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(One hundred thousand welcomes)
Captain Hector McDonald
Commodore - Master
Captain Colin McDonald
Commodore - Commander
Captain H.M. Macdonald
Snr Purser John Macdonald
ABQMG Ron Macdonald


This site is UNDER CONSTRUCTION and I ask you to bear with me as I collate hundreds of pages of research and finally get it into some kind of readable order. Check back often as this will be a an ongoing long term project.

Macdonald - A history of men and the sea is the true story of one branch of the Clan Donald who migrated from Scotland to New Zealand in 1856 and then to Australia in the late 1800's. This family, together with their cousins the McKenzie's were heavily engaged in the New Zealand, Australian and foreign going shipping trades, in fact, by the late 1800's they dominated Auckland (NZ) shipping.

27 years ago I started on a quest, initially it was a purely about genealogy, however as I found more information I wanted to get to know more about the people themselves, not just their date of birth etc. So here it is, a fairly extensive (in parts) look at 5 generations of my family who have had a connection with the sea. Everything from a RANR Able Seaman to at least 2 Commodores.

Generation 1 Generation 2 Generation 3 Generation 4 Generation 5
Capt Hector McDonald
Capt Duncan McDonald
Capt Colin McDonald
Capt Murdoch McDonald
Chief Engineer Bruce Macdonald
Capt H.M. Macdonald
Capt Graham McDonald
Snr Purser John Macdonald
ABQMG Ron Macdonald RANR

These are the known seafarers of the McDonald (Macdonald) line, if you include their cousins the Mckenzies there are many more.

Macdonald can be a difficult name to research as the variations - Macdonald, MacDonald, McDonald, Mcdonald crop up in various official documents even when relating to the one person.  Indeed both Hector McDonald (Snr) and Colin McDonald appear in several official documents by the surname Macdonald. The true orthography of Macdonald (for our family) was discovered in the early 1900's and has been used by the family since that day. To be historically correct, though confusing, I will refer to each person on this website by the surname they used during their lifetime.

The site is set out where possible in chronological order, however, due to obvious generational overlapping there will be some instances referred to on more than one occasion, although from the date given this should be clearly seen.

This has predominantly been written for the benefit of my own family so naturally the majority of the information follows the direct Male line from Hector (Snr) to myself.  It may however be of some interest to other family members or followers of maritime history.

For those that don't know much about the sea or ships there is a list here showing the various ranks and responsibilities onboard a ship of the early 1900's, in particular a British ship with Indian ratings.

Ron Macdonald




ALL RIGHTS RESERVED - All material used on this site is copyright - No photographs or other material may be used without the express written permission of the web master - 2014