John Macdonald
Privacy Level: Open (White)

John Alexander Macdonald (1815 - 1891)

Sir John Alexander Macdonald
Born in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, United Kingdommap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 1 Sep 1843 (to 1857) in Kingston, Canada Westmap
Husband of — married 16 Feb 1867 in London, Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died at age 76 in Ottawa, Carleton, Ontario, Canadamap
Profile last modified | Created 24 May 2013
This page has been accessed 16,712 times.
Canadian Flag
John Macdonald is managed by the Canada Project.
Join: Canada Project
Discuss: canada
Preceded by
title created
1st Prime Minister of Canada
1 July 1867 - 5 November 1873
3rd Prime Minister of Canada
17 October 1878 - 6 June 1891
Succeeded by
John Abbott
11th Premier of the Province of Canada
26 November 1857 - 2 August 1858
Succeeded by
George Brown
9th Premier of Canada West
24 May 1856 - 2 August 1858
Succeeded by
George Brown
Preceded by
George Brown
11th Premier of Canada West
6 August 1858 - 24 May 1862
13th Premier of Canada West
30 May 1864 - 30 June 1867
Succeeded by
Position Terminated


Fathers of Confederation
John Macdonald was a Father of Confederation / était un Père de la Confédération.
Notables Project
John Macdonald is Notable.
John Macdonald is a member of Clan MacDonald.

Sir John A. Macdonald, the first prime minister of Canada, was a lawyer, businessman, and politician; born 10 Jan. 1815 (the registered date) or 11 Jan. (the date he and his family celebrated) in Glasgow, Scotland, son of Hugh MacDonald and Helen Shaw[1] married first 1 Sept. 1843 Isabella Clark in Kingston, Upper Canada, and they had two sons; married secondly 16 Feb. 1867 Susan Agnes Bernard in London, England, and they had a daughter; died 6 June 1891 in Ottawa.

Sir John A. Macdonald était un avocat, homme d’affaires et homme politique; né le 10 janvier 1815 (date du registre) ou le 11 janvier (date que lui-même et sa famille célébraient) à Glasgow, Écosse, fils de Hugh MacDonald et Helen Shaw; le 1er septembre 1843, il épousa à Kingston, Haut-Canada, Isabella Clark, et ils eurent deux fils, puis le 16 février 1867 à Londres Susan Agnes Bernard, et de ce mariage naquit une fille ; décédé le 6 juin 1891 à Ottawa. [2]

He was the son of Hugh Mcdonald and Helen Shaw.[3]

His parents emigrated to Kingston, Upper Canada (Ontario), in 1820. He attended a local grammar school followed by a private school and at the age of 15 began his training to become a lawyer. In 1835 he opened his own firm in Kingston, which specialized in corporate law by the end of the decade. His career from that point forward combined law with business interests, primarily land development and speculation.

In 1843 he married his cousin, Isabella Clark. The marriage ceremony took place at the family home of his cousin John Alexander Macpherson and cousin and sister-in-law, Maria Sophia Clark in Hallowell (now Picton) Prince Edward County, Canada West. The Rev. Mr. Macrae of St. Andrew’s Church, Kingston officiated.[4] They had two children: John Alexander, who died as an infant, and Hugh John, who survived. Isabella, however, died in 1857 after having suffered from a chronic illness for most of their marriage.

He began his political career as an alderman on Kingston Town Council. After three years as a municipal politician, he was elected to the provincial Legislative Assembly. He was re-elected from Kingston in seven consecutive elections for the assembly between 1844 and 1867 and in three for the federal house between 1867 and 1874.

