Home Biographies History Places Documents Letters Family Tree Misc. Contact NEW Blog


NAMES: William DONALDSON of Freeduff; Barbara BRADFORD, wife; Elizabeth DONALDSON, daughter; George Washington DONALDSON, nephew; Samuel DUNN, nephew; Andrew Coulter BRADFORD, brother-in-law; John MOFFITT; M.S. MACLAINE; Joseph Andew NEILSON; John JACKSON; William DONALDSON.
Sharon Oddie Brown. July 24, 2009 Footnotes Updated.

The tie in of the JACKSON family story to William DONALDSON is through marriage and the geographical proximity is also of interest. William DONALDSON's wife was Barbara BRADFORD. The DONALDSONs were some of the earliest Presbyterians to settle in Creggan Parish. William and his brother Alexander and his sister Margaret were all members of the United Irish Society and at least one of their homes, the "Ambush House" in Freeduff was burned by Lord Blayney's "flying column" in 1797. (SOURCE: Creggan: Guide to Creggan Church & Graveyard, Kevin McMahon & Jem Murphy. Creggan Historical Society, 1988). Another William DONALDSON who fought in the War of 1812 as a colonel was a cousin.

For mmore of the flavour of the times, see also: 1811 Letter of William Donaldson to Oswald Lawson and 1812 Letter of William Donaldson to Oswald Lawson



In the name of God Amen I William Donaldson [1] of Freduff [2] Parish of Creggan and County of Armagh being of sound understanding Do Will and bequeath my Chattle and Freehold property in the following way and manner viz ~ I Will that after my Death the whole of my Funeral expenses and the whole of my lawful debts shall be paid by my Executors hereafter mentioned out of the products of my Freehold or Chattle property as they may now be, Secondly I Will that my Executors as soon as they conveniently can after my decease shall dispose of by legal Sale to the best advantage the whole of the Freehold and Chattle property of which I may die possessed, and the money arising from the sale thereof, I Will to be disposed of in the following manner. The Interest arising one half of the product of said sales I will to be paid year and yearly by my Executors unto my beloved wife Barbara Donaldson [3] during the term of her natural Life, and at the expiration of her natural Life I Will the said moiety of which Barbara Donaldson shall have been receiving the interest of unto my daughter Elizabeth Donaldson [4] provided she shall survive the said Barbara Donaldson Her Mother. In case Eliza Donaldson shall not survive Her Mother then the said moiety of which Barbara Donaldson shall have been receiving the Interest of shall go share and share alike unto the children of said Eliza Donaldson provided she have any. In case she have none then the said moiety shall be divided among my Nephews and Nieces in the following manner, that shall be there in living viz, George Washington Donaldson [5] to receive double the proportion of said moiety that shall fall to the share of each Nephew and Niece then in existence. It being shared equally among them with the exception of Samuel Dunn [6] who is to receive no part of my property whatever. Thirdly I will that the other half arising from the Sales of my Freehold and Chattle Property shall be paid by my Executors unto my daughter Eliza Donaldson when she shall have arrived at the age of 21 years or at the time of her marriage which ever may take place first, farther provided My Daughter Eliza Donaldson die before She arrives at the age of Twenty one years and unmarried then it is my Will that the Interest arising from the moiety to which she would have been entitled shall be paid by My Executors to her mother Barbara Donaldson during her natural Life, after which I Will that it be divided among my Nephews and Nieces who shall then be in living in the manner and way already stated respecting the division of the moiety the interest of which My Wife Barbara Donaldson is to receive in her Own Right during her Natural Life. Forthly it is my Will that the two Hundred Pounds which my Brother-in-Law Andrew Bradford [7] promised me shall be paid by him to my daughter Eliza Donaldson either at her Marriage of when she shall have arrived at the age of Twenty-one years. Fifthly I do nominate and appoint Mr. Alexander Donaldson of Philipstown [8] and Andrew Bradford of Cavananore both of the County of Louth and Mr. John Moffit [9] of Freduff County Armagh My Trustees and Executors to see this My Will Truly and Impartially executed, and I do hereby Revoke and Remove (?) all former Wills and Testaments confessing this to be the only true one, dated this twentieth day of November one Thousand and eight Hundred and fifteen [10] .

