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McDuck Castle

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Title: McDuck Castle  
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Subject: The Hound of the Baskervilles, Clan McDuck, List of castles in Scotland, List of Donald Duck universe characters
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

McDuck Castle

The Clan McDuck is a fictional family in the style of a Scottish clan, from which a great number of Walt Disney Company's comic book characters held their origin.

According to Don Rosa's timelines the Clan has existed at least since 122 AD,[1] 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. The most famous members of the clan are Scrooge McDuck and Donald Duck.

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).[2] 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 (the Roman name for Scotland) 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.

Family tree

This family tree is based on Don Rosa's McDuck Family Tree, and shows the relationship to the Duck family.[3] It includes McDucks from the 19th and 20th centuries, but not distant ancestors. Among the most famous McDucks that did not appear in Rosa's tree are Scrooge McDuck's half-brothers Gideon McDuck and Rumpus McFowl.

"Dirty" Dingus
Angus "Pothole"
first wife
Duck family
(b. 1867)
(b. 1871)
von Drake
(b. 1876)
Quackmore Duck
(b. 1875)
(b. 1920)
Thelma "Della"
(b. 1920)
Huey, Dewey,
and Louie

Literary origins

In the early 1950s Carl Barks was in his second decade of creating comic book stories starring Donald Duck and his various relatives. He had personally created several of the latter, Scrooge McDuck and Gladstone Gander being the most notable among them. But the exact relation between them was still somewhat uncertain. 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.

In 1987 Don Rosa, a long-time fan of Carl Barks and personal friend of Mark Worden, started creating his own stories featuring Scrooge McDuck and his various associates. His stories contained numerous references to older stories by Carl as well as several original ideas. After several years he gained a fanbase of his own. In the early 1990s Egmont, the publishing house employing Don, offered him an ambitious assignment. He was to create the definitive version of Scrooge's biography and a family tree accompanying it. This was supposed to end decades of contradictions between stories which caused confusion to readers. The project was to become The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. The family tree accompanying it was first published in Norway on July 3, 1993.

In the process of working on Scrooge's biography, Don studied Barks' old stories mentioning his past. Then he added several ideas of his own. Among them were biographical information for Scrooge's supporting cast. In a way Scrooge's biography was also their own biography.

The Seat of Clan McDuck

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,[4] 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 (a non-fictional location in Scotland). The nearest village is the fictional MacDuich. The McDuck family (except for a few family ghosts) vacated the castle in 1675, relocating to MacDuich, and later to Glasgow due to the depredations of "a monstrous devil dog." [5]

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.[6] It is most probably based upon Andrew Carnegie's Skibo Castle, befitting the character of Scrooge McDuck as a loose caricature of Carnegie.[7] Upon the death of his father, Scrooge McDuck became Laird of The Clan McDuck and owner of the castle and its lands.[8] Indeed, Scrooge had supported the castle financially for many years prior, enabling the McDuck family to reoccupy it in 1885.[8]

In the show DuckTales, McDuck Castle appeared in the Episode The Curse of Castle McDuck where Scrooge, Webby, and the Nephews investigate a crisis in Scotland. That Episode is loosely based on The Hound of the Whiskervilles.[9]

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).[10] These were created and registered by the Walt Disney Corporation, the MacDuck Final version in 1942, and MacDuck in 1984. Both tartans are non-fiction in nature and are available as bolts of cloth or finished kilts and other garments.

Some sources state Disney created the MacDuck Final version with Scrooge McDuck in mind.[11] This is unlikely, as Scrooge McDuck made his first appearance in 1947, in the story Christmas on Bear Mountain.

A tartan which looks like Mac Duck Final version is shown on some Don Rosa stories, such as The Old Castle's Other Secret or A Letter From Home.

Motto of Clan McDuck

Scrooge McDuck's gravestone epitaph reads "Fortuna Favet Fortibus." This is the best candidate for a clan motto.[12] Translated into English, it means "Fortune Favors the Brave" (or "Bold," or "Strong").

