Isabella Macdonald (1841–1930) was born in Rochester, New York, in a well-educated and religious family. The nickname "Pansy" was given to her from her father, because of picking pansies in her childhood. She was also called "Belle." She attended school at Seneca Collegiate Institute at Ovid, New York, and then at Young Ladies Institute, Auburn, New York. In 1866, she married Gustavus Rosenberg Alden, a Presbyterian minister. She was dedicated to communication of the Gospel through writing. She wrote Sunday-school lessons and magazine articles. She wrote hundreds of books and stories in her lifetime.
- Ester Ried: Asleep and Awake.
- The King's Daughter.
- Tip Lewis and His Lamp.
- Six Little Girls.
- An Hour with Miss Streator.
Father – Isaac Macdonald (1800-1870), merchant, well educated, devoted Presbyterian.
Mother – Myra Spafford (1803-1885), illustrious ancestry. Her father was Horatio Gates Spafford Sr. and her mother, Hannah Bristol, was Spafford's first wife. She lived with Ross and Pansy in her old age.
Grandfather (maternal) – Horatio Gates Spafford Sr. (1778-1832), both intellectual and industrious, he was a writer, an inventor and a gazetteer.
Horatio Gates Spafford Jr. (1828-1880) – a half-brother to Pansy's mother, the son of Horatio Gates Spafford Sr. and his second wife Elizabeth Clark Hewitt. He wrote "It Is Well with My Soul" after he lost his four daughters at sea.
Sister - Marcia Macdonald Livingston. She was an author and is often called Mrs. C. M. Livingston. She married Rev. Charles Montgomery Livingston. She is the mother of Grace Livingston Hill.
Sister - Julia Macdonald – lived with Ross and Pansy in Cincinnati, Philadelphia and Palo Alto.
Sister – Mary A. Macdonald – Married George H. Heaton and secondly Calvin H. Williamson in 1874. She contributed stories. She lived with Ross and Pansy in California in her old age.
Husband - Gustavus Rosenberg Alden, (1832–1924), educated at Auburn Theological Seminary, a Presbyterian minister, ordained 1866. Nicknamed "Ross." He was married in 1856 to Hannah M. Bogart for 11 months (who died in 1856 probably from childbirth) with whom he had a daughter, Anna.
Son – Dr. Raymond Macdonald Alden (1873–1924) – Born at New Harford, New York, on March 30th. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. A member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. He was Professor of English in Leland Stanford Junior University (commonly called Stanford) during 1901-1911, 1914-1924 (1912-1914 he was at the University of Illinois). He married Barbara G. Hitt on May 24th 1904, in Alhambra, CA. His children were Donald, Elizabeth, John, Roland, and Raymond. He was a writer (penname Paranete) who wrote storybooks and stories for periodicals.
Daughter - Anna Alden – She was born in 1856, from Gustavus' first marriage. Ross and Pansy raised her at least until she was 23. Afterward, Anna lived with friend Theodosia Marie Foster in Oneida, NY.
Daughter - Frances B. Alden (born in 1892) – Adopted daughter born in Washington D.C.
Grace Livingston Hill Lutz (1865-1947) is a niece of Pansy. She is the daughter of Pansy's sister, Marcia MacDonald Livingston. Grace Livingston's first marriage was to Rev. Thomas Guthrie Hill. Her second marriage was to Flavius Josephus Lutz. She was a prolific writer who became very popular.
Theodosia Marie Foster (1838–1923) – Theodosia Marie Toll married James H. Foster (1833-1872). A friend and coauthor whose pen name was Faye Huntington. She taught at Oneida Seminary also.
- Oneida Seminary (pupil and teacher).
- Seneca Collegiate Institute, Ovid, N.Y.
- Young Ladies Institute, Auburn, N.Y.
- The Pansy, editor (22-25 years).
- Westminster Sunday School Teacher (25 years) editorial staff.
- Herald and Presbyter, Cincinnati, Ohio, editorial staff (30-33 years).
- Christian Endeavor World, staff (12 years).
- Presbyterian Primary Quarterly, editor.
- Trained Motherhood, staff.
