The Sinclairs of Midland, Michigan, descend from John Sinkler, who was perhaps the first Sinclair to arrive on the shores of the New World. This page traces his descendants from 1658 to the family of John Lowrie Sinclair in the middle of the 20th century. For the interesting tale of John Sinkler's capture at the Battle of Worcester, his arrival in the New World as an indentured servant, and his settlement in Exeter, NH, you will want to read about the Sinclairs of Exeter.
The following are the known source materials for this family history:
- "The St. Clairs of the Isles" by Roland William St. Clair
- Paper from Dr. Mary Chandler Lowell
- Paper from Mrs. Gertrude Cramm Carr
- "Exeter, N.H." by Bell, pg. 149, 1st col., 13th line
- "The Wilbors in America" by John R. Wilbor, pgs. 163-164, Vol. 3
- Mrs. William Windover (Alice Sinclair, daughter of David Lowrie Sinclair)
- Paper from Ms. Margery Anger of May 25, 1993
John Sinkler, the progenitor of this family, lived on the banks of Wheelwrights Creek at Exeter, N.H., probably as early as 1658, only twenty years after Exeter was first settled. There is a record to the effect that he (John Sinkler) on the 6th day of Jan. 1659, purchased ten acres of land and he is mentioned in the deed, which is extant, as of Exeter. One authority claims that he was second of the name to set foot in this country. He descended from one of the oldest and most renowned families of Great Britain. He was born about 163?, his parents were Henry and Janet (Sutherland) Sinkler. It is possible that he came from Lybster, Scotland, though this is not definite. He was married twice - history records only the first names of his wives. Mary, his first wife, is believed to have been living in 1669. His second wife was Deborah. On Jan. 7, 1699/1700, he made his last will and testament, the same being admitted to probate Sept. 14, 1700. There is no signature affixed to this document but in place of signature is a circle, known as the Round Robin. His children (all born at Exeter) were:
- James b. July 27, 1660; lived at Exeter, N.H.
- Mary b. June 27, 1663; m. Mr. Wheeler
- Sarah b. Sept. 15, 1664; m. Mr, Jones
- Maria b. 1666; (?) m. Mr. Bedell
- John b. 1668; (?) lived at Exeter, N.H.
It is possible that Robert Sinkler of Wells, Maine was also a son.
James Sinkler, the oldest child of John, was born July 27, 1660. He married Mary Scammon, the youngest child of Richard and Prudence (Waldron) Scammon, in 1689. She was born May 31, 1673. James was constable of Exeter in 1694 and in 1697. He served as Juryman of the Superior Court in Portsmouth, N.H. August 10, 1703. He was selectman of Exeter in 1695, 1700, and 1721. At the early age of 16 he joined Captain Holbrook's company and rendered military service in King Phillip's War. He also served in Queen Annie's War and off and on for a period of thirty years or so he was to be found frequently fighting Indians. The early records of Exeter, N.H. show that he was prominent in civil affairs. His will is dated July 23, 1731 and it was probated February 15, 1732, indicating that he died between those dates. His children were all born at Exeter, N.H. and the dates given as their birth dates are only approximate. His children were:
- John born about 1690
- Joseph born about 1692
- Samuel born about 1694
- Jonothan (sic) born about 1700
- Richard born about 1705
- Ebenezer born about 1710
- Benjamin born about 1712
- Mercy born about ; Married Ralph Hall, son of Kingsley Hall of Exeter, N.H.
- Martha born about ; Married Jeremiah (?) Bean
- David born about 1717; Living July 23, 1731
- Kesiah born about 1718; Living July 23, 1731
- Mary born about 1719; Living July 23, l731
Joseph, the second child of James and Mary. was born at Exeter, N.H. probably about 1692. It is known that he was of age and doing business on March 23, 1714. It is claimed that he was one of the original proprietors of Gilmanton. He later lived at New Market, N.H. He married Elizabeth Lyford, daughter of Thomas Lyford of Exeter, (Stratham section) N.H. about 1751. It is believed be saved to Pembroke, N.H. where he died about 1767. His children (all said to have been born at South New Market) were:
- Thomas in 1721 at South New Market, N.H.
Thomas Sinkler, presumably named after his maternal grandfather, Thomas Lyford, was born in 1721 at what is now South New Market, N.H. He served in the Revolutionary War as a private. He was in Captain Chase Taylor's company, in Colonel Thomas Stickney's Regiment of General John Stark's Brigade. He enlisted September 27, 1777, and served two months and six days. His wife's first name was Sarah. He died 12-7-1796 at Hardwick, Vermont. His children were:
- Thomas Born April 14, 1751
- Sarah Married her cousin James (son of Joseph Sinkler of Sanbornton).
- Bathsheba Married Simeon Walton, lived in Vermont.
- Zebulon (On pension rolls of Revolutionary War from N.H.; rank: Private.)
