Bridget Blaney and the McDonald Brothers

Bridget1 Blaney (DanielA Blaney) was the daughter of Daniel Blaney and Margaret Kilduff and the age given for her in the 1851 New Brunswick census indicates that she was born c. 1816, while her family still lived in Ireland. [1] She would have been about 16 when she married James McDonald in 1832, and indeed the marriage record indicates that she was not yet 21 one at the time. The two married in the church of St-Basile, in the parish of Madawaska located in what was then Carleton Co. (now Madawaska Co.), New Brunswick. James was the son of Francis McDonald and Margaret Craig, both living in the parish at the time of the marriage. [2] They had lived there for at least 17 years, as another son, Francis, had been baptized in St-Basile as early as 1815. [3] In the 1851 census, James's brother Hamilton gave his "race" as "Irish" indicating that the family had come from Ireland. [4]

Bridget's parents were described as residents of Rivière-du-Loup, Québec. [5] Some explanation of how the two met can be found in the description of James's occupation in 1831, the year before his marriage. The "Report by Messrs. Deane and Kavanagh" describing the inhabitants of the Madawaska Settlements in July-August, 1831, listed James as a soldier, drawing pay and rations. He had a house and barn on the west side of the Madawaska River, with ten cleared acres. [6] Perhaps James met Bridget during his sojourns as a soldier, and brought her home to New Brunswick to be his bride.

The couple was blessed with four children, but James did not live to see them grow to adulthood. He was described as deceased in the baptismal record for his daughter Mary, born on 20 July 1838, indicating that he had died sometime in the 1837-38 period. [7]

Life must have been difficult for a widow with four young children trying to maintain a farm in rural New Brunswick, with no family of her own nearby. It is hardly surprising then that she turned to her brother-in-law, Hamilton McDonald, for aid and comfort. This assistance resulted in 1843 in a child, Henry, and perhaps some scandal as well. His baptismal record does not contain the usual formula "born of the legitimate marriage of..." Instead, it states "born...of Hamilton Macdonell and his sister-in-law Brigite Blainy." [8]

Joseph Hamilton McDonald was born in St-Basile on 25 February 1817.

The family left Madawaska in 1853 and settled in Ohio, where Hamilton had lived earlier with one of his brothers. From thence they moved to Illinois, and in 1866 they arrived in Austin, Cass Co. MO, where Hamilton purchased a 200 acre farm. [9] By 1855 they had settled in Ohio, where their son Joseph was born. [10] They remained in Ohio until at least 1865, when Bridget's granddaughter Mary Schuyler was born. [11] From Ohio they then moved to Austin, Cass Co. Missouri, where grandson Francis McDonnell, the son of Bridget's daughter Mary, was born in 1867. [12]

Biddy died on 5 February 1888 at the age of 71 and is buried in Reid Cemetery in Camp Branch Township in Cass Co. [13] Hamilton McDonnell died of cancer on 27 August 1907 in Austin at the age of 90 and is buried next to Biddy.[14]

Bridget Blaney and James McDonald had the following children:

+ 2 i. Margaret McDonald was born 16 August 1833 in St-Basile. Her godparents were John McDonald and Susanne Hébert. [15]
+ 3 ii. Francis McDonald was born in July 1835. His godparents were his aunt, Bridget McDonald and her husband James Doll. [16]
+ 4 iii. Caroline McDonald was born 26 April 1837. Her godparents were Honoré McDonald and Celeste Martin. [17]
+ 5 iv. Mary R. McDonald was born on 20 July 1838 and baptised on the 31st. Her godparents were her uncle, Hamilton McDonald, and Marie Levêque. [18]

Bridget Blaney and Joseph Hamilton McDonald had the following children:

+ 6 v. Henry B. McDonald was born 23 October 1843 and baptized on the 25th at St-Basile. His sponsors were Frimin Michaud and Marie Roy. [19]
7 vi. Alexander McDonald was born c. October 1845 and was baptized four months later on 7 February 1846. His godparents were Andre Albert and Josephte St-Onge. [20] He died in 1893 and is buried in Reid Cemetery in Cass Co. MO.
+ 8 vii. Susan McDonald was born 26 May 1847 and baptized on 3 June 1847. Benoit Deschenes and Christine Mercure were her godparents. [21]
+ 9 viii. James Hamilton McDonald was born 21 October 1849 and was baptized on 9 November. Basile Albert and Marie McDonald served as godparents. [22]
+ 10 ix. Elizabeth Ann McDonald was born on 22 July 1851 and was baptized on 1 September. Her baptismal sponsors were Robert Weller and Marie MacDonald.[23]
+ 11 x. Joseph McDonald was born in Ohio c. 1855. [24]
12 ? An unidentified child who probably died young. According to Hamilton McDonnell's obituary, he and Bridget had seven children. [25]

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