- Importance of living a Christian life
- Importance of attending church service
- Perils of worldly pursuits
- Duty of abstinence and the dangers of alcohol
- Poverty, slums and tenements
Books and stories by Pansy:
|Agatha's Unknown Way|
|An April Walk and Other Stories|
|An Hour with Miss Streator|
|An Interrupted Night|
|As in a Mirror|
|Aunt Hannah and Martha and John (with Mrs. C. M. Livingston)|
|Bernie's White Chicken|
|Browning Boys (The)|
|Browns at Mt. Hermon (The)|
|By Way of the Wilderness (with Mrs. C. M. Livingston)|
|Chautauqua Girls at Home (The) (also published as Obeying the Call)|
|Christmas Time (A)|
|David Ransom's Watch|
|Divers Women (with Mrs. C. M. Livingston)|
|Docia's Journal; or God Is Love|
|Doris Ferrand's Vocation|
|Dozen of Them (A)|
|Dr. Dean's Way (with Faye Huntington)|
|Ester Ried: Asleep and Awake|
|Ester Ried: Yet Speaking|
|Ester Ried's Awakening|
|Ester Ried's Namesake|
|Fortunate Calamity (The)|
|Four Girls at Chautauqua|
|Four Mothers at Chautauqua|
|From Different Standpoints (with Faye Huntington)|
|Glimpses of Girlhood|
|Golden Thought (A) and Other Stories|
|Grace Holbrook and Other Stories of Endeavor and Experience|
|Grandma's Miracles; or, Stories Told at Six O'clock in the Evening.|
|Hall in the Grove (The)|
|Hedge Fence (A)|
|Helen the Historian|
|Her Associate Members|
|Her Mother's Bible|
|In the Woods and Out and Other Stories|
|Jessie Wells; or How to Save the Lost|
|John Remington Martyr (with Mrs. C. M. Livingston)|
|Judge Burnham's Daughters|
|Julia Ried: Listening and Led|
|King's Daughter (The)|
|Lesson in Story (The)|
|Links in Rebecca's Life|
|Little By Little|
|Little Fishers: And Their Nets|
|Little Minnie and other Stories|
|Little Missionary (A)|
|Little People in Picture and Story|
|Long Way Home (The)|
|Lost on the Trail|
|Mag and Margaret: A Story for Girls|
|Man of the House (The)|
|Mary Burton Abroad, and Other Stories (with Mrs. C. M. Livinston, Faye Huntington, and others)|
|Memories of Yesterday|
|Miss Dee Dunmore Bryant|
|Miss Priscilla Hunter|
|Missent; or The Story of a Letter|
|Modern Prophets and Other Sketches (with Faye Huntington)|
|Modern Sacrifice (A): The Story of Kissie Gordon's Experiment|
|Mother's Boys and Girls|
|Mrs. Dean's Way|
|Mrs. Harry Harper's Awakening|
|Mrs. Solomon Smith Looking On|
|My Daughter Susan|
|New Graft on the Family Tree (A)|
|New Year's Tangles and Other Stories|
|Next Things and Dorrie's Day|
|Obeying the Call|
|Older Brother (The); A Story of Self Denials|
|One Commonplace Day|
|Only Ten Cents|
|Our Boys and Girls at Home and Abroad|
|Pansies and Other Stories|
|Pansies for Thoughts, from the writings of Pansy (compiled by Grace J. Livingston)|
|Pansy's Boys and Girls Picture Book|
|Pansy's Home Story Book|
|Pansy's Picture Book|
|Pansy's Picture Library|
|Pansy's Scrap Book|
|Pansy's Stories of Child Life (six volumes)|
|Pansy's Story Book|
|People Who Haven't Time|
|Pictures from Bobby's Life; and Other Stories|
|Pocket Measure (The)|
|Prince of Peace (The) or the Beautiful Life of Jesus|
|Profiles (with Mrs. C. M. Livingston)|
|Ruth Erskine's Crosses|
|Ruth Erskine's Son|
|Sevenfold Trouble (A)|
|Side By Side|
|Sidney Martin's Christmas|
|Six Little Girls|
|Some Young Heroines|
|Spun from Fact|
|Stephen Mitchell's Journey|
|Stories and Pictures from the Life of Jesus|
|Stories and Pictures from the New Testament|
|Sunday Chat for Boys and Girls|
|Sunset Gate (The)|
|Teacher's Helper (The)|
|That Boy Bob (with Faye Huntington)|
|Their Vacation and Other Stories of Striving and Doing|
|Three Times Three: A Story for Young People|
|Tip Lewis and His Lamp|
|Tony Keating's Surprises|
|Twenty Minutes Late|
|Unto the End|
|We Twelve Girls|
|What She Said: And What She Meant|
|What They Couldn't: A Home Story|
|Wise ALice and Other Stories|
|Wise and Otherwise|
|Workers Together; or, An Endless Chain|
|Yesterday Framed in Today: A Story of the Christ, and How Today Received Him|
|Young Folks Stories of American History and Home Life|
|Young Folks Stories of Foriegn Lands|
|Young Folks Worth Knowing|