McDonald Family Tree
In memory of my grandmother
(Mabel) June McDonald
1917 - 2004
William McDonald of Argylshire sailed from Scotland to Georgia with his 16 year old younger brother John in about 1752. The brothers eventually went their own ways: William headed for New York State and was never heard of again. John settled in Virginia, and is the oldest McDonald we have been able to trace in our line.
The following information is based on a family history written in 1906 by Robert B. McDonald (b. 20 Jul 1832), grandson of John McDonald. Additional information was found in letters written in 1909 and 1910 by James M. McDonald (b. 1842), great grandson of John, to his cousin George M. McDonald (b. 26 Feb 1857), another great grandson of John. I have started looking for tombstone inscriptions and census data to verify all this, but it is a large family and will require a lot of work - particularly since I live in Belgium.
If anyone reading this has common interests, I would be delighted to hear from you. (email address at bottom of page.)
FIRST GENERATION: John McDonald of Argylshire 1736-1811
Some time after arriving from Scotland John McDonald settled in Botetourt County, Virginia. There he married a Miss Schuyler and raised a daughter and several sons, all born in Botetourt County.
- Robert B. says John had five sons of which he could only name four: Thomas, James, John, George.
- James M. says there were seven sons and names them: Thomas, James, John, George all agree with Robert's account, plus Samuel, Schuyler and Duncan.
- An 1883 family biography believed to be by George G. McDonald (1803-1883, son of James) is the only one to mention John's eldest son, Maudlin, and mentions sons Samuel and Schuyler, but not Duncan. (With thanks to Donna Young.)
- To date, I have found records of all except Maudlin and Duncan.
Children of John McDonald of Scotland:
- Maudlin McDonald - died young, in Tennessee
- Thomas C. McDonald, born 23 Sep 1774 - moved to Tennessee with his father and later moved to Ohio settling first in Ross County and later Union. Was a soldier in the war of 1812; assisted Gen. Massey in laying out the city of Chillicothe, and ended his days as a farmer owning 1,300 acres of land. Married Charity Teter (Teeters) and had 13 children: Mary, John, Elizabeth "Betsy", Polly, Susan, Nancy, Samuel, James, Charity, George, Duncan (b. 1818), Julia, Angeline. Thomas McDonald died 26 Mar 1855 aged 85.
- James C. McDonald, born 23 Sep 1776 - moved to Tennessee with his father, married Mary Ann Melvin, settled in Madison County, Ohio and had 7 surviving children: Mary b. 1801, George b. 1803, Phebe b. 1805, Elizabeth b. 1808, Charity b. 1811, John b. 1814, Malay b. 16 May 1823. See separate page for James McDonald.
- John II McDonald, born 29 Jul 1778 - see below for more details.
- Samuel McDonald - lived near his brother George in Chambers Township, St. Clair County Illinois and died there. Listed living there in the 1820 Federal Census of Illinois, age 25 to 44 (born between 1775 and 1795); his household also had a woman of the same age, two boys age 10-15, three girls under 10 and one girl age 10-15; his occupation was in agriculture. There was also one "free male negro", age 26 to 44.
- Elizabeth "Betsy" Ann McDonald, born 18 Aug 1780 - married on 4 Jan 1794 in Sullivan County, Tennessee to Rev. Peter Foust, who was born 21 Jun 1776 in Germany. They had fourteen children: John B., Philip E., Polly, Samuel, David, Sally, William G. b.c. 1809 (methodist minister), James K. b.c. 1811 (Farmer), Elizabeth M., Nancy, Annie, Rachel, Thomas McDonald b.c. 1823 (married Elizabeth), Rebecca H. Betsy and Peter lived in Sullivan County for the birth of the first 7 children, then Smith County, Tennessee where the next five children were born (James to Rachel), before finally moving to Blount County, Alabama where the last two children were born. Betsy died there on 28 Feb 1849.
- George McDonald, born about 1780 - moved to Tennessee with his father and later settled in Chambers township near Alton, Illinois where he had a family. Died in St. Clair County, Illinois aged about 70. Listed living in Chambers township, St. Clair County in the 1820 Federal Census of Illinois, age 25 to 44 (born between 1775 and 1795); his household included four boys and two girls under the age of 10, two boys and one girl age 10-15, one girl 16-25, one woman 25-44 and another over the age of 45; he was engaged in agriculture.
