When i was researching my last novel, Radwinter, a genealogical mystery, I came across the intriguing name, Sinclair Blue. I had first come across teh name Blue as a surname when i heard Rabbi Lionel Blue broadcasting on the radio. Having come across Sinclair Blue, I did a little research into Blue as a surname, and went back to the 1841 census, where there were 486 people recorded with that name. The largest concentration of Blues was in Scotland, including a Widow Blue, a Dorcas, Christian, Merlin, lots of Archibalds and Dugals, two Girsals, two Euphemias, Gilbert and several lovely Flora Blues – isn’t that sweet?
There were over forty Blues living in England in 1841, including Sinclair, or Sinclear, who was living in Poplar with Mary Blue at the time; he was born in 1817, she in 1812. In 1851 he and Mary had moved, they were in Finsbury with their little son William who was four years old. The census gives us more information; Sinclair was born in Glasgow and he was surgeon practising as a general practitioner. Mary was also born in Scotland, but their little son had been born in Poplar before they moved to Finsbury.
When I was searching on the censuses for Sinclair, I didn’t find him at first; in 1841 his name was transcribed as Sinclear, in 1851 Simlair, which just shows how sometimes a literal lateral thinking is needed to find an ancestor on old records! Sinclair vanishes off the British censuses because he and Mary went to Australia in 1849, and that is how I first came across his name, on a passenger list.
I came across an intriguing reference in the Australian Dictionary of Biography, to a ‘William Archibald Sinclair Blue (d.1896), an English-born physician and surgeon’, who must be the son of Sinclair and Mary.
My novel Radwinter is available as an e-book on Amazon: