Jeanne, Thanks for the great information. I searched
thru each of the 43 James McDonalds on the Illinois
Civil War Muster and Descriptive Rolls Database onine
archive. I didn't find any "perfect" fits. I did find
a couple who enlisted at Alton, IL, and a couple who
were Irish, Scottish, etc. Of course, it not being
perfect doesn't mean that it isn't right. Most of our
research is based on information that has passed thru
many hands, accents, etc. I will definitely save your
Thanks a lot, Bonnie
--- Jeanne Surber <surberj(a)earthlink.net> wrote:
Bonnie, I finally figured out how to access my
widow's pension application
for the Civil War.
Nothing for Iowa, but I DID find the card file entry
for the following from
Name of Soldier: James S. McDonald 30th IL Inf.
(looked like he was in
Company H but I can't find him in that Company or
even the IL 30th Inf.)
Widow: Mary McDonald
There isn't much information given, and it may NOT
be your James, as there
were many, many James McDonalds who served Illinois.
The only other info on the card was the number and
date suggesting that
there was an application for an "Invalid" pension on
March 3, 1879. That
was Application #270268 and Certificate #172055.
There is a space to say
where the application was filed from but that was
Then on February 27, 1928, a widow's pension app. is
entered as Application
#1625733 or maybe 1605733. It's a little bit hard
to read. There is a note
that the widow's pension app was filed from the
State of Illinois.
Again, there is no way to know if this was your
James. Both James and Mary
are such common names. But it is clearly "James S.
McDonald" and wife, Mary
I then went to my other Civil War database and
searched the personnel roster
for the 30th Illinois. No luck. Lots of James
McDonalds served Illinois
but couldn't find yours. But maybe somebody else
can find him.
It really seems most likely that he would have
joined up and served in Iowa
but if he was trying to avoid being found by
someone, he might have well
have crossed the river to Illinois to enlist.
Well, this was what I wanted to do -- find a widow's
application card, and
try to trace him that way. But about all I can say
is that yes, I found a
"possible" but no way I know of to prove/disprove it
unless you could get
the guy's records from NARA. And even then it may
not be him. I did get my
great-great grandmother's application for a widow's
pension, and it was
full of interesting information, even listing the
date and place of their
wedding and the people who witnessed the wedding.
I hope someone else can find more information on
James perhaps from another
Civil War database. Try the 30th Illinois Infantry,
----- Original Message -----
From: "Bonnie McDonald" <bonniemcd(a)sbcglobal.net>
Sent: Tuesday, February 20, 2007 1:45 PM
Subject: Re: [IA-CIVIL-WAR] James McDonald
> Thanks so much for taking the time to look at the
> book. None of the names/locations really go with
> meager information I now have, but I will save it
> check into them further. I've had instances where
> something that didn't connect at first does
> just never know. I really, really appreciate your
> effort on this. If you ever need a lookup in OK,
> let me know.
> Thanks a bunch to you and everyone on this great
> who have been so helpful.
> --- SueTrout(a)aol.com wrote:
>> I went through the book you cited (I think the
>> on the cover was 1886,
>> however). I found two James McDonalses, one in
>> Illinois and one in Iowa. FYI,
>> the volume lists all those former soldiers living
>> Iowa in 1885 or 1886.
>> First you need to find the state the soldier
>> with, whether Illinois,
>> Kansas, Iowa, California, etc., then find the
>> regiment by number, ie: First
>> Cavalry, Second Cavalry,..., First Infantry, etc.
>> Since I didn't know what regiment
>> James McDonald served with, I started with the
>> page of the Illinois
>> section, pg. 8, and continued through to pg. 127.
>> With Iowa, it was pg. 163
>> through pg. 458. This is what I found:
>> pg. 36 James W. McDonald, Private, Co. D, 15th
>> Illinois Infantry; living in
>> Quasqueton, Iowa [Buchanan County, south central
>> pg. 176 James McDonald, Private, Co. E, 2nd
>> Cavalry, living in Fulton,
>> Iowa [Jackson County, far eastern part of the
>> borders the Mississippi
>> River, directly across the river from Illinois] .
>> An Alex McDonald, Private, also served with the
>> Iowa Cavalry but with Co.
>> G, and also lived in Fulton, Iowa, in 1885/86.
>> Possibly these two are
>> related. Did your James McDonald have a brother
>> named Alex or Alexander? That
>> might suggest this is the right James.
>> I also found a James McDonough, Private, Co. E,
>> Iowa Cavlary, living in
>> Dubuque. A J. P. McDonough, Private, served with
>> Co. C, 7th Iowa Infantry,
>> lived in Lacona [Warren County, in the lower
>> south/central part of the state].
>> Any of this helpful at all?
>> Would anyone have a book, Civil War Soldiers
>> Iowa, published in 1885, which evidently lists
>> soldiers, by Iowa county, then by state? It also
>> the unit, if known. I would very much appreciate
>> lookup for James McDonald. According to his obit,
>> enlisted in the CW in 1862 at Altoona, Ill., and
>> served through the end of the war, by which time
>> was a quartermaster. James was born in County
>> Westmeath, Ireland in 1825, and came to USA about
>> 1841. In the 1870 census he is in Harrison
>> Iowa. He married Mary Carver in 1878 and settled
>> Monona County, Iowa, where he lived until his
>> 1908. I would like very much to find out which
>> regiment he served with. Thanks for any help.
>> Bonnie McDonald, OKC
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