Deb Ford 
Jan 29 (2 days ago)

to me, neilm 

Neil and Neil Attached photos of Drummin.  Carleen's husband had carried out extensive research before we set off on our mission and was convinced 
that this was the right location for Donald McDonald's cottage, and when we found the name on the cottage it certainly seemed to confirm it as being 
what we had set out to find. The car beside the cottage belongs to the current tenant.  `IMG.0621' Carleen and dog, Tana, walk down the track. I like this 
photo because it shows the cottage's isolation in the empty valley. Note the deer guards around the young trees. The valley was teeming with them. 
(Deer are feral pests on my block here in Upper Brookfield.) `IMG.0623' top left corner of the cottage has the name `Drummin' on a small wooden plaque
`IMG 0624'  the porch is clearly a later addition, as are the skylights. The large windows are probably new as well, because window glass was very 
expensive until the second half of the 19th century when float glass was developed. The original windows may only have had wooden shutters `IMG 0640' 
another photo placing the cottage in its landscape. We have more photos of the general area, if you are interested.  There would have been many more 
people in the valley in the early 19th century, before the Enclosures Act destroyed the livelihoods of so many and started the massive migration of 
dispossessed Scots around the world. Deb PS Neil McD . I noticed a couple of instances of `Queensland' instead of `Queenstown' in your document!    
You do realize, of course, that if old Donald had not fled to Cape Town, and if the law had caught up with him, the entire McDonald history might have been 
played out in Australia with a convict ancestor!   However, convict ancestry in Oz has the same cach's descent from the 1820 Settlers has for white South 
Africans.  My grandmother, May McDonald's (nee Edwards) ancestors were 1820 Settlers.



I am finding all this very interesting!  Please keep me on your email list.   So different from our life in Kenya . you both have so much bitterness, which I 
certainly do not.  I go back to visit my mother fairly regularly, the last time being in April 2011.  Despite Kenya having gained independence 49 years ago, 
her way of is little changed: excellent staff who look after her really well, Bridge on the verandah and painting afternoons with other Memsahibs. We used 
to live on the adjoining plot and when we left sold our house to an African couple.  They still live there, the place is immaculate, garden beautiful, and they 
are good neighbours to my mother. Having said that, I would not want to return to live in Kenya: the politicians are greedy and self-serving (and those are 
the good ones) and the shortages of water, fuel and electricity are really irritating to someone who has become soft from living in a country that works.  
And the traffic chaos in and around Nairobi is dreadful. Anyway, enough of that.  We are off to Kiwi land on Thursday for a month, with only intermittent 


Hi Neil,
I forgot to add that with all our moves, both ourselves and parents, there are few records.  What might interest is I have a photo of all Donald McDonalds 
six sons, most with luxuriant beards.  I also have a photo of my grandfather, Eric McDonald at home on leave from the Boer war.  In the photo he is in 
uniform but under his slouch hat can be seen the bandages that are a result of a boer sniper's bullet that went in the crown of the hatand creased his 
If interested I can re-photo or scan.  Le tme know if you would like an e-mailed copy photo because I will need to remove them from a frame.
Mark Dale


Hi Neil,
I rather think I was at UCRN '62-'64. I then took a job with the Herbarium in the Botanic Garden from where I went to Basic Training at Heany.  I was in A coy 
under ex Guardsman Sarnt Major Mould Sah to his face and Mouldy at all other times.  Major Cutter was OiC and Captain Willie de Beer his 2nd in command, 
a rugged former RSM.  UDI was declared while we were in training and for a while I thought I would have to shoot at Englishmen.  (Many years later I ran into 
Mike Cutter, by then a Triangle sugar farmer.  He was inordinately pleased to meet a former squaddie of his and told me that Willie de Beer looked even more 
rugged after having his face radically rearranged by a lion.)
A year later I was married and went to Malawi for 7 years working at a tea research station in the foothills of Mt Mulanje.  I became a bwana again and enjoyed 
home leave to UK.  From there I made my first unsuccessful attempt to emigrate to Oz.  We returned to Rhodesia for the next 7 years and I worked on Grasslands 
at Marandellas.  The war hotted up and I made sure that I went into the police reserve rather than suffer the military mindset again.  Initially PATU was an elite 
force but soon drafted anyone under 38 into its ranks so this portly public servant found himself puffing through the bush weighed under by a MAG, ammo belts, 
wireless batteries and a drip bladder.
I would probably have stayed on in Mugabe's Zimbabwe.  He did not turn out to be the black Pol Pot we expected. (At first).  He seemed intelligent and pragmatic 
in those early days but it was my third black African country and he had said he would make it a communist paradise eventually, so after 7 years of applications 
we eventually were allowed into Oz in 1982.
Like all our kind we went to WA first but there was a depression on and no jobs so I wound up in Mildura in N Victoria for the next 25 years.  A couple of years as 
grey nomads followed and then I took a short term job as an irrigation adviser in the Adelaide Hills and here we remain.  My daughter left her husband and she 
and her daughter arrived on the doorstep of our little retirement bungalow so we upsticks last year and moved to this house where we look into the hills in one 
direction and out to sea in the other.
I am vicariously reliving the bush war .  Yesterday I ordered two new books, one on the cross border Chimoio raid and another on the Selous Scouts.
Mark Dale
Phone (08) 8549 1922, Mobile 0417 220 527,
41 Gum Ave, Victor Harbor, SA 5211