Ancient and medieval McDucks

Sir Eider McDuck

Sir Eider 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 Eider was born in Scotland in 880.[13] Later in his life, he became the leader of The Clan McDuck. In 946, the castle was under siege by Anglo-Saxons, raiders who did not care about the treaty that King Edmund I of England and King Malcolm I of Scotland signed in 945. Sir Eider did not supply arrows for his men (because they were expensive) and paid them (collectively) only 30 pieces of copper an hour. His under-paid men abandoned their lord to save their lives, and Sir Eider died fighting the raiders alone.

Sir Eider was buried in the family cemetery, and his armour was placed in one of the castle's hallways.[14]

Sir Quackly McDuck

Sir Quackly 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 also appears as a ghost in Rosa's The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck.

Sir Quackly was born in Scotland in the year 1010.[13] He later became the leader of The Clan McDuck. In 1057 King Macbeth I of Scotland offered him a small treasure chest in exchange for his support in the ongoing war for the throne. Sir Quackly agreed and served the king during the war, but became obsessed with protecting the treasure, and accidentally trapped himself inside the walls with his treasure, where he subsequently died.[15]

Sir Quackly became a legend among the McDucks, who claimed that his ghost protected the treasure and the castle.[14] In the story "The Old Castle's Secret", the villain Diamond Dick disguises himself as Quackly's ghost to scare Scrooge McDuck away,[14] while in the later "The Last of the Clan McDuck", Quackly's ghost appears in person, advising a young Scrooge McDuck without revealing his true identity.[15] Sir Quackly's remains and the treasure chest were found by Scrooge McDuck in 1948.[14]

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.[15] 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.[14] He was buried in the family cemetery. His armour 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,[13] 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.[13] 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.

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[13] 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.[14] The passageway was useful for transportation when the castle was being under siege by rival clans. Swamphole McDuck died in 1260. The entrance to the passageway in the cemetery was disguised as his tomb. His bones remained in his armour, placed in front of the castle's entrance to the passageway.[14] 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 though it never got a place in the story at the end.

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.


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). 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.

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.

Early modern and 19th century McDucks

Angus "Pothole" McDuck

Angus "Pothole" McDuck is Scrooge McDuck's uncle. He was mentioned in "The Great Steamboat Race" by Carl Barks and later appeared in person in a handful of stories by Don Rosa.

Angus McDuck was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1829[13] to Dingus McDuck and Molly Mallard. He had two younger brothers named Fergus McDuck and Jake McDuck.

Angus migrated to the United States during the late 1840s. In 1850 he was working as a cabin boy in the Mississippi River riverboat Drennan Whyte when it sunk. He was the only survivor.[16] He continued working on Mississippi riverboats and he had obtained his own by 1861, named Cotton Queen. Around the time of the American Civil War (1861–1865) he became quite successful as a riverboater. Soon after the end of the war in 1865 he and fellow riverboater Porker Hogg became the co-owners of Cornpone Gables, a Southern plantation that had gone bankrupt. The two were unable to settle their differences and they decided to have a riverboat race in 1870 to decide who would be the owner. Both riverboats sank. Porker had two more riverboats but Angus spent the next ten years as a professional card player.

In 1880, in a poker game with Porker, Angus won the rights to one of his rival's riverboats, named Dilly Dollar. Porker soon lost his other riverboat to Blackheart Beagle and his sons, the first generation of Beagle Boys, a family of outlaws, and retired. Angus on the other hand hired his nephew Scrooge McDuck and a penniless inventor named Ratchet Gearloose as his crew. Business wasn't going well and Angus decided to retire in 1882 . He left his riverboat to his nephew and settled down in New Orleans.[16]

He became the writer of a series of dime novels under the title The Master of Mississippi, based on a highly exaggerated description of his life. His dime novels became very popular and to have more material to add he occasionally travelled through the country.[17] In the story "The Vigilante of Pizen Bluff" by Don Rosa, he is seen appearing at Buffalo Bill's Wild West. After the show's money is stolen by the Dalton Brothers, Angus rides out with Bill, Scrooge, P.T. Barnum, Annie Oakley, and Geronimo to stop the bandits.[17]

Angus' exact date of death is unknown.

In 1955, Porker's nephew, Horseshoe Hogg, and Scrooge McDuck would bring their uncles' steamboats back to the surface to finish the race for Cornpone Gables. Scrooge won, only to learn that 85 years of disuse made the mansion so fragile that he accidentally destroyed it with a sneeze.

