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Full text of "Contributions to the early history of Bryan McDonald and family, settlers in 1689, on Red Clay Creek, Mill Creek Hundred (or Township) Newcastle County, Delaware. Together with a few biographical sketches and other statistics of general interest to their lineal descendants"

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RED CLAY cm- KK, MILL CilRI^i; HCXDniD mi TOWXSinp) 

N E VV C A ST L E C O U N T Y . D E L A W A F^ E. 





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San Franxisco, September jth, 1879. 

Djak Rkl.atives and Friends: 

i forward to your address this day a copy of my latest labors on our 
fainiiv history. As you will perceive, they are composed of two main divisions : one 
furnishing information concerning the early life of our ancestors in America, and the 
other giving the beginning of a series of biographies. These latter stop somewhat 
.iliruptly in the middle of the life of Colonel JA^r^:s McDonald, oldest son of Major 
Kici.i.vRii McOovAiD, and rny yrandfather. We have not carried them anv farther 
for the present, as we concluded to wait for more complete details from you and other 
relatives in order to make the histories as. accurate as could be expected for a first 
.\itr.mpt. I invite your criticism and correction of these few sketches, and your con- 
tributions ot whatever else you may deem advisable to send me. 

From these rough samples, you can form some idea of what we desire. In case 
you are disposed to prepare elaborate biographies of yourselves or family, and intend 
to print tiicm yourselves, I would suggest that you preserve as nearly as possible the 
loiin and style ol these present contributions, so that all our efforts may be uniform. 

Li)oking to your hearty co-operation in all these labors of family love, 

I remain yours very sincerely, 

FRANK V. McDonald. 

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, This book I affectionately dedicate to my father, Dr. R. H. McDonald, Vice- 
President of the Pacific Bank, San Francisco, California. He it was who first began 
these researciies into our family history, and who, alone, has kept steadily on, through 
all these years, collecting and working for a full and satisfacton- record of the migra- 
tions and flite of our much-scattered ancestors. It has been due solely to his deep 
.interest in our labors and his large liberality, costing him thousands of dollars, that we 
have been able to progress as far as we have, and can now see before us the material 
for carrying our investigations to a more successful issue. The only reward he has 
hoped for is a generous appreciation of his aims on our part, a closer cen.enting of 
the disjointed and somewhat estranged members of the family, and the expectation 
tfuil what he has done in this field will serve as an incentive for other relatives to start 
where he leaves off. and load the yet unfinished questions, one by one, lo final and 
satisfactory endings. It wii! certainly not be asking too much for each of us to do 
his utmost to bring about this desirable and merited result. 

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" As man is the only animal which manifests the least curiosity to know wliat 
will be hereafter, so is he equally distinguished by the ilesire to understand what 
passed before he came into the ^vcr'.d. TI.L ^ropcioi..; , in the former oasc. is the 
mainspring to religious inquiry; in the latter, it is the motive to hi>torical research.'' 

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Harvard College, 
Cambridge, Mass., September. 1879. 

The follovvin^^ pages contain leading extracts from the numerous 
public and private records which I have examined with more or 
less care during the past five years. It would take many hundred 
pages to give at length the labors of that period, but, as a consid- 
erable portion of the work was withnvt: ^avora!/le results, publica- 
tion of that part is unnecessary. vV nat is printed here is for the 
purpose of enabling those interested in our genealogical investiga- 
tions to lend their assistance and help shed light on the many dark 
places still to be opened up. For one man alone the task is entirely 
too great It would be advisable if members of the family would 
select the field or fields in which they are most interested and feel 
willing to enter as workers ; with the labor thus properly distrib- 
uted, we should accomplish more and to our greater mutucil satis- 
faction. I should be happy to notify all of any such determination 
by any one, and I should contribute, personally, that which I meet 
with in my own studies bearing on his chosen line. Some plan of 
this kind is the [iroper course for us to follow; and, after I have 
briefly recalled the general points involved, I shall suggest such 
parties as seem to me best adapted for treating them. I shall be, 
however, only too happy to have anyone volunteer in anything for 
which he feels himsell' fitted. Nor do I make these remarks as- 
idle suggestions ; I expect them to assume definite shape. I hope 
that I may not tcel called on to censure where I prefer to praise; 
but the flagging interest of some, if persisted in, will prompt to 

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retaliation on our [)art. And here let me say that whether I write, 
or remain silent, you should labor on. I have many branches to 
care for, and must expect my contributors to keep eny;aged in 
accumulating,^ rei^^'ardless of news from me. If anyihin*^ is wronir, 
or incomprehensible, >'Ou will hear from it in due time; if all ri-ght. 
the printed embodiment of it should be answer enoui^h. Keep 
interested, keep sending copies of your results, keep patient, and 
some day you will reap your htting reward. A genealogy and 
family history is the work of a life-time, not of an hour; and long 
perseverance is the price of success. 

As you are aware, the early histor)- of our family was almost 
lost to us ; and, while we have reclaimed considerable from the 
friendless past, much more yet remains to be garnered in before it 
is too late. . 

Bryan MacDonald was, as far as we can learn, the name of our 
first ancestor in America. His antecedents are, however, entirely 
unknown. Ot his tamily — at least seven in number — we liave the 
imperfect traces of only Oiie, Bivan, Juniur. Of the latLer's two 
sons, James and Richard, we have not the sliirhtest clue. Thus, 
eight lines, with ail their descendants, are missing from the fold. 
Among those about which we know something, there are also many 
gaps, which will take considerable time and faithful searching to 
fill It will thus be seen that here is more work than I can pos- 
sibly undertake. I am willing to try and establish the connection 
between this and the other side of the water, and follow the intri- 
cate history over there ; but I must ask some volunteers from your 
ranks for the numerous issues of this country. 

How long did Bryan MacDonald (junior) live in Delaware ? 
Why did he leave there ? Why did he choose Virginia for a 
home ? Who accompanied him ? What became of the rest "^ 
W^here are their offspring } These are but a few of the puzzling 
inquiries to be answered, and good parties for determining these 
uncertainties would, it seems to me, be found in Mr. Joseph B. 
McDonald, lawyer, of Athens, Limestone County, Alabama; in his 
son, Mr. John B. McDonald, of the U. S. Cadet Corps, at West 
Point, N. Y.; and in John I. McDonald, A.B. (Yale), of St 

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Joseph, Mo. As fast they get each line placed I will assist in 
completing the details. I shall, therefore, leave this to them or 
whatever worthy substitutes they may provide. 

The next Bryan (son of Bryan, junior), and his history in Bo- 
tetourt County. Va., with those of his descendants not yet definitely 
placed, and the niany issues involved in tracing down the various 
lines, I shall turn over to Mr. George McDonald and Mr. William 
McDonald, near Haymaker's Station, Botetourt County, Va.; Mr. 
Floyd F. McDonald (our great main-stay from the beginning), 
near Blacksburgh, Montgomery County, Va.; Hon. Isaac E. Mc- 
Donald, Senator, Wyoming C. H., \X. Va.; and Rev. Edward H. 
McDonald, of Wytheville, Va. 

I shall look for the completion of the other branches to such 
good workers as the following, leaving to each that portion which 
they by mutual agreement, interest and connection may assign, 
each to each : 

Mr. Charles McDonald, of Log?n C. H., W. Va. ; Mrs. Mary 
J. Wright (born McDomild), of Aslaand, Benton County, Miss.; 
Mr. Rowland F. McDonald, of Smith's t Roads. Rhea County, E. 
Tenn.; Mr. Benjamin J. McDonald, of Sale Creek, Hamilton Co., 
E. Tenn.; Mr. Edward McDonald and family, near Elkmont, 
Limestone County, Alabama; Mr. Andrew J. McDonald, of Chil- 
licothe, Andrew County, Mo.; Mr. \V. E. Peery, Jeffersonville, 
Tazewell County, W. Va.; Mr. John H. Anderson, of the same 
place; Mrs. Mary L. Bowen and Mr. George \Vm. Spotts, of Ta- 
zewell C. H., W. Va. ; Mrs. Mary Shannon, Guyandotte River, 
Guyandotte County, W, Va. ; Mr. George McDonald and family, 
of McDonald's Mill, Montgomery County, Va.; Mr. Paris Peter, 
Macksville, Washington County, Ky. ; and many others. 

By a little trouble and correspondence with each other, you can 
soon agree on your plan of work, and report to me in full, annually, 
say early in December. In the meanwhile, continue sending as 
much as you can, that I may keep up with you. Whenever you 
decide on your separate fields of labor, I will have the list printed 
and sent to all living members of the family whose addresses I 
have. As the results mature and assume a final and satisfactory 

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shape, \vc shall have thcin printed, if [jossililc, and ready to fill their 
place in the Great Hook of the family, which we hope to see per- 
fected some day. 

Some have supposed that the form and style of the genealos^y, 
as represented by edition "B," are definitive, and that the completed 
work would be just a series of tables with notes. Such, however, 
is far from my aim. If our researches turn out successfully, 
althoui^di they may take years, I ho])e that the book will be in a 
connected form, embracint,^ maps, views, portraits, biographical 
sketches, descriptions of places and events of importance, inter- 
minoled with legends, adventures, anecdotes, and evervthin^- else, 
in fact, which goes to make a full, readable and accurate history of 
a family. AW this, however, demands time, patience, labor and 
heavy outlay, joined to your hearty co-operation; or otherwise 
only an unsatisfactory torso will be our reward. 

I shall provide for the biographies of my father's and grand- 
father's families, and I hope that those members best fitted for it 
will begin to accumulate .rr.aterial for a oi.fjilar object in each 
branch with which they are familiar. 

I would advise .writing the results in a plain, easy, narrative 
style, without striving for effect. Be careful not to allow undue 
importance to minor details, and thereby permit them to drown 
out the more weighty acts. This fault produces a confused and in- 
harmonious impression. At the same time, do not fall into Charyb- 
dis by avoiding Scylla, and thus leave out the very charm of a life 
in its every day scenes. It is a man of the world, and not a child 
or a hero, that you will generally have to describe. Do not have 
him flying in the air, or crawling on all-fours; his natural gait is 
upright and on two legs. There are also two other points which 
it would be well to keep in mind while writing a sketch of this 
kind : first, the life is for vour own immediate familv and descend- 
ants, and it should, therefore, be sufficiently minute to remain of 
lasting value ; secondly, the review is also for the general family 
and the outside jjublic, and should, on this account, conta,in enough 
of the proper matter to make it of universal interest. The other 
things to consider in such labors I leave to your individual judg- 


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merit ; and in no field ot literature, perhai)s, is there more room 
for the exc.Tcise of this facultx', coinbinetl with g-ootl taste, than in 
writing a history of a man's life, especially if it be an avt(jhiog- 

Before croinL,^ an\- farther, T must return my sincere thanks to 
the g-entlemen in charge of the numerous public offices of this 
country, Great Britain and Ireland, by whom I have been so kindly 
received. I liave met uniformly with such courteous attention 
and obliging favors, that I have to bear away only the pleasantest 
associations from these usually considered uninviting places. Many 
of them I have left with the deepest regret, and in particular was 
this so with the British Museum Reading-room at London. The 
attractions of tliat model resort of the student I shall ever look 
back to with unalloyed pleasure. 

The gentleman in this country, however, to whom I am most 
indebted for his assistance, and active interest in my researches, is ' 
Dr. B. B. Groves, of the Recorder's office in New Castle, Dela- 
ware (the probable landing place of our famll) in America). A 
hundred times and more have I had occasion to solicit his 
assistance, and as many times have I found it forthcoming, joined 
to an interest in and knowledge of his department which I 
have never seen surpassed in any public office. The records of 
New Castle are, in many instances, very scattered, having been im- 
properly cared for of old, so that they would not be accessible, if it 
were not for the study that Dr. Groves has devoted to them. In 
mij researches he has been invaluable, and I doubt not but that 
many others can testify to as much. I have also a great deal to be 
thankful for in every one of the offices at New Castle, particularly 
the Departments of the Registrar of Wills and the Recorder of 
Deeds. The records have not only been open to me at all times, 
but the aid and sym[)athy of the incumbents has been kindly and 
steadily proffered ; and it is with no small sorrow that I learn of 
the projected remo\al of the Court-house to Wilmington. In my 
mind it will be a gain which will result in a loss. 

And next to Dr. (iroves comes that well-known ^endeman and 
worker, Mr. I'Vancis Vincent, City Treasurer of Wilmington, Dela- 

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ware. His active antl fertile mind, schooled in a larije number of 
pursuits, has been a constant help for me in obscure places. He 
is admirably informed on the history of Delaware, and has, in addi- 
tion, what so many writers lack, the happy faculty of rememberin-j^ 
just where to place his hand on an authority the contents of which 
may have momentarily slipped from his mind. " He knows about 
everybody and everything," as one of his critics says ; and I have 
many times thought the remark was nearer correct than Inaccurate. 
Socially, too, he is so pleasant. I never return to Wilmington 
without looking forward to meeting his jovial, friendly face, and I 
always depart with the strengthened conviction that there is but 
one such genius as i\Ir. Vincent, and that Wilmington is happy in 
the possession of him. 

I am likewise deeply indebted to Dr. H. Egel, of Harrisburg, 
Pennsylvania, a person too well-known by his able efforts in the 
early history of Pennsylvania to need further mention here. To the 
public offices of that cit\-, as well as those in Philadelphia, and 
especially to the large office of surveys at the Capitol in Richmond, 
Virginia, I owe much information and help, that could have been 
secured in no other places. Staunton, Virginia, gave me the will of 
Bry^an, junior, and statistics about several of the family concern- 
ing whom I had almost despaired of ever hearing. This otfice 
holds much yet that would be of value in our search, but which 
called for more time than I then had to give in examining the 
books. You can, however, be always sure of a friendly reception, 
and every reasonable aid that could be expected ; and I invite your 
further attention to these records. At Lancaster, Pennsylvania; 
Baltimore, Maryland: Elizabeth City, Dismal Swamp Villages, 
Raleigh and P'ayetteville, North Carolina; Athens, Alabama; 
Springfield, Kentucky; Ouincy, Illinois, and all over the Union, 
the public records have been cordially and repeatedly placed at my 
disposal ; and, what is more — and I say it with pride, in rebuke to 
those who recognize nothing but a " grabbing spirit" in office- 
holders — in no case has any party ever asked or be^^m willing to 
receive a single cent ot fees for the w'ork which I myself tlid ; and 
often their own services as well were tendered gratis, and no com- 

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pensatioii insisted on. Their g-cnerosity, in fact, has proved at times 
quite embanissing'. 

Great and constant friends of inestimable value have I tound 
in our leading storehouses of learning. The Library of Harvard 
College, Cambridge, Afassachusetts ; the Boston Public Library; 
the Astor Lil)rary, of New York City; the Historical Society's 
Library, of Pliiladclphia. Pennsylvania; the Library of Yale Col- 
lege, New l-Liven, Connecticut; and then those treasure collections 
of Trinity College Library, Dublin, Ireland; the Historical Soci- 
ety's Library at Edinburgh, Scotland ; and last, but most important, 
perhaps, the Library of the British Museum, London, England. 
All of these, which I have repeatedly visited in person, have been 
frequently laid under contributions, and I expect that they always 
will be, as long as 1 live. Every student's obligation to such insti- 
tutions is a life one. 

Abroad, I have, also, been kindly assisted by Dr. Richard Caul- 
field, LL. E)., and his assistant, Mr. Steed, of the Royal Cork In- 
stitution, of Cork, Ireland; by Ivlr. L\ons, of H. IM. Customs, of 
the same city; by Mr. R. Winter, of the General Register Office, 
Charlemont House; by Mr. A.Samuel, Esq., Consistotial Office, 
Henrietta street ; by die officers at the Inn of the Four Courts ; by 
Sir Bernard Burke, I'art., Ulster King at Arms, all of Dublin, 
Ireland; and by the friendly correspondence of Mr. Chas. Rogers, 
Secretarv of the R(nal Historical Society, No. ii Chandos street, 
Cavendish Square, West London ; by the aid of the gentlemen in 
the Great Record Office of Fetter Lane, London ; as well as by 
many others, whom I shall mention in full on final completion of 

our work. 

Besides the ])lca>ure which I take in thus publicly acknowledg- 
ino- the services of these honorable gentlemen and most excellent 
institutions, I have l)een thus specific that my readers may also 
knosv a fev/ of the many available places whither to turn, in case 
their studies lead them into similar fields of investigation. 

For those who [)urp()se takin; an active interest in the work, it 
may be desirable to have gi\cn the nanu\s of some valuable books of 
reference. Owin"" to my limiteil space, the list will be brief and em- 

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brace only a few of the numerous sources that mi^ht be consultet! 
to advantage. But, before takiny^ u[) this subject, I shall give the 
addresses of two parties who make a business of searching' for 
genealogical questions, in all countries, and at regular fees — (they 
might be ot use to some inquirers) : 'Sir. Albert Wells, American 
Genealogical Society, University Place, New York City; and the 
Genealogical and Historical Society, 20S Picadilly, West London, 
England. They both have correspondents in each country, aijd 
are ready 'to undertake work of the simplest or most elaborate nature. 
The results ot their labors are, however, oftentimes open to ques- 
tion, a tendency caused by the class of people they customarily deal 
with, who want "fine" and noble genealogies, whether or no -their 
true connections afford them. For further particulars and estimates 
you will please address the parties themselves. 

And here, in the beginning of vour readinof and labors, let me 
exhort you to pay little heed to frequent and bitter disappointments. 
Furthermore, do not be worried b^• seeinc: the iNIacDonald name 
spelt in every conceivable manner. /xicuani is a common way; 
Macdonaid is the present Scotch manner of writing it, and Mac- 
Donnell is the usual Irish interpretation of the same name. Again, 
bear in mind that, so far as is known in history, there are at least 
fmij' remote origins of the Macr3onnells, or Macdonalds, each en- 
tirely distinct from the other; and these have scattered from. Ire- 
land to Scotland and back again, and vice versa, in countless intermar- 
riages, migrations and invasions. In a history of Scotland, that of 
LUster, or Northern Ireland, could no more be left out than could 
the casualties of the Highlands or Lowlands. But this is a subject 
too involved for treatment in so restricted a place. You v.ill be 
liable to meet, on occasions, vour ancestors and their descendants 
classed as McDowells, McDonou^hs, Mcl'ouoals, and in manv 
other variations. Do not imagine either, as I have found many 
doing, that every i)erson of the name in this country is related, that 
is, belongs to your c/ired lamily. There are. hundreds — I might say 
thousands- — ^of McDonalds over here with whom we have no prob- 
able connection whatever. Canada, Nova Scotia, the New En'dand 
States and Eastern North Carolina are full o( such parties. 

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The books then that I would commend to your consideration 

For Scotlaml. — ''John Hill Burton's History." in eif^dit volumes, 
the best general authority. It is rejnil^lished by Scribner & Arm- 
strong of New York City. This is a work which should be in 
every private library. Then there are many partial histories of the 
clans and of particular events in Scotland. A valuable reference book 
is "The Peerage of Scotland" (2 volumes), by Sir Robert Doug- 
lass; revised and augmented by John P. Wood, Esq.; Edinburgh, 
1813. In this work is a line outline of the history of " The Lords 
of the Isles," and the other Macdonalds. "Skene's History of the 
Highlanders;" "Nichols' Herald and Genealogist," 1S65 ; and, inter- 
esting in particular for the Macdonalds. a book which is now 
almost unattainable, luit which should be reprinted, if possible — not 
so much for its accurat:j history as for its careful details and genu-. 
ine enthusiasm — is "A Keppoch Song. Poem in 5 cantos Origin 
and history of the fanu'Iy Donald, Lord of the Isles and King of 
Fronga, douii u) its exLinction, with a continuation of ciie family 
ot Keppoch, the whc>le combined with the history of Scotland, &c. 
By John Paul Macdonald, private teacher in Stonehaven, Montrose', 
[815. Printed at lievlew office by James Watt." Every IMacDonald 
should own a copy of this very interesting and valuable little book, 
and I hope some day that it may' be placed within easy reach 
of all.' 

As general books of reference for titled families of England. 
Scotland and Ireland, Sir Bernard Burke's great works are author- 
ities, but they seem hardly to tit directly into our labors. The 
names of his publications are too familiar to need reproducing here. 
Most libraries contain one or more of the smaller ones. 

For Ireland — and this may concern us more directly — we have 
an ocean of material, hut only a small part of it available. A cheap 
and valuable little work, just out, is "O'Hart's Irish Pedigrees," 
or "The Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation," published by 
M'Glashan <::t Gill, 50 Ui)per Sackvillc street, Dublin, Ireland; for 
sale. also, by Whittaker & Co., and Simpkin, Marshall & Co., of Lon- 
don, England. I cannot too strongly urge the purchas<- of this book 

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by every member of the family who has any interest whatever for 
our early history. It is worth its price many times over. Another 
very interestinj^ and readable book is published by MacMillan A: 
Co., 63 Bleecker street. New York City, and is entitled "The Land 
War in Ireland," a history for the times, by James Godkin. This 
latter book, although not e.xactly a history, gives many valuable 
sue^restions bearing on the troubles which probably induced our 
family to leave Europe for America. The great repertory of early 
Irish history is, as all know, that famous work. " The Annals of the 
Four Masters ;" but since, by reason of its being out of print, the 
existence of so few copies and its great expense, it is not accessible, 
I do not mention it fully here. The more complete edition was 
published in seven volumes some twenty-five, or more, years ago, 
and cannot be had now, where old copies are for sale, for less than 
about one hundred dollars. 

