Letters: American reader in public appeal to trace Scottish heritage

An American is seeking to learn more about his Scottish heritage
An American is seeking to learn more about his Scottish heritage
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One reader from Texas is hoping that Evening News readers can help him find more information about his great grandfather.

I AM hoping some readers may be able to help me find any historical information about one of my great grandfathers.

George McDowell or Madole/Dole/Maydole was born in 1748 in Midlothian.

The story goes that he and his brother Alexander were taken by French or British forces from their home in Scotland to a man of war, then to Canada to fight before they escaped and ended up in Albany, New York, around 1770.

It is also said in a document we have that George McDole fought in Albany regiments during the American War of Independence, but our father and grandmother have different accounts.

According to one, as a boy of 15 George was chopping wood at the back door of his home in Edinburgh when he was carried off by men from a French privateer and taken to Canada to fight against the English before he made his way to Albany where he married a Dutch wife.

George McDole worked as a weaver, they say. At a meeting of Albany City Council on September 2 1773, an order was issued to pay George Dole eight pounds and five shillings for service.

His first child was born on January 3, 1773 in Albany, proving he had been married as early as 1772.

His father in law, Thomas Seger, then the city marshall of Albany from 1769, was probably why George was loyal to the colonial cause, while his brother was pro-British, as shown by the minutes of the Committee of Albany in 1778.

“Committee notified Schenectady that one Alexander Dole was up to mischief in recruiting for the British” (Ref Page 386)

It is said that Alexander remained loyal to the British and was killed.

George was a corporal in Captain Harrison’s company and Lt Colonel Marinus Willet’s regiment during the revolution.

A certificate in the sum of nine pounds, eleven shillings and six pence was issued for his service in 1781.

He married Catherine Seger who is mentioned in her father’s will, probated April 18, 1809 as ‘My daughter Catherine Dole’

The census of 1810 records George Dole and wife as residing at Bethlehem, New York.

Finding no later record, it is believed he followed his sons to Courtland, New York.

Michael Lewis McDowell, San Antonio, Texas