THE FERGUSON FAMILY OF CRAIGIEBURN

My thanks to Genevieve Kang and the other descendents of the Ferguson family who kindly allowed the use of the pictures and family information on this page.

Above Ferguson and Co, Murray St, Gawler

 

James Henderson Ferguson was born 4.3.1833 Glasgow the son of William Ferguson and Ann Henderson. He migrated to South Australia, establishing himself as first as a storekeeper in Gawler. The Register carried a notice on 28.3.1862 of the marriage "On the 27th March, at Myrtle Bank, by the Rev. John Gardner, Mr James Ferguson, of Gawler town, third surviving son of William Ferguson, Esq, 10, Corn Street, Glasgow, to Isabella, eldest daughter of William Ferguson, Esq.” Isabella died in 1870.

 James Ferguson 1833-1900

James returned to Scotland in 1876 to marry Helen Scott Morrison, "At 67 Great King Street, Edinburgh, on the 12th Inst, by the Rev. R. H. Muir, Dalmeny, James Ferguson, Gawler, South Australia, to Helen Scott, only surviving daughter of the late Thomas Morrison, Wester Dalmeny, near Edinburgh.”

In 1882, James moved to Victoria. He died on 4.5.1900 at "Bell Manor", Coburg. The family continued to live on their dairy farm at Craigieburn, north of Melbourne, visited in 1904 by James' nephew Fergus who commented that the farm was about 3 miles from the station, "they have only about 300 acres and 40 cows, but it's all they can manage."

Helen died in Melbourne on 31.8.1914. The Age and the Argus noted her death "On 31 August, Helen Scott (nee Morrison) of Craigieburn, native of Dalmeny, Scotland.  Widow of the late Jas. Ferguson, Gawler S.A.  Aged 70 years.” Helen left £3,198 including the family home, a weatherboard house of 6 rooms on 304 acres at Craigieburn, valued at £10 an acre, money and jewellery. She left jewellery to her daughter Sybil, a silver tea and coffee set to her grand daughter Helen Harvey, silver teaspoons to her grand daughter Una Harvey and a case of cutlery, fruit knives and forks to her son Kenneth. Sons Ronald, Lindsay and Kenneth each inherited £100 with the residue divided between her other children.

1. Rosina Ann Ferguson born 16.6.1863 “at Gawler, the wife of Mr James Ferguson a daughter”. She married Samuel Gamble Reid on 20.11.1889. They lived at "Clonagh," a Reid family property north of Cloncurry, Queensland. The area was isolated and she depended on the help of aboriginal servants. Her children were born at Clonagh and each child had its own nanny. They were sent to boarding school, her son to Geelong Grammar and her daughters to The Hermitage. Rosina died on 12.9.1950.

3. Ann Isabell Ferguson born 19.8.1866 Gawler. She married James Andrew Love in 1900 in Victoria and lived at Bookham, near Yass. She died on 14.7.1943

4. Ella Scott Ferguson born 15.2.1877 "at Gawler, South Australia, on the 15 February, the wife of James Ferguson, of a daughter." She died on 8.8.1884, aged 7, in Campbellfield.  She was buried the next day in Wil Wil Rook cemetery.

5. Fergus Ferguson born 27.4.1878 Gawler married Maude Josephine Boyd on 9.9.1908. His cousin wrote in 1905 "Fergus is under manager on a mine in Queensland, a terrible hot shop, and hasn't been home for 6 years." In 1913, 85,000 tons of ore were mined in the area. However, prices fell and in 1926 the mine went into liquidation. Queensland directories list Fergus as a cane farmer at Home Hill from 1922.  He died on 25.6.1943 in Home Hill, Queensland.

6. Ronald Ferguson born 6.3.1880 Gawler. He served in the Boer War. His cousin Fergus quoted a friend on "the toy soldiers called yeomanry who appear to have behaved like a flock of sheep (Ronald Ferguson, my cousin and Alex Kennedy, who were both in Colonial Corps, tell the same story)." When Fergus met Ronald in 1904, he helped with the milking "After getting the cows to the milking enclosure, I served out measures of hot bran mash and chaff when required. When milking was finished, I helped Ronald with the milk (warm milk) and he ran it over a thing like a washing board. This board has a stream of cold water running through it (not into the milk) and the milk after going through a lot of pipes etc arrives out almost like ice. After breakfast, Archie went ploughing and Ronald, Lindsay and I went to cut chaff and to finish a new barn." He married Gertrude Annie Sigglekow in 1922 in Sydney and was a green keeper for Coolamon golf club. He died on 27.9.1961.

