From: "Toni Sinclair" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2002 23:25:06 -0500
Hi Kozy, other Argyllshire descendants, and the rest of you who are
interested in various Sinclair histories!
A couple of years ago, Karen Matheson wrote
a very scholarly piece
the probability of Sinclairs of Argyll going by the name of "MacNokaird"
prior to the early 1700s. (I believe you can still find it on the Clan
Sinclair USA website). Following my previous letter to this list regarding
the Sinclair/McNokaird issue in Argyllshire, I've been progressing by leaps
and bounds in my efforts to establish the Sinclair history on the Isle of
Islay pre 1750. As I said before, I finally got my hot little hands on the
1990 magazine article about Archibald Sinclair, Gaelic Printer of the
Celtic Press in Glasgow, (born in Islay) which mentioned a "Gilleasbuig
Mac-na-Ceardadh". There are various spellings of the surname, so I felt
quite confident that this would be a variation of MacNokaird. However,
"Gilleasbuig" was beyond my interpretive skills. I finally got an answer
from a fluent Gaelic speaker who said this was without any doubt "Archibald
MacNokaird" aka "Archibald Sinclair". BINGO! He also directed me to a
professor at Edinburgh University who was researching the (radical?) Gaelic
movement in Glasgow in the 1800s.
Professor Meek was well acquainted with the Sinclairs of the Celtic Press,
who printed many Gaelic literary works of the time. He also told me that
both Archibald Sr. and Jr. Sinclair often used their Gaelic names in their
publications. If any of you are personally interested, I can send photos
of Archibald's gravestone inscription (one side in English and the reverse
side in Gaelic, using both the English and Gaelic name).
I can't tell you how happy I am to be able to confirm Karen's research, and
also to be able to prove that the Sinclairs of Islay were not "incomers"
with the new owners, the Campbells of Shawfield, but that they were
long-standing residents of the Island. The earliest Islay document I have
which mentions a MacNokaird, is dated 1546.
So, yes, Kozy, it would be interesting to finally see if there is a genetic
link between the Sinclairs of Caithness and those of Argyllshire, who
perhaps just used the Gaelic form of the name. I wonder if I can convince
my husband (the Real Sinclair of this family) to be tested.
(By the way, he's O+, just like our son. Our daughter is A-, like me. In
every other way she is like a Sinclair!)