"The Irish Compendium," or " Pocket Peerage " — just like the 
" Scott's Compendium for Scotland " — is a very convenient little 
book for Irish ivstarch; but al.,^ out of trade. It ^v^.3 published 
in 1756. Another good reference book is "The Peerage of Ire- 
land," by John Lodge, Esq.: (seven vols.); London, 1789: revised 
by Meroyn Archdale. A.M. 

Aofain let me call to mind the more recent labors of Sir Ber- 
nard Burke, the great worker of our day in these fields. The Irish 
" Inquisitiones Post Mortem," or " I. P. M.," as commonly written, 
and the other State Papers are also extremely valuable where 
within reach. The histories of Keating, O'Halleran, MacGeoghan 
and Moore are good, but rather general and incomplete. Holin- 
shed's and Camden's Chronicles with the various church histories 
give also niuch, but as these are, I suppose, not very accessible to 
the general reader, I v,ill omit any farther mention of them. The 
great difficulty in the history of Ireland is that, for our purposes, 
there is nothing recent enough of a detailetl nature. Also the very 
period in which wc are most interested, namely the fall of the 
Stuarts and the accession of William and Mary, is perhaps the least 
satisfactorily treated of all epochs of Irish history. The constant 
changes and revolutions, so general in these times, leave almost 

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[ 15 ] 


nothing reliable and tangible for the historian. Confusion was 
then the order of the day, and no other order has ever since been 
evolved from the movements of that chaos. Rev. C. P. Meehan's 
valuable and interesting defense of the Earls of Tyrone and Tyr- 
connel. Prendergast's " Cromwellian Settlements," and Froude's 
chapters on Ireland have thrown light on some few sides of the 
involved troubles of that period; but their results at best show all 
the more, plainly the hopeless state of the times, and the small 
prospect of the historian ever seeing his way clearly through the 
actual events which filled to overflowing those tangled and terrible 
days of cruelty, ignorance and vice. 

Far Ameiica, there is little, and even of that the accuracy is 
often open to question. One of the best books, as far as it goes, is 
the last volume ot State Papers, relating to the Swedish Colony 
on the Delaware, published at Albany, N. Y. These papers 
properly belonged at New Casde ; but, owing to invasions, fires 
and other evil agencies, a large portion of the records of the place 
have been either destroyed or so scattered as to be lost from their 
connection. Some are in Harrisburg, some in Albany, some in 
Philadelphia, others in Baltimore, Dover (Delaware), and all over 
in different cities. For our researches, this is especially disastrous. 
Perhaps, at some distant day, this country may be sufficiendy alive 
to the importance of collecting these waifs and publishing them in 
their proper relationships. Let us hope that that day may dawn 
before it is too late for those generations who could understand their 
connection to be able to use them. Also a great amount of valua- 
ble information may be gathered from the following works: "His- 
tory of the Orignal Setdements on the Delaware," by Benjamin 
Ferris; Wilmington, 1846. " Prouds' History of Pennsylvania." 
"Gordin's New Jersey." "Clay's Annals of the Swedes." "Ban- 
croft's Large History of the United States." " Clarkson's Life of 
Penn." "Campanius' Description of the Province of New Sweden ;'' 
published by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1S34. "J. N. 
Barker's Sketches of Primitive Setdements on the Delaware." 
"Biography of William Penn," by Hepworth Dixon. Then comes 
" Rupp's 30,000 Enn'grants to Pennsylvania." "The Annals of Penn- 


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sylvania," and "The Records of Pennsylvania," elaborate and valua- 
ble State publications. And. in addition, I would reconiniend a 
book which is worthy of yoLir purchase if you can secure it: it is 
"Chamber's Defense of tht.- Scotch and Irish Settlers of I'ennsvl- 
vania;"' published at Chambersburo-, in 1856. Tlien there is 
" Foote's Virginia," and many other works which it would be too 
long to enumerate here; enouoh Iiave been given to furnish the 
main outline of the work Ijefore us. The names of any books 
bearing on side issues I shall be hapj)y to furnish at request of 
those ready for such investigations. 

I sincerely hope that my entering into the enumeration of these 
authorities will not have been in vain. A large number of them 
are within reach of the majority of us, and I shall anticipate a 
nearer acquaintance with them from most of you. Any of these 
works which you would like to purchase, and cannot where you 
live, I shall be happy to assist you in securing. 

I shall take pleasure, also, in hearing anv matured suo-o-estion as 
the result of \our readmg, and shall try both to give and receive 
protit from such an interchange of ouinion. 

This is all I need to say prior to adding the extracts from the 
records. My comments on the different pas.sages, which follow, 
will be found in connection with the extracts themselves, and in 
smaller print. 

I trust that these pages may strengthen the enthusiasm for our 
work in those who have been weakening ; may arouse the passive 
to an active interest, and that definite and brilliant results will be the 
reward of a systematized and combined labor. 

Yours very truly, 

FRANK V. Mcdonald. 

P- S. — Please acknowledge the receipt of this as soon as con- 
venient ; and also state whether you have had a copy of Edition B 
of our genealogy. If not, and you would like one of the few copies 
I still have left for distribution, I shall have to ask you to inclose 
twenty-five cents for postage. F. V. McD. 

N. B.— ^ry addre'.s until June. iSSr. wil! be c.ire Ilarvaril University, Canil.rirlge, >r.iss.; 
my general address, as well as during the vacation months of July. An-ust and September,' is care' 
Pacific Bank, San Francisco, Calil'ornia, U. S. A. 


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The first mention that I can find of our family in this country is the following, from 


Old Book, Page 209. 

William Pcnn, true and absolute proprietors and govenour in-chief of the province 
of Pensilvania and Territories thereunto belonginir, To all whom these presents shall 
come p-^ndeth greeting;: Whereas, by virtue of p. ""-rrant bcarinq; date the eighteentl. 
day of November, in the year one thousand six hundred and eighty-nine, there was 
laid out upon ne%v rent to Br}-an MacDonald, of Newcastle County, in the year one 
thousand six hundred and ciglny-nine, a certain parcell of land situate in tlie said 
county of Newcastle, and then reputed to contain two huntlred acres ; but upon a 
resurvey was foimd to contain two hundred and thirty-nine acres, which is nineteen 
acres (besitlcs the allowance of ten acres in ever}' hundred), more then of right ought 
to be in the said tract, and whereas, the said Bryan ^laccDonald obtained a warrant 
from my present commissioners of property, dated the one and twentieth, day of 
December, in the year one thousand seven hundred and three, to take up a piece of 
vacant land adjoining to the aforomenlioned piece, which upon an exact survey was 
found to contain three hundred and fifty-four acres; And whereas, both the said tracts 
or parcells of land were resarveyed as they now lye contiguous in one tract, ami are 
found to be situate as aforesaid ; bounded and containing as follows, viz.: Beginning 
at a Beach Tree by Red Clay Creek, at a corner of Samuel Barker's land, thence down 
by the several courses of the said creek, two hundred and sixty-seven perches to the 
mouth of Hide Runn, then up the same on severall courses, one hundred and eighty- 
one perches, then crossing the saiil Hide Runn to a Poplar Tree, at a corner of 
Thom.os Gillett's land, then by tiie said Gillett's line, south thirty-two degrees, 
west one hundred and fifty-two perches to a Hickory Tree, then b\- the line 
of William Jesuji's land, west one hundred and forty-eight perches, to a Red Oak, 
by Calf Runn, being a branch of Red Clay Creek, then up the same ninety-four 
perches to a White Oak, then by Richard Mankinds land, north forty-one degrees, 

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easterly one hundred and iweniy-five perches to a Wjiiie Oak, thence north one 
hundred and tifiy perclies to a Beech Tree, tlien hv the land of Hu;;fh Siinoius and 
George Read, and vacant land nonh seventy-two dc:j:rees, east one lunulred and 
ninety-two perches to a Hickory Tree: then by the said Samuel Jbrkers lam! 
south nine degrees, east fifiy-onc perches to a Hickory Tree, then bv the said Bar- 
ker's land, south eighty-seven degrees, east one hundred and forty-lour perches to 
the beginning, containing five hundred and ninety-three- acres. Now at the special 
instance and request o! tiie said Bryan MaccDonald, to purchase of me, the said nine- 
teen acres of overplus, together with the said three hundred and tifty-four acres, as also 
that I would reduce the rent of a bushel of wheal for eveiy hundred acres, and confirm 
to him- the whole by patent, Know yte that for and in consideration of the sum of 
forty-six pounds, twelve shillings and six pence, Pensiivania money, to mv use, paid 
by the said Br>-an MaccDonald, for the purchase of the said nineteen acres, and three 
hundred and fifty-four acres, and of the sume of sixteen pounds, for reducing the rent 
aforesaid, the receipt of which said sums, I do hereby acknowledge, and thereof, and 
of every parcell thereof, do acquitt, and forever discharge by these presents; the said 
Bryan MaccDonald, his heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, as of the quit rent 
hereinafter reserved. I have given, granted, released and confirmed, and b\- these 
presents, for me and my heirs and successors, tlo give, grant, release and confirm, unto 
the said Bryan MaccDonald, his heirs assigns and forever, all that the said five hundred 
and ninety-three acres of land, as the same is now sett forth, bounded and limited as 
aforesaid, with all mines, minerals, quarries, meadows, marshes, swamps, cripples, 
woods, underwoods, timber and trees, ways, waters, water courses, liberties, profilts, 
commodities, advantages, hereditaments appurtenances whatsoever, to the .sixid five 
hundred and ninety-three acres, belonging or in anywise appeitaining, and lying within 
the bounds and limits aforesaid, three full and clear fifth parts of all roval mines free 
from all deductions and reprip^alls for digging and refineing of the same, only excepted 
and hereby reserv'd, and also free leave, right and libert}-, to and fur the said Bryan 
MaccDonald, his heirs and assigns, to Hawk, hunt, fish and fowle, in and upon the 
hereby granted land and premises, or ujion any part thereof ; £o have and (o hold the 
said five hundred and ninety-three acres of land, and premises hereby granted (except 
before excepted ), with their and ever\- of their appurtenances to the said Bryan Mace 
Donald, his heirs and assigns, to the only proper use and behoofc of the said Bryan 
MaccDonald, his heirs and assigns, forever to be Iwlden of me, my heirs and successors, 
proprictarAs of the said territories, as of our Mannor or reputed Mannor of Rocklands, 
in the said county of Newcastle, in fee and common soccage by fealtv onlv in lieu of 
all other services, yielding and paying therefore, yearly, forever hereafter to me, m\- 
heirs and successors, at or upon the first day of the first month, ]\Iarch, in every year, 
at Newcastle, aforesaid, one bushel of good and merchantable winter wheat, for ever\- 
hundred acres, and so proportionably or valluc thereof, in coin, currant to such (jcrson 
or persons, as from time to time shall be appointed to receive the same. 

In Witness Whereof, I have by virtue of my commission to my proprietan' 
deputies, bearing date, the eight and twentieth of October, in the year one 

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thousand seven hundred and one, caused niy great seal of the said Province to be 

hereunto affixed ; witness Edward ShiiJpen, Griffith Owen, Thomas Stwrv, and James 

Log-an, my said de])Utics, or any three of t!iem at Pliiladelphia, ilie ei^hili day of 

October, in the fifth year of the reign of our sovereign Lady (^ueen Ann, over England. 

And the six and twentieth of my gosernment Annoq Domini one thousand seven 

hundred and six. 



Recorded the 2oih, Z., 1706. • JAMES LOGAN. 

From this long grant we gather much, first, it shoivs that liryan came to this country with 
some considerable nitaiis, and was, tlieretore, ol the better classes at home. When, in fact, we 
consider how the raiiacious spirit of the English knew no mercy in dealing with the Sotch and the 
Irish, at a time when the life and treatment of the America:! Indian by the United States seems 
as matey in comyarison with the butchery carried out by Lngland toward those defenders of their 
soil, then it is a marvel how they saved enough to reach this country, not to mention sullicicnt to 
buy a home of such large extent. The only reasonable explanation lies in the rank of the personage. 
If he had been a common man, he would have come most likely as a a slave, or a convict. 
Again, he was a purchaser, and not a squatter as was common to find in those days. Furthermore, 
his land was obtained by a direct grant from Penn, giving him an undisputed title. iSth Moveni- 
ber, 1689, was the date of t]te firai warrant to Bryan, but that one I cannwt find. Whether it was 
superseded, as is probable, by the secoud and destroyed as unnecessary, or has been lost, is, it 
seems, not to be determined. 

The knd, as described b_, ihis warr~^l^, wa; -"•- -- "^vc-, rr^'-c west by north from Wilming- 
ton, Delaware, in Mill Creek Hundred. It covered a tract which wouid embrace to-day the vil- 
lage of Brandywine Springs, on Ked Clay Creek, and around .there down to the mouth of Hyde 
Run, then for some distance back into the country. 'I'he farm of Mr. Robert Justis (a descend- 
ant of Andrew Justis, to whom liryan, Jr., sold a part of his land) is on the tract, as I understand 
it; and Faulkland Station, on the railroad, is very close to, if not a part of the other extremity of it. 
It was a beautiful location, and, with its 590 odd acres, could not have made other than a magnifi- 
cent farm. I have driven all over the place; and to-day there is not a trace or a recollection left of 
our large family that must have been there for at least sixty-five years. Mr. John Ferris, of 511 
Jefferson street, Wilmington, a very well informed and most obliging old gentlemen, was raised 
close by this site, and he says that he has a sort of a dreamy remembrance oi having heard of the 
family, but that it was so long ago and so vague as to have left no reliable impression upou his 
mind. This gentleman has a remarkable n'.cmory lor all such facts, and the common saying 
around there is "What Johnny does not know, no one else will be able to tell you." As an 
instance, he recalled that in a certain grave-yard, by Stanton, there was a slate tombstone, in mem- 
ory of a McDanl, with peculiar characters on it; and, although he had not been near the place for 
fifty-three years, he described the whole shib with singular accuracy. The next day niy brother 
and self visited the place and found this qu.iint memorial just as he had pictured it. It is in the 
yard of St. James' Episcopal t,"hurcli, near .Stanton, Delaware. This edifice was started .a.s a 
place of worship in 1720, rebuilt in 1S22: anil the present pastor is Rev. Mr. Hansom, Faulkland 
P. O., Mill Creek Hundred. The tombstone referred to is peculiarly cut with a knife and crude 
tools, and the worths arc divided in a singular ami arbitrary manner The inscription reads: 


LIFE 1743. Aged XXXXXS. 

Whether she was a relative- say the wife of William No. 3 (Ed. 1!. ) — i> not known. And 
Rev. Mr. Hansom says that and carelessness lia\e left no church lecortls prior to 1S25, so 


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that, for the mo.r,cnt. this singular and well preserved memorial, with the other old graves b.sic'e 
>t, must remain wuhuut locaiion as far as uur history is coi.cerned She may have belonged to the 
family of AtacDanicIs, who lived only a few miles northwest of here on Mill Creek Their 
descendants are represented by Mr. John McDaniel and sister, who lease their fanu'lv place and 
live in Wilmington. h seems as if the two lines must have been related, but all our edorts to 
trace the connection have been unsali.factory. Mr. John McDaniel and sister iiave taken an 
active interest in the iiKpiiry; and, at the same time that I return my thanks for their numerous 
courtesies, I would e.xpress the hope that they will not grow weary of these family researches, but 
labor until a definite result is assured. 

This warrant gives theeariiest trace of our family in America as rSth November, 16S9. William 
Penn, on the ship "Welcome" landed at \ew Castle (ihen Pennsylvania, now Delaware! and 
took possession of grant in this country 24th October, 16S2, or seven years before the report of 
the broad, generous policy tlrst pursued by '• The Friends " reached the Kntish Isles, and soon leil 
those seeking escape from the tyrannical and murderous warfare of that period to sail for this tiu'y 
welcome harbor. In 16SS, it will be remembered, was a "Great Rebellion" in Ireland, which 
extended into Scotland, and from the issues o( this uprising, by what means, or on which side, I 
cannot definitely say, our ancestors most likely found it better" to go anywhither rather than remain 
under such a horrible state of unsafe rule. 

In so brief a notice, I cannot enter at length upon this very complicated question. The 
points which must be settled in this part of our history are numerous and diliicult, with few avail- 
able authorities to consult. The results of my labors I shall forward to you from time to time and 
the general progress, which we have reached thus far, with other items of interest you will 
find in the two following letters-one from cousin Floyd, of lilacksburgh, who is the bes't authority 
on the early history of our family: and the other written by myself, last summer, and from London 
E,igl....d. As y^u will perttivc, no very positive i.^ul.s are furnished in this correspondence 
of iiu..L. Dul thu. a;e bearings and j^euera, Ueierminutions, which will, 1 think, lead to 
the desired goal in the end. It will take some years, perhaps; but we need not feel uneasy on 
that account, as there uill be time enough to settle this question a/ter the family history on this 
side has been looked up and completed. While the problem is growing daily more insoluble in 
America; m Europe, by the publication of State Record, and other histories, it is becominr. easier 
One or two persons, therefore, will be sufficient at present for the foreign portion, and you can 
confine yourself chielly to filling out the home-list. 

Notice in this letter the bond which gave us the place whence our ancestors started before 
settlmg in Virginia, This is a very valuable document. 

Gree.v Hill, near Blacksburgh, Montgomery Co., Va.,) 

July 21, 1879. ) 

Mr Dear Couslv:— I am sorry that it has been wholly impossible for me to 
answer your welcome letter before this time. When I have a little leisure I will try 
to write out some facts in reixard to the famiU-, but I fear it will be in such an imper- 
fect manner that it will scarcely deserve the name of a hi.story. At present 1 will in- 
to answer your questions so far as I know. I see that you have not heard of the death 
of cousin George of TJoietourt, and as he is gone I think we cannot depend upon 
gettmg anythni- from the rest, except what we mav obtain from cousin William 
Cousin George's wife is also dead. In regard to the religious belief of our ancestors- 
My grandfather (Joseph). Mr. Bane and his wife were Episco,.alians, and Brvan of 
Botetourt was a Presbvtcrian. It was from the records of that church that we copied 
the b.rths, deaths, etc. of the older ones in Botetourt. What Brvan of Delaware was 

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or whether he \va.-> a member of any church, I sav, but I suppose he belon;^ed 
to one of the above named churclies, more probably the latter. I have never heard 
of any Catholics in the lUmily. The reason they left N'ew Castle was this: Joseph had 
an uncle, named Robinson, who was a surveyor, and who had been throuijh \':n,nnia, 
and owned several tracts there. He told Joseph, that if he would come to Greenfield 
and settle, he woukl gi^e him a valuable tract of land there. He came about 1753, 
and others of the family followed. This my father told me. I came across a bond 
given by Bryan, in lookinEf ov(jr my papers, ami in this way found out about New 
Castle. I will send it to you. 


This Bill Bindeth me Bryan McDonald of Mill Creek Hundred and Countv of 

New Castle on delaware unto George Robinson of the Hundred and County afores'd 

in the Sum of Si.K pound five Shilling and Two pence To be paid unto ye Said George 

Robinson His Heirs Excx's .\dm'rs or Assigns at or upon the Tenth Day of October 

Ne.xt with Lawfull Interest for ye true payment whereof I Bind me my Heirs Exe.x's 

and Adm'rs In the Penall Sum of Twelve pound Ten Shillings and fower pence Curr't 

Lawfull .Money .\nd farther I Doe hereby Authorise and Impower John Bocs of New 

Castel or aney other Attorney of his Majesties Court of Common pleas at Said Court 

or aney other Court of Record in Pensilvania .^laryland Virginia Ireland Great Britain 

cr Elsevv'herc to appear tor me Bryan McDonald .^nd after one or More Declerations 

filed tor ye above Peaaltey thereupon to Acknowiiuge Judgement or Juugements as of 

aney term or time after ye Date hereof with Stay of Execution untill ye Said Tenth 

day of October ne.xt Witness My hand and Seal this Tenth Day of May In the year 

One Thousand Seven Hundred and fortv five i,ih 

Signed Sealed and Delivered in the presence of marke 

Hanah Hadly 
Stehhen Hakla.n 

Rece'd of Mr Rich'd McWilliam Six pounds Sixteen Shillings A five pence in full 

for principal A Interest due on the within Bill Nov. loth 1746. 


Bryan McDonalds Bill for £6 5s 2d payable October 10 1745 
Judgment — Robinson v Bn,-: McDonald — N: d: 

It will be a very 'lifdcult matter, if not an impossible one, to get the information 
you want. In all probability, the legion of relatives whom we cannot account for 
are some of those McDonalds in the United States whom we supp)se are not related 
to us. As there are very few who know anything farther back than their grandfather it is ■ 
scarcely probable that we can get those missing ones. It was always said that there 
were four sons and one ilaughter of Bryan No. 2, who came to Virginia, and the other 
children did not come South. They may ha\e moved into Pennsyhania and branched 
off into other States. I expect you will lind an old residence somewhere in Pcnns}!- 
vania. At least a traveling agent told me that there is a very old one in Greencastle, 


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[ ^^ ] 

Franklin Co. How true it ih I cannot .>av. He .said there is a iMcDonnld living 
some where about thtrc. They inav have gone even to Canada for all we know. 
There is a Jno. IMcDonald at Toronto, a man of prominence: if not related he 
might take an interest in the work or give \('U some idca.s. The older members in 
Botetourt said the McDonalds came from Scotland to the northern part of Ireland and 
from that to America. TIkjsc here scorned to be of a dilTcrent opinion, but thought, 
as those in Botetourt had the recorils, they ought to know tlio better. They always said 
that the Bryan was derived from the mother's side of the family. * * * 

As ever, sincerely your alTcctionalc cousin and co-wotker, 

FLOYD F. McDonald. 

