The McDonalds

This page is dedicated to our Mother – Jean Dudgeon McPherson McDonald Piggot – and her family. It will develop over time I trust but here is a start at least.

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This is Great Grandmother Dudgeon.
Mrs Dudgeon was said to be physically strong ( as evidenced in the above photograph ). A story of her witnessing a coal bag falling off a cart and single handed lifting it back onto the cart ( Edith Hamilton ).


This is Grandfather Willie McDonald who was born in 1868 and died prematurely on 19th August 1924 – relatively young at age 56 – during an operation following a ruptured appendix. Cause of death was given as “Chloroform & ether Anaesthesia and Hydrocele” (accumulation of serous fluids in the body cavity or sac during the operation).


The following material was provided by Eilleen Hillyer. Granddaughter of Chrissie Sutherland ( nee Dudgeon ) sister of Grandmother McDonald.

Flora Douglas McPherson was born on 6th August 1874 at 107 Herriet Street Pollockshaws Glasgow. She is registered as illegitimate.

She appears on the 1881 Census at the home of Adam Dudgeon. She is listed as being 6 years old and a scholar. She is listed as the daughter of Adam Dudgeon.

On the 1891 Census Flora is working as a Domestic Servant at the home of a Mrs Mary Todd at 5 Victoria Crescent Road in Partick. I think this is off the present Byers Road.

I could not find her at first on the 1901 Census so checked to see if she had married.

Flora (aged 24) was married on 28th March 1899 to William McDonald at 24 Bruce Road Glasgow.

Flora is listed and signs herself now as Flora McPherson Dudgeon, Domestic Servant, Spinster. (As some of the Dudgeon children were registered as ‘Dudgeon McPherson’ before Flora and Adam were married, they simply reversed the names after 1900.) Her address is given as 19 Rutland Crescent Kinning Park. Her parents’ names are given as Adam Dudgeon, Plasterer, and Flora Dudgeon nee McPherson. (Adam and Flora were not actually married at this time but listed as man and wife on Census returns.)

William McDonald is listed as Butcher, Batchelor. His parents’ names are given as John McDonald, Butcher (Deceased) and Isabella McDonald nee McNab. His address is given as 111 Eaglesham Street, Govan.

This address rang a bell!! The Dudgeon family lived at that address from about 1885(when Adam was born) and were still there at the time of the 1891 Census.

The McDonald family were actually the Dudgeons’ next door neighbours. The McDonald household is listed as follows:

Isabella McDonald (Widow) – Head

Allan McDonald – Ship Carpenter

William McDonald – Butcher

John McDonald – General Labourer

Alexander McDonald – General Labourer

So although Flora was working away from home, she did in effect marry ‘the boy next door’!

I searched for William and Flora McDonald on the 1901 Census and found them living at 5 Portman Street, Kinning Park.

The household is listed as follows:

William McDonald aged 33 – Butcher

Flora McDonald aged 27

Allan McDonald aged 1

Flora McDonald aged 3 months

I understand that William and Flora had six children:-

Allan – who did not marry

Flora – who did not marry – was a seamstress and worked with Great Aunt Flora running the guest house at Dunoon.

William –

Helen (Nellie) – who married Jimmy Stevenson and had two children – Dorothy and Ronald

Isabella (Isa) – who married Roy Allen. They had no children.

Jean – who married Lesley Piggot and had four children – Douglas,Arthur, Lesley and Malcolm.

The family lived at some time in the Mosspark area of Glasgow.

Great Aunt Flora was widowed relatively young.

She at some time ran a guest house in Dunoon. This was a favourite holiday destination for all her nieces and nephews – as well as their parents. Mum Flora and Auntie Edith tell stories of happy visits there. Dad Peter and Mum used to go up over the ‘Rest and Be Thankful’ by the old road and down to Dunoon on the back of Dad’s motorbike during their ‘courting days’.

In her later years Aunt Flora was cared for by her daughter Flora. They lived in a flat at 614 Dumbarton Road.