- Schuyler McDonald, born after 1775 - was recorded in the 1820 census aged 26 to 45 living in Union, Madison County, Ohio with a wife and six children. His wife probably died shorthly after as "Skular McDonald" married Ms. Millo Moore on 7 Mar 1822. Schuyler died of "milk sickness" c. 1825 but his farm in Fairfield township continued to be known for many years as the "Schueler McDonald farm". His widow in turn remarried as Ms. Milia McDonald to Henry Roby on 5 Dec 1826. Millie McDonald and Henry Robey (spelling!) moved to Hardin County, Ohio and went on to have four children: Hezekiah, Henry , Nelson and Millie Robey.
- Duncan McDonald - details unknown.
After the death of his wife John left Virginia about 1785 and joined the wagon trail West with his children. He bought The Old Daniel Boone Farm on the Tennessee River and stayed there until about 1805 when the children were grown up. Although his wife was a Presbyterian, it seems likely that John himself was a Methodist, because several of his children were very devout Methodists. His son John II became a Methodist preacher, while daughter Betsy married a Methodist preacher and most of her sons also became Methodist preachers.
In about 1805, when John I was almost seventy, he sold the farm and hit the wagon trail again together with his sons James and John II, this time to Ohio. (Some or all of his other children may also have travelled with him; it seems likely Thomas travelled to Ohio at the same time.) The family finally settled on The Glade in Madison County, Ohio in April 1807. John I died there in March 1811 surrounded by children and grandchildren, and was the first person to be buried in the new McDonald Cemetery in the Upper Glade, Deer Creek. His headstone suggests he was born in November 1736, and reads:
John McDONALD, Sen
died March 1811
SECOND GENERATION: John McDonald II of Virginia/Tennessee/Ohio 1778-1853
John II McDonald was born 29 Jul 1778 in Botetourt County, Virginia. He moved to Tennessee with his father and siblings about 1785 after the death of his mother. (One letter says he was born in Washington County, Tennessee, but this is in conflict with earlier information that his mother died in Virginia - and in the 1850 census he lists his own birthplace as Virginia.) Reports from Ohio suggested land was even more fertile there than in the Tennessee River Valley, and about 1805 John II helped his aged father to sell the farm and move to Ohio.
The Bureau of Land Management's searchable Land Office Records database has John II's original land warrant by which he purchased his first land in Ohio. It covered 300 acres "on the waters of Indian Creek, a branch of the Scioto River". The land survey was carried out on 1 Aug 1799, and signed by John Adams, President of the United States, on 20 Jan 1801. It was delivered on 6 Feb 1805.
Settling in Madison County in 1807, John II was one of the early settlers and was able to buy land cheap. He bought 2,000 acres in all, for 50 cents to $1.25 an acre and later sold or gave away all but 500 which he and his sons cleared and built a farm on. He prospered and was generous with his land: he donated an acre to build a church, two acres for a graveyard (where he buried his father in 1811), and also land to build a school house. Having formed the first Methodist Society in that part of the country he was Class Leader for the Glade Run and Deer Creek settlements. In 1823 he built the first brick house in the area - I believe in Deer Creek.
John had a total of four wives who bore him seventeen children. All his children by his first wife were born in Tennessee, the rest were born in Madison county, Ohio and were educated in the old log school house which John II had provided land for. It is interesting to note that when John II married his last wife, Mariah Boyd, he was only a couple of months shy of his 50th birthday, while she was 20 years old. However, he went on to have another eleven children by Mariah, fathering his last child at the age of seventy two!
- First wife of John II, Mary E.Melvin, born 1780 Jefferson County, Virginia and died in Ohio in 1823. Three children:
- Elizabeth "Betsy" McDonald, born 5 Sep 1799 (probably Tennessee) - married Samuel Taylor Pearce (Pearse/Pierce) 2 Jun 1825 and had 10 children. Lived in Madison County, Ohio with several of her children including Thomas Pierce (Civil War veteran, Co. A, 40th Ohio Voluntary Infantry) and his sister Mary Pierce Gregg. Died 1 Dec 1848; buried with her husband, children and husband's second wife Mary in Oak Hill Cemetery, London, Madison County.