The following is a copy of the letter written to my father wliilc I was in London engaged in 
genealogical investigations; 


London", England, September 25th, 1S7S. f 

My Dear Faihek: Yesterday I sent you a brief sketch of the reading-room in the 
British Museum; to-day I shall recall to you some of the aims I am striving for, and 
at the same time cast a look at others in their work. 

Owing to our labors on the genealogy, the points we have reached are about as 
follows: There was a man named Brjan IMacDonald. or Macdonald, who wont to 
America, probably between 16S2 and 16S9. It is barely possible that he may have 
been there much earlier and even prior to 1682, the year of Penn's landing and 
assuming personal control of his colony. The earliest mention, however, that we have 
been able to determine thus far of his whereabouts, is in iSth November, 1689. 
After thi.«, we find several survey warrants for land on a branch of Mill Creek, Mill 
Creek Hundred (the township name in Delaware), Pennsylvania, a place not very dis- 
tant from the present site of New Castle, Delaware. In 1707, the father made his 
will, leaving his effects to his children, John, William, James, Br}-an, Mar}-, Richard 
and Anabella. This document — preserved under most singular circum.stances — is yet 
in the office at New Castle, and a full copy is now in our possession. Whether these 
were all the children he had is, of cour.'^e, unsettled. It is fair to suppose that there 
were no others living at the time of his death, in 1707. Of this family, Richard and 
Anabel were not of age at the period the will was made, and Mary had married a 
man by the name of Danger Whether Richard lived and had offspring is unknown, 
but it seems likelv. There are, then, in the second generation, on this .side, live heads 
of probable families to trace. Thus f\ir, owing to ditTiculties, which cannot be enum- 
erated in so brief a treatment, we have been able to follow up the descendants of only 
one, from whom we all came. Br^an. Not that, by any means, we have full lists of 
this last man's progeny, for his ilr>t two children, Richard and James, were never 
heard from after their father's death, in 1757. From his will, filed in Staunton, Vir- 
ginia, a copy of which we also have in our iiands, the son Richard's portion was five 

I n 

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shillings, the Ica^t the hi\v ;tilo\\cd. 'rhi> indicated citlicr a riiiniire in domestic har- 
mony between f.ulicr and ym, or an ign' trance of his location. The latter, from other 
testimony, seems the more likely. Richard, as oldest child, had likelv already 
received his portion dining the life of the parent, and had gone auay, or staid in 
Delaware with his uncles, or they allcgcihcr moved clsevhcre. Be this as it may, the 
facts remain that immediately at the beginning of our American life — as a family — 
six, at least, of our branches, with all their possible and probable ramification, wan- 
dered olT and lost their identity. This careless spirit of indifference to origin, and 
largely .even to destiny, is ciiaracteristio of pioneer life. It is in kee[Mng with Nature 
(whose children the pioneers almost grow to be), which records only the details as they 
form great and telling aggregates. The single leaf is only occasionally discernible in 
the coal, but the milHnns of foliage emblems yield us our vast beds of anthracite, 
bituminous and other carbon forms. It is only when identification becomes doubtful, 
through numl'Crs and similarity, that we begin to classify and more accurately deter- 
mine. That time is certainly now for us; and it is to be hoped that families will no 
longer dawn and scatter without any written or substantial verbal evidence of their 
history. We owe more to posterity than to usher them into the world and then leave 
them without even the poor credentials generally accorded to illegitimate olTj;pring. 
There is a serious duty involved in this question, and not a fancit'ul or aristocratic dis- 
tinction; we leave out of consideration all evidences of e.Kample, strength of unity and 
other important and too nmch overlooked elements of civilization. With the excep- 
tion, then, of these six persons, represented by numbers 2, 3, 4, 7, 9, 10, in Edition 
B of our genealogy, we have largely the means of acquiring more or less accurate 
knowledge of the direct descendants from our first American ancestor. On these lost 
sheep we have already spent much time and outlay trying to find some kind of clues. 
Thus far our efforts have been unsuccessful, although we have traces, which may, at a 
distant da\-, lead to something. To a New England pedigree searcher, the work, 
among perhaps the most perfect records of the -world, is a delightful task; but to any 
one seeking around in offices, such as those of Pennsylvania, in early days, and of all 
the Southern States — places where foreign, domestic and civil feuds have alternately 
burned, pillaged and mutilated — the task is at limes nearly a hopeless one, and this, 
too, with a name which was not uncommon through the lower portions of our country. 
North Carolina was largely settled in the east by Scotch, and among them were manv 
iNIacdonalds, and mo^t we believe were of quite different clan lines than ours. 
Another very unpleasant element was in the extent of the State claims. How far was 
Virginia to include; and how much Ponn's and how much Lord Baldmore's grants ? 
Thus, the surveys of Kentucky are chielly to-day in Richmond, Virginia, the Swedish 
records of Delaware river in .Mbany, New York, and so on through the various com- 

We can. however, feel happy that by your taking an interest in the matter so 
early, combined with the rescued >crap> treasured up so long by William, George and 
Floyd .McDonald, we iui\e been able to keep a very fair genealogy of our own direct 
line. Our record back to the original Bryan, the first of our family in this country, is 

I .1 

■ .1. 

,.; r 
. ' ^ I ' .. : I I ) 


[ 24 ] 

prcuy clear and accururo. I„ d.c .our.o of tin., u an, be eo.nplctcd and detc,n„ncd 
to a h,-li de-ice of orrecinc^.s, con.Mdering ob.v.acle. luue been, and nut,i n>ore 
or Ie.s be constant hindrance.. The next great .tep comes now to form the link 
between the new and the old countries. Who was the father of Bryan No i ■ where eiid 
he hve, and what was he ? Here you are in a perfect sea. For a person who has not 
looked mto a question of this nature it is hard to conceive of the difticulties in the 
way of a solution of the present problen.. .^on.etmies, vou have work- for m 
the first American will, mention is made of property \n J urope, in some particular 
spot, or some clue is ;,nven for you to follow; t.ut in our case there is absolutelv noth- 
ing rehable. 1 hen, when you come to examine the records on this side of the water 
you find an insufliciency and chaos, which i. remarkably disappointing. There are' 
firstly, no shipping lists after ,632, I believe, since p:..t that penod there was no restnc- 
, tion to emigration into the Colonies. Secondly, marriage and birth records are kept 
or were kept, in each ciu.rch in separate parishes, there being no State registries. Thus' 
whither a man is to go, not knowing church, parish, and onlv probably the country- i^ 
no easy query to answer. Again, if you take into conside;ation the wars which rav- 
aged Scotland and Ireland for years before and after 16S9 (the probable date of de- 
parture for Delaware), and 30U haNe such a demoralized state of alfairs as has never 
been equalled even in the United States. Few periods of English history were so 
pregnant with sudden and fearful change; and in these our first American ancestor wis 
more or less actually engaged. It is likely tha. he was opposed to the accession of 
U ilham A. ana .lan-, and lust tliereby ah his property. Perceiving that there could 
be no hope under .his new regime, he ventured into the distant realms of Penn where 
there .eemed to be a much better held for the individual than could possiblv exist 
under a hostile sovereign, so near home, and amidst hated surroundings. This is one 
theory, and, according to tliis view, in proof of which there are manv line points which 
so brief a space could impossibly encompass, our family would not have been directly 
Scotch at all, but descended from the ancient kings of Ireland, and from the famous 
house of O'Brian or OBrien. But, speaking of Scotch, this nict should be borne in 
mind, that there now seems to be sutTicient historic evidence to show quite conclu- 
sively that all the Macdonalds of Scotland- excepting possibly those of Glencoe, from 
whom we are supposed to come— as well as the other western clans, were originally 
Irish. Ireland sent out settlers, and, in a later day. was, in turn, settled, supported and 
ravaged by her own Scotch children. 

The jff^W supposition with regard to our line is that which I sent you last year. 
There are no positive evidences to the contrary; but, likewise, nothing in favor of it. 
Many points, too, must be cleared up before this can be accepted as satisfactory. 
According to this, the lineage would run back into Scotland, and thence into Ireland. 
What must be certainly shown is that //}/> Br^an and our Bryan are one and the same 
person. Sir Bernard Burke, the greatest living investigator, is engaged ai present testing 
it in co-operation wi-.h us, an.l we shall know before long, I hope, whether we can 
take this much for granted, or must try eUewhcre. 

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CAKBURY, Kin^' cif Irclaml; from hiin sixt.-cn ijciicrati'iiis, .m,! tlicn came: 
' .SKkl.KY, Than.; uf Atj;; Ic, ii^c.. 

KANDAI., LorJof Ai->!. .i,,.l fouiiJcr ..f Ci-icrian AL.Uy, 1^03. 

r)()\l;l.[,. from whom (l-.-.xnd.,J l.orJ ..f tin; l,le--. I .M..cli. ii..-l!.) 

' AI.KXANIJKK, Loi-a tf ihc I.-,lc>. (Al-jxandtr M.iclJoiic!;.) 

UOXALD, L.ji-d of the iMo. 

I'.NKAS, loiight nt Haiuiuckl.-iirn. 

' ENEAS OC.E = Am\ or Hannai.;!, dau-ht-r of Olaiiax, I.oid of Derry. ireiand. 

Tliest art all 





Lord of the I^lt.--, fr ''n 
whom de.-.cuiidi;J Ldku 



r,ord of the Isles. 
(Western Scotland.) 


d.iii;t,t-r of 

KnI,..,! II, Kill- 



from whom ile- 
-i-a,d .MlOo-.. 

NKl.l. of Coll- 

nau^ht, ill [ro- 

SHAL.V nc.F. .\rcDON"Kr.L, 
fri'in «'h< desceiide-l ihc 
E-'.r!i of ^Viiiiini, in Ireland. 








died 1619. 1 



McDOVNELL^-dauuhicr of Tmos. Nki^n- i 

I HOLD, of Wioklov.-, I 

I Ireland. 

BKYAN M r;<^N AU) ^ daughter of John Dov,a: of Acklow^ near Wicklow, Irelan.i. He served In Col. Ernncis's 

M trl, 1 ; 1 ^^■«"'"-'^'- '"»1<^'- ^'^'H J-'""^> tf<: H, ..ho was monarch, so c-llcd. from lo.s, to .66S. 1 iii, is 
supposed to oe our anccst^T. 

XOTE-The = mem, ■• married f ;• And la.: or arro*. hulicites tliat the Ime does not stop >vith that P.i:i,e. 

The //lird theory is t!ic least jiuinsible of all, and yet the most difficult to relin- 
quish. After onr family !:ad moved from Delaware into Virginia, one of the 
promibin;,' youn^: men, Edward, was killed by the Indians. He loft three handsome 
and intelligent daughters; the care of these, as it seems, devolving on their uncle, 
Joseph McDonald. The young ladies were receiving attentions from some young 
men named Campbell, and so great was the feeling still existing between a Macdonald 
and a Campbell that Jose['h hesitated about allowing a further intimacy. His brother 
Brjan was appealed -to for advice, and a more or less extended correspondence must 
have ensued. Tliis has been losi for us, with the excepdon of the following post- 

"Well, Joseph, in conclusion, I will say that I don't believe the Campbells are 
of the family th.u massacred our Great-Grandfather, -McDonald of Glcncoc, in i6SS, 
the year after fatlier was born. If they are, we can't blame them more than William 
III, for he issued the warrant for their destruction, and he, McDonald,- was a High- 
land chief." 

This document would seem, at first sight, to settle all doubts; but a nearer exam- 

■i ■ ,'1/ '.. I ... 

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[ 26 ] 

ination makes it so open to exceptions, llr.u we have almost abandoned the idea of its 
being anything more tliaa a general si.ucnient. This feeling of Macdonald fraternity 
ran through all of the name; and a chieftain of a clan, and, in particular, this vener- 
able Mac Ian of Glencoe, was considered, to a large extent, as a common parent; of 
course, you would then ask, "Why does he say our ' Great Grandfather ?' " Well, 
he knew^ his grandfather had died in Delaware, and he must have considered this his 
grandparent's parent. There is little iiueslion but that he writes with a firm and 
decisive spirit, and ajipears to have the manner of one speaking in authority; but still 
we are at a loss to tind the facts bearing out the assertions. Again, it rnust be borne 
in mind that he j)enned these lines some sixty or seventy years after the Glencoe 
disaster, and had been, for a long time, in such a part of the world as to receive onlv 
meagre accounts of the proceeding; and it is barely possible that he formed a wron'^ 
impression concerning the par'.ies involved in the aiHiir. Of, he should have 
known whether Glencoe was his ancestors home; and not mixed it up with other 
MacDonald branches. There is a great deal for the letter; but now; let us turn to 
some of the more specific points which shake our faith in it. First of all, the mas- 
sacre referred to was on the 12th of February, 1692, and not 16SS, as specified in the 
letter. Again, William III did not begin his reign until the nth of April, i68y, antl 
it lasted until 1702. Furthermore, if you remember, we showed that Bryan, our fust 
ancestor, was certainly in America by 16S9, so that the massacre could not very well 
have been the cause of his llight, if flight there was, since the Glencoe tragedy did not 
occur until nearly two years later. Again, in looking over the Scotch Parliamentary 
Proceedings relative to the butchery, among the surviving children of the chieftain 
Alexander MacDonald, or Mcjan Macdonald, tliere i.f w mention made, that I can tind, 
of a son Bryan, nor any allusion to other children unnamed in the transaction, among 
whom he could have been. It is not impossible that he left home early; went to Ire- 
land and thence to America. This is, however, improbable. Now the strongest 
point of all this is that Br}-an is not a Scottish name, and never was used there, except, 
perhaps, by marriage. It is eminently Irish, being taken from the O'Brien's before 
referred to. When the oppression and selfishness of Penn's Quaker settlements became 
intolerable, our line moved to central Virginia, on the Roanoke and James Rivers, 
The justice, harmony and equality of " Tlie Friends' Plantation " have been greaily 
overrated, and it is to be hoped that men like Dr. H. Kgel, of Harrisburg, Penn.syl- 
vania, and others who are engaged in these questions, will follow in tlie steps of Geo 
Chambers, of Chambersbuig, Pennsylvania (1S56), and rub off a little of the gloss 
and false coloring from the pictures of Penn and his colonies. He deserves credit, 
and great credit; but the amount of blame is far from insignificant, which our worthy 
Quaker friends should equally bear. To write their histoiy and enshrine them in 
nothing but glon,-, just to tickle the pride of their aristocratic Philadelphia offspring, is 
to commit a breach of historical good faith; and that, too, oftentimes, for anything 
but worthy descendants of the veteran .stock. Some few writers have closed their 
eyes to faults, largely for the sake of glorifying their native State, independent of indi- 
vidual consideration. But Pennsylvania is great enough not to need such equivocal 


.i/,i(- 1' .:!' I. '■ '■?■•■ 



I . I M •,■ ' ■ M 

•Oiij. -.liiil ; 


[ 27] 

laudation; she should be able to stand the truth and feel proud that she is what she is, 
in face of the obstacles and errors she committed in dealing with them. What great 
honor to thrive in fair weather, with nothing to ofiposc ! You lessen her glory in 
stripping her of her trials. No, if she has had nothing but dcmi-gods to rule her; 
if her courts have been the centres of justice, j)erfect and constant, why then she is a 
poor result, and most truly of her, if of any one. may be said, '-iMoiiks pariuniur, 
ridicnlus nascdur nuts!" (The mountains are in labor; a laughable little mouse will 
be born ! ) 

In all these genealogical subjects, there are many side questions of interest, and 
not infrequently very puzzling in their bearing. They often remind one of a cave in 
which you are exploring a main passage. You see right and left passages,. some dark 
and impenetrable to all appearances, others lebs complicated, and some only litde side 
ramifications, leading you back to nearly the same place whence you started. They 
are all connected to a certain extent with your way, but life is too short for a separate 
investigation of all. Among such, there is one which I have often wondered over, 
but never expect to see fully settled. Not far from where our first ancestor Bryan 
McDonald settled, there was another family, whose head was Archibald IMacDonald. 
They were more or less intimate widi each other, and evidently very good friends. 
Archibald was manifestly a superior man. He died there; made his will, but never 
mentioned any kin with Bryan; no more than did Bryan with him. Now the ques- 
tion is, were they related; if so, how.* I leave this tor some future enthusiast to 

From this brief sketch, you may form some idea of the manner in which ques- 
tions are raised, and the labor involved in answering them. If we recall the ume and 
ouUay spent, at times, in settling a single date, the diflkully m determining the whole 
may be more easilv conceived. We hope that our labors here on this side of the 
ocean may be crowned with success enough to link the New to the Old World. The 
key once given, in time the rest may be solved. Except in our own immediate 
family, and there only withytTf members; and among a limited number more remote 
such as are specified in the first pages of Edition B, the interest in a work of this na- 
ture seems to be almost nothing. We had, therefore, in the future, better go on the 
plan of collecting for ourselves and interested friends, and let the rest take care for 
themselves. We have offered them the advantages of all our sacrifices, and they have 
looked upon them rather indifferently. This alienation of centered and united fellow- 
ship is natural in a family scattered as we have been, but the return to a proper state 
of feeling should not be encompassed with so many holding-backs. We should have 
tried at least to keep in sympathy with the head-places and homesteads; we have not 
had over many to have rendered such a plan imjiracticable. Our first was on Red 
Clay Creek, Mill Creek Hundred (or Township), Delaware, no trace of which can now 
be found; our second, Botetourt County, Virginia, where William and George Mc- 
Donald now live with their families; our third was near Bhicksburgh,. Montgomery 
County, Virginiji, where Floyd McDonald is at present; our fourth was near Athens, 
Limestone County, Alabama, where Mr. John E. Logwood, with his wife, Mrs. Hettie 

■M ;) 


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. Ii, .. i 7C-i.'i 


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■■JJ'J ; ■'' : .ii'f* L>V,' 


B. Logwood (born a McDonald) and family arc living; the fifth was at Macksville, 
Wasfiington County, Kentucky, where Zachariah McDonald, with lainilv and relatives, 
keeps the old places and recollections as green as ever; the sixth might be called the 
estate of James M. McDonald on N street, Sacramento, California, now abandoned. 
From there we have too much spread in little groups to name homesteads. Two of 
our best reunions are in San Francisco, California, and St. Joseph, Missouri, in the 
neighborhood of which is Dr Wakefield's (who married a McDonald), at Savannah, 

But I suppose that you begin to weary of iliis, even to you, not uninteresting 
topic, so I shall close for the present, N\iih best wishes for all well-wishers, and no hard 
thoughts for those otherwise disposed. 

My love to brother John, Florence, uncle James, Grandma and reiauves. 

As ever, your loving son, 

FRANK V. McDonald. 


London, England, September 2Sth, 1S7S. j 

My Dear Father: In connection with the genealogical scraps of my Li^ lettei^. 
it might have been well to have added some '"ev.- remarks concerning the meanings of 
biicu aiTixes as " Aiac," Er)an and the like. Fai back, tlie custom of using a sujipie- 
meniary name to designate clanship or descendancy began to prevail, and amid the 
many epithets, or apothets, of " De," " Don," " Van," " Von." " 'Slac," " O," and 
others peculiar to different nations, the two last became distinctive with Ireland, and 
" Mac," later on,}^ in western Scotland. The " Mac" and " O" first started 
in Ireland with the Brien family, some of whose members became O'Brien, then 
others MacBrien, then a third parly MacO'Brien; and then, by dropping and chang- 
ing others, kept on even more complex dilTerentiations in some of the Brien branches. 
When England succeeded in conquering her neighboring isle, she saw how powerful 
a tie this naming was, and tried to break it up by an edict forbidding any clanship 
titles, such as before specified, ami ordered each person to take separate appellations 
according to occupation, rank and distinction from his fellow man. This could not, 
however, be fully carried out, and the custom still prevailed until the time of the con- 
federation or union with Great Britain. The early Irish bards had a Latin verse com- 
memorating this national trait of clan christening. In English the sense has been given 

about as follows: 

By " Mac " and •' () " you'll always know 

True Iiishnien, they say; 

Uut if they lack both " O " and " Mac," 

No Irishmen are they. 

The word "Mac" means "son" or " descendant of;" and " in the illustrious 
families of MacDonalds or MacDonnells," as an eminent writer says, " it became a 
famous and wide spread affix." In this case, of course, it was the indicating link of 

,h ni 

f ^.C 

y/i . 

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..'MO Tii 

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./.■; ) : 

[ 29 J 

the oftspririL!: of Donald or Donncll. The Scotch wrote their form when it be^an to 
appear in script and print, or even ArackJonald; this last, however, was 
also used in Ireland, only with a capital I). The mode of writing is immaterial, the 
name is tlie same. There were, however, dillerent lines of MacDonalds, who were 
only relateii far, far hick in Iri^h History, if indeed they ever were. This is bv no 
means settled, and m.iy, perhaps, never be. An ilkistrious son of any man as Brien 
or Colla, named Donald, could found a line of MacDonalds. 

