From the "Historical and Family Tree Corner" in Bulletin No. 3,
October 1982, by CSAC President R.M. "Mac" Sinclair. Now resident in
Kingston ON, Mac is a great-grandson of Sarah Black and John Sinclair of Scotch Corners
(about 40mi south-west of Ottawa).
2005 update: To contribute further information on the Sinclairs of
Scotch Corners and their descendants to our newsletter, please contact
the Editor, or for genealogical enquiries,
Clan Sinclair Canada's Genealogist.
We are indebted to Bessie Gourley (Ottawa) and Gordon Wilson (Perth) for
this positive information on a group of Sinclairs from the Inverary district
In 1822 John Sinclair and his bride, Sarah Black together with two unmarried
brothers, Colin and Alexander, sailed from Tobermory (presumably near Inverary),
June 14th, among 64 passengers on the sailing vessel Pilgram (or Philgram).
They arrived at Quebec on August 22nd and thence to Ontario.
John received a land grant in Lanark County, Beckwith Twp. Colin got land in
Carleton County, Torbolton Twp. but shortly moved to Beckwith Twp. adjoining
that of his brother John. Alexander was quite a bit younger, eventually acquiring
his farmland in the same Township a few Concessions away.
The district in Beckwith Twp. is called Scotch Corners, and there is a family
cemetery located on a small parcel of land from what was John's original land
grant. John and Colin along with several of their family members and a few
neighbours are buried there. Alexander was buried at Almonte, Ontario.
Descendants of these three are now located right across Canada and we must
try to get some history of them put together. Here are thumbnail sketches of
a few of John's descendants (with apologies to the many who are not
- Bessie Gourley, retired, lives in Ottawa. She is an insatiable
traveller and has visited Scotland, particularly Inverary and Roslin, several times.
She is a real Scottish Sinclair lady!
- Gordon Wilson, retired, lives in Perth. During his career he
has been a teacher and a Civil Servant Librarian in Ottawa. His research produced
the hard facts about the voyage and original land grants mentioned above.
- Duncan Sinclair, of Kingston, Dean of Arts & Science at
Queen's University, recently appointed as Director General, Program Operations
Branch, medical Research Council of Canada. His father was also a Professor
at Queen's at one time.
- Herbert Sinclair, Carleton Place, has lived for many years with
sister Isobel, a former teacher. He was a clothier with his brother William, was
mayor of the town and extremely active in local projects such as building a hospital.
William died in Carleton Place a few years ago.
- Archie Sinclair, a son of pioneer John, moved to the Harriston area
of Western Ontario, Grey Co. He taught school in that area and at least four of his
children became teachers. Robert John, one of the sons, taught high school in
Tillsonburg, Oxford Co., for many years. One of R.J.'s sons, Malcolm (Mac) is
Business Administrator for The Frontenac County Board of Education, and often
busy as President of this Clan Association. A sister, Jean Tololla of London,
is a former teacher.
- Offspring of Peter, another of John's sons, seem to have become
Westerners. The Rev. John A. Sinclair is mentioned in several parts of Pierre
Berton's book Klondike as pastor of a Union Church at Skagway. Family
links seem now to be in Regina, Winnipeg, Vancouver and Gladstone in Manitoba.
Perhaps this will encourage descendants of John to urge descendants of Colin
and Alexander to write to us, providing family information which will assist us
in developing a booklet on this "Scotch Corners" branch of the clan.
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