Can anybody say how it is that sept names for Fergusson include Grevsack, Hardie, Hardy, Keddle, Keddie, Ketchen, Kidd, Kiddie, Kydd, MacMangus or MacTavert?


It has been suggested that the Aysons were a sept of Clan Fergusson and descended from 'Fergusius filius Ade' who in the time of David Bruce was sometimes in partnership with "Robert son of Duncan of Atholl", a farmer of Crown thangaes. Fortingall was one of those thanages, and in Fortingall to this day there are traditions about "MacAoidh" who was a mighty man of valour who among other deeds of daring caught a waterkelpie on Athbrannaidh.....In the invasion of Angus in 1391 John Ayson, junior, was associated with Robert of Atholl, the old partner of Fergus and with the sons of the Wolf of Badenoch.
[Records of the Clan and Name of Fergusson, Ferguson and Fergus - Supplement, by James Ferguson and Robert Menzies Fergusson, Edinburgh, 1899.]

Ayson. The Aysons were settled in Tullymet. It is probably the same name as Esson, but in either form, it is now quite extinct in Atholl.

  Surname Top 5 Locales, Number of Households
1851 Scotland Head of
House Place of Birth
Ayson Perth 3        
  Easson Perth 33 Forfar 22 Fife 14 Aberdeen 3 England 2
Griffith's Valuation Ayson None        
  Easson None        


This has been used in Connacht and adjacent areas for Fergus. It is mainly found in Leitrim and Cavan. Fr. Livingstone informed that in Co. Donegal Farris is an anglicized form of Ó Fearaigh. See Fairy, Ferris and Paris.
[MacLysaght, The Surnames of Ireland. ]

  Surname Top 5 Locales, Number of Households
1851 Scotland Head of
House Place of Birth
Faris Wigtown 1 Ireland 1      
  Farris Stirling 1        
Griffith's Valuation Faris Cavan 26 Leitrim 9 Antrim 4 Armagh 4 Down 3
  Farris Carlow 7 Derry 4 Sligo 3 Longford 1 Donegal 1


FERCHARSON - Treated as synonymous with Ferguson in Barbados records of the Alleyne family. e.g. Betham (1803) writes FERGUSON but Brandow et al (1983) write FERCHARSON. There are a few instances of baptisms of the name in Inverness, Nairn and Angus.

FARQUHARSON - The son of Farquhar. Shaw Fercharson was chief of the MacPhersons in 1450. He was the great-grandson of Ferchar, from whom he derived his surname. [Patronymica Britannica]

FERCHARDSON - Donald Torlet Ferchardson, mentioned in 1461 inquest in Inverness-shire. OPR baptims in Fordyce, Banff and Bendochy, Perth.


FERGIE. A reduction of FERGUSON, q.v. Patrick Fergie in c, 1671, and four more in the same record (Lauder). In 1508 Fergy.
[George F Black. The Surnames of Scotland. ]

  Surname Top 5 Locales, Number of Households
1851 Scotland Head of
House Place of Birth
Fergie Midlothian 2 West Lothian 1 Lanarkshire 1 Ayr 1  
  Fergey None        
Griffith's Valuation Fergie None        
  Fergey Down 3 Antrim 1 Belfast 1 Tyrone 1  


FERGUS G. Fearghus, MG. Feargus, Fergus, OIr. Fergus (grandfather of St Columba). The names is cognate with Cymric Gwr-gwst, Old Bret. Uuorgost, and Pictish Forcus. The Pictish form is also found on the inscribed monument found at St Vigeans in Angus, and the writer of the unique Gaelic charter of 1408 writes it Fercos. In the list of Pictish kings (CPS., p.7,8) it is also written Urguist, Wirguist, and Wrguist. It means "super choice," from *Ver-gustu-s, the suffix being the same as in the personal name ANGUS, q.v. It is now rare as a surname having been corrupted to Ferries, etc. James Fergus, burgess of Culross, 1582 (Pitfirrane, 776). See MACFERRIES and MACKERRAS.
[George F Black. The Surnames of Scotland.

