So bitter did this feud become now, and so great the slaughtering and plundering that the Privy Council had to interfere, and by an Act of Caution, dated Edinburgh, 17th Feb., 1598, John Robertson of Straloch became surety for £500 for his three leaders John M'Coneill, alias Duncanson, in Larig ; John Adamson (M'Adie or Fergusson), younger in Larig ; and John Reid, alias Fleming, in Minoch, not to harm Andro Spalding of Ashintullie or David Spalding.
[ P.C. Records, Vol. V.,.p. 714 as quoted by Charles Fergusson, 'Sketches of the Early History, Legends, and Traditions of Strathardle and its Glens' TGSI 20 (1894-1896) 248-274.

"They were all distinguished from all other Fergussons by the addition to their names of Mac-Adi, or Adam's posterity. My great-great-grandfather was Robert Macadi F., my great-grandfather was Alexander Macadi F., my grandfather was Robert, and my father Donald, all Macadies, an in fact I was called the same up till I was 20 years of age, when I left the country for Aberdeen"
[Robert Ferguson, Late Granite Merchant, as quoted in Records, p.207


Each sept or family of a Highland clan, writes a Mr. Charles Fergusson, generally had a different patronymic. So amongst the clan Fergus the Dunfallandies were always " Mac Fhearghuis " or Baron M'Fergus (in Gaelic pronounced like " Mac-Kerrash "), while Balmacruchie was " Mac Adie " (M'Ady, i.e. M'Adam). [ Records...., . 12-13] [see also Sabhal Mòr Ostaig]

These Fergusson are supposed to descend from an Adam Fergusson who in 1329 came with his family from Ayrshire, said to be Kilcherran, and squatted at West Haugh (Dunfallandy).
[Robert Fergusson as per Records, p.206]

The two statements above conflict because the Ferguson of Dunfallandy, by their proxy the Fergusson of Drumachoir, are R-M222 > S603 whereas the Fergusson of Kilkerran are I1-M253 > L338.

A Mr. Donald Fergusson (1776-1860) insisted that the Fergusson who occupied Balmacruchie circa 1358 and those occupying it in 1575 are not the same family [Robert Fergusson as per Records, p.207]. The latter occupants are represented by the Fergusson of Bellichandy who, like the Fergusson of Drumachoir are R-M222. Furthermore they match at a GD=5 or 6 of 67 depending on how you count mulit-step differences, close enough to say the two lines are related. The Rev. Adam Fergusson, Minister of Moulin in his narratives asserts the Fergussons of Dunfallandy, Bellichandy later Balmachruhie and Drumachoir are all related. He further states that they are of the same stem as an Adam Fergusson who settled in Derculich and that he does not know if said Adam was the first proprietor but that the Fergusson may have possessed it with or without property some generations before. [Records.. pp 110-114. and Supplement pp. 10-14]. Mr. Donald Fergusson may have been correct the latter occupants were not MacAdie per se but the Rev. Adam Fergusson appears correct that they were of the same stem.



The map above shows Balmacreuchie relaative to some surrounding landmarks. Note that Woodhill, a renamed part of Balmacruchie, is west of Balmacruchie. There are instances of Fergusson in nearby Dalnabreck, Easter Dalnabreck and Whitehouse circa 1600 and later. The table below lists various references to Balmacruchie.

