Murrisk Cemetery at Murrisk Abbey: Pray for the soul of OWEN FERGUS who dyed the fifteenth of January 1729 for who this stone was layed and his (posterity?)
[Parish of Oughaval]

Ui Fhearghusa - Hereditary Physicians

After the establishment of surnames there were various hereditary medical families in Ireland, as O’Hickey in Thomond, O’Callannan in South Munster, O’Ley and O’Canavan in West Connaught, O’Cassidy in Fermanagh, O’Sheil in Delvin Mac Coghlan, and various other districts; O’Fergus in Umhall, in the west of the county of Mayo; Mac Donlevy in Tirconnell."
[Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland, Volume 1, 1856, page 494]

"The O'Ferguses were the hereditary physicians to the O'Malleys in lar-Umhall, or West Umhallia, now comprising the barony of Murrisk, in Mayo, and all that district to the north-east of Croagh Patrick. The late distinguished Dr. John Fergus of Dublin, the correspondent of O'Conor of Belanagare, was of this family."
[O'Donovan's Catalog of Irish MSS. in Trinity College, Dublin as quoted in The annals of Loch Cé : a chronicle of Irish affairs from A.D. 1014 to A.D. 1590 (1871), Preface]

1390 - Macraith O'Fergus Physician of the Northern half of Ireland, died, as in the Book of Lecan. [Bibliotheca Ms. Stowensis, p. 225]

1698 - No. 215, of 177 pages, "is an Irish tract upon medicine, compiled and transcribed in 1658 ; the first part by Hugh O'Canavan, and the latter by Boetius O'Fergus ; it treats of life, health, labour, diseases of the cerebral organs, and of the urine ; and gives the list of a Materia Medica, comprising eighty-three officinal and medicinal substauces then in use in this kingdom." [The Dublin Review, Volume 42, p. 82]

Doctor John Fergus is estimated to have been born in 1700. He died in 1761. In 1762 his son Dr. Macarius Fergus lived alone in Dublin and in 1763 he died. John's daughter Frances Arabella Fergus married Thomas Kennedy in 1764. She had son James Marinus Kennedy whose heirs in 1907 sold a manuscript known as "Liber Flavus Fergusiorum" to the Royal Irish Academy. John Fergus was known in Irish to his contemporaries as Sean O Fearghusa, as appears for example in the scribal notes in the various manuscripts transcribed for him. His father's name was Macraith (Mac Raith) and hence John Fergus is occasionally referred to as Sean Mac Macraith O Fearghusa. The O Fearghusa family continued to produce doctors after the downfall of the old system. Edward Gwynn, writing in 1906, recorded that enquiries at The Public Record Office before its unfortunate destruction showed that a Hugh Fergus, doctor of medicine in Galway, made his will in 1758, and a William Fergus of Tuam, also a doctor of medicine, made his will in 1798.
[John Fergus MD Eighteenth-century Doctor, Book Collector and Irish Scholar by Diarmaid O Cathain Tadhg, The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Vol. 118 (1988), pp. 139-162]

Fergus Distribution In Ireland

Griffith's Valuation is a property survey that was conducted in Ireland between 1847 and 1864. Since census records prior to 1901 do not survive for Ireland the survey is used to get an idea of how the Fergus were distributed in Ireland circa 1855. The table below compares the numbers of households to those determined from the 1901 census. The conclusion in each case is that county Mayo is where the majority of Irish Fergus reside.
Griffith's Valuation   1901 Census
County Count   County Count
Mayo 64   Mayo 41
Tyrone 9   Down 4
Wexford 3   Antrim 3
Antrim 3   Galway 3
Down 2   Scotland 2
Armagh 2   Leitrim 1
Galway 2   Galway 1
Cork 1   Kerry 1
Kilkenny 1   Armagh 1
Derry 1      
Total 88   Total 57

Fergus Distribution In County Mayo

The map below shows how the 64 Fergus households circa 1855 were distributed within the county Mayo. The Fergus are mostly in the western part of the county.
GV in Mayo

1901 Census - Heads of House

The table below shows the 41 Fergus heads of house resident in county Mayo in 1901. The parishes with the largest numbers of Fergus are still Oughaval, Crossmolina and Burrishoole as depicted in the map above.

