Further details of known children of John MacDonald and Katherine MacDonald with some information on their descendants.

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Further details of known children of John MacDonald and Katherine MacDonald and their descendants.

John MacDonald and Catherine MacDonald had the following known children:


Identified in a letter of 2nd May 1861from Robert MacDonald from Keils, by Port Askaig, Islay to his son Roderick.  : - "Dear Roderick, to gratify your wish to know something about your ancestors, I copy the following from my family record, viz...............My eldest brother, George, was a soldier in the 42nd Regiment, & was wounded, & died thereby, at Bayonne, shortly before the battle of Waterloo".

As Robert's eldest brother it would seem likely that he was born circa 1792.  This would mean a likely enlistment date of circa 1810.

It would seem likely that George received his fatal wounds at the Battle of Nive on 9th - 13th Dec 1813. The Nive was a river with 35,000 French defending it. Wellington had 14,000 British and Portuguese to attack their fortifications. The river had been crossed on the 9th and took up a strong position on the heights near St Pierre. The 1st battalion 42nd Black Watch were at Bayonne and were attacked on the 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th, in what was some of the most severe fighting of the war, but every attack was repulsed, the 2nd Div on the 13th were given the order "Dead or alive, my lads, we must hold our ground". The roads were said to have be literary running with blood. Over the five days the 2nd battalion 42nd Black Watch suffered only 28 casualties. With all the French attacked repulsed, the Allies advanced to occupy the position near Adour. The French lost about 10,000 men and the British casualties were 5,019 men, a sign of the fighting power of the soldiers when faced with over 2 to 1. The 1st battalion 42nd Black Watch received the Battle Honour and clasp "Nive" for their part in this battle.

However on the 14th April 1814, after Napoleon's abdication there was a break out sortie by the French garrison at Bayonne which cost a number of British casualties. Which Regiment suffered the casualties I do not know?

Investigation of the Black Watch Muster Rolls (initially for 1813) might provide more info on George.


George's life must have been similar to that of  John Harper was recruited at Thurso by Lt Gunn of the 2nd 42nd Highlanders on the 11th June 1807.  His time with the 42nd is chronicled in "A Caithness Soldier who went to ar in Spain" and it is from thence that much of the previous detail is taken. - See online at http://www.iprom.co.uk/archives/caithness/ptejohndetail.htm


Born on 22 Jun 1795. Died on 11 May 1876. Next Generation of the MacDonald family history


Born circa 1797.   Isabella is mentioned in passing throughout Robert's letters but the first actual record I have of Isabella is in the 1841 census for Lower Achrimsdale, Clyne, (just down the coast from Loth).

Isabella MacDonald had at least two sons. (For further details of these sons and their descendents - Click here)

It would seem that not only Alexander but also Donald were "natural" sons as there is no record of Isabella ever marrying, no record of any husband or husbands, her later death certificate records her as "single" and her surname is consistently given as Macdonald . On wonders what brother Robert with his strict "Free Church" views made of this!!

For the census of 1841 Isabella was living with her father John MacDonald in the family croft in Lower Achrimsdale (latterly known as Greenhill). Included in the household are her two sons Alexander Cameron and Donald Sutherland.

1841 Census (7th June)  Clyne (45)  Book 3. Page 12.

Lower Achrimsdale, Clyne

Name Age Occupation Where Born
John MacDonald 75 Tenant Yes
Isobella MacDonald 40   Yes
Alexander Cameron 14   Yes
Donald Sutherland 7   Yes

The croft, latterly known as Greenhill, was the last croft to the south of the road north out of Brora just before it crossed the Clyne Milton Burn.  The croft consisting of a dwelling house built of stone and lime and a byre and barn of stone and clay, all thatched with straw built around 1820 built when John MacDonald first took over the "lot". I would suspect he had been moved from better inland grounds as part of the Sutherland estates improvements. There recently were some major clearances around the 1820's  In 1849 eight years after this census an estate "audit" stated that the buildings were - "at present in good condition" but that Isabella now the tenant "does not possess all the land that her father had - she has only a small bit of it". When, where and how much land had been lost and where and how much was left is unknown.

