)</ref> During the nineteenth century prominent family members had military careers in the British Empire. General Sir Robert Fergusson was praised by the Duke of Wellington for actions in the Penisular War of 1801-14. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 137</ref> Later in the century the extravagant lifestyles of the fifth and sixth lairds led to the sequestration of the estate to pay debts, with the remaining estate sold after the First World War. <ref>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitfour_estate</ref> Pitfour House was demolished around 1926 and its stone used to build council houses in Aberdeen. Associated buildings which survive are cared for by Historic Scotland. <ref>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitfour_estate</ref>

Fergussons of Raith

Another branch of the Fergusson family was based in Raith in Fife. The most prominent member of this family was Adam Ferguson of Raith (1723-1816) who was a key figure in the Scottish Enlightenment, sometimes attributed as the father of modern Sociology. He was a contemporary of Adam Smith and David Hume. <ref>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Ferguson</ref>

Septs

Fergus, Ferries, Hardie, MacAdie, MacFergus, MacKerras, MacKersey. <ref>http://www.electricscotland.com/webclans/septs.htm</ref>

References

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