Fergus, Ferguson

Padraig Mac Giolla-Domhnaigh

Fergus, Ferguson—These two names are the anglicised forms of MacFearghusa; the first, Fergus, were Erenachs of Rossinoir, Co. Leitrim, some in later times assuming the name of Ferguson. The second name, Ferguson, represents a powerful clan in Scotland at one period, and were in early times solely located in Perthshire, till the time of Robert Bruce, when the clan, giving strong support to that Scottish King got distributed over several districts in the North and West, one powerful branch settling in Galloway, from whom sprang many of the Scottish settlers of the name in Ulster. The clan claims descent from Fergus Mac Erc of the line of Conn of the Hundred Battles. The name is anglicised in about sixteen forms, amongst which are the following:—Fergie, Forgie, M'Kersie, M'Karsie, Ferguson, and Furgusson. The clan claims descent, as I said before, from Fergus Mac Erc, son of Eochaidh, brother of Muircheartaigh, king of Ireland. Fergus Mac Erc, with his two brothers Lorn, and Angus, conquered Argyle in 503 A.D., and occupied the country from Dunaverty in Kentyre, to the Crenan Canal, and the Cowal district between Loch Fyne and Loch Long. Amongst the clans of Mar and Athole they are found in the clan Roll of 1587.

The clan had branches at Athole, Dunfallandy, Strathardle, and Balquiddar in Perthshire, and at Pitfour and Kinmunday in Aberdeenshire, likewise at Craigdorach in Galloway. The Welsh of the name Fergus is Gurgust. We find the name written Hargusson in Co. Meath, and Vargus in Co. Wexford, which I think is of Welsh origin.

Alphabetical Index of Anglicised Surnames in Ireland

See also Woulfe’s Irish Names and Surnames
and O'Hart's Irish Pedigrees