This web site is an on line offering containing the documentation of the ancestors of James McDonald and Sarah Ferguson, born in 1802, who immigrated to Nauvoo, Illinois from Belfast, Ireland in 1844. Our primary source materials are the 1929 family history research of Emma Cluff, the research of Eunice Young, and Ila Fisher Maughan’s 1964 book entitled James McDonald Sarah Ferguson, Their Progenitors and Their Posterity". We will continue to add to these sources new information on the history of our verified McDonald ancestors such as the recently discovered documentation of the 5 June 1812 death of Moses McDonald in Greenock, Scotland found independently by Larry C. McDonald, Jack McDonald, and Stephen McDonald. New discoveries about James & Sarah Ferguson McDonald's next door neighbors' in Yelrome provide details of their Nauvoo experience under "Lay of the Land". We live in an exciting time. The Internet provides, literally at our fingertips, information that our parents could only obtain by hiring a professional genealogist in Great Britain. And I am grateful for my son, Heath McDonald who's computer web site programing skills made this site possible. The tartan background is the main tartan associated with Clan Donald, the world wide organization of our surname and its various spellings.
The 2008 launching of the LDS Church’s New Family Search web site revealed that many descendants of James McDonald and Sarah Ferguson (and others who thought they were) have submitted information to the LDS Church regarding our ancestors. New Family Search has allowed everyone to see these submissions with the intent that sharing information would decrease duplication of effort. It also revealed names, and entire lines , that have been linked with our ancestors without the appropriate documentation. There are currently 134 different McDonald family pedigrees that have been combined into one. The problem with adding names to New Family Search based upon conjecture or supposition is that it may discourage further research. McDonald family history research is far from complete. There is much yet to be done. The new FamilySearch Family Tree program has helped to stem the flood of inaccurate information that plagued New FamilySearch, but more oversight and documentation is imperative to protect the integrity of validated research. Through the Internet anyone can join in the search from their own computer. The purpose of this web site is to share the original documentation and inspire the descendants of James McDonald and Sarah Ferguson to continue the search for our ancestors.
Clicking on a brown, underlined word will connect you to another page within this web site or a related web site. To return to the original page just click the back arrow at the top left. Digital (electronic) copies of the original documents on this web site may be copied to your computer by right mouse clicking on a document or photo and then clicking save. The documents may then be enlarged so you may focus on a particular part or read the document from your computer easier than printing a paper copy (and you save a tree).
We welcome the submission of additional documentation, web site links, diaries, and letters to be published on this site so we may all be on the same path discovering our common ancestors. Email submissions to