Dear Neil I have a few photos, taken when Carleen went to South Africa in 2007, of headstones on the Drummond farm.  They have been desecrated by the locals, 
but here you are.  I think that the photo labeled Drummond 16 must be the wall that surrounded the family graveyard.  There are also photos of Donald and Eliza, 
but I expect you already have them. regards Deb Ford524 Haven RoadUpper Brookfield  Qld  4069AustraliaTel: (07) 3374-1355Email:


From: Deb Ford [] 
Sent: Saturday, 28 January 2012 12:29 PM
To: 'neil fletcher'
Cc: 'Mark & Jennie Dale'
Subject: RE: McDonalds

Dear Neil Pleased to make your acquaintance via the internet! I have no information on Angus Neil McDonald (12.7.1902 . 12.7.1939).  Everything I know about 
the McDonald clan is contained in `The Blue Book'  - ie `The Family of Donald and Eliza McDonald' compiled by Mercy Murray to commemorate the 150th Anniversary 
of Donald McDonald's arrival in South Africa on 4 June 1817.  If you don't have this book, I am happy to make a photocopy for you.  I have copied this email to my 
cousin, Mark Dale, who lives in South Australia as he may know something . he was also in Rhodesia.  I know that Alasdair McDonald, my first cousin who lives in 
South Africa, is interested in the McDonald family history.  I don't have a contact email for him, but Mark may have one. In 2009, on a trip to Scotland to see first cousin 
Carleen Broad, we went on a voyage of discovery and found what we believe to be the `wee bothie' that Donald McDonald called home before his departure for South 
Africa.  The small, stone cottage is called `Drummin' in a valley of that name, close to a place called Melgarve. The little creeks in this area all feed into what becomes
the Spey River.  Even in 2009 it was a wild and lonely place. At Melgarve there are remnants of dry-stone walled cattle pens, used no doubt to hold the cattle that 
Donald moved south in his life as a drover.  (I see  from The Blue Book that Mercy Murray locates Drummin in Glen Garry, which is further west than where we were . 
so one of us is wrong!) The cottage at the time was being used, as a weekender, by a Glaswegian taxi driver. It took me a little while to find where you fit into the Tree, 
but I see you are descended from Donald William McDonald, an older brother of my ancestor Alexander Campbell McDonald.  Kind regardsDeb  

From: neil fletcher [] 
Sent: Friday, 27 January 2012 5:32 PM

Subject: McDonalds Dear Deb Ford My extended family younger generation double "cousin"Belinda had lunch with my wife and I today. I live in the SW of WA , 
in Nannup.She has given me details which she received from you of your McDonald links. I am a McDonald on my grandmother's side. She wasIda Eliza (not Aileen) 
McD. She and her older sister Annie married Fletcher brothers. My grandfather wasPatrick. So there were many "double cousins", Belindabeing one. I am a 
Rhodesian, a refugee of sorts, with Australian citizenship now.I would very much like to know what data and material you might have going back to the Queenstown 
days.Two McDonald boys, Ian and Neil ( HughCampbell+Jean Bladon -> Patrick+ Esme Spence) who I knewwhen I was a kid had become "lost "for many decades.
Last year I fortunately managed to track them down again.The youngest Neil has produced a book on his immediatefamily and has considerable material from my 
family Archive.Similarly I was able to get some old photos from him. Robert Philip (Bob) McD at various stages lived on ourfarm in Rhodesia. I have quite a bit of 
material about him.He has a great grandson Malcolm Shaw also from Rhodesiawho emigrated to Aus about 8 years ago. He is on the eastside and I am in contact 
with him.Our grandparents had a cousin Flora Ness McDonald whowent to Rhodesia and married a well known man Teddy Hull.Some of their children married 
their Fletcher cousins, and sothe clans are even more complicated....Do you have any information on an Angus (?) McDonald whoemigrated to Aus circa 1930. 
He might have had somethingto do with Aboriginal affairs in Katherine, NT at some stage?
With best wishes.Neil Fletcher.