Surname Saturday

Surname Saturday – Sinclair

The first ancestor in my tree with this surname is Elizabeth Sinclair.  Her relationship to my ex-husband is:

Russell Elizabeth Sinclair relationship



Elizabeth Sinclair was born 9 Aug 1803 and christened 14 Aug 1803 at Olrig, Caithness, Scotland.  She was the daughter of James Sinclair and Elizabeth Meiklejohn.

She married David Clyne on 26 Nov 1824 at Bower, Caithness, Scotland, and they had 10 children:

  • David Clyne (1825-1896)
  • James Clyne (1827-1895)
  • Elizabeth Clyne (1829-1908)
  • Catherine Clyne (1831-1910)
  • Margaret Clyne (1833-1916)
  • George Clyne (1836-1898)
  • John Clyne (1838-bef 1841)
  • Janet Clyne (1840-1917)
  • Henry Clyne (1843-1921)
  • Ann Clyne (1846-1929)

Elizabeth died 12 Mar 1890 at Upper Maffra in the Colony of Victoria.

James Sinclair was born about 1760.

James married Elizabeth Meiklejohn on 5 Dec 1783 at Olrig, Caithness, Scotland.  They had 9 children:

  • Margaret Sinclair christened 17 Dec 1784
  • Alexander Sinclair christened 18 Jan 1787
  • Ann Sinclair christened 24 Mar 1789
  • Ann Sinclair christened 20 Aug 1790
  • John Sinclair born 13 Oct 1792
  • Janet Sinclair christened 23 Apr 1795
  • James Sinclair christened 21 Mar 1798
  • Euphemia Sinclair christened 11 Feb 1801
  • Elizabeth Sinclair born 9 Aug 1803

Based on Scottish naming patterns James’ father would probably have been Alexander, and his mother may have been called Ann.  Unfortunately, the parish registers don’t include the mother’s name for the entries I have found around the time James was born.  I found the following baptisms for a James Sinclair, with a father named Alexander, born between 1750 and 1770 in Olrig

  • James Sinclair father Alexander Sinclair, christened 23 Oct 1753
  • James Sinclair father Alexander Sinclair, christened 27 Aug 1757

I found two marriages for an Alexander Sinclair in Olrig between 1750 and 1770:

  • Alexander Sinclair married Elizabeth Henderson on 7 Dec 1751
  • Alexander Sinclair married Margaret Budge on 26 Jul 1759

Since I can’t be sure whether James was christened in Olrig, or that his father was named Alexander, I haven’t been able to trace this line any further back at this stage.

I have 2 other connections to the Sinclair surname.  I believe that Elizabeth Sinclair’s mother Elizabeth Meiklejohn was the daughter of John Meiklejohn and Margaret Sinclair.

Margaret Sinclair was born around 1740.

She married John Meiklejohn on 12 Nov 1761 at Olrig, Caithness, Scotland.  They had three children:

  • William Meiklejohn (1762-1849)
  • Eliza (Elizabeth) Meiklejohn (1764-?)
  • John Meiklejohn (1767-?)

There are two possible baptisms in Olrig.

  • Margaret Sinclair daughter of John Sinclair was christened 8 Jan 1748
  • Margaret Sinclair daughter of James Sinclair was christened 19 May 1744

Since I don’t know which, if either, of these baptisms are for my Margaret, I haven’t been able to trace this line any further back either at this stage.

Elizabeth Sinclair’s husband David Clyne appears to have been the son of David Clyne and Catharine Sinclair

Catherine Sinclair was born about 1760

I have not yet been able to find a marriage for Catherine and David Clyne, but they had 9 children:

  • William Clyne (1778-?)
  • John Clyne (1780-?)
  • Alexander Clyne (1782-1865)
  • Margaret Clyne (1784-?)
  • ? Clyne (1785-?)
  • David Clyne (1787-1866)
  • Donald Clyne (1790-1860)
  • Benjamin Clyne (1793-?)
  • Henry Clyne (1795-1863)

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