William Donaldson & Eliza Mercer's 17 children, Otago :: FamilyTreeCircles.com Genealogy
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William Donaldson & Eliza Mercer's 17 children, Otago

Journal by ngairedith

The journal was researched for FaithD, who asked (28 Jan 2018) ... I'd love to know if anyone has any information on Margaret Donaldson, or any photographs of her. She was born 1896 in Dunedin, NZ. Her parents were William and Eliza (nee Mercer) Donaldson from Kinnardineshire and Dollar Scotland respectively. After the research we've done I'm fairly sure she was our grandmother. She was unmarried when my father was born and never married.

Margaret was the 13th child of 17 children of William & Eliza Donaldson. The original info on the 17 children was taken from the journal
DONALDSON from Dunnottar, Kincardineshire
* This is the (expanded) Fifth Generation from that journal ..

William Donaldson (1846-1932) was born 25 Aug 1846 on "Glithno", a farm in Kincardineshire, Scotland to James Donaldson & Helen Walker
* In Dunedin on 19 July 1876, William married Eliza Mercer (1857-1906). It was Eliza's 19th birthday, William was 29. Eliza was born 19 July 1857 in Dollar, Clackmannan, Scotland to Charles Mercer & Eliza Herron

the children of William & Eliza
NOTE for some (yet unknown) reason, William & Eliza didn't registered the birth of their last 7 children until 1907
.. 1 ..
1876 - 1935 William Donaldson

William was born on 9 Aug 1876 in Dunedin
William married Alice Sarah Martin (1879-1914) in Glebe, Sydney in 1901. Alice was born 10 Sep 1879 in Sydney, 1 of 15 children of William Henry Martin (1842-1916) & Sarah Eliza Cain (1849-1916) who married in 1864 when Sarah was 14 and they died in Sydney 3 months apart).
known children of William & Alice
* 1904 - 1980 Edna Bernace Donaldson (born Ashfield, Sydney)
* 1910 - 1941 Thelma Muriel Donaldson (born NZ)
* 1912 - Myrtle Ivy Donaldson (born NZ)
* Alice died 17 Aug 1914 aged 35 in Wanganui
Wanganui Chronicle, 19 Aug 1914
- On the 17th inst., at her late residence, 69 River Bank, Alice, the beloved wife of William Donaldson, aged 35 years. (Feilding and Dunedin papers please copy). FUNERAL NOTICE - Friends are informed that the Funeral will leave her late residence on Wednesday, the 19th inst., at 2.30pm
William died 18 Oct 1935 aged 58 in Dargaville
Press 21 Oct, 1935
- A NATIVE OF DUNEDIN dies at Dargaville. The death took place suddenly last night of Mr William Donaldson, a widower, aged 58, a well-known Hoanga farmer. He had not been well for some time. He was taking part in a dance at a Scottish Society gathering and at the conclusion he walked to the door where he died. Mr Donaldson was a native of Dunedin. He served in the Boer War as a member of a Queensland unit. He was prominent in Scottish Society circles and was a popular farmer in the district where practically all the settlers are returned soldiers
William is buried Mount Wesley Old Cemetery
photo credit Terry Love

.. 2 ..
1878 - 1939 James Donaldson

James was born on 9 Feb 1878 in Dunedin
James died on 27 March 1939 aged 61
* nothing else known at this time

.. 3..
1880 - 1936 Charles Leonard Donaldson

Charles was born on 3 March 1880 in Dunedin
Charles emigrated to Patagonia about 1902 after the Boer War, in which he served in the Otago Mounted Hussars.
Charles married Elizabeth Noel Oakes McKay (1884-) on 18 May 1912 in Punta Arenas. Elizabeth was born on 25 Dec 1884 to James McKay, outfitter. They had a daughter in 1913, Elizabeth Mercer Donaldson, who married in a religious ceremony on Feb 12th 1936 in Punta Arenas, Chile to Jocelyn Garrett Grimwood (1902-1995, died South Africa). They had a son, Charles Anthony Garrett born 21 Oct 1939 in Punta Arenas, Chile, died 1992 in South Africa aged 53
In 1915 Charles was a farm manager at Estancia Oazy Harbour, which is in Provincia de Magallanes, Magallanes, Chile
Charles died 1 Dec 1936 in Estancia Punta Delgada, Chile. He was buried in Punta Arenas, Chile

