The 1856 Patriarchal Blessing begins “The patriarchal blessing of John McDonnell the son of James and Sarah McDonnell was born in County Down Ireland Dec. 12th 1833”. This, along with LDS baptismal records of the family while in Springville verifies that the family spelled their name “McDonnell” while in Springville. Two different Springville clerks recorded that spelling ( the common Irish spelling). The same spelling was used in the Bangor, Down Ireland marriage record of James & Sarah.
The 1872 Patriarchal Blessing given John in Heber begins “A blessing given by John Smith, Patriarch upon the head of John McDonald son of James and Sarah McDonald born in Croffersbern (Crawfordsburn) in County Down Ireland Dec. 12th AD 1833.” John McDonald used that spelling of his surname for the rest of his life as have all his posterity and all the posterity of James & Sarah.
Robert McDonald, John’s great grandson through Storm McDonald lives in Heber and told me he had researched the Church web site and found two Patriarchal Blessings that John McDonald had received. The second was by the Church Patriarch. John was himself ordained the Wasatch Stake Patriarch February 11, 1901. Robert transcribed the original hand written blessings so we could read them. The handwriting is beautiful, but difficult to decipher at times.
“The Patriarchal Blessing of John McDonnell the Son of James and Sarah McDonnell was Born in County Down Ireland Dec 12th 1833
Brother McDonnell I lay my hands upon thy head in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ & Say let his Holy Spirit rest upon thy head. Thou art of the seed of Abraham & of the Lineage of Ephraim. Thou hast come from a far country to bear the name of Jesus Christ amongst the sons & Daughters of Adam. Thou mayest pass… in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen”
Given by Asahel Perry at Springville, Utah County, Utah Territory Jun 18th 1856 Philander J Perry, Clerk, Heber City, Wasatch County, Utah July 8th 1872
“A blessing given by John Smith, Patriarch upon the head of John McDonald son of James and Sara McDonald Born in Croffersbern (Crawfordsburn) in County Down, Ireland, Dec. 12th A.D. 1833.
“Bro. John in the name of Jesus Christ I place my hands upon thy head and seal the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, & Jacob upon thee for they are thine through right of Lineage. Thou art of the house of Israel and have seen many changes and have passed through trying times for which thou shalt receive thy reward and be numbered among the fathers in Israel. Thou art of the blood of Joseph and entitled through obedience to …This with thy former blessings I seal upon thy head and I seal thee up unto eternal life to come forth in the morning of the first Resurrection. Even Amen”