& second wife:
- Thomas McDonald, born 15 Oct 1801 in Tennessee - came to live in Deer Creek, Madison County, Ohio as a seven year old boy. Married Miss Simpkins of Ohio there and had two children by her, including Jane who married Samuel Adair and lived in California. After the death of his first wife he remarried to Rebecca J. Erwin (born and raised in Newark, Licking County, Ohio) and had a further six children, all born in Madison County, Ohio. Children: unknown eldest, John (b. 1 Oct 1837), Wesley (b. c.1840), Margaret (b. c. 1843), Louisa (b. c. 1845), Lonidas (b. c. 1849). Lived in Deer Creek at the time of the 1840 census with a wife and the three oldest children. Moved to Santa Anna, Dewitt County, Illinois: listed there in the 1860 census (below) as a farmer with wife Rebecca (45) and the three youngest children: daughters Margaret and Louisa (age 17 and 15) and son Lonidas (11). Later recorded in Farmer City (see 1870 and 1880 census with wife Rebecca and daughter Louiza) and farmed there until he died on 16 Jun 1888. (See a biography of his son John McDonald, b. 1837 for more details). His wife, Rebecca J. died 13 Oct 1898 aged 83 years, 8 months (born c. Feb 1815) and was buried in the City Cemetery, Farmer City, DeWitt County, Illinois. Son John married Mary E. Johnson on 24 Feb 1859 (b. 12 Jun 1843 Rutledge Township, Illinois), 4 children: Lorena "Laura" (b. 1860, d. before 1863), Stella (d. 1863), Zua, Addie. John worked as a painter and decorator, then set up his own florist business with a large heated greenhouse; listed on same page below father in 1860 Federal Census of Santa Anna, DeWitt County, Illinois with wife and daughter Lorena. Same 1860 census lists son Wesley (age 20) with wife Isabel J. (age 18) and daughter Effa Adella (age 1 month). Daughter Margaret married Mr. Welsh. Daughter Louiza married William L., an Englishman (see 1880 census).
- John III McDonald, born 27 Dec 1803 in Tennessee, lived in Madison County, Ohio - see separate page for details of John III and descendants.
- Second wife died within seven or eight months of marriage, no children.
- Third wife was Ann Eliza "Betsey" Byers, sister to Moses W. Byers. Married 22 Mar 1825 in Madison County, Ohio, she died about a year after the birth of her twins William and Mary at the age of 21 years 11 months and lies buried in the McDonald Cemetery, Upper Glade, Deer Creek.
- James Byers McDonald, born 3 Feb 1826 - married Lucilla C. (within a year of the 1850 census) and lived in Deer Creek, Madison County where they had several children. On 14 Jul 1860, at the time of the 1860 Federal Census of Deer Creek, their children were Louis J. (8), Lamar (5) and Emma (2). Lamarr later went to live in Creston, Iowa. James died in 1902 in Madison County; Lucilla died there in 1920.
James and Lucilla are buried in Oak Hill Cemetery, London, Madison County.
- William McDonald, born 24 Feb 1827 - twin with Mary. My great great great grandfather - see below for details.
- Mary McDonald, born 24 Feb 1827 - twin with William. Married Andrew Rubert 11 May 1848 and lived in Union township, Madison County with Mary's aged uncle, James McDonald. Mary died in 1859 with only one daughter we know of (Elizabeth, born c. 1852 - see 1860 census with father Andrew).
- Fourth wife, Mariah Boyd was born 22 Feb 1808 in Ohio and married 19 May 1828 in Madison County, Ohio. She died 12 Dec 1893 in Kellerton, Iowa and lies buried near Kellerton in Maple Row Cemetery, Ringgold County, Iowa.
- Infant daughter, died 30 Aug 1830 - buried in Upper Glade Cemetery, Deer Creek
- Robert B. McDonald, born 20 Jul 1832 - married in 1853 in Iowa to Ellen Nassaman. They were both German Baptists and were married for 49 years, until her death. Lived in Pleasant, Lucas County, Iowa. Had 16 children of which 8 died young. The seven still living in 1906 were: John W., James B., Frank M., David M., Larasy, Ida, Theodosia.
- John "George" McDonald, born 4 May 1834 - moved with his mother and family to Dewitt County, Illinois on his father's death. In 1862 enlisted in 41st Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Company F. Married Canadian-born Harriet Gates of Chicago in Sep 1865 and went to live as a farmer in Bloomington, Decatur County, Iowa where he was at the time of the 1880 census (page 287B) with wife Harriet (age 40) and son Claude (age 7). His mother, Mariah Boyd McDonald (age 72), and nephew George M. McDonald (23 year old son of his half brother William) lived with him. Later lived in kellerton, Ringgold County, Iowa and died there 26 Jul 1902. He was buried in Maple Row Cemetery, Athens township, Kellerton, Ringgold County, Iowa with G.A.R. honours.
- Samuel "Sam" McDonald, born 9 Jul 1836 - Had children, some lived in Colorado.
- Infant daughter, died 13 Mar 1838 - buried in Upper Glade Cemetery, Deer Creek
- Martha Ann McDonald, born 19 Mar 1839 - died 4 Oct 1841 aged 2 yrs, 6mo, 15 days.
