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Mhic na cearda
Hi All -
Spoke extensively with the Archivist in Argyll regarding Mhic na cearda and
together we learned a few things. First, he was not aware that this was the
Gaelic for Sinclair until he confirmed with Dwelly's Gaelic Dictionary. So
we discussed my theory that the McNokaird's found in the old archives and
early OPRs was the English phonetically spelling of Mhic na cearda. While
he admits he has never looked into it - he does believe it is possible. So
he very kindly checked Black's for me and the Gaelic for McNokaird is ...
Mhic na cearda! What the entry says about McNokaird's I don't know. I was
trying (desperately - but not very successful ) not to take up to much time
from Murdo and since I have a copy of Black's on the way I told him I would
check it in detail then.
Cearda (pronounced kyard) does mean tinker or dealer in metals.
The records in Argyll were first kept in Scots and then in English - the
administration records are never found in Gaelic. Many people went through
life in Argyll with two forms of the same name. Their Gaelic and their
English version. Many were not even similar in appearance or pronunciation.
Murdo told me a very funny story of a gentleman he recently helped who for
most of his life believed his grandfather had been married to two separate
women - one a Lamont and one (can't remember the Gaelic correctly) - anyway
they were one and the same. She had just used both names interchangeably
during her lifetime. Most gravestones are in English even though the
language spoken was Gaelic.
Oh - by the way while Mac, Mc, Mhic etc.. mean son of, Nic, N', Nik, Nc
etc.. mean daughter of so when you are checking old records remember to
I tried to see if Murdo knew the magazine that Ray Lower has seen. He was
not familiar but I will check with my friend at the district library and if
all else fails I have a great contact with the Inveraray Historical Society
who specializes in Glen Shira - she is a MacGregor of course!
Anyway - fellow Argyll Sinclair's you are Mhic na ceard - be proud! How we
actually link to our fellow clansmen in Caithness I am not sure . Any
Have a great day!
But Always Argyll
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