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THE SINCLAIRS OF SHURERY

William Sinclair in Shurery was married and had by his wife six children: George, baptized 22 January 1757; Alexander, 16 February 1759 ; Janet, 23 February 1763; William, 17 March 1765; Catherine, 4 September 1765; Margaret, 19 February 1768; and Elizabeth, who was born probably in 1771.

George Sinclair, in Shurery, had William, baptized in 1759. Donald Sinclair in Shurery had Christy, baptized in 1759, John in 1761, Elizabeth in 1763, and Janet in 1767.

It is probable that the three Sinclairs in Shurery, William, George and Donald were brothers.

There were fifteen tenants in Shurery in 1794. They were paying between them a rent of 100.

Author's Addition (2nd Edition 1902):
Thomas Sinclair, tacksman of Shurery, was the progenitor of the Sinclairs of that district. It is likely that he belonged to the Sinclairs of Dunbeath and Stemster. He had apparently three sons, William, George and Alexander. He had at least five grandsons, William, Alexander, William, George and Donald.

The first William contracted for marriage with Christy Gunn in Cattack, 1 December 1751. He had six children: George, Alexander, Janet, William, Catherine, Margaret, and Elizabeth. Alexander contracted for marriage with Elizabeth Gunn in Dalnacletan, 22 June 1754.

The second William was a son of Alexander, son of Thomas. He contracted for marriage with Barbara, daughter of William Campbell in Ausdale, 17 February 1758. He removed to Brawlbin shortly after his marriage, and is described as a merchant there in 1763. He had four children: Catherine, baptized 16 June 1762; William, 24 October 1763; Alexander, 13 October 1765; and Donald, 4 April 1770. He leased a farm in Brawlbin, 20 June 1796, for eighteen years, at a rent of 9. 11 shillings and 4 pence a year. It is stated that he kept open house, during a time of great scarcity, for all the poor in the district in which he lived.

THE SINCLAIRS OF STRATH-HALLADALE

Alexander Sinclair in Strath-Halladale entered into a contract of marriage with Mary Mackay in Thurso, 23 December 1728, George Sinclair, merchant in Thurso, being cautioner for the latter.

George Sinclair in Dalhalvaig had his daughter Ann baptized in 1752.
John Sinclair in Golval had his son John baptized in 1756.
Donald Sinclair in Golval had Janet baptized in 1764, Beatrice in 1767, and John in 1769.
Author's Correction (2nd Edition 1902): for Janet read William.

It is possible that George, John and Donald were brothers. It is at any rate fairly certain that John and Donald were brothers.

John Sinclair in Golval had four children: William, John, Ann, and Donald.
William must have been born as early as 1755. John was baptized 21 Dec 1756.
Ann was born probably in 1759, and Donald, probably in 1761.
John was born in Golval; the other children may or may not have been born there. The christian name of John Sinclair's wife was Catherine. It is said that she was a Cameron.

1. William, eldest son of John Sinclair in Golval, married Catherine Campbell, by whom he had nine children: Colin, Alexander, Catherine, John, John, Ann, Henrietta, Christy and Hugh. According to the inscription on his tombstone, Alexander was born in 1778. Catherine was baptized in 1785, the first John in 1788, the second John in 1791, Ann in 1794, and Hugh in 1799.

William Sinclair lived at Clarville in 1788. He became tenant of the farm of Kirkton some time afterwards. He was removed from Kirkton by the tyranny of landlordism in 1807. He went then to live at Achramisgag near Melvich, where he passed the remainder of his days.

Colin, son of William Sinclair in Clarville, married Mary, daughter of James Innes of the Reay Inn, and had by her Donald, James, William, Alexander, Peter, John, Jane, Margaret, Catherine the elder, Catherine the younger, and Marjory. Donald was baptized in January 1803; James in December 1804, and William in November 1806.
Colin Sinclair lived at Kirkton until 1807. He lived afterwards at Melvich for a number of years. He died at Dunn in the parish of Watten.

Donald, his eldest son, married Jane Mackenzie, by whom he had David, Colin, Barbara, Hugh, and Mary Innes.
Colin was Free Church minister at Invergordon.

William, third son of Colin Sinclair and Mary Innes, lived at Port Skerray. He married Jane Munro, by whom he had Donald, Alexander, Colin, and three daughters.
Colin was for some time minister of Ripley, Ontario.

Three of the sons of Colin Sinclair and Mary Innes - James, Alexander and Peter - emigrated to Australia.

