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Kilkerran - near Maybole, Ayrshire
 Ancestral Home of Clan Fergusson



While 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.

The 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.

The late Sir James Fergusson, 8th Baronet provided guidance in the formation of The Clan Fergusson Society of North America.

The present Chief of the Name, is Sir Charles Fergusson of Kilkerran, 9th Baronet, who lives in the ancestral home near Maybole, Ayrshire.

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 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.

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.

"Sons 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.

In 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.