.. 4 .. 1881 - 1897 Helen Eliza 'Nellie' Donaldson
Nellie was born on 31 Dec 1881 in Dunedin
Nellie died on 23 Nov 1897 aged 16 in Andersons Bay.
Otago Witness, 25 Nov 1897
- On the 23rd November, at her parents' residence, Anderson's Bay, Helen Eliza (Nellie), the beloved eldest daughter of William and Eliza Donaldson, after a long and painful illness; aged 16 years. Deeply regretted
Nellie was buried Plot 50, Block 4 at Anderson's Bay with her mother & others (see photo at end)

.. 5 ..
1883 - 1967 Clemintina 'Jessie' Donaldson

Jessie was born 25 Dec 1883 (Xmas Day)
Jessie was named as a next of kin on her brother Neil's war enlistment of 1916, as living at 25 Waterloo Ave, Pipitea, Wellington. She never married.
Jessie died 29 March 1967 aged 83.
She was cremated at Karori, Wellington

.. 6 ..
1885 - 1949 Gordon Donaldson

Gordon was born on 28 Jan 1885 in Oamaru
Gordon married Catherine 'Kate' Bayne (1881-1965) on 17 Feb 1909 in Otakou, Otago.
Otago Witness, 31 March 1909
- A very pretty wedding was celebrated in the Maori Kaik Hall, Otakou on February 17. The contracting parties were Miss Catherine Bayne, daughter of John Bayne of Otakou and Mr Gordon Donaldson, son of William Donaldson, sen., Macandrew Bay. The hall was elaborately decorated with the flowers of the season. The bride, who was given away by her father, looked charming in a dress of cream silk, with beautiful bouquet and the usual bridal wreath and veil. The bridesmaids were Misses Christina, May, Isabella, Florence and Mabel Bayne. Miss Christina wore a beautiful cream crepon dress, the Misses May and Isabella, cream crepe and the Misses Florence Eveline and Mabel A. C. A. (Mabel Agnes Caroline Anderson) Bayne white. Mr Hislop filled the position of best man. The Rev Father Hearne conducted the marriage ceremony, after which the Wedding March was played by Miss Hansen. The bridal party, with close on 300 guests, sat down to the wedding breakfast, after which speeches were given by Mr J. Karetai sen., Mr D. Ellison sen., Mr Hislpo, the Rev Father Hearne, Mr G. Donaldson and Mr Pope. Numerous toasts were honoured. The presents were numerous, valuable and useful. After these were inspected the happy couple took their departure, amidst showers of rice, on their honeymoon.
In the evening a dance was held, which lasted till the early hours of the morning. At intervals songs were given by Miss M. Hansen. Miss McKay and Messrs George Taiaroa, Charles Te Au, P. Karetai, Martin Taiaroa, George Ryan, John Tobin and the M.C., Mr Smith. Duets were given by Miss M. Fitzpatrick and Mr John Tobin and also Messrs John and James Tobin. Miss M. Hansen, with assistants, supplied the music for the evening. Messrs Titama Pahi and George Taiaroa obliged the company by dancing the sword dance. The haka, which caused much excitement, was performed by Messrs Dave Ellison, John Russell, Charles Te Au, George Taiaroa, George Ryan, Harry Taphi and Mrs Philip Eyan
* Catherine was born 21 Aug 1881 in Owaka, South Otago, 2 of 15 children of John Bayne (1854-1945) from Perthshire, Scotland & Margaret Eveline McGrory (1857-1931) from County Fermanagh, Ireland
their known children
* 1910 - 1978 Gordon John Bayne Donaldson
* Gordon married Helen Riddex Stevenson in 1932
* 1911 - 1976 Margaret Eliza Donaldson
* 1915 - 2011 Catherine Ellen Donaldson
* 1917 - 1970 Alice Agnes Donaldson
* 1918 - 2006 George William Donaldson
* 1920 - 1940 Mary Louisa Donaldson
* 1923 - 2017 David Alexander Donaldson
* 1927 - 1998 Nancy Patricia Donaldson
Gordon died on 21 Nov 1949 aged 64 in Highcliff, Dunedin
* Catherine died 14 June 1965 aged 81 in Highcliff
They are buried Plot 91, Block IV at Green Island Cemetery with son Gordon John Bayne Donaldson (1910-1978)

