Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
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 Thelma Duck and Donald Duck and finally grandmother to Huey, Dewey and Louie Duck. It should perhaps be noted that Carl had forgotten that Al Taliaferro had already given the name of Donald's sister as Della Duck. To avoid confusion her full name was later given as Della Thelma Duck.
Hortense was born on 1876 in Glasgow, Scotland as the youngest child of Fergus McDuck and Downy O'Drake. She had an older half-brother named Rumpus McFowl, an older brother named Scrooge McDuck and an older sister named Matilda McDuck. She would later have a younger half-brother named Gideon McDuck. 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 continued working for the next couple years. In his leisure time he would spend some time with his younger sisters. He occasionally repaired their dolls. Otherwise Hortense spent most of her time clinging to her older sister.
By 1880, Scrooge had come to realise that his earnings were not enough despite his hard work and efforts. He took the decision of emigrating to the USA in hopes of earning his own fortune. He was hired as a cabinboy in a merchant ship heading to New Orleans, Louisiana. His family was there to see him depart. Scrooge noted that Hortense's "Goodbye, Scrooge" were her first spoken words. Though sad to see her brother leave, Hortense was obviously enjoying the rest of the family's attention.
From an early age it was obvious Hortense had a fairly nasty temper combined with considerable strength. Her brother continued to maintain correspondence with his parents and was also informed about this. In 1882, Scrooge was hired as a cowboy by Murdo MacKenzie. To do this he had to ride Widow Maker, a female horse which had already managed to dispose of five other cowboys. Scrooge soon managed to become its rider although he never really managed to tame it. He renamed it 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 for them. 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 started guarding 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 began 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. From 1902 till 1930 his sisters ran his empire from his homebase while he was away. During these years she 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 Thelma Duck. Of the two only the boy inherited his mother's temper. A fight with Scrooge in 1930 ended all relationships between him and his family and she retired. She was presumably deceased by 1948 because in this year Scrooge claimed he was the last McDuck.
- Carl Barks' version of the family tree
- Mark Worden's version of the family tree
- Don Rosa's version of the family tree
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