Septs and Names of Clan Fergus(s)on


A Sept is a family or a kindred (a group of related persons) that for any number of reasons has associated itself with a larger family or kindred. Septs were often small in size and obtaining the protection of a larger more powerful family was of great importance in the unruly Middle Ages and even up to and including the 1700s. In exchange for their protection, the larger family or kindred demanded and received loyalty and sometimes fealty and they treated the Sept as part of the overall kindred.

In Scotland and Ireland, the concept of the “Sept” was commonplace with the protecting family or kindred being referred to as a “clan” More on this can be found at Wikipedia on Septs and Wikipedia on Clans



In addition to the various spellings of the name Fergus(s)on, there are a large number of surnames that are traditionally associated with or belong to this great Scottish family. These additional surnames are referred to as “Septs” and the following list, although extensive, is not necessarily complete.

 Septs of Clan Fergus(s)on


Ferguson, Fergusson, Fergie, Fergus, Fergussill, Ferrie, Ferries, Ferris(s),  Forgie, Forgan, Grevsack, Hardie, Hardy, Keddie, Keddle, Ketchen,

Kiddie,  Kydd , MacAdie, MacCade, MacErries, MacFergus, MacFhearghuis, MacFirries, MacHerries, MacInlay, MacIrish, MacKeddie,

MacKerras, MacKersey, MacKestan, MacMagnus, MacTavert.


This is an anglicized form of an Olde Scots Gaelic name Macfhearghuis. The Gaelic prefix ‘mac’ means ‘son (of)’ plus the personal name Fearghus or Fergus – a compound of the elements ‘fear’ – a man and ‘gus’ – vigour or force. The surname from this source is first recorded in the early half of the 16th century. Seventeenth century spelling variations included: Feres, Ferres, Ferries, Pheres etc. In the modern idiom the name has four spellings: MacFerries, Ferries, Ferris and Ferres. One Katherine M’Ferries, who was accused of witchcraft in Aberdeen (1597), also appears on record as Ferries. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Andreas McFeris (a King’s tenant in Strathdee). Which was dated 1527 The Exchequer Rolls of Scotland during the reign of King James V of Scotland 1513-1542


This is a Scottish locational name which derives from the village of Forgie, near Montrose in Scotland. There is also some evidence that the name may occasionally be a dialectal variant of Fergus, through Fergie, as it is known that some “Forgieson’s” are dialectal variants of Ferguson. The name is rare, although the epicentre would seem to be the Ayrshire County, where recordings date back to the early 18th Century. The translation of the name is probably “the son of Forge” with “Forge” being a form of nickname surname for the local “smith”, the village taking its name accordingly. The examples of the name recording include the following: David Forgie, who was christened on November 20th 1743 at Old Cumnock Church, Ayr, whilst on February 26th 1747, Gilbert Forgie married Agnes Good, at Ballantrae. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Forgie, which was dated December 3rd 1724, a witness at Kirkoswald Church, Ayr, during the reign of King George 1, known as “Hanover George”, 1714 – 1727


This name is of Scottish locational origin from the village of Forgan in the parish of Forgandenny, Fife. Originally spelt Forgrund, the name derives from the Olde English pre 7th century ‘for’ a pig, plus ‘grund’, ground. Hence ‘land on which pigs were bred or reared’. The surname from this source is first recorded towards the middle of the 12th century (see below). One Archembaldus de Forgrund was a charter witness in Fife c.1170 ‘Calendar Book of the Priory of St. Andrew’. The name was well recorded in the parishes of Carnbee, Cameron and Kilconquhar. An interesting name bearer was James Berwick Forgan (1852-1924), born in St. Andrews. He became president of the First National Bank of Chicago and a leading authority in the American financial world. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter de Fforgrund, Burgess of Berwick. which was dated c. 1147 The Abbey Register of Kelso. during the reign of David I of Scotland 1124-1153


This interesting surname is of early medieval English and French origin, and is derived from the nickname for a brave or perhaps fool-hardy person, one who would risk all for ultimate success. It derives from the Old French, Middle English (1200 – 1500) “hardi”, meaning bold or courageous. This surname is an example of that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. The nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to a variety of characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, supposed resemblance to an animal or bird’s appearance or disposition, habits of dress and occupation. The modern surname can be found as Hardy, Hardey, and Hardie in England and Scotland.


This most interesting surname is a Scottish name, and is a patronymic form of the Gaelic name “MacAddie”, which itself comes from the Hebrew personal name “Adam”, borne, according to Genesis, by the first man, and often said to derive from the Hebrew “adama”, earth, as Greek legend has it that Zeus fashioned the first human beings from earth. Adam itself was very popular as a given name throughout Europe in the middle Ages. The surname is found in the modern idiom as Kedie, Keddy, Kiddie and Kiddy. It first appears in records in the late 14th Century, when the first recorded namebearer, a Scotsman, was shipwrecked at Holkham in Norfolk, England (see below). One John Kady was recorded in Dysart in 1577 in the “Notices from local records of Dysart”. Thomas son of George and Agnes Kaidie was christened in Edinburgh on April 25th 1616, while Margaret Keddie was recorded in Falsyde, the parish of Roberton in 1623, in “The Commisary Record of Lanark, 1595-1722”. Alexander Ceddy was fined for “straicks and ryot” in 1664 and Donald Kedde of Moy, Caithness was apprehended as a rebel in 1670. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Kede, which was dated 1388, in the “Calendar of Documents relating to Scotland”, during the reign of King Robert 11, Ruler of Scotland, 1371 – 1390.


“Son of Fergus,” q.v., from the unaspirated form of the name. Johannes filius Fergusii witnessed a royal charter of the lands of Dalmakeran c. 1316-18. A charter granted in 1485 to the abbot of Iona by consent of the Lord of the Isles and his council is witnessed by Colinus Fergusii



Recorded in many forms including Macadie, Maccadie, Maccaddy, Macchaddy, Maccaddie (Scotland), and McGetty, McGeady, McCadie, McKedy (Ireland), and no doubt others, this is a surname of Gaelic and mainly Scottish origins. It derives from the ancient name MacAdaidh, itself from the pre 10th century personal name and sometimes surname, Adie. The surname is first recorded as early as the year 1232, when Gillemechel M’Adeand his son Cearmec appeared in annals of the period relative to the district known as Strathardle in the Highlands of Scotland. It seems they were granted lands there known as Dolys Mychel, and they may have held thse for several centuries. By ancient Highland customs, the Fergusons of Balamacruchie a branch of the Clan Ferguson, were also known as the McAdies, and this continued even after they left the area and settled in the Vale of Atholl. These MacAdie Fergusons were it seems also known by the short form of Clan Aid, this appearing in early manuscripts dated 1467. Other early recordings include John MacChaddy of Fearn in 1596, whilst in Ireland Henry McKedy is recorded at the First Presbyterian Church, Belfast, on March 31st 1776. Over the next century further developments of the spelling include a recording such as that of John McGeady, who married Anne McFadden at Crossroads, County Donegal, on July 2nd 1864.


Recorded in an extraordinary number of spellings including Keddle, Kedle, Kedwell, Keedwell, Kiddle, Kidwell, and Keedell, this is an English locational surname. It is believed to derive from a place called ‘Kidael’ or similar meaning ‘cattle valley’ from the Olde English pre 7th century ‘cy’ meaning cattle and ‘dael’ a steep valley, or possibly ‘cy-waella’ which would describe a spring or well where the catttle went to drink . An estimated five thousand British surnames are known to originate from ‘lost’ sites’, and this would seem to be one of them. The surname is well documented under a wide variety of alternative spellings, suggesting that a wholesale clearance took place of the original site in the 15th century, probably as a result of sheep farming or plague.


Recorded in the spelling forms of Ketchen, Kitchen, Kitchin, Kitching, Kitchingman etc, this is a medieval job descriptive English surname. It is occupational and describes a person who worked in a special ‘kitchen’, one belonging to a monastery or perhaps a noble house. The name implies a definite status equivalent to kitchen manager, or similar. The word derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century “cycene”, itself a descendant of the Roman (Latin) “cucina”, word introduced to Britain in the 1st century a.d. In medieval times, from the 12th century, the spelling developed to “kychene”, not far from the modern surname



The Surname Fergus(s)on



The name Fergusson, or Ferguson, is a name that has been found in many districts of Scotland almost as long as the name has been alive.

A family name or surname indicates to what family a person belongs, however, until the 12th century, most people did not have or use a family name, and they were generally referred to by their “given” name.  One of the most accepted theories for the origin of surname use attributes their introduction to the Normans and the Domesday Book of 1086 – and although there is a lot of logic in the suggestion, it is by no means certain that this is the case. Indeed, there is an opposing theory that holds that the introduction of family names (especially patronymic names) was a method of distinguishing between people with the same, common, given name. From the Middle Ages onwards, the use of surnames gradually became an accepted practice. But, in some parts of the world, family names did not appear in common use until the 17th to 19th centuries.

In Scotland, not only were surnames a relatively recent invention for the Highlands, but also there was no standardisation of how names should be spelled. A partial reason for this is the fact that the Highlanders generally spoke Gaelic and/or Scots, and those keeping the records (usually for tax or legal reasons) generally spoke English. Although there is some crossover between Scots and English, they are different languages and both are very different to Gaelic. The result of this is that, when a name was recorded down it was often recorded in its phonic form (how it sounded) rather than how its owner would have spelled it.

It was common, therefore, for a Highlander to have various spellings of their surname – a Gaelic version, a Scots version, an English version, and phonic versions of each. And although most families did standardise the spelling of their surnames in the mid-late 18th century, real standardisation did not occur until the 19th century.


In its original Gaelic form

MacFhearghais  – Fergus(s)on

Fearghastan – Fergu(s)son

Fearghastanach  – a person called Fergus(s)on

MacFhearchair – (1) Farquharson (2) MacErchar (3) MacFarquhar (4) MacKerchar  (5)  Fergus(s)on  (6) Farquhar

There  are many different spellings of the name Fergus(s)on, and although a person may now spell their name, Ferguson or Fergusson. Their ancestors may have spelt the family name in a variety of ways.

 Here is a list of different spelling that have been found in old records, archives and old manuscripts.

Ferguson, Fergusson, Fergus, Fearghus,Feargus, Fergie, Fergussill, Fergucii, Fargisone, Feresoun,Fargusoun, Farguesoun, Fargusone,Fergowsone, Forgusoun, Fergusone, Fergussone.

Fergusson is a Scottish-Irish surname and given name. The surname is a patronymic form of the personal name Fergus. The name Fergus is derived from the Gaelic elements fear (“man”) and gus (“vigour”, “force”, or “choice”).

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