- Barbara "Barby" Jane McDonald, born 2 Feb 1841 - as a teenager lived next door to her parents with her older half-brother John III and family (see 1860 Census of Deer Creek, age 19). Married Isaiah Bennet of Kansas, had only one boy. Died c. 1890.
- (Lucy) Catherine McDonald, born 28 Mar 1842 - married Henry Moore, died in Iowa.
- Charity McDonald, born 19 Dec 1844 - married Joseph Johnson, had children in Mercer County, MO including a daughter Eliza Johnson Hall.
- Eliza McDonald, born 2 Dec 1846 - deaf and dumb, no children.
- Malinda Mariah McDonald, born 12 Aug 1850 - Married Michael Sanders and went to live in Iowa where both children were born: Walter S. (b. c. 1869) and Norma (b. c. 1874). At the time of the 1870 census the couple lived in Wayne County, Iowa with her widowed mother; by the 1880 census the family was living in Hutchinson, Reno, Kansas. They later moved to 3117 Altura Street, Los Angeles, California.
The 1820 Federal Census for Deer Creek shows John II and his family by his first wife, just three years before her death. John is listed as living with two white males and three white females. The ages are all consistent with his family: sons John (16) and Thomas (18), wife Mary (41), daughter Betsy (21) plus an unidentified girl aged 10 to 16 years old. Two people are listed as engaged in agriculture.
Ten years later, the 1830 Federal Census of Deer Creek shows John II living with his expectant young wife, Mariah Boyd - his fourth. John II (shown here as John Sr.) has five unidentified young men in his household in addition to the two toddlers by his late third wife - James Byers (b. 1826) and William (b. 1827). There is also an unknown 10-15 year old girl at home with Mariah, alongside William's little twin sister, Mary (b. 1827). John III is listed as John Jr., living next door to his father with his wife Sallie (b. 1805) and their two young sons John Wilson McDonald (b. 1824) and Thomas McDonald (b. 1827).
NAME MALES FEMALES Head
McDonald, John Sr. 2 2 2 1 . . . 1 1 . 1 . 1 . . . McDonald, John Jr. 2 . . . 1 . . . . . . . 1 . . .
The 1850 Federal Census for Deer Creek has John II living with his fourth wife, Mariah, and all their children except Martha Ann and their infant son and daughter who were buried in the McDonald Cemetery, Upper Glade, Deer Creek. His son William McDonald (by his third wife) was also living with them.
Like his father, John II McDonald died at the age of 74 and was laid to rest in the McDonald Cemetery, Upper Glade, Deer Creek. His headstone reads:
d. Jan. 17, 1853
74y 5m 19d
After John's death, Mariah moved her family to DeWitt County, Illinois (see the obituary of George McDonald, her son). They stayed in Illinois for about ten years, until the Civil War when several members of the family enlisted. It is fair to say the whole McDonald family felt strongly about the slavery issue: they did not own any slaves (I found only "free negroes" in the early censuses) and when the war arrived they enlisted en masse, all for the Union side:
- George McDonald (Nov 1845 - 23 Sep 1865), son of James C. McDonald's son Malay McDonald: Iowa Cavalry, Company G. Died of wounds aged 19 years, 9 months, 25 days.
- Thomas Pierce, son of John II McDonald's daughter Betsy McDonald: 40th Ohio Voluntary Infantry, Company A. Survived the war.
- John "George" McDonald (4 May 1834 - 26 Jul 1902), son of John II McDonald and fourth wife Mariah Boyd: Joined 41st Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Company F as a seargeant. Enlisted for three years in Decatur, IL on 7 Aug 1861 and was mustered in the same day at Decatur. He served the full three year term including the Battle of Shiloh and was mustered out on 20 Aug 1864 at Springfield, IL by LT Sumner. His registration details confirm that he was born in Madison Co., OH, he was 24 years old, 5'8.5", of light complexion with blue eyes and light hair, married, farmer, with residence in Clinton, Dewitt Co., IL.
- William McDonald (24 Feb 1827 - 11 Feb 1863), son of John II McDonald: 34th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Company I. Enlisted 1862, died of disease 1863.
- John McDonald (b. 1 Oct 1837), son of John II McDonald's son Thomas McDonald: Sergeant in 41st Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Company F, under Col. I.C. Pugh. Wounded twice in the leg, first at Pittsburg landing and again at Jackson, Miss. Honorably discharged at Springfield, Ill. on 20 Aug 1864 and returned home by train to a hero's welcome (see September 1, 1864 Civil War News).