Dingus McDuck

Dingus McDuck, nicknamed "Dirty Dingus", was created by Don Rosa for his Duck Family Tree and has not appeared in person. Dingus, who was Scrooge McDuck's grandfather, was a coal miner.[18] He married Molly Mallard and had three sons: Angus McDuck, Jake McDuck, and Fergus McDuck.

In a 1960s story by Bob Gregory and Tony Strobl Scrooge's grandfather is referred to as Titus McDuck.[19]

Fergus McDuck

Fergus McDuck (1830[13]-1902[20]) is a prominent character in The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. He was Scrooge McDuck's father.

He was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1830 to "Dirty" Dingus McDuck and Molly Mallard, both working as coal miners at the time. He spent most of his life as a mill worker.

According to a story by William Van Horn, Fergus at some point had a short marriage with an unidentified woman, with whom he had the son Rumpus McFowl.[21] He later married Downy O'Drake, his wife in Rosa's stories, who became the mother of three of his children: Scrooge McDuck, Matilda McDuck, and Hortense McDuck. An Italian character, Gideon McDuck, might also be a son of Fergus.

The rest of Fergus' biography is shown in The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. In 1877 he encouraged his son to work to have his own money. Scrooge's obvious intelligence, skill at hard work and ambition made his father believe that Scrooge would be able to restore The Clan McDuck to its former glory.[15]

In 1885 the Clan's hereditary lands would have been seized due to Fergus' inability to pay his taxes. But Scrooge spent his savings at the time, 10,000 dollars, to pay the taxes and became the new owner of their lands.[22] While Scrooge was away Fergus and his family moved back to Castle McDuck, abandoned for centuries, in Dismal Downs. The family continued to work to pay for the taxes and Scrooge sent them most all of the money he earned while traveling. Fergus became a widower in 1897.

Scrooge became rich in the Klondike and returned to Scotland in 1902 as a billionaire. Scrooge's intention was originally to settle in Dismal Downs but he quickly changed his mind and decided to settle in the United States. He wanted to take his family with him. His sisters accepted but Fergus decided to stay. He died during the night, aged 67, and his spirit was re-united with his wife Downy and the rest of the McDuck-clan as his three children left Scotland.[20]

In the NES game DuckTales 2, Scrooge and his nephews found a piece of a treasure map that apparently belonged to Fergus. It claimed to lead to Fergus' lost treasure. However, due to Fergus' inability to pay taxes, it is presumed that this map is not canonical to The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, unless such treasure was obtained later in his life.

In Don Rosa's "A Letter from Home", it's revealed that Fergus tried to find the Knight Templar treasure hidden in the castle McDuck by one of his ancestors, a Knight himself. Even though Fergus decided not to tell Scrooge about the treasure, he learns about it through other ways and, like Matilda McDuck, thinks Fergus kept the secret from him because he disapproved Scrooge. In the middle of their way to the treasure, Scrooge, Matilda and Scrooge's nephews find a letter from Fergus, who believed Scrooge would eventually find it, revealing the reason he hid the secret from Scrooge is that Scrooge would feel better building his own fortune instead of inheriting one.[23]

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.[22]

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".[24] 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.[24] It was sabotaged by Swindle.[15] 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[15] and his golden dentures in his mouth.[24] Swindle wanted them too but Hugh escaped.

The only thing known about his later life is that he died in 1776, aged 66.[13] It is presumed he was involved in the American Revolutionary War.[13] 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

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.[15] He settled in McDuck castle along with his brother in 1885.[22] However, it appears that by 1902, Jake was no longer living there.

According to Rosa's sketches and timelines, Jake was born in 1832[13] 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 McDuck

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.[22]

Malcolm McDuck was born in 1530.[13] 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.[25]

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 and later renamed Fort Duckburg [25]

Quagmire McDuck

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.[26]

Locksley McDuck

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

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.

