McDonald Family History

Click here to see a larger picture of the coat of arms

Here is a link from my cousin Leland McDonald that I have used many times.  It is very informative for anyone looking into their ancestry.


Jane Erskine married Captain John McDonald in the Paisley Abbey in Paisley , Scotland on January 9, 1809.  John McDonald was born in Glasgow , Scotland about 1790 and died in 1829.  John had two sons born in Scotland and eight other children born in the USA .

The picture of the grave marker in Ontario , Canada shows both Captain John and his wife Jane Erskine.

Headstone in Ontario, Canada

sideview of Paisley Abbey

Front view of Paisley Abbey

Grave Marker in Canada

Paisley Abbey side view

Paisley Abbey in Paisley Scotland founded in 1163


John was born November 12, 1809 in Dumbarton , Scotland .

James was born June 2, 1812 in Paisley , Scotland .

Alexander died in infancy in 1813.

Alexander was born in Albany , New York on February 26, 1816.

Catherine (Eastwood) was born in Albany , New York on April 26, 1818.

Robert died in infancy in 1820.

Margaret (Stimson) was born in Albany , New York on December 16, 1822.

Robert McKay was born in Caledonia , New York on July 18, 1824.

Jennet (Brown) was born in Caledonia , New York on March 5, 1827.

George died in infancy in 1829.

Captain John McDonald, his wife Jane Erskine, their two sons, John and James, came to Albany , New York in 1812.  With them came Jane's sister, Flora Erskine (McLeish).  Captain John was a military officer and the USA was at war with Great Britain , the family was obliged to stay in the USA for the duration of the war (1812-1814) they moved to Caledonia , New York in about 1823.  Here the youngest two, Robert McKay and Jennet were born, from there they came to Canada in 1829, crossing at Kingston, Ontario and settled on the town line between Zorra and Nizouri, Oxford County in the then Upper Canada.  Captain John and his wife found the hardships of the backwoods of Canada too much for them and they died within a few years.

Robert McKay McDonald married his first wife, Sarah Louise Janes on February 6, 1856 and then second wife, Alice Melisa VanValkenburg in 1870.  He died November 22, 1879 in Port Huron , Michigan and is buried beside his first wife in Ingersol , Ontario .  Alice Melissa VanValkenburg Twin was born in 1839 in Norwich , Oxford , Ontario , Canada , her mother Almira Hopkins daughter of Daniel Hopkins and Patience Richards married in 1832 in [Toronto Twp], Peel , Ontario , Canada . Almira was born on 10 Jun 1815 in Ontario , Canada . She died in 1887. She was buried in Norwich Vil Cem, Oxford , Ontario , Canada . and her father Hiram VanValkenburg was born in 1807 in Toronto Twp, Peel , Ontario , Canada . He died on 1 Jul 1880. He was buried in Norwich Vil Cem, Oxford , Ontario , Canada ,(information from she died May 18, 1915 in Bon Avon, Allegheny , Pa. , U.S.A. ,

Robert McKay McDonald and Alice VanValkenburg had four children:

Robert McKay McDonald Sarah Louise Janes

Copy of marriage certificate

These photographs of Robert McKay McDonald and his wife, Sarah Louise Janes McDonald were sent to me by the Woodstock Public Library and art gallery where they are on display with the Jessie Elvira Minkler Luz papers which were donated by Virginia Erskine Luz.

This is a copy of the marriage license which reads:    CERTIFICATE OF MARRIAGE...To Who it may concern: This Certifies that Robert McDonald of the township of Oxford, County of Oxford and Sarah Janes of the (hard to read this part) Sarie Plarr were duly married by me on the Sixth day of February in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Fifty Six conformally of the laws of Canda. In the presence of Mrs. T. Irving and Sarah M. Janes.  A Minister of Methodest Church , John Gibson. 

