McGinn and McDonald Families
of Indian Lake

Contributed by Catherine Kenyon

McGinn Family of Indian Lake

John McGinn

Margaret McGinn
(Click on Image to Enlarge)

John McGinn was born in Canada to Irish immigrant parents in 1841. He immigrated to Indian Lake, NY as a day laborer in 1859. He is listed as a boarder in the 1860 census. He later became a major influence in the logging industry. On a day trip to Wevertown he met Margaret Moriarty who immigrated to NY with her parents a year after her birth in 1844 from Ireland. John and Margaret were married in 1866 or 1867 and lived in Wevertown until the early 1880's. They had 5 children. Mary Jane born in 1868 died 1938, James born 1870 died 1936, Julia Margaret born 1873 died 1954, Gertrude Elizabeth born 1879 died 1962, Catherine Mae (Cathryn) born in Indian Lake, died in 1966.

John McGinn operated a store on the eastern edge of the village for a time and was personally responsible, according to his granddaughter Gretchen Houghton (Fish), for paving the road from North Creek to Long Lake in the 1870's. A Dr. Brannon was the first man to drive this road.

The farmstead of John McGinn was at the eastern end of Indian Lake off of what is now Chamberlain Rd. At this home Catholic masses were held when a priest visited the town. He was elected as a trustee of the newly formed St. Mary's parish in 1894.

John McGinn also became the northern agent for Finch, Pruyn & Company responsible for the logging in the area to include driving the logs down the rivers.

John and Margaret's children married and lived in Indian Lake.

Mary Jane married Frank C Houghton (born 1854 died 1914 )and had 13 children. A few of the descendants of this family still reside in Indian Lake.

James McGinn

Mary McCarthy McGinn
(Click on Image to Enlarge)

James married Mary Elizabeth McCarthy of Johnsburg ( born 1866 died in Indian Lake 1948). They had three children. Helen Elizabeth born 1898 died in 1952. Catherine born 1900 died 1993 and Donald Joseph born 1905 died in Fl in 1994.

Julia Margaret married Hartwell Gill( born 1871 died 1950) and had three girls.

Gertrude married Jeremiah Donahue born 1875 and died tragically 3 weeks after inheriting $30,000 from John McGinn's estate in 1902. They had two children Beatrice Mary born 1900 died 1985 and John who died at the age of three in 1905.

Catherine Mae married BJ Singleton and had one girl Jane who I have no dates for.

James McGinn became a very prominant citizen of Indian Lake having several ventures and an interest in the development of the town. The History of Hamilton County makes quite a few references to him.

Francis Moriarty McGinn

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

One interesting tidbit in my research finds a stray in the person of Frank McGinn. He was Margaret Moriarty's nephew Francis Moriarty (born 1895 died 1969). Frank adopted himself into the family and became a McGinn. He was one of the first Forest Rangers in the area.

Donald McGinn

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Donald Joseph McGinn, son of James and Mary was a much beloved professor of English at Rutgers University. He spent every summer in Indian Lake and is buried in Cedar river cemetary with his wife Margaret.

Catherine McGinn McDonald

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My grandmother Catherine McGinn McDonald was a lifelong resident of Indian Lake and was a teacher at Long Lake for many years.

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

Notes for the above picture:

  • From left to Right, Standing: Mary McCarthy McGinn, Catherine Logan (friend), James McGinn, Catherine McCarthy (wife of Daniel B.), George H. McCarthy (son of Catherine), Helen McGinn (daughter of Mary), seated: Florence Gill, taken 1920.
  • Florence Gill, the child in the picture is the granddaughter of James and Mary McGinn, daughter of Julia Margaret and Hartwell Gill. She is the only one of the 3 girls in that family to have married and produced children. She is buried in Mass.
  • Helen McGinn was a teacher for many years at Indian Lake. Having never married she is buried in the McGinn family plot in North Creek.

    McDonald Family of Indian Lake

    William H. McDonald on left

    (Click on Image to Enlarge)

    Notes on picture:

  • From left to right: William H. McDonald, Boney McCabe, unknown, George Persons
  • Although the contributor owns the original, the above image and identification of McCabe and Persons was graciously provided by Bill Zullo, Indian Lake Historian.
  • William H. McDonald was born in 1871. On the 1900 census of Indian Lake he states that he was born in NY. I can find no evidence of this. He stated that he father was born in Scotland. This fact is what I can not find in any William McDonald that I have looked up. I did however find William Hector born in Canada who fits the criteria perfectly.

    William came to Indian Lake, NY about 1891. He was a day laborer and a lumberman. He met and married Emma Tripp(born 1881) daughter of Roscoe Tripp. They had 4 children

    Frank born 1899 died 1952, George Roscoe born 1900 died 1960, Lura (Prespare)whom I have no dates for, and Gerald who died at the age of one year.

    Frank McDonald was one of the first graduates of Indian Lake school along with Helen McGinn and Catherine McGinn.

