Wednesday, September 10, 2014

#52Ancestors (36) William McDonald and Nellie Thomas

Last week, I introduced my great-great-grandmother Anna Harriet McDonald. She was the middle of three daughters born to William McDONALD and Helen 'Nellie' THOMAS.

William McDONALD worked his adult life as a laundryman, owning his own shop for several years. He was born in Scotland. All records state November but the year varies from 1844 to 1848. When he came to America is another mystery: the 1900 and 1910 censuses are either blank or list 'unknown.' And based on his death certificate, he was born on November 31st!

The earliest record I do have is his marriage. By tracking him backwards in time, I found that he married Miss Nellie THOMAS in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio on 3 October 1875. William and Nellie then had three daughters:

Bessie, born 1877 in Ohio, married Perry STREETER in Lansing, Ingham, Michigan
Anna, born 1878 in Michigan, married first Lawrence HUMMEL in Adrian, Lenawee, Michigan
Nellie, born 1880 in Michigan, married Harry BELT in Adrian, Lenawee, Michigan

His wife, Helen 'Nellie' THOMAS, was the daughter of William THOMAS and Hila Melissa HASKINS of New York. The THOMAS family was enumerated on the 1850 census in Buffalo, Erie, New York and in later years in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio. The information on Nellie's death certificate was extremely detailed:

This entire McDONALD family died amazingly young. Nellie died in 1904 at age 47 and William in 1911 at age 66. All three daughters followed shortly thereafter, each leaving young children:

Bessie Streeter, 1915, aged 47
Annie Abbott, 1915, aged 46
Nellie Belt, 1917, aged 47



© 2014 Sally Knudsen