The Ferguson's

Alexander Ferguson (1820-1902) and his wife, Elizabeth emigrated aboard the ship 'Berkshire' from Perthshire, Scotland in the early 1840s with their friends, William Richardson, and family. Both groups came over the Blue Mountains with bullock team in the days when the convicts were working in gangs cutting roads and Sydney was "only a scattered place" (49). 

In the 1903 Electoral Roll Alex's son, John Ferguson is listed as a grazer at Denmy Plains and Peter Ferguson a grazier at Rosedale.

Ferguson Family Obituaries
Alex Ferguson (1820-1902)
Our Gilgandra correspondent writes: It is with feelings of sincere regret that I have to chronicle the death of Mr. Alex Ferguson, at his residence, Youlbong, on the 27th August, at the good old age of 84. Although Mr. Ferguson had been breaking up very much of late, his demise was very sudden, as he had just asked one of his grand children, to get him some hot water, but then told her not to get it, and said he would go to his bed. He arose to do so, but when just at the door, fell down. The girl gave the alarm, but by the time his son James arrived be had just time to lift him on to the bed when Mr. Ferguson expired. He must have had a premonition of his death, as only a few days before a hawker was around, and after making his purchases he enquired if he wanted anything more, and Mr. Ferguson said "No, it will only be a matter of a few days for me."

Mr. Ferguson was one of the oldest residents of the district, having been a pastoralist on his own account for over forty years, and before that was in the employ of the late Mr. Brown, of Bowenfell, for over 20 years, most of that time being spent on Tunderbrine . Mr. Ferguson, over 60 years ago, left Scotland under engagement to Mr. Brown, and remained in his employ up to the time of his going into pastoral pursuits on his own account.

The memory of the old gentleman was wonderful up to the very last. The writer of this was on a visit to Youlbong a little time ago, and was surprised at the recollection Mr. Ferguson had of events of later years, and as to his reminiscences of the early days. They were something wonderful, and it was quite a treat to listen to him. He surprised the writer as to his knowledge of the country on the Queensland border. It seems he took up some country on the Lower Widgegowara, somewhere in the fifties; he and the late Mr. Colin McKenzie, of Wangon, having gone out together. Mr. McKenzie took up Weilmoringle, and stocked it, but Mr. Ferguson lost his by not stocking.

As to his career in this district no one held a more unblemished, character; he was looked up to by both old and young - one whose word was his bond; a man of strict integrity. The Presbyterian Church at Gulargambone will miss him, as he was one of its great supporters. He was very generous, but he was one who never let his left hand know what his right hand did. He leaves a very large family of children, grand children, and great grand children to mourn his loss. 

Mr. Ferguson had been a widower for about 16 years. On Friday he was laid at rest in the family burying ground at Youlbong. Upwards of 150 persons came to pay the last sad respects to an old and valued friend. At the old homestead stillness will now prevail; the old familiar face and kindly voice have gone to the great beyond, and there amidst the sheltering shadows of the Warrumbungles the old pioneer sleeps calmly. May the turf lay lightly on him for ever and for aye (42).

Janet Ferguson (1841-1861)
A Link with the Past - Mrs. Janet Balderston - There was born on the 21st June, 1841, at Caigan, in the Warrumbungle Mountains, the first white girl-baby in the Castlereagh district, in the person of Mrs. Janet Balderston, who passed peacefully away a Weetalibah on Friday, 7th February, 1913 full of years, and highly respected by everyone who had the pleasure of her acquaintance. In the later thirties there came out from Perthville a sturdy, typical Scots couple, Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Ferguson. Engaging with the late Mr. Andrew Brown, of Tonderburine, Mr. Ferguson remained with him till he took up Youlbong, on his own, where he reared a large family, and where he and his good wife live at rest, after the heat and turmoil of a strenuous life. When a young woman, Miss Ferguson married Mr. A. Balderston, a 'canny Scot frae Glaskie,' with whom she lived happily at Mountain View — now Quanda — until he was killed while coming home from Coonamble, through his horse stumbling and falling over a sheep, which rushed in front of the horse. Selling out to Messrs. Ryder, she moved to Werringerong, where she remained till all her family were grown up. In later years she spent her time living with her family, finally going over the range from her daughter's residence at Weetalibah. Mrs. Balderston was one of the old school, the sort that our boasted civilisation does not have time for nowadays. No one ever went hungry from her door, and the welcome one got on calling there was not of the Frigid Zone description, hut made one feel that one was welcome. She had a fund of anecdotes of olden, times, and it was most interesting to hear her speaking of the long-ago and the experience of a pioneer in the early days. Mrs. Balderston is survived by one daughter, Mrs. James Pickup, Weetalibah and six sons, viz., Alexander John, The Pines, Warrumbungle.; David and James, of Weetalibah ; William and Samuel Tooraweenah; and Arthur, Granville; besides 21 grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Three sisters (Mrs. R. Neilson, Coonabarabran, and the Misses Ferguson, of Youlbong) and three brothers (Messrs. Alex Ferguson, Merriman ; John Ferguson, Denmy Plains, and Peter Ferguson, Gulargambone) are still alive. By her death another link, with the past has been snapped. The grand old pioneers are gradually leaving one by one (9).

