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Genealogy - Learning about my family

I have spent the last few weeks researching my family tree. There are various reasons why I had taken an interest in my roots but it all came down to the simple reason that I wanted to know more about where I came from. Through the joys of various websites I managed to encounter relatives living in Australia and was able to add detail which they had discovered. However, we had reached a problem when it came to my Great Grandfather Duncan Joseph Ferguson.

Tonight, I solved the mystery (or the lack of mystery it seemed). What follows is the short story I have generated on the family tree to add to Duncan's permanent record for other members of the family.

Until the 21st September 2014 it was thought that Duncan Joseph Ferguson had abandoned his family and the location of his death and burial were unknown.
The mystery continued until Duncan's granddaughter, Ann Marie Boyle (née Ferguson), recounted the story remembering that Duncan actually died in the family home located in the South Side of Glasgow in the area of Govanhill.

With this information Duncan's great grandson and his wife were able to locate the records of his birth and finally solve the mystery. After some research it was discovered that Duncan was born on 3rd of May 1887. His birth was registered in the District of Plantation in Glasgow. Despite being known as Duncan Joseph Ferguson, Duncan is in fact registered as Duncan Turner Fergus Ferguson. (The name Turner was at first odd until further investigation revealed that Duncan's Grandmother would have been a Turner herself and so the family name from the maternal side was passed on). It is unknown when, where and why Duncan started to use the middle name Joseph.

There are various records of Duncan working as a ship painter and several census records shows his birth in the Govan area and eventually moving to Bridgeton then back to Govan. At some point, either through his job or some other reason, Duncan finds himself living in Belfast where he meets his future wife Catherine McKeown. Duncan and Catherine go on to have four children - Francis, John, James and Catherine.

It would seem that Duncan and Catherine's marriage was not approved of by locals as a result of Duncan being Protestant and Catherine being Catholic. The story goes that in the middle of the night Duncan was visited by both the Protestant and Catholic communities and told to leave Ireland or they would be killed. This led Duncan to take his family and relocate to Scotland.
Although Duncan's grandchildren thought that he had left the family, the truth is that he died in the family home on the 1st of May 1946, 2 days before his 59th birthday. The record of death indicates that Duncan had been a house painter (obviously following on from his younger days as a ship painter), and he died of Lung Cancer.

I will add some more information on other family members if I find out anything interesting. Duncan interested me as he had been given a bit of a bad reputation, but as it turns out it seems he was just a straight forward honest working guy who sadly died too young.

Happy reading my friends,


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