Saturday, January 22, 2011

Surname Saturday - MCDONALD 4

Surname Saturday - MCDONALD 4

This is a guest post by Karen BEVINS WINSLOW (a fictitious character in Back to the Homeplace). Karen is the oldest daughter of Frank and Mildred (MCDONALD) BEVINS, one of their four children. These four siblings and their families are the major characters of the novel: Back to the Homeplace. [This blogging exercise is a part of the research for the upcoming novel, "The Homeplace Revisited" by William Leverne Smith]

Karen came across the following report, apparently written my her mother when she was in high school, as she went through papers left by her mother in The Homeplace farmhouse that Karen and her husband, Jason were remodeling to become a Country Inn Bed and Breakfast (early 1990s).

A brief history of settlement in the early Oak Springs area and my McDonald family
by Mildred McDonald

My ancestor, Henry  McDonald, was one of four men who brought their families to this valley as the first settlers. My family has lived on our farm ever since that time, which was 1833. He was joined by the Eli Truesdale family, the Robert Baldridge family and the Blacksmith, Jake Patton, and his wife, who operated a general store next to the blacksmith shop. They apparently had not children. The town that eventually became Oak Springs actually grew up around that blacksmith shop and general store a couple of miles west of our place. Robert Baldridge built the first mill on the ridge northeast of your farm and his son, David, ran it for many years, as well. The McDonalds and the Truesdales were farmers.

David Baldridge, a bachelor, had one sister, Sarah, who married the older of the two sons of Henry McDonald and his wife, Laura. Harry and Sarah had at least six children. The stories they have passed down from Civil War times will make another interesting report. The younger McDonald son, Daniel was my direct ancestor. He married Jane Truesdale, a granddaughter of Eli Truesdale. Their son, William McDonald, was my grandfather. He was able to keep all the McDonald, Truesdale and Baldridge properties in our family so that my parents still have the original properties more than one hundred years later. We are all very proud of this accomplishment. 

"May each of us have a Homeplace to hold onto, if only in our minds."

Bill ;-)

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