City Square, Woodstock, Ontario N4S 1C4
I hereby give and bequeath to the OXFORD MUSEUM the objects listed herein and in so doing I understand that they may be displayed, loaned, retained, in such a manner as in the discretion of the Museum may seem to be in its best interests.
CATALOGUE No. Description 
975.1.1. 'Basque'-black silk; worn by Sarah Louise Janes;
b .1835,W.Oxford:m.1856 R. Mck. McDonald; d.1869.
975.1.2a Silver teaspoon; dated 1834;initialed M.J.
.2b Silver teaspoon; dated 1856;initialed L. J.
.2c Silver teaspoon; dated 1879;initialed M. A. M.
975.1.3 Bible, presented to Herman Janes on 70th birthday
dated 1857.
975.1.4 Framed Marriage Certificate;1856;Robt.McKay 
McDonald to Sarah Louise Janes.
975.1.5a Cased Daguerrotypes; Herman Janes & wife,
Mary Askin Tallman.
.5b. Cased R. McK. McDonald & wife, S. L. Janes
.5c. Cased Mary McD., daughter of above at about 4/5 yrs
975.1.6 Framed photo; Sarah L. Janes, showing type of bonnet.
975.1.7 News clippings, Church cards,& obituary card.

Signed at
Toronto this First day of April, 1975.
Name of donor- Ms. Virginia Luz address
113 Delaware Ave. , Toronto .
OXFORD MUSEUM hereby gratefully acknowledges receipt of the 
objects listed above, being the gift of Ms. Virginia Luz to the
Acceptance of gift authorized by:
Woodstock , Ontario
this First day of April 1975 Curator H. Williams 


1896 Oxford County , Ontario        

The Life and Times of the late Robert McDonald of Oxford 

The Oxford Tribune, of Ingersoll says-    The death was announced on Sunday last at Port Huron , Michigan , of Mr. Robert McDonald, who up to eight years ago was a prominent resident of Ingersoll.  The deceased had reached the age of 72 years, although until recently his vigorous frame and active disposition showed no trace of time's ravages.  He contracted Bright's disease. however, and for several weeks his death had been anticipated, but with an unusually strong constitution he struggled bravely for victory over the fell destroyer, and a week ago it was thought he might again be able to get about.  But this was not to be, and the end came rather unexpectedly.  The late Mr. McDonald was well and favorably known, as was all the members of this once most prominent family in the early history of Oxford County .  He was the last surviving son of the late Capt. John McDonald, who away back in the early twenties was an honored and respected resident of this district.  He was born in Caledonia , Genessee County , N.Y. of  Scottish parentage.  The family from whom he descended was of the staunchest and most loyal in the highlands and the famous McDonald plaid of the great house of Stewart & McDonald, Glasgow.  In 1812, Captain McDonald, with his family moved to the U.S. , settling in Albany .  In 1823 they removed to Caledonia, in the same state, and remained for five years, when they came to Oxford County, settling upon the town line between West Zorra and Nissouri, where he followed agricultural pursuits until his death, which followed after a few years residence.  A few years after his wife followed her husband to his last long home and the family removed to Ingersoll, where  they lived for many years.  John the eldest son, died about ten years ago; James, the second son, died about fifteen years ago; Robert whose death is now announced, being the youngest.  The youngest daughter, Mrs. H. P. Brown, wife of the County Treasurer , Woodstock , died in 1894 and the surviving daughters are Mrs. Eastwood and Mrs. G. G. Stinson, of Ingersoll.  Mr. Robert McDonald was twice married, and leaves a widow and a family of eight children, four by each union, all of whom are grown up.  Mrs. M. A. Minkler, of Toronto, is the eldest daughter, and Mrs. Farr of Port Huron, the youngest.  The sons are Charles H. and Harry, of St. Louis ; John and R. D. (Burt of Line, McDonald & Co.) London , Alex and William of Port Huron .  The remains were interred at the family burying ground in the Ingersoll Rural Cemetery on Wednesday afternoon, the funeral taking place from the residence of his sister, Mrs. G. G. Stimson, Thanes Street North .


This photo was in a frame in my aunt's house in Pittsburgh , Pa. Virginia McDonald Matthews.

From left to right in the front row are Charles McDonald, Alice VanValkenburg, and Robert McDonald,

in the center row are Harry McDonald, and Alexander McDonald, in the back row are Florence McDonald,

William McDonald, John McDonald, and Mary McDonald.  Mary, Robert, Charles, and John were from the first marriage.


Children of  Robert McKay McDonald

Florence Amila (Farr) born October 17, 1871

Alexander Courtland McDonald born 26 July 1874. Information from L. McDonald from Ontario Canada archives.

Harry Erskine McDonald born 1878. 

William Gordon McDonald born 1879.

