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Sinclairs & Lairds
From: IAIN LAIRD,
To: Niven Sinclair, INTERNET:Sinclair@Clara.Co.UK
Niven Sinclair, INTERNET:Niven@Niven.Co.UK
Sinclair Discussion List, INTERNET:email@example.com
Date: 15/07/99 8:05 AM
RE: Sinclairs & Lairds
Thanks for your information yesterday about Hempriggs. As ever you are a
perpetual font of fascinating information. You wrote:
I have a letter from a Donald L Sinclair in front of me which, inter alia,
"I did speak to a Mrs Macdonald, the matron of Hempriggs Nursing Home. She
told me that her husband's name was Sinclair Macdonald and his mother's
surname was Laird. The Laird family also lived at Hempriggs House at one
time were related to the Sinclair family who built it"
He goes on:
"My great great great grandfather, William Sinclair, was born at Hempriggs
House in 1793. He came to America in 1805"
"Mr Stewart, the current owner of Bilbster House, said that Bilbster House
had also been built by Sinclairs who were related to those at Hempriggs"
I have been looking through my Sinclair of the Isles and find the Dunbars
in ownership of Hempriggs.
from the following quotation:
"Elizabeth Sinclair, a daughter of George Sinclair of Mey, married William
Dunbar, first of Hempriggs in Morayshire and grandfather of Sir William
Dunbar of Hempriggs in Caithness. This marriage took place in the 16th
"Elizabeth Sinclair, daughter of Alexander Sinclair of Olrig, married
Charles Sinclair of Bilbster".
"Jean Sinclair, daughter of John Sinclair of Brims and Ulbster, married
Benjamin Dunbar of Hempriggs"
Niven, I have extracted some notes on Hempriggs from my Caithness
references, and further references to the Laird family in Caithness, which
might connect up with knowledge out there in the world-wide Sinclair Clan?
Caithness Place Names
Hempriggs This name was introduced wheen Hempriggs House was built about
1692. The area was called Telstane in 1545. Hempster 1724.
Around Caithness in Story and Verse, Isabel Salmon
"Springtime in Caithness"
Hev ye taen ae rod till Hempriggs
On a cowld an' frosty day
To see again the snowdrops
That grew there along the way.
CANNESBAY SESSION RECORDS MAR 1652/FEB 1666
During the Ministry of William Davidson
09.53 bpt ISSOBELL : Dvd. McBEATH, Wm HARPAR in Dungasbey
10.56 bpt MARGARET: Jn DUNNETT, Wm McBEATH
06.59 bpt GILBERT: Jn ANDERSONE, MENDTHEPLAY
08.60 called a thief by MARGT GROATE
11.53 bpt JOHNE: Jn SINCLAIR, Jn DEYTH
09.55 cld HENDRIE GEDDES a common limmer
03.58 fornication wt JANET WARSS hr relapse
AUGUST 19 1660
MARGT GROAT, charged and called, compeiring & being accused, confessed sche
called ANDRO LAIRD a thieff and stands be it; Referred to ye said MARGT
GROAT to prove her alledgence the nixt Lord's day or, failling, yt sche
sall satisfie as a sclanderer
SEPTEMBER 2 1660
MARGT GROAT, charged and called, compeiring & being required to prove her
alledgence against ANDRO LAIRD, sche was silent; wherefore, ye next day was
assigned for to prove it or, failling yt ye sentence sall pass her to stand
in sackcloath and satisfie as a slanderer
Records kept in the Church, August 1993
p 170 William Laird in Freswick was appointed elder in 1812
Wm LAIRD W Cath Smith d 1798 25 yrs
p171 Sinclair Laird w. Canisbay House 9.9.1883 79 yrs
William Laird father of Sinclair Laird d Stroma 23.9.1861 22
p172 John Laird drowned Duncansby 3.11.1820 24
p264 Geo Manson, Freswick 6.1.1884 51, w Charlotte Laird d Glasgow
16.4.1912 inter Kilbowie Cem Dunbartonshire
Incidentally, while we have linked Freswick in Sinclairs Bay with Fresvik
in Sognfjord, I note that at the head of the Fjord is a town whose origins
go back to the 13th Century: Lærdal. I wonder if this is the origin of the
surname? Many Norwegians today bear the name of their farm or village as a
Thanks once again. Once more indebted to you, Niven. I look forward to
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