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The Sinclairs of Tiree, Argyllshire
The Sinclairs of Argyll were not all 'transmutants' i.e. stemminbg from
ceards or MacNokairds. For example,
we are indebted to "The St Clairs of the Isles" for the
Donald Sinclair left his native Caithness to go and work as a factor on
the Estate of MacLean of Kingerloch
who owned the Island of Tiree. He had a son:
Donald Sinclair who also had a son:
Peter Sinclair, a farmer, who was born in Tiree in 1758 and died in
1834. By Margaret Campbell,his wife,
he had a son:
The Reverend John Campbell Sinclair who was born in Tiree 15th August,
1792; studied in the Universities
of Edinburgh and Glasgow at which latter place he graduated. In
1838, he and his family emigrated to Picton
(surely this must be Pictou) Nova Scotia where he became the Minister of
the Presbyterian Church.
His fluency as a Gaelic scholar and preacher made him very attractive to
thousands of his Scottish countrymen
and their descendants.
In 1858 he moved to North Carolina and, after the Civil War, he laboured
among the Freedmen until 1869 when his
voice suddenly failed - the result of his open air addresses. After
1870 he lived with his son:
The Reverend Alexander Sinclair and his son-in-law,the Reverend Dr. D.A.
Cunningham at whose residence in
Wheeling, West Virginia, he died on 23rd April, 1878.
The above John Campbell Sinclair married at Scalastil House on the Island
of Mull in Argyllshire. His bride was
Mary Julia, the daughter of John McLean by Margaret McLean, his
wife. She was an orphan and lived at
Scalstil House with her cousins on her father's side. Sir Archibald
McLean and Sir Hector McLean, both Major-
Generals in the British Army, were her cousins.
She died in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania on 24th May, 1854 and is buried in
Allegheny Cemetery. They had issue:
The Reverend James Sinclair, born in Tiree, came to America with his
parents where he entered the Western
Theological Seminary at Allegheny City, Pennsylvania in 1854 where he
graduated in 1857 in which year he was
called to be the Pastor in the Presbyterian Church of Smyrna,North
In 1851 he was made Chaplain of the 5th North Carolina Infantry Regiment
by Jefferson Davis. He commanded
half of the Regiment at Bull Run and, in December, 1861, he was made
Colonel of the 35th North Carolina Regiment.
After the Battle of Newberne, North Carolina, he became disgusted with
the way the war was being conducted;
resigned his position; and retired to his home.
He became and ardent Republican after the collapse of the rebellion; was
elected to the Legislature of North
Carolina and was appointed U.S. assessor in the District of Cape Fear by
President Grant. He married (1)
Mary, the daughter of Samuel McPherson, on Prince Edward Island, in
1846. He married (2) in 1860, Mary E.,
the daughter of Dr Edward McQueen, of Lumberton, North Carolina and had
two children. He died at Monroe,
North Carolina on 5th AUgust, 1877 and is buried in Lumberton.
Their issue (it is not stated by which wife) were:
James John Sinclair
Julia Sinclair who married Samuel T. Neill, attorney at Titusville,
Mary Ellen Sinclair )
Sarah Elizabeth Sinclair ) twins
Annie Sinclair who married the Reverend D.A. Cunningham of Wooster, Ohio
to whom reference has already been made.
Margaret Sinclair who married John Q. McDougald of Fayetteville, North
The Reverend Alexander Sinclair - see above.
The Reverend Alexander Sinclair who was born in Mull, Scotland, on 14th
March, 1834 also attended the Western
Theological Seminary at Allegheny, Pennsylvania in 1854, graduating in
1856 and was ordained Pastor of the
Presbyterian Church in Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania.
In 1857, he was called to the First Presbyterian Church in Charlotte,
North Carolina and was installed in the Fall
of that year. He died in Salisbury, Md on 22nd February,
1885. He married (1) Nellie Plummer of Newbury Port,
Massachusetts who died without issue and (2) Mary Laura, the daughter of
Adam Brevard Davidson of Charlotte,
North Carolina by whom:
Brevard Davidson Sinclair
Mary Duart Sinclair born 1861
John Campbell Sinclair born 1863 died 1864
Alexander McLean Sinclair born and died in 1866
Alexander Peter Sinclair born 27th November, 1867
Laura Virginia Sinclair born 20th August, 1870
Richard Springs Sinclair born and died 1873
Annie Harley Sinclair born 3rd February, 1875
The Reverend Brevard Davidson Sinclair (see above) who was born at
Charlotte, North Carolina on October
31st, 1859 became a lawyer but decided to study for the Ministry.
He lived in Newburyport, Massachusetts
in 1892. He married Tabulah Rice Blair in October 26th, 1887.
They had issue:
Brevard Davidson Sinclair II born 30th July, 1888
Alexander Malcolm Sinclair born 5th October, 1889 at Newburyport,
Robert Augustus Sinclair born 27th May, 1891 at Newburyport,
Roland St Clair, the author of "The St Clairs of the Isles"
acknowledges that the above information,on this
branch of the Sinclair lineage,came from "An Historical Account of
the Genealogy of the Children and
Grandchildren of the Reverend John Campbell Sinclair" written by the
Reverend Brevard Davidson Sinclair.
I hope that the above will be of some assistance to those people who are
trying to establish that some of
the Sinclairs of Argyll did emanate from Caithness from where they spread
to Prince Edward Island, Nova
Scotia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and West
Virginia. Quite a story. Quite a family
of preachers. So many hell-fire sermons that the progenitor of this
family "lost his voice".