I thought that I would ask to see if anyone on here might be able to shed some light on an ancestor of mine.
I am trying to find more information about my great great grandfather, James D. McDonald (approx. Aug 29, 1838 to Jan 28, 1901). the following are the facts that I know. He is listed as being born in Barnesville, Ohio on a few sources. According to census records, he claimed that his father was born in Pennsylvania and that his mother was born in Scotland. Unfortunately, I do not have the names of either of his parents. At some point prior to the Civil War he moved to Indiana in or around Brown County. Near there he married his wife, Matilda E. Haskett, who was apparently also born in Ohio (whether he knew her or her family prior to leaving Ohio, I do not know). He served in the 82nd Ind. Inf. during the Civil War. Later in his life, he moved to Franklin, Indiana where he was elected mayor in 1896. He was re-elected in 1900 before dying in office in 1901.
As opposed to the facts above, the following is simply speculation on my part. I have checked census records in Ohio during the time that he should have been in Belmont County without finding an exact match. A few possibilities for this that I have considered include: the information that he provided to the census takers about either his birthplace or his parents' birthplaces might not have been accurate, the family might have moved away from Barnesville soon after he was born, he might have been going by another name such as his middle name (I only know his middle initial "D") at the time, or something happened (like his parents' early deaths) which forced him to move and/or live with other families in the area or nearby. For instance, I found more than one census citation for the year 1850 that show a "James McDonald" living with other families in Muskingum, Belmont, and even Miami county Ohio. I think one of these could be him since the age appears to be about right, but I am not certain since I do not know exactly when before the Civil War he moved to Indiana. Also, I assume that he must have had a decent education because his primary occupation seems to have been as a teacher (as shown in serveral census over the course of his life).
Anyway, sorry to go on for so long, but if anyone has any information about McDonalds living in the Barnesville or Belmont County area that might match up with the above information, please let me know. Thank you for your time.