• Family Genealogy Research,  Ferguson,  Uncategorized

    James “Squire Jim” Ferguson’s Account of Their Trip to California

    Background We’ve all heard about Robert Andrew Ferguson’s exploits as a cowboy.  He helped tame the wild West, had more horses under brand than any man in the world, and was one of the wealthiest men in Hill County.  Before all of that, he was a young man in Gaston County, North Carolina when opportunity in the way of a gold rush in California came knocking.  Gold was discovered on January 24, 1848 at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California. The news of the discovery of gold was first announced in San Francisco by a newspaper publisher in March of 1848.  Evidently, he walked through the streets with a vial of gold…

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Ferguson

    Ferguson Men and the California Gold Rush – George P. Ferguson Account

    Background Four Ferguson men left Gaston County, NC for the California gold fields in 1849.  They were James “Squire Jim” Ferguson, his son William; Squire Jim’s nephew, Robert Andrew Ferguson, and Alfred Hall Ferguson, son of George W. Ferguson. The following was written by Alfred H. Ferguson’s brother George Porter Ferguson.  He lived in Hillsboro, Hill County, Texas for a number of years and certainly knew R.A. Ferguson as they did not live far apart.  It is interesting that George P. Ferguson states that his brother, Alfred, died in California.  This is not true.  Alfred remained in California until his death in January of 1909.  A quick search for our…

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Ferguson

    Robert Andrew Ferguson’s Buried Gold in Hill County, Texas

    Background I am thrilled that the Gaston Gazette published these stories about R.A. Ferguson.  However, I am not certain about the dates and all the details.  For example, in one of their articles, they have him heading to the gold fields of California before gold was discovered.  In another, they say he went with one companion when we know that he went with his uncle, Squire Jim Ferguson, Squire Jim’s son, and another cousin.  Still, the articles provide insight into what happened.  We need to piece all the facts and details together from all the articles if we are to have a clear picture of R.A.’s adventures. The Article Excerpt…

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Ferguson

    Robert Andrew Ferguson: Not a Common Man

    Background Following his death in March 1910, an article illustrating Robert Andrew Ferguson’s life appeared in the Gaston Gazette.  Some of the dates and timeline are incorrect, I believe, if you compare them to other documents we have.  Over all it is an amazing tribute fitting for an amazing life. The Article Published in the Gaston Gazette, Gaston, NC on Tuesday, April 12, 1910 NOT A COMMON MAN. Late R.A. Ferguson, Gaston County Man Who Recently Died in Texas, Was a Hero from His Youth – Caught Monkeys in South America and Mined Gold in California- Sketch of an Interesting Career. Some weeks ago the Gazette published an account of…

  • Family Genealogy Research,  Ferguson

    Robert Andrew Ferguson Dies In Texas: Gaston, NC Obituary

    Background R.A. Ferguson is kind of a big deal in our family.  I suppose that this is because he lived a larger-than-life sort of life.  Robert Andrew Ferguson was a cowboy in Texas before and after the Civil War.  He went on horse and cattle drives and is reported to have had more horses under brand than any man in the world.  His was the C-5 brand and we are all just a little bit proud of him for his accomplishments.  Lately, I have found documents that paint a clearer picture of him.  R.A. (Uncle Bob to many) had beautiful penmanship.  He was a good friend.  Grandpa Ferguson liked to…