According to Don Rosa’s timelines the Clan has existed at least since 122 AD, when an, as yet unnamed, member of the clan sold stone to the construction crew of Hadrian’s Wall. The Clan McDuck was originally called the Clan MacDuich but dropped the Gaelic spelling of the name in 1071 and became the McDucks.
This has been expanded on in the Italian Disney comic universe in the story Storia e gloria della dinastia dei paperi (History and Glory of the Duck Dynasty). According to it, the clan was founded during the 1st century BC by Pah-Peh-Rheo, an Egyptian, who had become a Roman citizen as Petronius Paperonius. Originally following a campaign of the Roman Army to Britain, he eventually decided to settle in Caledonia (Scotland’s Roman name) among the populations of the Picts.
Donald, his sister Della Duck and her children Huey, Dewey and Louie Duck are descendants of the Clan through their maternal line of ancestry.
Because of the great amount of authors who have used the McDuck clan since its creation, there are dozens of Scrooge relatives with the name of McDuck, and so lots of possible family lines between them (which weren’t always explained in the stories). One of the many Donald Duck family tree illustrations was done by Don Rosa and first printed in 1993. Among the most famous McDucks that did not appear in Rosa’s tree are Scrooge McDuck’s first cousin Douglas McDuck, Scrooge’s half-brother Rumpus McFowl, and Gideon McDuck, Scrooge’s younger brother.
In the early 1950s, Carl Barks had personally created several of Donald Duck’s relatives, Scrooge McDuck and Gladstone Gander being the most notable among them. It was then Carl decided to create a personal version of their Family tree. To better define their relations he added several previously unknown relatives. Carl never intended to publish this family tree as he had created it for personal use.
In 1981 Carl was well into his retirement but his stories remained popular and had gained him unexpected fame. He had given several interviews and answered questions about his personal views on the characters and their stories. Among other subjects, Carl described his early version of the family tree. Rough sketches of the tree were published in a number of fanzines. Fans of the characters were pleased for the background it added to them. At this point Mark Worden decided to create a drawing of this family tree including portraits of the characters mentioned. Otherwise Mark made few changes to the tree, most notably adding Daisy Duck as Donald’s main love interest. His illustrated version of the tree was published at first in several fanzines and later in the Carl Barks Library. The later was a ten-volume collection of his works in hardcover black-and-white edition.
The Seat of Clan McDuck
McDuck Castle in The Old Castle’s Other Secret or A Letter From Home by Don Rosa.
The seat of Clan McDuck is the McDuck Castle. The castle was first featured in the Carl Barks story The Old Castle’s Secret in Donald Duck Four Color #189. Barks’ only other story to have McDuck Castle was in The Hound of the Whiskervilles.
Don Rosa used the castle in The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, Parts 1, 5, and 9, and in A Letter from Home/The Old Castle’s Other Secret. According to The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, the castle is located in Dismal Downs, somewhere in Rannoch Moor. The nearest village is the fictional MacDuich. The McDuck family (except for a few family ghosts) vacated the castle in 1675, relocating to Glasgow due to the depredations of ”a monstrous devil dog.”
Other comic book artists have used the Castle too. The most famous use of the McDuck Castle outside of the Barks/Rosa universe is an Angus/Vicar story titled The Sobbing Serpent.
According to The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, the castle was built in 400 AD, as portrayed in the unpublished first draft sketches. It is most probably based upon Andrew Carnegie’s Skibo Castle, befitting the character of Scrooge McDuck as a loose caricature of Carnegie. Upon the death of his father, Scrooge McDuck became Laird of The Clan McDuck and owner of the castle and its lands. Indeed, Scrooge had supported the castle financially for many years prior, enabling the McDuck family to reoccupy it in 1885.
Despite this one being the most important, the Clan McDuck earned at least two other castles: the Rannoch Moore Castle (from the Italian story Zio Paperone & il tesoro del fantasma… o viceversa) and Duncan McDuck’s personal castle.
Tartan of Clan MacDuck
Two Tartan patterns are registered with the House of Tartans, MacDuck, and MacDuck Final version (note spelling variation: MacDuck vs. McDuck). These were created and registered by the Walt Disney Corporation, the MacDuck Final version in 1942, and MacDuck in 1984.