FERGUS Ó Fearghuis (fear, man - gus, vigour). The name of two Connacht septs: (a) a medical family with the O'Malleys and (b) an ecclestical family in Leitrim. The name has become Ferris in Kerry. See More Irish Families;
[MacLysaght, The Surnames of Ireland. ]

Index of Names in Irish Annals: Fergus / Fearghus [Ogham: Vergosus]

  Surname Top 5 Locales, Number of Households
1851 Scotland Head of
House Place of Birth
Fergus Stirling 14 Lanark 12 Dumbarton 4 Fife 4 Orkney 3
Griffith's Valuation Fergus Mayo 64 Tyrone 8 Wexford 3 Antrim 2 Down 2


Fergushill was the surname of an old family, now extinct, who possessed the lands of Fergushill in Ayrshire. [Records, p. 369]

In the 1851 census there is one household in Ayrshire and there are none in Griffith's Valuation


FERGUSON, Fergusson. An Anglicising of MACFERGUS, q.v. In the "Roill of the clannis that he captanes, cheifffis and chiftanes quome on thay depend." 1587, the Fergussons are classed among the septs of Mar and Atholl (APS., III, p.466). Auchingassyle was leased to Donald filius Fergucii, 1376 (RHM., I, p.iv). Robert I granted certain lands in Ayrshire to Fergus, son of Fergus, and in 1466 John Fergusson resigned a portion of his estate to Fergus Fergusson [of Kilkerran], his son, and Janet Kennedy, his spouse. Alan Fergussii (the Latin genetive form) was burgess of Glasgow, 1422 (LCD, p.242). Mychel Fargisone was admitted burgess of Dunfermline, 1499 (DBR., 100). Alexander Feresoun (=Ferguson) was one of the tenants of Estir Mecra (Easter Micras), 1539 (ER., XVII, p.659). James Fargusoun was put in ward for taking part in a medieval play in Perth, 1581 (Mill, Plays, p.279). The name is widely scattered and there is no evidence for an original connection of the Atholl, Aberdeenshire and Ayrshire families. Robert Ferguson "the Plotter," Robert Fergusson, the poet, and Adam Ferguson, the historian and philosopher, were amongst the most eminent persons of the name. Farguesoun 1591, Fargusone 1501, Fergowsone 1597, Forgusoun 1631.
[George F Black. The Surnames of Scotland.

  Surname Top 5 Locales, Number of Households
1851 Scotland Head of
House Place of Birth
Ferguson Perth 385 Lanark 211 Ayr 187 Argyll 150 Stirling 102
  Fergusson Perth 101 Ayr 64 Dumfries 57 Ireland 12 Forfar 11
Griffith's Valuation Ferguson Down 201 Tyrone 144 Antrim 136 Derry 95 Belfast 66
  Fergusson None        


George F Black, The Surnames of Scotland, does not take on the common Scottish name Ferry or Ferrie, which presumably often relates to places where there were Ferry boats. But that the -s can be dropped in Ferres seems obvious, given that it happened in Fergus-> Fergie.
[Andrew Lancaster, 2007 ]

Ferry is numerous in Derry. Farry numerous in Sligo and Fermanagh is cognate with Fairy & Ferry; Ó Fearadhaigh (Fearaigh): A sept of Cineál Conaill in Donegal. Fearadhach was a common personal name in early times.

  Surname Top 5 Locales, Number of Households
1851 Scotland Head of
House Place of Birth
Ferrie Ireland 15 Lanark 12 Renfrew 6 Midlothian 4 Stirling 4
  Ferry Ireland 8 Ayr 1 Renfrew 1    
Griffith's Valuation Ferrie Belfast 2 Down 1      
  Ferry Donegal 183 Tyrone 8 Derry 3 Waterford 2 Fermanagh 2


