The Ferguson & Rogers Family History

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I started work on my genealogy after my parents had died and, therefore, had only my mainly youthful memories about our family history to fall back on. As it happens my sister Dorothy's memories proved better than mine, maybe she has a better memory, or perhaps just younger!

I do remember being told that my father's side came to England from Dumfries, Scotland, and my mother's from Wales, hence my searches crystallised into tracing the lines back to those countries, but with mixed success. Sure enough, my mother's family did come from Wales, but with my father's I have hit one of those infamous brickwalls, in Pardshaw, Cumberland, England.

The Rogers Family

I know nothing of my maternal 3rd great grandfather, Edward Rogers, other than he married a Jane Bellis b. about 1780 in Gwernaffield, Flintshire, Wales. They were living around Mold, Flintshire when their son, also called Edward, was born in about 1802. Edward Jnr married Jane Tudor in 1821 in Hawarden and lived there until between 1832 and 1840, working as a lead smelter. This was most likely in Bagillt which was the center of this industry. In 1832 my great grandfather was born and christened in Bistre, Flintshire. The smelting industry started to decline in the mid 1830s and was finished by 1850, and it is this decline which probably caused the family to move, as they continued in the same line of work in Pontesbury, Shropshire, England. Coincidentally I was a member of the teams which went down some of the disused mines in 1964 looking for two missing youths, without knowing that my ancestors probably worked in them.

It was in Pontesbury that my grandfather, James Rogers was born in 1868 and by 1891 was working as a colliery engine driver. In 1901 he worked as a brass polisher, and he too had moved, with a friend John Thomas Griffiths, and this time to Newton le Willows in Lancashire where he met and married, Abigail Mather, and where their daughter, my mother, Minnie Rogers was born. John Thomas married the sister of Abigail in 1903 and thus became my great uncle. Although my parents married in nearby Saint Helens, it wasn't here that they met, rather whilst on holiday in Douglas, Isle of Man.

The Ferguson Family

My story of the Ferguson family begins in Kendal, Westmorland where my 3rd great grandfather, William was born in 1794. I believe, but cannot definitively verify, that his father was Benjamin Ferguson, a weaver who married Jane Craison in Kendal, 1775 and died in Uppermilbeck, Westmorland, about 1853 at the ripe old age of 87 - not bad even for today! According to the 1851 census he was born about 1766, in Cockermouth, Cumberland. Subsequent work has shown that his father was Samual Furgison (sic), birth date and place not known.

William Ferguson was one of those people who deliberately or otherwise managed to avoid the censuses. I have not found him on the 1841 census, but did find his family in Salford. He seems not to be recorded in the 1851 census, but some of those for Salford and Manchester were burnt. Unfortunately he is not recorded on those which have been recovered either, nor is his family. It is believed he first married Margaret Thompson, who was the mother of all his children, in Kendal 1819. He was found in the 1861 census living in Salford with his second wife Anne, b. Kendal 1810, but this marriage has not been found. This census records that he was working as a marble mason, an occupation which has been confirmed in the 1841 Salford Piggot's Directory, his son's marriage certificate (1845) and his own death certificate, Salford 1862.

My 2nd great grandfather, Benjamin Ferguson b. 1824 in Kendal, William's son, married Ellen Wrigley in Liverpool, Lancashire 1845, where their first daughter Margaret was born. By the time of the birth of their first son, John, in 1846 they were living in Manchester with Benjamin working as a marble mason. It was here that their second son, my great grandfather William was born in 1851. William had a number of occupations including pub manager and clerical work, and he was a packer in 1875 when he married Elizabeth Ann Ashton of Salford, the mother of William Arthur Ferguson, my grandfather, in Salford 1884.

William Arthur was mainly employed in manual work, and married Maria Lowe at Saint Andrews Church, Eccles in 1907 where my father, John Arthur Ferguson, was born in 1911. During World War 1 William Arthur served as a corporal in the 2/5th Manchester Regiment seeing action in many major battles before being wounded at Framerville and repatriated to England. Throughout his life he was an active member of the R.A.O.B. and was the Eccles Provincial Grand Primo in 1933. He was killed in an accident at work in 1945.

This Ferguson history raises two very basic questions to which I have yet to find definitive answers: who was Samual Furgison, and was William definitely Benjamin's son - do you know?


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Ron Ferguson