Motto of Clan McDuck
Scrooge McDuck’s gravestone epitaph reads ”Fortuna Favet Fortibus.” This is the best candidate for a clan motto. Translated into English, it means ”Fortune Favors the Brave” (or ”Bold,” or ”Strong”).
Ancient and medieval McDucks
Scrooge-Shah the First
Scrooge Shah was the last King of Sagbad (a pun on the name of Baghdad). The latter was featured in the story King Scrooge the First by Carl Barks and Tony Strobl, first published in October, 1967, as the earliest known ancestor of Scrooge McDuck. According to that story Sagbad was sacked in 2033 BC by the troops of young immortal King Khan Khan (2050 BC-1967) but King Scrooge Shah and his apparent heir Prince Donduk managed to escape. The immortal lost their tracks but would much later locate their distant descendants. It is popularly believed that they arrived to Egypt.
Paperonete I, lookalike of Scrooge himself (both in appearance and personality), was an ancient egyptian pharaoh. He ruled the country 2000 B.C. along with his nephew Paperines (Donald’s egyptian counterpart). Instead of a pyramid, Paperonete decided to build a cone. And instead of his corpse, he putted his treasure in it. Sadly, after many adventures, the coins finished eaten by the Nile crocodiles, and Paperonete decided that since that day, the Pharaoh and his nephew would be the only persons who can touch the Nile crocodile (in order to peek them, open their stomachs and get back the treasure), creating the famous ”cliché” that the Crocodiles were taboo in Egypt. Because of the short time period between Scrooge-Shah and him, he may be Scrooge Shah’s or Donduk’s direct son.
Pah-Peh-Rheo, is featured as the direct ancestor and founding father of The Clan McDuck.
He first appeared in the eight-part saga Storia e gloria della dinastia dei paperi (History and glory of the Duck Dynasty) by Guido Martina, Romano Scarpa, Giorgio Cavazzano and Giovan Battista Carpi, first published between April 5, 1970 and May 24, 1970.
He was presumably a distant descendant of Scrooge Shah, the last King of Sagbad (a pun on the name of Baghdad), and Paperonete I, who was another pharaoh. In any case according to his origin story Pah-Peh-Rheo was born an Egyptian. He was supposedly a non-royal uncle to a Queen of Egypt who herself was the great-grandmother of Cleopatra VII of Egypt.
Sir Eider McDuck
Main article: Sir Eider McDuck
Sir Quackly McDuck
Main article: Sir Quackly McDuck
Sir Roast McDuck
Sir Roast McDuck is mentioned in the story ”The Old Castle’s Secret” by Carl Barks and later appeared in Don Rosa’s Duck Family Tree.
He was born in Scotland in 1159. He was very gluttonous. The clan was until then one of the richest in Scotland, but that changed in 1189. He was asked by King William I of Scotland to offer most of his clan’s treasure in order to fulfill King Richard I of England’s terms for a treaty that been signed between them. The treaty said that if William offered to Richard 10.000 marks he would be free. William would be freed of his oath of subservience to Richard. Out of patriotism Roast obeyed his king’s wishes. That later led to financial problems and decline of the clan. Later Roast’s relationship with the king became tensed. In 1205 he raided the king’s cellar. He died a little later due to indigestion. He was buried in the family cemetery. His armor was placed in one of Castle McDuck’s hallways.
Sir Stuft McDuck
Sir Stuft McDuck is one of the ancient McDucks, created by Carl Barks.
Sir Stuft was born in Scotland in 1110, and later became the leader of The Clan McDuck. He was a very successful leader, and the clan became richer under his leadership. He died in 1175. He was not buried in the family cemetery but rests in his armor, placed in a hallway of Castle McDuck. Behind his armor is the secret door to the castle dungeon, which he sealed off. The other entrance to the dungeon is hidden under his tombstone.
He appeared in Giovan Battista Carpi’s 1958 story Il dottor Paperus (INDUCKS: I TL 188-AP), in which it is stated that he was a greedy and tightwad duke who ruled a small country in medieval times. He had a daughter, lookalike of Daisy Duck, and named Marguerite (french for ”Daisy”). The story is basically a retelling of the Story of Doctor Faustus by great german poet Goethe, but the Duke McDuck seems to have been created specially for this version, as the father of Marguerite in the original story remains unknown. The story has never been localized, so his only official name remains the Italian Duca De Paperoni but some unofficial translations have been released on the Internet, giving the name of Duke McDuck (literal translation of Duca De Paperoni.
