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MacDonald, St Vincent, Wallilabo

PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:14 am
by Mike S

I'm trying to research the history of the MacDonald family who owned the Wallilabo Sugar Estate, in St Vincent, in the late 1800s.

I believe the estate was first purchased by Duncan MacDonald (b. 1803 d. 20/11/1885). I believe that he originated from the Isle of Skye, Scotland but have been unable to trace his ancestry.

I know that he married Margaret MacGregor and had eight children - Duncan Alexander (b. 1856 d. 29/9/59); John William (later Vice Chairman, Tate & Lyle); Thomas Macgregor (b.1860 ); Jessie Helen (b.1856 d.1955); Duncan Alexander (b. 16/9/1861); Margaret Eliza; George Alladye; Christina Ann.

Any information would be appreciated.



MACDONALD, St Vincent, Wallilabo

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:12 pm
by Mike S
FYI, I have discovered that Duncan MacDonald appears in the Scottish 1861 census, as visiting his brother in law, Thomas MacGregor, in Urray Parish, Ross shire (near Inverness). Duncan's place of birth is shown as Ullapol, Ross shire, which is on the West coast of Scotland.

His father may have been John MacDonald, who was the local custom's agent.

MacDonald, St Vincent, Wallilabo

PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 7:04 pm
by raestower
Hi Mike, My great grandmother was Anne MacGregor, sister to Margaret who married Duncan MacDonald in 1853. Another sister Mary, married Thomas MacGregor, possibly a cousin, and as you found in the Census 1861, Duncan M. and family was shown visiting them at the Ord Distillery, Urray.

Anne MacGregor married George Murray, a ships Captain, at Auchonokie Urray on 5th Sep 1850. Their third daughter Helen, married her first cousin John William MacDonald, both living in Liverpool. J W MacDonald had been brought from Greenock (where he had studied his trade) to Liverpool by Henry Tate, as chief Chemist in 1879. He became general manager in 1879, moving to London in 1903 to manage the Thames sugar refinery.

I wonder how Duncan MacDonald came to meet the MacGregors and why he returned home from St Vincents?
Regards Rae

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:02 pm
by Mike S
Hi Rae,

Thanks for your message. Great to hear from you.

Since my last posting, I have actually discovered quite a lot more about the family the history.

Duncan MacDonald was one of the sons of (Angus) John MacDonald HEICS, who was Controller of Customs in Ullapool. John MacDonald is buried in Clachan Churchyard.

John MacDonald's father was Angus MacDonald of Scoraig, whose wife was a niece of the laird of the MacKenzies of Dundonell.

From research at Ullapool Museum, I am now in contact with another descendant of JW MacDonald, who has a family tree showing the MacGregor line extending back to Rob Roy MacGregor.

Duncan MacDonald returned to St Vincent, where he died. Two of his sons were running the Wallilabo estate into the 1930s but I don't know what finally happened to them.

I'll send you a copy of the tree and some further details.

Kind regards


PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 7:03 pm
by raestower
Hi Mike,

Thanks for your reply. How exciting to find out that Rob Roy MacGregor could be an ancestor!

I did some more searching on John William MacDonald and found him in Greenock in 1871 living with his uncle. In case you do not have it, here are the details as far as i could make out, or could email it you:

Thomas McDonald Head 77 Ex Inspector of HM? Fish....... Superannuat.... born Ross Shire Loch ?Broun
Jas. Dunc......McDonald Son 35 Deputy Superintendant of Mercantile...... born ?A......shire (could be Aberdeenshire) ?H or Florres
Agnes daughter-in-law 26
Jessie grandaughter 2
John William McDonald nephew 16 Scholar

The Census 1881 showed, living in the household of my great grandmother Anne Murray (McGregor) in Liverpool, Christian MacDonald, neice age 15, born in St Vincents, the younger sister of JW MacDonald. Couldn't find her in later census so she may have married.

My email is: [Removed by Admin - please connect via PM on this Forum]
Look forward to seeing your tree.