Margaret Ferguson (1843-1915)
DEATH OF MISS FERGUSON. After a lengthy illness Miss Margaret Ferguson died at Youlbung Station, where she had lived all her life. Deceased, who was 70 years of age, was the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. A. Ferguson, and sister of Messrs. Peter, Alex, and John Ferguson, and Mrs. Rob. Maguire, of the Gulargambone district, and Mrs. R. Neilson, of Coonabarabran. Miss Ferguson was held in the highest esteem, and did much good by stealth. The funeral was a large one, the interment taking place in the family cemetery at Youlbung (44).

Alexander Ferguson (1845-1926)
AT REST Once again the hand of death has been made manifest in our midst by the calling to his, long home of an old-time honored and respected resident in the person of Mr. Alexander Ferguson, of Merriman. The deceased gentleman answered to the call on June 16th last, having reached the ripe age of 81 years. He was born at Vaigan Station, in the Mendoran district; where his early life was spent. Some sixty years ago he settled in Gulargambone district and continued to reside in the locality until his death. Like-many more of his kinsmen he devoted his attention to pastoral pursuits. A few years ago he subdivided his property among his sons, retaining only a small portion on which the homestead was erected for his own personal requirements. Mr. Ferguson was noted far and wide for his splendid horsemanship, and it is only within the last few years he relinquished the use of, the saddle. Alexander Ferguson, father of deceased, arrived in this country 87 years ago, and took up country in the Tooraweenah district, known as Youlbung Station. His wife, who died some 12 years ago, was a Miss Kennedy, sister of Mr. M., Kennedy, who died on the same day as Mr. Ferguson a strange coincidence. For a number of years it had been the custom of the deceased to come into town on Tuesdays and Saturdays and transact business at the I.X.L. Stores; weather conditions seemed to have no effect on him; rain, hail or shine he would drive through mud and slush from his country home. As a citizen, his opinions were, worth much, and whose manly actions in all transactions gained him a wide circle of friends. A family of seven children are left to mourn his loss, viz. five sons and two daughters, Messrs A.N, J.P.W., R., D., M.A.G. Ferguson, and Mrs. Alfred Lloyd, of Baulkham Hills, and Mrs. J. Shanklin, of Armatree. To the bereaved ones we extend our sincere sympathy and trust they may be blessed with the same Christian fortitude as their father (45).

John Ferguson (1847-1915) 
A gentleman who had played his part nobly and well in the settlement and development of the West, Mr. John Ferguson, of ''Denmy Plains", Gulargambone, has passed away at the age of 68 years. Some weeks ago the deceased underwent an operation for the removal of gall stones, and was well advanced in convalescence when he contracted gastric influenza, and to this he succumbed. The funeral was very largely attended, the body being taken from Gilgandra to Gulargambone for interment (46).

Peter Ferguson (1852-1924)
One of the best known of the Old Brigade of Western graziers, in the person of Peter Ferguson [306], of Gulargambone Station, Gular, died at his home early on Sunday morning, at the age of 72. The late Mr. Ferguson's father came out from Scotland in the very early pioneering days, and worked for Mr. Brown, of Tondeburine Station, subsequently taking up land and making his home at Gularbambone. Peter Ferguson was born in the West, and lived all his life in it. He was a man of very exceptional qualities, being generous, kind and large-hearted to a degree. He has left a widow, five sons and five daughters, the sons being Cuthbert, Robert, Thomas, Peter and Ernest, all of Gular, and the daughters Mrs. Jones (Combara), Mrs. Patrick (Myall Park), Mrs. Webster (Gular), and the Misses Fanny and Linda Ferguson. The late Mr. Ferguson was perhaps the best known of all exhibitors at Western shows with horses, sheep, cattle and in driving and trotting competitions. He was well and widely known as a Protector of the Aborigines and J.P., it being his invariable custom to himself pay any fines that he inflicted on offenders. Gulargambone was noted for its perennial and kindly hospitality. The Coonamble Band, the members of which he frequently entertained, had always promised him that they would play at his funeral, and they were there to a man, and played the funeral march. Mr. Ferguson was noted for his kindness and generosity to all colored people, Indian hawkers, Chinese and aboriginals, and the deep grief and mourning of many of these people was an ageeting and pitiful sight at the funeral. The funeral, which was the most largely attended ever seen in the district, the whole countryside and representatives of all the surrounding public bodies attending, took place in the Gular cemetery at 11.30 a.m. yesterday, the Rev. O'Doherty, the Presbyterian minister at Gular, officiating at the grave-side. The funeral arrangements were in the hands of Mr. Skinner, Gular, and Mr. J. R. Tighe, Dubbo (47).

Ellen Ferguson (1854-1929)
DEATH OF MRS. ROBERT NEILSON COONABARABRAN, Saturday. One of the oldest residents of the district passed away on Friday night, when Mrs. Neilson, widow of the late Mr. Robert Neilson, died at her son's residence. Mrs. Neilson, who was 75 years of age, was a daughter of the late Mr. Alexander Ferguson, of Youlbung Station, Gulargambone. She was married by the late Rev. Alexander McEwen at Youlbung in 1880, and came to live with her husband in Coonabarabran, where he owned a large store and flour mill, which is now conducted by his son, and had resided here ever since. Two sons and four daughters survive. All business places were closed from 12.30 till 1 o'clock to-day as a mark of respect (48).