General James Birdseye McPherson's Surname?


The McPherson family name, how do you say it? McFEARson or McFURson?

Well, that is the question? Many claim that it is McFURson, but still others say McFEARson.

Throughout the years there has been debate among some people of the correct pronunciation. After a long debate by some professionals in the Washington DC area, Dr. Richard Sommers, the leading Civil War expert at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania was asked for the final word on the General's name. He acknowledged the debate among many, but added, "There's no fear in McPherson." So it seems plausible this is why many say McFURson, though many people with the surname of McPherson pronounce it McFURson. On the other hand, some are still not convinced.

Growing up in Clyde, Ohio, during my early years, I always heard it pronounced McFEARson, but to my surprise when I started as the curator of the Clyde Museum I was informed that the name is pronounced, McFURson. So out of simple curiosity, I ask many when the subject arises of the General and his family, how do you pronounce his last name? The result seems to be half and half, many saying it with the "FUR" pronunciation and the other half with the "FEAR" pronunciation.

So again, what is the correct pronunciation? Well after much investigation, the concensus is that the correct pronunciation should be based upon the most common use. Because names evolve, most often people come to accept a popular pronunciation based on its most common use, no matter how different from the original it may be.

So what is the most common use, well, the verdict is still out on that one. Recently, a McPherson family descendant of the General's family was discovered, and he said, quote, "I and my family have always pronounced it Mc"Fur"son. Although others have pronounced it "Fear" and I certainly respond to it. I also see no difference between Mc and Mac - although my family, along with the General's have always been Mc's."

So, I have decided that since most families with the surname McPherson pronounces it McFURson, this curator will go with that pronunciation. After all, there is no official committee on the English language. Hoping this was informative for you, as much as it was with for me.

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Clyde Heritage League
P.O. Box 97
Clyde, Ohio 43410

CHL is dedicated to the preservation of the rich heritage and history of Clyde, Ohio.

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Clyde Museum Open!

Update: The museum has reopened for the 2020 season at our regular schedule. Our regular schedule will continue as Thursdays, 1:00-5:00 p.m., and Saturdays, 10:00-1:00 p.m.

The monthly programs for July-September remain canceled due to the continued restriction on mass gatherings exceeding groups of 10 or more.

There will be, however, mandatory requirements and guidelines that we are asking our patrons to abide by when they visit the museum:

1. The physical gift shop area will continue to be closed. We will, however, continue sales through our museum store on our website. The purchases will then be shipped to you by USPS flat rate mail, or you can call the museum and tell us what you are looking for, bring us your payment, and pick up curbside.
2. Due to the statewide mask order, all visitors, employees, and volunteers will be required to wear a mask while visiting the museum. You can bring your own or a new unused mask will be provided to you.
3. The first hour from 1-2 p.m. on Thursdays, and 10-11 a.m. on Saturdays will be specifically for our elder patrons (55 and older).
4. If you are sick or feeling symptomatic, then we ask that you stay at home and not visit the museum.
5. A maximum capacity of no more than 10 will be allowed in the museum at one time, and a mandatory distance of 6 ft. will be required at all times. If you are a family, then you are exempted and may remain together as a group.
6. We will place hand sanitizer in high traffic areas, stagger entry into different parts of the museum, disinfect high-contact surfaces hourly or as needed.

We know that these requirements and guidelines may seem a little burdensome but to stay in compliance so we can remain open, and for the sake of our patron's health and well-being, then we must put them in place and ask that they are followed. We are happy and excited for you to come and visit the museum.

Location Address:

The Clyde Museum

124 W Buckeye St.

Clyde, OH 43410

Hours: (As of July 2, 2020)

Thursdays 1:00-5:00 pm 
Saturdays 10:00 am-1:00 pm. 

You may contact us at:

419-547-7946 or email,

curator@clydemuseum.org

Curator: Gene Smith