.. 7 ..
1886 - 1961 John Glen 'Jack' Donaldson

John was born 27 Feb 1886 in Dunedin
John married Mary Margaret Boorman (1894-1977) on 21 Dec 1911 in Otago Peninsula. Mary was 1 of 4 daughters of Frederick Samuel Boorman & Mary Margaret Doran
their known children (of 6)
* 1912 - 1986 Frederick John Glen Donaldson
* 1916 - 2008 Ethel Novena May Donaldson
* 1932 - 2000 Edna Frances Ruth Donaldson
Jack died 17 Aug 1961 in Stirling, South Otago aged 75.
He is buried Plot 96/97, Block 2 at Balclutha
* Mary Margaret died 2 May 1977 aged 84 & is buried Plot 96, Block C

.. 8 ..
1887 - 1897 Robert Donaldson

Robert was born 11 Nov 1887 in Dunedin
He died 22 June 1897 aged 9 at Tomahawk, southwestern end of the Otago Peninsula (known since 1930 as Ocean Grove)
Otago Witness, 24 June 1897
- On the 22nd June (accidentally killed at Anderson's Bay), Robert, sixth son of William and Eliza Donaldson; aged nine years and six months. Deeply regretted.
Press, 25 June 1897
A SAD OCCURRENCE - SUFFOCATED IN A STONE WALL. A little boy named Robert Donaldson, aged nine and a half years, the son of Mr William Donaldson, farmer of Anderson's Bay, near Dunedin, met with his death in a most extraordinary and pitiable manner on Tuesday. In the company his younger brother, he left his father's place on a rabbit-hunting expedition on the property of Mr A. Mathieson, of Tomahawk on on the Peninsula. About midday they chased a rabbit into a hole in a dry stone wall. The boy Donaldson put his head and shoulders into the hole and in doing so evidently dislodged a large stone, weighing 50lb, and other smaller ones, which fell upon his neck and shoulders, pinning him so securely that although he struggled desperately he was unable to extricate himself. His brother endeavoured to render aid, but the stone was so heavy that he was not possessed of sufficient strength to remove it. The boy Donaldson then told the other lad that he was dying and requested him to go and tell his father. The lad started off for Mr Donaldson's place, which was about a quarter of a mile away and the father hurrying to the spot removed the stone with difficulty from off the poor little fellow. When taken out the lad was found to be quite dead. The body was removed to the house and doctor Gordon Macdonald was telephoned for. The latter arrived as quickly as possible and made an examination of the body. The face was found to be covered with blood and there was a slight abrasion on the boy's back, but no bones were broken. He expressed the opinion that death was due to suffocation. At an inquest held on the body the jury returned a verdict to the effect that the lad was accidentally killed while rabbiting in a stone wall fence by stones loosening and pressing their weight on his body.
Robert is buried in Plot 49, Block 4 at Anderson's Bay, with his mother Eliza, sister Helen Eliza .. 4 .. & sister in-law Rebecca, 1st wife of his brother David .. 17 ..

.. 9 ..
1889 - 1967 Novena Mary 'Midgie' Donaldson

Midgie was born on 21 Sep 1889 in Dunedin.
Midgie married Gilbert Scott (1879-1932) on 8 Sep 1920 in Wellington. Gilbert was born on 11 Sep 1878 in Carlisle, Cumberland, England, a son of James Scott & Mary Jane Edgar. He died on 4 April 1932 aged 53
Otago Daily Times, 7 April 1932
SCOTT - On April 4, 1932, at the Military Annexe, Auckland, Gilbert, dearly loved husband of Midgie Scott, of 47 First avenue, Kingsland, Auckland; aged 53 years. Buried Waikumete Cemetery, Service Persons Area B, Row 4, Plot 55
Novina Mary Scott died 9 July 1967 in Auckland aged 77. She is buried Waikumete Cemetery, Protestant Berm B, Row 25, Plot 72

