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The Ferguson  and McEwen families were quite intertwined around the time of Solomon Ferguson and James McEwen.  They moved to Mahaska county Iowa together in the later 1840’s, and remained close until the death of James McEwen.  Sometime after this, James’ wife Catherine (mother-in-law of Solomon) went far west with her daughter Melissa Champ to Washington.  We don’t know if they kept in contact with each other after the move, and by 1880, Solomon had moved his wife to Cowley County Kansas.

The above said, it has been quite difficult to “sort out” the later McEwen and Ferguson hyperlinks into two distinct families.  So little effort was made to force the issue.  The below links are set out in a roughly chronological sequence toward the end, but can be sorted along family lines in earlier records.


Earliest Ferguson, Chambers, and Barrow links:

Excellent article originally acquired from Susan's Barlow rootsweb website on John Ferguson’s ancestry - Cannot locate on internet any longer

Virginia Will Records, Records of Wills and Deeds in Brunswick County, Page 62 mentions proof of William Lee as father of Amy Lee, wife of William Barror (Barrow)

William Ferguson of York Co Va. will - unknown if this is our John's father

An earlier John Ferguson of York County Va. - also unknown if connected

Rev David Barrow info scroll to right in link  Source: Mrs. Grace Barrow's A Few Early Families in America, Copyright 1941 Wm. Mitchell printing co, pp 37-8.

David Barrow's Circular Letter of 1798 is reprinted in Carlos R. Allen, Jr's article in The William and Mary Quarterly Third Series, Vol. 20, No. 3 (Jul., 1963), pp. 440-451; (article consists of 12 pages)

Piece of an extract of Rev David Barrow's "diary" Source: Mrs. Grace Barrow's A Few Early Families in America, Copyright 1941 Wm. Mitchell printing co, page 84.

Email from Barrow Family Association of America President Dan Barrow

Land transactions between Ferguson's, Lee's, and Barrow's in Virginia

Family group sheet of John Ferguson

Part 2 of John Ferguson family group sheet

Part 3 of John Ferguson family group sheet - mentions reference to letter - it is an excerpt from a letter that Myrtle Fray wrote in 1977 to Richard Ferguson, then head of Clan Fergusson of North America. -- Thank you again Marilyn!!

John "Forgison" 's land grant for 166 acres

John "Forgison" 's land grant for 166 acres typed

John Ferguson's war record

John Ferguson on Boone Co. Indiana courthouse lawn Revolutionary War Veterans Plaque -Thanks Thelma!!

John Ferguson tombstone in Cox cemetery - Thanks Thelma!!

Find-A-Grave page on John Ferguson and Cox cemetery

John Fergusen's Revolutionary War pension declaration typed

John Ferguson's Pension declaration continued typed

Actual copy of John Ferguson's pension declaration part 1

Actual copy of John Fergusen's pension declaration part 2

Actual copy of John Ferguson's pension declaration part 3

Bible record of Ferguson births

Certificate of pension for John Ferguson

Synopsis of John Ferguson's life and War service

Part 2 of Synopsis of John and Bethany Ferguson

Will of John "Forguson" typed

Will of John "Forguson" actual will

John Ferguson's will continued actual will

Newspaper article on John Ferguson's war service part 1

Newspaper article on John Ferguson's war service part 2

John Ferguson was in this battle (the battle of Camden) another page

John Ferguson in Rockingham county North Carolina in 1790 federal census - Benjamin born here in Aug 1790, all brothers in census too.

John Ferguson in Rockingham county North Carolina in 1800 federal census

John Ferguson in 1810 Rockingham county North Carolina federal census - 3 sons live nearby on this image

John Ferguson in 1820 Wayne county Indiana federal census - Moses Ferguson and Benjamin Ferguson also visible - Wayne County was to break up a bit and a portion was to become Union County.

Benjamin Ferguson land record for land in Decatur county Indiana  - (20 May 1825) available from

Benjamin Ferguson land purchased while still living in Union county Indiana in 1824 (same land description, earlier date, different source)

Cover of source of 1824 Benjamin Ferguson land information

John Ferguson in Union county Indiana in 1830 census (looks like a Moses Ferguson is next to him just below in census).

Location of Benjamin Ferguson's land in Union county Indiana isn't possible with this Union County plat map and township map - because above-mentioned land is located in Decatur county Indiana (along central western portion in Clay county where he appears in 1830 - 1850 census below).

