My ancestor is Isaiah Jeremiah FERGUSON and his Australian descendants have been thoroughly documented by the family. We know that Isaiah Jeremiah's parents were John (a soldier) and Margaret (nee Elliott) and that he was born in Cork, Ireland for these statements were made by the informant (son Robert Wesley) on his death certificate. Isaiah's father is, by deduction, John Ferguson who was discharged from the Cavan Militia in 1829. He was buried 10 June 1847 in the parish of Ballymachugh, county Cavan. The analysis supporting that deduction, a subject of continuing research, is presented here: Ferguson of Tullyboy.The earliest record that has been found of Isaiah is from the Tithe Applotment Books for the parish of Aghabog in County Monaghan, 1833. There have been Ferguson in Aghabog since at least 1663 and thus leads to a topic of current research, i.e. the Ferguson of Aghabog.
Isaiah's first wife was Ann LAHY. In accordance with custom of the day, they married in her parish at St. Paul's Ballymachugh, county Cavan, Ireland on 10 June 1833. They were tenants of Lord Farnham at Clonlohan just north of Ballymachugh until 1839 when Isaiah purchased a farm at Rathwire, Killucan, county Westmeath. After 26 years of marriage, sadly, Ann died in 1859.
In the biography of his son William Jeremiah Ferguson, Gympie, Australia it is stated that William is the "descendant of an old Westmeath family". Herein lies yet another avenue of current research - Joseph Ferguson of Mullingar, M.D.
On March 9, 1864 at 1st Ballybay Pres Church, Derryvalley, county Monaghan Isaiah married Elizabeth BREAKEY. They and their children Robert Wesley FERGUSON, Henry John FERGUSON and Elizabeth Mary FERGUSON emigrated to Gympie, Australia in 1871 aboard the Indus and later moved to Brisbane.
Francis LAHY or Francis LAHEY as he was later known in Australia was Isaiah's brother in law by his first wife. The Lahey family proved to be quite prominent in Australian history - they became Queensland's largest timber operators in the early 1900s and they were influential in establishing National Parks in Queensland. Francis was given some land by the governor of Queensland, Sir George Ferguson BOWEN, and a part of it he named Bellissima Forest after the ship that brought him and his family from Ireland to Australia. The name Bellissima is Italian for most beautiful. Isaiah ultimately bought said forest and refered to the house as Bellissima. The home was demolished in 1953 to accommodate what is now the Nyanda High School, Salisbury, Brisbane.
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