    George McDonald had a variety of employment to include District Attorney of Hamilton Co. from 1933-1937.

    George McDonald

    Catherine McGinn McDonald
    (Click on Image to Enlarge)

    George McDonald married Catherine McGinn of Indian Lake in 1926. They had 3 sons Peter born 1927 died in Indian Lake 2000, James born 1930 died Indian Lake 2005 and John born 1932 died Syracuse NY in 1965.

    James McDonald

    Same photo as Francis Moriarty McGinn above
    (Click on Image to Enlarge)

    Of these children James was the only one to marry. He married Suzanne Ruth Williams (born 1932) of Utica NY. They have 6 children

    Catherine, Marianne, James, Margaret, Sheila, David

    12/22/2006 - UPDATE!

    Revelations on the McDonald family of Indian Lake.

    I previously said that I couldn't find William McDonald in the censuses I looked at. Well, after a lot of work on all sides of the family, I did find him in Stony Creek, NY, son of Wing A (1834-1921) and Eliza (Adams) (1836-1899) McDonald. Wing was born in Glens Falls, named for his father's business partner Abraham Wing. Eliza was born in Johnsburg.

    I also found that John McGinn was born in St. Anicet Quebec to James McGinn (1800 Ireland). I have no mother for him, it appears she may have died between 1848 and 1851.

    - Catherine Kenyon

    1/20/2008 - UPDATE!

    From Catherine Kenyon

    April 2, 1902

    Death Of A Worthy Citizen

    John McGinn Passed Away at His Home in Indian Lake

            John McGinn died yesterday at noon at his home in Indian Lake, aged sixty-two years. He was taken ill last November with apoplexy, but had recovered from that and had attended to his varied business interests through the winter, and seemed to be enjoying good health when last in Glens Falls, about one month ago. Tuesday morning he was stricken a second time, became unconscious and never recovered.
            Mr. McGinn was born in Canada and came to this country when still very young. About forty years ago he entered the employ of Henry Crandall, taking from him a lumbering contract on what is known as the fifteenth township. He remained with Mr. Crandall until the latter retired from the lumbering business along in the seventies when he became the northern agent of Finch, Pruyn and Company which relation he sustained until the day of his death. When Mr. Crandall retired he purchased from him his quarter interest in the fifteenth township, which was sold a few years ago at a handsome advance. Mr. McGinn was the right hand man of the Messrs. Finch and Pruyn in all their northern lumbering operations. Equipped with a strong mind, rugged honesty and great experience he was almost invaluable. For years he annually disbursed many thousands of dollars for his concern. Exceedingly well liked by all with whom he came into contact, he will be greatly missed throughout the northern country.
            In speaking of Mr. McGinn, Mr. Crandall last evening paid him this tribute: "He was one of the straightest, most trustworthy and most honorable men I ever knew."
            He is survived by his wife, one son James, and four daughters, Mrs. Frank Houghton, Mrs. Jeremiah Donahue, Mrs. Hartwell Gill and Miss Catherine McGinn. The funeral will be held Tuesday morning at 10:30 o'clock at Indian Lake.

    September 1, 1936

    James McGinn Prominent Resident of Indian Lake Passed Away Suddenly

            James McGinn, prominent Hamilton County Democrat died suddenly about 7:30 o'clock at his home in Indian Lake. His death was a shock to his family and friends as he had been around duriong the day, making plans for the future. After dinner he went to his office in the home, and a few minutes later his lifeless body was found on the floor. He had had heart attacks for the past few years but appeared in better health lately.
            James McGinn was the son of John and Margaret McGinn, and had been a life-long resident of Inidan Lake where he was held in high esteem and loved by many. He was a staunch Democrat and had been Supervisor for ten years. Many of the worth-while improvements at Indian Lake were brought about through his instrmentality. Folks liked "Jim" McGinn even though they might have held political differences. And, at the expiration of his term of office, the Board of Supervisors of Hamilton County and other officials gave him a dinner in his honor, as a testimonial of their high regard for him.
            Mr. McGinn had been a member of the Board of Directors of the Hamilton County National Bank, since its organization in 1929. His death is the first vacancy in the Directorate in which he had been a valued member.
            Beside his widow, Mary McCarthy McGinn, he is survived by a son Donald McGinn, a teacher at Rutger's College; and two daughters, Miss Helen McGinn and Mrs. George McDonald; and four sisters; Mrs. Minnie Houghton, Mrs. Gertrude Donahue, Mrs. H.E. Gill, all of Indian Lake, and Mrs. B J. Singleton of Glens Falls.
            The funeral will be held at ten o'clock Friday morning in St. Mary's church. Father Hatch will read the Mass. Interment will be made at North Creek.


    Last Updated: Wednesday, 14-May-2008 13:17:54 PDT
    Copyright © 2006:  Catherine Kenyon
    Copyright © 2006:  Hamilton county, NYGenWeb