The word '■ clan " means " children," a plurality of ofTspring or descendants. It 
became applied to all persons sprin-ing from some illustrious sire, and also, if, in any 
family, one more than usually successful and popular leader wished to found a house- 
say in the MacDonalds-those sidin? with him, as well as his own immediate children, 
called themselves after his !ir,t name, with a '•' Mac" before it. Thus, if an Alister 
MacDonald separated he uould form the Mac Alisters-all IMac Donalds— but called 
MacAllisters. In this way a very lar-e number of names have come from the Mac- 
Donald stock, among which are some of the most famous lights of the European 
modem history. 

In speaking of our name, the meaning of it may not be unimerestincr Jt is de- 
rived from two Gaelic " Domnhan " and " All," written together Domnhall or 
Donal or Dame! in Anglicized form. This is one reason why the MacDonalds were 
and are, so often called MacDaniels and MacDanls. " This Domnhall," as one of 
ourgr^test authorities ^hows. " became a surname in the great and glorious branches of 
the ]\:.icDonJds. M.a) ,r... Jls, O'Dui.els, a.xd Daniels. The signification of the two 
compounding words are, lirst, " Domhan " "the world," and "All" "mighty" 
Thus give the idea of one of the mighty lines of the world. This is no undue^.xag- 
geration either, as far as Great Britain and Ireland are concerned; for during several 
hundred years the .MacDonalds played a very leading part in all the country's action; 
and to-day, if English invasion had ncjt destroyed the individuality of the Scottish and 
Irish chiefs and replaced a natural civilization by an artificial one, there is no doubt 
but that the MacDonalds would have been amongst the most powerful and influential 
names of all Ireland and .Scotland; far more, even, than the titles and names of Lord 
MacDonald, of Scotland, or Lord McDonnell, Earl of Antrim, in Ireland-good as they 
may be-can ever think of proN ing as substitutes. These are indeed latter-day crea- 
tions, the oljjccts of court favors; but are entirely another thing from (he heads of a 
grand old historic race, which, in all its higher and lower grades, would have been a 
nation in itself. But '•./,v,„;/,,v/ .,////«/," or '■ enough is good as a feast." " As of special 
interest, the word I'.rian comes irom " Bri," meaning "strength," and "an " signify- 
ing "very great;"' thus. Brian, a warrior of great strength. It has been AngHcized 
as Br)'an or Bernard, and many families have taken their start in this surname. 

Your afi'ectionate son, 

P. S.— Any amount of names, hundreds which formerly had " Mac - and " O " 
before them have now dropped ,!,,„,. and some have been totally changed as well- 
thus Johnson from M.icSli me, ••tc. ' 

I.,- ,'/':mftT 

"_ . I . T J. 

,...■ -a 

l! ' -:„ 

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l.^' I 

in ori ■ 


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[ 30 .1 

The next docnment to which I invite ymir attention is one of great importance. It is the 
wUl of Bryan McDonald, our first ancestor in America. This has been preserved by mere acci- 
dent, as many others were destroyed, and the copy of" it in P.. 153, Old Book, is fast growing indis- 
tinct and illegible. I'ntil tl\i3 will and the deeds relating to it were discovered, everybody sup- 
posed that Bryan-his son — was tlie first of our fauiilv on this side. And, speaking of accidents, it 
was only by good fortune that William McDonald, of Uotetourt, had kept an old book, with the 
birth record of Bryan's (Jr.) family in it; and, by a very remarkable coincidence, that Floyd saved 
from his father's papers that foregoing short bond headed -Mill Creek, New Castle county. Delaware. 
But for this we might have been years in discovering whence our family came before settling down 
in Virginia; in fact, without Floyd's early interest in our origin, I hardly know how any kind of a 
history of our family could have been written. The late civil war destroyed nearly 
possessed by the other scattered members of the family, and Floyd was the only party who held 
the connecting link between Virginia and Delaware. All this shows that we should begin at once, 
in order to save the little which has been spared. The will reads as follows: 

mm, I'ol. B, 153, Old Book. 

In the name of God Amen the 23d day of Feb in the year of our Lord 1707 
Bryan MacUonnell of the county of New Cistle on Delaware River being sick and 
weak in body but of good and perfect memory ( Thanks be to Ahnig^hty God) and calling 
to remembrance the uncertain estate of this transitory hfe and that all flesh must vicld ' 
unto death when it shall please God to call, Doe make consutute ordain and declare 
this my last will and testament in manner and form following revoking, i adnull- 
ing by the.:c presents all .Mid every testament ar/J testam.enls, will and wills heretofore 
by me made jlwA declaicd cither by word or \>iiih;g and this to Le tdkou onlv for niv 
last will and testament and none other, and first being penitent and sorrj- from the 
bottom of my heart for my sins past, most humbly, desiring forgiveness for the same^ 
give and comit my soul to Almighty God, my saviour and redeemer in whom and 
by the meritis of Jesus Christ I trust and believe assuredly to be saved and to have 
forgiveness of all my sins and that my soul with mv body at the generall day of 
resurrection shall rise again with joy and through the meritts of Christ death and 
passion be possessed and in-writt the Kingdom of Heaven prepared for his elect and 
chosen and my body to be buryed in such place where it shall please my executors 
hereafter named to appoint and now for the settling of my temporal and such goods 
as chatties and debts as it hath pleased God to bestow upon me I doe order give 
and dispose the same in manner and form following (that is to say) 

First — I will all my debts and duties as I owe in right or conscidure to anv 
manner of person or persons whatsoever shall be well and truly contented, and paid 
or ordered to be paid within convenient time after my by my executors here- 
after named. 

Ikm~\ give and bequeath to my well beloved wife Mary during her natural 
life my now dwelling pl.muuion together with three hundred and forty acres of land 
thereunto adjoining with one-half of my household goods and moveables, and the 
other half of my household goods and moveables to be equallv divided betw^n mv 
two sons, viz; William and Ihyan MacDonnell. 

Item — I give and bequeath to my eldest son John MacDonnell and to his 
assigns the fifty acres of land or meadow or comonly called the Great Meadow being 

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and bein'jf in tin:- fork> of a run calle 1 Great Run as also tenn poiiiuls of good and 
lawful. moncv to he p.iid to him bv my son William as hereafter will be specitied. 

//c7« — I L,'ive to luv -^on William MacDoniiell liis heirs or assigns forever two 
hundred and lifu-tluei' acre^ of land it hjiti'^' part of the tract of land on wliich I 
now live, and hin^' and licin,^ on the south side of a -;mall Run which (which runneth 
up aloni,' the fence side on the south oi my Ccdared Lands) and butting- on the main 
or branch of the said Run he therefore paying to my eldest son John MacDonnell 
the sum of ten pounds afored within ihree years after my decease. 

Ile/n — I give unto mv son James MacDonnell the sum of £20 of lawfull money 
to be paid by executors widiin three years after my decease. 

I/d/fi — I give unto mv son Bryan ^MacDonnell his heirs or assignes after ib.e 
decease of mv dearlv licloved svife Marv my now dwelling plantation freely to be by 
him or his assignes po-scsscd and enjoyed forever, but that and if it shall soe happen, 
that he dye before mv dearly beloved wife Mary that then my said plantation shall 
be turned to my son Richard .McDonnail his heirs or assignes, and to be by him or his 
assignes freely possessed and enjoyed forever. 

//em — I give unio mv son Richd -McD the sum of £20 of good and lawfull 
money to be paid to him v.hen he shall come to the age of 21 years. 

//em — I give unto mv daughter iMary Danger one young mare coming two years 
old being a fole of mv great grey mare. 

//em — I give over unlo my daughter Anable MacDonnell the sum cf i!20 of 
good and lawfull money, to be paid to her when sue sliall come lo the age of 18 
years together with n\y great v.iiite mare I bougtit ot Henry reierson (of liik River) 
and the two marcs and one colt which heretofore hath been called hers. 

//em — I will give and do hereby order and intend that my son Bryan MacDonnell or 
his heirs or assignes sh.ill pay the aforesaid sums of £20 to my son Richard MacDonnell 
and my dangluer Anable MacDonnell out of my now dwelling plantation within one 
year after he shall come in possession of it (if not paid before my executor) or in 
case of his death and the returns of the plantauon to my son Richard MacDonnell (as 
aforesaid) that then he shall pay therefore unto my daughter Anable the said £20 
and I doe hereby constitute make and ordain my dear and loving wife Mary anil 
my well beloved sons William and Hryan my sole executors of this my last will and 
testament. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the day and year 
first above written. 

Signed, sealed, publi.^hed and declared by the within named testators as his last 
will and testament, in the presence of the subscribers. 



GEORE READ. hlBmark. 

Brj-an McDonnell late of the said countv of New Castle, having while he lived 

and att the time oC his death gooti sights and credets in diverse places within the 

same county. 

Mary McDonnell, 1 

Wm " >- Sole executors. 

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This very >,-\ti-.lactory and v.ilu.ible document is so full of interest I shill not try to 
mention more than a few of its prominent features. 

First, you will please notice the truly religious and manly tone of it. It is wholly dirt'erent 
from many of the contemporary wills uhicli I examined, and is not written in the set form which 
many adopted. Then, throughout the whole is an alTectionate mention of every child, -and they all 
seem to have been treated as nearly alike as was possible. 

We see that he had seven children living at the time of his death, in 1707; but we have the 
descendants of neither of the girls, and of only one ot the five boys (Bryan), from whom we all 

This will throws light, also, on the following postscript (which I have previously quoted) to 
a letter from Bryan, a grandson of Bryan (No. i), to Joseph, another grandson: 

"Well, Joseph, in conclusion. I shall s.ay that I don"t believe the Cunipbeils are of the 
family that massacred uiir Great Grandfather, McDonald of Gleucoe, in 16S8, the year after father 
was born. If they are, we can't blame them more than William Tit, for he issued the warrant 
for their destruction, and he, McDonald, was a Highland chief." 

From these lines there would seem to be a doubt whether the year 1692 (the correct date of 
the massacre) or i6S3 was meant " as the year after Bryan, jr., was born." But Bryan, jr., was made 
an executor of his father's will, and must, therefore, have been at least eighteen years old, which 
1691 would wholly preclude. i6Sj would only make him twenty, which places even that date too 
in question. It seems hardly possible that he would have chosen such a youth to a position of that 
responsibility. One great omission for us, you will perceive, is no mtmiion in the will of the place 
from which he came in Europe; but wlien we bear in mind the galling associations he bore thence 
to his peaceful home in America, this failure to mention his conftscated estates, his murdered kin 
jnri ru'^ed faiijily, w'U not seem strange. 

Notice the three testators— Richard Empson, James Robinson and George Read— and e.xamine 
what influence they had in the family, how they were connected and the like. 

The other numerous points I leave to your own interest to discover. 

We come, next, to a search for the several branches of the family which have been lost. 
There were four of the .McDonalds in Bryan senior's tamily, named John, William, James, Richard; 
and in Bryan junior's lainily were added, later, two more— Richard and James— making s:.k in all. 
Without any reasonable doubt, there must be hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of the McDonalds 
living in this country who are related to us. If we could trace out some of them, we might find 
that they had preserved family records of great mutual value. 

These extracts which I now give are a few froni the many thousand names which I have 
searched over in public offices, and which seem the most likely to lead to results if followed up. 
Two methods of investigation have been pursued; one by examining deeds, wills, etc., in different 
parts of the country, to sec if the name, date and other incidents would correspond; the second by 
sending out circul.ars to different McDonalds all over the Union; and asking fur a brief outline of 
their genealogy. Ten thousand of the latter were issued and sent away at one time, and several 
thousand have followed since. The answers nave been coming in slowly during the past five years. 
At present, all I propu-e doing is to submit some few of the best data of the public records, and 
at some later day I shall try and report on the matter of the circulars. If any of those who pro- 
pose taking in charge thoc liii|uiries think of any particular help tl-.ey could find in those answered 
circulars, all they need to do is to apply to me, and I shall be happy to furnish, as far as in my 
power, any information they may desire. 

Our first query is, //>.v /,■;/,;■ (/'.■./ //w frinih- yf„i,i}it on Rid Chiy Creek in Delaware ? As far 
as Bryan, sr., is concerned, it has been seen that he died there in 1707; but where and how he was 
buried we are un.ible to determine. The l.ast mendon of land liaving been taken up by him is in 
"New Castle Warrants (thin volume), M, pp. 2S?> ami 259 and reads as follows: 

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. Whereas Brian McDonald of the County of New Castle makinp; !ip[iHcation to 
us that we would cjrant him to take up a certain ([uantity of vacant Land adjoyning on 
his Plantation formerly left out lakincf ui> only two hundred acres in the execution of 
a Warrant for four hundred, hath requested that we would still grant him the prefer- 
ence to said Laiul and hath agreed to pay to the Proprieles, use for die same twelve 
pounds ten shills., for ever)- hundred acres and a bushel of wheat yearly (^uiit-rent and 
so proportionably : '1 hese are to require thee to survey to the said Brian McDonald 
the said Tract of vacant Land according to the true boundaries of the Lands inclosing 
it, and make returns into the Genl. Survejorss othce at Philadia. where this Warrant 
is to remain and a Copv thereof to be delivd to thee certified by the Secretary, which 
survey and return in case the said Brian make paymt. of the said consideration money 
as aforesaid upon or before the twenty fifth day of the first month, shall be good and 
valid otherwise shall be void and of no effect, as if the same had never been made or 

given under our hand & seal of the Province at Philadia. the 21st of December 


To Thomas Pierson surveyor ED WD SHIPPEN 



8 Bryan 21 Dec, 1703; ; ..-.. returned 13 May, 1706. 

Pages 258 and 259 of smaller ( thinner) vol. of Newcastle Warrants. 

On pages 92 and 93, of the New Castle Warrants, are diagrams and general 
descriptions of Bryon McDonnill's lands, and of those of the neighborhood. 

With regard to the oldest son JOHN, I have the lollowing : 

In "Miscellaneous Papers" page 54, is a survey No. loi, for John ]\IcDonald, 
264 acres, loth May, 1709; it was ordered to be surveyed, 7th, 11 mo., 1708. 

In Deeds, vol. 2, Q, page 11, is the following, which is probably the same as the above, 
although there it is for 264 and here for 250 acres : 

Whereas, there is a ceruin tract of land situate in ye county of Newcastle, between 
ye Lands now of George Read, James Robinson and Hugh Symonds, and ye ^[annor 
of thirty thousand acres formerlv granted upon new Rent, as is said toWilliam Guest, and 
assigned by him to Philemon Murfy, but has to this time lain without impro\ement, 
and without paying or discharging any of ye Quit rents, for which it was granted, of 
which Land the said Philemon assigned fifty acres, taken up by one Warrant to Brian 
McDonald, late of the said county ; and two hundred acres more, making up the whole 
quantity by him claim'd, he resign'd to some of the s'd Brian's children .And 
whereas, about two years agoe, an agrcem't was made in our behalve with John Mc- 
Donald, eldest son of ye laid Brian, for the whole said two hundred and fifty acres, to 
be granted to him at the rate of twenty pounds for every hundred acres, & so 
proportionably, and one English shilling for a Quit rent for the same quantity forever 
These are therefore to authorise and require thee to survey or cause to be survey 'd to 

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the s'd John M 'Donald, all those ye s'd two hundred and til"i> acres of land, situate 
as afores'd, according to ye above mentioned boundaries, and make Returns thereof 
into the Secretarie's oflice. Given under our hand and seal of ve Province at 
Philadelphia, the seventh day of the eleventh month, 170S. 

In "Miscellaneous Papers," page 106, No. ro, is also mention ot' land to John McDonald. 
In New Castle Warrants, M., are these entries : 

5 John McDonald (See letter D.) 

This I have not yet been able to find; but it is probably unimportant. It may be nothing 
more than a duplicate of some other. 

6 John McDonald 7, 11 mo,, 1708 ; 250 acres ; returned etc., 30 May, 1733. 

7 " " ......" " " 250 '•• copy of No. 6. 

From all these records it «ill be seen that 170S— or the year after his father died — is the last 
registry that I can find of John. Whether he, too, died about this time, or moved to other parts, 
was married, had children, and stili lived on for a number of years, is unknown. After I have 
specified all that I can determine, with accuracy, relative to their stay on Red Clay Creek. I shall 
give some few of the best references to the same names which I have met with in other more or 
less remote ofiices of the Atlantic Coast. For the present, I confine myself for each child to Mill 
Creek Hundred. When I reach, however, the son Bryan, our ancestor, I shall follow him down 
to Botetourt, and complete -what documents and remarks I have to present on this occasion con- 
cerning himself and immediate descendants. 

About WILLI.-\M we have much more that is definite. In the following e.xtract from the 
records at New Castle we lind he and his wife Mary .-.oid all their iand in May, 1730. They 
ielt probaDly at that time; and now the question is wnitner did they go : I have chosen from the 
documents only those portions wliich concern us more particularly. 



Vol. I, pa^Qe 293. 

This indenture made the 20th of May, 1730, between William IMcDonald of 
Miln creek hundred in the county of New Castle on Delaware, Yeoman and Mar}- 
his wife of the one part and WilHain ?\IcMechen of the same place on the other part, 

Whereas William Penn Esq late proprietor and gov'r-in-chief of the province 

of Pennsilvania, in and by a certain patent or instrument of writing under the hands of 
Griffith Owen, Thomas Story and James Logan, then proprietary deputies and seal of 
the said province duly executed, did grant and convey unto Bryan McDonald, late 
of the county of New Ca-tle, afore.-aid yeoman a certain tract or piece of land, in said 
county of New Castle, containing 593 acres, to hold to said Brvan IMcDonald his 
heirs asns, to his and their only proper use, in behoof under the yearly Quitt-rent of one 
bushel of good merchantable winter wheat for every hundred acres etc, as in and bv 
the said patent dated 8ih Oct. 1706 recorded in the Roll oflice at Phil'a in Patent book 
a vol. 3 page 24, and whereas the said Br\an McDonald being by virtue of said writ- 
ing seized in his Demone as of fee of and in the p'misses made his last will and 
testament in writing and therein in/er ad (]id give and devise and bequeath to his son 
William .McDonald "arty to these presents, part of the said 590 acres of land in these 

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words, viz.: I give to my son \Vm. McDonald his heirs and asns, forever 250 acres of 
land it being part of the land on which I now live, and lyinj,and being, on the south 
side of a small run, whicii runneth up along tlie fence-side, on the south of mv cleared 
land butting on the main body, a branch of the said run etc, and afterward the said 
Bryan :McD died so as aforesaid seized of and in the p'misses, after whoes death the 
said will was duly approved before Robt French and James Coulis Esqs then deputy 
leg's for said county New Castle as in and by the said will dated 3d Feb 1707, and the 
records of said Regrs. olFice relation thereunto being had may more fullv appear: Bv 
virtue of said will the said William McDonald became seized of and in the said 250 
acres of land Mow this indenture witnesseth that William McDonald and Mary his 
wife deed over in full their property to Wm. McMechen his heirs assigns etc 

Two more references to "the late ISryan McDonald" and several to his son and Williani-s 
brother " Bryan. " 

Sealed and delivered in presence WM. McDONALD 

RICHARD McDonald, mary McDonald 

JAMES Mc.^[FCHEN. her (f) mark 

Of course, it will be evident from this, as well as it would be probable from lapse of time, that 
Bryan senior's wife Mary had died before 1730. Richard McDonald is one of the witnesses, 
and was, therefore, alive in 1730. 

As £ have but one more reference to make to Richard, I shall place it here, thus leaving only 
James and Bryan— since I have no traces whatever of the girls Mary (Danger) or Anabel--to treat 
of in their natural order of mention in the will of their father. 

In vol. E of the deeds is a grant of 2S0 acres for ^90, in New Castle comity, from Robt. 
Read, in county of Kent, to Richard McUaniell, in the year 1719. Witnessed by 

James Mole, 
William McDaniel, 
John Dempsters. 

The document is headed Richard McDonald, and it is doubtful which is the correct spelling 
He may be our Richard, or the ancestor of the McDaniels of Mill Creek previouslv referred to I 
have not yet been able .accurately to place this man. In any case, the mention of 1719 is not so 
recent as that of 1730 above. 

JAMES has left us almost nothing but brief notices wherewith to follow him. In 1 746 he is a 
witness of a sale of eighty-thrce acres of land by Bryan junior to .A,ndrew justis. 

In volume () of the deed,, p.ige 494. we fmd a sale, for ^14, of two lots on the corner of 
Market and Augustine streets, in the town of Newport, from James and Hannah Morris to [anies 
McDonald. The date of the conveyance was, ty Dec, ,74s. It was wiftessed bv Joanna Morton 
and James McMulian. 

In the same volume (Q), page 479, and Johannah Wollaston transfer to James 
McDonald (a tanne,), on the 2.s> .,f Mav. ,7^,, f„r 1:5. a lot on Ayre street, in Newport, next to 
Joseph McDonald, now James .McDonald's lot. This was witnessed by Thos. Carnachan and 
Thos Tourner. 

In the same volume 1 0\ na"e joS is -i AofA >t;iai> -• .~-r e . r >■.•,,■ 

> ^ . I •■^•- 4 '-:', '■■> a citea guen t^ept. 3, 173!, of property from \\ illiam 

Armstrong to James McDunal.l (tanner). Witnessed by David Bush and Richd ^^cWilliam. 

Nowhere do I meet with sales of property at this time by James, so that probably he remained 

around in that neighborhood after his brothers had left. He seems to have been more conserva- 

tive, and slow to seek fur decided changes. What has become of him or his descendants, if he had 

any, is unknown. 

