Scotland Fergusons in the 1800s

The patriarch of our Ferguson line, as we know it, was a James Ferguson- born somewhere in Scotland in late 1803 or early 1804. The first record we have of James is his marriage in St. Cuthberts Parish-Corstorphine in June of 1825.

James, in 1825, was listed as a saddler, living at St. Anthonys Place, Port Hopetoun. This was an area between the Castle but closer to the end of the Union Canal- a waterway connecting Edinburgh to Glasgow. It was probably a very good location for a saddler to be operating.

Gordon Peden was the bride of James Ferguson. She was the daughter and youngest child of Thomas Peden, a gardener, also living on St Anthonys Pl. Her mother was a Jean Johnstone, -perhaps deceased at the time of her marriage.

The Ferguson family lived in the same area until sometime after 1827, when their first child was born. Alexander Ferguson was their first child suggesting that Jamesí father may have been an Alexander Ferguson. We have so far not been able to confirm this.

By 1829, the Fergusons had moved south along the Post Road some 20 miles to the town of Stow. There appears to be some Pedens living not far from Stow-and perhaps they were related to Gordon Peden- and an influence in the Fergusons decision to move to that area. Here, in a northern outskirt of Stow, called Killochyett, their second child, Thomas Ferguson was born-named after his maternal grandfather.

Stow is an interesting area, along the Gala River, where local farmers commonly sought out temporary labor. In addition to being a stagecoach stop on the route from Edinburgh to London, that part of the county was also known as a safe haven for criminals. For some unknown reason, criminals were safe from apprehension in this area.

In 1831, the Fergusons added a third child to their family. Also born in Stow was Walter Ferguson-possibly named after Sir Walter Scott, a popular Scot living his final years out in that area, at that time. We know of no other Walters in either the Peden or Ferguson lines.

This 1831 record in Church of Scotland-Stow Parish- is really the last record we have found of our Fergusons in Scotland. It is complimented, however by a ships passenger list we discovered for the Spring of 1837. This passenger list showed an arrival in New York City of Mrs Ferguson with all the children listed above plus a James Ferguson born about 1833/34 and an Isabelle Ferguson born about 1836 in Scotland. We have no records of the exact location and time of these births. The Fergusons had sailed from Greenock. James Ferguson, the husband and father, had reportedly sailed to New York some 6 weeks before the rest of his family.

We wonder if James Ferguson may have been born in December 1803 in Monquhitter Parish- or is possibly from the Edinburgh area. Perhaps he belonged to a church that did not register events with Church of Scotland.

We also wonder about the birth locations for James Ferguson in 1833/34 and Isabelle 1836.
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