FERRES, FERRIES, FERRIS. From (MAC)-FERRIES, q.v., or simply a corruption of FERGUS, q.v. Old (17th century) spellings are Feres, Ferres, Phires, Pheres, and Ferries. By local usage in Aberdeenshire Ferris is a contraction of Ferguson (Rev. A.B. Grosart). Ferries also occurs as a diminutive of FARQUHARSON.
[George F Black. The Surnames of Scotland. ]

Ferris - In Kerry a variant of O'Fergus. It is also traditionally a cognomen of a branch of the Moriartys. In Ulster it is the name of a branch of the Scottish clan Ferguson formerly MacFergus.
[MacLysaght, The Surnames of Ireland ]

  Surname Top 5 Locales, Number of Households
1851 Scotland Head of
House Place of Birth
Ferris Ireland 7 Fife 4 Aberdeen 2 Caithness 1 Lanark 1
  Ferries Aberdeen 14 Wigtown 3 Ireland 2 Banff 1 Elgin 1
Griffith's Valuation Ferris Down 56 Kerry 47 Antrim 41 Derry 28 Belfast 24
  Ferries None        


Analysis of the 1851 census of Scotland reveals the name is cleary associated with Fifeshire. The birth places of heads of household are distributed as Fife 32, Lanark 1, Midlothian 1


FORGIE. (1) may be from Forgie near Montrose. (2) a corruption of Fergie (FERGUS), as Forgieson for FERGUSON, Alexander Forgie in Newton Stewart, 1763 (Wigtown).
[George F Black. The Surnames of Scotland. ]

  Surname Top 5 Locales, Number of Households
1851 Scotland Head of
House Place of Birth
Forgie Stirling 19 Lanark 7 West Lothian 7 Ayr 6 Aberdeen 3
  Forgy Stirling 1        
Griffith's Valuation Forgie None        
  Forgy Derry 2 Down 1      


FURGESON. A surname in Dornoch. A corrupt form of FERGUSON, q.v
[George F Black. The Surnames of Scotland.].

There are no instances of this spelling in the 1851 census of Scotland or in Griffith's Valuation.


FURRY. Thomas Furry, a tenant of Cowbyre, 1463, was tenant in Grange of Balbrogy in Angus, 1468, and James Furry was tenant in Balgreschach, 1473 (Cupar-Angus, I, p. 139, 143, 176).
FURUY. John de Furuy, chaplain of the cathedral church of Aberdeen, 1366 (REA., II, p.176).
[George F Black. The Surnames of Scotland. ]

There are only three heads of house named Furry in the 1851 census of Scotland, two are born in Ireland and one in Renfrewshire. There are no Furry in Griffith's valuation.


These names are all associated with Clan Chattan as is Farquharson. The name Ferries occurs as a diminutive of both Farquharson and Fergusson and, apart from a similiar pronunciation, this is as close as one can come to connecting the Farquharson and Fergusson. It appears that the names in question have been attached to Clan Fergusson as a result of confusing Farquharson and Fergusson.


Keddie is a Scottish name, and is a patronymic form of the Gaelic name "MacAddie", which itself comes from the Hebrew personal name "Adam", borne, according to Genesis, by the first man. The surname is found in the modern idiom as Kedie, Keddy, Kiddie and Kiddy. [ The Internet Surname Database ]

As a Fergus(s)on sept name, these names trace back to the MacAddie who descend from an Adam Fergusson who in 1329 came with his family from Ayrshire, said to be Kilcherran, and squatted at West Haugh in Athole. [ Robert Ferguson as per Records, p.206 ]

  Surname Top 5 Locales, Number of Households
1851 Scotland Head of
House Place of Birth
Keddie Fife 75 Peebles 10 Midlothian 7 Rosburgh 7 Edinr 2
Griffith's Valuation Keddie None        


No documentation as to why Kidd or Kydd is a Fergus(s)on sept name has been found. Probably has been confused with or is a form of Keddie as above.


