Family Tree Home Page
  590 Unknown Wright Jane Unknown
  About 1777 - 1850
  Unknown McDonald Unknown
405 David McDonald
b. About 1801
Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
d. 4 Mar 1867
Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Rachel Wright
b. About 1808
Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
d. 30 Oct 1852
Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Relationship Events:
About 1830 Marriage David McDonald to Rachel McDonald
Ancestor Leaf 305 Catharine Wright McDonald b. About 1831 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; d. 12 Oct 1875 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Joseph Henderson 10 Dec 1857 in Philadelphia

Seven Children: Mary Ann Hill, Joseph Wright, James Hill, Mary Wentz, Samuel Ruggles, Kate Gay, and Charles Price Henderson

  Susannah W. McDonald b. About 1834 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; d. 1875 - 1880 perhaps in Chicago, Cook, Illinois, USA
James Reside White, about 1854 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Nine or Ten Children: Marcus Cyrus, Regina, John Reside, Susan, Joseph H., Grant, John Winters, Catharine Seline, Donald, Minnie (perhaps same as Martha) and Martha White
  Edward W. McDonald b. About 1837 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; d. 22 May 1897 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Emma Biddle about 1860 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Four Children: Reed (1), Horace, Reed (2), and Lily McDonald
  Anna McDonald About 1838 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; d. 2 Jan 1892 in New York City, New York, USA.
  David L. McDonald b. About 1840 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsyvania, USA; d. 3 Jun 1862 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Single. Died at 22 of "consumption."  
  Hamilton McDonald b.About 1844 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; d. ?
Possibly Rosa ? Hamilton can't be found after the 1870 Census. We know that in 1875, he petitioned the Orphans Court in reference to guardianship of his three nephews, Joseph Wright, John Hill, and Samuel Ruggles Henderson.
  Charles Alexander McDonald b. About 1845 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; d. ?
He and his sister Anna were living with their aunt and uncle in the 1860 census.
  Francis McDonald b. About 1849 in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; d. ?

Possibly Margaret Bealer in Philadelphia 15 Feb 1871

Possibly died before 1860.


We know only bits and pieces about David and Rachel McDonald.

Rachel was the daughter of Jane Wright, who is buried with Rachel and David at Odd Fellows.

David listed himself as a "victualer" on one of his Census forms.

What we know of their children:

Catharine Wright McDonald married Joseph Henderson, and they are our direct ancestors.

Susannah McDonald (or Susan) married James Reside White. They had nine or ten known children, most of whom were born in Philadelphia. They named one of their daughters "Catharine" Selena, we assume after her older sister. It appears from Census information on their children that they last lived in Chicago, Illinois. Their youngest daughter "Minnie", which might be a nickname for "Martha", was living in Chicago in 1880 with her older sister Regina. Four other siblings were living with Susannah's brother Edward, and one was living as the "adopted son" of another couple. Two of their children were buried with Susan's parents David and Rachel at Odd Fellows.

Edward W. McDonald married Emma Biddle, and they had four children. Their firstborn, Reed, lived only two weeks, and was buried with Edward's parents David and Rachel at Odd Fellows Cemetery.

Anna McDonald and her brother Charles (Alexander) were living with their older sister Susannah White at the 1860 Census. By 1870 according to the Census, It's possible that Anna, later known as "Annie") moved to New York City where she can be found "with no occupation" on the Census for that year. An funeral notice for her can be found indicating that if she is Anna, daughter of David and Rachel, she died 1 Jan 1892 in New York City, and was buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia.




David L. McDonald at 20 and his brother Edward were living with their aunt and uncle John and Susan Savin in Philadelphia at the 1860 Census. Their mother Rachel had died in 1852, and it seems that between her death and when the 1860 Census was taken, the family had split up. David, Rachel's widower, cannot be located on the 1860 Census, but four of his children were living with other relatives (Anna and Charles with their older sister Susannah and Edward and David with their Aunt Susan). The younger David, who was listed as a butcher, died of "consumption" in 1862 and is buried with his parents.

Hamilton McDonald. We know very little about him. It's possible he married a woman named Rosa according to the 1870 Census which shows a couple with those names living in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania. He cannot be identified on the 1860 Census or with certainty on any other Census after 1850. His name is listed as having submitted a petition to the Orphan's Court in 1875 for guardianship of his three nephews by Catharine and Joseph Henderson to be granted to John Reed and James Henderson.

Charles Alexander McDonald was listed on the 1850 Census as "Alexander". On the 1860 Census, "Charles A." is listed living with his Aunt Susan. We can find no other definite information about him after 1860.

Francis McDonald. Francis, the youngest known child of David and Rachel, would have been only three or so when his mother died. He cannot be found on an 1860 where his four next youngest siblings were found living with other relatives. It's possible that he was adopted as was his sister Susannah's child Donald, and that's why he can't be located under the McDonald name.

We know from the Cemetery records from Odd Fellows that David died at the age of 66 in Philadelphia. He was buried with his wife, Rachel, her mother Jane Wright, his son David, and three of his grandchildren.

Brick Walls of Knowledge

The "brick wall" for this family is the identity of David McDonald's parents and Rachel's father. On the 1850 Census, they both indicate they were born in Pennsylvania. Rachel's sister Susan (possibly Susannah) Wright Savin, who was several years younger than Rachel, indicated on one of her Census forms that she was born in New Jersey.


An excerpt of the petition filed by Hamilton McDonald after the death of his sister Catharine for the guardianship of her three surviving children.

Hamilton McDonald

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Obituaries and Death Certficates and Records:

Death Certificate and information about Jane Wright, mother of Rachel Wright McDonald.

Jane Wright

Jane Wright

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An excerpt from the 1860 Census from Philadelphia Ward 12 Division 1, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania shows a David McDonald, Victualer, living in what appears to be a Boarding House. His age is shown as 50, meaning this David McDonald was born about 1810 (similar to the 1850 Census, but not consistent with his age as shown on his death certificate. This David was also born in Ireland, whereas in the 1850 Census, our David indicated he was born in Pennsylvania.

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The Death Certificate and Obituary for Rachel McDonald. Notice the misspelling of her name in both documents.

Rachel McDonald Death Certificate

Obituary Rachel McDonald

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David McDonald Death Certificate

Obituary David McDonald

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David L. McDonald Death Certificate

Obituary David L. McDonald

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Annie McDonald Death Notice


Cemetery Records for the David and Rachel McDonald Plot at Odd Fellows Cemetery.


Odd Fellows Plot