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Rev. James A. Macdonald

Male 1862 - 1923  (61 years)


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  • Name Rev. James A. Macdonald 
    Born 22 Jan 1862  East Williams Township, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Died 14 May 1923  Toronto, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Siblings 1 sibling 
    Person ID I35002  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others
    Last Modified 18 May 2021 

    Father John Alexander Macdonald,   b. Abt 1818, Pictou, Pictou, Nova Scotia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Feb 1899, London, Middlesex, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 81 years) 
    Mother Jane Grant,   b. 4 May 1825, Pictou, Pictou, Nova Scotia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Jul 1878, Middlesex, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 53 years) 
    Married 28 Dec 1848  London, Middlesex, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Family ID F20573  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • From Wikipedia:

      He was born in East Williams Township, Upper Canada, the son of John Alexander Macdonald and Jane Grant, and was educated there, in Hamilton, in Toronto and at the University of Toronto. Macdonald continued his studies at Knox College, where he became editor of the Knox College Monthly. After graduating in 1887, he continued to be editor and also served as college librarian. In 1890, Macdonald married Grace Lumsden Christian. He was ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1891 and assigned to Knox Presbyterian Church in St. Thomas. In 1896, Macdonald was named principal of Presbyterian Ladies' College in Toronto. He also became editor of a new Presbyterian monthly, the Westminster. In 1902, Macdonald also became editor of a new weekly Presbyterian. In 1903, he became editor of the Globe, continuing in that role until 1915. Macdonald also served as a director of the Canadian Associated Press and for the University of Toronto, as a trustee for the Toronto General Hospital. A pacifist, he was a director of the World Peace Foundation and participated in rallies against American involvement in World War I. Later concluding that German aggression needed to be stopped, Macdonald emphasized that the intent of war should be to restore peace. He died in Toronto at the age of 61.

      Macdonald published two collections of essays, Democracy and the Nations in 1915 and The North American Idea in 1917, proposing closer ties between Canada and the United States. In the latter year he suffered from both physical and mental breakdowns. These events caused his retirement.

      From the Dictionary of Canadian Biography (citation details below):

      MACDONALD, JAMES ALEXANDER, editor, Presbyterian minister, school principal, orator, social reformer, and author; b. 22 Jan. 1862 in East Williams Township, Upper Canada, son of John Alexander Macdonald, a farmer, and Jane Grant; m. 11 June 1890 Grace Lumsden Christian in Oil City, Ont., and they had two sons and a daughter; d. 14 May 1923 in Toronto.

      James A. Macdonald traced his ancestry to Glen Urquhart in the Highlands of Scotland. His great-great-grandfather had survived the battle of Culloden in 1746, immigrated to North Carolina, and fought with his sons on the side of the British in the American revolution. The family subsequently moved to Pictou County, N.S., and then to East Williams. Gaelic was the first language for many in the community where Macdonald grew up.

  • Sources 
    1. [S2180] Dictionary of Canadian Biography.

    2. [S5800] Ontario, Canada, Marriages, 1826-1938, on ancestry.com.