Signed Sealed and published by the above
_____(?) William Donaldson in the
presence of the Testator and of each other

N.S. Mac___(?) [11]
Joseph Andrew Neilson [12]

John Jackson [13]
William Donaldson [14]

[1] William DONALDSON (1768-1815). He married Barbara [Bradford] 1783 -1865, both are buried at Freeduff. William was chairman and leader of the United Irishmen in Tullyvallen and Tullynaval and attended Freeduff Presbyterian Church. Per the Belfast Newsletter 18 Sep 1797. Armagh Assizes. The Assizes ended the 14th instant at which the following persons were tried before the Right Hon. Lord Yelverton and the Hon. Judge Chamberlaide ... David Lawson, William Donaldson and Arthur Clark were indicted for high treason, but their trials were put off until the next assizes. Belfast Newsletter 30 Mar 1798.
Monaghan Assizes. On the 19th instant, the Monaghan Assizes were opened before the Hon. Justice Downes and Baron George, when the following persons were brought to trial ...William Donaldson and Alex Clark also indicted last Assizes for high treason were discharged under the Habeus Corpus Act. ..?
Evidently this did not deter William Donaldson from his work and the Court record shows he was busy the next month. Jul 12, 1798. The court met this day to adjournment and proceeded to the trial of William Craig, Thomas Craig and James Hall, confined by William Barker, Esq., a magistrate, for stealing a gun. William Lowden of Camley, near Newtownhamilton, being duly sworn, says that in Apr 1797 as near as he can recollect, two men came to his father's house, to wit, the prisoners William Craig and James Hall. ..that he was in bed, and his brother came to him and said two men wanted him to join them in the United business, which he declined, and said he would rather quit the country. His brother went out of the house and returned with the two prisoners. The prisoner then asked him where he intended to go and told him he could not go ...that they told him if he did not go with them it would be too late, for the French were in the country and all the King's stores would be seized before 10 o'clock that morning. After that he got up from his bed and put on his clothes. William Craig brought a book to him. ..and swore him a United Irishman. That they made him make a roll of the names of the men they had sworn in that morning, to the number of 14 or 16 men. The prisoner said they were going to return the men to William Donaldson of Cloghog,
near Newtownhamilton, as he was their leading man. SOURCE: Irish Edition of Alexander ban Donaldson. p295-6.
In Rev. McCombe's Seatholders List is Elder William Donaldson of near Freeduff, but whose residence was in Cloghoge Townland.
TGF Patterson transcription: Underneath this stone lieth the remains of William Donaldson of Freeduff who departed this life on the 30th day of November 1815 aged 47 years. Also the body of Barbara his affectionate wife and faithful widow who departed March 31st 1865 aged 82 years. Them also who sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
[2] Freeduff is a townland of 303 acres in the Parish of Creggan in Co. Armagh.
[3] Barbara DONALDSON née Barbara BRADFORD (1783-1865)
[4] Elizabeth DONALDSON (1806-1851). She died at Bloomfield place, Dublin. SEE: Her Will.
[5] George Washington DONALDSON. I have placed his as a son of Alexander & Elizabeth DONALDSON. This placement is mostly based on a hunch.
[6] Samuel DUNN. I would suspect that he is a husband of a niece. John DONALDSON (b 1772), a brother of William DONALDSON had an unnamed daughter. This would be a possible placement.
[7] Andrew Coulter BRADFORD (1788-1847)
[8] This Alexander DONALDSON is probably the brother of William DONALDSON who wrote this will. They are probably grandchildren of Alex DONALDSON: Here lies the body of Alex Donaldson of Cloghog Co. Armagh, formerly of Philipstown Co. Louth who died 22nd Jan 1776 aged 85 years and of his wife Alice Donaldson who died 24 Aug 1769 aged 82 years and of Richard Donaldson M.D. whose father Joseph Donaldson was a grandson of the said Alex Donaldson; he died 4th March 1879 aged 54 years. SOURCE: Inscriptions in Creggan Graveyard, published in 'Seanchas Ardmhaca, 1972 Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 309-332'
[9] John MOFFITT.Since the mother of William DONALDSON was Ann MAFFETT, I expect there to be a family connection, although I don't know what it might be at present.
[10] The sale of his Houses and lands after his death occurred December 16, 1815 – a mere month after the crafting of this will which was written in Donaldson’s own hand.
[12] Joseph Andrew NEILSON
[13] John JACKSON (1780-1817), husband of Elizabeth McCULLAGH
[14] William DONALDSON. One possibility is second cousin William DONALDSON (1783-1868)



Site Map | Legal Disclaimer | Copyright

© 2006-2023 Sharon Oddie Brown