When Jessie Todd , the first wife of James Murray Ferguson, died of typhoid, she left him with three young sons to raise. William was only a few months old the other two were 4 and 2 years old. A very early photo (below) of John with his Auntie Jessie Todd may well have been taken at the time of her funeral,
They were soon to be surrounded by siblings when their father remarried Helen Sinclair Malcolm form Newton Stewart in Galloway. Together they had another 8 children .
It can probably be assumed that Helen came from a wealthy family and they Fergusons moved into Malcolm Lodge.
Education was a prioirity andJames, John and William all went to school at the prestigious Ayr Academy.
Family stories have it that of the two older boys James (pictured left) was the more academic. He completed his education and was working as a Clerk by the time he was 17. He left Ayr for Manchester where he worked as a travelling salesman, a profession he continued when he emigrated to Adelaide Australia .