Duncan Ferguson

ID # 4353, (1803-1884)
BirthDuncan Ferguson was born in 1803 at Livingston Co., New York State. 
MarriageHe married Marion (Sally) Haggart in 1828 at New York State.
See notes for Duncan. Hugh Cant in his undated book indicates that Duncan came to Dumfries Township from Livingston County, New York. The Dickson Papers show the purchase of lot 5 in the 12 concession (the Mill Creek area) on April 1st, 1829. He is said to have cleared a plot for a cabin and then return to Livingston for his wife and their babe (Archibald). Since Archibald was born 3 November, 1828, it seems likely that Duncan an Marion (nickname Sally) Haggart were married earlier that year. Duncan's death registration shows his birth as being in Livingston County. This may or may not be correct, but census information is consistent in showing Duncan's place of birth as the United States.
MarriageHe married Margaret Hastie on 9 December 1841 at Dumfries Township, Gore District.
Per microfilm GS2987 First Church, Galt.

After publication of banns in Dumfries, Dec. 9, 1841 (date of marriage)
Duncan Ferguson and Margaret Speers, both of Dumfries
Witnesses Duncan McKellar and James Nicol.

This is how the marriage is shown in the marriage records of First Church at Galt and the marriage was probably performed by Rev. James Strang.

Galt, in Dumfries Township, was in the Gore District from its establishment in 1816 until the system came into being. Strang began to keep marriage records from 1833 and he made marginal notes to the effect that he submitted the records up to a given date to Robert Berrie who was the District clerk at Hamilton. The surviving Gore District marriage register begins with entries dated 1843. After a few entries some 1842 records do appear, but they have the look of being late submissions. It has long been believed that there was an earlier register, now missing, and Strang's marginal notations make it clear enough that this will have been the case.

See notes for Margaret discussing the available information for what we now know are two marriages previous to her marriage to Duncan Ferguson.

MarriageHe married Susannah Buchanan, daughter of John Buchanan and Margaret McArthur, on 23 November 1876 at Galt, Waterloo Co., Ontario.
Marriage registration 011098-76, date of marriage November 23, 1876. Duncan Ferguson, age 73, resident of North Dumfries, born Livingston Co., New York State. Profession: Farmer. Father: Arch'd Ferguson. Mother's name illegible, but might be Christina McVean.

The bride's name is given as that of her first husband, Dransfield Thornton. The clerk at Galt must have spotted it, for he wrote in pencil above, 'Husband's name', and possibly 'Susannah' scrawled in as well. Her age is given as 56, her residence as Dumfries (north or south not mentioned) and her parents are named as John Buchanan and Margaret McArthur.

The witnesses are named as Alex'r Buchanan of Galt and (possibly) Mrs. J.K. Smith of Galt, wife of the minister.
DeathHe died on 4 October 1884 at Galt, Waterloo Co.. 
BurialHe was buried at Section 2, Mountview Cemetery, Galt. 
NoteSeveral sources assist us with something of the history of Duncan Ferguson. Historical Reminisicences of Galt And Other Writings by Hugh Cant, which is undated and evidently self-published; The Dickson Papers, microfilm of which is to be found at the Archives of Ontario; Dumfries census and assessment information; the will of Duncan Ferguson; and a transcription of section 2 of Mountview Cemetery at Galt, now Cambridge, Ontario.

The page in the Cant book has a photo of Duncan Ferguson. He is described as having come from Livingston County, New York and taking up land in the Mill Creek section of Dumfries Township. It is said that he labored in cutting down trees and building a cabin and then returning home to his wife and child. They are said to have traveled by ox cart by way of Queenston and crossed the Niagara River by boat. He tells that Mrs. Ferguson died in 1839 and left an infant child, Christie Ann, who married Hugh Cant, the book's author. Mr. Cant makes mention that two of the Ferguson children were still living, Daniel of Galt, and Mary McFarlane who, interestingly, was located in Sydney, Australia.

The Dickson Papers, Dickson Papers MS5 reel 3, ledger C, page 385 shows that Duncan purchased the 'middle part' of lot 5 on the 12th concession on April 1st, 1829. According to the page, this seems to have been 100 acres, though the handwriting is cramped and difficult to read.

See MS700 reel 1. This microfilm contains the 1832 census of Dumfries Township east of the Grand River. In this, Duncan is shown on the same property, but with 142 acres.

In the 1842 census of Dumfries, he is shown on the same property.

Duncan and his 3rd wife, Susannah Buchanan, were members of First Presbyterian Church on Galt. The church is located on Wellington Street and Duncan and Susannah were living in town on lot 3 of Beverly Street (whether this is actually number 3 Beverly Street is unclear, but they would not have been more than a few doors from the church.) They are found as witnesses for a number of marriages at the church and it is not readily apparent that they were connected with the brides and grooms. As retired people they were probably close to hand and easily summoned when witnesses were required for a marriage.

Death reg. 018452-84 Galt, Waterloo Co.
Duncan Ferguson died 4th October 1884. Age 82. Presbyterian. Gentleman. Born York State, Livingston Co., N.Y. Presbyterian. Physician Dr. Brown. Informant Archibald Ferguson, farmer, Dumfries. 

Children of Duncan Ferguson and Marion (Sally) Haggart

Children of Duncan Ferguson and Margaret Hastie

Last Edited20 Jun 2019