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BRYAN, our ancestor, we can follow more closely, although not as well as we should be able 
to do. 

In Vol. Q of the deeds at New Castle, page 2;i, we lind the following extracts: 

This indenture was made ihe 14 — - i"4" i 7 be't' Bryan .McL) jr and Andrew Jui- 
tis on 8 — ro, 1701. Wm Penn's grant through Thos Siory and James Logan, con- 
veyed to Bryan McD senior and father oi Bryan McDonald jr, 593 acres on Mill 
Creek; recorded in Patent Book A, vol 30. 

And whereas the said Bryan McDonald made his will in writing, date 23 Feb. 
1707 and amongst other tilings therein savs; 

Item — I give etc unto my son Br}-an McDonald his heirs and assigns, after the 
deceas of my dearly beloved wife mary. my now dwelling nianiation. Will remaining 

in the register's oiTice at New Castle. Xow tiiis. indenture VVitnesseth that 

said Bryan McDonald and Catherine his wife for and in consideration of the 
just and full sum of £150 curr't, paid Ly said Andrew Jiistis do sell etc a certain piece 
of land (So acres) in Mill Creek Hundred in New Castle County. Part of the part of 
593 bequeathed to Brvan jr. his mark 

jAs McDonald BRYAN B McDOXALD (jcxior) 

« ]^jooRE CATHERINE i.ermark McDOXALD 

" iMc:\IULLA\ C 

Coram Jno Rich.vpdson 
14th Feb 17+6 j 7 

This is the latest nVeiiiion that I can lind of Bryan in Delaware — the 14th February, 1746-7. 
But we have record of him in the Surveyor's otrice at Richmond, Va., and elsewhere. 

Before passing to these I wi>h to call your further attention to the Archibald McDonald men- 
tioned in my letter from London. 

Most of his land hs bouglit from a William Thomas and irom Lotitia Penn. It also was sit- 
uated in Mill Creek Hundred. Archibald was a Voeman. In his will — 9th of April, 1749, I think, 
— he mentions the following persons: Abigail (his wite), and his children John (his e.xecutor), 
William, Thomas, .'\rchib.ild, Elinor fwitc ot J.imes Moorel, Abigail,- Mary. Of these, John was 
alive in 1762; William died before 1760 and iritestate — M.irgaret was his wife's name. Thomas 
made a deed 9th Oct., 1762, signed also by his wife Mary; witnessed by Jas. McMechen among 
others. Archibald junior's wife's name was Elizabeth; he purchased from Lotitia Penn, i7th 
Nov., 1762, 99 acres; witnessed by Robert Urvan and John Cann. 

In this connection, too, we find the estate of a Jeremiah McDonald, of New Castle County, to 
be settled by his wife I.vdia on or bcf'>rc 26tli .\pril, 1797. I have no idea who these parties were. 

Also the followii'g, from the IJook of Wills, I give for what value there maj- be in it: 

lames McDonald lately arrived "in a ship" from Scotland and died appointing 
Robt. Hamilton and a Win Junes as executors, and leaving his property to his brother 
John in the island Gigha, Argyleshire. to be i-ent to him to the care of John, 
McKneill Esq., ScoilantJ. 

T/iis Jimsfics, l/un. tin present list of the Xt\c Castle documents which I have to submit, 
and I now pass on to Hi\an .McDonald junior, our common ancestor, and Jo his history in 

You will remember that i-j^i'y-- was the last mention I found of him in Delaware, and you 
will also recall thit Floyd p'aces his dcpartiiie in 1753. The earliest grant of land that I can lind 

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is. however, as late a> loth March. 1756. for 48 acres, Patent Book M, page 34, Richmond. 
Va. Cousin Ge,,rge, of botetnurt, >ays that the deed for the property which he holds was made 
in 1756. So that prubablv there was a period of several years spent in prospecting before they lo- 
cated dennitelv. Who went uith him to Virginia is not certainly known, although I shall give later 
—when I take u,. the probable record, bearing on the lost head, of the families-some stanstics 
which may help u-, to more knowledge of thi.> misty question. 

The situation ..l the property claimed by Bryan was that now occupied by \Yilliam and 
George NrcDonaUfs farms, in Botetourt County, Virginia. Haymakerstown. between Fin- 
ca=.tle, the county seat, and Amsterdam on the railroad, is their Post Office address. Bryan's 
enjoyment of hi. new home was brief, for he died in 1757, as may be seen from the following copies 
of his will, and his executor's bond, which were filed in Staunton, then the county seat of all that 
district : 


]VtIls; Book 2; Ptigf 197. 
In the Name of God Amen, the twenty-first day of May in the year of our Lord 
one thousand Seven Hundred and fifty-seven, I Bryan McDonald of ye County of 
Augusta and Coliny of Vergenia, being sick and weak in bodv but of Good and per- 
fect memory (thanks be to Almighty God) and Calling to Remembrance the uncertain 
Estate of this tran..itary life and thai all i\c=h must yeald unto Death when it shall 
please God to call, Do make, constitute, ordain and Declare this my last will andTes- 
tament in manner and form following revoking and DisanuUing by these presents all 
p.nH evprv testr.m.>nt and Testaments. Will & Wills heretofore by me made and Declared 
either bv word or writing, and this to be taken only for my Last Will and Testament, 
and none other, and first being penitent and sorry from ye bottom of my Heart for 
my sins past, most Humbly Desireing forgivness for ye same, I give and commit my 
soul to Alhnighty God my Saviour and Redeemer in whom and by ye merits of Jesus 
Christ I trust and believe assuredly to be saved and to have forgiveness of all my sms 
and that my boul with my body at the General Day of Resurrection shall rise again 
with Joy through the meritts of of Chrisls Death and Passion possess and Inherit the 
Kingdom of Heaven prepared for his Elect and Chosen, and my Body to be buried 
in such place where it siiall please my Executors hereafter named to apoint, and now 
for selling of mv tempnrall and sucli Goods c<t Chaitells and Debts as it hath plea^sed 
■ God to bestow upon me: 1 Doc order give and bestow the same in manner and 
form following (that is to say) First, I will that all my Debts and Duties as I 
owe to any mancr of Person or Persons whatsoever shall be well and truly contented 
and paid or ordered to be contented k paid within convenient dme after my Decease 
by my Kxecutr hereafter nanicd. 

JUm.—l give and bequeath to my Son Bryan Mc Donald his Heirs or Assigns 
forever the one-half of my Land it being of die uper part of ?ily Land where he ye 
sd Bryan McDonald u-cd to formerly Dv/ell. 

Ttevi.—\ give and bequeath to my son in law John Armstrong to his Heirs or 
a.ssigns forever the otlicr iialf of mv Plantation it being the part that I now Dwell 
upon He paying fifty pounds curant money. 

j(^,n^ — I give unto my Doughter Prisla the feather Bed she lieth on. 


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lUm. — I give and bequeath to my \\r\\ beloved wife Catherine McDonald Dur- 
ing her natural) life or Widowhood the use of all my real it personal Estate and if so 
be that she should marry a^'ain that she shall only heave her thirds. 

Item. — I give unto my son Richard McDonald fuc j.iiillings currant money. 

//e'w.— the remaining part of my Estate I allow it to be sold at public vandue 
and to be equaly Devided as followeih viz: betuevn my sons, James McDonald 
Edward McDonald Joseph McDonald & Bryan iMcDonald and my Doughters Rebeca 
Bean Catherine .\rmstrong and Marv Smith. 

I do hereby constitute make and ordain my Dearly beloved Catharine <.t my 
well beloved son in law Jolm Armstrong my sole Executors of this my last will and 
Testament in witness whereof I heave hereunto sett my hand and seal the Day and 
year above written, 

Sealed and Delivered / BRYAN b! McDONALD. 

In the presence ot \ mark 

Joseph McDonald, 
Geo. Robinson, 
Edward McDonald. 
Virginia, to wit: 

At a Court cond i held for Augusta County August the 13, 1757. 
This last will & Testament of Brvan McDonald deed being proved bv the oaths 
of F.d-i'.rd k Jo-eph McDorald two of the v;-tr"-:-3 thereto was admitted to Record. 
And on the motion of Catherine McDonald & John Armstrong the E.xtors therein 
named who made oath according to law Ceruficate is granted them for obtaining a 
Probate thereof in due form, they having with Edward & Joseph McDonald their 
securities entered, into & acknowledged their Bond according to law. 


A Copy Teste 

William A. Burnett Clk. 

The will was made, as y.)u perceive, in .>tay, 1757, and the bond hereafter following in August, 
'757. between which time Bryan must have died. Where he was buried is undetexmined, although 
probably in Glebe grave-yard i;now called iMountain Unicm Cemetery), which was presumably 
started about this time in Botetourt County, not far from the farm of Bryan. 

The bond reads : 

Know all Men by these Picsents, Tluit we Catlierine McDonald, John Armstrong, 
Edwd McDonald l^: Jcjs. Mcf^'inald are held and firmiv bound unto Jno Buchanan, 
Robt. Breckenridge, Rd Woods t\; John Archer Justice in the Commission of the 
Peace for Augusta County; for, and in Behalf, and to the sole Use and Behoof of the 
Justices of the said County, and their Successors, in the Sum of six hundred pounds. 
To be paid to the slid Justices their Executors, Administrators, or Assigns: To the 
which Payment well and truly to be made, we bind our.-,el\es, and everv of us, our, 
and every of our Heirs, Executors, and Administrators, jointly and severally, firmly, 
by these Presents. Sealed with our Seals Dated, this 18 Day of August Anno 
Dom, 1757. 

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[ 39] 

The Condition of thi- Obli2;ation is such, That if the above-bound Catherine 
McDonald & John Armston? Execrs. of the Last Will and Testament of Bryan 
McDonald, DcctM-od, do make, or cause to be made, a true and perfect Inventory of 
all and singular the Goods, Chattels and CraAlits of the said Deceased, which have, or 
shall come to the Haiuls, Po>ses>ion, or Knowledge of the said, Catherine tV: John or 
into the Hands, or Tossession of any other Person or Persons, for them and the same 
so made, do exhibit into the County Court of Augusta at such Time as they shall be 
thereunto required by tlie said Court; and the same Goods. Chattels, and Credits, and 
all other the Goods, Chattels, and Credits of the said Deceased, which at any Time 
after shall come to the Hands, Possession, or Knowledge of the said Catherine & 
John or into the Hands and Possession of any other Person, or Persons for them do 
well and truly Administer according to Law; And further, do make a just and true 
Account of their Actings and Doings therein, when thereto required by the said Court: 
And also, shall well and truly pay and deliver all the Legacies contained and specified 
in the said Testament, as far as the said Goods, Chattels and Credits will thereunto 
extend, and the Law shall charge: Then this Obligation to be void and of none Effect, 

or else to remain in full Force and Virtue. her 

Sealed and Delivered, ] '^'^ 

in the presence of [ JOHN ARMSTRONG, 


At a Court cond & held for Augusta County the iS of August 1757. 

Catherine AJcDonald lic John Armstrong with Edward & Joseph McDonald their 
securities acknowledged this their Bond for the sd Catherine and John's true & faith- 
full Admton, of the Estate of Brj-an McDonald deed, which is ordered to be recorded. 


A Copy Teste 

WiLLiAJi A. Burnett, Clerk. 

From these documents we have been able to settle many puzzling questions, which 
it will be needless to repeat here, as they have been embodied in our work. 

You will notice that the form of the will is copied largely, from that of Bryan senior's. 
Richard, James, Edw.ird, Joseph, Rebecca Bane (or Bean, as they were usually called), Catherine 
Armstrong, Mary Smith, ISryan and Priscilla, were all the children he had ever had — as far as we 
know^ — and they are all mentioned as if living. Bryan — his namesake— the youngest son, and ne.xt 
to youngest child, seems to liave been his favorite. We are struck with the slight traces ot domes- 
tic distrust in this will, --hnwn bv the way in whicn Richard is remembered; his own " well-beloved 
wife's "' possibility of rcniarri3;_;e is alluded to; and the bond which is exacted from his executors 
for fulfillraent of responsibilities entrusted to them. 

Richard and James have never been heard from after this date, although cousin George of 
Botetourt tells me there is a saying in the family that James went to the Carolinas. How much 
truth there is in it, is very har<l to tell. I have e.xainined thousands and thousands of pages in 
public offices of Ncpith drolina in search of him, but have not found anything satisfactory enough 
to follow up. I might as well st.ite here that t ic Scotch .McDonald mentioned in the " History of 
General Marion's Campaign in X'jrth Car'jlin.i .luring the Revolutionary War" was not a relative 
of ours. By the kindness of his descendants in .ind near Elizabeth City, I looked up liis genealogy 
in detail. 



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Richard had left to him five shillings, the lea>t the law allowed, as I understand it. Not 
another reference is made to him. Whether he remained in Delanare, or was there in Virginia; 
what his relationships were with the familv, and many other questions, remain to be solved. What 
I have cited is all that we know of him. 

I shall give later on when I turn to the rt'cords which may throw light on the unknown his- 
tory of Bryan's (senior^ lost sons; also some extracts that mav have a bearing on the fate of these 
two men. It is po>sibIe, and not improbable, that James had few, if any, children. 

We have now reached a point in our Inbors from which we can journey with fruitful rewards. 
We know considerable of the descendants of the remaining sons: and, in time, with patient and 
careful work, we may collect a full and reliable history of all the offspring. 

Before closing these contributions, I shall give a. general outline of the names which remain 
to be worked up; but just now I shall invite your attention to some further extracts that I have 
made from the public records in Staunton, Virginia. 

In Vol. 2, page 251, is .-in inventory of Hryan's personal effects, amounting to £64, l6s. 
Among the items were one large bible, common prayer-book and sermon-book, and two small 
prayer-books, all valued at tii, 3s. This list was entered March l6th, 1758 In these books were, 
probably, records of the family; and, if they are in existence, we might gain considerable from 
them. As will be seen from the "Sale of Personal Effects," which I have given in part below, 
the "bible" was purchased by Wm. Armstrong, so that, possibly, in the descendants of that line 
— could we find them--might be much of value for our inquiries. 

Again — and this is very important — we have here fair evidence of the religious belief of 
Bryan. As there never was, to my knowledge — or to that of our ancestors, so far as I can learn — 
any Catholics in the family, these prayer-books show either " The Church of England " profession 
^that is, t-piscopalian), or the Presbyterian, but inoie likely the former. V-.'hile the book of ser- 
mons ana the bible on the other hand would point iiic/ie to the Prtibyiorian, or, L;.iter said, the 
Reformed Church of Scotland — as started by John Knox, and adapted to suit the reunion with the 
Puritans of England under the Commonwealth and Cromwell. I have heard said that Brjan of 
Delaware and Bryan of Botetourt were both inclined to preach a little in the Presbvterian belief, 
but this is very poorly substantiated. If we could only be sure of the belief of Bryan of Delaware, 
we might have a good guide-board in our search for the exact and specific cause that led to the 
fiamily's aigration to this country. 

WUls ; Vol. 2, page 1^2. 

Effects were sold 2yth of ^larch, 1759, 
To Joseph McDonald, a fire-shovel and tongs, - . . 

Josua McCormick, 2 bell.s, - - - . - 

Edward McDonald, a mattock, 

Wm. Armstrong:, a large bible, - - . . . 

Bryan McDonald, a large pott, - . . . 

Wm._Graham, a large sermon-book, - - - . 

James Bean, Drillincourt on Death, - - . - 

George Robinson, a large prayer-book. ... 

John Armstrong, a horse-saddle, .... 

James Litlierdale, a cone shell, ----- 

James Robinson, a mare, - - - . . 

James Bean, a stile 

And so on for Quite a list. 



- 5s 


£1 6s 


£1 OS 


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[41 ] 

The sad fate of Hrvan's third ^on (Edward) is. doubtless, more or less familiar to you. It 
was one of tht customs of the Indian^ in tliu.-.e days to lurk in the bushes and trees around a house 
until the "men lulks '" had ;.">ne into the f.clds to work, when they would steal up, rush in upon 
the family, if they could rind it un|>rotected, and steal, murder and burn, according to their dispo- 
sition. By the time the men would reach the scene, the depredators would have escaped and be 
beyond ordinary sengeance. The nioi-niug of Edward's death, he hnd j^one just a littie way from 
the door of his home to ^.uher some nre-wood, and, in so doing, came uncomfortably near a party 
of these concealed marauders. They, either imagining that he saw theiTt, or fearing discovery, or 
thinking the opportunity a favorable one, seeing Edward was unarmed, fired at and shot him. As 
soon as wou ided, Edward turned and ran toward the house, with the Indians in pursuit. Ffe, 
weakened from loss .,[ Ijlood.. and stumbling, tell, so that they caught up with him, brained him 
with an axe, scalped hnu at his very door, and then lied to the woods. Edward was a young 
lawyer of great force of character, large ability, and fine appearance. He was, as is said, the 
most promising o( the .Mel Vjiialus. His death was a great loss to his family and to his country. 
He left a wit'e, named .Marv, and three daughters. The widow and children moved away from the 
tragic spot— which was near the present site of Amsterdam, Botetourt County—to Abingdon, I 
believe; and there the young ladies, who were great beauties, married two men named Campbell 
and a Mr. Greenw.ay. The Campbells were men of superior intellect, and had offspring who were 
called repeatedly to the highest olfices in the State. Mr. Greenway was of the family, I believe, 
that founded a large cominerciai establishment in Lynchburg, Virginia, and another in New York 

It is only recently, through the zeal of .Mrs. lliir>- J. Wright and Dr. Green of Mississippi, 
and Miss Ellen J. Pierce, of Abingdon, Virginia, that I have found the addresses of good parties 
for information on this branch of our lamily. Aithougi. the Campbells have always been more or 
less prominently before the public, I have not met sviui just the ones who were posted en their 
early family life in anything ro.ore than a general way. I now hope that they will choose among 
themselves that person best fitted for this work, and that with their aid he will contribute a full and 
valuable memorandum of this interesting part of our history. 

It was in regard to these Campbells, as you will recall, that the postscript concerning Wil- 
liam in and Glencoe was written, all of which I have discussed at length in the previous pages and 
in my London letter. 

For the Greenway conneition I have no one to address; can any body suggest some party 
able and willing to undertake this .' 

In Staunton wills, Vol. 2, page 402, Man' McDonald is made "administrator of 
all the goods of Edward McDonald. 

August 20th, 1760. Signed by— MARY McDONALD, 


In volume 3, page 43, are the following items from Edward McDonald's Inventory : 
8 volumes of the Si>cct;nor, ----- i6s 

The Body of the Va. Laws, - - - - 8£ 6s 

2 prayer-books, one bible and 2 primers, - . - 8s 

Dictioncry, cuinplcle 'rr.-idc.--incn, etc., - - - - 2S 

With a rather long account of Ixioks aiul other objects of interest, showing that for a man 
almost cut off, as he was, from the world, he had a large share of the comforts and luxuries of life. 

It is reported, althoii,i;h not certain, that Edward had a son who was killed in trying to save 
his father; and it is also claimed by some that he had another daughter who married a man named 

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L 42 1 

Russell; but there seems to be nothing reliable concerning the existence of these other two 

I have given the documents up to this point, with most of their old word-forms, their inaccu- 
racies of spelling, punctuation, grammar, and general orthography, all unaltered. Henceforth, 
the extracts will be brief, and corrected if necessary. My object in leaving the records just as nearly 
as possible as they are was three-fuld : First, to show the state of the language, with it.s etymology 
and syntax yet undetermined, the total di>regard for punctuation and capitals, and the easy manner 
in which our name and the names of others could be and Ivere changed to suit any uneducated 
scribe; secondly, to point out the indifference among forefathers to literary excellence in public 
otFices, a fault, not only common here, but all over Europe; and thirdlv, to bring out more promi- 
nently the utter contempt that men of fine intellect and high rank — especially, if warriors — had for 
writing and literary occupation. While, in most instances, they could read with ea<e, they deemed 
It below them to sign even their name. They had serfs, slaves, scribes and ecclesiastical proteges 
for such drudgery, and a cross or a letter was enough for their endorsement. They were, h<?\vever, 
not long in this country, after tlie revolutionary war, before they lost luuch of that nonsense, and 
education became a necessary and desirable factor of their existence. But for some reason or 
other that exalted spirit of learning and appreciation for knowledge, in all forms, never so infused 
the South as it did the North and West. 

The following quotations from the Staunton, Va., records relate in some cases to the family, 
while in others their be.Tring is uncertain. They are given for vvhat they are worth. They are 
placed here, and not among the data for tracing the lost branches, because they contain other mat- 
ter, which would be too much severed from its possible connection if removed from the present 
place. It is ?. little better to keep the records of this office all together. 

In Vol. 2, page 203, of the -wills, onlv ^ lew pst^e^ from the r-ntry "^f the bond 
on Bryan's will we find " Jeannette McDonald made administrator uf Randall Mc- 
Donald's property. "Know that we, Jeannette McDonald, John Wright, David Smith, 
before the Justices, i6th oF November, 1757, etc." 

Other wills before this, making Chas. Hays and James .\Ioore executors, 26th of 
August, 1751. James Lee, .Samuel Linsey and Jas. Trimble are names mentioned at 
the same time. 

2, 232. Wm. Paul's appraisal, made 6th of December, 1757, by Andrew Hays, 

Joseph Cidton and Alexander Walker. 
2, 23S. Gives Randall McDonnell's inventory. Parties mentioned were Robl. Crav- 

vens, Hugh Campbell and Arthur Johnson. Total esUmate, £13 95; 

November, 1757; entered at Court, 17 of March, 175S. 

