"Son of Fergus," but as the name is found in a number of places around Scotland, there were clearly a number of different people with the name Fergus. Traditionally, the Fergussons in the West Highlands are descended from Fergus Mor MacErc, a King of Dalriada>, one of the first of the Scots from Ireland to settle in Argyll>.
Those in the south-west of Scotland originated from Fergus, Lord of Galloway who lived in the 12th century. He founded Dundrennan Abbey>. The song "Annie Laurie"> is about the wife of Alexander Fergusson of Craigdarroch. The Fergussons of Craigdarroch are recorded in the reign of King David II> (1329-1371).
Another line of Fergussons arose on the banks of the river Tummel at Glenshee> and one of that family was tried for treason after the 1715 Jacobite Uprising. He must have been acquitted because he also took part in the 1745 Uprising>. A Fergusson family was a neighbour of the MacGregors> in Strathyre and Balquhidder>. The Gaelic form of the name is MacFhearghuis and this sometimes became Mackerras/McKerras and MacHerries and even Ferrie/Ferris.
Robert Fergusson> (1750-1774) achieved fame as a poet in his short life and Robert Burns> acknowledged his debt to him by erecting a gravestone to him in Canongate churchyard in Edinburgh. Adam Ferguson> (1723-1816) from Logierait is regarded as the "father of sociology" and Sir Charles Ferguson was Governor of New Zealand from 1924-1930. His son, Brigadier Sir Bernard Ferguson, was also Governor General of New Zealand, from 1962-1967.
The Fergusson motto is "Dulcius ex asperis" - literaly, "Sweeter after difficulties".
Fergusson/Ferguson is the 34th most frequent name recorded in 1995 at the General Register Office>.
The Fergus, Ferries, Ferrie, Ferris, MacAdie, MacFergus, MacHerries, MacKerras, MacKersey families are all regarded as septs (sub-branches) of the Clan Fergusson.
There are Clan Fergusson Web sites here> and here>.
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