For the census of 1851 Isabella and family were still living at Lower Achrimsdale, though now this collection of crofts was named as Greenhill. Isabella is now recorded as a "lotter" - the person who rents a portion or lot of land. Her youngest son is still listed as a scholar and her elder son Alexander at least seems to have been give a trade by his father - "saddler".

1851 Census (31st March)  Clyne (45)  Book 2. Page 16.

Greenhill, Clyne.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Isabella MacDonald Head 53 Lotter Loth, Sutherland
Alexander Cameron Son 25 Saddle/harness maker Golspie, Sutherland
Donald Sutherland Son 16 Scholar Clyne, Sutherland

Isabella and family were still at Greenhill for the census of 1861.  Isabella's age has been wrongly recorded as 72 - it should be 62.  Younger son Donald seems to have followed in big half-brother's footsteps and also become a "saddler".  It is also noticeable that Alexander is following in the family tradition of the "one parent family" - unmarried but living with his son George Alexander Cameron, his son by a Jessie MacDonald, born on 5th October 1856.

1861 Census (8th April)  Clyne (45)  Book 2. Page 10.

Greenhill, Clyne.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Isabella MacDonald Head 72 Lotter Loth, Sutherland
Alexander Cameron Son 32 Saddler Golspie, Sutherland
Donald Sutherland Son 26 Scholar Clyne, Sutherland
Geo. A. M. Cameron Grandson 4   Clyne, Sutherland

In May of 1869 Isabella had a visit from her brother, Robert, and her grand nephew, Alexander McLennan, as in a letter from from Robert to his son Roderick dated 31 August 1869 he wrote - "A. McLennan was here lately seeing us about the time that we received your letter of the 2nd of June & I gave him the reading of it. He & I went over to Sutherland for 3 days to see our friends there, & we enjoyed it well. We went by train to Golspie, & back again by the same." This self same railway was literally cutting through Isabella's back yard, trapping them between road and railway and cutting of the view to the sea.

The following year her nephew Alexander was staying with her whilst recuperating from what sounds like malaria?. Ahain this is mentioned in a letter from from Robert to his son Roderick dated  9 June 1870 where he wrote - "Alex'r is over in Sutherland with my sister & hers. After coming home from Jamaica he was frequently attacked with the Ague, & went to Sutherland in hopes of getting better, & they kept him for a while, & he built a boat for them, & is a little better, & the fits are less frequent, nor continuing so long as formerly."

 For the 1871 census we find Isabella and her son, Alex Cameron still at Greenhill. Although Isabella is the "tenant" of the croft, Alexander is the HEAD.

1871 Census (3rd April)  Clyne (45)  Book 2. Page 12.

Greenhill, Clyne.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Alexander Cameron Head (Unmarried) 43 Saddler Golspie, Sutherland
Geo. Cameron Son 14 Scholar Clyne, Sutherland
Isabella MacDonald Mother 73 Tenant Loth, Sutherland

Her younger son Donald Sutherland is no longer at the family home having married Margaret McKay on 13th March 1863.  Margaret was the daughter of Donald MacKay and Anne Gunn who were married on 18 November 1831 in Clyne. There are two children recorded to Donald and Anne in the IGI - George born 1 April 1834 in Clyne and "our" Margaret born on 3 February 1837 also in Clyne.

A few months after this sad time Isabella MacDonald died on 28th July 1874, aged 77, at Greenhill, the parish of Clyne, Sutherland.  Just to confirm that this Isabella MacDonald is one and the same as our Isabella, Robert MacDonald states in a letter of 20th October 1874 to his son Roderick - "my sister died on 28th July last" i.e. 28th July 1874, and the death certificate of the aforementioned Isabella MacDonald records her parents as John MacDonald - Loth, and Katherine MacDonald, ms. MacDonald, both deceased, with the informant "Alex Cameron - son"!


Born May 1801 or 1802 in Lothbeg. Alexander married Christian MacIntosh on 20th November 1830 in Golspie, Sutherland.

in !826 a few years before his marriage there is a record of a "Mr Alexr Macdonald, Merchant, Golspie, Unmarried" which I would assume is "our" Alexander.

It would seem likely that Alexander MacDonald and Christian MacIntosh emigrated to North America sometime in 1831 as we know they were in Golspie, Scotland for their marriage on 20th November 1830, but by the birth of their first daughter Georgina on 19th June 1832, they were in Roger Hills, Pictou, Nova Scotia.  In a letter of Robert MacDonald's to his son Roderick he states that Alexander "was first a merchant, & after losing all his effects by fire in America, became a schoolmaster in Nova Scotia.