2, 311. Alexander McDonald, administrator for Joseph McCelhild, Mav 17, 1759. 

Signed by Alexander .McDonald, Jolin Ramsay and John Poage. 

3, 143. Frances ^McDonald's inventory; November 15th, 1751. Signed by Samuel 

Downy, Thos. Te.ite and Thomas Brown. Included some books, shoe- 
maker's tools, tanned leather, a white horse, etc. 

3, 391. Sale account of Randall McDonald's private effects. Among other things 

was also an old bible. The piircliascrs incUtded the following names: 
John Plea.sani (a mcrchani), Ricliavd Sliaiiklin, Wm. Bean, James Bean, 
James Steven.vm, Julin Matison and Gabriel Jones. 

4, 475. Henry McDonald, administrator for Samuel .^^cDonald; 17th of March, 

1772. Signed by Henri.- McDonald, 'J'hos. Kindead and Sam'l Kelly. 

■t-f. ■ >' '.■ ■■.■(>;l Jl 

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[ 43 ] 

5, 59- Samuel McDonald's " appmisement." Amonj other things, "i gilt trunk" 
is mentioned. (Edward McDonild had also had a gilt trunk.) March 
1 6th. 1773. Signed by Roh't Rratten, Sam'l Hodge and Andrew Lock- 

And in Vol. 21, 329, is a long, singular and interesting will of the wealthy Alexander 
McDonald, of Baltimore; filed 23d of July, 1S36. He left no children 
of his own, and only a sister ^largaret as representative of the McDonald 

So much for the will-; let Ui now turn to the vohimeb of deeds and conveyances of property. 
I give these withor.t any comment, as their general bearing '.vill be clear to those who have followed 
me carefully thus Jar. It is useless to publish details until we determine approximately what their 
full value is. 



6,482. Bright to McDonald. 

740. Robinson " " 

8.199. Black 

8,260. Davis «' '• 

9,351. Cloyd " " .^ 

11,221. Robinson " •« 

13,370. John Morre from Armstrong, of South Carolina, Granville Co., 14th of 

August, 1767. 

23,170. McDonald to McDmald, 18th of September, 1779. 

23,481. Thom{>on to " lyth of August, 17S2. 

24,452. Scott to McDoanall. 

5,479. McDonald, Edward, to David Cloyd. 

8,291. McDauiel John to Gunrod, 

1,072. McDonald Pat. to Stephens, a town lot, sold for .£70, &c. 
11,214. " Joseph to Preston. 

14,511. " .\le.K " Ramsay, 1767. Margaret Jane McCleland, his mother 

Beverly Manner, 641 acres; loth of May. 
18,316. " John to Whitzell. 

25,301. " .\ng. to .Scott. 

6,402. Slh of OctnS.r, 17C4: Eriik ami Jo:.^eph McDonald, 207 acres for 5s; re- 

lexscd from coin J<i>. Hillou, on nortii side of the north fork of Goose 

Creek, by George Pans' land. 

Wm. Preston, 

Jno. S.mith, 


I. St of March, 1755. Israi. Chrisuan. 

740. Between (ieu. R.iliiiis.iu, f.)r >-, and Jas. ^[cD<lnald; 245 acres on a 
branch of [nitr.\lo Creek, a braiicii of the Roanoke. 

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[ 44 ] 

8,199- ^°'^ °^ November, 1759; between Jno. Burk, of Augusta County, Virginia, 
and Jno. McDonald, of Orange Count)-, N. C; £35 current money, 
108 acres in Augusta County, on Boon's run, a branch of the main 
river of Shenandoah. 
8,260. 1760; Nathaniel Davis, of Augusta County, and Frances McDonnale, his 
heirs, etc.; X34; 150 acres; Beverly INIanner to Hamilton land. 

Wm. Edminsto.v, 
Henr\' Gay, 
Andrew Coward. 
9,351.' Edward McDonald's — deceased, of Augusta County — payment of debt of 
2 1st of November, 1753, to David Cloyd, £60. Entered May 20th, 
11,221. Geo. Robinson and Martha his 'vi/e to Joseph ^McDonald; 22d of March, 

1755. Certified 12th of February, 1763. 
24,452. Scott to .Anguish McDonald — 6th of November, 1784 — of Augusta County; 
£40; Beverly Mannor, Christian's Creek. 
8,291. Jno. McDaniel. of Orange County, N. C, and Stephen Gunrod. of Augusta 
County; 20th of May, 1760; £30; loS acres on Boon's run, Augusta 
County, a branch of the main river Shenandoah. 
II, 214. 7ih of February, 1763; 142 acres, to Preston; in a line of Geo. Robinson's 
land, and a line with heirs ol Edward McDonald, on a branch of 
Tinker's Creek. 
23,170. 28th September, 1797; County of Augusta; between Henry McDonald and 
Martha, Frances McDonald and Margaret, Hugh Mardn McDonald 
and Mary, John McDonald, James McDonald, parties of the first part, 
and unto William Allen of the other part, land for £1025, in Beverly 
Mannor, on the waters of Cristian Creek. Witnessed by John Graham, 
James Brattain, Adam Brolton, John Bratton, James Fulton. 
23,481. 19th of August, 1782; between Wm. Thompson and Samuel McDonald, 
for a tract of land of 195 acres for 5s, which was granted to Thomas 
Thompson, by patent dated ist of June, 1750; lying in .Augusta County, 
and on Cow-pasture River. Witnessed by John Lewis, Alexander 
Crawford, John Cowardin. 
5,479. 1st November, 1753: Edward McDonald, farmer, and David Cloyd, a 
mortgage on Edward .McDonald's, Joseph McDonald's, &c., lands for 
£60. (See 9,351.) 

This completes the list of records from Staunton, .Augusta County, Virginia, which I have to 
submit to your inspection. As previou-ly remarked there is much more there which would doubt- 
less prove of great help in our Labors; but my time would not permit of a more elaborate and 
minute investigation. For those relatives who propose undertaking this I'leld of inquiry I recom- 
mend that office and its documents to their carct'ul consideration. 

I pause at this point in my writing to note one of the greatest misfortunes that could have 
happened to us in our inquiries— the death of Cousin George McDonald, of Botetourt, news of 
which has just reached me in Cousin Floyd's letter of July 21st, 1879.- This correspondence I 

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[ 45 ] 

have moved to an earlio, pun -f these cntvibnuons as better throwing light on the passages among 
which it is placc-a; but n, ,.> the matter foilowing it had beeu written previous to the receipt of 
the letter, and the irciuent n.cntion oi George as an expected worker, and the natural inierence ot 
his being in li.e, is th,» f. be aconuucd tor. I have made no changes in these references to hmi, tortt 
does not seem f. n.e p,,>m1,1c that I can no longer lo,.k to his sunny, genial spirit; his accurate and 
widely-informed mind, and Li. dee,, and never-lailing interest in all family matters, for encourage- 
ment, criticism and svnr.,.,.hv. I almost doubt whether I should have gone to the trouble of compil- 
ing and working over all the lore-oing reteicnres to Botetourt ar<i our early history there if it had not 
been in the hope of their reaching Coa,in George, and finding under his excellent discriminating 
consideialion their pr„per place and true bearing on the known and unknown passages of our his- 
tory. For me the recnciliation to his loss is very difficult ; but when I think of how incompara- 
bly more dear he mu<t h.-ive been to all who were near to and close by him, then the lesser grief of 
my individual privation ,-, >wailowed up in sympathy for their greater and overwhehning aUliction. 
I subjoin a few of his List remark, to me touching ditTerent members of the family, and I feel sad 
to think that I did not inquire of him in detail respecting all the McDonalds in our work; but I 
expected to see him again, after we had carried our labors to a point which would permit of di- 
gressions and minute items, and then receive his experience and judgment in full. Of course these 
conjectures and reminiscences maybe more or less open to correction, as they were given at an 
early period of our re^^carches, and without the light that we now have through related matters; 
for the remote queries however, he is, generally speaking, the party whose opinion, in case he gives • 
one, we can accept as the mtjst probably correct. 

In speaking of a person by number, I always use that given in Edition B, of our Genealogi- 
cal Tables, which wa;> uubli^hed in 1S76. 

I do not reproduce here the many statements ,^ George which time have proved to be 
correct; and whi.h have Veen incorpor:.-d in ai' -r- cdiH-os, :;"d in the foregoing pages. It 
would be only a needless repetition. 

The following is in George", own words, as near as I can recollect: 

" Brj-an's brothers did not come with him from Delaware, but Robinson did. 
The property in Botetourt was deeded to Bryan, No 16, in 1756, and the document 
is now in my hands. Where Bryan of Botetourt died or was buried, I do not know. 
I think that' some of Br%an's brothers went into Pennsylvania, and that, later, one or 
two came down into \-ir^Mn,.a. 1 lutve heard that one of Bryan of Botetourt's family. 
or one of Bryan's broil>er., had s.Mne trouble with his wife, and that they both went 
to the Carolinas. It ,ccnis to me that it was James (10). 

Bane (13), or a son-in-law of Bryan, settled about Salem, Va.; and of him 
they tell a lau^liable anecdote how he was so fri-htened by a flood— having to roost all 
night in a tree— ihtt he sold his property— the best farm of the neighborhood— at a 
great sacrifice and went to 'lom's Creek. His wife lived to a good old age and died 

in 1816, in Mont:,r,mcry county. ^/^ 

John Armstrong (14). another son-in-law, moved to Kentucky. \-ri^c<u> • J' 
James -Mlison was, it seems to me, the name of another one of his sons-in-law, 

and he moved -to Kentucky also. 

Frank Grinds, still another, as I recollect, had a son living in 1824 on French 

Broad River, in Tennessee-. 

Edward (11) h.^d, if I remember correctly, a son who was killed by the Indians 

at the same lime as his father fell. Two of Edward's daughters married Campbells, 

named John and David, as the rep-ort goes; and one of the young ladies married a 

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[ 46 ] . 

Greenvav. from whom came the weahhy merchants or" the same name in Lynchburi; 
Governor Campbell, of Virginia, was the son of one of these marriages, and their de- 
scendants have generally been men of prominence. One of the offspring ot one of the 
girls married a person by the name of Slaughter, and is now in .Marion, Smyth county, 
Virginia. All of Edward's children settled around Abingdon, Va., where Gov. Camp- 
bell was living in 1S4S. Do not know whether he has died since. His widow was 
alive after the war, as I remem.ber having heard an anecdote of a negro applying to 
her for board. Do not remember much about the Russell connection; doubt if they 
had any children. 

.Joseph (12) came in 1753 to Greenheld, Botetourt county. In 1768 he went to 
Montgomery county, settled and died there. Floyd occupies the old homestead. 

John (23) and Joseph (24) left this countrv together in 1803, and went, probably. 
to Kentucky and West Tennessee, near the ]\Iuscle Shoals District. All of the chil- 
dren of Joseph (t2), previous to 1803, were born in Botetourt county. John (23) 
professed religion, in 178S; joined the Methodist church in Botetourt county, and was 
followed in this step by his brothers Joseph (24) and Alexander (40), the latter of 
whom became a minister, and preached, to my knowledge, at the funeral of old man 
Barber, a former neighbor of ours. 

Descendants of Elizabeth (29) are in Maun,- county, Tenn., I think. For date, 
and incidents relating to the children of Edward (25), address Mrs. Susan McDonald 
(born Black), the wife of Stephen (76). She is stopping with some of her children in 

Brj'an (16) was a tanner. His son James (32) was out, at one Ume, among the 
Indians, before the revolulionar)- war, with some high office, probably a general. He 
was much praised, and keenly regretted when he was carried oft" by a malignant fever, 
just after grandfather finished building the house in which we now are. 

Mar}- (35) lived in Montgomery county, and raised a family there. Her youngest 
son, Robert, went to Ohio ; her oldest son's familv was residing in Craig county, on 
what is called Sinking Creek. At present, I am aware of none of the children as 
being in this world. I have heard of the death of nearly all — James, William, Ed- 
ward, George, Thomas, Robert, Susan, !Mary, Jane, Grizelda. 

Edward (36) was a tanner for a while. He was a man of great energy and fine 
abilities. He was elected to the Legislature about the time of the war of 181 2. 

Milton Walker, husband of, (3S) is li\ing in Illinois or in Tennessee. For in- 
formation relating to Hercules (45), and his nearer kin, a good party to see would be 
William (112). 

.-Mexander (53) married several times, the ceremony on one occasion being per- 
formed .by his son, Leonard Dlackman (202), who was also a minister. There were 
many children in the faniil\- of this branch. They are living in Mississippi, I believe. 
Alexander was originally a surveyor. For particulars relating to Edward (25) and his 
offspring it would be well to call in the elticient aid of Captain Edward Peery, Jetfer- 
sonville, Tazewell county, Va. 


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Stephen (7^) was killed by a nei^ru while huntiiio: bear. The negro's "-iin, he 
claimed, weni olf actiJentiy and .-.lioi hi> master. It has always been believed, how- 
ever, that the nejni, who was of a very vicious disposition, shot his owner, feelin"- 
sure that it could never be jiroved with certaintv against him. 

The members of the family of Brvan (127) were all born in Botetourt county. 
with the exception of one ch.ild, who wa> born in Tennessee, to where they moved. 
Bryan lived and died there, and has but one child in that State now, so far as I know. 
Rhea county, Eastern Tcnne-see, was his home. The family is widely scattered. 
Bryan (355) is in California, Joseph (354) is in Kansas; James (351) is in Wiscon- 
sin; Lewis (356) and Martha (352), are not far from Parisburgh, Giles County, Vir- 
ginia, and from them funiier news concerning their brothers and sisters mi<^ht be 
secured. .\[artha (352) married a William Kim,', and Walker's Creek, Giles Countv. 
Virginia, is their addre-^. Lewis (356) married a Miss Snidon, and lives three miles 
from the end of Parisburgh in Snidonville. 

Jane ( 1 28) married a man named McMullin: had two daughters and two sons, 
and both of the boys died unmarried. The elder daughter was the only one married. 
Her husband's name was William Robinson, who is also dead. She is livin* in 
Montgomery Countv." 

With these few reminders, then, of our departed cousin George, I take a sadly affectionate 
farewell of this, my most enthusiastic guide and faithful fellow-worker. lly warm, heart-felt sym- 
pathy I tender lo his survivin? daughter, relntives and friends; ->nH to us aH who krevv him. I 
would only say: Let us rejoice in having had such a beautiful e.xample so many years before us. and 
let us hope that when our time comes we may be abie to take that calm retrospect and peaceful 
forecast which ciicered the t«ili-ht hours of this long and noble life. 

I have reached now the records, which I propose to submit to your inspection as offering sug- 
gestions which may pro\e of some value in searchins; for the descendants of the lost branches of 
our family. In these exir.act., which I shall make as brief as the subject will permit of doing, 
yon will recognize many which refer unmistakably to known members of our kin, andolhers which 
are of doubtful liearing. I have not separated the two classes, as it would tend to destroy thei 
relations, the one to the other. Whenever I have needed the evidence furnished in these for sub 
stantiating some tormer statement, I have used it, and it will be duplicated here. But, I have 
tried to so arrange it that cases of kind occur with comparative infrequency. There are, of 
course, many other record oui^es, which contain much that may be the very clues we are in qu'e.^t 
of; but my time has not been ample enough for visiting those places. Thus Kent County, Xew 
Jersey, and all around Wilmine.ion, Delaware, within a radius of one hundred miles, and even far- 
ther out to the western cmMnes .,f Pennsylvania, is a field in which our ancestors probably settled. 
I have hastily e.x.imincd uhercver I have lutd the opportunity, and I give you here a few from the 
many thousand n.imes and rcer.nces th.nt I h.ive looked over. I place the records of each office 
together chronologically, and leave it to you to discern their relationships. 

Remember that there are six separate lines, represented by John (2), William (3-I, James (4), 
Richard (7). in l:ryan \o. I's f.imily; and Rich.ud (9) and J.ames (,oj in Brvan No.' 5 's family! 
And bear in mind that 9 ^^a. born in 1716, and 10 in 171S; 7 not far from 1691, and the others, 
very likely, in the fifteen to avcnty \ears prt ccdint;. 

These periods f„rm general :;uidc-l».aras along the path of our inquiries. ■ We have two 
Richards and two J.imeses to kee|> distinct. I do not group the names in each otiice, e.xcept the 
dates are favorable to --uch a cias^iticnion. 


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The New Castle, Delaware, evidences I have given in full, so I pass those by and proceed to 

These compilations of scattered entries may lie rather prosy to some; but to such we must sav 
that we are not note trying to write a particularly pleasing work, but one which will furnish solid 
material for filling out tlie deficiencies in our genealogy. When these dry facts have served their 
purpose, and the proper ends have been secured, then we cwn use results and embellish them by 
artistic grouping, rhetorical finish and interesting details. For our present purposes, however, 
■what we want is reliable and comprehensive data bearing on every po.'^sible point. 

The records which I have iTrst to place before you are those of 


As I gave at length the documents from New Castle, Delaware, farther mention of them will 
be unnecessary. 

In Philadelphia, there must be a large number of records, which I have not vet been able to 
find. The older documents are not very well arranged there. 

In the Deeds as Grantee we find the following McDonalds: 
T. H.-12-37S; John: year 1S32. 
T. H.-428; Elizabeth. 

In the VVills : 

M.-239; John: year 1762; page 424. 
284-T; Henry; year 1760; 506. 
John — X; 160; year 1786; 273. 
John — Y; 13S; year i8co; 425. 
John — Book No. 13; 99; year 1830; 214. 
George — Book No. 14; }'ear 1S41; 450. 
Rebecca — Book No. 20; year 184S; 29. 
Ann — 37; Book No. 22; year 1849; 27. 
William — 253; Book No. 28: year 1852; 341. 

This list from Philadelphia, will, I expect, be greatly increased some day when the sources we 
are moat interested in have been properly classified and indexed. 


T. B., No. D, folio 276; year 1744; Ewin Machdonald; conveyance, on Water- 
Oak Level, of 50 acres. 

M, folio 476; year 1779; John McDonal; lease for some lots. 
M, folios 396, 399; year 17S0; John >[cDonald, assignment. 
W. G., No. G., folio 321; John McDonald, assignment. 
M., folio 385; year 17S3; Michael McDonald. 
M., folio 423: year 1798; Alexander McDonald, a lot. 

In Richmond, Virginia, we have copious material from which to choose. I give only a very 
small part of it, having selected such as seemed appropriate for our purposes. As before re- 
marked, considerable of it refers unmistakably to out ancestors; while of the relation of much more 
we are uncertain. I leave it to your interest, study and judgment to determine which belong to us, 
and which elsewhere. For those who can I would advise a visit to these elaborate and numerous 
records in the basement of the Capitol Building at Richmond. There is field there for years of 
labor. I begin witli the 

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[A is "abbreviated for acre>i; MtUI >t.inds fur McDowcii; and when no second name is given McDonald is always to be 
under<;iood. The other variations will be written out.] 

Years 1739-41; N'o. 19: 

John McDl; 400 A; p. 956, 

" p. 973. 
*• " p. 1013. 

James Mackdaniel; 233 A; p. 1033. 
Years 1742-43; No. 21: 

John McDl; 400 A; p. 168. 

" p. 205. 

" 3C0 A; p. 206. 

Andrew McConnald; 400 A; p. 535. 
Years 1743-45; No. 22: 

James Moore and oihers; 187 A; p. 195. 
Year 1746; No. 23: • 

James McDl; Orange county, south side of James River; 400 A; p. 657. 

Alexander McDl (Clerk); Mary, branch of James River; Augusta county; 350 
A; p. 945. 
Years 1747-48; No. 26: 

John McDl; fork of James Piver, or. Cci:ir Crcjl., Augusta county; 4C0 A; 

P- 37- 

Years 174S-4V;; No. 24: 

Thomas McDaniel; in Goochland county, both sides o{ Ballinger's Creek; 350 
A; p. 30. 

Arthur McDaniel; 400 .\; p. 417. 
Years 1746-49; No. 28: 

John McDaniel; north side of south fork of Mountain Creek, Brunswick county; 
400 A; p. 30. 

Arthur McDaniel: Albemarle county, on ridge between Ripley's Creek and a 
branch of State River; 400 A; p. 183. 
Years 1749-51; No. 29: 
' Samuel McDowell; north fork of James River, Augusta county; 340 A; p. 501. 
Years 1750-52; No. 30: 

James McDonald; west side Blue Ridge, on fork of James River; 400 A; p. 13. 

If this James belonged to our family, it will be seen tliat the date would be about right as 
September 3, 1751, was the list registry we had of him in Delaware. 

Years 1751-55; No. 31 : 

Edward McDonald; 200 .\: p. 365. 

If this was Ed. (11). then he svas in Virginia several years before his father settled there, if 
1753 is the correct date of Bryan's departure from Delaware; but, as may bs easily infL'rred it is 
not impossible or improbable 1746 was the year Bryan left Red Clay Creek on his search tor 
a new home in Virginia. 

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Years 1756-61; No. 5^: 

John McDaniel; 264 A; p. 50. 

Michael McDaniel and others; in Lunenburgh county, on branches of Timber 
Tree Creek, and in Halifax county, on both sides of Bye Creek; S20 A; p. 44. 

George McDaniel; in Albemarle county, on Harris's Creek, in the coves of the 
Tobacco Row Mountain; 774 A; p. 739. 