In 1867 he married Susan Agnes Bernard. [5] [6]They had one daughter, Margaret.[7]

He died in 1891 and was buried at Cataraqui Cemetery, Kingston, Ontario.[8][9]


  1. National Records of Scotland; ScotlandsPeople, website index;accessed 10 Oct 2022; citing: 10/01/1815 MCDONALD, JOHN ALEXANDER (Old Parish Registers Births 644/1 210 201 Glasgow) Page 201 of 524. Transcription: McDonald - Hugh McDonald, agent & Helen Shaw, a lawful son: John Alexander, born 10th January 1815. Witn: Donald & James McDonald
  2. J. K. Johnson and P. B. Waite, “MACDONALD, Sir JOHN ALEXANDER,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 12, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed March 30, 2019,
  3. "Scotland Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950", database, FamilySearch ( : 16 September 2021), John Alexander McDonald, .
  4. The Kingston Chronicle & Gazette, 2 Sept., 1842 page 2 column 3. Submitted by Barry Keefe.
  5. Marriage: "Westminster, London, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1935"
    City of Westminster Archives Centre; London, England; Westminster Church of England Parish Registers; Reference: STG/PR/7/59
    Ancestry Sharing Link - Ancestry Record 61867 #973470 (accessed 19 October 2022)
    John Alexander MacDonald (full age) marriage to Susan Agnes Bernard on 16 Feb 1867 in St George, Hanover Square, London, Westminster, England.
  6. Marriage: "Canada, Marriage Index, 1800s-current"
    Ottawa Daily Citizen; Publication Date: 7/ Mar/ 1867; Publication Place: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; URL: Clipping
    Ancestry Record 62227 #24010943 (accessed 19 October 2022)
    Hon John A Macdonald marriage to Susan Agnes Bernard in Abt 1867 in Hanover Square.
  7. "Canada Census, 1871," database, FamilySearch ( : 24 October 2018), John A Macdonald, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada; citing 1871; citing National Archives of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario.
  8. Burial: "Canada, Find a Grave Index, 1600s-Current"
    URL: Find A Grave: Memorial #2145
    Ancestry Record 60527 #8 (accessed 19 October 2022)
    Sir John Alexander Macdonald burial (died on 6 Jun 1891) in Kingston, Frontenac County, Ontario, Canada.
  9. Obituary: "U.S., Obituary Index, 1800s-current"
    The Burlington Independent; Publication Date: 13 Jun 1891; Publication Place: Burlington, Vermont, USA;Clipping
    Ancestry Record 61843 #590584722 (accessed 19 October 2022)
    Name: John Alexander Macdonald; Gender: Male; Death Age: 76; Birth Date: 11 Jan 1815; Birth Place: Glasgow, Scotland; Residence Place: Kingston, Ontario; Death Date: Abt 1891; Death Place: Ottawa; Obituary Date: 13 Jun 1891; Obituary Place: Burlington, Vermont, USA; Newspaper Title: The Burlington Independent; Father: Hugh Macdonald; Spouse: Susan Agnes.

See also:

Sponsored Search by

No known carriers of John's DNA have taken a DNA test. Have you taken a test? If so, login to add it. If not, see our friends at Ancestry DNA.

Comments: 1

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.
Hi Sir John A. Managers.

I discovered that Sir John A's burial place was not included in his profile (Category:Cataraqui Cemetery, Kingston, Ontario), so I added it.

While here, I see that the link to his tartan is to an out-of-date image. Wanting to correct this, I did a bit of research, and I see that there are several MacDonald tartans that might be valid. Not something I have any experience with. Does anyone with more extensive knowledge of his life than I have know his proper tartan and can correct the dead link? If someone finds the tartan but needs help to correct the edit, I can help. If no-one speaks up at all, I can probably dig up the answer.

Please let me know.



posted by Alan Boyce
edited by Alan Boyce

This week's featured connections are French Notables: John is 13 degrees from Napoléon I Bonaparte, 16 degrees from Gilbert du Motier de La Fayette, 19 degrees from Sarah Bernhardt, 31 degrees from Charlemagne Carolingian, 23 degrees from Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette, 13 degrees from Pierre Curie, 26 degrees from Simone de Beauvoir, 16 degrees from Philippe Denis de Keredern de Trobriand, 16 degrees from Camille de Polignac, 13 degrees from Henri-Gustave Joly de Lotbinière, 18 degrees from Claude Monet and 18 degrees from Aurore Dupin de Francueil on our single family tree. Login to see how you relate to 33 million family members.