The surname is common in Scotland, and in Ireland is almost entirely confined to Ulster because of the Scottish connection. It is particularly numerous in counties Antrim, Derry, Fermanagh and Down. Most Irish Fergusons claim descent from Fergus, prince of Galloway, who died in 1161, whose descendants included the Fergusons of Craigdarrach in Dumfriesshire, and of Atholl and Dunfallandy in Perthshire. The connection remains somewhat speculative, since the root of the name, the personal name Fergus, was common and widespread in medieval Scotland, and almost certainly gave rise to a large number of different families bearing the surname. Sir Samuel Ferguson (1810-86) was a precursor of the Irish Literary Revival, publishing many translations from Irish and versions of Irish myths, as well as contributing greatly to the scientific study of early Irish antiquities.