|Fergus(s)on Y-DNA Project
Ancestors of Kit 173397
The following notice of a family of Scottish descent, for long- settled in London and Oxfordshire, is compiled from information contributed by one of its members, J. M. Ferguson, Esq., 81 Chancery Lane, London :-
I. In the year 1780 James Ferguson was married, at the church of St. Clement Danes in London, to Elizabeth Croker. They had four children-two sons and two daughters-the three youngest of whom died without issue. James Ferguson died in 1809.
II. His eldest son, William, was twice married, and had four sons and four daughters by his first wife, and four daughters by a second marriage. Two sons survived him, and at his death in 1856 he was proprietor of an estate called The Folly, in Oxfordshire, where he resided. His surviving sons were-
III. William Henry Ferguson, resident at Reading, where he died, in his 86th year, on 15th April 1895: married, and had issue-
III. John Mansfield Ferguson, who died in 1862, leaving issue.
IV. John M. Ferguson (A.R.I.B.A.), married and has issue. Mrs. Ferguson died on 17th April 1895.
The family have always believed themselves to be of Scottish descent, and their tradition is to the effect that an ancestor fled from his home more than once owing to political troubles, and eventually found refuge in London. It is also remembered that one member of the family, named Alexander, met his death by a fall from his horse. Mr. William Henry Ferguson, who at one time served as Mayor of Wokingham, has in his possession a coat of arms and crest handed to him by his grandmother, who died about 1830 at the age of eighty-one, with the statement that it was the crest and arms of his family. The crest and arms appear to be precisely those of the family of Craigdarroch, and this would indicate a descent from the Dumfriesshire Fergussons. It was also understood that some ancestors had lived in Clerkenwell, and the Registers of St. James's, Clerkenwell, contain the following entries :-
Curiously enough, in the same Register the Rev. James Fergusson-believed to be the clergyman of that name of the Kilkerran family-is mentioned as officiating at the marriage of Henry Fisher and Alice Laurence on May 28th, 1719.
On the other hand,' a remarkable resemblance' has been traced between the portraits of William Ferguson, who died in 1856, and the description of Robert Ferguson,' the Plotter,' given in the proclamation of outlawry in 1683. The Perthshire, Aberdeenshire, Ayrshire, and Dumfriesshire Fergusons, however, all had their vicissitudes arising from political troubles.
The following notice of Mr. William Henry Ferguson appeared in the Berkshire Chronicle of 20th April 1895 :-
'We have to record the death of Mr. W. H. Ferguson, head of the firm of Messrs. Ferguson and Sons, brewers and wine and spirit merchants, Broad Street, Reading, at the ripe old age of eighty-five years.'
' Mr. Ferguson was born at Woodcote, Oxon, in the year 1809. Although an Oxfordshire man, his whole time in business was spent in Berkshire-namely, at Abingdon, Wokingham, and Reading. For some years he was a partner with his father in business in the Market Place, Reading, trading as Messrs. Ferguson and Son; and for many years he was a regular traveller by train every day to and from Wokingham to his business. Under the old close Corporation at Wokingham he served the office of Chief Magistrate as Alderman of the borough. His year of office was marked by close attention and devotion to his duties. He reinstated, at his own cost, the Fire Brigade, and hospitably carried out the duties and upheld the honour of the office of Alderman of Wokingham. In the year 1863, on retiring from the active management of his business in Broad Street, Reading, he returned to his home at Woodcote, and enjoyed the pursuits of farming life on the Oxfordshire hills to the great advantage of his health, since which time the business has been carried on by his two sons (Mr. Wm. Ferguson and Mr. F. J. Ferguson), both of whom are following in the footsteps of their revered father by taking a share in public and other duties, with advantage to the town and credit to themselves. On the death of Mrs. Ferguson, six years ago, the late Mr. Ferguson came to reside with his daughter (Mrs. Hodges), at Prospect Rise, where on Easter Monday he quietly and peacefully passed away. He was one of our oldest inhabitants, respected and beloved by all those whose privilege it was to know him.'
When Mr. Ferguson's will was opened it was found that he had left a legacy to every employé who had been in the service of his firm.
The above is from the Records of the Clan and Name of, Ferguson and Fergus, by James Ferguson and Robert Menzies, Edinburgh, 1895, p.478-479
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