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"The Cowal Fergussons gave a bond on manrent to the Earl of Argyll in 15681."


Gilbarchan M'Kerras had sasine of the lands of Stronchrevich in 1542; in 1547 the Earl of Argyll confirmed these lands to his beloved servitor, Iain Makane VcKerres of Kilcatrine and Gyllebarchane McKerres, his natural son. In 1599 Johne Makilleberchan Vecfergus of Ardeline (Ardchyline) gives Stronchrevich to his natural son Fergus M'Keane VcPhergus and after him to John Makeane Vc'illeberchan VicFergus, reserving the life-rent.

In 1603, while John M'Kerres of Ardeline appears alongside John Keyr M'Donchie VcDonnel VcErres in Glensellich who by 1637 is described as ‘of Glensellich' implying his progression from being the tenant of Glensellich to becoming its heritable owner. (Argyll Archives, NE6). The descent of Iain Ciar as given here, incidentally, by his patronymic, differs markedly from the pedigree claimed by the last Chieftain of Clannfhearguis.

Argyll Commissary Court

Fergusson of Glenshellish

Instrument of Sasine under the hand of John Campbell, clerk, of the diocese of Lismore, notary public, following upon and narrating the precept of sasine in a contract of marriage (dated 19 April 1764) between Daniel Ferguson of Glenshellish and Christian Fletcher, eldest daughter of John Fletcher of Bernice, whereby the former bound and obliged himself to infeft the latter in an annuity of £9 sterling (restricted to £7 in the event of her re-marriage) furth of his six merkland of old extent of Glenshellich in the bailiary of Cowal and sheriffdom of Argyll. Sasine given on 27 April 1774 by Dugald Ferguson in Dripp, bailie of the said Daniel Ferguson, to Donald Ferguson in Dripp, attorney for the said Christian Fletcher
Date 27 Apr 1774
Witnesses to the contract, Archibald Ferguson and Donald Ferguson, brothers german of Glenshellich, and Archibald Fletcher, yr. of Bernice. Witnesses to the sasine, John Milloy and Patrick McArthur, residenters in Inveraray.
[RefNo GD86/9683

In 1801 when Daniel Fergusson sold the estate to cover debts incurred by his eldest son John. He put the proceeds in trust for his wife, Christian Fletcher, and younger son about a year before his death in 18031.

Donald or Daniel FERGUSSON

The Celtic name Domhnull can mean either Donald or Daniel. Thus the Daniel and Donald below are assumed to be one and the same.

Donald Roy Ferguson, wadsetter of Glen[sellich?]

Seumas, Chief of Clannfhearghuis


Some dates in Seumas' rendering of the tree are in error when compared to the parish registers. The latter are used in the pedigree below.


Court of the Lord Lyon Seamus Clannfhearghuis

Seamus Clannfhearghuis, residing at the Explorers Club, New York born 26.4.1879 at Warsaw, only son of Deorsa Clannfhearghuis, of Strach-ur who died 29.8.1879, by his wife Dolinna, daughter of Senor Don Diego el Canpador de Bivac, by his wife Cairistiona nic Gill'innenein, that the said Deorsa was the son and heir of Iain Clannfhearghuis of Strath-chur who died in the year 1878, by Marie his wife; that said Iain was the son and heir of Donnacha Dubh Clannfhearghuis, by his wife Caroline Sobieski, that the said Donnecha Dubh (whose elder brother Iain Dubh Mor Clannfhearghuis, last laird of Glenshellich in Strath-chur, And heritable Mair or Serjant of Strath-chur, died unmarried in the year 1835, was the second son and eventual heir of Donuill Clannfhearghuis of Strath-chur.