- Wesley E. McDonald (b. c. 1840), son of John II McDonald's son Thomas McDonald: signed up for three years on 2 Aug, 1862 at St. Anna, IL. Mustered in as CPL in 107 Illinois Infantry, Company I at Springfield, IL on 4 Sep 1862; mustered out as sergeant on 21 Jun 1865 by CPT Briscoe at Salisbury, NC. Sign up record describes him as 22 years old, born in Madison County, OH, height 5'10", light hair blue eyes, fair complexion, married, occupation farmer, residence Santa Anna, Dewitt Co., IL.
- Nathan C. Vickers (1821 - 1919), husband of Sarah Ann McDonald (who was the daughter of John II McDonald's son John III McDonald): 113th Ohio Voluntary Infantry Regiment. Resigned in 1863 after being injured in the arm.
After the war, Mariah moved to Iowa. Most of her children ended up in Iowa, but the timing of her move appears to coincide with bereavements in two of the Iowa McDonald families as a result of the Civil War. In 1870, at the time of the Federal Census, Mariah was living in Wayne County, Iowa with her youngest daughter, Malinda Mariah (McDonald) Sanders and family. A decade later, Malinda and family had moved on to Hutchinson, Reno County, Kansas, but Mariah remained in Iowa: by the 1880 Federal Census she was living with her veteran son John "George" McDonald in Bloomington, Decatur County, Iowa. Also staying with them was his young nephew George M. McDonald, half-orphaned son of the Civil War soldier William McDonald. William's remaining two sons, Albert T. McDonald and John W. McDonald were living next door.
Mariah (Boyd) McDonald died in Kellerton, Ringgold County, Iowa and was buried in the South East corner of Kellerton in Maple Row Cemetery, Athens Township, Ringgold County, Iowa in a family plot with her nephew Malay McDonald, James C. McDonald's youngest son.
Handwritten old list of dates for the family of John II McDonald.
Source: Robert B. McDonald (b. 20 Jul 1832), son of John II McDonald,
enclosed in a letter written by him in 1906.
Note: James McDonald's burial inscription and age in 1850 census suggest he was born in 1776. We therefore believe that John II McDonald was actually born in 1778.
THIRD GENERATION: William McDonald of Ohio/Iowa 1827-1863
William McDonald was born in Madison County, Ohio on 24 Feb 1827 to John II McDonald and his third wife, Betsy Byers. He was a twin to Mary McDonald, and young half-brother to John III. He was also my great great great grandfather. After the death of his mother when he was about one year old he was cared for by his half-brother John III for a couple of years until his father John II remarried (19 May 1828), and then raised by his father and step mother Mariah Boyd. At the end of 1850 William and his cousin Malay McDonald (son of James McDonald, 1776-1850) moved to Iowa where they were pioneer farmers. In 1853 he married Naomi J. Montgomery, a fellow native of Ohio, and they settled in Bloomington Township, Decatur County, Iowa where they raised their family. William's cousin Malay also settled in Bloomington.
William and Naomi had four sons:
- Albert T. McDonald, born 4 Jan 1854 in Muscatine, Iowa - my great great grandfather, see below.
- George M. McDonald, born 26 Feb 1857 in Decatur County, Iowa - see below.
- Alexander McDonald, born 1860 - died in infancy
- John W. McDonald, born 7 Jul 1862 near Kellerton, Decatur County, Iowa - see below.
Page 360 of the 1856 State Census of Iowa shows William as a farmer in Bloomington, a naturalised voter, military and land owner. The household included a 15 year old Ohio-born girl, G.C. McDonald, presumably helping Naomi with her young family. She may have been Malay's daughter, or possibly the daughter of one of William's brothers, e.g. Thomas McDonald (b. 15 Oct 1801). William's cousin Malay is listed on page 366 with his wife and three children.
- Wm McDonald, age 28, male, married, born OH, 5 years in IA.
- N.J. McDonald, age 25, female, married, born OH, 12 years in IA.
- T.A. McDonald, age 3, male, born IA, 2 years in IA.
- G.C. McDonald, age 15, female, born OH, 2 years in IA.
The 1860 Federal Census of Bloomington, Decatur County, Iowa shows William as quite a prosperous farmer owning $ 4,900 of real estate and $ 500 of personal wealth. His family had now grown to:
- Wm McDonald, age 32, male, born OH
- Naoma McDonald, age 29, female, born OH
- Albert T. McDonald, age 6, male, born IA, attending school
- George M. McDonald, age 3, male, born IA
- Alexander McDonald, age 4 months, male, born IA
William enlisted in the Civil War in August 1862, a month after the birth of his fourth child. He was mustered as a private in October of that year but sadly served less than four months as he was admitted to hospital and died there in February 1863 of disease contracted during the war. [Note: some records say he died 6th February, others say 11th February]. He lies buried in Alton National Cemetery, section B, site 18. The official records for William include a typographical error in his age: at enlistment it is given as 24, giving him a birth date of 1838 instead of 1827.