Sir Swamphole McDuck
Sir Swamphole McDuck is mentioned in the story ”The Old Castle’s Secret” by Carl Barks and later appeared in Don Rosa’s Duck Family Tree.
Sir Swamphole was born in 1190. Under his leadership the Clan suffered from financial problems. In 1220 he decided to seal Castle McDuck, the clan’s main castle, dungeons in an attempt to decrease the maintenance cost of the castle. He did however create a secret passageway that led from one of castle’s hallways to the sealed dungeons, and from there to the family cemetery out of the castle. Swamphole McDuck died in 1260. The entrance to the passageway in the cemetery was disguised as his tomb. His bones remained in his armor, placed in front of the castle’s entrance to the passageway. In A letter from home by Don Rosa, it is revealed that Sir Swamphole likely sealed of the dungeons in order to conceal the construction of the chambers that would hide the treasure of the Knights Templar.
Sir Donald McDuck
Sir Donald McDuck is mentioned in ”The History of The Clan McDuck” by Don Rosa, a chapter created for The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck.
Sir Donald McDuck, nicknamed ”Black Donald” because of his foul temper, is said to have invented Golf, Hammer Throw and Caber Toss in 1440. His temper while playing golf resulted in James II of Scotland outlawing the sport.
Sir Simon McDuck
Sir Simon McDuck is mentioned in A Letter From Home by Don Rosa. According to his tombstone he lived from 1437 to 1509. He was treasurer of the Knight Templars and responsible for hiding their treasure underneath McDuck Castle.
Early modern and 19th century McDucks
Angus ”Pothole” McDuck
Main article: Angus ”Pothole” McDuck
Main Article: Dingus McDuck
Main article: Fergus McDuck
Hugh ”Seafoam” McDuck
Captain Hugh ”Seafoam” McDuck first appeared in an untitled Carl Barks story (known as ”The Horseradish Story”), where the story of Swindle McSue’s trickery on Seafoam is used as back-story. The character’s story was later expanded by Don Rosa, and he appears among the McDucks in heaven in The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck.
Hugh McDuck was born in Scotland in 1710. He settled in Glasgow in 1727 and turned to the sea for a living. He became successful and obtained his own ship, named ”The Golden Goose”. He grew wealthy transporting merchandise between the United Kingdom and the West Indies.
In 1753 his luck was over. He signed a contract with Swindle McSue to deliver a chest full of horse radish to Jamaica. Three weeks later, his ship sunk along with the chest before reaching Jamaica, as the ship had been sabotaged by Swindle. When Hugh returned to Scotland he found out that his contract had some small print letters that his failing sight did not allow him to see. The term in small letters said that if Hugh failed to deliver the chest to Jamaica all of his belongings would go to Swindle. Hugh kept just his clothes, his silver watch in his pocket and his golden dentures in his mouth. Swindle wanted them too but Hugh escaped.
The only thing known about his later life is that he died in 1776, aged 66. It is presumed he was involved in the American Revolutionary War. His descendant Quagmire McDuck inherited the silver watch, known by then as ”the heirloom watch”.
According to Don Rosa, Seafoam McDuck and Hugh McDuck are the same character; ”Seafoam” is just a nickname.
Jake McDuck is Scrooge McDuck’s uncle. He was mentioned in the story ”A Christmas for Shacktown” (1952) by Carl Barks, in which Donald Duck dresses up as Jake in an attempt to trick Scrooge into giving money to charity.
The character was later used by Don Rosa, and appears in three of twelve original chapters of Rosa’s The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. He lived in the same house as his brother Fergus McDuck and helped Fergus and his wife Downy O’Drake to raise their children. He settled in McDuck castle along with his brother in 1885. However, it appears that by 1902, Jake was no longer living there.
In Rosa’s sketches and timelines, it reveals that Jake was born in 1832 to coal miners Dingus McDuck and Molly Mallard, and grew up to become a stockyard hand in Glasgow. His date of death is unknown, but it appears that both Scrooge and Donald believed him to be alive in 1952.
