Kilkerran - near
Ancestral Home of Clan Fergusson
historically there have been several branches of the Clan, each with its own
head, the Chief of the Kilkerran Fergussons has been recognized by the Lord Lyon
of Scotland since the early 18th century as the Chief of all the Fergus(s)ons.
House of Fergusson of Kilkerran in Ayrshire is descended from Fergus Son of
Fergus who received his lands by charter from Robert I,
King of Scotland. Sir Adam Fergusson, 3rd Baronet, died in 1813, and was
succeeded by Sir James. Sir James upon his death in 1838 succeeded to Sir
Charles, his son. The Right Honorable Sir James Fergusson of Kilkerran, 6th
Baronet, G.C.S.I., K.C.M.G., etc. became chief in 1849. He perished in the
Jamaica earthquake in 1907. His son, Sir Charles succeeded him as 7th Baronet of
this line and served as Govern General of New Zealand from 1924 to 1930. His son
Sir Bernard Fergusson later served in that same capacity
from 1962 to 1966.
late Sir James Fergusson, 8th Baronet provided guidance in the formation of The
Clan Fergusson Society of North America.
present Chief of the Name, is Sir Charles Fergusson of Kilkerran, 9th Baronet,
who lives in the ancestral home near Maybole,
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.
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 Maybole. 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.
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
of Fergus" the world over have gained distinction in nonmilitary
activities, e.g. in the law, the church, government, the arts and sciences,
medicine, education, agriculture and in business and industry. Mention can only
be made of Adam Ferguson the philosopher (1724-1816) and Robert Fergusson
(1750-1774) the poet and mentor of Robert Burns. And in the realm of romance,
the heroine of the song "Annie Laurie" was married to Alexander
Fergusson of Craigdarroch.
the 18th century the head of the Kilkerran family came gradually to be regarded
as the chief of all the Fergus(s)ons. This family has produced notable
statesmen, military leaders, lawyers, writers and agricultural improvers. The
present Chief is Sir Charles Fergusson of Kilkerran, 9th Baronet, who lives in
the ancestral home near Maybole, Ayrshire.