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Below is a family biography included in the Woodruff County portion of Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Eastern Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1890.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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John J. McDonald. Perhaps the most important of Mr. McDonald’s history is his war record, which is without a blemish, and though not characterized by any special act of prominence, it is one to which he can refer with pardonable pride, and that may be read by those who are to come after him with a sense of honor. He enlisted in the Confederate army in 1861, and joined the Sixth Georgia Infantry, his service extending over the States of Virginia, North and South Carolina. During this time he participated in the battles of Seven Pines, Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, Second Manassas, battle of the Wilderness, and the seven days’ fight around Richmond, besides many minor engagements. He was with Stonewall Jackson when that great general was killed, but was never himself wounded or captured. Early in 1865 he was sent South, and was under Johnston at his surrender. His two older brothers (twins) William and John, were in the same war, both receiving severe injuries in the seven days’ fight. After they were all at home he in company with his father and one sister came to White County, but about a year later his father returned to his native State. Mr. McDonald is a native of Jones County, Ga., and was born in 1842, the son of John and Wealthy (Clifton) McDonald, originally from North Carolina and Georgia, respectively. They were married in Georgia and reared a family of eight children, of whom John J. is the fourth in order of birth. Mrs. McDonald died in 1854. Mr. McDonald married again, and with the exception of a few years spent in Arkansas, as before stated, resided in Georgia all his life, his death occurring there in 1874. He served in one of the Indian wars. His father, Henry McDonald, a Scotchman by birth and a soldier in the Revolutionary War, died in North Carolina. John J. McDonald was married in 1870 to Miss Mary, daughter of William Thompson. She was born in Georgia and died after nine years of wedded life. For his second wife Mr. McDonald chose Victoria Turner, whose parents, Stephen and Susan Turner, were married in North Carolina and from there moved to Jackson County, Ark., where the former died, but Mrs. Turner is still living. Mrs. McDonald was born in Jackson County and died in 1889, a member of the Christian Church. She bore five children: John L., William H., Walter H., Eugene and Rufus. In 1869 Mr. McDonald moved to White County, and since 1880 has resided on his present place, consisting of 600 acres with 125 in a successful state of cultivation. The farm at the time of his purchase was nearly all woods, but it is now second to none in the county, as far as careful cultivation is concerned, all brought to this condition by the individual efforts of Mr. McDonald. He is an enterprising farmer and citizen, lending his support to all worthy movements for the good and growth of the county, and enjoys the esteem and respect of those who know him. He has been school trustee for many years, and many a successful termination of some enterprise owes its existence to a large degree to his quick judgment and keen penetration. He has been a Democrat during life, and voted for Greeley in 1868. The Colony Lodge No. 190, A. F. & A. M., find in him one of its best members.

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This family biography is one of 69 biographies included in the Woodruff County portion of Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Eastern Arkansas published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1890.  For the complete description, click here: Woodruff County, Arkansas History, Genealogy, and Maps

View additional Woodruff County, Arkansas family biographies here: Woodruff County, Arkansas

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