Mention of John Ferguson in this history gives a time for move to Boone County (@ 1832)

Land record found confirming above - 6 June 1832 - (parts, section, twnsp, rng, not a fraction, 2nd meridian): E1/2NW 10/ 19-N 2-W No 2nd PM

Location of John Ferguson's land in Boone county Indiana is possible with this plat map and township map

John Ferguson Jr's adjoining land

Benjamin "Furgison" in 1830 Decatur county Indiana federal census

John Ferguson's 1837 land purchase – difficult to tell, might also be more John Jr. land here.

John Ferguson Jr's adjoining 1837 land

John “Forgason” in Boone county Indiana 1840 federal census

Decatur county Indiana 1840 census Benjamin and John Ferguson families, & James and William McEwen families, & Jeramiah "Fergason" 's family

Family group sheet of Benjamin Ferguson

Continuation of Benjamin Ferguson family group sheet notes section

Benjamin Furguson in 1850 Decatur county Indiana federal census in Clay township

Benjamin Fergusen moved to Jasper County Illinois around 1 Sep1852

Another page with a couple of Benjamin’s land deals

Brockville cemetery listing Benjamin and wife Nancy

Actual images from Brockville cemetary taken by Donna Rohwedder - Thank you Donna!!

- First 5 images are of Benjamin Ferguson's old and new tombstone - email describing area and Benjamin's stones

1 2 3 4 5 Find-a-Grave * Description of Nancy's stone (6)  6 find-a-grave - new tombstone says 1865, find-a-grave write-up states 1866 * 7 8 * 9 10  Description of 4 stone layout (10)

1860 Jasper County Mortality list includes our Benjamin and states he died of  Consumption: A wasting away of the body; formerly applied especially to pulmonary tuberculosis. Synonyms: marasmus (in the mid-nineteenth century), phthisis.

From Marilyn Pulliam come these pages of Benjamin Ferguson’s Will, Probate and estate appraisals.  Thanx Marilyn!!  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

And her transcription of a very difficult to read will.  Not sure of old Benjamin’s math but must have worked out alright anyway despite the tenths, thirds, etc he gave out.

Nancy (Fear) Ferguson in 1860 Willow Hill township, Jasper County, Illinois federal census with son-in-law William Fear pt 1 (top/heading)   pt 2 (actual return of family)

Nancy (Fear) Ferguson's dower suit petition

NEW! 1865 Willow Hill, Jasper County Illionois state census returns - show Fear and Ferguson families, but no Nancy to be found.

Picture of Benjamin Ferguson's tombstone - valuable because, though of low quality, it has inscription transcribed, and mostly legible, unlike newer photos taken in April, 2002, above.

Probably the final mention of Solomon Ferguson's house after his death (search for August 27, 1885 lower in page)



A very good, detailed summary of known McEwen data from Hal Beumer - Thanx Hal!!

1778 Rowan County North Carolina Tax list McEwen (garbled, but identifiable from Hal's extractions in document above) Arch'd Sloan Archibald senior - List of taxable property in the county of Rowan, North Carolina, anno 1778

Some relevant entries can be found in Austin Wheeler Smith's The Dickson-McEwen and Allied Families Genealogy: pp 214-235

Sloan line (ancestors of McEwen line)

March 20, 1764 Caveat in court records - source

Samuel Sloan Will - Contributed to - Samuel is brother of Archibald #2

Patrick Sloan Bible - Contributed to - Patrick is son of Archibald #2, brother in law of Daniel McEwen

Archibald Sloan #2 1786 will - Contributed to 

Pa will mentioning Archibald Sloan in Lancaster Pa.- Contributed to 

Biography of some Sloans of Hanover - Contributed to 

Record of marriage between Daniel McEwen and Margaret Sloan (parents of James below)

An email from Marilyn Pulliam to another researcher summarizing some of the family relationships:

"According to various researchers, my James McEwen had the following siblings:
Archibald m. Letty Brown, Milly m. Jeremiah Brown, Cynthia m. Edwin Brown. I believe most of these families left NC together, spending some time in Mercer Co, KY as 3rd child of James and Catherine, William McEwen, was born there 6 Feb 1818. They all arrived in Bartholomew Co, IN around 1820 and are found on tax records there in 1821.