Laird of Glenshellich in Strath-chur, who died in 1805, by his wife Cairistitiona Fletcher, daughter of Iain Fletcher of Bearness on Loch Fyne: That the said Donuill was the eldest son & heir of Donnachie Fergusson or MacKerras of Glenshellich, by his wife Una daughter of Charles Mac Ieur-Campbell of Ballochyle: That the said Donnuil was the son & heir of Iain Liar MacKerras Fergusson or MacKerras of Glenshellish in Strathlur, by his wife Anna, daughter of Duncan Campbell of Glen Lyon: That the said Iain (whose broadsword, engraved with certain Ensigns Ammorial including Supporters and the date 1611 is in the possession of the Petitioner) was the son And heir of Fionnlagh Fergusson or MacKerras of Glenshellich, Heritable Mair of Strath-chur, who died in or about 1604, by his wife Maira nic Fearghuis na Ballihandi-fearghuis of Strth-chur, borne certain Ensigns Ammorial including aforesaid, from a period long anterior to the Statute of 1672, cap 47, but that the same have never been matriculated in the said Public Register in term of the said Statute, and the same Petitioner having proved that the said Arms might be approven And confirmed to him in terms of the said Public Register and matriculated in his own name in the said Public Register, with the Lord Lyon King of Arms, by an interlocutor of date 9th day of April last, Granted Warrant to the Lyon Clark to matriculate in the Public Register of all Arms & Bearings in Scotland, in name of the Petitioner the following Ensigns & Ammorials now approved and confirmed to him pursuant to the Statute 1672, cap47, viz:-

Azure, a round buckle Argent traversed by a white baton proper lipped sable, between three boars heads erased by langued Gules. Arms

Above the shield is placed a helmet befitting his Degree with mantling Azure & Or and on a Wreath of the Liviries is set for his Crest:- A lion rampant proper, crowned with an Antique Crown Or, & issuant from an Antique Crown of the last, branching in his dexter paw a broadsword proper, and holding in his sinister paw a white baton proper lipped Sable And in an Escrol one the same this Motto "Clannfhearghuis gu brath" and upon a Compartment beneath the Shield, are set for Supporters two Griffons proper winged Azure. Armed Gules and langued Or.

He bears for Badge a Pine tree proper, fructed OR, issuant out of a mount Vert, which is depicted thrice upon a Standard of these Liveries Azure & Or, along with this matter upon two transverse bands Argent.

Clannfhearghuis gu Brath

Matriculated the 10th day of May 1940
Lyon Clerk.

Transcription courtesy Robert Hunter Ferguson, Nov 2007

Obituary New York Times, March 27, 1961

Explorer and Mapmaker
Crossed Sahara on Foot
   Seumas Clannfhearghuis, the chief of Clannfhearghuis of Strachur, Argyll, Scotland, and of Clann Alpein, a descendant of Gaellic Kings of Scotland and Ireland, died yesterday in Roosevelt Hospital after a long illness. The chief, an explorer, military cartographer and ethnologist, represented the fifty-first generation of his clan. Its Anglicized version is Clan Ferguson.
   During World War I he was an officer in the British Frontiersmen in Africa. He once crossed the Sahara on foot, a mapmaking and battle journey that took two and a half years. He was decorated for his services in Palestine.
   The chief was a life member of the Explorers Glub and the St. Andews Society of New York.

Buried at Lock Eck

Graves Sacred to the memory of Lieutenant Nicol McNicole H.M. 27th (Inniskillinc) Regiment Youngest Son of Peter McNicol and Helen Fletcher his wife He was present with his regiment in five general encampments, Victoria, where he carried the regimental colours. Pyrenees Nivelle orthes Toulouse and held a Peninsular medal with (5) clasps He died at Dunans 25th May 1864, aged 75 years.
Seumas' headstone is to the left and to the right is that of Lieutenant Nicol McNicol whose father like Daniel Ferguson married into the Fletcher family. Map
[Photo and McNicol transcription courtesy Lynn Ferguson-Weinert, 2008]

Headstone inscription courtesy Donald Fergusson, archivist, Clan Fergus(s)on Society
Gaelic Inscription   English Translation
BORN 26th. APRIL 1879
DIED 26th. MARCH 1961
BORN 12th. AUGUST 1864
DIED 8th. MAY 1928

AcknowledgementsJulian Louis Chad Fhearghuis-O'Brien

Clannfhearghuis of Argyll

Professor Robert W. Douglas

An article titled "De Valera's Pilgrimage" in The Times (London), Jun 30, 1919 refers to Professor Robert W. Douglas, chief of the clan Fhearghuis of Strachur.

Scottish Post Office Directories


  1. Fergusson, Sir James of Kilkerran, The Fergussons, Johnston & Baon, Edinburgh, 1956, reprinted 1970.
  2. Septs of Clan Campbell
  3. Angus Ferguson
  4. The Celtic monthly : a magazine for Highlanders, v.24-25 (1916-17), p 142, LDS Film 990414

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