My 3x great grandfather John FERGUSON was b. March 18 1823 in Ooltewah or Hamilton County, Tennessee. His wife was Sarah Jane COLLINS b. Jan 15 1831 in Tennessee, according to family lore Sarah is said to have been from the Cherokee nation but I have yet to confirm this. John and Sarah were married on Jan 14 1846 in Grangier County Tennessee under the name FURGASON. They reportedly had 12 children but evidence of only 11 have been found. John is thought to be the first Ferguson from my line to migrate west to Texas. In 1868 John and Sarah moved to a town called Paradise in Wise County Texas and then to neighboring Audobon Texas where John (who was an ordained Baptist minister) helped to start Bethel Baptist Church of which he was the reverend. They lived out there days there with John passing June 6 1898 and Sarah March 8 1900.

My great grandfather Samuel Jesse Ferguson b. July 31 1889 in Wise County, Texas.

John and Sarah

From the Centennial Birthday of Bethel Baptist Church Audubon, Wise Co.,
Texas 1875 -- 1975
August 3 -10, 1975 comes this story of the John Fergusons
(The author's asides or notations will be added in parentheses and are not part of the direct quote.)

"JOHN FERGUSON, born March 18, 1824, died June 6, 1898, and SARAH (JANE) COLLINS, born January 15, 1831, died March 8, 1900, were married in Alabama. A few years later, they moved to Tennessee. About 1868, they came to Texas in a covered wagon and settled in Salt Creek Valley near Paradise, Texas. They were engaged in farming and the making of salt from the waters of Salt Creek. This product they sold until salt began to be shipped in and the business was no longer profitable. He was converted and ordained a minister early in life.

In the early 1870's, he moved from Paradise to Audubon (named after the famous bird naturist John James Audubon) and helped organize Bethel Baptist Church. He preached a whole year for a pair of hand-knitted socks. The second year, he received a wooden bread tray which is still in the family (in the possession of Jewell (Ferguson] Chesney of Decatur, Texas).

Rev. John was a Mason, a member of the Audubon A.F. and A.M. of Texas. He also preached in Paradise and other Baptist churches in the county. (Zion Baptist Church east of Alvord, Texas for one.)" (Per the research and knowledge of Jewell {Ferguson) Chesney.)
[Note: Jewel Ferguson Chesney, b. Mar 9, 1904, in Alvord; d. Nov. 20, 2000 in Decatur; obituary

1850 Census

1860 Census

1870 Census

1880 Census

1900 Census

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