I refer you to Bartholomew County, Indiana Probate Records, 1821-1829, Book I: Edwin Brown, pp.38, 49-50:
Cynthia Brown, widow & admr., presents inventory 3-5-1827; settlement of account, 2-5-1828. I don't have these records - only the reference to them.

I haven't done further research to see if Cynthia stayed there, remarried or what. She was a fairly young woman when he died. Hope this moves you forward. Good luck. Marilyn"

Interestingly, the Hager family is not found in these tax records. John Hager married Eleanor Chambers in Bartholomew County on 9-11-1828, so it is probable that John Hager (with or without his family) had not arrived in the county yet. Eleanor was probably a sister to both Catherine Chambers - wife of James McEwen, as well as to the William Chambers who married Betsy Hall (several Hall families are represented in the 1821 tax list). It is probably this William Chambers who purchased land several years later.

Family group sheet of James McEwen

Family group sheet of James McEwen continued

William Chambers will administration (Probable father of Catherine Chambers) "Feb [court] Term 1838"

William Chambers in 1800 Rockingham county NC federal census (unk if this is our William Chambers as of 14 Dec 00).

McEwen transcripts from 1820 Mercer Co Ky federal census (about mid page)

Michael L. Cook.  Mercer County (Kentucky) Records Vol. II.  Kentucky Records Series, Cook Publishing; 3318 Wimberg Ave., Evansville, IN 47712: pg 175: David McEwin [married] to Elizabeth Smith, with James Smith as Surety, March 31, 1817, James Smith certified bride was of age. pg 177 James Smith [married] to Elizabeth Chambers, with James McEwin as surety, June 30, 1817. James McEwin certified bride was of age. pp 185 & 187 have similar marriage references to John McEwin, probable brother of our James for 1818-1819.

James Mcewen land record of 17 Dec 1821

Interesting first hand recollection of early life in Bartholomew County, Indiana   Section on land prices

Nice township and plat map combination showing where above land was located

William Chambers in 1830 Bartholomew Co Indiana census - matches available data such as date of Catherine's birth, and his death in late winter 1837 or early spring 1838. Puts his birth between 1750 - 1760 and this would fit the data in the 1800 census of Rockingham, NC above.  His is 6th name from bottom.  This is page 207, James Mcewen is listed on page 213, and John Hager is listed on page 215. Neither William Chambers, nor James appear in 1820 Indiana federal census, although both appear in 1821 tax records.  It is possible that William either came to live with them until his death (unlikely due to separate census listing) or met them there.  They did not leave Bartholomew county (which became Decatur County later on), until after William Chambers' death.

James McEwen in Bartholomew County Indiana in 1830

Archibald McEwen in Bartholomew County Indiana 1830

Decatur county Indiana 1840 census Benjamin and John Ferguson families, & James and William McEwen families, & Jeramiah "Fergason" 's family

Decatur county Indiana 1840 census part 2 31 total entries, 19, 20, 26, 27, and 30 are ours.

Decatur county Indiana 1840 census part 3 Solomon "Forguson" line 10 from top

Decatur county Indiana 1840 census part 4 line 10 from top

Fremont Baptist church information with information on James McEwen and Solomon Ferguson families - unknown source

Fremont Baptist Church history part 2

Fremont Baptist church history part 3

NEW! Essentially the exact same data on Fremont Baptist Church History (2) from this source - Without knowing source of original "article" one would say this is nealy identical with extremely few differences.

List of Early members of Fremont Baptist Church

List of Early members of Fremont Baptist Church part 2

History of origin of Fremont and Cedar areas of Iowa where Fremont Baptist Church was located

Mahaska county Iowa 1850 census James Mcewen, Francis Mcewen, Solomon Ferguson - Township is not stated

James and Solomon in 1850 agricultural census returns  pt2

Solomon Furgeson and James McEwin (and Francis McEwen and John Fergusen) in 1851 Jefferson Township, Mahaska County, Iowa state census

James McCune and Solomon Furgurson in 1852 Cedar Township, Mahaska County, Iowa state census return

Ewin, James Mc and Salaman Ferguson in 1854 Cedar Township, Mahaska County, Iowa state census return - note William Champ!

Catherine Mcewen and Solomon Ferguson in 1856 Mahaska Co Iowa State census returns – Thanx Shelli!!

Solomon Ferguson family in 1856 Mahaska County, Iowa State census – VERY BIG versionThanx Shelli!!

