Helen (Shaw) MacDonald
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Helen (Shaw) MacDonald (abt. 1779 - 1862)

Helen MacDonald formerly Shaw
Born about in Dalnavert, Inverness-shire, Scotlandmap
Daughter of and
Sister of [half] and [half]
Wife of — married 21 Oct 1811 in Glasgow, Lanark, Scotlandmap
Descendants descendants
Died at about age 83 in Kingston, Canada Westmap
Profile manager: Sunny Clark private message [send private message]
Profile last modified | Created 18 Nov 2009 | Last significant change: 2 Oct 2022
22:45: Amy (Crawford) Gilpin edited the Biography for Helen (Shaw) MacDonald (abt.1779-1862). (Categorization. ) [Thank Amy for this]
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Biography

Scottish flag
Helen (Shaw) MacDonald was born in Scotland.

Helen was the daughter of James Shaw,[1][2] the second husband of her mother Margaret Grant,[1][2] who was possibly the daughter of John Grant of Ballantomb, Scotland.[3][1] She was born near Dalnavert, in Inverness-shire, Scotland.[4]

She married Hugh MacDonald (Macdonald) in 1811 in Glasgow, Scotland.[5] On 24 Jun 1820 they emigrated to Upper Canada[6] with their four children (the eldest, William, had died prior to the voyage),[7] aboard the Earl of Buckingham.[8]

The family finally arrived at the home of Lt. Col. Donald Macpherson in Kingston on 13 Aug, 1820.[9] Their stay with her step-sister's family was temporary, and by 11 Oct 1820, her husband had opened a shop with a residence above where the family would live.[10]

Not long after their settlement in Kingston, James Shaw died after being hit in the head with a cane, by their caregiver, identified only as Kennedy.[11] Their son, John A, about age seven, was the only witness. The killer disappeared, and no charges were ever laid.

Helen was well known to be an avid reader and instilled in her children a love of learning. All three of her surviving children attended school in Adolphustown, about 3 miles from their home.[12] In fact, they would eventually encourage their son, John A to become a lawyer.

Her husband's string of bad luck continued after their settlement in Upper Canada, and by 5 November 1824, the family had left Kingston and moved to the Hay Bay area.[13]

Her husband, Hugh, died of a cerebral hemorrhage on 29 Sep 1841.[14]

Helen suffered a series of strokes, but seemed to recover each time. Her daughters took on most of the burden of caring for their ailing mother, while John A pursued a career in politics.

Helen died on 24 Oct 1862.[15][16]

Research Notes

To view a copy of the original marriage document, see Library and Archives Canada, Gallery of Papers, Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada's Patriot Statesman Marriage Record.

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 MacPherson, James Pennington; Life of the Right Hon. Sir John A. Macdonald; (Earle Pub. House; St. John, NB, 1891); Pg. 74
  2. 2.0 2.1 Phenix, Patricia; Private Demons: the tragic personal story of John A Macdonald; (McClelland & Stewart; Toronto, 2007); Available online; pg. 5 (accessed 2 Oct 2022)
  3. Chadwick, Edward. Ontarian Families. 1898, p. 1
  4. Phenix, Patricia; Private Demons: the tragic personal story of John A Macdonald; (McClelland & Stewart; Toronto, 2007); Available Online; pg. 4; (accessed 2 Oct 2022)
  5. "Scotland, Marriages, 1561-1910," , FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XTB3-14X : accessed 17 August 2015), Hugh Mcdonald and Helen Shaw, 21 Oct 1811; citing Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland, reference ; FHL microfilm 1,042,935, 1,042,937, 1,042,937.
  6. Phenix, Patricia; Private Demons: the tragic personal story of John A Macdonald; (McClelland & Stewart; Toronto, 2007); Available Online; pg. 8 (accessed 2 Oct 2022)
  7. Creighton, Donald. John A. Macdonald. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1998, p. 7. Google e-Book
  8. Phenix, Patricia; Private Demons: the tragic personal story of John A Macdonald; (McClelland & Stewart; Toronto, 2007); Available Online; pg. 9 (accessed 2 Oct 2022)
  9. Phenix, Patricia; Private Demons: the tragic personal story of John A Macdonald; (McClelland & Stewart; Toronto, 2007); Available Online; pg. 10, (accessed 2 Oct 2022)
  10. Phenix, Patricia; Private Demons: the tragic personal story of John A Macdonald; (McClelland & Stewart; Toronto, 2007); Available Online; pg. 12, (accessed 2 Oct 2022)
  11. Phenix, Patricia; Private Demons: the tragic personal story of John A Macdonald; (McClelland & Stewart; Toronto, 2007); Available Online; pg. 1, (accessed 2 Oct 2022)
  12. Phenix, Patricia; Private Demons: the tragic personal story of John A Macdonald; (McClelland & Stewart; Toronto, 2007); Available Online; pg. 14, (accessed 2 Oct 2022)
  13. Phenix, Patricia; Private Demons: the tragic personal story of John A Macdonald; (McClelland & Stewart; Toronto, 2007); Available Online; pg. 13, (accessed 2 Oct 2022)
  14. Phenix, Patricia; Private Demons: the tragic personal story of John A Macdonald; (McClelland & Stewart; Toronto, 2007); Available Online; pg. 49, (accessed 2 Oct 2022)
  15. Kingston Historical Society, Historic Kingston Index Results, citing Vol. 58, 59, 61, 62, and 66
  16. Find A Grave: Memorial #139382806


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Categories: Migrants from Glasgow to Ontario | Alvie Parish, Inverness-shire | Kingston, Upper Canada