.. 10 ..
1891 - 1941 George Thomas Donaldson

George was born on 3 Mar 1891 in Dunedin
George married Catherine Hornby Berry (1893-1977) on Xmas day 25 Dec 1916, in St James Parish, South Dunedin. Catherine was a daughter of John Bowen Berry & Elizabeth Harrison Hornby.
their known children
* 1917 - 1978 Thomas William Donaldson
George died on 25 May 1941 in Wrights Bush, Southland aged 50.
* Catherine died 36 years after him, on 20 July 1977 aged 87, also at Wrights Bush.
They are buried together in Grave 165, Block VI at Wallacetown cemetery
photo credit Loopy Lass

.. 11 ..
1892 - 1966 Ronald Donaldson

Ronald was born on 14 April 1892 in Dunedin
Ronald enlisted for WWI from 115 Stafford St., Timaru. His next of kin was his father in Abbotsford, Dunedin. He served as Trooper 7/1349 with the Canterbury Mounted Rifles, 6th Reinforcements (this is not confirmed)
Ronald died 3 Sep 1966 in Nelson aged 74
* He may have married Helen Bauchope Collins (nee Hall 1879-1953) in 1930. He may have married Edna May Fittall (1905-1968) in 1937
Ronald is buried Plot 78, Row 5, Block B at Richmond Ward
* Edna May Donaldson is buried Plot 80, Row 5, Block B

.. 12 ..
1894 - 1957 Jean 'Molly' Donaldson

Molly was born 21 March 1894
She moved to Australia, apparently about 1918
Molly died in 1957 in Sydney
* nothing else known

.. 13 ..
1896 - 1972 Margaret Donaldson

Margaret was born 24 May 1896 in Dunedin. She used to look after elderly widowed men & farmers. She also used to work at the old (2nd built) Mount Cook Hermitage (see comments below)
Margaret gave birth in Christchurch on 15 Oct 1929 to a son, Bruce Donaldson. She was 33. Margaret never married. During the depression, as a single woman, she found herself unable to bring Bruce up. He was placed in foster care. Bruce died 23 Nov 2017 aged 88
Margaret died 2 Dec 1972 aged 76 in Christchurch. She was cremated at Bromley
* anyone know of Margaret and her life ?

.. 14 ..
1898 - 1957 Neil Donaldson

Neil was born 18 Dec 1898 in Anderson's Bay, Dunedin. He wrote on his enlistment paper that he was born in Australia.
Neil worked as a lorry driver/ploughman, starting work as a farm worker for W. Waddell in Sutton, central Otago.
Neil enlisted for war on 21 Sep 1916, aged 17, with the Otago infantry Regiment. His address was 22 Brown street, Dunedin. As he was underage he enlisted under the name Ronald Neil McDonald, #49439 (from Sep 1917 19 year-olds required permission of parents to enlist. Before this the age was 20). He listed his next of kin as his sister, Miss Jessie Clementina Donaldson, c/o Mrs Brien, 25 Waterloo Avenue, Wellington, also his brother John Donaldson of North East harbour, Otago.
Neil served as Private 36429, 27th Reinforcements, D Company, in France & Belgium and was badly injured in the field with a gunshot wound to the head at Passchendaele on 12 Oct 1917. He was admitted to hospital 6 Nov 1917 when, under a Statutory Declaration dated 5 Dec 1917, his name was proved to be "36429 Neil Donaldson". He was fully discharged 15 April 1918 as no longer physically fit for war service and returned to NZ
Neil married Ivy Christina Preston in 1920. Ivy was born 6 Sep 1894 in Hobart, Tasmania, a daughter of Albert Ernest Keep Arthur Joseph Albertus 'Albertis/Alberto' Preston (1868-) & Annie Christina Mazey (1866-)
Neil died 7 Dec 1957 aged 58 in Dunedin and his ashes buried Plot 55, Block 45S, Soldiers Interment. Not known what happened to Ivy