ROSTER and RECORD
of IOWA SOLDIERS
in the War of the Rebellion
1861 - 1866
(publ. 1908 by Emory H. English,
Des Moines, State Printer.)
Residence Decatur, nativity Ohio.
Enlisted Aug. 15, 1862.
Mustered Oct. 15, 1862.
Died of disease Feb. 11, 1863, Alton, Ill.
Buried in National Cemetery, Alton, Ill.
Original 1860's photograph of Civil War Ambulances
For an example of the intense action seen by the 34th regiment, it is worth looking at Andrew Jackson Summers' military record (a veteran of the same regiment). The combination of exhaustion together with inadequate winter clothing, nutrition and medical care took a far greater toll on the troops than the fighting itself. Of the 258 men lost by the 34th Regiment Iowa Infantry, the casualties were:
- 1 Officer and 11 Enlisted men killed or mortally wounded during service;
- 2 Officers and 244 Enlisted men killed by disease.
William's widow Naomi remarried several years later to R.P. Lillie, another Ohio-born farmer in Bloomington Township, and they had a daughter, Mary Myrtle Lillie born c. 1873. In a 1904 biography, Naomi's son John W. McDonald mentions that he has a married sister, Mrs. Mary Lilly, which George M. McDonald refers to as his half sister. Naomi's second husband, R.P. Lillie, already had grown up children by an earlier wife and the family appear together in the 1880 Federal Census of Bloomington (page 290D):
age birthplace occupation father's
R.P. Lillie self married 57 OH Farmer --- --- N.J. Lillie wife married 49 OH Keeps House MD PA L.D. Lillie son widower 29 OH Farmer OH OH J.W. Lillie son single 24 OH Farm Laborer OH OH Mary Myrtle Lillie daughter single 7 IA At Home OH OH
R.P. Lillie (4 Apr 1823 - 22 Jul 1899) is buried with his son Lorenzo D. Lillie (1849 - 1936) in Maple Row Cemetery, Kellerton, Athens Township, Ringgold County, Iowa. Widowed for a second time, Naomi moved with her daughter Mary Myrtle to Washington state, where her three sons were living. Naomi died in Washington on 6 Apr 1905 (see Obituary).
FOURTH GENERATION: Children of William McDonald:
Albert T. (1854), George M. (1857) and John W. McDonald (1862)
Albert Thomas McDonald (4 Jan 1854 - 11 Jul 1933)
My great great grandfather, Albert T. McDonald, was born in Muscatine, Iowa and married a native of Illinois, Mariah "Marie" Ferguson in 1875 in Decatur, Iowa. By the time of the 1880 Federal Census of Bloomington Township, Decatur County, Iowa, Albert and his young wife Maria had set up their own household. They did not have any children yet (after five years of marriage), but Albert's younger brother John was staying with them.
age birthplace occupation father's
Albert T. McDonald self married 24 IA Farm Laborer OH OH Maria McDonald wife married 22 IL Keeps House IL IL John McDonald brother single 19 IA Farm Laborer OH OH
Some time later Albert moved to Kansas, presumably to be with his two brothers, George M. and John W. McDonald, who moved there in 1881. All Albert and Maria's children were born in Kansas, but they soon moved on to Washington state: after a short time in Lane County, Washington they finally settled in Coulee City, Grant County, Washington in 1896.
Albert T. McDonald
Albert's wife Mariah was born 30 Mar 1857 and died aged 46 on 24 Jan 1904. She was laid to rest just West of Coulee City in Highland Cemetery, Baird, Douglas County, Washington. Albert remarried on New Year's day, 1908 to his second wife Mary F. Rose. She had also previously been married and had a daughter of her own, May Rose. Albert died in Almira, Lincoln County, Washington on 11 Jul 1933 survived by Mary and was buried with his first wife in Highland Cemetery.
1908 Marriage certificate - original and later copy
Albert and Marie had four sons and three daughters, so far I have found:
1. Alva "Lenny" Leonard McDonald - born 1880, married Minnie Noble on 5 Oct 1899 in Coulee City, Douglas County, Washington and lived there with his wife and two daughters, Pearl and Emma. Died 19 Apr 1958 in Spokane, WA and was buried 22 Apr 1958 in Highland Cemetery, Baird, Douglas County, WA. Minnie was also born 1880, died 1954 and was buried 7 Jul 1954 in Highland Cemetery.