There were at least twelve ships from the U.K. bringing settlers to Pictou in 1831/32.  The most likely to have brought Alexander and his wife, (assuming they came direct to Pictou) were the ones from Cromarty or Inverness : -

However Alexander MacDonald and Christian MacIntosh arrived in Canada, as previously stated they were in Roger Hills, Pictou, Nova Scotia at approximately 10 o'clock p.m. on the 19th June 1832 for the birth of their first daughter Georgina. Georgina was baptised by the Rev. Kenneth MacKenzie of Pictou on 18th July 1832.

Alexander MacDonald and Christian MacIntosh had seven children in all, and their births, (along with his and his wife's) were recorded on the fly leaf of Alexander's New Testament Bible sent over from the homeland by the Duke and Earl of Sutherland, George Granville Sutherland Leveson Gower to "His Clansmen in America".

Inscription on fly leaf and subsequent page of Alexander MacDonald's New Testament Bible

Alex. MacDonald son of John and Katharine MacDonald was born in Lothbeg, Parish of Loth, County of Sutherland, May 1801 or 1802.
Christian Mackintosh Daughter of Gilbert & Marion Mackintosh (MacLeod) was born in Achlean, Parish of Dornoch, Sutherlandshire on the 5th or 6th of January 1805, and were married at Golspie on 20th Nov 1830 by the Rev. Alex. McPherson, Golspie
1st Georgina their Daughter born at Roger Hill, Pictou, about 10 o'clock p.m. Tuesday 19th June & baptized 18th July 1832 by Rev. Kenneth McKenzie, Pictou, N.S.
against this is a note 1yr 11m 3d = gap to Catherine Jane
2 Catherine Jane born about 2 o'clock p.m. Thursday 22nd May and baptized 28th August 1834 by Ditto
against this is a note 1yr 11m 3d = gap to William
3 William born about 6 o'clock p.m. Friday 11th March and baptized 14th April 1836 by Rev. Don A. Fraser and died Sabbath day 24th Sept. 1837 & interred in the burial ground near John McKay's place ?Quarry Point? near New Glasgow.
against this is a note age 1yr 6m 12d 13 hs = age at death (means William died about 7 o'clock a.m.   on 24th Sept. 1837) and ?1yr 9m 12d? = gap to Marion.
4 Marion born about 8 o'clock a.m. Saturday 23rd & baptized 24th Dec 1837 by Rev. ?Jno McRae? .
against this is a note 1yr 9m= gap to John Robert
5 John Robert born about 5 o'clock a.m. Sabbath day 22nd Sept. & baptized 21st Oct 1839 at Roger Hill by Rev. Don. McConnochie.
against this is a note 2yr 2m 2wks = gap to Gilbert
6 Gilbert born about 5 o'clock a.m. Monday 6th December 1841 baptized Monday 31st Jan 1842 at Roger Hill by Ditto

On Fly Leaf

Christy Ann born at Cariboo Wednesday 30th April 1845 & baptized in Pictou on Sabbath 10th August 1845 by the Rev. ? McLeod of the Free Church

The notes of gaps between children show Alexander to have been an educated man, and possibly a bit of a perfectionist - William's age at death down to hours!!  However the detail for his wife, Christian's birth is not quite accurate being out by two years.  Christian Macintosh was actually born on 5th January 1803 in Dornoch, Sutherland, the daughter of Gilbert MacIntosh and Marion MacLeod.  She had four brothers, William, born 4th February 1794, George born 18th May 1798, William born 7th April 1805, Hector born 17th August 1813 and three sisters Catherine born 10th April 1796, Margaret born 26th September 1800, Anne born 18th February 1810, all also born in Dornoch, Sutherland.

We have a wealth of Information about Gilbert MacDonald and his descendents, though little about any of his siblings.  This is due to the fact that we are in contact with Irma MacDonald, his great-granddaughter, who lives in retirement with her husband Jack Isnor, near the old family grounds in Pictou.

