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[Prepared by permission from "History of the Sinclair Family" by the Hon. Leonard A. Morrison, of Windham, New Hampshire]


JOHN SINKLER (1), Britisher, an American colonist, appeared in Exeter, New Hampshire, as early as 1658, for on the 6th January 1659, he purchased ten acres of land, and is mentioned in the deed, which is extant, as of Exeter. On 10th October 1664, the town of Exeter, at a public meeting, granted him "fifteen acres" lying in old Salesbury way, beyond James Wall's land. On the 27th April 1667, he and Mary, his wife, conveyed fifteen acres to a fellow citizen. He is mentioned in a boundary agreement between two neighbours on the 11th February 1672, against one of whom he made suit on 8th October following for trespass. There is no record of the result, but there is a reference to the matter in an enactment of the Selectmen of Exeter, dated 8th June 1682. On 30th November 1677, he "took oath of allegiance to His Majesty and fidelity to the country". He applied for a grant of land 6th April 1678, and on the 6th December thereafter purchased twenty acres of upland in Exeter, which town granted him a like acreage 23rd January 1680. The Province Rate of 9th May 1682, assesses "For the town of Exeter, John Sinclere 19 shillings and 4 pence" (Province Rate made in Exeter, 13th April 1682, to be paid in boards at 30 shillings per month and white oak p.p. staves at 3 shillings per thousand; wheat at 5 shillings per bushel; peas at 4 shillings; millet at 3 shillings and 6 pence; Indian corn 3 shillings per bushel).

His name appears on a petition to the Government 20th February 1689-90, against the Governor, one Edward Cranfield, and praying for protection from the Indians, and that the military officers of the train soldiers should be chosen by the soldiers of the respective towns. There is a doubt as to the signature being a genuine autograph. He dwelt on the banks of Wheelwrights creek. Only the Christian names of his wives have been preserved, that of the first being Mary, and that of the second Deborah, who made with him a business contract before their marriage. In 1698 (September 11th), upon the formation of the first Congregational Church, thirteen persons were "dismissed in order to their being incorporated into a church state in Exeter". Among them was Mrs. Deborah Sinkler.

[Note - the non-preservation of the wives' surnames is one of several indications that this family was of English origin]

John Sinkler, on 7th January 1699-l700, "being sick of body but of sound and perfect mind and memory", for which he expressed devout thankfulness, made his last will and testament, which was admitted to probate 14th September, 1700. There is no signature appended to the instrument, but in place thereof is a circle, known in common parlance as the "Round Robin". Children born at Exeter, New Hampshire:

  1. JAMES, born 27th July 1660; resident Exeter, New Hampshire
  2. MARY, born 27th June 1663; she married a Mr. Wheeler.
  3. SARAH, born 15th September, 1664; this will be the daughter that married Mr. Jones, whose sons John and Benjamin are named in John Sinkler's will.
  4. MARIA, born about 1666; married Mr. Bedell.
  5. JOHN, born about 1668; resident Exeter, New Hampshire

ROBERT SINKLER of Wells, Minnesota, was probably also a son.


JAMES SINKLER (2), husbandman, dwelt near "Wheal Right's creek". At the early age of sixteen he rendered military service in "King Philip's War" in Captain John Holbrook's company. He took the oath of State allegiance 30th November 1677. In 1682 (April 13) his province rate in Exeter was 1 shilling & 6 pence. He signed the protest against Governor Cranfield, and joined his father and brother in petitioning the "Bay Government", 20th February 1689-90, for protection against the Indians. He was constable of Exeter in 1694 and in 1697; juryman at the Superior Court in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 10th August 1703; and was selectman of Exeter in 1695, 1700, 1706, and 1721.

From 1702 to April 11, 1713, "Queen Anne's War" kept the New Hampshire colony in constant unrest and fear. James Sinkler was a soldier, and his account of personal services at Newbury blockhouses in 1704 was 2 pounds 18 shillings and 6 pence. He will be the Sergeant Sinkler of 1610 in charge of a scouting party. He was again a juryman 12th August 1712; on the grand jury 9th February 1719-20; and was one of the 215 proprietors of Gilmantown 20th May 1727. His wife was Mary, youngest child of Richard and Prudence Scammon. She was born 31st May 1763. From her parents she received all the "salt medde" between Quoboag road and Moore's creek. His will was executed on 23rd July 1731, within four days of his seventy-first birthday, and probate was granted 15th February 1732-33. Birthdates of his children can only be approximately stated.

Children born Exeter, New Hampshire:

  1. JOHN, born about 1690.
  2. JOSEPH, born about 1692.
  3. SAMUEL born about 1694.
  4. JONATHAN, born about 1700.
  5. RICHARD, born about 1705.
  6. EBENEZER, born after 1710.
  7. BENJAMIN, born about 1712.
  8. MERCY; she married Ralph, son of Kingsley Hall, of Exeter.
  9. MARTHA, married Jeremiah (?) Bean.
  10. DAVID, born about 1711; living 23rd July 1731.
  11. KESIAH, born about 1718; living 23rd July 1731.
  12. MARY, born about 1719; living 23rd July 1731.
[NOTE - Kesiah was a name used only in SW England, and unknown in Scotland. This family almost certainly came from Exeter in England, or nearby]

JOHN SINKLER, JUNIOR (6), was born in Exeter about 1668. He was a signatory of the petition to the Government of Massachusetts 20th February 1689-90, but there is a doubt as to the genuineness of the petition. In 1709 his name again appears on a petition to the Government. He was a constable of Exeter June 5th, 1711-12, and served as juror February 14th, 1715-16, and at the court which was in session August 27th, 1717, and was on the grand jury February 9th, 1719-20. On the 9th February 1726, he purchased house and lands in Exeter, and on 20th June 1729, deeded one-half of his lands and estate to his "beloved son John Sinkler of said Exeter". His wife, who survived him, was Elisabeth, daughter of John Bean, senior, of Exeter, where she was born on 24th September, 1678. His will bears date 28th December 1730, and was admitted to probate 16th November 1731. His wife was sole executrix. She was directed to return appraisal of the estate at the Probate Court 16th February 1732-33.

Children born Exeter, New Hampshire:

  1. JOHN
  3. ABIGAIL, born about 1710.
  4. MARGARET, born about 1712.
  5. ELISABETH, born about 1713.

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