1899 Marriage certificate
Alva Leonard McDonald
and Minnie Noble
2. George R. McDonald - my great grandfather. Born 18 Mar 1890 in Kansas, lived in Almira, Lincoln County, WA where he owned and ran the general store and hotel. On 29 Nov 1911 married 18 year old Evalyn Kay Jones (born 19 Mar 1893 in Ohio) and had three children (see 1920 census). George died in Spokane on 24 Jul 1945 at the age of 55 after a long battle with cancer and was buried in Almira Cemetery, Almira, Lincoln County, Washington (see obituary). Evalyn lived to be 84 years old. Having survived eight heart attacks, she succumbed to her ninth and died 8 Jan 1978 in Spokane. She is buried with George and their son James.
- Ellsworth Harold McDonald - born 8 Oct 1912 in California, lived in Spokane, Washington and died there in August 1986 (SSN 560-28-6907). Married Doris E. Sanderson on 9 May 1937 in Almira, Lincoln County, WA. Had two sons, one lived in Seattle and one in Spokane.
- James Dean McDonald - born 1916, died as an infant on 20 Oct 1916 in Lincoln County, WA.
- Mabel June McDonald - my grandmother. Born 1917, married Jesse "Don" Donard Adams on 13 Sep 1936. Died 22 Feb 2004 in Oakland, California at the age of 87.
1911 Marriage certificate
George R. McDonald
and Evalyn Jones
1936 Marriage certificate & transcript
June McDonald and
Jesse Donard Adams
1937 Marriage certificate
Ellsworth H. McDonald
and Doris Sanderson
1935 Graduation Photo
3. Oliver P. McDonald - born 17 Aug 1892, died aged 12 on 25 Nov 1904, buried in Highland Cemetery. 4. Zella E. McDonald - born 1895 in Kansas, twin of Zelma, married Roy A. Wilcox 22 Jul 1913 in Coulee City, Grant County, WA with her brothers Lenny and George as witnesses. Lived in Washington State. She died in 1966, buried at Sunset Hills Memorial Park, Bellevue, King County, Washington.
1913 Marriage certificate
and Roy A. Wilcox
5. Zelma E. McDonald - born 1895 in Dayton, Kansas, twin of Zella. At the age of fifteen, married 22 year old Jesse Noble on 31 May 1910 in Coulee City, Grant County, WA. He was born 9 Apr 1888 in Blue Town, Iowa, son of Mark Noble and Elizabeth (Barrow) Noble (see 1904 biography). Zelma and Jesse lived in Washington state where they raised two daughters:
- Myrtle Noble - married Edmond M. Early of Los Angeles County, California on 18 Nov 1933 with her mother and father, Zelma and Jesse Noble, as witnesses.
- Thelma Noble - married J.A.Wyndham Early of Grand Coulee on 22 Dec 1938, witnessed by both parents.
Jesse died 11 Aug 1948 and was buried in Highland Cemetery, Baird, Douglas County, Washington with his parents. His father, Mark Noble, was born 9 May 1852, died 21 Dec 1928 (buried 23 Dec 1928); his mother, Elizabeth (Barrow) Noble was born 29 Jan 1856, died 11 Jan 1933. Other members of the Noble family also buried there are: George (d. 13 Apr 1898 age 22y, 1m, 8 days), Lorena (b. Jul 1914, d. Jun 1960, buried 21 Jun 1960, wed Carl), Mark C. (b. 1882, d. 1967), Maude (b. 880, d. 1940).
1910 Marriage certificate & return
and Jesse Noble
1933 Marriage certificate
Myrtle Noble and
Edmond M. Early
1938 Marriage certificate
Thelma Noble and
The 1910 Federal Census of Coulee City, Grant County, Washington shows Albert and family with his second wife, Mary. The census was taken on 28 May 1910, just three days before fifteen year old Zelma married Jesse Noble.
George M. McDonald (26 Feb 1857 - 18 Sep 1937)
George M. McDonald was born in Decatur County, Iowa and at the age of 23 is listed in the Federal Census of Bloomington, Decatur County, Iowa, working as a farm laborer while living on his uncle George McDonald's farm (his uncle George was a son of Mariah Boyd McDonald). In 1881 he moved to Harrington, Kansas where he ran a livery business for two years. On selling the business he travelled and worked in miscellaneuos jobs until settling in Medical Lake, Washington in 1887. In 1888 he went to work in the building trade in Spokane, Washington and there he witnessed the Great Fire of 1889. In that year he moved to Almira and started a lumber yard and feed store with his brother John W. McDonald. A year later he moved on to Coulee City to open a similar store there, which expanded into a general store, described in his 1904 biography as "second to none in the county" (see the Illustrated History of the Big Bend Country on the McDonald biographies page).