Alexander, son of William Sinclair in Clarville, was for a few years in the Reay Fencibles. He entered into business as a merchant in Thurso about 1803. He married Catherine Waters in September 1806 and had by her nine children: William, Benjamin, Daniel, Alexander, Catherine, Jane, Henrietta, Elizabeth and Margaret. He died July 13, 1852, aged seventy-four. He was a man of deep piety and sound sense.
The Rev. Mr. Auld gives a very interesting account of him in his excellent work, "Ministers and Men of the Far North".

Catherine, eldest daughter of William Sinclair in Clarville, was drowned at Thurso. Ann was married in December, 1814, to John Murray, merchant, Thurso. Henrietta was married to Hugh Macpherson in Strath-halladale, and Christy to Robert Macdonald in Trantlemore.

2. John, second son of John Sinclair in Golval, entered into a contract of marriage with "Janet Sinclair in Shurery" on May 22nd, 1787. He is described as "John Sinclair in Bighouse". He lived at Breckrow, am Breacradh, which is about half-way between Trantlebeg burn and Forsinain burn.
He was removed from Breckrow in 1807, by Mrs. Colin Mackay of Bighouse to make room for sheep, dogs and shepherds.
On being expelled from Strath-halladale he went to Strathy and settled on the croft of Dal-Giobag, about a mile from the mouth of the Strathy river. For this croft he was paying an annual rent of 13.
In 1820 he was driven from his home a second time to make room for sheep. Among those turned out of Strathy along with him was John Grant, one of the famous "men" of the far North. As Sutherlandshire would not give him leave to toil any longer within its bounds, he removed to Caithness, the land of his forefathers.
He settled at Clachbhuail, or Clachvul, about two miles from Brubster, and was allowed to spend the rest of his days there in peace. He is buried in the Reay churchyard.

3. Donald, third son of John Sinclair in Golval, lived in Cargarry. He married Elizabeth Mackay and had by her ten children: John, Jane, Catherine, Augustus, Angus, Barbara, Farquhar, Ann, Janet, and Donald. He is described as Donald Sinclair in Cargarry from 1784 to 1799, and afterwards as Donald Sinclair in Forsinain. He was removed from Forsinain in 1707, and went to live at Trantlemore.
John, the eldest son, was baptized in February 1784. He entered the army when quite young, and died there.
Angus married Jane Macleod, by whom he had six children. He died at Achnavast in the parish of Thurso.
Donald was born in 1804. He married Barbara Mackay, by whom he had three sons and three daughters. He died at Trantlemore, 1 Sep 1888.
Jane, eldest daughter of Donald Sinclair in Cargarry, was married to Hugh Mackay in Trantlemore; Catherine, to James Ross; Barbara, to William Cooper; Ann, to John Munro in Durness; and Janet, to Donald Macdonald.

4. Ann, only daughter of John Sinclair in Golval, was married, first to George Campbell in Cargarrymore, and by him had four children, Catherine, George, John and Hugh.
She was married, secondly, to George Mackay, by whom she had two sons, George and William.
Hugh, her third son, was baptized in June 1783. George, her fourth son, was baptized in August 1788. She died at Brubster. She was noted for her earnest piety.

Author's Addition (2nd Edition 1902):
John Sinclair in Stemster had his son William baptized 21 March 1755. It is possible that this is the John Sinclair who appears in Golval in 1756. But even if it could be proved that such was the case it would not follow that he was born in Stemster.

It is admitted that all the Sinclairs in Strath-Halladale had a common origin. As then the Alexander Sinclair who married Mary Mackay in 1728 is the first Sinclair found in Strath-Halladale, it is fairly probable that he was the father of the John Sinclair who lived in Golval in 1756, and also of the Donald Sinclair who lived there in 1764.

According to Mr. Hugh Campbell in Reay, the Sinclairs of Strath-Halladale are descended from Alexander Sinclair, tacksman of Strubster in Canisbay. A Reay tradition affirms that the Donald Sinclair who was tenant of Achvarisdale, and died there in 1803, was a grandson of Alexander Sinclair, ninth Earl of Caithness. The same tradition asserts that Donald was born in Strath-Halladale and that he lived there for a number of years.

Mr. Thomas Sinclair, the well-known Caithness historian, maintains that the Alexander Sinclair who married Mary Mackay in 1728 was a son of the ninth Earl of Caithness, and thus belonged to the Murkle family, that he was born about 1705, that his mother was a Mackay, that he was brought up with his mother's people in Strath-halladale, and that he became tacksman of Lambsdale some time before 1740, and tacksman of Strubster in 1756.

William Sinclair in Stemster seems to have been a brother of the Strubster tacksman.

David Sinclair, merchant, Thurso, is the present representative of the Sinclairs of Strath-Halladale.

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