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Home: Regional: U.S. States: New York: Schoharie County

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5 John McDonald families in Albany & Schoharie Co.
Posted by: Dan Atwell (ID *****6520) Date: January 26, 2004 at 03:07:03
  of 600

I am trying to untangle and/or gain more information about the following five McDONALD families in NY state who resided in Albany Co. and/or Schoharie Co. and/or Schenectady Co. and/or Oswego Co. One of the families (family #2) is my own but the others may also be connected. I have used mainly county histories, the NY Census and what few church records I could find to construct the following trees, with minimal data from other researchers.

First, a couple of facts that don’t fit into any of the following trees yet. There were three men listed as “John McDONALD” in the 1800 census in Schoharie Co, NY. One is listed in Cobleskill (b.1774-1784) and the other two are in Sharon. The two men in Sharon may be father and son, the older John was b.1755-1774 and the younger John was b.1774-1784. There was a James McDONALD who had a child baptized in the Town of Schoharie, Schoharie Co, NY as early as 1784. The baptism was sponsored by John McDONALD and Anna SUDERLING (possibly SUTHERLAND?). This same John and Anna (as “John and Anna McDonnall”) sponsored other baptisms at the Reformed Church in Sharon, Schoharie Co, NY in 1795, 1796 and 1800. Lastly, a James Sickles McDONALD, son of “James McDonal” and Mary WENING, was baptized 6 Sep 1797 at the Lawyersville Reformed Church in Cobleskill, Schoharie Co, NY. Apart from these records, I can find no trace of any McDONALD families in Schoharie Co. before the 1800 census.

Judging from the records I have seen so far, in this general area in the late 1700s-early 1800s there were McDONALD families in Albany City, Guilderland, Knox, Berne, Watervliet and Bethlehem in Albany Co, and in Duanesburgh and Schenectady City in Schenectady Co. Perhaps someone researching McDonalds in these areas has further information they would like to share?

Please note also that the records the following family trees were constructed from change spelling freely between “McDonald,” “McDaniel,” “McDaniels,” “MacDonald,” “McDonal,” etc. Whenever the original spelling is anything other than McDonald, I have tried to put quotation marks around it.


family #1 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
John McDONALD b.? in Scotland, d.abt 1821 in Cobleskill, Schoharie Co, NY. According to Roscoe’s “History of Schoharie Co.” he arrived in Cobleskill, NY in June 1799 from Albany Co, though given the year he wrote his will, it seems unlikely he is the relatively young man who is listed in the 1800 census for Cobleskill (b.1774-1784.) If John was in Schoharie Co. this early, it seems more likely he is the older of the two John McDONALDs listed in Sharon, Schoharie Co. b.1755-1774. The John McDONALD listed in the census for Cobleskill, NY in 1810 and the “John McDANIEL” listed there in 1820 are probably this John. He may be the John McDONALD listed in the 1790 census for Duanesburgh, Albany (now Schenectady) Co, NY which shows 2 men b. bef 1774, 2 boys b.1774-1790, and 2 females. John McDONALD signed his will on 4 Apr 1816 in Cobleskill and it was proved 4 Feb 1822. In it he mentions only his “wife Abey” and “my younger son Robert” which suggests he had at least one other son. John left his entire estate and all lands in Cobleskill to Abbey and Robert.

John McDONALD married 1st to Eleanor WATSON. As yet no record of the marriage has been found, but they were listed as the parents of Robert (see below) in a birth record from an Albany Co. church in 1799. At present, birth or death dates for Eleanor are unknown since it is impossible to distinguish her from John’s second wife in the census records, though Eleanor was probably still alive in 1807 as evidenced by the following. On 18 Jul 1807 “John and Nelly MacDONALD” (spelled as McDonald when they signed by mark) of Cobleskill sold a 40-acre parcel of land to their neighbor Henry FOX, also of Cobleskill. Henry FOX and John McDONALD are listed in the 1810 and 1820 census of Cobleskill, NY as next-door neighbors.

John McDONALD married 2nd to Abbey (--------). She was still living in 1822 when his will was proved and she may be the female age 60-70 living with Robert in the 1830 census which would date her birth 1760-1770.

Assuming this is the same John McDONALD listed in the 1810 and 1820 census in Cobleskill, there were almost certainly several other sons and possibly two daughters, though which children were by Eleanor WATSON and which (if any) were by Abbey is not yet known.

Child of John McDONALD and Eleanor WATSON:

Robert G. Wetmore McDONALD b.12 Jun 1799 in Albany Co, NY. His birth was registered in Christ's Episcopal Church, Duanesburgh, Albany (now Schenectady) Co, NY. This is the same date of birth listed for him in the “History of LaGrange Co, IN” though the names of his parents are not given. Robert McDONALD represented Schoharie Co, NY in the NY State Legislature. He married abt 1821 in Schoharie Co, NY to Nancy (--------), b.27 Jan 1805 in Albany Co, NY, d.?.

