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Fergus McDuck (1830 or 1835-1902), also known as "Papa McDuck", "Grandpa McDuck", or "Great-Grandpa McDuck", was an anthropomorphic duck. He was the maternal great-grandfather of Huey, Dewey and Louie Duck, the father-in-law of Quackmore Duck, the maternal grandfather of Donald Duck and Della Duck, the husband of Downy McDuck, and also the grandfather-in-law of Della's husband.
Fergus McDuck was born the son of Dingus McDuck and Molly Mallard, a couple that had another nine sons and one daughter. He was probably raised in Scotland and learned the miner's job from his father. His early life was a humble one, as his family was of noble ancestry but had declined in 1675.
His parents deceased probably before 1877 and in his adulthood he lived in a village near Glasgow, presumably in search of a job to sustain his family. He married the widow Downy O'Drake (1840-1897) and had at least three children, Scrooge, Matilda and Hortense, though various other accounts ascribe many other siblings to Scrooge.
As soon as Scrooge was old enough to work, Fergus asked him to become a street shoeshiner, advising him to work "smarter, not harder" to win more money, and working in backstage to make him become cautious in business affairs through tricking his old friend Burt, who was Scrooge's first client, into paying the young duck with a "worthless" American coin, which later became Scrooge's Number One Dime. Fergus's favorite job was bagpipe player, though, as this didn't pay well, he also worked in a factory. The very long period Scrooge spent around the world, Fergus missed him very much and he continue to take care of his family. In 1885 thanks to Scrooge regained possession of Castle McDuck, that was abandoned in 1675. In this circumstance encouraged his son to continue his research of wealth and to not give up. His wife passed away in 1897 (age 57) and Scrooge received the news in a letter. Fergus and his daughters were heartbroken.
Heartbroken after his wife's passing Fergus briefly remarried with an unnamed sister of Downy's between 1897 and 1902,. The pair had a son together named Rumpus, who later took on the surname McFowl. Fergus, in his old days, spent his time researching the secrets of Castle McDuck, including the location of the fabled treasure of the Knights Templar. In 1902 Scrooge returned in Scotland and again saw his father after years of traveling. Even though Scrooge wanted to unproot the family in the USA Fergus refused to leave but convinced the children to go anyway. That night he died in his sleep at age 67 or 72.
Behind the scenes
Though Scrooge's father first took a starring role in Zio Paperone e l'Oro del Klondike (though the 1968 strip Altar to Riches already mentioned Scrooge's father, and Carl Barks's first Duck Family Tree and Mark Worden's Duck Family Tree both featured a different character as Scrooge's father, Scotty McDuck), Fergus appeared in earnest in 1987 in Once Upon a Dime.
Prior to either, The Old Castle's Secret featured two portraits in Scrooge McDuck's house, which, although originally unlabelled, were later identified by Johannes A. Grote's Duck Family Tree as Scrooge's parents, and, indeed, do resemble Fergus and Downy as shown in DuckTales and in Don Rosa's works.
- Don Messick (Once Upon a Dime)
- Graham McTavish (DuckTales 2017, actually an alternate version of the character)
Notes and References
- Fergus mentions in Dreamtime Duck of the Never Never that he and Jake never left Scotland