Grandson of the Coppersmith

Welcome to the family

Today I had an email from Robert Alexander “Sandy” Sinclair. He is my second cousin once removed. Our shared ancestors are Robert Sinclair and Janet Sinclair, who married 3 October 1888 in Dunoon, Scotland. Generally speaking, it is a small club of descendants. Of the couple’s four children only two have descendants. My great-grandfather Robert was the eldest child while Sandy’s grandfather Archie was the third child.

Sandy tracked me down through Find-A-Grave and my contributions of the Sinclair headstones. Until now, Sandy’s existence was only known to me via the British birth index. Obviously, I look forward to getting to know my newly found cousin. Without delay, we have started sharing stories of our Argyll Sinclair family!


Sandy’s grandfather Archie married Harriett Laing on 16th November 1916 at the Govan Parish Church in Glasgow.  Prior to her marriage, Harriet was in service in Govan. She was from the Outer Hebrides and the daughter of Alexander Laing, a former Established Church missionary and Flora McDonald. During the war, as a journeyman, coppersmith Archie worked as a pipe fitter at the renowned Clydebank shipyards.

Interestingly the Argyll Sinclairs may be traced back to the Mac-na-Ceàrda, or son of the smith. Karen Matheson’s article on the McNokairds of Argyll is a worthy read.

Archie crafted a small “copper” spoon from a penny coin, featured below.1 The spoon is actually of bronze as the British stopped using copper for pennies about 1860.2

  1. Archibald Sinclair, British Old Head Penny Spoon, about 1916, privately held by Juli Anderson, Wilmington, NC, great-great niece of Archibald Sinclair (1893-1939); photographed Anderson, 2017. Small spoon welded from British 1901 penny (bronze). Gifted to Jessie (Sinclair) Sinclair, Archibald’s mother and passed down through Robert Sinclair family to current owner. []
  2. Wikipedia (, “History of the British Penny(1714-1901),” rev. 19:58, 9 August 2017. []

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