  Balmacruchie (Balmacreuchie, Balmacrewquhy, Balnacreuchie, Balnachruchie)
1232 Gillemichel, the son of Adam, excambs a davoch of the lands of Pitcarmick in Strathardle with the bishop of Moray for the lands of Dolays Michael in Strathspey, Pitcarmick being the farthest west farm of Balmacruchie
1280 About this time I find a charter by Duncan, Earl of Fife, to Sir Robert Lauder of part of the lands of Balmacrochie, in Middle Strathardle, an estate which, as will be afterwards seen from the different charters I will give, was continually changing superiors for several centuries, though part of it was always held by the Clan Fergusson, who were also proprietors of Easter Balmacrochie, or Woodhill as it is now called, for over 700 years, till the last laird, Adam Fergusson, sold the estate and went to America early in this century. [Charles Ferguson, Transactions, Volume XVIIIGaelic Society of Inverness 1894, p. 237]
1358 Sheriff of Perth is allowed £12 for deforcement made upon him by Robert, son of Duncan (Robertsons of Struan), and Fergus, son of Ade, who failed to give suit for their lands of Balnafert, Ballmacreechie, etc.
1365 Part of Balmacruchie changes hands to the Abbey of Dunfermlin (Robertsons Index 49-4)
1537 Previous to this Robert, fifth Lord Maxwell, held a lot of land in the barony of Balmacrochie, of which he got a charter of confirmation at this time for service done to King James V [Transactions, Volume 19 Gaelic Society of Inverness 1895, p. 267]
1539 John Red, or Robertson of Straloch, got lands in the barony of Balmacrochie, from Hugo Maxwell of Tealing, &c.[Transactions, Volume 19 Gaelic Society of Inverness 1895, p. 267]
1575 Thomas FERGUSSON, son of Fergus FERGUSSON of Bellichandy, bought the property of Wester Balmacruchi circa 1575 from David MAXWELL of Tealing
1596 Witness John Malcomtoisch alias McKewin, portioner of Eister Balmacrewquhy [Ramsay, James Henry. (2013). pp. 148-9. Bamff Charters 1232-1703]
1605 Caution is given to Thomas Fergusson in Wester Balamacruchie to buy arms
1650 Rent Rolls Patrick FERGUSON is owner of part of Balmacruchie and Janet FERGUSON of part.
1734 Register of Testments; David Ferguson, eldest lawful son to Alexander F., of Balmacruchy 31 Jan. 1734
1764 Register of Testments; John Ferguson, sometime in Wester Balmacruchie 17 July 1764
1761 Thomas Stewart, in Wester Balmacruchie, and Margaret Ferguson, his spouse
1767 Robert Mackintosh acquired the feu-righ of the extensive and important property which had belonged to the Spaldings of Ashintully, including the lands and barony of Balmacruchie. 1780-2 the lands were judicially sold for the benefit of his creditors.
1835 Valuation shows Adam Fergusson as part of owner of both Easter and Wester Balmacruchie, Alexander Fergusson part owner of Easter Balmacruchie
1840 Sold by Adam Fergusson, who went to America (Canada)
1875 Charles Trotter, owner lands of Balmacreuchie
1885 Charles Trotter, Balmacreuchie estate of Woodhill
1895 Trustees of the late Charles Trotter, owner occupier, lands and house Balmacreuchie estate of Woodhill

Gaelic MS. of 1467

Mr. Charles Fergusson, as stated in Records of the Clan pp. 12-13, suggested that genealogy of the M'Adie Fergusons of Balmacruchie is given in a Gaelic MS. of 1467. That genealogy has since been shown to apply MacAodh or MacKays of Ugadale in Kintyre. For a modern rendering of this genealogical tract see 1467 Manuscript.

Pedigree of Robert Ferguson, Granite Merchant,

Estimated dates of birth assume 1 generation = 30 ± 10 years.
  1. Robert b.~1686 ± 40
  2. Alexander b. ~1716 ± 20
  3. Robert b. ~1746 ± 10
  4. Donald b.1776
  5. Robert b. 1819


1841 Census

1851 Census

1861 Census

1871 Census

1881 Census

England & Wales, Birth Index: 1837-1983

1891 Census

1901 Census

Statutory Registers




Donald Ferguson



  1. Records of the Clan and Name of Fergusson, Ferguson and Fergus Supplement, by James Ferguson and Robert Menzies Fergusson, Edinburgh, 1899, p. 206
  2. Records of the Clan and Name of Fergusson, Ferguson and Fergus , by James Ferguson and Robert Menzies Fergusson, Edinburgh, 1895, p. 112
  3. Sketches of the Early History, Legends, and Traditions of Strathardle, by Charles Fergusson published in the Transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness.
    DEEP regret has been felt by all who knew him at the death, under painful circumstances, of Mr. Charles Fergusson, nurseryman, Nairn. Mr. Fergusson had been missing since the 8th inst., and two days later his body was found in the river Nairn. It is believed that he had accidently fallen into the river and been drowned. He was a man of more than ordinary knowledge of several subjects besides gardening. He was an ardent ornithologist, and had a splendid lot of birds’ eggs, which he had been collecting for a number of years. He was also a deep student of Celtic history and lore, Scottish history, and several branches of natural history. At the time of his death he was engaged upon a history of Strathardle, Perthshire (his native place), for the Gaelic Society of Inverness, of which he was a leading member, and it was generally recognised that few Scotchmen were so well acquainted with all that related to the battle of Culloden. It must not be supposed that Mr. Fergusson was not interested in his own vocation as a gardener. He filled several situations as head gardener with satisfaction to his employers and credit to himself. He was at Cally, Kirkcudbrightshire, the property of Mr. H. G. Murray Stewart, of Broughton and Cally, and Fairburn, Muir of Ord, Rossshire, belonging to the Stirling family, previous to starting business. A man of his attainments will be much missed from the ranks of north country horticulturists. [The Garden, Volume 65, 1904]
    1. No. I in Vol XVI (digital combined with Vol XV 1890)
    2. No. II in Vol XVIII, 1894
    3. No. IIII in Vol XIX, 1895
    4. No. IV in Vol XX, 1897
    5. No. VI in Vol. XXI, 1899

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