Biographical entry: McDonald (also MacDonald), William


William McDonald was the brother of John C. McDonald, who he joined in Victoria during the gold rush in the early 1860s. William moved to New Zealand, probably at the same time as John. William also went with his brother to Fiji, and was involved in the labour trade to the New Hebrides and Solomon Islands (1873-1878). In about 1880, William deserted his wife in Fiji and joined John at Santa Ana. By April 1885, he had his own copra trading station at Seragini on Makira. Next, he followed John to Fauro in the Shortlands where he worked as a boatbuilder and trader. William traded a cutter to Tula, the Fauro chief, in return for Munia Island, which lies between Fauro and Shortland Island. He married a local woman named Alice May and later married Marota from Isabel. He spent his Shortlands years as a boatbuilder, planter and trader, sailing his Sea Ghost throughout the Western Solomons. Too fond of alcohol and women, William was never as successful as his brother John, although he outlived him and died on Munia. (Golden 1993, 359)

Published resources


  • Golden, Graeme A., The Early European Settlers of the Solomon Islands, Graeme A. Golden, Melbourne, 1993. Details