As “Robert McDANIEL” he is listed in the Cobleskill, NY census of 1830. In 1840 he is still listed in Cobleskill but by 1850 had removed to Richmondville, Schoharie Co, NY.

Robert McDONALD and Nancy (--------) had eleven children born in Schoharie Co, NY:

1. Hiram McDONALD b.abt 1824
2. Sylvester McDONALD b.20 Mar 1825, m.2 Oct 1850 to Louisa GORSE.
3. Elmira McDONALD b.10 Apr 1827
4. James M. McDONALD b.abt 1828
5. John McDONALD b.14 May 1831, m. 1st on 23 Jan 1856 to Barbara PITCHER and
m. 2nd on 14 May 1831 to Mary C. PURDY in St. Joseph Co, MI.
6. Samuel McDONALD b.4 Mar 1833
7. Elizabeth McDONALD b.abt 1835
8. Tiffrancis(?) McDONALD b.abt 1838
9. Melinda McDONALD b.abt 1841
10. Robert W. McDONALD b.abt 1844
11. Delphina O. McDONALD b.abt 1849

family #2 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
John McDONALD b.? in Scotland, d.?; according to a source from another researcher which I cannot locate, he came to Albany Co, NY in 1770 and sometimes went by the name “Jacob.” He may possibly be the same as John McDONALD in family #1, particularly since this John’s son and grandchildren all named a daughter “Eleanor,” “Ellen,” or “Nelly” (perhaps after Eleanor WATSON?) Unless this John McDONALD is the man in the 1810 and 1820 census of Cobleskill, nothing more is yet known about him.

A John (or) Jacob McDONALD and Lydia PANGBURN had a son Jacob McDONALD b.20 Mar 1781, bap. 25 mar 1781 at the Dutch Reformed Church at Albany, NY. They also had a son Joseph McDONALD b.4 Apr 1782, bap. 12 May 1782 at the Dutch Reformed Church at Albany, NY. In the 1810 census of Cobleskill, Schoharie Co, NY there is a Richard PANGBURN living a few families away from the Joseph McDONALD below, suggesting a connection between this John and the Joseph McDONALD below. The John McDONALD who married Lydia PANGBRUN is probably the John McDONALD listed in the 1790 census for Watervliet, Albany Co, NY showing 1 man b.bef 1774, 4 boys b.1774-1790 and 1 female. I base this assumption on the fact that there are also two PANGBURN families in Watervliet in 1790 and there don‘t appear to be any others in Albany Co. at that time.

Child of John McDONALD:

Joseph McDONALD b.abt 1784 in Albany Co, NY, d.aft Jun 1860 in Oswego Village, Oswego Co, NY. Joseph is listed in the 1810 census of Cobleskill, Schoharie Co, NY and as “Joseph McDANIEL” in the 1820 Cobleskill census. Sometime between 1820 and 1830 Joseph removed to Oswego Village, Oswego Co, NY where he remained the rest of his life. He is listed there in the 1830, 1840 and 1850 census as “Joseph McDANIELS.” No burial or probate has been located for him. He was a farmer and the 1860 census listed him as “Joseph McDONALD,” a “Retired Gentleman.”

In the 1820, 1830 and 1840 census Joseph is found in a group of McDONALD and McDANIEL families whose heads are named James, John and Edward. All but John are younger than Joseph and these are undoubtedly brothers or cousins, since all are recurring male names in this branch. If Joseph McDONALD is the son of John/Jacob and Lydia PANGBURN, then it is possible the John McDONALD living near him is the Jacob McDONALD baptized by this couple at the Albany Dutch Reformed Church.

Joseph McDONALD married abt 1805, prob. in Schoharie Co, NY to Anna Maria
(--------). Anna Maria was b.abt 1785 in Berkshire Co, MA and died aft. Jun 1860 in Oswego Village, Oswego Co, NY. Her place of birth is given in the 1855 census of Oswego Co.