Flora died in 1955 (apparently as a result of a fall on the stairs to this flat.) She died in the Western Infirmary in Glasgow on 18th January 1955. The cause given was ‘Fracture Skull and Cerebral Lacerations. The death is registered by her son William McDonald of 23 Boclair Road, Bearsden.

Willie married Flora McPherson Dudgeon, a “domestic servant aged 24, on 28th March 1899. William aged 31 was staying at 111 Eaglesham Street, Govan. Flora was resident at 19 Rutland Crescent , Kinning Park. The wedding took place in the Church of Scotland in Plantation Parish. Rev James Wallace officiating.
Flora’s parents , Adam Dudgeon a plasterer and Flora ( Nee McPherson ) were present. William’s father John, a butcher, was deceased. His mother Isabella McDonald (nee McNab ) was present.

Willie senior’s death affected the family at a delicate stage in their lives. Willie Junior took over as the head of the family and Jean was obliged to leave school and take up employment. Giving up ambitions to go on to higher education.

The family were living at 55 Aviemore Road Mosspark and left without a breadwinner. Willie senior is described on his death certificate as being a ‘Butcher’s Salesman’.
Willie senior was a butcher in business with a partner – a brother George McDonald . George did not support his brother’s family at this time thus contributing to their plight. George grew his butchers business to an extant that Alan McDonald Jnr recalls ‘ he was eventually in his old age bought out by Galloways – a then city wide chain of butchers shops. The accountant at Galloways said that the Books (accounts ) were practically non existent. The equally ancient staff were paid from the till on a Saturday night! George could often be seen sweeping the pavement outside his shop, brush in one hand – walking stick supporting him in the other.’

This bachelor Uncle George has a Dickensian ring to him. A veritable Mr Scrooge, he left £300,000 in his estate in 1974. A million plus at 2006 value. However he owned a Rolls Royce and had a house keeper who he left the house to.

This is Grandmother Flora Dudgeon McDonald widow of Willie. She did not remarry but brought up her family on her own unaided. Grandmother McDonald died on 17th January 1955.
Mother – Jean McDonald was born on 13th October 1909.
This is the earliest photograph we have – she is 14 or so years old.


Flora McDonald ( Aunt Flora ) pictured aboive on the left as a young woman. A spinster all her life, she was a skilled seamstress.

Flora lived at home all her life and laterly shared a flat in Dumbarton Road with Grandmother McDonald. Flora continued to live there after her mothers untimely death as a result of a fall on the stairs up to the flat. This is the next earliest photograph of Mother I think.


Isa and Mother ‘stepping out’ – waiting for a bus?

This is photograph is of Mother in her Mosspark home having been presented with a little dog by Leslie Piggot – perhaps an engagement present?
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There was another close up photograph – in Mother’s possession when she died – of this event. In it Mother is showing off the dog facing front and leaning over the dog – a very pretty picture of a beautiful girl. I’d dearly like to find and include this picture here.

Isa, Leslie and Flora ( taken by Jean ) in Windermere in 1934.


Isa, Flora and Grandmother McDonald – dressed for the Kirk?

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This photograph taken by Jean.

Alan McDonald writes ..’ Grandma McDonald relocated from leafy Mosspark – with a parrot and a wind up gramaphone – to sunny Donoon during WW2. She lived there abobe a small general store up a hill off the main street in Donoon with her daughter Flora and Scotty the terrier. Around 1944 she moved with Flora to Helenvale , a more substantila detached house next to Wilson’s garage on the front esplanade in Dunoon. All her daughters and their families were frequent visitors there. She ran the house as a boarding house in the summer with Aunt Flora. Dunoon being still popular for holidays then.
Isa swinging – a photgraph taken I think by Mother.
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Isabella , know as Isa was a keen golfer all her life. She married Roy Allan after the second world war and both worked for a bank. Living on Islay for some years after the WWII settled in Ralston, Paisley. Roy an Edinburgh man with family connections in the grain importation business J&J Allan Ltd, died in middle age of a heart attach. Isa lived on alone in Ralston Paisley and laterly with her sister Jean ( who predeceased her ) in Giffnock into her 99th year.


Isa in her 30’s post war.