Malcolm ”Matey” McDuck appeared in the story ”Back to Long Ago!” by Carl Barks, in a scene where Scrooge McDuck is hypnotized into seeing events in the lives of his previous incarnations. The character was later used by Don Rosa. He appeared on Rosa’s Duck Family Tree, and he appears among the McDucks in heaven in The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck.
Malcolm McDuck was born in 1530. He belonged to a branch of the Clan McDuck that had settled in England.
He served in the English navy. In 1563 he became the first mate of the frigate HMS ”Falcon Rover”. He served under Captain Loyal Hawk. The ship raided Spanish Caribbean Sea between 1563 and 1564. He and boatswain Pintail Duck, who would later be reincarnated into Donald Duck, buried potatoes under the employment of Captain Loyal Hawk and for the Queen of England.
Malcolm McDuck is said to have lost his life on December 9, 1564 when the Spanish fleet sunk the ”Falcon Rover” along with its entire crew, though this is not true. In 1579, he became in command over the newly founded Fort Drakeborough, an establishment that in 1818 was taken over by Cornelius Coot, later renamed Fort Duckburg.
Quagmire McDuck was first mentioned by Carl Barks in the story ”The Heirloom Watch”, published on June, 1955.
Quagmire was a brother of Dingus McDuck. He had inherited his ancestor Hugh McDuck’s silver watch. Apparently he was wealthy enough to have his own estate. When he died his watch was inherited by his nephew Fergus McDuck. His estate remained unclaimed until the time that his grandnephew Scrooge McDuck, by then owner of the watch, tried to claim it.
Locksley McDuck is mentioned in ”The History of The Clan McDuck” by Don Rosa, a chapter created for The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck though it never got a place in the story at the end.
Locksley McDuck joined renegade Robert Roy MacGregor sometime after 1707. The alliance ended later when Locksley had a hard time doing the last part of ”Stealing from the rich and giving to the poor”
Molly Mallard was created by Don Rosa for his Duck Family Tree and has not appeared in any stories. She was the wife of Dingus McDuck and had three sons: Angus McDuck, Jake McDuck, and Fergus McDuck.
Main article: Downy O’Drake
Downy O’Drake is Scrooge McDuck’s mother. She was created by Don Rosa and appears in The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck and on the Duck Family Tree.
Of Irish origin, she was born in 1840. She married Fergus McDuck and became the mother of three children: Scrooge, Matilda, and Hortense.
She was a very devoted housewife and mother. She settled in Castle McDuck at Dismal Downs, the Clan McDuck’s old castle, along with her family in 1885. She died in 1897, and was buried in the McDucks’ cemetery.
Main article: Della Duck
Main article: Donald Duck
Main article: Douglas McDuck
Main article: Gideon McDuck
Main article: Hortense McDuck
Hortense was introduced as a relatively well-connected member of her family. A daughter-in-law to Grandma Duck, a sister to Matilda McDuck and Scrooge McDuck, wife to Quackmore Duck, sister-in-law of Goosetave Gander and Daphne Duck, aunt to Gladstone Gander, mother to Della Duck and Donald Duck and finally grandmother to Huey, Dewey and Louie.
Hortense was born in 1876 in Glasgow, Scotland as the youngest child of Fergus McDuck and Downy O’Drake. In Barks’s tree, her older brother was Scrooge McDuck and her older sister Matilda McDuck. Some non-Barks writers gave Scrooge two half-brothers, Rumpus McFowl and Gideon McDuck, though these do not appear in Barks’s conception of the family. Jake McDuck, her paternal uncle was also living with them.
Hortense was born in a working-class family living in relative poverty. In 1877 her ten-year-old brother Scrooge started working as a shoe polisher in an effort to help support his family. At the time Hortense was merely an infant sucking on her thumb. She observed from a distance with her father and sister while her brother earned his Number One Dime. Scrooge would spend some of his leisure time with his younger sisters, and occasionally repaired their dolls. Otherwise Hortense spent most of her time clinging to her older sister.
