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Daniel McDonald
Birth: 1763
Isle of Skye, Scotland
Death: Jan. 17, 1842
Richmond County
North Carolina, USA

When he was seven years old, Daniel McDonald emigrated from Scotland to North Carolina in 1770-71 with his father, James McDonald and older brothers. There is speculation that the family came from Portree on the Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides, Scotland. This has yet to be proven.

An uncle, John McDonald, had preceded them to the American Colonies. John had received a land grant in Moore County NC from the King of England. This is where James and his family settled. [At or near the site of current day McDonald's Chapel.]

Before emigrating from Scotland, Daniel's father and brothers were required to sign a loyalty oath to England. Since he was a child, Daniel did not have to sign and was able to fight in the Continental Army with the Colonists during the American Revolution in 1780-82.

Upon his return home from the war, Daniel went to work for the family of the late William Keahey (aka MacKeahey). In about 1790, he married Margaret Keahey, the widow of William Keahey. [Possibly her maiden name was McInnis or Innis but primary proof is needed.] She was about age 60 with three sons older than Daniel. Daniel and Margaret built a home in 1795 in Richmond County. In 1810, Daniel purchased land on Hitchcock Creek from his stepson, John Keahey, prior to the latter's move to Mississippi. Margaret passed away in 1819.

In 1821, Daniel married for a second time to 15-year old Mary Polly Oliver. His first child, Daniel Oliver McDonald, was born in 1823. When Daniel passed away at age 79, he and Polly were the parents of five children between the ages 4 through 19.

Daniel had a sixth child, Mary Johnson, whose mother was Isabel Johnson. Mary was born in 1830, between the births of her half-siblings John and Catherine McDonald.

For his funeral, Daniel's body was taken to the McDonald's family burying ground in Moore County, between Foxfire and Pinehurst. (The McDonald's Chapel Presbyterian Church was later built next to this cemetery.) Along the way it was lost.

Here's an account of what happened from the book "On This Day in Richmond County" by Irving Long:

"Relatives eating and drinking heavily, as is Highlander tradition when a truly great man dies, lost him at night in Drowning Creek while returning his body to Moore Co. for burial. The buggy hit a bump on the bridge and the body flew up in the air and came down in the stream. Nephews in front of the buggy were not aware of this and the body floated downstream. A search party found it the next morning just in time to take it to the graveyard for the funeral."

Years later, in the 1960s, family historians making inquiries in the area learned of the grave of an elderly Scotsman who had died in Richmond County and whose remains had been lost. They were taken to the site of Daniel's grave at McDonald's Chapel and a marker was placed to mark the spot.

When Polly passed away many years after Daniel, she was buried closer to their home in Richmond County - at what's now known as McDonald Cemetery on Graham Bridge Road.

Two of Daniel's children, William and Catherine "Katie", moved to Clarke County, Alabama, in the late 1850s. William led at least two groups of settlers to Alabama. Katie moved in 1857. William was back in NC in February 1859 to marry. He then returned permanently to Alabama. Daniel Oliver, John Oliver, Mary and Abigail, along with their large families, lived in Richmond County, North Carolina.

For additional information on the family of James McDonald and his son Daniel, see

Correction to Keahey information contained in the link: Further research has revealed that by the time Daniel went to work for the Keahey family, William Keahey had already passed away. He would have been employed by either the Widow Keahey or one of her sons.

Bio by: Jo Terry ღ, great-great-granddaughter of Mary Polly Oliver and Daniel McDonald
Family links: 
  Mary Polly Oliver McDonald (1806 - 1883)*
  Daniel Oliver McDonald (1823 - 1892)*
  William Alexander McDonald (1826 - 1875)*
  John Oliver McDonald (1829 - 1904)*
  Mary Johnson McDonald Gibson (1830 - 1895)*
  Catherine McDonald McLean (1831 - 1868)*
  Abigail McDonald Terry (1837 - 1891)*
*Calculated relationship
McDonalds Chapel Presbyterian Church Cemetery
Moore County
North Carolina, USA
Created by: Jo Terry ღ
Record added: Aug 18, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 57320297
Daniel McDonald
Added by: Jo Terry ღ
Daniel McDonald
Cemetery Photo
Added by: C&J Brown
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- Brandon Burns
 Added: Mar. 4, 2015

- Lanie
 Added: Apr. 22, 2014

- Jo Terry ღ
 Added: May. 31, 2013
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This page is sponsored by: Jo Terry ღ

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