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Re: Origin of Irish Sinclairs: Sinclair -> Nokaird?????
Just to put in my 2 cents worth:
I've been researching the Sinclairs on the little Isle of Islay, Argyllshire
for several years. Of all the documents I have found prior to 1749, I've
only found one mention of a Sinclair (1732 baptism of an Effie Sinclair.
Father's name unreadable). LOTS of McNokairds (various spellings), back to
as far as 1541.
After 1745, there is no mention of any McNokaird anywhere on the island,but
LOTS of Sinclairs. I know this is not conclusive, but I did discuss this
with Dr. David Caldwell, Curator of Antiquities, National Museums of
Scotland in Edinburgh, who could also find no McNokairds on Islay after
1745. He actually mentioned it in his article for the Argyll Colony Plus
(Journal of the North Carolina Scottish Heritage Society), vol. 16, #2, July
2002, "The Ilich - People of Islay."
"......There is another Islay family of interest in this context, the
MacNocards. Their name is derived from the Gaelic for the son of the ceard,
meaning a smith or metalworker, often with the sense of someone who worked
in copper and silver rather than iron. There was a Gilchrist McNarkerde in
Braid (Kilchoman P.) in 1541 and several tenants with this surname occur in
later rentals on various Islay lands, including Gearach in the Parish of
Kilchoman (Donald McNokard in 1733 and 1741). It is believed that at a
later date MacNokards in Argyll generally adopted the name Sinclair (Book of
Islay, p 488 ), and Sinclairs do indeed turn up in Islay rentals of the
The lands of Braid and Gearach are adjacent to each other, and the
former possibly indluded, or was certainly near, Caonis Gall, said to have
been the home of the MacEachern smiths (Exchequer Rolls, vol. 17, 555 ).
There is also a small valley called the Gleann na Ceardaich (glen of the
smiddy)less than a mile to the north. It is possible that the MacNokards
were also descended from the MacEachern smiths of the Lords of the Isles.
It is worth pointing out that the tenants of Gearach in 1733 included Donald
McNodard, Archibald McKecheran and Donald Smith, perhaps all distantly
related.(Cawdor Papers, Cawdor Castle Estate Office, Bundle 655, Rental of
Islay for 1631)".....
I've tried for ages to connect one tenant list with the name of McNokaird to
the later tenant list naming Sinclair with the same first name. No luck.
Some lists were in deplorable, unreadable condition (Sandy and I actually
received permission from the Countess of Cawdor to read all the documents in
bundle 655), and there were many gaps, because leases often ran for several
years, and it wasn't necessary to list the tenants each year.
I've narrowed the gap, I THINK! I am quite sure that the grandfather of
Archibald Sinclair, founder of the Celtic Press in Glasgow, was Archibald
McNokaird, mentioned in the Stent Book of 1745. since the younger man was
in publishing, and a fairly prominent businessman in the mid-1800s, I'm
trying to find an autobiography or biography about him. Apparently there is
one in a back issue of a magazine in Edinburgh. I've written several time
to purchase it, with no response. I've finally asked a friend near
Edinburgh to go to the shop to purchase it for me. I will keep you all
----- Original Message -----
From: "Joe Erkes" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "LIST Sinclair" <email@example.com>
Sent: Wednesday, September 18, 2002 4:18 PM
Subject: Origin of Irish Sinclairs: Sinclair -> Nokaird?????
Some time back, there were a series of posts on the topic of the migration
of the surname łNokiard˛(sp?) to Sinclair in 18th century Argyll. Although
I keep all my Sinclair posts, I canąt seem to find those.
[ Excess quotations omitted. ]
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