James Calvin DONALD was my g-g-grandfather. He was the son of John DONALD and Nancy MATCHETT. John DONALD was the son of James DONALD and Jennie Jane MCCORKLE. He was the great-grandson of Matthew DONALD and Eliabeth LYLE who are members of families that originally settled in Rockbridge, Virginia
Three of James' brothers, John A DONALD, Benjamin Matchett DONALD, and Robert DONALD fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War, along with James. All of them spent time in Yankee prison camps, and his brother Robert DONALD died in one.
I have been able to piece together a lot of the DONALD and LYLE family tree from a book published in 1912 about the LYLE's in early Virginia.From: Lyle Family: The Ancestry and Posterity of Matthew, John, Daniel and Samuel Lyle, Pioneer Settlers in Virginia
Elizabeth Jane WALLACE was born about 1844 in Rockbridge, Virginia. Her birth year is based on various census reports. She was the daughter of Charlton WALLACE and Martha Jane CASH. She was the oldest of their six children.
James, 24, married Elizabeth, 16, in Rockbridge, Virginia on 20 Mar 1860.
James and Elizabeth lived in an interesting time in American history and were right in the middle of Civil War as it was fought in Virginia.
James and his brothers, John and Benjamin, all enlisted in the Confederate Army within days of Virginia seceeding from the Union. All three lived through the War, but spent the last months in a Yankee POW camp. All three were captured within days of each other in May 1864 in Rockbridge and were held at Camp Chase, Ohio.
James served under Stonewall Jackson and served in Turner Ashby's Cavalry until Ashby was killed. He served in the 4th Virginia Infantry from Apr 1861 until Apr 1862; the 14th Virginia Cavalry from Apr 1862 until Sep 1862; and the 7th Virginia Cavalry from Sep 1862 until he was captured in May of 1864. You don't get more Virginian than that in the 1860's.
James' brother, Robert DONALD, enlisted in the Confederate Army at the age of 19 in 1863. He was captured not long after that and died in Yankee POW Camp in Elmira, NY.
Elizabeth's father, Charlton, also served for the Confederacy at the tail end of the war. He was part of the senior reserves.
James H DONALD was born while James Calvin DONALD was imprisioned in Camp Chase. Elizabeth was 20 years old at the time. I can only imagine what her life was like at that point. Her husband had been captured in May 1864 and wasn't released until May 1865 at the end of the war. I imagine that she had no idea whether he was dead or alive until he came home. I also imagine that Lexington, like much of Virginia was a difficult place at the end of war. It must have taken a lot of strength to get through this.
James and Elizabeth had six children; the two youngest sons died young. Their children were James H DONALD, Aurelia Douglas DONALD, John Charlton DONALD, Laura Cecile DONALD (my great grandmother), Andrew M DONALD and William D DONALD.
I have still not been able to find this family on a 1870 census. My great grand mother's marriage certificate says she was born in Rockbridge, Virginia, and she was born in 1877. They are on a 1880 census in Lexington, and Elizabeth is in on the 1900 and 1910 census' reports in Lexington as well.
James died of Bright's disease in 1899 at the age of 63 in Rockbridge, Virginia. Elizabeth lived for at least another 10 years. She lived with her son John Charlton DONALD, and is on the 1910 census, but not the 1920 census. John Charlton DONALD married in 1917. I suspect Elizabeth died around 1916. Information in italics is based on guess and circumstantial evidence