Frederick Charles McDonald was born in Hobart on 12 May 1876, the second son of John James McDonald and Sarah Ann Self. Brothers and sisters born in Hobart were: John Ernest, born 28 Sep 1873; Florence Elizabeth, 5 July 1879; Douglas Frank, 12 Oct 1881; Ruby Eveline, 26 Feb 1883; and Darcy Gordon, 24 April 1885. The family then moved to Launceston where Mr McDonald was the superintendent of the railway telegraph. The youngest brother, Lindley Winfield, was born in Launceston on 14 Aug 1887.
Frederick and his older brother John were both in the Exhibition Choir and John is also in the Family Album.
Frederick, a clerk in the Post Office, drowned on a fishing trip to Browns River, near Hobart, on 16 Mar 1899 at the age of 23.