The Ferguson Descendants


       Of the 5 children born to William and Mary only 2 lived long enough to marry and produce heirs. They were Elizabeth, who lived all her life in Sunderland, and James, who returned to Glasgow where he lived until the age of 90.

Elizabeth Reid Ferguson

Elizabeth married John Joyce in 1882 and the couple set up home at 20 Percy Terrace Bishopwearmouth and were still living there in 1911.

John had been born in Sunderland in 1860. His occupation at the time of his marriage was a mercantile accountant, although in 1901 this was recorded as mercantile clerk and in 1911 as managing clerk. In 1981 census they had a young servant, Dorothy Barton age 12, living with them and so Elizabeth and John enjoyed a degree of prosperity. Elizabeth died in Sunderland in 1919 at the age of 57.

Elizabeth and John had 8 children.

Mary Joyce was born in 1885 and named after her maternal grandmother. In the 1911 census she is 25 , single, and living at home. As there is no occupation given it can be assumed that she helped in the general running of the home.

Agnes Gillies Joycewas born in 1886 and named after her mother’s sister Agnes. The name Gilles being a Ferguson family name.  Agnes was known affectionately to the family as ‘Tattie.’ In 1911 she is not living at the family home, however there is an Agnes Joyce of the approximate age working as a nurse in a nearby hospital.

She married Reg Davies, a commercial traveler for Knorr- Swiss, in 1915 and lived in Barnard Castle, Yorkshire. The couple had a daughter named Joyce who married John Ward.

Elizabeth Maud Joyce was born in 1889 and named after her mother. In the 19111 census her occupation is given as ‘milliner’. She married Samuel Miller in 1914.

Alice Cook Joyce was born in 1890. In 1911 her occupation was ‘ dressmaker’.

Minnie Garrick Joyce was born in 1893. Her occupation, like her sister Alice, was a dressmaker. She married Thomas Robson in 1917.

John Joyce was born in 1897/8 and named after his father although he was

known as Jack. He married Dorothy and had a daughter who died. They lived in Sunderland surrounded by cats and never really recovered from their loss..

Margaret Joyce was born in1900. She married Tim Bray and had 2 children Elizabeth and

Tony. Elizabeth married but had no family, Tony married Tina and had 3 sons.

Doris Joyce was born in 1902. She married Freddie Smith in the 1920s and they emigrated to South Africa where Freddie set up an earth-moving equipment hire business They had 2 children – a son, Harry, who worked for ICI and lived in Harrogate, and a daughter who later retired to Guernsey.

           James Ferguson

After his marriage to Margaret Andrew in Thornliebank on 9th April 1901, James and Maggie returned to Bristol where they lived until 1905/6. Maggie, who came from a close-knit family surely prevailed upon her husband to get a job in the Clyde shipyards so she could return north and be near her family. In 1906 at the time of the birth of their 4th son, Alan, the family were living at 6 Edmiston Drive near Ibrox, Glasgow. In 1911 they had moved to 61 Princes St in Govan, close to the Princes Dock. Over the next 40 years they had several moves within the Govan and Pollokshaws areas of Glasgow before settling at 10 Keir St.reet, which was their home until their deaths. Maggie died on 4th February 1957 at the age of 80, and James on the 6th December 1962 at the age of 91.

James and Maggie had 7 children. All were instilled with a love of music from their mother and either sang in local choirs or played an instrument.

William Alexander Ferguson was born on13Jan 1902 in Bristol. He was named after his paternal Grandfather and G-Grandfather, but known to the family as Bill.

Although a bright student, Bill had to leave school aged 14 in order to supplement the family income. He passed the Civil Service exams and rose through the ranks to become Secretary to the British Museum (Natural History Dept), a position for which he was awarded the OBE in the1960s.

He married Jessie Miller Whitelaw on 22nd December 1930 and lived for most of his life in Betchworth, Surrey.

The couple had one son, Peter, 3 granddaughters; Angela, Jacqueline Nicola. 8 G- grandchildren; Robin, Jessica, Daniel, Benjamin, Joseph, Rebecca, Jamie, Phillipa. And, to date, one G-G-grandchild Courtney

Bill died on 1st December 1973 and his widow, Jessie, in 1995.

Photo shows James and Maggie on their golden wedding in 1951.

John Andrew Ferguson was born on 21st Dec1902 in Bristol. He was named after his maternal grandfather. Like his brother Bill, John also was required to leave school at 14 and bring in a wage. He probably joined an office in Glasgow as he was Export Manager for British Chrome and Chemicals in the 50’s and 60’s until he was made redundant after the company was taken over by Albright and Wilson. By this time shipping from Glasgow was containerized and he worked for some time for a large Container company OCL until he retired in the late 1970’s.

In 1943 he married Mary Dall who was an accomplished pianist, and set up home in Cambuslang, Glasgow. The couple had one daughter, Dilys, 3 grandchildren; Robin, Lucy and Oliver John died in 1979, and his widow, Mary, in 1985.


