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Mackall Family papers

 Collection 0379-MDHC

The Mackall Family papers span the years 1858 to 1940 with the bulk of the material dating between 1912 and 1917. Content include letters and notes to family members following the deaths of two well-liked and respected Mackall men and letters detailing the college and young married life of two William H. Mackall grandchildren. Also included are family land records, property notes and envelopes.


  • 1858-1940

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the public and must be used in the Special Collections Reading Room. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder. Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.


125 Items

Biographical / Historical

The Mackall family papers include correspondence to and from four generations of the descendants of Benjamin Mackall (1790-1880). These Mackall family members lived in Maryland and Virginia during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Richard Covington (R.C.) Mackall (1822-1902) was born near Elkton, MD, one of several children born to Benjamin and Ann Whann Mackall (1796-1826). Richard’s older brother was Confederate Army General William Whann Mackall (1817-1891) who married Aminta Douglas Sorrel (1823-1904). Following the Civil War they settled in what is now Langley, Virginia. They had several children including Ann Maria (1845-1924) who married William Howard May; William (1853-1939) who married Anna Green (1858-1928); Benjamin F. (1855-1911); Frances Sorrel (1857-1933); Douglass Sorrel (1863-1943); and Henry Clinton (1866-1940) who married Caroline Ball in 1912. Richard’s uncle and a brother of Benjamin Mackall was Dr. Leonard Mackall (1803-1892), a prominent Baltimore dentist. Thomas Bennett Mackall (1840-1915) was one of his children.

In 1841 Richard was one of the first two graduates of the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, now part of the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. Following a few years of dental practice, he entered medical school at the University of Maryland. In 1850 he lived in Prince William, VA with his wife, Harriet Bennet (c. 1824-1850). Following the death of Harriet, he married Isabella Hollingsworth (“Belle”) (1830-1893) from a prominent landowning family in Cecil County, MD. By 1860 they lived in Fairfax, VA with their son, one-year-old William Hollingsworth. In 1870 the family resided in Elkton, MD where Mackall practiced medicine and attended the Presbyterian Church. He died there in 1902.

Isabella Hollingsworth Mackall, the wife of Richard C. Mackall, was the daughter of William Hollingsworth and Mary Evans and the granddaughter of Robert Evans. Her sister Margaret married John Jamar. William Hollingsworth Mackall (“Hollie”) (1859-1926) was born in Virginia and lived most of his life in Elkton, MD. In his teens he attended West Nottingham Academy, a Presbyterian school in Colora, Maryland, about 17 miles from Elkton. In 1879 he graduated from Lafayette College. His cousins, the children of his uncle William Mackall, often wrote to him. He married Helen Sappington Evans (1856-1940). They had two children, John Evans (1882-1912) and Isabel Hollingsworth (1886-1962). William was president of Scott Fertilizer Company and served two terms as mayor of Elkton, from 1906 to 1908 and from 1916 to 1926. He died in office on November 7, 1926.

John Evans Mackall graduated from University of Maryland Medical School in 1908 and practiced medicine in Elkton until his early death at the age of 29 on April 4, 1912. Isabel Hollingsworth Mackall married Henry (Harry) Seeds Young (1880-1959), a Delaware native and a member of the Masons. They had two children, Isabel Mackall (1913- ) and John Mackall (1915-2005). In their letters to their grandmother, Helen Mackall, they addressed her as “Boo”.

John Mackall Young attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA in 1934-1935. He worked in Chicago, IL in 1938. In 1939 he married Kathryn Liddle (1908-1983). Later they moved to Baton Rouge, LA with their son, Carleton (1940-2007).

Isabel Mackall Young attended William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA from 1932-1934. While there she joined the Chi Omega sorority. In 1935 she lived in Baton Rouge, LA and attended LSU where she met and married her husband, William F. Donigan (“Bill”) (1913-1965). In 1937-1938 they lived in Santa Monica, CA where Bill worked for Douglas Aircraft.


Series 1
Series 2
Legal Documents
Series 3
Envelopes and Notes

Custodial History

The University of Maryland Libraries purchased the Mackall Family Papers from Ian Brabner Rare Americana.

Related Materials

Cecil County 300 Years, Inc., Cecil County, Maryland, Tercentennial, 1674-1974. 1974. Elkton?, Md. : Cecil County 300 Years, 1974. (UMP HBK Maryland Room Maryland Folio F187.C3C5)

Johnston, George, History of Cecil County, Maryland, and the early settlements around the Chesapeake Bay. Baltimore, Regional Pub. Co., 1967. (UMCP HBK Maryland Room Maryland Reference F187.C3J7)

Miller, Alice, Cecil County, Maryland; a study in local history. Elkton, Md., C. and L. Print. and Specialty Co., 1949. (UMCP HBK Maryland Room Maryland Stacks F187.C3M5)

Processing Information

The materials were placed in acid-neutral folders in acid-neutral containers.

Guide to the Mackall Family papers
Processed by Terry Ann Sayler
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742