The only other child of Alexander MacDonald and Christian MacIntosh I currently have any further information about is Catherine Jane, who appears in the 1901 census for West Branch River John, Nova Scotia where she is recorded thus : -

McDonald, Catherine J., Female, Domestic, Single, D.o.B. 22 May 1834, Born in Nova Scotia


Descendents of Gilbert MacDonald - First generation (created 06 Jan 2000)

1.  Gilbert MacDonald was born 6 Dec 1841 in Roger's Hill, Pictou and was christened 31 Jan 1842 in Roger Hills, Pictou, Nova Scotia. He died 31 Mar 1919 in Watervale, Pictou.  Gilbert married (1) Isabel Sweet, daughter of Joseph Sweet and Roseanna Barron, on 8 Sep 1868 in Truro, Colchester, Ns.  They had the following children:
2 M i. John Alexander MacDonald was born 31 May 1869 in Earltown, Colchester. He died 1950 in W. River st'on, Pictou.
+ 3 F ii. Rose Annie MacDonald was born 23 Jul 1871 and died 16 Dec 1899.
+ 4 F iii. Olivia Jane MacDonald was born 27 Oct 1874 and died 24 Jan 1956.
Gilbert also married (2) Christine Murray, daughter of Donald Murray and Nancy Murray, on 14 Oct 1880 in Earltown, Colchester.  They had the following children:
+ 5 M iv. Donald William MacDonald was born 23 Nov 1881 and died 14 Sep 1952.
6 F v. Christine Annie MacDonald was born 20 Nov 1885 in Earltown, Colchester. She died 19 Apr 1905 in Earltown, Colchester.

Descendents of Gilbert MacDonald - Second Generation

3.  Rose Annie MacDonald (Gilbert) was born 23 Jul 1871 in Earltown, Colchester. She died 16 Dec 1899 in Truro, Colchester, Ns.  Rose married William McRae, son of James McRae and Nancy, on 19 Mar 1896 in Truro, Colchester, Ns.  They had the following children:
+ 7 M i. Herbert Dawson McDonald was born 20 Dec 1894 and died 6 Mar 1978.
8 F ii. Annie Isabel Clyde McRae was born 26 Apr 1897 in St Croix, Windsor, Ns. She died 16 Nov 1899 in Truro, Colchester, Ns.

4.  Olivia Jane MacDonald (Gilbert) was born 27 Oct 1874 in Earltown, Colchester. She died 24 Jan 1956 in Watervale, Pictou.  Olivia married William Roderick McDonald, son of Daniel McDonald and Ellen MacGillivray, on 1 Apr 1904 in Truro, Colchester, Ns.  They had the following children:
+ 9 M i. Daniel Colin McDonald was born 19 Feb 1905 and died 24 Mar 1977.
10 M ii. Gilbert Luther McDonald was born 13 Mar 1906 in Watervale, Pictou. He died 18 Jul 1971 in New Glasgow, Ns.
11 F iii. Christene Ellen McDonald was born 16 Dec 1909 in Watervale, Pictou. She died 3 Mar 1965 in Pictou, Ns.
+ 12 F iv. Anna Isabel McDonald was born 10 May 1912.
13 M v. John Alexander McDonald was born 1 Nov 1914 in Watervale, Pictou. He died 30 Sep 1986 in Halifax, Ns.
14 M vi. Martin Fraser McDonald was born 3 Feb 1917 in Watervale, Pictou. He died 28 Jul 1992 in Pictou, Ns.

5.  Donald William MacDonald (Gilbert) was born 23 Nov 1881 in Earltown, Colchester. He died 14 Sep 1952 in Dublin Shore, Lunenburg.  Donald married (1) Ivy Baltzer, daughter of James Baltzer and Ella Brown, on 5 Oct 1915 in Kobe, Japan. Ivy died Nov 1924 in Ham Heung, Korea.  They had the following children:
+ 15 F i. Ella Christine MacDonald was born 1917 and died Sep 1979.
+ 16 M ii. James G MacDonald was born 1920.
Donald also married (2) Helen Nichol on 10 Aug 1926 in Mahone Bay, Ns.  They had the following children:
+ 17 M iii. Alexander M MacDonald was born 1932.
+ 18 F iv. Nancy Elizabeth Catherine McDonald was born 14 May 1934 and died 27 Nov 1993.

