Transcribed by Janette West Grimes


November 12, 1953 - Reprinted December 16, 1976





†† We have had an inquiry about the McDonald family, from Mrs. Weaver, of Breman, Ga. Below is a copy of our reply to her letter. Perhaps many of our readers will be interested in the history of this rather numberous family. If any reader of the Times can give us accounts of the older members of the McDonald family, we shall be glad to have them. Our letter to Mrs. Weaver follows:


Lafayette, Tenn.

Nov. 8, 1953


Mrs. W. Harry Weaver,

212 Tennessee Avenue,

Bremen, Ga.


Dear Mrs. Weaver:


†† While looking through some old letters last night, I found your letter of some time ago, and decided that it had been overlooked and left unanswered. So I am going to give you the McDonald information that I have. I do not know if it will fit in anywhere in your line of descent, but the information will be helpful to someone, I trust. Moreover, I am having the information published in my paper, the Macon County Times, of Lafayette. As to Andy McDonald, who once lived in Lebanon. I do not have any record of him, although there are two Andy McDonalds in my old records of this family.


†† My McDonald records begin with Randolph McDonald, born in Glasgow, Scotland, date not known. He left Scotland perhaps early in the history of the colonies and settled at Edinburg, Shenandoah County, Virginia, but the date is not known. That he had one brother, if not more, is revealed from the fact that he had a son, Magness McDonald, who married his first cousin, Agnes McDonald.


†† Randolph McDonald, it would appear, came to America a middle-aged man, with a grown son left in Scotland. We have only four sons of Randolph: Magness, above set out as having married his cousin, Agnes; Bill or William, and we have no further information; James McDonald, remained in Glasgow, Scotland; and Elias McDonald, and we have no additional record of him.


†† Magness and Agnes were the parents of: John McDonald, commonly called Jack,born in 1796 and died in this country, in 1855; married Nancy Wilkerson or Wilkinson, as some spell it ; Andy McDonald, who had one son, Frank McDonald, and here our little record closes on Andy; William, married Elizabeth Sadler; a daughter, name not known, married a Tucker; Jim, no further information; another daughter, whose name is not known, we have no further record of her; Stephen, and our record ends here; Porter, and we know nothing further of him; Joe McDonald, a Sergeant in the War of 1812, and have no additional information at this time; and two other sons, believed to have been Frank and Lum McDonald.


†† John or Jack McDonald, who married Nancy Wilkerson, was the father of: William McDonald, born in 1819, died in 1918, married first to Cenie Dotson and later to Elizabeth Davis; Polly Ann, married Hugh Massey; Elias McDonald, married Ruth Dotson; John McDonald, married a Harwood; James McDonald married a Wilmore and later a Marshall; Betsy Lee McDonald, married W. A. Hargis; Edward McDonald, married Sarah Gregory, daughter of Dob Gregory, son of Squire Bill Gregory, a brother of the writer's great-great-grandfather; Nancy Lee McDonald, married John Holland; and Wyatt McDonald, married a Goad.


†† William McDonald and his wife, Cenie Dotson McDonald, were the parents of: Nancy McDonald, married George Tuck; Tom McDonald, married a Smith; Ruthie McDonald, married Tom Williams; Cenie, died young and Sarah C. McDonald, married Cobb Russell; and by the second, Elizabeth Davis McDonald, he had Mary McDonald, married Rowland Gregory, son of Curtis Gregory, son of Smith, a brother of Dob, above mentioned; and later Fannie Gray, and later Lethia Smalling; Steve McDonald, married Eliza Andrews; S. Ferby McDonald, married a Day; William McDonald, married a Harwood; Mattie McDonald, married a Ragland; and Flora McDonald, married a Freeman.


†† Polly Ann McDonald and her husband, Hugh Massey, were the parents of: Nancy Lee, married a Halliburton; Elizabeth and John William Massey, died as children, the victims of diphtheria; Hailey, married Ella Tuck; and Timothy Massey, married Coatney Tuck, a sister of Ella.


†† We are sorry that we do not have the descendants of Elias McDonald at hand, although they are somewhere in some of our old records; and we have to say the same for John McDonald, who married a Harwood. We are sorry not to have time to look up our rather scattered records of these two McDonalds, although we are sure that we have them somewhere.


†† Betsy Lee McDonald, married William A. Hargis, and became the mother of: William Lee, Wyatt, Elias, W. G. Hargis and perhaps others.


†† Edward McDonald and his wife Sarah Gregory McDonald, were the parents of: Isaac Presley McDonald, G. Walton McDonald, Deborah McDonald, W. Dolphus and Ethley L. McDonald.


†† We do not have the children of Nancy Lee McDonald and her husband, John Holland, and will have to pass them by for the present. The same also holds for Wyatt McDonald and his wife, the former Miss Goad.


†† We have an almost complete list of descendants of William McDonald, son of Magness and Agnes McDonald. William McDonald married Elizabeth Sadler. Their sons and daughters were: John McDonald, married first to a Carter and later a Blye; Henry, commonly called Hal, married a Phelps; William, married a Stalcup; Wilse McDonald, married a Finney; Porter McDonald, married Susan Edlemon; King McDonald, married a Brooks; Jennie McDonald, married a Clark; Polly McDonald, married an Apple; and Nancy McDonald, married an Elrod.


†† John McDonald, was the father of: Stuart, Hurd McDonald, married an Onstadt; Jim McDonald, married a Beasley; Nan McDonald, married a Dillard; and Jane McDonald, married to a Shoemake, and later to a Beasley.


