James McDonald's Documented Pedigree

James pedigree











 Documented Source


The christening of a Moses is found in the top right corner of the above Carnmoney Parish records dated August 30, 1778.  These records are available on film 258610, #1 p. 43 of the LDS Family History Library microfilm catalog.  The father is listed as John McDonnald (with an extra 'n').  John McDonnald is again listed in the first column of the above document as the father of James christened July 27, 1776.  There is also a record of a John M'Donnald in the Rosemary St. Presbyterian Parish records in Belfast as the father of Mary Cunningham M'Donnald christened in 1768.  Moses named three of his children James, John, and Mary Cunningham.  Both Presbyterian churches were within 10 miles of Balleylesson and Crawfordsburn, County Down, Ireland where our family is known to have lived. All of these documented facts combine as compelling evidence this is our Moses christened August 30, 1778.  It was common within the Presbyterian Church in Ireland to christen babies a year or two after their birth which is consistent with his being listed as about 35 when he died June 5, 1812.

 Moses signature

In 1811 Moses signed  a statement with the M'Donald spelling yet his son James signed "James McDonald" just 30 years later.  The double 'n' was more common in Gaelic speaking areas of Ireland and the Highlands of Scotland.  It is probable that Moses dropped the double 'n' when he moved to Greenock, Scotland where Gaelic was not as common.  The double 'n' may be a help locating John M'Donnald's parents.  The search should begin in Belfast, but should also include areas where remnants of the Gaelic language were common in the 1700's such as the Highlands of Scotland. The Presbyterian faith of our ancestors practically excludes other Gaelic speaking areas of Ireland (outside Ulster because they were 95% Catholic, but County Down was 90% Presbyterians from Scotland.  The yDNA test is consistent with what we know about our ancestors.  The first place we should look is Northern Ireland & Scotland.  We know that James McDonald was born in Ballylesson, County Down, Ireland, but all his younger brothers and sisters were born in Greenock, Renfrew, Scotland.  We now know their father worked the merchant ship yards.  We may need to look for records in other ports.  

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