.. 15 ..
1899 - 1973 Nora Donaldson

Nora was born 28 Dec 1899
Nora attended North East Harbor School. She received a prize for her good attendance in 1908 and for sewing in 1910. In 1912 she was in Standard V at Broad Bay school on the Otago Peninsula and received prizes for attendance & writing
Nora married William Joseph Gini (1886-1965) 28 July 1925
Otago Daily Times, 27 July 1925
GINI - DONALDSON On July 28 1925, at St Andrew's Church, Christchurch, by the Rev M. L. D. Webster, William Joseph, eldest son of Mr and Mrs O. Gini of Wellington, to Nora, daughter of Mr William and the late Eliza Donaldson, Burnside (and late Otago Peninsula)
* William was born 14 Feb 1886 in Wellington, the 1st of 5 children of Orazio Gini (1864-1940) & Julia Ann Allen (1885-1955). Orazio was from Livorno, Italy, naturalised in 1890 and a timber worker in Wellington.
* William Gini had first married Rhoda Mary Veronica Chapman (1890-1962) in 1915. They had a son, Nigel William John Gini (1917-2012) in Wellington. William received a decree nisi in Christchurch, 19 June 1924 on the grounds of Rhoda's desertion
Nora died 5 April 1973 in Auckland. Burial not found

.. 16 ..
1901 - 1923 Annie 'Don' Donaldson

Annie was born 1 Jan 1901 in Otago
Annie attended North East Harbour School. She came 3rd in writing in Standard II in 1910. In 1912 she was in Standard III at Broad Bay school on the Otago Peninsula and won a class prize
Annie married Sydney William Knight (1891-1966) on 24 Jan 1923.
* Sydney was 1 of 9 children of William Edward Short Knight, chairman of the Otago Hospital Board, & Eliza Candwell
Annie died 3 Aug 1923 during childbirth, at Waipori Falls, Dunedin. Her daughter living only a few hours
Annie is buried Plot 18, Block 51 at Anderson's Bay. With her is her sister-in-law Rowena Ann 'Rowie' Knight in 1918 aged 20 (a victim of the Flu Pandemic). Annie's mother-in-law Eliza Knight in 1936 aged 65 and her father-in-law William Edward Knight in 1946 aged 88. Also on their headstone is written: "In Memory Of Oswald Bertram Reynolds, Gunner 2/2519, 1st Battery, Killed in action 25 Sep 1916 aged 24". Oswald was killed at Somme, France. He rests in peace in Guards Cemetery, Lesboeufs. He was a son of Alfred Reynolds & Margaret Rachel Lewis of Dunedin (because his name is on the headstone directly below Rowena's, I only assume he may have been her fiance?)
* Annie's widower, Sydney William Knight next married Ina McLeod (1906-1997) in 1931. Sydney died 23 Sep 1966 aged 75 in Dunedin and his ashes buried Plot 277, Block 45S, Soldiers Interment at Andersons Bay. The plague reads: "Trooper 9/376, Sydney William Knight of the 1st NZEF, Otago Mounted Rifles". Ina died 31 Aug 1997 aged 90 at Ross Home, Dunedin and her ashes buried with Sydney on 3 Sep 1997. On 22 June 1999 her son added her name on the plague beneath Sydney

.. 17 ..
1901 - 1977 David Donaldson

David was born 18 Dec 1901 in Dunedin
David attended Broad Bay school on the Otago Peninsula in 1912 when he won a class prize
David married Rebecca Callaghan (1910-1936) 24 Oct 1929 in Dunedin. Rebecca was born in East Taieri, Otago, 1 of at least 9 children of James Callaghan born Donagal, Ireland & Maria Harris born Saddle Hill, Taieri
the known children of David & Rebecca
* 1930 - 2011 Lorna Donaldson
* 1931 - 1987 Colin James Donaldson
* 1933 - 1944 Alma Donaldson
* 1935 - Gwendoline Donaldson
* Rebecca died 24 March 1936 aged 27 in Dunedin Hospital and was buried Plot 49, Block 4 at Andersons Bay Cemetery. With her is her 9 year old brother-in-law, Robert Donaldson in 1897 & 49 year old Eliza Donaldson (nee Mercer), her mother-in-law in 1906
David next married Eliza 'Lylee' Brown Thomson (1908-2001). Eliza was a daughter of Henry Andrew Thomson & Mary Leah Mawson
David & Lylee had a son
* 1944 - Malcolm Mawson Donaldson
David died 3 July 1977 in Palmerston South, Otago He was buried in Palmerston

