b. c.1855 Newtown - Sydney (or Maitland ?) - d. 1894 Sydney, Australia

The following chronicle relates to William McDonald, son of Donald McDonald of Newtown, Sydney, NSW.

At this stage we are still unsure of William's mother's name, but we know that he was brought up as a child of Donald and his wife Harriet (nee Harber).

NOTE: For the suggested possible scenario that he was born to Donald McDonald and Elizabeth Clifton please click here.

Nothing is known of William until his marriage to Elizabeth Augusta Peters. Their wedding ceremony took place on 15 Jan 1876 at 281 Elizabeth St Sydney, according to the Rites of the Presbyterian Church.

William was a butcher by trade and worked in the Balmain, Newtown, Glebe part of inner Sydney.

Details on the life of William and his family are very thin, location information gained mainly from data on various documents such as Birth, Marriage and Death certificates. Children born to the couple were -

  • Emma Elizabeth born 05 Nov 1876 Wattle Street, Sydney
  • Annie Louisa born 21 Feb 1878
  • Jeanette Augusta born and died c1880, Glebe, NSW
  • Marion Janet (Mary Jane) born 31 May 1884 (on a Saturday), off Bank Street, Pyrmont, Sydney
  • Mabel (Maude..?) born c1886 Leichhardt, NSW
  • Florence Bartho born 23 Jun 1888 Paternoster Street (off Union Street), Pyrmont
  • Dorothy (no details known)

    For details on William and Elizabeth's descendants click here

    William's time as a butcher, and sadly, also his life, were cut short when he died aged only 39.

    Headline: ‘Sydney Morning Herald - 9 April 1894. An injured spine.’ On Saturday morning William McDonald, 39, residing at Alexander Street, Macdonaldtown, was conveyed to the Balmain Cottage Hospital suffering from a severe injury to his spine. He was driving a butcher's cart to the Glebe Island abattoirs, when the horse shied and precipitated McDonald to the road.
    Headline: ‘Sydney Morning Herald - 10 April 1894. A fatal result of a fall.’ Mr W.F.Pinhey, Deputy City Coroner, held an enquiry yesterday at the Balmain Cottage Hospital touching the death of William McDonald, who fell out of a butcher's cart whilst driving in Western Street, Balmain, on Friday, and who died on Sunday afternoon. Evidence having been given, Mr Pinhey entered a finding that death was due to injuries accidentally received.

    He was buried on 10 Apl 1894 in the Presbyterian Section 6D grave 2496, of Rookwood Cemetery, Sydney. He has no headstone.

    Also buried in the same site as William Edward McDonald is Stella Annie McDonald - aged 3 months - died 13/11/1906. This baby was the illegitimate child of William's daughter Florence.

    In the years following William's death, his widow Elizabeth had a son Thomas (born c1895) and a daughter Eileen (born 05 Mar 1899, Rosedale, Canterbury, NSW)

    Name of the children's father is unknown.

    Twenty nine years later, on the 19 May 1923, William's widow Elizabeth McDonald died, of heart failure, aged 65. Place of death is shown on her Death certificate to be 89 Rochford St Erskineville. She is buried in the Church of England Cemetery, Rookwood, Sydney.

    No circumstances are known but family lore has it that Elizabeth's daughter Eileen, and Mary Jane (Marion) (and possibly another younger girl also..) were fostered out in the years after William's death and existed in the worst of conditions...! They lived on farms (possibly in the Wellington, Dubbo area) and were treated badly. A great deal of time has been spent attempting to find records that might shed some light on the time spent by the two girls in foster care (or as wards of the state), but no details have so far been located.

    Sadly, not a lot is known about her, but click on following link for a brief look at the life of my grandmother Mary Jane McDonald.

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