Alexander McDONALD

Alexander McDonald            1801- 1860

Alexander McDonald was christened on 7th February, 1801 at Kilmallie, Argyll, Scotland. His parents were Alexander and Mary McDonald.  It seems Mary may have died as Alexander Snr. had a second spouse and fathered another four children – John, Margaret, Isabella and Evan.  The family can be traced back to Donald Glas McDonald who was born in 1654 in Kilmonivaig, Inverness-shire, Scotland.  Donald’s wife was Somhairie Cambell.

Alexander married Flora McEachern on 15th April, 1841 at Kilmallie.  In the 1851 Scotland Census showed the family living at 14 Low St, Fort William, Inverness County.  On this census return, the family gave their religion as Catholic.  Alexander was an agricultural labourer and was 40.  Other family members were Flora, his wife, aged 38, Flora age eight, Samuel age six, Alexander age four and Ewan McDonald age one.

The next records available are the shipping records which showed the same family on board the ‘Ida’.  This ship arrived in Melbourne from Liverpool on 12th July, 1853.  It is not known when the family first moved in to Bacchus Marsh but Alexander McDonald was listed on the 1856 West Burke Electoral Roll, Bacchus Marsh Division as a Deep Creek farmer (freehold).  A Peter McDonald was a farmer at Yangardook on the same roll.  It is not yet known if he was related.  When Alexander died at the age of 59, he was a farmer at Glen Nevis farm in the Parish of Djerriwarrh, Bacchus Marsh.  His youngest son was only nine when his father died.  His eldest daughter, Mary Pitcher, was the informant.  Daughter, Flora, married Edwin Beardmore and had nine children, one of whom was Henry Beardmore MLA who won the seat of Benambra in 1917 for the Nationalist and United Australia Party.  The youngest son, Hugh (Ewen) married Ellen Atkinson on 12th May, 1875 at Bacchus Marsh.  Their son, Ernest William, born 1880 at Melton who married Emma Kilpatrick in 1904 at Fitzroy also had a son, Ernest William.  He was the father of Ken McDonald who currently resides in Bacchus Marsh.  Ken has served the community as a councillor, Shire President and in various groups.  His most recent role has been as chairman of the Coimadai Avenue of Honour Restoration Association.

As well as Ken and his wife, Susan, two of their three sons, Craig and Grant, reside in Bacchus Marsh. Two of Alexander’s GGGG grandchildren also live in the town.

As this document was being finalised, Ken, Grant and Bruce witnessed the Western Bulldogs AFL Premiership win.  Many Shea descendants also enjoyed the same win. Could Alexander McDonald and Timothy Shea have envisioned such an event?