"It has been supposed that a Baron Fergusson was executed for taking part in the Gowrie conspiracy of 1600. But this appears to be a mistake, and the true sufferer was McDuff, the Baron of Fandowie. This gentleman's aliases have caused a good deal of confusion, which fortunately his successor, while participating in it, has done his best to clear up. In 1602 'John Fergussone callit Barroun Fargussone, John Fargusone in Cluny, and David, Baroun in Fandowie,' sat together on an assize. The last, when chosen Chancellor, was described as 'David Ferguison, Barone of Fandowie,' but when he came to subscribe the verdict he signed in his own proper name as 'David McDuf of Fandowy'."
[Records of the Clan and Name of Fergusson, Ferguson and Fergus, by James Ferguson and Robert Menzies Fergusson, Edinburgh, 1895, p.39 ]


MACFERGUS, "son of Fergus," q.v., from the unaspirated form of the name. Johannes filius Fergusii witnessed a royal charter of the lands of Dalmakeran c. 1316-18 (Annandale, I. p.132). A charter granted in 1485 to the abbot of Iona by consent of the Lord of the Isles and his council is witnessed by ... Colinus Fergusii [i.e. Cailean Mac Fhearghuis], p.300). Morice Macgillafuirgy, 1455, = Moricius Fergussi (HP., IV, p. 181, 184). M'Fargus 1575.
[George F Black. The Surnames of Scotland. ]


. G. MacFhearghuis (Fear'uis), "son of FERGUS," q.v. Andreas McFeris, one of the king's tenants in Crethnard, Strathdee, 1527-39 (Grant, III, p.68; ER., XVII, p. 658). Patrick McFers, tenant in Easter Micras (Estir Mecra), 1539 (ER., XVII, p. 659). Katherine M'Ferries, who was accused of witchcraft in Aberdeen, 1597, also appears in record without "Mac" (SCM., I. p.182, 184). Thomas McPhereis in Crathinhard is mentioned in 1603, and John Bane McPhires in the same place, 1643 (RSCA., II, p.31; III, p. 14). The name also occurs in seventeenth-century records as M'Pheires, Feres, Phires, Pheres, and Ferries.
[George F Black. The Surnames of Scotland. ]


Another tradition records that a family of the name of MacKerras were originally Fergusons, and owed their origin to a Ferguson who was prescribed for participation in ' the Forty-Five.' These Mackerrases simply adopted an Anglicised form of the Gaehc Mac Fhearghuis, and one of them is understood to have become a Professor in Canada. [Records, p 488]

The Mackerras/McKerras Family

The are only a few heads of house by this name in the 1851 census of Scotland. Their places of births are: Moray 2, Midlothian 1, Inverness 1


In the OPR marriages there are 7 different male MCKERSEY spanning 1785 to 1855 distributed as: 4 - Lanark, 2 - Ayr, 1- Renfrew. There are 2 male MACKERSEY one each in Lanark and Renfrew.

There are only 3 instances of heads of house by the name MACKERSEY in the UK census records on, they all reside in England and none are born in Scotland. When MCKERSEY is searched there are 4 instances and they are all Scottish. In the 1861 census of Scotland the two heads of households were born in Strathaven, Lanarkshire and in Dundee, Forfarshire.

Neither name is in the 1901 census of Ireland


Nobody by either name comes up in the OPR marriage records, the UK census data on or the 1901 census of Ireland


Nobody by either name comes up in the OPR marriage records, the UK census data on or the 1901 census of Ireland


The O'Clery Book of Genealogies states that O'Fergus of Rossinver and O'Farrelly of Drumlane are said to be descended from Ailill son of Eoghan.


The late Bishop of Achonry and secretary to the hierarchy was Dr. James Fergus. O'Farys etc., was also in Co. Wexford in 1659 and is still there, but as Vargus and Vargis, until quite recently used interchangeably with Ferguson. [Irish surname search]


An English name sometimes incorrectly recorded as FERGUSON


One tool for searching databases with spelling variations real or due to transcription error is NameX. For the name FERGUSON here are the resultant "close" and "all" list returned by NameX. Also included are wildcard spellings that will capture all the names below.


Copyright © 2006 Fergus(s)on DNA Project