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James was a master boat builder from Moville who married Sarah, I think - I found a record in the NLI archive (married on 12th May 1871) but cant be sure as it seems a bit early...

I believe they emigrated to Greenock, Scotland and may have had 3 sons Daniel, another and Ronald (born 1893, based on his marriage certificate from 1919 - not sure if in Ireland or in Scotland) - he was my grandfather and also worked on the Clyde as an iron driller

We visited Moville many times in the 70s/80s in the summer and there were relatives still there, making boats "the old way".


Wednesday 22nd Nov 2023, 10:56AM

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  • Marcus,

    I found these records on RootsIreland (subscription)

    Name:Sarah Margaret McdonaldDate of Birth:

      Date of Baptism:28-Nov-1891


    Gender:FemaleCountyCo. Donegal

    Denomination:Roman Catholic



    Sponsor 1 /
    Informant 1:Bernard Mcdonald
    Sponsor 2 /
    Informant 2:Mary Mcdaid


    Name:Ronald McdonaldDate of Birth:

      Date of Baptism:20-Sep-1893


    Gender:MaleCountyCo. Donegal

    Denomination:Roman Catholic

    Father:James McdonaldMother:Sarah Burns


    Sponsor 1 /
    Informant 1:Charles Mcginness
    Sponsor 2 /
    Informant 2:Ellen Mcginness


    Regards- Mary


    Wednesday 22nd Nov 2023, 02:14PM
  • Marcus,

    From If eldest son, Bernard, is 27 perhaps your marriage record is correct?

    1901 Census


    NameJames Mc DonaldGenderMaleMarital StatusMarriedAge50Birth Dateabt 1851Birth PlaceCo DonegalResidence Date31 Mar 1901House Number13Residence PlaceRiver Row, Moville, Donegal, IrelandRelation to HeadHead of Family (Head)OccupationBoat BuilderReligionR CatholicLiteracyRead and write

    Household Members (Name)AgeRelationship

    James Mc Donald50Head of Family (Head)

    Sarah Mc Donald48Wife

    Bernard Mc Donald27Son

    James Mc Donald25Son

    Charles Mc Donald13Son

    William Mc Donald11Son

    Maggie Mc Donald9Daughter

    Reynold Mc Donald7Son     I think this is Ronald



    James death record from Irishgenealogy (free) He died in 1920, age 71, in Moville, boatbuilder, witnessed by daughter Margaret

    4412558.pdf (

    Regards- Mary



    Wednesday 22nd Nov 2023, 02:32PM
  • Many thanks, Mary

    This is really helpful and will take some time to go through!

    I hadnt used these sources to research yet and they certainly do add a lot of info - some of it maybe contradicts other records (microfilms of pages from church records from the area) but could also be because James McDonald (or other Irish derivatives) would not be an uncommon name!

    Unfortunately, Ronald's (or Reynold?!) three duaghters, including my mother, Elizabeth, have all passed so no way to check directly...



    Wednesday 22nd Nov 2023, 04:52PM

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