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Ferguson Fergusson Forgan Fergie Fergus Fergushill Fergussill Ferrie Ferries Ferris(s) Forgie Grevsack Hardie Hardy Kiddie Kydd Keddie Keddle Ketchen Kidd MacInlay MacIrish MacAdie MacKeddie MacCade MacKerras MacErries MacKersey MacFergus MacKestan MacFhearghuis MacMagnus MacFirries MacTavert MacHerries


A bee on a thistle all proper




Dulcius ex asperis (Sweeter out of difficulties)


No single or common origin has ever been traced for the name of Ferguson or Fergusson which from very early times was established in many parts of Scotland, throughout the Central Highlands, Dumfriesshire, Ayrshire, Fife, Angus and Aberdeenshire, and in corners as remote as the burghs of Dunbar and Tain.

Its original Gaelic form MacFhearghuis or MacFergus has been spelled McKerras, anglicised as Ferguson or Fergusson, and shortened in Fergus, Ferrar, Ferrie, Ferries, Ferris and Ferriss, corrupted into other forms like Fergushill and Fergie, and the Sept Macadie with variations of Kiddie and Keddie.
There is a legendary first ancestor in Fergus Mor mac Erc, a very early King of Scots in Argyll, and a more probable one in Fergus Prince of Galloway who died in 1161.

All that is known for certain is the Fergussons have always been a widely scattered name and in the pre-union Kingdom of Scotland were never regarded as a single coherent clan, as for example the Campbells, Camerons or Macgregors, although "Fergussonis" appear among the small clans of Atholl in an official list of the Border and Highland clans in 1587. On the other hand in some districts, groups of families bearing the name recognised certain Fergusson lairds as their Chieftains; e.g. Kilkerran in Carrick, Dunfallandy in Atholl and Craigdarroch in Dumfriesshire. The Fergussons in the Cowal district of Argyll, like many small bodies of other names looked to the Earl of Argyll as their protector.

There were scattered but numerous Fergussons in Balquhidder, Strathyre, Fife and Stirlingshire, and a large number in Aberdeenshire and Angus.

The different spellings of the name are of no significance and in former days depended on individual choice. Today it would depend on family tradition.

The history of these different groups is naturally interwoven with that of the particular districts to which they belonged. The Fergussons of Carrick shared in the great feud between the rival Kennedy houses of Cassillis and Bargany about 1600, adhering to the Earl of Cassillis. Both they and the Dumfriesshire Fergussons mostly supported the cause of the National Covenant a generation later and opposed the rule of Charles 11 and Lauderdale in the "Killing Times"

Most of the highland Fergussons, except those in Argyll, supported the exiled Stuarts, and many of them were out in the "Forty Five" on the Jacobite side.

In the more peaceful days following the Union, various Fergusson lairds are found prominent among the "improving lairds" who helped improve the face of rural Scotland, and win its widespread reputation for progressive agriculture, stockbreeding and afforestation. At Kilkerran in Carrick, Baledmund in Perthshire and Raith in Fife these traditions are still carried on.


The head of the family of Fergusson of Kilkerran has always been recognised since the early 18th century as the Chief of the name of Fergusson. The present chief is Sir Charles Fergusson of Kilkerran, 9th Baronet.
Ferguson of Dunfallandy has also been granted by the Lord Lyon King of Arms supporters to their branch.


The Fergusson or Ferguson tartan which is now generally worn, dates from before 1850, when it was reproduced by Thomas Smibert in his book "The clans of the Highlands of Scotland" It can be manufactured in lighter shades styled by the tailors "Ancient" as well as the darker colours. However the cut is the same.


The armorial badge which all members of the Clan are entitled to wear, embodies the Crest of the Chief and consists of a bee on a thistle encircled with a strap and buckle, bearing the motto "Dulcius ex asperis" (Sweeter out of difficulties).

The plant badge, which may be worn in the bonnet or pinned on the dress, is a sprig of Poplar.


The ancestral territory of the Ayrshire Fergussons is the hilly country stretching south west to the Firth of Clyde, between the Carrick rivers of Girvan and Stinchar. Till the late Middle Ages this was part of the semi-independent province of Galloway, and these Fergussons probably derived their name from Fergus, the Prince of Galloway who died in 1161. and was the ancestor of the Earls of Carrick.

Almost the first known Fergusson in Ayrshire on record in 1381, bore the traditional surname of "de Carryk" His name was Henry, and his son Malcolm and grandson John. A contemporary of this John was Duncan, son of Colin, who is listed as the laird of "Kylkerane" in 1439 and was presumably the father of John Fergusson of Kilkerran who died in 1483. These lands of Kilkerran have descended in the same family ever since and at one time stretched from Stinchar, as far north as Moybole.

Kilkerran, the home of the chief's family stood above a retired glen in the hills, down which a burn runs to join the Water of Girvan at the modern village of Dailly near the parish church and manse. This strong tower was probably built around the year 1400 and enlarged before 1550. Part of its later portion still stands. The family abandoned it in the 17th century when they made their home in the former Kennedy house of Barclanachan, bought in 1686, and to which the name Kilkerran was transferred. This was rebuilt after 1695 by Sir John Fergusson of Kilkerran the first baronet, and enlarged in 1814 and 1874. It contains the family portraits of eight generations and many relics of former chiefs.

Looking out over the valley of the Girvan, a rural landscape which has changed little since the 18th century, Kilkerran has seen several gatherings of the Clan Fergus(s)on Society.


Membership of the Society is open to any person having a legitimate interest in the objectives of the Society and paying the current subscription.

The objectives of the Society as laid down in its original Constitution are as follows:

1. The reviving, conserving and promoting of the interests, sentiments and associations of the Clan.
2. The collecting and preserving of records, and of traditions relating to the history of the Clan.
3. The encouragement of Celtic education.
4. The assisting of Clansmen in need of financial assistance.

These objectives have the constant attention of the Committee.

The Annual General Meeting of the Society is held on the last Saturday in May, at which the Accounts for the year are submitted for approval, the rates of subscription decided and fifteen members elected to form the committee.


Ian J Ferguson
30 Craigmore Road
Orcadia Terrace
Isle of Bute, PA20 9LB


The Clan centre is situated in the Bygones Museum, Stronvar House, Balquhidder, Perthshire, FK19 8PB

Open Daily 1 March to 31 October, 10.30 am to 5 pm

The Museum Gift Shop has Clan Souvenirs, Scottish Books and Videos and a host of Scottish gifts.

The Museum Tea Shop in the Laird of Stronvar's Dining Room overlooking Loch Voil and the Braes O'Balquhidder serves beverages and snack meals.