Margaret Taylor Macdonald

November 17, 2013 

Margaret “Peg” Taylor Macdonald, 89, died on November 9, 2013 at the Carolina Meadows Retirement Community in Chapel Hill, NC. She was born on 3 August 1924 in Lexington, KY, the daughter of Margaret Milward and William Walter Taylor. Her father, a graduate of Yale, was a civil engineer and thus she spent her early life moving. Her first memories were of three years in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The family then moved up and down the east coast of the United States before two extended periods in France. She attended 20 different schools in several countries before entering Cornell University in 1941 and graduating with an AB in English in 1945.

She met James Ross Macdonald in 1945 while working in New York City, and they were married August 3, 1946 at the Church of the Ascension in New York City. After living in Cambridge, Massachusetts, they moved in 1948 to Oxford, England when he was elected a Rhodes Scholar. They spent 21 years in Dallas, Texas where she was active at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Planned Parenthood, genealogical research, and her children’s activities. In 1970 she published the book, “The Milward Family of Lexington, Ky, 1803-1969.

In 1973 they moved to Chapel Hill and she became involved with antiques. She and a partner had a store, Laurel Hill Antiques, at the old Willow Park Mall where she specialized in antique American silver. Then for many years she sold on consignment at Hilton Head Antiques in Hilton Head, SC. In her later years, she returned to her genealogical research and using the Internet, as well as traditional methods, traced the multitudinous descendants of the Shepherd family of Orange Co., Virginia, one of her husband’s families. Her extensive genealogical papers will be given to the Southern Historical Collection, Chapel Hill, NC, to the Orange County Virginia Historical Society, and to historical research centers in Kentucky.

In Chapel Hill she was a member of the Chapel of the Cross, the DAR, the Colonial Dames of the XVII Century, the Prospectors’ Investment Club, was a Louis Round Wilson Library Fellow, and a past member of the University Women’s Club and Laurel Hill Garden Club. A life member of the National Genealogical Society and the Kentucky Historical Society, she was also a member of the Virginia Historical Society, The Friends of the Virginia Archives, and a contributor of articles to The Virginia Genealogist. She was an active and supportive member of Emily’s List. She and her husband moved to Carolina Meadows, in 1997, and she enjoyed the years there immensely.

She was preceded in death by her sister, Elizabeth Taylor Roscia, and brother-in-law, John Roscia, and by a dearly loved daughter-in-law, Felice Ronca. Her husband, of 67 years survives her. Also surviving are a daughter, Nina Macdonald and son-in-law Charles E. Wright of Irvine, California; and two sons, James Ross Macdonald, IV, Esq. of Highland Park, New Jersey and Taylor Macdonald and wife Lucinda Dalton Macdonald of Atlanta, Georgia. She is also survived by nine grandchildren, who gave her much pleasure: Taylor and Haywood Wright of Irvine, California; Ross, Catherine and John Macdonald of New Jersey and Margaret, Dalton, Worth, and Eliza Macdonald of Atlanta. She also has two nieces and their families in California.

A Memorial service will be held at Carolina Meadows on 12 November. Burial will be in the Lexington Cemetery, Lexington, KY. Memorials may be made to Chapel of the Cross, Carolina Meadows, or to the charity of your choice.

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