The Donaldsons


Elizabeth Boyce Douglas was the eldest child of James Douglas and Martha Ann (née Boyce) of Egham, Surrey. She was born about 1835, christened 10th May 1835 in Egham Surrey.

John Donaldson was born about 1831 in Twickenham, Middlesex to John Donaldson, a Scot, and Eliza (née Penfold). John and Elizabeth were married on 28th Jul 1856 at St John’s Church in Waterloo, London.


John was a farm bailiff, and his work seemed to mean the family kept travelling. They had the following children: -

Elizabeth Donaldson born Jan qtr 1857 in Botolphs, Sussex (Near Shoreham), probably at Annington House or Annington Farm

Sarah Boyce Donaldson was born on the 10th September 1858 in Botolphs, Sussex, as above.

Eliza Ann Donaldson born on the 29th March 1860 in Botolphs, Sussex, as above.

Martha Boyce Donaldson born Dec qtr 1861 in Liss, Hampshire (or Annington Sussex) (Most likely actually Hucksholt as birth registered in Midhurst district), and christened on 31st Jan 1862 in Egham Surrey. Known as Little Pattie’

Mary Boyce Donaldson born 27th Jan 1863. Her birthplace variously given as Liss Hampshire, Uckfield, Sussex, and Thakeham, Sussex. As birth registration district was Midhurst, perhaps Hucksholt is most likely. Christened on 9th Oct 1863 in Egham, Surrey. Known as Tiddie’

John Donaldson born Jul qtr 1864 in Hucksholt Farm, Sussex,  near Compton. This was a farm on the Uppark Estate, belonging to the Fetherstonhaugh family. He was christened on 3rd February 1869 in Egham, Surrey, after the death of both parents.

Elizabeth Boyce Donaldson’s death has now been found in a notebook in the family possession to be on 18 Sep 1867. As no death record has been found, the cause or place in unknown. However her burial was found to be on 24th September 1867 at Linch, Sussex, about 10 miles from where they had been living, and it appears she may have died at Woolbeding (not far from Stedham).

John Donaldson died on the 1st Dec 1868 at Stedham, Sussex. Cause of death was Rupia 10 months, Ulcer of Scalp 4 months, Haemorrhage 10 days’

He had been working as a farm bailiff for Lady Fetherstonhaugh on the Uppark Estate. He was also buried at Linch on 9th December 1868.


Hucksholt Farm


A letter from the Uppark Estate on 1st March 1869 refers to the poor unfortunate orphan children. The letter can be seen here


After their parents’ deaths the children were cared for by families on both sides, and their subsequent lives were as follows:-

Elizabeth Donaldson stayed with John’s aunt Frances Chapell née Penfold and her husband Cephas Chapell at Dumpford Park, Trotton in Hampshire. Elizabeth became a housekeeper in the Portsmouth area and died unmarried in April quarter 1937.

Sarah Boyce Donaldson lived with Elizabeth Boyce Donaldson’s uncle Albert Douglas and his wife Sarah Pierce Douglas née Boyce at the bakery in Middle Hill Egham. She married William Simmonds in June quarter 1886 in Windsor district, they had 5 children, William died in June quarter 1911, and Sarah in March quarter 1917 in Windsor district.

Eliza Ann Donaldson stayed with John Donaldson’s sister Eliza Godefroy née Donaldson and her husband Samuel David Godefroy at Rickling in Essex. She married Thomas James Hayes in September quarter 1908 in Romford district. Eliza had become a subpostmaster. Thomas however died on 29th June 1914 at Great Warley, Essex. In 1939 she was living in Swanscombe, Kent. Eliza died on 11th November 1951 at Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex

Martha Boyce Donaldson stayed with John’s brother George Donaldson, also a farm bailiff in Thorpe, near Egham, Surrey. She became a nurse but by 1891 had TB and was a patient in Friedenfels, later Eversfield Hospital, in St Leonard's, Sussex. She must have improved as by 1911 she was a cook to the Stiff family in Wimbledon and died unmarried in July quarter 1928 in Kingston district.

Mary Boyce Donaldson also stayed with Albert Douglas and his wife Sarah and her sister Sarah in the bakery in Egham. She became a mother's help in 1891 in Eton, then was a housekeeper to Henry Partidge in Hampton in 1901, and a General Servant to the Fisher family in Rhodes Minnis Kent in 1911. In 1939 she was a retired housekeeper living with the Binge family in Canterbury, and died in Canterbury district in September quarter 1949

John Donaldson stayed initially with his grandparents James Douglas and Martha Ann née Boyce at their watchmaker’s in Egham High Street. Subsequently  he was with his uncle Frederick Douglas when the latter started his own bakery in Egham High Street. John became a postman in Staines and married Emily Pond in June quarter 1896 in Staines district. They had two children: -

Ernest John Donaldson born January quarter 1897 in Staines. He married Laura May Skudder on 10th March 1917 in St Stephen's Hounslow, and they had two children. He died in January quarter 1954 in Ealing district.

Caroline Nellie Donaldson born 24th February 1899 in Staines. She married George Seabon on  21st June 1919 in St Stephen's Hounslow. They had one son, Caroline died in June quarter 1985 in Hounslow district.

John died on 24th March 1900 at his home at 13 Mill Mead Staines of a bladder obstruction. Emily remarried Ernest Gardener in June quarter 1907 in Staines district. They had a daughter Phyllis.

No baptisms for the children were found in Sussex or Hampshire. The three youngest children were baptised in Egham, perhaps zealous grandparents had an influence.

Martha was baptised in Jan 1862, Mary in Oct 1863, and John in February 1869 at age 5 after his parents’ death.


The Middle Hill bakery page may be seen here

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