William McDaniel, in Halifax county, on Bye Creek; 1000 A; p. S24. 
Years 1756-62; No. 34: 

Bryan McDonald; 10th of March, 1756; 48 A; p. 12. 

' This is Bryan, No. 5, as )ou will easily recognize. The full description of the Patent is given 
with diagram and so forth, just as is the case with all the rest, only the headings and locations, of 
which I copy here. It would take a large book to make lenj^thy coninients 011 each. Those who 
are interested — and I hope there will be many — I refer Co the documents themselves. 

Michael McDaniel; 400 A; p. 104.. 

William " 370 A; p. 156. 

Arthur " 400 A; p. 296. 

Jas. &Ed\v'd" 510 A; p. 401. 

Henry " Halifax county, both sides of Pigg River; 285 A; p. 939. 

Years 1767-68; No 37: 

James McDl; south side of James River, opposite Cedar Creek; 120 A; p. 182. 

Samuel McDl; .^ugus'a county', on v,'?*°r--; of J?m''? Fi"er; 170 A; p. 184. 

George and C. McDaniel; in Amherst county, north branch of Harris Creek; 
127 A; p. 275. 
Years 1770-71; No. 39: 

Thomas McDl; Augusta county, south side of Briery Branch, a branch of the 
north river of Shenandoah. 
Years 1772-73; No. 41: 

Angus McDonald and others; a large tract of 28,627; A p. 94. 
Years 1773-74; No. 42: 

Daniel McDl; ico A; p. 509. 

Let us now turn to the books of 


Bryan McDonald; book No. i; p. 293 

James " ' " 3; p. 405 

Danl " "4; p. 73 

James " " 4; p- 425 

James " " 5; p. 418 

Alexander " "5; P- 473 

James " " 6; p. 552 

Bryan " " 9; p. 111 

Eneas " " 10; p. i 

John " " 13; p. 360 

6go a. 

20th of July, 


100 " 

70 " 

1000 " 

370 " 

75 " 

460 " 

400 " 


250 " 

400 " 

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[51 ] 

Eneas McDonald; Book No 

• 15; 



1000 A. 







X35 ' 



1 1 




lOGO " 




21 ; 



300 " 




21 : 



400 " 







20 " 







27 - 

John McDonal 

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^33 " 







89 " 

Randel M 

i ( 

21 ; 



200 " 

Alex'r Mc 


t ( 




98 " 






. 246 " 






; 940 " 






; 2000 " 






700 " 






322 " 






170 " 






, 91 '« 






, 40 " 

vVilliam McDuiinal 

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; 370 " 

Henry McDonnol 





: 250 " 

John Mc 






50 " 







; <53 " 



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; 415 " 







; 47 " 



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; 78 " 

Samuel McDanoKl 

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; 100 " 

Henry M 


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; 360 " 

Allen Mc 


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; 128 '•- 







; 14S " 

Eonare McUoiuId 

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; 140 " 



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; 155 " 







. 23 .. 







; 100 " 



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; 539-J " 







; 146 " 

:n for later 

day<, lU>uk D, in 

the year 



Lewis McDoiinuld; p. iii; 50 A. 

Allen McDonald; p. 116; 77 " 

Joseph " p. 246; 150 " 

Joseph " p. 247; 250 " 

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Joseph McDonald; p. 248; 50 A. 

Lewis " p, 295; Toi " 

And in Book E, for iS 15-16: 

Columbia McDonald; p. 179; 67 A. 

Samuel " p. 200; 50 " 

Joseph " p. 369; ICO " 

Joseph " p. 370; 282 " 

And in Book F: 

Joseph and Lewis McDonald; p. 3 87; 250 A. 

In Book G of the older surveys, page 17, ist of June, 17S2, Daniel McDonald 
1000 A and 70 A, in Augusta county, on Panther Creek, a branch of Green River, 
and adjoining his own land. 

James McDonald, in same book, page 63, ist of June, 17S2, took up 1400 A on 
Gilbert's Creek. 

In Book I, page 287-89, 17th of December, 17S3, James McDaniel is entered 
for loco A adjoining his setdement of 400 A on the north and east. 

James McDanold in L, 73, 20th of April, 1784, took up icoo A on McDanold 
Run, a branch of Cox's Creek, adjoining Davis Cox's Creek, adjoining Davis Cox, 
Wm. B. Sears, and so forth... 

In Book O, page 241, ist of April, 1785, Br;an McDonald took up 400 A on 
the west fork of Howard's Creek. 

Eneas McDonald, in Book No. 23, page 217, 20th of May, 1790, took up 250 
A on the west side of the Big Sandy, adjoining William Robinson and Go's 15,246 .\. 

You must not be misled by finding Augusta county cover so much ground; at one time it cm- 
braced the larger portion of the western half of Virginia. 

I give ne.xt the surveys of different counties, and begin with 


Edward McDonald; book 35, page 440; 25 A; 30th of August, 1763; on the 
waters of the Roanoke. 

George McDonald; book D, page 436; no A; ist of February, 1781; "on 
both sides of the Roanoke River, being part of the land where Danl. McCormick 
now lives." 

John McDl; book 19, page 956; 9th of March, 1748; 400 A; Poak Hill branch 
of north fork of Jaines River. 

John McDl; book 19, page 713; 9th of March, 1740; Big Spring branch of 
north fork of James River. 

John McD!; book 19, page 1013, 6th of July, 1741; 400 A, on the west side of 
the Blue Ridge of Mountains, on a branch of James River, called the Mary. 

Alexander McDl; book 23, page 945; loth of July, 1745; 300 A, in the same 

Cornelius and Charles Robinson; book 23, pages 803 and 815; 15th of March, 
1744; on a branch of Shenandoah, called Fort Run. 

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George Robin>r.n: hook z^, p^c 2t>3; ^jtli of July, 1746; 400 A, on west side 
of Blue Ridge. 

John Robin-on; l^-^k 25, page 151; 2;th of July, 1746; 400 A, south fork of 
Goose Creek. 

John McDl; book 2^, {■.i:::e 37: z^ihof June, 1747; 400 A, on the fork of James 
River, on the branchr- of Ce.hir Creek. 

James Robin.-on; book 2.;, paqe 455; 5ih of July, 1751; 290 A, on north side 
of north river of >li' nando.ih. 

Samuel McDI; book 29, p.u,'e 501; 5th of August, 1751; 340 A, in the fork of 
James River. 

James McDI; book ^o. p. 13; ist of June, 175c; 400 A, on west side of Blue 
Ridge, north fork >>( [anies River. 


Richard McDonakl. >>-. 

William " 433; isl of May, 1S36; q; A, on Peppers Run. 

Edward K. " 106, p;\i;e 257: ist .\ugust, 185 1; 55 A, on drains of Deer 



Bri-an McDon.ild; t;ook D, page 27; 20th of July, 1780; 600 A on the waters 
of Roanoke and James Rivers. 

George McDonald; book D, jcge 11 1; 1st of September, 17S0; 80 A. 

Edward McDona'.l; l<ook G, page 196; ist September, 17S2; 40, A on the 
waters of Catawba Creek. 

Alexander McDonald; book R, page 274; 30th of August, 1785; 75 A, on Lick 
Run, a branch of Cat.awba Creek, being the waters of James River. 

James McDonall; l>ook 30, page 511; 19th of November, 1794; 106 A, on 
Pitt's Creek, a of lacksons River, and adjoining the land of William Preston 

Edward McDonald; l-o<ik 31), page 320; 13th of June, 1797; 88 A, on the waters 
of Tinker's Creek, a branch >if Roanoke, adjoining the land of Peter Nopzinger and 
his own land and the land of William -McDonald. 

William .McDonald; b<iok 41. page 274; i6th of May, 1790; 370 A, adjoining 
the land of .Miciiael Honderii.'lucr, Henry Morse and others. 

Edward McDi'iiiM; book 4"". page 601; i3ih of .\pril, 1S02; 140 .\, on the 
northwest side of Tinker .M )untain^. on the waters of Catawba Creek, a branch of 
James River. 

George McD-)nild; 1-ook <)3, page 212; 30th of August, 1842; 2^ .\, on the 
■waters X)f Catawba Creek. 

George McDonald; IxK^k u'\ p>-e 4«2: 30th of June, 1845; 7o A, on the north 
side and on the top ol I'm'^cr's Monn'.ain. o.i [lie waters of Tinker's Creek. 

William MtDonild; l"Mik ii. ju-c 2^2; 1st of December, 1S33; 40 A on 
north side of Tinker's .Mountain. 

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[ 54 ] 

The few following extracts are more at length tliiin they have been given wherever referred to 
in the foregoing pages. They are quoted more freely here for the purpose of better bringing out 
the connection between the ditTcrent parties enumerated iu them. 

McDonald, Bryan, Xo. i; page 293; 600 acres; issued 20th of July 17S0. Sur- 
veyed for Bryan McD 600 acres of land in Botetourt county, on the waters of Roa- 
noke and James Rivers, including 161 acres, part of 218 acres granted to Bryan McD 
senior by letters bearing date of 10th of March, 1756. Also 58 acres, part of 150 
acres granted Jno. Armstrong by letters patent, bearing date i6th of September, 1765, 
the title of which lands is since become vested in the said Bryan McD, to a corner of 
Cloyd's and Allison's lands, to a corner of Armstrong's land. 

McDonald, i\Iichael, No. 34, 400 acres, page 104, for 40s, in the county of 
Lunenburgh, on both sides of Jones Creek. 

McDaniel, Wm., 370, 156, in Halifax county, Virginia, on both sides of south 
fork of Boodley's Creek, Aibemarle county, on both sides of Ripley's Creek of Slate 

James and Edward McDaniel, Lunenburgh county, on south side of Maheinn 

McDonald, Edward; 22d of August, 1753; bot. 200 acres for sundry causes, but 
especially for 20s; 200 acres in .-Vugusta county, on waters of Roanoke, on a branch 
of Buffalo Creek on the east, and adjoining James Cole's land, and his due share of 
veins, quariies, etc., discovered and undiscovered, lu be held by his heirs, etc., and to 
be held of us, our heirs and successors, as of our mannor — East Greenwicn, m the 
county of Kent, in free and common lineage capite by Knight's service. 

McDl, John, 400, 956, 1st of June, 1741, in that part of Orange county called 
Augusta, on the Poak Hill branch, it being a branch of the north branch of James 
River. Page 973— And 400 on Big Spring branch. Page 1013 — And 400 on west 
side of Blue Ridge iNIountains, and on Mary's branch of James River. 

Page 1033 — James MackDaniel, Brunswick county, on both sides of Little Creek, 
253 acres. 

No. 21, page i68~McDl, John, part Orange county called .Augusta, on Catawba 
Creek; 12th of Februan,-, 1742. 

John Savage, Robt. Langdon, Rob. Tunstall, Edmund Wagner, Richard Trotter, 
Wire Johnson, Hugh McKay, Richard Smith, John Smith, Chas. Smith, Angus Mc- 
Donald, Nathan Chapman, Jos. Gatewood, James Samuel, Michael Scully, Ed. Good- 
win, Wm. Bailev, Hei\ry Mathew Cox, ^Marshall Pratt, John Willson; in Fincastle 
county, on a branch of Ohio Big Sandy Creek. .A very large tract of land was taken 
up by these parties. 

From these numerous references that I have rushed in upon you in the preceding pages, and 
they are but-a sm.ill portion of what I could have given, many inferences might be drawn by me: 
but I have printed them here for you to think over and carefully work up. For any one who has 
entered with spirit into the nature of the question before us, the value of these possibly somewhat 
unentertaining names and figures, cannot fail to be appreciated. I shall look for conscientious 
consideration of these nun.erous facts from our Virginia relatives, in particular; as they are on the 
spot and can more easily and accurately locate the different places mentioned, and can more author- 

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itatively pass judgment on the probability or improbability of any connection between these parties 
and the relatives wlio have >trayt.a beyond our idcntitication. With these cursorv remarks, I shall 
pass on to the last few extracts from the records, concerning the early days of our family, v.-hich I 
have to submit on this occasion. The copious names from the Carolina offices, I reserve for a 
later day. as they do not appear to be of any value to us in the present stage of our progress. 

I have received mucli t'ri^ndly assi-tance from many parties throughout North and South Car- 
olina, and from one uxk.i c-timable l.idv in particular, a Mrs. lilizabeth Carver of Forestville, N. 
Carolina, to whom e.-!i)eciallv, a.-; well as to e.ach of the other friendly helpers in P.isquotank Coun- 
ty, all along the Di.-nial Swamp Canal and to Captain John .McDonald in Fayetteville, North Car- 
olina, and to many others, the mention of whom I must pass by lor the time being, I herewith 
return my sincerest thanks for their untiring and unusually courteous attentions and aid. 

Some extracts from the Kentucky Surveys are the last records I shall present to you. I 
place them here as I intemi following in a cursory manner, the twin brothers Richard and .Mexander 
McDonald from IJotetcjurt Countv into Washington County, Kentucky, and thence sketch the history 
of their families and gi>e a short sketch of the children of one cf Richard's sons, Colonel James 
McDonald, who was my grandfather. The lite of that family has been somewhat eventful, and, in 
the following pages, I >h.ill give a synopsis of their movements, which will, I trust, some day. be 
woven and developed into elaborate and interesting biograjjhies. For the present, my time is too 
limited to allow of anything more than a brief summary of the chief movements in the life ol each. 

But, to return for a sli^rt spell to our records. It will be remembered that Virginia of old 
extended over Kentucky, t^hio, and back and south in all directions. It was, therefore, necessary that 
the surveys should be entered in Richmond. The registering of these was frequently not unat- 
tended by danger, as tp.e distances to be traversed were great and the foot-paths led through the 
districts of hostile Indians. Colonel Hough, who carried the money for the purchase of the land 
claimed by Richard and .\le.\ mder, was often chased by these unfriendly natives, and, on repealed 
occasions, barely escaped with his lite. The few documents that I have to present to you, in what 
was then the far, far West, are as follows: 


James McDi; .'oih of July, 17S0; 100 A, in Fincastle county. 

James McDon.-xlil: is:of November, 17S2; 1400 .\, in Lincoln county; P. Wt., 
No. 916. 

David McDonald; ist of January, 1782; 2000 A, Fincastle county. 

James McDonald; zotli of April, 1784; 1000 A, Jefferson county; P. Wt., 
No. 996. 

James Moore; i8ih of March, 1784; 1000 A, Fayette count}'. 

William .McDonnell; 25th of June,i734; 1400 A, Fayette county; P. Wt., No. 285. 

Saml. McDowell; 1784: loco .\, Jefferson. 

Bryan McDonilJ; 1st of .Vpril, 17S5; 400 \, Fayette county. 

James McDl; 2sthofJunc, 17^0; looo .\, Fincastle county. 

Zachariah Taylor, zm of June, 17S6; 1000 A, Fincastle county. 

Samuel .McDl; lotli nf November, 17S6; 20^:0 \, .Merced county, Kentucky. 

Angus .McDonild. loili of January, 17S6; 1000 A, Fayette county; P. Wt., No. 

Eneas McDonald: 19th of Sept.-mber, 17S7; 1000 A, Fayette and Bourbon 
counties; page 2625. 

John and Angus McDonald; icth of January, 1S92; zcco A, Fincastle county. 

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And then the following reference to location of land by my Great-Gra.idfaher, Major Kichard 


Book of Surveys, No. 28, pa^e 458. 

Richd McDonald, 322 acres, Montgomery; reed iSth of November, 1794; 
grant issued 7lh of Julv, 1795. 

Surveyed for Richard r^IcDonald 322 acres of land by virtue of an entry on a 
land office', Pre-emption ^varrant of icoo acres, No. 2224 and dated the 2lth of Au- 
gust 1782. Assi-ned in part to him bv Thomas MufT (Hough) assn of Walter Cal- 
houn lying in Montgomerv counlv on Burk fork of Big Red island. Beginning 
about half mile south from the big Buffalo knob at a \vhite oak, a corner of David 
Patterson's Order and Nviikthe same No. 34. 654 poles, to a Spanish oak near a branch 
N 68° west 2S6 to a poplar 539° E 14S to a Spanish Oak & dogwood at the head of 
Chissom's Creek S 34° E 14S to a white Oak in the order line, and with the same N 
68° E 284 to the beginning. 

Nov. I St, 1789. Rich'd McD, ass Preston S. M 1 

This Richard McDonald was, as vou will recall, the fifth son of Joseph, who «as the fourth child 
of Bryan of Botetourt, Viruinin; and k,chard-s oldest child. James, was my prandiather. As before 
remarked I intend givinc a short sketch of the history of that, ana I end herewuh the ex- 
r^cts from public records, and draw to a close my present contributions to the eariv h.story of our 
Imilv and its descenaants. I trust that enough will be found m these preceQM.g pages to p.ace 
dS- lefo e vot the problems vet awaking sdution; and I trust, also, that sutncent volunteers 
wfll be forthconiing in our ranks to carrv on the work, which has, .t seems to me, been quue hap- 
Ms begun I ha^e made no extended comments on these latter pages of references, lor reasons 
r.cvicll" :..iicated: nor have I more than touched on o.t probable history in Kurope. those 
^!.»Vt^"n<='"-;" >^» mor» fitrinciv treated when our knowledL-e on the points at issue is more extended 
and more accurate. With the hope that these data, slowly comp.led-representmg tne '^""P^''-^'' 
of s^a?e hours for vears-but now hastily arranged and for the press, may still have 
enou^4 of value in'them to n,cite others to worthier elU^rts in the same line, or m related fields, I 
bid y'ou once again, a m<ist friendlv and cousinly faiewcll. 

FRANK V. McDonald. 

To resume and bring up the connections between all parties, I shall condense some of the 
statistics from our genealogical tables. 

RRVAN of D'-'aware, had, as far as we know, the following children: John (2), \Vi liam (3), 
James C4), Bryan (V\ M^V (6), Kichard (7), Anabella (S). We have lost traces of all except 
Brvan (5),' who moved to Botetourt county, Virginia. 

' BRYAN rs^ bad the following children and in this order: Richard (9\. J.-^^es ( 10), Edward 
(II) TosKPH(i2 Rebecca (13). Catherine (14), Mary (15). Brvan (.6), Prisch. (.17). Of th>s 
far^iivR chard aid James ha'e wandered away from the rest and no record has ever been kept ot 
thTm Fdward was killed bv the Indians and left no male issue. Bryan ( 16) kept the old horne- 
sS' in Virginia where his -offsprings now are, and Joseph moved to near Blacksburgh, Mont- 
Joircouii?" Virginia, .and settled where hi., grandson Floyd F. McDonald now lives . 

TOSFPH (f) married Elizabeth Os^le .and had the following children and in this order: 
Bryan (22^. John (23', I^-^roh (24', F.dward (25), Richard (26), and Ale.xander 127), twms. W >1- 
liam (28), Elizabeth (29), J'.Mias (30 .James (31). ,, ,„ . v,-,. 

To take up onlv ^LtXANnKu (27). twin brother of ^^.ljor Rich.ard, he had the following children 
and in this order: ohn (ool, Edward tQl), Zacharudi (92), Nancy (93). Darnel (94). M^^y (95). 
MaJna (q6 Eti/abcth^( Silas (9S>, Mmon (09), William ( .00), I-eliciana ( .01). John 

moved to limestone Co.. AU.. and died soon after. His family have scattered to 1 exas. Edward 
^hvinJ°orv with a large fan,ily. and in tine health, near Elkmont, Limestone Co. Ala^ He is 
hrolc'l^ r^eml e of the McDonald family now ahve. He was born in .797. ,. Zachariah lived on 
L farm ne^t oh s lather's near Macksville. Washington Co . Ky. He died onlv a year ago 
DanieT ZTcll> Ver..aillcs. Woodford Co , Kv., where he still lives. His famdv have some of 
then mC do St o^eph. Mo Rufus I.. .MclV.naUl, his son. is the largest wholesale dry-goods 
rie riiaTthere knd'RuhV.-s son, John I. McD.mald, was my classmate in the cla.s that graduated 
r,S7SatVdeColltue. New Ha'en, Connecticut. Silas (98) moved to St. Joseph. Mo and 
rai ed a (ami ■ and the; all live in or near that place. (;f Simon I know nothing, e.«ept that he 
mlrricd Elizat.eih Arnold, and died in lS;3. William was never married and died 

With these few remarks, 1 proceed'to the biographies of my great grandfather s family. 


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McDonald and lamilv, of macksville, 


Major Richard «hs the tilih chikl of Jo^eph, who was the fourth child of Bryan of Botetourt, 
who was a son of Brvaii ..f I'du^are, who settled near Wilmington. Delaware, in the year i68g. 

About the 17--;, Kicluud and Alexander McDonald, twin brothers, came 
from Botetourt touiu\ , Vii-mia, locaied their camp-fires, and built their cabin on a 
little elevation, h.ilf a mile or -o from where the village of Macksville, Washington 
county, Kcniiitk\, now ^i-ind-. Here not long before, a Jack McKittrick had settled 
and taken up a,; tr.ici of land. These three Macs were the only persons within 
many miles of thai spot: ar.d from them, but principally from the McKittricks, the 
village look its name of Macks' viltc, or Macksville. 