Thomas Sinclair, second son of Thomas Sinkler, was born at New Market, N.H., April 14. 1751. He settled at Meredith, N.H. sometime before November 13, 1772. He was a farmer. He served in the Revolutionary War (see certificate). He was a member of the Baptist church. He married twice: (1) Mary Mead (Meed) on August 9, 1774. She was born October 25, 1755 at Stratham, N.H. She died at Meredith, N.H. on October 21, 1790. (2) Nancy Pike of Meredith, N.H. on January 9, 1791. She was born in 1757 at Meredith, N.H. Children of Thomas and Mary Mead were:
- John Mead
- Thomas Born Sept, 27, 1778 at Meredith, N.H.
- Mary Born April 12, 1781; Married Hezekiah Smith
Children of Thomas and Nancy Pike were:
- Sarah Born March 27, 1787; Died September 27, 1834
- Susan Born May 15, 1789; died March 6, 1827; Married James Foss
Thomas Sinclair, the third child of Thomas and Mary was born at Meredith, N.H. on September 27, 1778. He was a farmer and resided at Beaverhill, Plantation, Maine (later called Freedom) from 1806 to 1824. In 1824 he acquired a farm at Dover, Maine. He married Polly (Mary) Robinson, his cousin. She was a daughter of his mother's sister. She was born December 27, 1786. She died at Dover, Maine, April 22, 1858. Thomas Sinclair died July 3, 1844 at Dover, Maine. His children were:
- Hannah Born August 9, 1806; Died September 28, 1857
- Ahira Born October 27, 1807
- Gidieon Robinson
- Charles Perry
- William Martin
- Uriah Born August 1, 18??; (always an invalid)
- Thomas Rila
- Mary J. Born November 20, 1829; Single--resided at Dover, Maine
Ahira Sinclair, the second son of Thomas and Polly Robinson, was born at Beaverhill Plantation, Maine, October 27, 1807, He was a devout Baptist. He lived most of his life at Dover, Maine. On June 1, 1836, he married Harriett Bartlett. She was born at Trenton, Maine, May 10, 1818. In politics, he was a Republican. In 1869 he moved to Midland, Michigan. He died at Midland, Michigan September 3, 1890. His children were:
- Mary Elizabeth b. 1837; m. Samuel Sias 4-10-1859
- Anna Maria b. 1828; m. Aaron P. Dorr 1-1-18??
- Eliza Bartlett b. 12-5-18?? d. 2-1-1920; m. Joel A. Dorr 9-17-1859
- Charles William b. 3-31-1843; d. 1917
- David Lowrie b. 7-5-1845; d. 7-17-1927; m. Harriet M. McRae 8-28-1881
- Thomas Wilson b. 10-9-1847; d 9-9-1848.
- Alvah Willis b. 6-26-1849; d. 12-22-1862
- Gidieon Orman b. 10-12-1851: d. 1-14-1863
- Albion Aurelius b. 10-20-1856
- Hattie Thompson b. 2-2-1859; d. 1-14-1863
- Amy Bartlett b. 4-14-1862; m. Alfred Moore Burd
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Image on right is a "map" to ancestors in center picture.
David Lowrie Sinclair, son of Ahira Sinclair and Harriet Bartlett Sinclair, was born July 5, 1845, in Dover, Maine; died July 17, 1927, in Midland, Michigan. He married Harriet MacRae, daughter of John MacRae and Mary Campbell, on August 27, 1881. In 1865 he came to Midland County to live and was active in the lumbering business. Later he farmed in Homer Township where their family was raised. Harriett MacRae was born June 6, 1860, in Calumet, Quebec, Canada, the seventh of nine children, and died November 10, 1930, in Midland, Michigan. David and Harriett are buried in the Midland City Cemetery, Section R. Children of David Lowrie Sinclair and Harriet MacRae Sinclair were:
- Alice Mary Sinclair, born August 29, 1882
- Anna Maria Sinclair, born December 1884
- Blanche Ethelyn Sinclair, born January 9, 1888
- John Lowrie Sinclair, born December 12, 1890
- Harry David Sinclair, born March 2, 1896
For more detailed information about the family of David Lowrie Sinclair, father of John Lowrie Sinclair, see this letter of John R. Sinclair, 1986.
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John Lowrie Sinclair, son of David Lowrie Sinclair and Harriet MacRae Sinclair, was born December 12, 1890, in Homer Township, Midland County. He died in April 1966, in Midland, Michigan. He married Isabelle C. Murphy, daughter of John Dick Murphy and Mary Anne Costelo Murphy, in 1912. Isabelle C. Murphy was born March 20, 1893, in Midland County, Michigan, and died February 25, 1966, in Midland, Michigan. They are buried in Midland City Cemetery, Section R. Their children were:
- Helen Leone Sinclair, born February 21, 1913
- William Douglas Sinclair, born February 2, 1916
- John Richard "Dick" Sinclair, born January 29, 1918
- Joseph Kenneth Sinclair, born December 5, 1919
- Sarah Jane Sinclair, born November 13, 1922
- Thomas David Sinclair, born December 13, 1928
- Shirley Ann Sinclair, born December 20, 1930
- Maryanne Sinclair, born 1934
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