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.[20] 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,[20] and was buried in the McDucks' cemetery.[20]

Contemporary McDucks

Della Duck

Main article: Della Duck

Donald Duck

Main article: Donald Duck


Douglas is a cousin of Scrooge who has appeared in several Danish Disney comic stories. He looks like Scrooge not only in appearance but also in temperament. He is, however, hopeless at finding and identifying gold and often frustrates Scrooge by criticizing him for not being "McDuck-like" enough. In the story "Smarter Than The Toughies", Douglas was portrayed as being the uncle of Whitewater Duck.

Gideon McDuck

Gideon McDuck (Gedeone de' Paperoni in original Italian) is presented as Scrooge McDuck's younger brother, and mainly appears in Italian comic stories; in those stories, Gideon is the editor of the newspaper "The Cricket",[27] the most credible newspaper in Duckburg. Gideon also has an antagonistic relationship with his brother Scrooge.

The character was created by Romano Scarpa, and first appeared in a story published on February 10, 1956.[27]

Gideon's existence is inconsistent with Carl Barks's view of Scrooge as presented in "The Old Castle's Secret".[14] In this story, Scrooge states that he is the last of the Clan McDuck. Though Don Rosa hasn't used him in his family tree or his timelines it has been purposed that he could be an illegitimate son of Fergus McDuck born somewhere between the death of Fergus' wife on 1897 and Fergus' own death on 1902. That would mean that Scrooge is the last legitimate McDuck. Gideon is now considered the last of Fergus' five children and a younger half-brother of Rumpus McFowl, Scrooge McDuck, Matilda McDuck and Hortense McDuck.

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 Duck.

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

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.[28]

"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).

Matilda McDuck

Matilda McDuck is one of Scrooge McDuck's two sisters. She was first mentioned in Carl Barks' 1950s sketch for a Duck Family Tree, where she was shown to have adopted Gladstone Gander.[29] The Matilda McDuck character was dropped in Barks' 1991 Duck Family Tree sketch (where Gladstone Gander is the biological grandson of Grandma Duck and not related to Scrooge), but Don Rosa picked up the name, and used Matilda McDuck as a prominent character in The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck.

Matilda McDuck was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1871 to Fergus McDuck and Downy O'Drake.[13] She is the younger sister of Scrooge McDuck. She would have a younger sister named Hortense McDuck.

In contrast to Scrooge's and Hortense's fiery tempers, she was always amazingly calm. In 1902 Scrooge returned to Scotland and took both of his sisters with him to go to America.[20] When he established his base in Duckburg, Calisota, United States he left Matilda and Hortense to run his empire from 1902 to 1930. In the meantime he traveled the world expanding his financial empire. In 1930, a conflict with Scrooge ended all relationships between him and his family, and his sisters are believed to have left Duckburg.[30]

In the story "The Old Castle's Other Secret or A Letter From Home" (2004), Don Rosa used Matilda McDuck in a non-Life and Times story for the first time. In this story, it is shown that she was hired by her nephew Donald Duck (son of Hortense) to tend the McDuck castle in Scotland. The story shows the reconciliation between Matilda and Scrooge. It is suggested that Donald deliberately set them up for a reunion. Unfortunately, he did not get the thanks he expected. This is the first time Huey, Dewey and Louie met their great aunt. In that story, Scrooge returns to the McDuck Castle for another treasure and learns from Matilda that his family already knew about the treasure but their father Fergus decided not to tell Scrooge about it. Both Scrooge and Matilda thought that was because of Fergus' disapproval of Scrooge's greedy ways but after finding a letter on the way for the treasure (hence the other title "A Letter from Home") they learn Fergus's real motive was the fact he thought Scrooge would feel better building his own fortune instead of simply inheriting one.

Matilda, while trying to leave the castle, mentions Hortense. However, in the commentary in the American printing of the story, Don Rosa states that he was prevented from using Hortense because he would have had to explain why she had abandoned her family. So Hortense's fate remains a mystery. 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".

Matilda is usually drawn with a flower on her hat, which loses a petal in each panel in which she appears.

Don Rosa has suggested that Matilda McDuck could have married the well-known Disney character Ludwig von Drake.[31]

Moocher McDuck

Moocher McDuck is the beggar cousin of Scrooge who appeared for the first time in the story "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

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.

Scrooge McDuck

Main article: Scrooge McDuck

See also


External links

  • Various Duck family trees with commentary.
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