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James McDonald may have been born in Scotland although the census records describe him as being born in St George in the East, London England. His father is described at the marriage of his daughter Catherine Sarah McDonald as a "shoemaker" from Banff in Scotland. When they came to London has not yet been identified.
Alexander Gordon is recorded in the England 1851 census as a widower but there is no record
of his wife in the 1841 census..
The ages recorded in the 1841 and 1851 census are known to be approximate, and maybe the "where born" is inaccurate too. We have been unable to find any record of the three McDonald children born in London or Scotland.
In the 1841 census [HO 107/716/11 Folio: 41, Page: 3] at Gowers Place, Tower Hamlets in the parish of St Mary Whitechapel are recorded:
In the 1851 census
In the 1861 census
In the 1871 census
His father was Alexander Gordon McDonald (c1789-1878); his mother has not been idetified.