Ancestors of a 21st century British family

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  • ID: I34455
  • Name: Alexander Donaldson 1
  • Sex: M
  • Death: MAR 1807 in Atlantic sea
  • Residence: Kingston, Jamaica 1
  • Occupation: Merchant in Kingston, Jamaica 1
  • Cause: On passage from Jamaica to England
  • Note: 2 3

    Mentioned as nephew in 1801 entail of his uncle.
    Little is known about Donaldson?s personal life before his acquisition of Orange Vale. Beginning in 1786, he appeared as a party in several indentures, many with his then partner Alexander Thomson, all related to business in the acquisition of land and enslaved Africans (Index to Grantees 1786, 1788, 1792, 1794, 1798, 1799, 1800, 1801, 1802). Originally from England, Donaldson moved to Jamaica sometime around mid-1780s and set up a legal and financial firm I Jamaica, along with his London partner Alexander Thomson. The firm basically provided financial backing for individuals interested in borrowing funds to finance their various ventures, usually acquiring loans to purchase property in Jamaica. By 1794, a third partner, Alexander Forbes, joined the firm, which then became Donaldson, Thomson, and Forbes.
    Donaldson?s nephews ? Alexander Donaldson Cameron, John Alexander Cameron, Robert Annstruther, and John Annstruther ? filed suit hoping to collect their inheritance. According to the will, Donaldson?s instructed his executors and trustees to give annual allowances to his nephews and his mother, Janet Donaldson, with a continual investment of the remaining monies.
    But what of Donaldson?s personal life? Though limited and vague, Donaldson?s will provided the most information on his personal life. He was one of three children by then widow Janet Donaldson, along with his two sisters Mary and Anna. Mary Donaldson married David Annstruther and they had two children, Robert and John. Anna married Peter Cameron and also had two sons, John Alexander and Alexander Donaldson, named after his uncle. His will provided an annual income of 1000 to his mother in four equal sums each year. His nephews, all minors at the time of his death, were due to receive 500 annually when they were under 21 years of age, and 3000 thereafter.
    The 1840 Jamaica Almanac for parish of St. George, has:
    Donaldson, Alex., heirs of, Lowlayton, 2045 acres
    Donaldson, Alex., heirs of, Orange Vale, 1217 acres
    Alexander Donaldson of Kingston Jamaica is mentioned in 1787 as attorney for Samuel Kemble and Walter Spens.
    ...prominent, was Alexander Donaldson, who held the contract to supply provisions to the island garrison and naval station, and also traded with the Spaniards of ...
    (Jamaica and the Saint Domingue Slave Revolt 1791.)
    (Dates don?t quite make sense, or does ?then? mean ?afterwards??):
    In the " In-giving " for 1810, and for another thirty years or more, in the " Jamaica Almanac," Stoakes Hall was owned by the trustees of Alexander Donaldson. In 1810, it had 263 slaves and 169 head of stock. Stoakesfield was then owned by Peter Wallace.
    Bryan Castle, Jamaica was acquired by Bryan Edwards in or before 1792. It is within three miles of the port of Rio Bueno. It afterwards became by purchase the property of Alexander Donaldson, whose estate went into bankruptcy, and is now in the possession of the heirs of Mr. A. W. Gordon.
    (Historic Jamaica : With fifty-two illustrations. 1924.)
    Death, 1807:
    At sea, on his passage to England, for the recovery of his health, Alexander Donaldson, esq. of Jamaica.
    In 1802 Jamaica contractor Alexander Donaldson ran into financial difficulties.
    Pursuant to a Decree of the. High Court of Chancery, made in a Cause Thomson against Grant, the Creditors
    of Alexander Donaldson,, late of Warwick-Square, in the City of London, and of the Island of Jamaica, Merchant
    (who died in or about the month of .March 1807, and was formerly in partnership with George Glenny, of the City of London, Merchant, under the firm of, Donaldson and Glenny, and afterwards with the plaintiff, Alexander Thomson, under the firm of Donaldson and Thomson, are by their Solicitor's forthwith to come in and prove their debts, before William Alexander, Esq. one of the Masters of the said Court, at his Chambers, in Southampton-Buildings, Chancery-Lane, Londn, or in default thereof they will be excluded the benefit of the said Decree.
    Situated two km west of the Buff Bay River, near the base of the Blue Mountains in the parish of St. George (now Portland), the ruins of Orange Vale plantation reminds us of the agony of Jamaica's legacy of slavery. To the immediate east of Orange Vale's boundary lies property belonging to the Moore Town Maroons. Orange Vale operated from the late 1700s until its abandonment in 1847, and was an example of the thriving mono-crop coffee industry that supplemented the slave economy of "king sugar," once common in the mountainous regions of Jamaica. The site was initially owned by John Elmslie, a "London proprietor," from 1782 until 1807.
    Orange Vale then passed into the ownership of Alexander Donaldson from 1807-1817, then to his "heirs" upon his death, who apparently maintained ownership until it was abruptly abandoned in 1847. At that time, the property was then split up and sold to the Bragg and Welsh families.
  • _UID: E2C12CA7859F4F6D8870FF31BF0F7EB57F67
  • Change Date: 4 NOV 2012

    Father: James Donaldson b: 1712
    Mother: Janet Grant b: 1729

    1. Text: Hugh Cambell
    2. Text: Entail (deed) dated 16 May 1801 of Robert Grant 1st of Elchies
      Married Isabel Campbell, also had illegitimate children by Hannah Addis, born London c.1788 (presumably refers to HA).
    3. Type: Book
      Periodical: Free and Enslaved African Communities in Buff Bay, Jamaica: Daily -Life, Resistance, and Kinship, 1750-1834
      Author: Paula Veronica Saunders -
      Date: 2004
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