what I now suspect is Mo's chap from the TNA stuff:
We welcome any query on Who When Where. If you have previously posted it on another forum (including the old WDYTYA forum), please state this in your opening post - this will save people redoing the research which has been done before: they can look at it and possibly go further with it.
Thank you both very much for your time and expertise. It is obviously going to be a tricky business to distinguish between the John McDonalds. Having seen the original now ( Thank you Mo) I was surprised to see that the papers had been used and folded, probably in pockets, and then re-assembled and bound. On the first of the double page view of 1798 Portsmouth John McDonald, is the back of the page of the previous chap in the records, with various dates and comment written on the back of his record. I wonder if that might contain any clues for searchers. Anyway, Brilliant Job , I have been able to eliminate him from a marriage in Portsea, due to the signature and a death in Canada. If he's the right man ??? It goes on.
Perhaps then the 1784 baptism record needs to be re-evaluated. Particularly the "father was of the 41st Regt of Foot" detail. Maybe the father had left the 41st regiment (and British Army) prior to the daughter's baptism? Like Adrian says, not every 18th century soldier will have a Pension record. (I've yet to see one for my direct ancestor who served with the 24th regiment).
Sorry Mo for my bad vision. Thank you for your point. (I've just realised 'was' was in italics). I've just checked out the others on the 1784 double page, for 7 out of 12 the Minister used the term 'WAS OF'. Interestingly they're all of the 41st Regiment of Foot, or of the 3rd or 5th Battalions Royal Regiment of Artillery, and two mentions of Captain Crump's Company. 41st Regiment of Foot. Also 'was' a seaman of The Emerald Frigate and an M.D. I'm convinced it's just the Minister's way of putting things. Probably too many to be still in Portsmouth and retired from their regiments. I've mentioned before on another discussion what a lovely snapshot of Military life is contained in this register.