Children of Joseph McDONALD and Anna Maria (--------):

1. Edward McDONALD b.abt 1806 in NY, m.abt 1833 to Sally
ABRAHAMS b.abt 1806 in NY; he moved to Branch Co, MI and then to NE.
2. Elinor McDONALD b.abt 1808 in NY, m.1827-1830 in Hannibal,
Oswego Co, NY to Samuel C. CLARK; she d.22 Apr 1878 in Hannibal.
3. Powell McDONALD b.abt 1811 in Cobleskill, Schoharie Co, NY; he m.abt 1836
in Oswego Co, NY to Esther MOON; they moved to Eaton Co, MI.
4. John A. McDONALD b.abt 1814 in Cobleskill, Schoharie Co, NY, m.abt 1838
in Oswego Co, NY to Sally PECKHAM; he m.2nd 18 Mar 1860 in Oswego Co,
NY to Cordelia R. SPERRY; they moved to Branch Co, MI and then to TX.
5. (unknown son, possibly “James”) McDONALD b.1815-1820
6. (unknown daughter) McDONALD b.1815-1820
7. Josiah McDONALD b.abt 1824 in Cobleskill, Schoharie Co, NY; he m.abt 1848 in
Oswego Co, NY to Mary Eleanor COLE; he m.2nd 23 Jul 1866 in Branch Co,
MI to Sarah Elizabeth (--------); they removed to Santa Barbara Co, CA.
8. Jeremiah “Jesse” McDONALD b.abt 1826 in NY, m.abt 1844 to Diana COLE; he
m.2nd abt 1848 to Sarah CLARK in Oswego Co, NY; he m.3rd 1851-1860 to
Louisa CLIPFIELD; they settled in St. Joseph Co, MI.
9. Erastus McDONALD b.abt 1829, prob. in Oswego Village, Oswego Co, NY; nm.
10. Betsey McDONALD b.Feb 1833 in Oswego Village, Oswego Co, NY, m.abt 1851
in Oswego Co, NY to Robert SHARP; they removed to St. Joseph Co, MI then
to Branch Co, MI.

family #3 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
John McDONALD b.abt 1769 in Scotland, d.aft Jun 1850. He was residing in Princetown, Schenectady Co, NY in the 1850 census. There was a James McDONALD and a James McDONALD Jr. who were living in Princetown in the 1800 and 1810 census. James Sr. was b.bef 1756 and married Annatje ERICKSON (or) ALKENSEN. They had several children baptized at the Dutch Reformed Church in Schenectady, Albany (now Schenectady) Co, NY, including a son John b.1 Sep 1771. They could be related to this John McDONALD.

John McDONALD married bef 1800 to Maria MINKLAER, b.abt 1780, d.?;

Children of John McDONALD and Maria MINKLAER (first 4 baptized at the Dutch Reformed Church at Schenectady, NY):

1. Elizabeth McDONALD b.23 Nov 1797 in NY.
2. Isaiah McDONALD b.1 Sep 1800 in NY, m.abt 1825 Gertrude (--------); 10 children;
they are living in Princetown, Schenectady Co, NY in the 1840 and 1850 census.
3. Nancy McDONALD b.25 Jan 1802 in NY
4. David McDONALD b.17 Sep 1803 in NY
5. Alexander McDONALD b.abt 1822 in NY

family #4 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
John McDONALD b.abt 1820 in Albany Co, NY, d.aft 1870; In 1850, 1865 and 1870 he is listed in the census of Cobleskill, Schoharie Co, NY. He was a shoemaker.

John McDONALD married abt 1847 to Elizabeth (--------) b.abt 1821 in Schoharie Co, NY, d.?

Children of John McDONALD and Elizabeth (--------):

1. Marshall A. McDONALD b.abt 1848 prob. in Cobleskill, Schoharie Co, NY; another
McDonald researcher states he moved to Niagara Co, NY.
2. Augustus McDONALD b.abt 1853 in Cobleskill, Schoharie Co, NY; still unmarried in
1870 census.

family #5 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
John W. McDONALD b.abt 1804 in NY, d.?; his marriage record states that he was from Knox, Albany Co, NY (close to the eastern Schoharie Co. line) but this may mean he came to Cobleskill from Knox and not necessarily that he was born in Knox. In 1840 he is listed in the census for Schoharie, Schoharie Co, NY and in 1870 he is listed in Wright, Schoharie Co. I have not been able to locate him in 1850 or 1860. Because of his location in the census, his age, and his profession (carpenter), he is most likely closely-related to the Benjamin McDONALD b.1810 in Albany Co, NY who came to Schoharie Co. in 1835 and married Sally FORSYTH.

John W. McDONALD married in 1829 in Schoharie Co, NY, to Nancy BECKER, b.abt 1813 in NY. The marriage was recorded either in the Schoharie Reformed Church or in St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Cobleskill. Relatives of Nancy BECKER are living next to John W. in the 1840 census of Schoharie.

Children of John W. McDONALD and Nancy BECKER were:

1. (unknown son) McDONALD b.1830-1835 in Schoharie Co, NY.
2. (unknown son) McDONALD b.1830-1835 in Schoharie Co, NY
3. Mary McDONALD b.abt 1840 in Schoharie, Schoharie Co, NY

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