(The master version of this biography is maintained at, which includes images, is maintained at http://www.dorneyfamilyhistory.net/famtree_web/History_kiernan.pdf)
Margaret McDonald was born on 6 January 1849 in Hobart and was the eldest of twelve children. She worked as a teacher after marrying John and in between bearing children. In contrast to her husband John, most education department statements about her were positive or relatively neutral. Examples include ‘She knows her business as a teacher very fairly and is active and diligent in carrying out the work of her school’ (1883), ‘knows her work and has an active manner in teaching’ (1884) and ‘an unsatisfactory teacher, has been neglecting her duties very much of late’ (1890). This last comment is perhaps understandable given that her husband appeared to be going off the rails.
Margaret died 16 January 1916 in Melbourne.
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