Now for some of the brothers – Willie and Alan.

Alan the eldest son pictured below was a boy soldier and enlisted under age in the 1914-18 World War.

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He went to
France and was gassed in the trenches. Here he is in the uniform of a private in the the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, ( judging from his cap badge ) serial number 7070. He was gassed in the trenches in 1917 near a French town called Pres (Ypres ) we think ( Alan McDonald jnr ). He was a tailor and smoked heavily into old age. The story is told that he worked in a tailor shop until the death of his father. The owner of the tailor shop refused to let him off work for the funeral. He quit and started his own business which he ran till well into his seventies. He set up his business in Union Street, Glasgow in a premises backing onto the Central Station. Alan McDonald ( jnr ) remembers the poorly lit rooms with a single naked light bulb providing light to work by. He had a seamstress working for him it is believed and this lady was romantically attached to Uncle Alan at some stage. The family were not – it is believed – sympathetic to this liaison and it was discontinued. Alan remained a bachelor all his life.Eventually Uncle Alan moved out to a ‘proper shop’. The shop was in Paisley Road opposite Bellahouston Park at the west end of the park.His sister Flora – a seamstress – worked alongside him in his shop for many years.

Alan McDonald recalls that Uncle Alan visited Granny McDonald in Dunoon during the War (WW2) and he remembers that ‘there was a buzz of critical excitement when he was seen disembarking from the steamer in the company of a lady who was perhaps his seamstress in his then successful tailoring and outfitting business in Glasgow. For whatever reason this lady did not meet with general approval so Alan brought his bike and parked it at the back door of Granny’s house. This was to facilitate visits to his girlfriend’s boarding house. I saw the opportunity to good to miss. On quickly finishing my tea at the kitchen table, I exited to the back yard, opened the door and was wheeling the bike out for a quick shot when apoplectic with rage Alan emerged from the kitchen, grabbed the bike and made it clear that he had a need greater than mine.’

The photograph below is of Alan and an unidentified lady – could this be his paramour?


Uncle in old age retired to a bungalow in Ralston and closed his shop in Paisley Road opposite Bellahouston Park in Glasgow. Some other images of a really kind, gentle man.


Willie McDonald Jnr
Willie was the younger brother but a more entrepreneurial type. Willie took over as effective head of the family when his father died suddenly, leaving the family in trouble financially. Jean had to give up ambitions to enter higher education for example and went to work as a typist in a Glasgow office. Willie is seen below posing with his mother in law.

The wedding photograph above – courtesy of Alan McDonald – shows the bride and groom (Willie and Isa) and the best man ( brother Alan ) and the bridesmaid Isa’s cousin Isa Armour.
Willie went into the motor trade and became the head of Lucas in Scotland. The recumbent Willie was taken in 1948 on Loch Lomond side.

Willie&IsaMcD.jpgAlanMc&Minlaw.jpg Uwillieasleep.jpgWillieold.jpg

I take it that the last photograph was taken of him in later middle age at a function of some sort – perhaps at a golf club dinner or similar social function.

In Aunt Isa’s ( Isobella McDonald ) papers were a number of photographs of Grandma McDonald and her sisters. Taken on Isaly and at Dunoon around about the WW2 period.
Here is Grandmother Flora in a typical pose.

The following photographs show Isa, Flora and Grandma McDonald on the beach.

Here is Roy Allan in uniform in the Pay Corp. – he’s wearing a forage cap top left on the truck.

This is a post WW2 photograph of Isa, her husband Roy Allan and Grandma McDonald on Islay where Roy and Isa ran a local bank.

Isa and Roy some years later ( circ 1951 ) owned a Ford Popular of which Roy was very proud.
When the Piggot family moved to Burnside, Malcolm who was pre school age, was taken off for the week of the move by Isa and Roy to Innerleithen in the Borders near Peebles. This was the motorcar they travelled in. On the return journey to Burnside sheep droppings for use as manure in Isa’s garden and picked up on the golf course by Isa and Malcolm as Roy played round – came loose in the boot of the car much to the disgust of Roy. He was very proud of his new car and he was furious!

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