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Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 2004-05 > 1085491578

From: "McDonald, Scott (Engineering)" <>
Subject: RE: [Sc-Ir] Scotch-Irish Ancestors
Date: Tue, 25 May 2004 08:26:18 -0500


I don't know about favorite, but here is a bit about my almost dead line of
McDonalds, errr, (Graham really):

My GG Grandfather Robert Graham was born in Southern Belfast in 1833. When
Robert was about 8yrs old, almost his entire family, except he and his
grandmother, Ann Graham. Robert worked odd jobs and went to prepatory
school into the Presbyterian ministry.

About the time he was 18yrs old, for some unknown reason, he left N.Ireland,
and headed to America. He lived in New York briefly, then went to
Wisconsin, where his family had previously immigrated. He stayed there,
again only briefly, then began working on boats up-and-down the Mississippi.

After a couple years, he went back up to Mississippi, and asked his 1st
cousin Ann McDonnald to marry. From what I'm told, it wasn't a popular idea
within the family; Nonetheless, the two were married. At this time, it
appears that Robert Graham changed his last name to that of his
wife-McDonnald, minus an "n," becoming McDonald.

FYI: One of my cousins who is a grand daughter of Robert had this to tell
me: She was walking through a cemetery in Wisconsin, where William Graham
is buried. An aunt kicked the tombstone and said, "That Willy Graham is the
reason your father changed his name." It didn't take me long to put the
pieces together after that. Nothing I had fit correctly. It almost fit, in
a couple different ways, and rather than assume, I just ended-up tracing
both different ways. Wisconsin has recently opened a database for land,
marriage, and obits which was INVALUABLE in my research. I HIGHLY, Highly,
highly recommend their services. On the ledger of Wisconsin marriages,
Robert listed his parents as William and Mary "McDonald." There wasn't a
William McDonald in the family who left N.Ireland with James McDonnald, in
fact there aren't any William McDonalds who would have been siblings to
James by my records...only William Graham, James McDonnald's Brother-IN-LAW,
and sibling to his wife Mary. So all that was stated to say, "Research and
effort pay off, sooner or later." You have to put real effort into
genealogical research. If you want to know how I found my oldest cousin
still alive in the US, email me, as I would rather not bore folks with the


They moved to Iowa, travelling in company with Robert's cousin, an elder
Robert McDonald. It can become a bit confusing from here, being both had
the same name. Anyway, the elder Robert soon left Iowa, and travelled to
Minnesota (the confusing stuff can be told if anyone wants to hear).

In Iowa, Robert "G" McDonald, did very well, and owned a large farm on the
"Wapsi" River. It was kept very quiet that he and Ann were 1st cousins.
From what I am told it was not a secret within the family, as there were
many shared aunt's, uncle's between the two.

Robert's (and Ann's) uncle, Sammy Graham used to stay with them on the farm,
where it appears he made a, "base of operation," for his preaching. Sammy
would don his Scots bonnet and his walking stick, travelling the countryside
giving Presbyterian sermons.

That's all for now, as my boss is looking at me. I think he wants me to
work. Darn the luck!

Beannachd leibh,


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