The family of

John Donaldson Edward


John Donaldson Edward's



John Donaldson Edward was born on 8 May 1850 in South Leith, Edinburgh, the 4th child of:

-   James Edward (b. 29 Apr 1806, Maryton, Forfarshire) and

-   Margery Grant (b. 11 Sep 1808, Menmuir, Forfarshire), married 5 Dec 1831.

Birth Certificate

    John Donaldson Edward  -  Birth Certificate ©


John was apprenticed to a chimney sweep, as was his father, before him.  At the age of 14, he went to be apprenticed to a gunsmith.

Employment Note

    John Donaldson Edward  -  Employment Note ©


John Donaldson Edward's

Wives and Children


At the age of 21, John Donaldson Edward married Jane Wilson.  She died ten years later, on 14 Oct 1882

He later married Elizabeth Duncan Wharton (b.1860, Edinburgh).

John Donaldson Edward
 and his wife, Elizabeth

  John Donaldson Edward and his step-daughter, Elizabeth ©

The photograph  above is, in fact, a mini-postcard sent by Elizabeth to her daughter Charlotte  who were living or on holiday in Fife Scotland.  Please click here to see the postcard.


Elizabeth was the mother of : 

 Elizabeth. (No details yet found of her marriage.  She may have married outside Scotland.)

-  Charlotte  who married William A Fraser in 1900.  Charlotte and William had two boys, Don and Ken. 

-  Marjory who  married  on 10 Mar 1911.  Marjory is  grandmother of Marjory Hatch who provided the family details on this page.

- James who left for New Zealand in 1911 with his father John Donaldson Edward, following Marjory's marriage.  John died in New Zealand and is buried in Auckland.

John Donaldson Edward
 and his daughter, Marjory

   John Donaldson Edward and his daughter, Marjory  -  Later Photo ©

  John Donaldson Edward's
daughter, Marjory
and son, James

   Marjory and James Edward, daughter and son of john Donaldson Edward ©

James married twice.  He was also in the Boer War.  Marjory Hatch's daughter, Courtney Lynne McDonald, has his sword which has been handed down through the family to her.

1891 Census

The following were listed in the 1891 census:

-    John Donaldson:  Head:  Aged 40:  Chimney sweep, b. Leith.
-    Elizabeth Edward:  Wife:  Aged 30:  Photographer, b. Edinburgh.
-    James:  Son:  Aged 7.
-    Marjory J:  Daughter: Aged 4.
-    Elizabeth Wharton:  Step daughter:  Aged 11.
-    Charlotte Wharton:  Step daughter:  Aged 8.

It is interesting to see that it is his wife, rather than John Donaldson Edward who is described as the photogrpaher in this census.

During the period 1885-98, John D Edward was listed in the trade directories as being a photographer, based at 43 Great King Street.


John Donaldson Edward's

Brothers and Sisters

John was the 4th child in the family.  His older sister and brothers were:

 Mary, was born 27 Sep 1832.  She died 8 of Jun 1842

-   William Edward was born 25 Jul 1834.  He went to Australia  on 26 Apr 1873.  At the age of 38, he married Jane Field who was then aged 19.  They had 8 children:  William James, Margery Louisa, John Henry, Arthur Finley, Alexander Thomas, Herbert George, Jean Isabella and Francis Gordon.

William Edward

       William Edward, Brother of the Edinburgh Photographer, John Donaldson Edward.  ©

Williamís occupation in Australia was a Miner.  He died in a mining accident in Goldfields.  His body was never recovered.

-   James Low Edward, was born 10 Jun 1839.  He married Jane Dickson 9 Nov 1860.  He probably left Scotland.



Thank you to Marjory Hatch (great -granddaughter of John Donaldson Edwards) for providing the family details above, together with further background information, and other details dating back to the 1740s.

 If you know anything more of John D Edward and his family, please e-mail me. 


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