This is the most exciting breakthrough I've had in quite a while!
We definitely have the right family, even though its very confusing with
so many Neil's. Here's another interesting twist - The Boston Mills
cemetery is full of Sinclairs and Campbells, all related to one another,
plus a few others. The Campbells are also intermarried with
the Lyons family! I correspond with some of their descendants,
and I will definitely telephone them today. Can't wait for the mail.
In Neil's (II) letter he definitely referred to his father's brother
Duncan. Duncan's wife Margaret Sinclair must be the in-law, and possible
related to the John Sinclair from Campbelton. If this
John went to New Orleans at an earlier time, that might explain why the
shipwreck survivors ended up there, instead of Canada. It didn't
make any sense before.
Question to the list: Do any of you know of a website of
sunken emigrant ships?
This one sank in 1845, possibly from Cambeltown or Greenock.
I don't know where
on the North American coast it sank.
Thanks to everyone for making this such a great interactive website!
PS Laurel - I'll be happy to send it to you, along with the brothers
in Canada, when it gets sorted out.
Jean Grigsby wrote:
have promised several people this week so if I don't get to it in the next
couple of days let me tell you this much now so you can be working on that
angle. I have a copy of a letter written by Neil, SR. who married
Margaret Lyons. (Your letter was apparently written by his son, Neil
or his grandson, Neil Bethell? Neil, Jr. named a son Neil Bethell
Sinclair so actually we are looking at Neil I, Neil II, and Neil III. My
records show that Neil II died ca. 1893 in Memphis. He did name a
son Neil Bethell Sinclair and perhaps he is the one who wrote your letter?
My records show that Neil II's aunt was Margaret Sinclair (wife of Duncan
Sinclair). That would make Duncan his uncle through marriage.
So really you have two Sinclair lines here which was not uncommon for cousins
to marry in that time era. Now that is confusing. To put it
in a nutshell - The parent of Neil I and the parent of Margaret were siblings. Yes,
I remember very well your gift of the book and one of these days I will
finally get all of my Canadian material to you. There is a lot of
it in my files but not yet sorted. It is only in cases like this
that I have it documented. The only other possible connection in
New Orleans would be John, b. ca. 1811. I researched him also and
found he was born in Campeldon, Argylshire, Scotland. I would be
surprised if he was closely related to Duncan or Neil as he was not mentioned
in the letter.However, he
could have been related to Duncan since Neil's connection was through his
wife. If anyone out there descends from John I will be happy to furnish
copies of what I found on him. I
am fascinated with the tombstone reference to New OrleansMore
----- Original Message -----
Sunday, October 29, 2000 4:24 AMSubject:
Re: lost branch of Sinclairs
How very nice to hear from you again. (In case you don't remember
me, I'm the person who sent Donald Whyte's "Dictionary of Scottish Emigrants
to Canada before Confederation")
I'm so thrilled that you recognize this family, because they have been
driving me crazy!
Im so close to connecting this American branch with its Canadian one,
but just couldn't quite do it. There are just too many Neils, Duncans
and Alexanders in that family.
When I've sorted it out, I'll return the information to you, along
with photos of the
celtic cross, and Alexander's (either father or grandfather) grave
inscription, and details
back to Islay, in Argyllshire.
I'll be sitting on pins and needles! Please let me know the postage,
or other costs.
Many, many thanks!
71 Lake Street
Grimsby, Ont. Canada
Jean Grigsby wrote:
can provide you with a lot on this family. I don't have it in the
computer but will try to get it in for you this week. This is one
of the families I researched during my research trip to New Orleans back
in May. Please send me your
mailing address. I know I probably have it somewhere but where?Jean
Hi everyone, I need help reconnecting a branch of the Sinclairs to
----- Original Message -----
Friday, October 27, 2000 5:00 AMSubject:
lost branch of Sinclairs
I have an old letter from a Neil Sinclair, who wrote that he
was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1885. In his early
recollections he said his father's name was Neil and his uncle's
name was Duncan, and they lived had in New Orleans. He also had
a cousin, Alexina, (presumably Duncan's daughter) who later married
a McBurney. This is the interesting part, he writes:
"Vaguely I knew that my progenitors came from Scotland and that in
the proceeds of immigrating to Canada, by some untoward Act of God, their
vessel was blown off course; a number of Sinclairs perished at sea and
those that were saved, finally settled in New Orleans. Of these,
my father and his brother were surely in some way connected with those
Does this story shake any leaves in your collective trees? I've
found out that the writer, Neil, later moved to California, and
I was able to find a death record for him - 03/09/56, and it notes that
his middle name was "Bethel", his mother's maiden name.
On the Canadian front, I know he is distantly related, we also have
the shipwreck story.
It happened in 1845. I know his ancestors came to Boston Mill,
Ontario, and that the body of at least one of the deceased was brought
there for burial- Alexander, born 1814. There is a magnificent celtic
cross, probably 16 feet high, at the cemetery there, which reads "SINCLAIR
- NEW ORLEANS'. Maybe its there to commemorate the
rest of the family who perished.
Does this story shake any leaves in your collective trees? How
does this Neil relate? Was he a newphew, or a grandson? What happened
to his own son Neil? I've spent days on the internet checking
out Neils, but have hit a brick wall.
Any help out there?