ELIZA Donaldson (Mercer) died in Dunedin on 27 Dec 1906 aged 49
Evening Star, 27 Dec 1906
- On the 27th December, at 84 High street, Dunedin, Eliza, the beloved wife of William Donaldson, of Macandrew's Bay, Peninsula; aged 49 years. Deeply regretted.
Eliza is buried Plot 49, Block 4, at Anderson's Bay Cemetery

WILLIAM Donaldson died in Marton, Manawatu, on 26 March 1932 aged 85
Otago Daily Times, 30 March 1932
- On March 26, 1932, at his son's residence, Marton, North Island, William, beloved husband of the late Eliza Donaldson, late of Macandrew Bay, Otago Peninsula; aged 85 years. Interred at Marton
William is buried Plot 22, Block 1, Row VII in the Old area at Mt View Cemetery, Marton
William died at his son's residence in Marton in 1932. At this time, by process of elimination, I am presuming the son was either William (1876-1935) because he was up in that area. His wife had died in Wanganui in 1914 and her death notice said 'Feilding Papers please copy', although by his death in 1935 he was a 'well known' farmer in Dargaville. Or, it may have been James (1878-1939) of whom I have no information yet. Research continues

also see Donaldson buried Dunedin

Plot 49 & 50, Block 4
Andersons Bay, Dunedin
burial place of
* Eliza Donaldson (nee Mercer) and
* her daughter .. 4 .. Helen Eliza Donaldson
* her son .. 8 .. Robert Donaldson
* her daughter-in-law .. 17 .. David Donaldson's wife, Rebecca (nee Callaghan)

by ngairedith Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2018-01-29 00:42:58

ngairedith has been a Family Tree Circles member since Feb 2008.

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by telfer on 2018-02-03 07:36:53

My great grandparents are William & Eliza (Mercer) Donaldson. I remember great Aunt Margaret as she used to come and stay with us as well as other members of her family. Knew she had never married, didn't know she'd had a son. She used to look after elderly widowed men & farmers, don't know for how long but I think she also used to work at the old Mt Cook Hermitage. She used to speak to my mother about the family but back then I wasn't interested in family history.
Annie Knight died in childbirth, her daughter only lived a couple of hours.
My grandfather David and Rebecca had 4 children: Lorna (my mother) b. 1930 d. 2011, Colin James b.1931, Alma b. 1933 and Gwendoline b. 1935. David then married Lylee and they had one son Malcolm Mawson Donaldson b. 1944. You seem to have all the information I have. Lynne Telfer email fertel@xtra.co.nz

by ngairedith on 2018-02-03 09:58:35

thank you very much telfer, will add anything I didn't have.
That's a lot of good info for FaithD about Margaret. Did she look after farmers etc in Chirstchurch? or which area?. It is sad we never bothered to listen to the 'old people' speak about the ancestors. It's only with age comes wisdom they say ;)

by FaithD on 2018-04-06 06:55:29

Hi Tefler
Thank you so much for the information about Margaret. I did a DNA test recently and it confirmed we have the correct Donaldson and I just today for the first ever meet a Donaldson relative. I’ll send you an email in the next couple of days with some information about Dad.

by TrishHalls on 2019-09-16 08:41:37

Hi, my brother sent me the link to this today. Nancy Donaldson was our mother, and Margaret Donaldson was her aunt. I dont remember her very well, but I do have vague memories of a quite formidable, prim and proper aunty who used to visit occasionally. My older sister and brothers could probably tell you more, and may even be able to unerth some photos.

by gordonh61 on 2020-05-02 08:28:28

I am a grandson of Gordon John Bayne Donaldson. My mother was Joan Dolores Meyer(nee Donaldson)

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