                                             Photo: John 1950, with daughter Dilys (left)

James Russell Bell Ferguson Was born between January and March 1905 in Bristol. Although named after his father, he was known as Russell. It is not clear where this name came from – possibly a family friend. Russell was allowed to stay on at school after which he proceeded to Glasgow University where he took a 1st in English Language. He also joined the Civil Service and moved to London where he worked on Government information films and documentaries.

He married Evelyn Claret and settled in Gravesend, Kent. The couple had 2 children, Craig and Clare, and 1 granddaughter; Eleanor.

Alan Wallace Ferguson Was born on 26 Dec 1906 at 6 Edminston Dr in Govan, Glasgow. The name Alan does not appear to be a family name, but Wallace is a family name going back some 4 generations on his mother’s side.

Alan took his Higher Leaving certificate at Govan High School and, after working as a clerk for 5 years, joined the police force in Glasgow in 1931. Rising to DS in the fraud squad. He later went on to Glasgow University, taking a Law degree in 1938 – one of the first to do so whilst still a serving officer.

In November 1947 he married Irene Macfarlane(nee Picton) whose first husband had died in the war. The couple lived in Newton Mearns, Glasgow.

They had 2 children, Margaret and David, 6 grandchildren; Clare, Graeme, Douglas, Alan, Andrew and Alistair and 2 great-grandchildren, Finn and Allegra.

Alan died, aged just 47, on 22nd September  1954 and his widow, Irene, on the same date  in 1991.

Alan c1930(left)  ~ marriage to Irene 1947  ~   early 1950s  (right)

Janet Chapman Ferguson was born on11 January 1910 at 61 Princes St, Govan, Glasgow. She was  named after her maternal grandmother and G-G-grandmother, but was known generally as Jenny. She married Iain MacIntosh  on 26 October 1934 and went to live in Middlesbrough, Yorkshire, where Iain worked as an iron works by-product plant operator.

The couple had 3 daughters; Margaret, Kathleen and Jean, 5 grandchildren

Iain, Frank, Janet, Harvey, Orlanda, and , 5 G-grandchildren; Jasmin, , Willow.

Margaret Craig Ferguson was born  in 1911 at 61 Princes St, Govan Glasgow and was named after her mother and G-G-grandmother. The middle name Craig is from her Aunt Ann (mother’s sister) who married Thomas Craig. She was always known as Marjorie. Like her mother Marjorie had a lovely voice and sang in many Glasgow choirs.

She trained and worked initially as legal secretary but later was receptionist and caretaker in her brother Walter’s medical practice.

Marjorie never married and cared for her father until his death. She died in 1986.

                                     Photo: Marjorie (left) Jenny (right) and Walter c1920

Walter Gillies Ferguson was born 7 May 914 in Maryland St, Govan, Glasgow. Walter was the name of the family doctor who had delivered the Glasgow born Fergusons and Gillies is from his paternal

G-grandmother. Walter trained in medicine at Glasgow University and joined the Navy in the last year of the war and served as Lieutenant Surgeon in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). After the war he was a GP in a busy practice in the north of Glasgow.

He married Elizabeth (Betty) Knox  on 11th July 1945 and had 4 children; Irene, Isla. Iain and Alan and 4 grandchildren; Lora, Erin, Craig and Neil

He died on 3 June 1972. His widow, Betty, died in 1998.

Photo: Walter and Betty’s marriage in 1945.

            Best Man - brother Alan.

Family photo probably taken at time of their silver wedding in 1926

Left to right: John, Alan, Bill, Russell, Walter

Jenny, Maggie and James, Marjorie

To return to the story of William Ferguson - click here

Acknowledgements: Grateful thanks to my late cousin Margaret for information on the family of Elizabeth Reid Ferguson and to cousins Peter, Jeannie, Dilys and Isla for information and photos of the family of James Ferguson.

The Golden Wedding of James and Maggie Ferguson ~ 9th April 1051.

Back Row (standing)

Russell, John, Peter(son of William), William, Walter, Alan

Middle Row (seated)

Janet (Jenny) (m Iain McIntosh-deceased),Evelyn Claret (wife of Russell)

Mary Dall (wife of John), James Ferguson and Margaret Ferguson (nee Andrew),

Jessie Whitelaw (wife of William),Irene Picton (wife of Alan),Margaret (Marjorie)

Children (parent in brackets)

Kathleen (Jenny), Clare (Russell), Dilys (John),Craig (Russell) / Margaret (Marbe) (Alan) –behind, Irene (Walter), Jean (Jenny), Margaret (Jenny), David (Alan) – on knee

Missing from this photo is Betty, Walter’s wife, who gave birth to Isla on that day. Also their 2 youngest, Iain and Alan who were born later that decade.