†† Henry, called Hal McDonald, and his wife, the former Miss Phelps; were the parents of: John McDonald, married a McDonald, but we do not have the first name nor her connection, but suppose her to have been a relative; Wilse, went to Texas; Porter McDonald, never married; Nancy McDonald, married a Womack, and later John McDonald, but we do not know whose son; Mary McDonald, married a Lee; and Rose McDonald, who never married.


†† William McDonald and his wife, the former Miss Stalcup, were the parents of: Nick McDonald, to Illinois; William McDonald, Jr., married Betsy McDonald, but again we do not know the connection; Pete McDonald, removed to Texas; Wilse McDonald, and we have no further record; and Betsy McDonald, married a Lee.


†† Wilse McDonald and his wife, the former Miss Fenny, were the parents of: Billie McDonald, married a Ferrell; Jim McDonald, married a Young; Nancy McDonald, married a Sadler; and Mary McDonald, died young.


†† Porter McDonald and his wife, Susan Edlemon, were the parents of: Mary McDonald, married an Anderson; Jane, married an Apple; Elizabeth McDonald, married another Apple, a brother to the husband of Jane McDonald; Eliza McDonald, married a Bockman; Maria McDonald, married an Apple, a cousin of the two Apple's above mentioned; Sidney McDonald, commonly called Wash, married first to a Rowland and later to a Glover; Ridley McDonald, married a Warren; Andrew McDonald born Oct. 4, 1834 and lived to be about 100 years of age, married a Shaw; John McDonald, married a Glover; and William McDonald, married an Apple, a sister of Maria's husband.


†† King McDonald and his wife the former Miss Brooks, were the parents of: Jane McDonald, married a Trousdale; Thula McDonald, married a Ferrell; Darthenia McDonald, married a Duke; Belle McDonald married Dr. McClellan; Lou McDonald, married a Kent and later a Reece; Fannie McDonald, married a Ferrell, a brother of Thula's husband; Jasper McDonald, married a Bockman; Henry McDonald, married a Wallace; Matt McDonald, married a Young; and Wirt McDonald, a Cumberland Presbyterian minister, who married a Stanton.


†† Byrd McDonald, son of William McDonald and his wife, Elizabeth Sadler McDonald, married a Williamson, and became the father of: Martha McDonald, married a Womack; Polly, no further information; Joe, and John, both went to Texas, and we have no further record.


†† Jennie McDonald, the sister of Byrd, married a Clark and became the mother of: Judge Clark, who never married; George Clare, never married; A. J. Clark, married a Sadler; Robert Clark, never married; Henry Clark, married a Follis; and Dick Clark, married a Martin.


†† Polly McDonald, sister of Byrd, married an Apple and became the mother of: Ridley Apple, married a Stewart; Roy Apple, married a daughter of David Timberlake, a Baptist minister; Wash Apple, married a McDanie; Fate Apple, married an Apple, but we do not know the connection; John Apple, married an Anderson; Barbara Apple, married a Ferrell; Lona Apple, married a Beatty; Mary Apple, married a Ferrell, a brother of Barbara's husband; and Jane, no further record.


†† Nancy, a sister of Polly and Jennie and others, married an Elrod, and became the mother of: William Elrod, married a Hurd; John Elrod, married a Warren; Jimmie Elrod, killed in the Civil War; "Red" Elrod, no further information; Mary Elrod, married a Huff; Missie Elrod, married a Sadler; Lina Elrod, married a Glover; and Azie Elrod, married a Boulton.


†† William McDonald, son of Porter McDonald and his wife, Susan Edlemon, has a son, Rev. Jimmie P. McDonald, who is a Cumberland Presbyterian minister in the Chestnut Mound section of Smith County, Tennessee. He is now more than 90 years of age. His address is Elmwood, Tenn. Another descendant of Porter McDonald, a Baptist minister, of Chestnut Mound, Tenn. The last-named man also has a son whois a young Baptist minister.


†† In addition to those named above, the writer has quite a number of other descendants of Porter and his wife, Susan. If anyone is interested in obtaining their names, we shall be glad to furnish same.


†† Perhaps you know that Rev. Alexander McDonald was a Baptist minister, born in 1814, in Scotland. He was converted at Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. I have some additional information on this minister, if it is wanted.


†† I have also a rather lengthy sketch of the life of Governor Charles J. McDonald, born in South Carolina in 1793, and later becoming one of the most beloved governors the State of Georgia ever had. Let me know if this information is desired.


†† Another prominent McDonald was Rev. D. G. McDonald, born Feb. 15, 1843, and later became quite a noted Baptist minister in Nova Scotia.


†† Henry McDonald was born in the county of Antrim, in North Ireland, on Jan. 3, 1832, and later removed to Kentucky where he became a prominent Baptist minister. He lived for a number of years at Greensburg, Ky. He also made his home still later in the State of Georgia.


†† Francis B. McDonald was another Baptist minister of Kentucky. He was ordained in Scott County, Ky., in 1841.


†† The McDonald of this section are all of Scotch descent and have quite a lot of the usual characteristics of the people of Scotland. As a rule they are people of fine sense, of an industrious disposition and an independence that might be thought by some to go too far. Truly they have been and are a family of whom we are proud. Ministers have been quite numerous in the family, and some noted men have borne the name of McDonald.


†† Hoping that this rather lengthy letter has been of some help to you in your investigation, and with best wishes, I am


Sincerly yours,

Calvin Gregory