Early appearancesDonald's father was created by Carl Barks, who first mentioned him in the Donald Duck family tree he sketched out for personal use in the 1950s. On this tree, he appeared as Grandma Duck's son and Scrooge McDuck's brother-in-law. Barks named Donald's father Quackmore Duck, and also mentioned his wife, Donald's mother and Scrooge's sister, whom he named Hortense McDuck.
Donald's parents first appeared in Donald Duck Writes a Book. During Donald's flashback, they could be seen dancing to the music of a gramophone in one panel. Donald tells that his parents were not rich, but nonetheless fun-loving people.
Later appearancesIn Mark Worden's illustrated version of Barks' 1950s Duck family tree, Quackmore and Hortense were also given a portrait. On this tree, Quackmore appeared with black hair and a large, curly mustache.
In the comic book series The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, Quackmore had a supporting role. In the series' 10th chapter The Invader of Fort Duckburg, he meets Hortense, who has a temper very similar to his own. At the beginning of the following chapter, The Empire-Builder from Calisota, Hortense and Quackmore are engaged, and Quackmore is said to be Scrooge's bookkeeper. Near the end of the story, he and his family leave Duckburg.