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Rediscovering Ginninderra:
Christina McDonald

Born: 1831; Died: 1915; Married: Donald McDonald

Christina and her husband Donald McDonald settled at "Ashton", Round Hill, Weetangera in about 1870 where he was a farmer and grazier there for nearly forty years. This is not to be confused with "Aston", the property of Henry Gozzard Senior. "Ashton" was on the border of the Parishes of Canberra and Weetangera.

Donald and Christina McDonald had five children, two sons and three daughters:
Margaret (Mrs J. McIntosh)
Catherine Ann (Mrs R. Hess)
Andrew Morton
Jessie May Flora (Mrs H. Siggs)

Their son Roderick McDonald was born in 1856. He married Louise Morton, daughter of William and Ellen Morton, and niece of the well-known Dr Morton of Queanbeyan. Roderick was a farmer at Round Hill, near his parent's property "Ashton".

Roderick and Louise had a daughter Muriel in October 1896 and a son Aubrey in February 1898. Tragically, Louise died a few days after her son's birth, leaving her husband with a
16 month old daughter and a new born baby. Christina helped raise the two children and was widely admired for doing so.

The family were members of St. Ninian's Presbyterian Church, an outstation of the Queanbeyan Charge. The original, wooden church, on the Yass Road, was built by the Kinlyside family about 1865, replaced by the stone church in 1871 and is still in use today in the suburb of Lyneham, north Canberra. Roderick served on the St Ninian's Board for many years and both Christina and her son are listed as having contributed financially to the church.

Roderick's two children attended the Weetangera School, which was in very poor condition. In 1906, together with other parents, Roderick signed a Petition requesting a new school building for the 23 students, including his Muriel aged 9 and Aubrey aged 8. It stated the building was in an "extremely dilapidated condition". A replacement school was opened in July 1907.

Roderick left Weetangera in 1915 and died in 1935.

Christina McDonald died in 1915, aged 84. She was remembered for caring for her two very young grandchildren after their mother's death. The Presbyterian Minister of St. Stephen's Church, Queanbeyan, Rev. Macintosh-Carter, described Christina as " bowed with years but a bright Christian".

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