Trying to prove an ancestor Charles Mcdonald

+4 votes
I have a problem with a missing ancestor. My gr grandfather Donald was orphaned by the time he was 16 and had to notify his father's death (also Donald) in 1879. He put 'Charles' as his father's father's name, but nothing for his father's mother. I have found Donald Snr in census data since 1841. I also found his marriage in 1838, however no mother is mentioned. He married in Brechin Angus.  All census data says he came from Rosskeen, Rossshire and census and death certs give a poss birth year from 1812 to 1816.  1812 is the most consistent.  The only birth I have found for a Donald to a Charles McDonald in Rosskeen Rossshire, is 19 Dec 1809 which includes a twin sister, Margaret McDonald. The mother is noted as Katherine Ross. I have found their marriage on 24 February 1809 in Rosskeen. I cannot find proof that Charles and Katherine are Donald Snr's parents, however some interesting coincidences are that 2 of Donald's daughters were named Isabella Millar Macdonald and Georgina Ross Macdonald.  Isabella's middle names seems to have been given to her as it is her mother's mother's maiden name.  Similarly if Georgina had been given her father's mother's maiden name 'Ross' - that is a possibility.  Donald did call his first born son Charles, however there are no Katherine's that I have found.  His first wife Margaret died as did their 2 children and he had Isabella Georgina and Donald Jnr (who was my gr grandfather) with his sister in law, Ann Sinclair. Isabella and Georgina died as well as Ann by 1879, leaving Donald Jnr on his own.  Unless I can find confirmation for Charles and Katherine and any possible other children they had (of which I have found some) - I can't be sure they are my ancestors.  I have used Scotlandspeople for my searches and have all census and certs - birth, marriage and death - for both Donalds and the children.  

Can anyone offer any suggestions on proving Donald Snr's parentage?

Thank you

in Genealogy Help by Anne Stewart G2G Crew (620 points)
Well.  I can't claim to have followed that in it's entirety.  But two things come to mind from my own experience.  

One is, that Katherine could be a given or middle name that she went by during the earlier part of her life and was only documented on her marriage certificate.

And the other is, that in Scotland.  The families having several children may have more than one son with the given name of Donald.  I was told it was tradition to name at least one male after the "Saint Donald".  

Sorry I can't be of any real help.  I will do some digging.  Good luck to you!

3 Answers

+1 vote
Mary sorry if it wasnt clear. Not sure why you are querying whether Katherine could be a middle name. My gr grandfather is Donald Macdonald b 1863 and his father was Donald Macdonald or McDonald b about 1812. It is his father Charles who i am trying to find and Charles' wife - Donald Snrs mother. I was giving reasons why i wondered if the Charles and Katherine m 1809 who i found in Rosskeen could be my 3rd gr grandparents
What I meant by my comment about Katherine was that she may be the same woman in the documents you have already seen.  The woman that married Charles in 1809.  But in the other/later documents she is going by a different name and the date of birth often varies also.  Sorry if that still isn't clear or doesn't address your issue.
Mary sorry, I have obviously been very unclear in my original post.  In trying to find who may be the parents of my Donald, the only birth registration i can find is one in December 1809 naming Charles McDonald and Katherine Ross as parents of twins, Donald and Margaret McDonald.  I also found a marriage registration for Charles McDonald and Katherine Ross in early 1809. I don't know if ALL parish records for the Ross and Cromarty area have been digitised, but as these are the only ones I have been able to find that fit the rough birth date I had for Donald from census information, my question was really - did people think because one of Donald's daughters middle name was 'Millar' after his wife's mother's maiden name - it may be possible that the other daughter's middle name "Ross" was given to her after Donald's father's wife's maiden name - therefore Katherine Ross could be a definite contender.  Its just all summation though.  If Donald's death cert had included his mother's name and not just Charles McDonald as his father, I wouldn't be in this quandry and don't know how to get actual proof in the circumstances.

Ann ~

Well that was quite clear.  And yes, I do think it is a good possibility that the daughters middle name came from the mother's maiden name.  I often see that practiced in many places.
+1 vote
Sorry, no Charles or Donald's in my tree - yet.   Fred
by Fred MacDonald G2G1 (1.3k points)
Thanks Fred, wasn't really trying to find anyone with similar relatives as I think they would have already showed up - more what did everyone think of the chances of the two people named, Charles McDonald and Katherine Ross - given my reasoning above - as being my Donald's parents.  Maybe I will never be able to find out the truth.
Good luck with that I have the same problem.  Fred
–1 vote
Daniel Ross (b. 1760 in Southerlandshire, Scotland) met John McDonald and his family at Sitico, on the Tennessee River near Lookout Mountain. Daniel Ross married John McDonald's daughter, Mary in 1786.  She was born at Fort Loudon, Tennessee, on 1 Nov 1770 and died at Maryville, Tennessee on 5 Oct 1808.  Daniel Ross and Mary McDonald had about 9 children together, including the celebrated Cherokee Chieftain John Ross (b. 3 Oct 1790)

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