George M. McDonald
On 29 Nov 1899, at the age of 42, George married 23 year old Josephine "Josie" Bonner in Spokane County, Washington. She was born in Fargo, North Dakota, daughter of Pelo M. Bonner and Margaret Wheland and had been married previously. They lived in Coulee City, Grant County, Washington. Unable to have children they adopted a daughter, Beulah D. McDonald, born 26 May 1900.
At the time of the 1910 census, Beulah was living with her adoptive parents in Coulee City: she was 9 years old, Washington born, natural father born in Iowa and mother in North Dakota - like her adoptive mother. According to the census, Josie had 1 child born, still living: we'll probably never know if she had another child raised elsewhere, or if she was referring to Beulah as her child.
10 May 1923
and Lloyd C. Grenell
2 Dec 1931
and Hugh McDonald
In 1901 just after getting married George wanted to know more about his family roots and wrote to his cousin James M. McDonald, son of John III. James's letters provided a lot of the information for this family history.
In James's letter of Dec 20 1909 to George he says
My wife and I visited your Mother [Naomi Montgomery] several years ago. She was living at Kellerton. I put a few shingles on her house, so you will know when I was there.
My father and your father were half Brothers. My father was John McDonald the youngest of Grand Father's first wife, and she died in 1823. Your father [William] and Uncle James [Byers McDonald] was the children of the third Wife, your Father was a twin with Aunt Mary Rubert, she died in 1859. Uncle Robert, George and Sam were boys of the fourth Wife, the second had no family and died soon, seven or eight months after they were married. There was 18 children in all. [we now know of 17, presumably the last died in infancy] There were six boys and five girls in my Family. I have three sisters living, two in Ohio and one lives just across the street from me, here in Creston. My sister Mary is 77. My sister Sarah living here is 75 and I am 67, so you see we are few and getting old. My father died in 1883 at the age of 80 years. I kept the home after Mother died until 1885, then I came to Iowa.
Remember me to your Wife, and write to me and let us get acquainted.
George's business flourished and he died a wealthy man on 18 Sep 1937. George is buried in Hartline Cemetery in Hartline, Grant County, Washington.
John W. McDonald (7 Jul 1862 - 10 Oct 1954)
John W. McDonald was born near Kellerton, Decatur County, Iowa and moved to Kansas with his older brother George M. around 1881 where they ran a livery stable together. John branched out and opened a drug store which he ran for five years until joining his brother George in Medical Lake, Washington in 1888. He worked in the construction business and helped rebuild Spokane after the fire of 1889. John was also a successful man: he ran a prosperous grain and implement business in Hartline, Grant County, Washington and established and was president of the bank there. John married Ella Hagey on 9 Aug 1894 in Spokane and their children were:
- Clive W. McDonald - born 7 Jul 1895, married Miriam M. Diggs of Los Angeles, California on 28 Aug 1930 in Whatcom County, Washington. Died 2 Apr 1978 in Seattle, Washington. (SSN 531-10-4579)
- Darrel W. McDonald - born 15 Sep 1900, died May 1984 Seattle, Washington (SSN 534-03-6105), buried at Sunset Hills Memorial park, Bellevue, King County, Washington.
John was also a member of the A.F. & A.M. He died in Seattle, King County, Washington on 10 Oct 1954 at the age of 92.
1930 Marriage Licence of Clive W. McDonald to Miriam M. Diggs.
Clive's best man was his brother, Darrel W. McDonald.
The bridesmaid was Helen C. McDonald, relationship as yet unknown.
Obituary in the Coulee News & Hartline Standard, April 6, 1978
Clive William McDonald, 82, died Sunday, April 2, in Seattle. Mr. McDonald was born in Hartline in 1895 and received his early schooling in Hartline and Spokane schools. He served with the armed services during World War I. During the 1930's and 1940's he was manager of the Camlin and Vance Hotels before retiring to California. Mr. McDonald returned to Seattle in 1967 where he was presently living.
Survivors include his beloved wife, Elizabeth, and one brother, Darrel W. McDonald, both of Seattle.
Other Family Pages
- Thomas McDonald, born 1774
- James C. McDonald, born 1776
- Malay McDonald, born 1823 (son of James C. McDonald)
- John McDonald III, born 1803 (son of John II McDonald)
- McDonald Biographies: citations from county history books
- McDonald Obituaries: from old newspapers
- Annemarie's Dutch family: the Bruinsma, De Vet and De Leeuw families of Friesland, The Netherlands.
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