Descendents of Gilbert MacDonald - Third Generation

7.  Herbert Dawson McDonald (Rose Annie MacDonald, Gilbert) was born 20 Dec 1894 in Earltown, Colchester. He died 6 Mar 1978 in Hillcrest Manor, Truro.  Herbert married Viola Louise French, daughter of Charles French and Florence Richardson, on 26 Jun 1924.  They had the following children:
19 F i. Isabel Annie McDonald was born 21 Aug 1927 in Riversdale, Colchester.Isabel married John Hingley on 23 Jul 1955.
+ 20 F ii. Lillian Christine McDonald was born 2 Mar 1930 and died 13 Nov 1993.
+ 21 M iii. Gilbert Russell McDonald was born 25 Aug 1932.
+ 22 F iv. Florence Louise McDonald was born 13 Jan 1936.
+ 23 F v. Elizabeth Ellen McDonald was born 30 Sep 1939.
He also had the following child:
24 F vi. Phyllis Diane MacDonald was born 23 Oct 1946 in Riversdale, Colchester.  Phyllis married Terance Jaques.
9.  Daniel Colin McDonald (Olivia Jane MacDonald, Gilbert) was born 19 Feb 1905 in Watervale, Pictou. He died 24 Mar 1977 in Halifax, Ns.  Daniel married Margaret Ellen MacNeill, daughter of William MacNeill and Janet Hayden, on 12 Sep 1927 in New Glasgow, Ns.  They had the following children:
+ 25 F i. Janet Ellen McDonald was born 8 Feb 1928.
+ 26 F ii. Irma McDonald was born 15 Sep 1933.

12.  Anna Isabel McDonald (Olivia Jane MacDonald, Gilbert) was born 10 May 1912 in Watervale, Pictou.  Anna married Charles Henry McDonald, son of William McDonald and Jessir Campbell, on 29 Mar 1939 in Durham Manse, Pictou.  They had the following children:
27 M i. William Charles McDonald was born 29 Mar 1942 in New Glasgow, Ns.
+ 28 F ii. Marie Isabel McDonald was born 12 Oct 1944.
29 F iii. Patrica Jane McDonald was born 27 Mar 1947 in New Glasgow, Ns. She died 2 Apr 1955 in Halifax, Ns.
+ 30 M iv. Daniel Roderick McDonald was born 7 Feb 1949.
+ 31 F v. Jessie Anna McDonald was born 19 Oct 1953.

15.  Ella Christine MacDonald (Donald William, Gilbert) was born 1917 in Ham Heung, Korea. She died Sep 1979 in Oshawa, Ontario.  Ella married Claude Wesley Hamilton, son of Benjamin Hamilton and Ethel Farnsworth.  They had the following children:
+ 32 F i. Betty Hamilton.
33 M ii. Murray Hamilton was born in Oshawa, Ontario.
34 M iii. David Hamilton.

16.  James G MacDonald (Donald William, Gilbert) was born 1920 in Ham Heung, Korea.  James married Jane Stewart Walton on 15 Apr 1944 in Toronto, Ontario.  They had the following children:
+ 35 F i. Betty Jane MacDonald was born 6 May 1947.
36 F ii. Sara Susan MacDonald was born 24 Feb 1952 in Toronto, Ontario.  Sara married Stanley Patter.

17.  Alexander M MacDonald (Donald William, Gilbert) was born 1932 in Lahave, Lunenburg, Ns.  Alexander married (1) June.  They had the following children:
37 M i. James Donald MacDonald was born 18 Sep 1957.
38 M ii. Thomas Andrew MacDonald was born 17 Sep 1960.
39 M iii. Peter Michael MacDonald was born 23 Sep 1965.
Alexander also married (2) Huguette La Roche Trottier.  They had the following children:
40 F iv. Chantal McDonald was born 1950.
41 M v. Sylvian McDonald was born 1958.
42 M vi. Gilles McDonald was born 1959.
43 F vii. Susy McDonald was born 1963.

18.  Nancy Elizabeth Catherine McDonald (Donald William, Gilbert) was born 14 May 1934 in Lahave, Lunenburg, Ns. She died 27 Nov 1993 in Bridgewater, Ns.  Nancy married Robert Zinck.  They had the following children:
+ 44 M i. Robert Donald Zinck was born 13 Jan 1962.