My father John Sinclair found this article whiles travelling through Western Australia. He picked it up from the Norseman Tourist Bureau. Maybe someone on our list maybe related to this family. My Sinclair line are from Shetland, but I haven't been able to trace the line as yet.
Laurie Sinclair and his horse " Hardy Norseman "
Laurie Sinclair was a Norse-man, a native of the Shetland Islands, from where his family, parents and six children, emigrated to Australia in January 1864. Prior to his success on the Goldfields he worked with the Dempster Brothers when they pioneered Esperance. It was after an unsuccessful visit to the Coolgardie Goldfield in 1893 that, when returning to Esperance via Dundas, he was told that his brother George, Jack Allsop were prospecting out from Dundas, he decided to look them up. They were in the vicinity of Norseman and investigating a few specks of Alluvial Gold in a small gully. Laurie tried the ridge and it was here that he discovered the rich reef which became known as the " Norseman ".
Popular legend has it that while tethering his horse "Norseman" up for the night, found the next morning a chunk of a Gold reef, which the horse had pawed up and exposed in the night. Laurie Sinclair grateful to his horse, called his find after it and the name of Norseman was also given to the mining town that sprung up as a result of the find. Legend or not, the name of Norseman can be found in mine registration records today.
Sinclair and his partner Allsop sold out to an Adelaide company (Harold's) for 6000 pounds. The partnership was dissolved and Sinclair continued prospecting for some years but made no other valuable strikes. He was never really very well off. When Esperance promised to boom, he built houses, largely on credit, with ideas of selling at a profit, but the boom never came in his time and he was never able to clear his debt.
In his late years, Laurie worked for the Dempster Brothers again, carting sheep from one Island of the Archipelago to the other on a specially built scow about 25ft long and able to transport a hundred sheep. After this boat was wrecked near Cape Le Grande, Laurie mostly helped his sons with contracting in sinking Dams for the Stations until his death in 1923. Some of the Sinclair family still live in Esperance and Sinclair is remembered as one of our real pioneers who belonged to, and remained in the district.