Author Topic: James Sinclair wherefore art thou - circa 1887  (Read 640 times)

Offline Sinkler

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 10
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
James Sinclair wherefore art thou - circa 1887
« on: Thursday 15 December 16 20:04 GMT (UK) »
Help please. I, and others, have failed ever to identify anything about my great great grandfather James Sinclair other than the fact that he is named and signed as father, Ploughman, from Hillhead, on the birth certificate of his "illegitimate" son (my great grandfather), also James Sinclair. The birth was 2.9.1887. at High Street, Wick. We know all about the mother (my great great grandmother), Margaret Simpson, originally from Stroma, who had a further "illegitimate" daughter Ellen McGregor, then on 1.11.1893 married John Dunnet and had several more children with him. But James the Ploughman is not known of before or since the 1887 birth. Family lore has it that he was drowned, but there is no record of a death that would seem to match him. James the son lived until 1964, was in Wick with gran (Mary Simpson)/aunt (Annie Clyne nee Simpson) in 1891 & 1901 census, then joined the Royal Engineers, serving in Mauritius, WW1 BEF and then Egypt. His 1910 marriage record states his father was James Sinclair, farm worker, deceased. I am trawling Caithness for him but thus far can find no probable matches. Any thoughts really welcome. Thanks
Sinclair, Simpson, Maguire, Cook, Tait, Chalmers, Laing, Thomson, Maloney, Thomas, Edwards, Hill,

RootsChat is the busiest, largest free family history forum site in the country. It is completely free to use. Register now.
Also register instantly with Facebook or Twitter (and other social networks). Start your genealogy search now.


Online Milliepede

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 8,711
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: James Sinclair wherefore art thou - circa 1887
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 15 December 16 22:21 GMT (UK) »
Have you checked for deaths at sea - if the drowning story is true it may not have been close to home.

Are there any likely suspects on 1881 census for James Sinclair ploughman?
Hinchliffe Huddersfield Wiltshire

RootsChat is the busiest, largest free family history forum site in the country. It is completely free to use. Register now.
Also register instantly with Facebook or Twitter (and other social networks). Start your genealogy search now.


Online Milliepede

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 8,711
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: James Sinclair wherefore art thou - circa 1887
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 15 December 16 22:27 GMT (UK) »
Just choosing a birth year of 1867 there's a James in Grant St Wick age 14 in 1881. 

How old was Margaret in 1887? 

Another one who is 23 in 1881 - son of a farmer so he could be a ploughman. 
Hinchliffe Huddersfield Wiltshire

Offline Sinkler

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 10
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: James Sinclair wherefore art thou - circa 1887
« Reply #3 on: Friday 16 December 16 13:53 GMT (UK) »
Thanks so much, Milliepede. I have been through all the Marine Returns on Scotlands People and there are no likely James Sinclair deaths - one is an outside possibility only. I went through the 81 census a few days ago and pulled out about 10 James Sinclairs who lived near to where she was born, lived or the the mother lived - i.e. Stroma/Canisbay, Keiss, Wick. Of those there are a couple who seem more likely and I need to look in more detail at them and try and find a connection. I also need to check the Valuation Rolls in case I can find him there in '85. Margaret was about 26 in '87 - in my search I allowed options of him being anything from 18-40+ but on the whole will focus more on men closest to her age. It is probably too long ago now for anyone to have local knowledge of such an event, as that would have had to have been passed down though more than one generation. He (the son James) held me in his arms when I was a baby, and I used to holiday with his youngest half sister Minnie Rhind nee Dunnet. I wished I could have asked then back then :)
Sinclair, Simpson, Maguire, Cook, Tait, Chalmers, Laing, Thomson, Maloney, Thomas, Edwards, Hill,

Offline Sinkler

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 10
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: James Sinclair wherefore art thou - circa 1887
« Reply #4 on: Friday 16 December 16 19:04 GMT (UK) »
I have checked now and the 14 year old in Grant Street is not on my list so I will look at him again. I have 14 other possibilities who would have been 22 to 36 when the baby was born. Ideally I want to find someone at, or very near, Hillhead, as that is what he wrote on the birth certificate :)
Sinclair, Simpson, Maguire, Cook, Tait, Chalmers, Laing, Thomson, Maloney, Thomas, Edwards, Hill,

Offline DonM

  • RootsChat Veteran
  • *****
  • Posts: 837
    • View Profile
Re: James Sinclair wherefore art thou - circa 1887
« Reply #5 on: Friday 16 December 16 19:57 GMT (UK) »
There was a James Sinclair who farmed at Westbanks which was maybe a mile if that SW of Wick (town) in 1881.  A small farm of 5.2 acres.  His son James was 23 and single.

I looked in the '75/'85 Valuations and see no Sinclair around Hillhead except for Sinclair Miller.

Good hunting.

Don


Offline Sinkler

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 10
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: James Sinclair wherefore art thou - circa 1887
« Reply #6 on: Friday 16 December 16 21:28 GMT (UK) »
Thanks Don, kind of you. South west of Wick makes it uncertain as only direct proximity to Hillhead increases the chance of it being the right JS I think. Thanks for checking the Valuations. I also need to look at them around Keiss which is a bit north of Hillhead and is where the baby James was living with his Simpson gran in 1891.
Sinclair, Simpson, Maguire, Cook, Tait, Chalmers, Laing, Thomson, Maloney, Thomas, Edwards, Hill,

Offline Sinkler

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 10
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: James Sinclair wherefore art thou - circa 1887
« Reply #7 on: Friday 16 December 16 22:02 GMT (UK) »
For anyone following this, I have learned a lesson tonight: just because you find somewhere with a name (in this case "Hillhead" where James Sinclair stated he lived on the birth certificate) do not, repeat do not, assume that that is the only place with that name. I have just seen from the 1873 Ordinance Survey results for Caithness that, as well as Hillhead in Wick, there were other Hillheads in Dunnet and two in Bower. And .... two of those were owned in 1873 by Sinclairs! The search continues!
Sinclair, Simpson, Maguire, Cook, Tait, Chalmers, Laing, Thomson, Maloney, Thomas, Edwards, Hill,