Alexander Courtland McDonald married Nellie Bould (she was born in 1885 this information from Leland McDonald which was from a passenger list that showed her going to England when she was eleven years old with her mother Kate Bould and her two sisters)on January 21, 1905 in Pittsburgh , Pa.   He died on March 15, 1930 in Pittsburgh , Pa.   She died in 1916.  They had two children.

Picture of Alex and Nellie with daughter Virginia on the left and Uncle John and daughter Mary.  This was before Robert Bould McDonald was born.

The picture to the right is of Nellie and her son Robert and daughter Virginia.  She died when Robert was only three years old.

 Children of Alexander Courtland McDonald:

Virginia McDonald (Matthews) was born on December 24, 1905 in Pittsburgh , Pa. and died April 24, 1990.  She married Doctor William Forster Matthews and they had two children, Nancy Jean Matthews born April 10, 1930 and William Alexander Matthews born July 24, 1931.  William married Florence G. Stewart  and they have three children, Pamela, Lisa and Blair.

Robert Bould McDonald was born December 25, 1913 in Pittsburgh , Pa. and he married Dorothy Libby Levine in May 1938.  He died July 24, 1978.  She passed on August 3, 2003. They had four children.

Robert and Dorothy McDonald on their wedding day

Johnie Patty Dad (Robert McDonald Bobby Mom Dorothy McDonald CLICK HERE FOR HER FAMILY HISTORY Billy

Just married in 1938

Family of six in Norfolk , Virginia , Broad Creek Village home in 1948. Johnny, Patty, Dad, Bobby, Mom, Billy.

Children of Robert Bould McDonald:

1.  Robert Alexander McDonald born April 12, 1939 in Brooklyn, New York, married Helen Etheridge and had three children, Kellie, Kimberly, and Tanya.  Kellie McDonald Burich born April 19, 1961 in Norfolk , Virginia and has one daughter Smatha Leigh born June 7, 1991.  Kimberly was born September 29, 1964 and died in infancy.  Tanya McDonald Joyner was born in Norfolk , Virginia on February 7, 1969.

2.  William Courtland McDonald was born June 18, 1942 in Norfolk , Virginia and married Anne Chote and they have three children, William, Brian, and Scott.  Married second wife Susan Miller and they have two children, Cortland and Jessica.

3.  John Carter McDonald was born August 19, 1943 in Norfolk , Virginia married Kathryn Knight and had two children, John Jr. and Jennifer. (1)John Jr. has two daughters Monica Loree Dill born January 13, 1994, and Emercyn Willow McDonald and two sons, Tyler James Iman (McDonald)  born January 15, 2000 and Hunter James McDonald born June 15, 2005. (2)Jennifer McDonald married Douglas Scott Gregg on Ocotber 21, 2000 and they have three daughters Courtney Marie Gregg born February 16, 2003 and Payton Riley Gregg born January 18, 2005 and Harley Grace Gregg born August 26, 2008. and a son Mason Scott McDonald born February 15 2012 .

4.  Patricia Nellie McDonald (Steele)(LaFramboise) born January 12, 1946 in Norfolk , Virginia and has two children, Chris and Joe.  Christine Steele was born April 22, 1965 in Norfolk , Virginia and she has two children, Ryanne Nicole Whitt born November 22, 1987, and she has a son Ian Patrick Everett born Feb 16 2011; and Megan Renee Whitt born April 1, 1990.  Joseph Charles LaFramboise was born March 25, 1969 in Norfolk , Virginia .

Children of William Cortland McDonald:

William Cortland McDonald Jr. was born on August 26, 1964 and died in an automobile accident in 1985.

Brian Shawn McDonald was born on March 14, 1967 married Gwen Constant and has a daughter Samantha Ann McDonald born February 3, 1990 and a daughter Sydney Gail McDonald born September 28, 2000.

Scott Matthew McDonald was born July 26, 1971 married Carla Creekmore and has three children, Seth Matthew McDonald born December 31, 1990, Alexia Hillary McDonald born June 28, 1995 and Chelsey Rae McDonald born May 12, 1997. 

Susan Cortland McDonald born May 26, 1987 in Elkton , Virginia .

Jessica Noel McDonald born November 27, 1990 in Elkton , Virginia .


This was last updated on August 2011 by John C. McDonald if there are any errors please let me know so I can correct them.  If anyone can add information to this document then please email me

May the Good Lord Bless and Keep you...

Do you think you are a kin to me?
We are all kin

Click here to see the creator of this site