Two of the lines from parish of Oughaval have tested and both fall within Haplogroup R-M222. The lines tested are highlighted in green in the table below. Results and discussion are found on the page Haplogroup: R1b > M222 > S659

.
Surname Forename Townland/Street Parish DED Age Birthplace Occupation
Fergus Michael Claggarnagh West Addergoole Glenkest 56 Mayo Farmer
Fergus Anthony Derrakillew Aghagower Slievemahanagh 50 Mayo Farmer
Fergus Margaret Cloontumper Annagh Bekan 50 Mayo Farmer
Fergus James Levally Ballinrobe Ballynagoraher 19 Mayo Farmer
Fergus James Killawullaun Mountain Ballintobe Killavally 70 Mayo Farmer
Fergus Mary Killvally East Ballintober Killavally 60 Mayo Farmer
Fergus John Cloondeash Ballyhean Cloonkeen 33 Mayo Farmer
Fergus Bridget Carheenbrack Burrishoole Newport West 42 Mayo Farmer
Fargus James Drumbrastle East Burrishoole New Port East 48 Mayo Farmer
Fergus John Gortfahy Burrishoole New Port East 78 Mayo Farmer
Fergus Mc Garry Gortfahy Burrishoole New Port East 42 Mayo Farmer
Fergus Edward Tawnamartola Burrishoole New Port East 75 Mayo Farmer
Fergus Catherine Tawnaweggaun Burrishoole New Port East 80 Mayo  
Fergus Thomas Corcullin Crossmolina Derry 70 Mayo Farmer
Fergus Michael Corcullin Crossmolina Derry 60 Mayo Farmer
Fergus Pat Corcullin Crossmolina Derry 60 Mayo Farmer
Fergus Pharry Corcullin Crossmolina Derry 56 Mayo Farmer
Fergus Edward Corcullin Crossmolina Derry 50 Mayo Farmer
Fergus Edward Corcullin Crossmolina Derry 40 Mayo Farmer
Fergus Mary Dooleeg More Crossmolina Derry 40 Mayo Farmer Wife
Fergus Thomas Dooleeg More Crossmolina Derry 40 Mayo Farmer
Fergus James Sranacally Crossmolina Derry 76 Mayo Farmer
Fergus Peter Attavally Kilcommon Bangor 46 Mayo Farmer
Fergus Ellen Bellakip Kilgeever Louisburgh 57 Mayo Farmer
Fergus Patrick Bellakip Kilgeever Louisburgh 56 Mayo Agricultural Labourer
Fergus John Bellakip Kilgeever Louisburgh 50 Mayo Farmer
Fergus William Caher Kilgeever Louisburgh 70 Mayo Farmer
Fergus Bridget Caher Kilgeever Louisburgh 55 Mayo Farmer
Fergus Peter Shanvallybeg Kilmeena Drummin 70 Mayo Farmer
Fergus Thomas Shanvallybeg Kilmeena Drummin 26 Mayo Agricultural Labourer
Fergus James Bridge Street Oughaval Westport Urban 34 Mayo Publican and Grocer
Fergus Mary Cloonmonad Oughaval Westport Urban 68 Mayo  
Fergus Bridget Cuilleen Oughaval Kilsallagh 80 Mayo  
Fergus Owen Cuilleen Oughaval Kilsallagh 55 Mayo Farmer
Fergus Honor Mullagh Oughaval Kilsallagh 87 Mayo Dressmaker
Fergus Peter Mullagh Oughaval Kilsallagh 60 Mayo Farmer
Fergus Thomas Mullagh Oughaval Kilsallagh 60 Mayo Farmer
Fergus Thomas Mullagh Oughaval Kilsallagh 50 Mayo Farmer
Fergus Thomas Mullagh Oughaval Kilsallagh 46 Mayo Farmer
Fergus William Mullagh Oughaval Kilsallagh 45 Mayo Farmer
Fergus Michael Peter Street Oughaval Westport Urban 78 Mayo General Labourer

References

  1. 1901 Census of Ireland
  2. Griffith's Valuation
  3. Parish Map


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