7. Kenneth Ferguson  born 7.6.1881 Gawler. He served in Boer War as a corporal in the 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles. His cousin wrote in 1904 "being hard up in South Africa after peace, he joined the South African Police (mounted trooper) for 3 years. First he went up to Somaliland for a bit and being taken as a volunteer, went to Zanzibar to join an exploring party, but getting broke, ended up in the Police. He will be home in 6-8 months and his South African decoration has 4 clasps." He was a lieutenant in the Northern Rhodesian Police for the Northern Rhodesian Colonial Forces in WW1, but died of influenza on 19.10.1918. He was buried at Kansenshi, Ndola, Zambia husband of Frances Marion Ferguson, of Wirreecoo, Beach Rd, Black Rock.

8. Lindsay Ferguson born 1882 Hawthorn. His cousin Fergus wrote, "we got to the station and sat on a milk cart stamped Ferguson. Soon up comes an object with a big slouch hat and old army trench coat and a grin on his tanned face, this was Lindsay, such a nice chap, who has recently had a row with Ronald and has left for boundary riding in NSW. He took us to the buggy and away we drove to the farm about 3 miles away." After the cows were milked and the milk put in the cans, "Lindsay drove it to the station and we went to breakfast. Next day Lindsay, David and I went out shooting. David had a Winchester repeating rifle and Lindsay and I went shares in a double-barrelled breach loader, which kicked like fury. Lindsay and I both backed the maggie, but it went clean over. After we had covered about three miles, we sat down and had pots at a tin can.  On the way home we tried to stalk some rabbits but we made such a row beforehand that it was no good. Soon after Lindsay potted two parrots which were chattering up a gum tree." A labourer, Lindsay died on 8.1.1954 in Narrandera, NSW

9. Sybil Primrose Ferguson born 1884 Coburg. Fergus wrote that Sybil and Ronald "stayed a night with us and went to Jessie Ferguson's marriage (another family of cousins) Mina Ferguson, Jessie's sister was also there and we sat and played cards until 12.30." When Fergus visited them in 1904, "just as we were going up the path I gave Lindsay a push and did a regular Indian warleap over a snake. However, it was dead.  Sybil had killed it and put it on the path to give us a scare.  She owns the rifle and is a grand shot." In 1907, she married Troward Underdown Harvey, a farmer at "Olrig" Craigieburn. Joyce Wilson recalled holidays spent with Aunty Sybil and Uncle Tro at Craigieburn, in a stone house with a garden full of lavender. Sybil died in 1932 in Coburg. Troward died on 12.3.1957, “after a long illness, beloved husband of the late Sybil Primrose and loved father of Helen, Una and Bobbie, grandfather of Robin, Allison, Peter and Linda, late of Craigieburn.”

10. Archie Hugh Ferguson born 1885 Campbelltown. His cousin wrote "Next morning David and I were roused by the carolling of magpies. Their note is beautiful and rich and when caught young make fine pets and are fine talkers and singers. We got up as the sun was almost over the Dividing Ranges. It was a great sight. I had on old clothes and Archie the youngest (20) got me a horse and he and I went to bring in the cows for milking. We had a great canter through the paddocks to where the cows were, about a mile away." Archie was a farmer, living in Wamboota, Echuca, NSW, when he enlisted in the AIF on 23.2.1916. He trained at Castlemaine and Broadmeadows, before embarking for England and then France on 5.9.1916. Army records show he lost pay for appearing unshaven on parade.

The army sent a telegram to his sister Sybil Harvey “regret Private Archie Ferguson admitted hospital 12th February bronchitis will furnish progress reports.”  He died 3 days later. The army returned his belongings to his sister, an identity disc, scissors, coins, pipe, money belt, letters, cigarette case, metal watch with a strap and case. They also sent her his war medals, after checking first with his oldest brother Fergus who should receive them. Archie was buried in Dernancourt communal cemetery by the Rev J W Grayson, although his sister Sybil wrote in 1920 to the army, “can you please tell me where my late brother was buried? I have never been heard where he was buried.” The inscription reads “Archie Hugh Ferguson, Private 1909A 46th Bn., Australian Infantry, A.I.F who died on Thursday 15th February 1917. Age 31.” A photo of his grave kept by his brother Fergus notes Archie was buried at Dernancourt.

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