Catherine McEwen in 1856 Mahaska County, Iowa State census VERY BIG versionThanx Shelli!!

Cedar Township, Mahaska county Iowa 1860 census Solomon Ferguson's family, also John Ferguson's family.

Solomon Ferguson in 1860 agricultural census returns  pt2

Cedar Township, Mahaska county 1860 census part 2 Francis Mcewen's family

Cedar Township, Mahaska county 1860 census part 3 Benjamin Ferguson’s family – probably not related based on Pa as birth location.

Cedar Township, Mahaska county 1860 census part 4 William McEwen's family

We have not located Catherine McEwen in the 1860 census as of 20 July 2003. It is known that she does not appear in Cedar township, Mahaska county Iowa's 1860 listings, yet she also doesn't seem to be in Lewis County Washington (Territory) either.

Solomon Ferguson in 1870 – transcription – Thanx Hal!!

Solomon and related families (J, JW and D Ferguson) in 1870 (actual images) – Thanx Shelli!!

Solomon in 1870 agricultural census returns  pt2

Cynthia and Solomon Tombstone pictures find-a-grave: Solomon Cynthia

J Furguson family in 1870

D Ferguson and J W Ferguson families in 1870

Catherine McEwen with daughter Melissa and her husband William Champ’s family in Lewis County Wa 1870 federal census

12 year old grandson Jackson S Champ listed as owning (did he answer census taker?) farm Catherine was living at in 1870 agricultural census - why would a 12 year old be listed as head of farm? Neighbors match federal census, no mistake in location.

Email indicating Catherine was not with Champ family in 1871 territorial census

Marriage cert Dec 1875 with Catherine as witness!  Another (darker) image - Thanx Shelli!!

Email indicating Catherine (Chambers) McEwen died in 1876 and is buried in Oakland cemetery - Thanx Shelli!!  July 10, 1942 Shelton-Mason Newspaper article   1937 Handwritten list of stones in Oakland cemetery - THANX Shelli!!

Information that Confirms both James' and Catherine (Chambers) McEwen's death dates - (17 May 03 still awaiting more detail as to source) There are several references to an 1854 Cholera epidemic in Iowa (including Mahaska) and speculation is that this is what caused James McEwen and several other family members' deaths in and around 1854 - Thanx Shelli!!

Email from Shelli from a newspaper article proving Catherine's death on 16 October 1876 of Heart Disease - aged 87 years. - Thanx Shelli!!

Catherine's new Tombstone - purchase coordinated by Shelli Steedman

Proof that Solomon Ferguson had moved to Winfield, Cowley county Kansas by 1875 -  Pt1 pt2

Solomon Ferguson and John Ferguson families in 1880

Solomon in 1880 Walnut township, Cowley county, Kansas agricultural census returns

Solomon Ferguson and John Ferguson land in 1882 Cowley County Atlas - Northeast of Winfield City, and just a bit Southwest from J. C. Bonnett land - from

Probably D Ferguson family in 1880 census difficult to read

1885 Solomon Ferguson A B - from

Nita Ferguson in 1900

D. W. Fergusen family in 1900

David W Fergusen family in 1910


Some additional links and emails of value:

Letter from Indiana to Jean Leighton re: Indiana counties - despite content in this letter, a search of the internet reveals this: Clifton, Indiana, United States is in Union County; location is 39°41'25"N 84°57'21"W - This information is based upon the US Geological Survey Place Names database. Interestingly, however, census returns show that in 1842, the Ferguson's didn't live in Union County anymore!  They lived in Decatur county.  And quite near their location in Decatur County there was a town called Clifty.  As mentioned in the letter.  It is more than probable that Clifty, close to the Ferguson's home in 1842 was the actual location of Amanda Melvina Ferguson's birth.

1895 Map of Indiana (very large)

email regarding Ferguson and McEwen families

2nd email regarding McEwen & Ferguson families

Email regarding McEwen book author

A McEwen researcher post on mcewen genforum


1) None of the above would have been possible without Jean Leighton's sharing of her decades of research. Likewise, gratitude is owed to Hal Beumer, Marilyn Pulliam, Shelli Steedman, and Norm Ferguson for their gracious sharing of many items above, or pointers to those items.

2) Austin Wheeler Smith's The Dickson-McEwen and Allied Families Genealogy: pp 214-235 is a must-have for researchers or descendants of this family.