By 1880, Scrooge came to realise that his earnings were not enough despite his hard work and efforts. He emigrated to the USA in hopes of earning his own fortune. He was hired as a cabinboy on a merchant ship heading to New Orleans, Louisiana. Scrooge noted that Hortense’s ”Bye, Scroogey” were her first spoken words. Before that, all she could say was ”glxblt”.
From an early age it was obvious Hortense had a fairly nasty temper combined with considerable strength. In 1882, Scrooge was hired as a cowboy by Murdo MacKenzie. To do this he had to ride Widow Maker, a mare who had already managed to dispose of five other cowboys. Scrooge soon managed to become her rider although he never really managed to tame her. He renamed the horse Hortense after his spirited six-year-old sister. The latter found this idea unflattering at best.
In 1885 The Clan McDuck’s hereditary lands were in danger of being seized due to her father being unable to pay taxes. The lands also included Dismal Downs, the Clan’s castle which had been abandoned since 1675. The Whiskervilles, traditional enemies of the McDucks since the 15th century, planned to gain ownership of the lands and were already trying to plunder the castle and its graveyard in search of old relics and treasure. Fergus and Jake guarded the Castle in order to stop them. Nine-year-old Hortense offered to help them and proved more effective in conflict than either of the elder McDucks. The Whiskervilles came to fear her.
In 1902 Scrooge McDuck returned to Scotland to fetch Hortense and their sister Matilda McDuck. When Scrooge established Duckburg, Calisota, United States as his homebase he started journeying the world trying to expand his financial empire. One of her proudest moments was when she singlehandedly caused the entire United States Military to flee Killmotor Hill, armed only with a broom, and her bad temper, much to the shame of the current president, Theodore Roosevelt, and the fear of the soldiers. From 1902 till 1930, she and Matilda ran Scrooge’s empire from his homebase while he was away. During these years Hortense met her boyfriend Quackmore Duck whom she married on 1920. Later the same year she gave birth to twins. Her son was named Donald Duck and her daughter Della Duck. Of the two only the boy inherited his mother’s temper. A fight with Scrooge in 1930 ended all relationships between Scrooge and his family and she retired. She was thought deceased by 1948, because in this year Scrooge claimed he was the last McDuck. However, Matilda has since turned up alive and well, in a story by Don Rosa; there she also refers to Hortense, though Hortense is not seen. In the notes to the Danish publication of the story (Hall of Fame – Don Rosa Book 10), it is stated that the publisher decided that Hortense was ”officially dead”.
Scrooge may have claimed that he is the last McDuck, as he is the only male left. Hortense and Matilda changed their names to Duck after marriage, so, technically, Scrooge is the last McDuck.
Lurch McDuck, also known as Sheik Beak, is Scrooge McDuck’s cousin in the 1968 story ”The Doony Desert Dilemma” Vic Lockman and Tony Strobl . An imposter calling himself Lurch Duck and claiming to be Scrooge’s long-lost cousin attempts to defraud Scrooge of half his fortune.
”Mani buche” De’ Paperoni
”Mani buche” De’ Paperoni is presented as Scrooge’s twin brother in the Italian story ”Paperino e l’Uomo del West” (Donald Duck and the Man from the West), written by Guido Martina and drawn by Giovan Battista Carpi.
”Mani buche” is a philanthropist and lives in Arizona. In Italian, his name literally means ”hands with holes”, an idiom used in Italy to portray someone who spends a lot of money (e.g. his hands can’t hold the money so it drains away like water).
Main article: Matilda McDuck
Moocher McDuck is the beggar cousin of Scrooge who appeared for the first time in the story ”Too Many McDucks” by Tony Strobl. Moocher’s look is very similar to Scrooge’s one, except for the fact that he wears tattered clothes, but, unlike his very rich cousin, Moocher is a sweetheart. He was used in some Brazilian comic stories in the 70’s.
Rumpus McFowl was created by William Van Horn and introduced as a lazy and greedy cousin of Scrooge McDuck. It was soon revealed that he was Scrooge’s half-brother. His exact relationship with the other characters from the Scrooge McDuck universe is unknown. It has, however, been stated that his mother had been briefly married to Fergus McDuck.
Rumpus is a proud collector of rocks. He has a humongous appetite and snores a lot. At first Rumpus had an antagonistic relationship with Donald, his nephews and Scrooge but they began to get along better in later stories.