After pnopeciiii^' fi^r a while, the McDonalds surveyed and located definitely 
their two on the divide between Long-Lick and the head of May's Creek, 
about two mi!o> of Macksville. The tract of from sco to 600 acres was equally 
divided bct-veen \hrm, Richard rccci-'ng the °ocrorn nnd -^'exa^der the western por- 
tion, with a soparaiino: fence running along the middle line. Here they lived, raised 
their families, died and were biuied, each on his respective farm. Some of the de- 
scendants of Alexander still own and cultivate the old place; but those of Richard 
have scattered in ddreront directions throughout the United States, all of them going 
westard, with the exception of two of his sons. Doctors Griffm and Joseph McDonald, 
demists, who took up their abode in Georgia. 

RICH.^RI), or, better said. Major Richard, for that was his rank in the command 
of the Indian Wars, and the title always clung to him, married, in 1795, the widow Mrs. 
Mary Martin, whose Hiaidcn name wiis Mary Long. Mrs. Martin had one child, 
Elizabeth, bv her first husband, and this daughter became, later, the wife of James 
Head. The couple moved, in about 1S32, to McComb, McDonough county, Illinois, 
where thev resided, surrounded by their large family of fifteen children, until late in 
life, when, lames Ib.^ad <Kin-, his wife Elizabeth went to reside with one of her mar- 
ried daughters near '\\ inkr-ct, .Madivon county, Iowa, and there ended her life in about 


By Richard's niarri.r:rc, six children, three of them boys, were born and in the 

following order: lames, Joseph, Critlin, Elizabeth and Mary (twins), and Ursula. 
Richard'died the 10th of Tcbruary, 1S09, and was buried in the garden only a few 
steps from his hoti^e. 

1 his one of our ancestors was a man of unusual ability, just as was his brother 
Alex; and the two together were always conceded as being the leading men of that 

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[ 58] 

part of their State. Thev were moral, religious and industrious. Had those 
parts been more closelv settled, these twin brothers would have made names which 
would have lived in their country's annals; as it is, they are known mainly to their family 
and to the descendants of those other farmers who settled near by them. 

JAMES, the oldest son of INIajor Richard :\IcDonald, born i6th of December, 
1797, married Martha Shepard Peter 2Sth of September, 1819, the ceremony being per- 
formed by Reverend Nathan Hall, of the Presbyterian belief. The bride was the 
oldest daughter and fourth child of Jesse Peter. Her father was the son of one of 
three brothers, who were among the zealous and influential converts of John 
Wesley in Wales, and uho came to this country, settling in Petersburg, Virginia, 
a short time after John Wesley's great work had begun in England. Her father 
immigrated in his youth from Virginia lo Kentucky, and became one of the largest, 
ablest and most successful farmers in all that part of the countr}-; but was no less 
famous as a class-leader and a kind of local preacher in the J^Iethodist belief. For a 
layman he took a wonderfully active part in every religious work, and a considerable 
portion of his best energies, for more than fifty years and up to the lime of his death, 
were willingly and effectively spent in the service of his church His house was 
known as the home and resort for Methodist preachers throughout all that district; 
and from his doors went forth one of the strongest and purest domestic influences that 
has ever emanated from any household at any time. In those days of stern principles, 
SUV...6 virtues and strong cl.aracters, he ■..„: :-.a--.:ally and willingly a leader. 

With all these excellent qualities, which gave him for those days a position 
equal to that held by the foremost of our time, he was yet far from having the least 
spirit of arrogance or showing a forgetful and slighting bearing towards those beneath 
him. The bible was his guide in every acdon, and he delighted in justifying his 
excessive liberality to the needy and his large sympathy for them by numerous quota- 
tions from the gospel, with the text of which he was very familiar. During the time 
for camp-meetings, he would hitch up his teams, take his family and servants, and 
drive to the proposed grounds, remaining for ten days at least. On such occasions he 
was not only prominent in supplying spiritual food by his telling speeches; but 
he would bring with him from home enough to nourisn and take care of two or three 
hundred persons during the whole session of the gathering. And hardly would one of 
these assemblies have passed when he would return to his farm, lay in a fresh supply 
and start for another camp- meeting in some other district. Every year he" passed 
thus three or four weeks of his time and best efforts in the cause for which they 
had- assembled. His manner of speaking was by beginning in a conversational tone 
and carrving on a mode of questioning and answering with his hearers, and then 
gradually as their attention was fi.xcd, he would warm to his subject and deliver one of 
his -stirring exhortations. He had great personal magnetism, a pleasing voice, 
and his manner of address was more than commonly engaging, so that his words were 
always listened to with great respect. He was, furthermore, a magnificent singer, and 
his sweet penetrating notes could be heard above and through the whole assembly. 



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He had never received any training in singing, btit he sang as natarallr as the birds in 
the forest around him: and yet his musical abititie:> were of a high order. Kis 
children have, many of them, been endowed with fine mnsicai talents, and ilouni- 
ford, in particular, was very gifiei in this direction- Ii will then not seem strange 
that this rare excellence should have made his labors aJ! the more dearat4e in 
these out-door pnise-meeting*. Then his personal qoaliues. his religions fervor, 
his pure life and generr-us act*, lent to his well argued, conci^ly stated thosnhts, an 
influence which many more polished, higher educated men's eilons £iiled to secure. 
Jesse Peter was cenaiaiv a very remarkable man, and the gzp ief: by his death in his 
p>eculiar field has ne\er been wholly filled. The remembrance of him and his works 
althoi^h not as extensive as it would have been with leiegrajA, railroad and piintins 
press to circulate it. f^n-ades nevenheiess many homes all over die Union, and for his 
descendants, at least, k is one of the sweetest and richest heritages he could have left 
them. Ic is to be hopieti that with this glorious example bdore them, mai^ of his 
children and giandchildren may imitate and, if posable, eqaa.1 it. 

JOSEPH, Richard's next son was bom gth of September, 1799; was trained to 
the trade of carpenter and a.'chiiect, and was known as one of the best boudeis of the 
day in the community where he lived. Later, he joined his brother. Dr. Gri@n Mc- 
Donald, in Macon, Georgia: studied tmder him the dental profession and ctnitinned 
in that pursuit for the remainder of his life. He settled eveaiually in .\merict:5, Ga., 
where he f'«ilowed his profession and married the widow of Dr. Foster, who bad been 
a prominent physician of that place. Joseph lived and died, and was boried there 
the 16th of March, iStf. He bad one child who died very vocng. His widow is 
residing at present in .^mericcs with one of her sons by her first marriage. 

Joseph's manner v.-as rsiher blimt and plain-spoken, with a pecoHar sober, drr 
bimior, so that some who knew him but slightly were ape to be offended with him at 
first: but when acquainted with him. they found that his "heart was in the right place,*" 
and that of all men he «-as the quicket to do anything he cculd for any one, and the 
last to willingly injure one's feelings, or harm one in any war. Although aris&ocialic 
in his bearing he was not too proud to meet whatever duty circnmstaixes m.ight call 
him to fill. He was a quaint, rather ponctilious, original and interesting character, 
and he commanded the respect, affection and assistance, if of ail who knew 
him well enough to know him at alL 

GRIFFIN, the third son of Major Richard, bom 24ih of Arsgrst, iSsi, smdied 
medicine in Kentucky and practiced for a while; he then devoted himself to the 
spedalt)- of dentistry, 5iung himsetf m New York city and elsewhere, and followed 
that profession as a life occupation. He became very prescient in it and was 
one of the first few educated dentists of the United States. He was recognized as a 
man of-superior ability and bkiil in the line of dentistry — among other things, editing 
and publishing for a time one of the leading dental periodicals of our country — 
and he had, until the breaking out of the ^^r, one of the largest and most soccesfnl 
praaices in the Southern States. Besides his various professional tastes, he had a 
strong feeling for humanity in general, and for those of his own rinte :r. ---r.lzs'ir, so 

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that he was led early to lake an active interest in his relatives, both of near and remote 
connection; and, as I have remarked in F.dition B of our genealogy, was one of the 
foremost contributors to the family history, and has ever since done all in his power to 
fuither its progress. Born in Kentucky, he has been in almost every State in the Union, 
and that at a day when journeving was largely slow and difficult. Wherever he has 
traveled he has been a close observer, and always made it his aim to look up any and 
every McDonald he could hear of, to talk with him about the origin, history, etc., of 
the name we bear, and has in this way accumulated a world of information about 
scattered parties whose existence even we might have doubted. He has been of invalu- 
able aid in giving me the addresses of the different branches of our family, that he alone 
had looked up in Virginia and in other States. Cousin Floyd McDonald, ol Blacks- 
burgh, Virginia, for instance, and myself might have gone on for months, each at work 
on the family history, without being conscious of the labors of the other. It was Uncle 
Griffin that brought us together, and has enabled us to accomplish with united efforts 
what for us singly might have been impossible. ^fy only regret is that Time, in his 
exacting demands, has so enfeebled this useful mind and body to make contribudons 
to our work now an effort, where otherwise they would have been a recreation and 
a pleasure. To return from this digression, he kept on in the practice of his dentistry 
until the nervousness incident to advanced age, the severe shocks he had sustained in 
the loss of his sons, and the unfortunate issue of the civil strife, made him ill suited 
for the further pursuit of his profession, and after 1870 he practically abandoned it. 
What added furthermore to his troubles was an estrangement that had arisen between 
himself and wife, and which resulted finally in a divorce. 

He married twice; first, a IMi^s Harriet Ann North, of Hartford, Connecticut, 
at Macon, Georgia, 5th of March, 1840, and had by this wife three children, 
James L., Joseph W., and Catherine A. The two sons entered the Confederate Army, 
as volunteers from Georgia, at the beginning of the war; and one of them, Joseph, 
never lived to return, but died from a wound received on the battle-field. His 
brother came back, but with such impaired health that it was not many years before 
he too succumbed to his injuries. He married, however, soon after his return, a 
Miss Florence Kimberly and had by her one child, when he died, the 3d of January, 
1 87 1, and was buried in Americus, Georgia, in the same graveyard where his uncle 
Joseph, after whom he was named, and his uncle Joseph's only child had been previ- 
ously placed. His widow married again and she and her daughter by Joseph are 
still living in Georgia. 

Catherine Ann, Griffm's only daughter, born in Macon, Georgia, 31st of Aug- 
ust, 1853. lived to reach her ninth year, one of the most beautiful and promising of 
children, and then died 4th of November, 1862. 

In i860, Griffui married his second wife, the widow Mrs. John J. La Roche, 
whose maiden name was Sophia M. Fnizer. This union has been without issue; and 
the couple are now li\ing, in advanced age, at Augusta, Georgia. 

A few of Dr. Griffm's manly and chivalrous traits of character, we cannot pass 
by without special mention. He is one of the few whose life and acts could be 


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studied by all youn^j men, who aim to fill a useful and noble career. From earlv 
youth, he has been noted for his hi3:h sense of honor, his manly principles and 
his desire to live a iu>i and upright life. His large and generous heart naturally 
led hirn to sympathL-^e wiih the distressed and unfortunate wherever he met them, and 
this often by sub.-,tantial aid which resulted at times, although a man of means, in his 
own pecuniary embarrassment. Up to the beginning of tlie war he was well provided 
with worldly goods, and woj one who used them anil derived solid comfort from 
them; but, like tliousands uf others, his whole fortune was wrecked and lost in the 
support of the cause he so dearly loved anil so earnestly contended for. The end 
of the war left him with a bare pittance as the only remnant of his fortune; yet the 
loss of these temporal goods, as much as they were to him, and the greater sacrifice of 
his dearly beloved children, were all endured without a murmur as being his dutiful 
offering on what he considered the altar of his country's welfare. 

ELIZABETH, one of the twins of Major Richard, was married in 1826 to Isaiah 
Farris, at the old honiestead in Kentucky, and settled with her husband on a farm 
adjoining her father's land. Their children, twelve in number, seven bovs and five 
girls, and two pairs of them twins, were born in the following order: 

William G., Jame> W'., Mariah I., Buford, Thomas H., America U. and William 
(one set of tsvins), Partiienia, Lettie and Hettie (the other pair of twins), Joseph, and 
James I. , . 

Their father died iu 1S50, and \.as buiicd in the faiiill^ graveyard on the farm. 
His wife did not survive him long, but followed two years afterwards, and was laid 
beside him in the ftmily burving ground. 

The children have been scattered far from the old home near Macksville, and 
most of them are now lising, I believe, in iMissouri; but of their movements and loca- 
tions I am not definitely informed. Ursula, for one, I know was married to Olonzo 
Coston, and they are now residing in Mar}-ville, Nodaway County, Mo. 

MARY, the other of the twin children of Major Richard McDonald, was mar- 
married to Thomas R. Hays, at the old homestead in Kentucky, December 24th, 
1822; the ceremony being performed by the Rev. Bishop Barnabas McHenery, one 
of Kentucky's greatest old-time Methodist preachers. From this union were born 
eleven children, si.x girls and live boys, in the following order: 

Elizabeth Susan, Claris-a Pierce, Ann Maria, Isabel Ursula and Mary Francis 
(twins), William Richard, James Thomas, Martha Jane, Jo'nn Griffin and Joseph 
Washington (also twin>), aiui Marcus Ltfayctte. 

I must here mention a ^iu^'ulir fact in connection with the offspring of Elizabeth 
Farris and Man- Hays, twin sifters. They each of them had two sets of twins, 
making eight children in all at four births, five of them girls and three boys. The 
mothers themselves having been twins, make ten children at five births; a rather 
heavy record for the .McDonald side of the house. 

To resume where I left oif: In or about the year 1830, Thomas Hays and 
family moved to the neii^hUnhtXKl of McComb, McDonough County, 111., where 

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they remained for many years. Not lonsj before the civil war, however, he sold his 
land, which had then become vahiable, and purchased with the proceeds enough prop- 
erty for a fine farm for iiimself and each of his children in Nodaway County, Mo., 
where he now hves, near Bur Oak, with nearly all his children grown up, settled 
and doing well, on farms around him. 

His life, spent for the most part in the country, and away from the crowded 
marts of men, and on this account not generally known even to his own kin, has been 
one of marked influence and power wherever he has lived. What has had much to do in 
making his position a leading one, have been his moral virtues, his manly dispo- 
sition, and, last but not least, his pure and religious habits. He was blessed beyond 
the lot of ordinary men in his choice of a companion; for certainly one of the truest, 
noblest, and most lovable of women is and always has been sweet "Aunt Polly Hays," 
as she is always called. When we consider the characters of this couple, it is no won- 
der that their union has been one continued series of happy scenes. Perhaps, through 
all time, few men have traveled down so long a life with their companion in a more 
perfect harmony, and have lived to see grow up around them a larger family of aftec- 
tionate, temperate, intelligent, and promising children. Even when infants, he began 
to instill into their minds broad moral views and deep religious sentiments, and held 
every day, in his household, devout family worship. At the same time he and his 
noble wife impressed upon the young and pln^ri^ rhara'^te'-s of the'"- little ^nes the 
importance of solid ioiupcranci, principles, and ul;c avjiJ„.._c of the use of intoxi- 
cating drinks in all forms, which precepts they as teachers not only preached but 
also carried out, as far ;is they knew how, in their own acts. And a beautiful 
sight it is to see this happy, well-preserved pair, living testimonials to the superiority 
of a temperate and moral code of life over the so-called " moderate indulgence and 
free-thinking system," which is daily wrecking thousands. Such successful lives must 
certainly command the respect and admiration of any person, however his views may 
differ as to the proper way to live himself and to raise a family. In fact, however, to 
have been possessed of, to have taught, and to have abided by such sterling principles, 
at that time, in what was then the far West, shows of itself, even if we had not these 
other proofs, persons of rare virtues and great force of character. There, near Bur 
Oak, at a ripe old age — the gems in a living cluster of children and grandchildren, 
settled around them — they are enjoying the golden harvest of the seed they planted 
and fostered in the earlier years of their long, successful, and well-spent lives. 

URSULA, the last child of Major Richard .McDonald, born October 3d, 1808, 
was married in 1828, at the old homestead, to Henry Isham, by whomi she had at 
least four children, and in the following order: James, Richard Hays (named after 
the mother's brother Jame.-^'s oldest son), John, and Melinda. They lived near Macks- 
ville, Ky., where she died in 1S38, and was buried ne.xt to her father, on the old 
Richard McDonald homestead. 

Of the children, James is with his father, who is postmaster in INIacksville. 

Richard Hays stutlied medicine, and is now practicing his profession in Louis- 


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ville, Ky. H.i niarn.-i a \<:n 'n.inJsome, intelligent lady, and is surrounded by a 
sprightl\", promi.>ii!4 f.miilv ui cliiltlrcn. 

Concerning the ^^ hcrca'uout--, of his younger brother and sister, I have not been 


Henry I^hani, tin- U'hL-r, married a second wife, :Miss Margaret McKittrick, 
daughter of Jack M^Ivituick, one of the three Macs before mentioned as being the 
parties after v.liom ihc viil.i-c was named. By this alliance there were two children 
born, I am told: but whciher there were any more, I am not able to say. 

With these ha.-ty prdiinniary remarks on the general history of the family, we 
now pass to Colonel J.uncs McDonald— oldest son of Major Richard— and to the 
ives of his children, LuiKcnung all of whom we shall give somewhat more elaborate 
details. It nui;,t not 1»; :,u[>(.o,cd, however, that we intend exhausting each subject; 
all we give now is the general outline of a person's acts, and, with this material as a 
starting point, we can go on building up and elaborating in later years as much as our 
lime, inclination and circumstances will permit. 

I hope that you will be led. each of you, to accumulate the subject matter for 
and write, or have wrir.en up, your own lives; and that these rough and necessarily 
more or less imperfect skctclus, which I now submit, will, if they do no more, serve 
the purpose of leading \ou to think of these questions and turn your efTorts towards 
the proper treatment of them. 

biographical sketch of colonel james 

McDonald and family, of macksville. 

washington county, kentucky. 

Colonel James McDonald, the oldest child of Major Richard McDonald, was 
bom the i6th day of December, 1797, on the old Homestead near iMacksville, Ken- 
tucky. His father died and left him at the tender age of twelve, with his mother 
and two brothers and three .>ijters, the responsibility for whom was mainly thrown upon 
his shoulders, thus develojang at an early period of his life that self-reliance and 
executive ability which so cliar.acteri/:cd his future career. 

His education was the best the time and facilities of the country in which he 
lived afforded, which were at best, as compared with those of to-day, limited. Up to 
his seventeenth year, he took charge of his father's farm, assisted his mother, and 
aided all he could in raising; the f.imily. So steady, industrious and capable was he, 
that he was cited by all who knew him as the e.xemplary young man of that district. 

At about the age of seventeen, he turned over the farm to his brothers, and went 
as an apprentice to the tanner's business, under a man named Hillery Hays — a gentle- 
man of fine principles, who had much to do with moulding the character of many of the 

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first young men of the day who were sluJyin- under him. It was in coasideration of 
the esteem in which Colonel James held this almost foster-parent to him, that he 
named his first-born Richard Havs in memor)- of him. After three years' apprentice- 
ship, James was made foreman and principal of the extensive husiness in which he 
had learned his trade: and he continued in this occupation until, at the urgent request 
of his mother and the family, he consented lo return and take charge of the old 

paternal farm. 

Not long after, he married his former school-companion and favorite, -Martha 
Shepard Pete'r, fourth child and oldest daughter of Jes.e Peter, as before stated. He 
then took up in earnest his farming, and became a great success in it. He had a 
special fondness for improving the stock by breeding, and to the study of this spec- 
ialtv h» devoted a large portion of his spare time and means. He was one ot the 
first men in Kentucky who started that .ystem of crossing the different grades ol stock 
and raisin- the qualilv of the successive types, which theory, as pursued and perfected 
under men like Ale.xander and others, has since given to Kentucky the prominent rank 
of America for fine stock, and for fast horses in particular. 

From the leading position that Colonel James gradually grew to occupy and the 
potent inliuence he swaved in his community, he was led, much against his mchna- 
lions to accept the call of thai constituency to serve in the Legislature of his State 
In the wint<^r of 1828-20, he represented Washington county at Franktort. the capiiol 
• ' .- , ,,„■.. .,- j .n DO-^-'" wa-- his course as g Representative, that be was elected 
and returned successive years to the same position in the lower house of the 

^"^^ Behi-'vvearied of public and desiring to retire to private life, he refused further 
nomination for office, and went back to his favorite life on his beautiful farm. He 
^vas however not suffered to remain long there, but he was again sought out and 
orevailed on to permit his name to be placed on the ticket .ai candidate for State Sena- 
tor \s he was alwavs earnest and zealous in what he undertook, he emereS 
campaign with an unmistakable determination to do his part. He canvassed and 
stumped the county in opposition to Richard Spaulding, one of tne able.t and most 
Influential men of the State. It was one of the most exciting and most fiercely con- 
tested Sute Senatorial elections ever known in Kentuclcy, and, whichever speaker won 
it he had to accomplish his succes. by superior ability and force in his statement of 
the i-ue McDonald, who was a good, logical speaker, beat his adversary, and was 
elected bv a handsome majority over him, and served a term of four years in the 
State Senate, whereupon he positively declined any further poliucal othce, and termi- 
nated therewith his public career. His policy was at all thnes satisfactory to his con- 
stituencv allhou,^h, in instances, not exactly in accordance with their l.rst views ot the 
situation;' but th^ end of each term fuund him even more popular than the beginning. 
He was in the Senate with, among other prominent personages, two of Kentucky . 
most talented and disunguished citizens, the gifted Thomas Mar.shall, of Lexington, 
and John Guthrie, of Loui.viUe, the latter of whom was, afterwards Secretary 0. the 
Treuburv under Buchanan. 

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