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Memorable Manitobans: Duncan Sinclair (1817-1892)

Land surveyor.

Born on the Atlantic ocean on 10 June 1817, as his family came to Canada from Scotland, his childhood was spent in Quebec. After teaching school for a period of time, he became a provincial land surveyor for Upper and Lower Canada. He moved to Ottawa in 1858, living there until 1870 when he came to Manitoba. He lived in Winnipeg where he worked as a land surveyor for some twelve years, helping to lay out much of the city. He was one of the founders of the Association of Manitoba Land Surveyors and is said to have named the town of Strathclair when, in 1875, he surveyed the land around it. In 1881, he was elected a County Warden. From 1883 to 1888, he lived in Bottineau County, North Dakota, during which time he became totally blind. He moved to the home of one of his sons at Strathclair in 1888, dying there on 29 February 1892 and being buried in the Bend Cemetery. Unlike other gravestones in the cemetery, his faces the North Star.


Death registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Duncan Sinclair, D.L.S.,” Manitoba Free Press, 4 March 1892, page 6.

“Duncan Sinclair’s death,” Manitoba Free Press, 5 March 1892, page 1.

Burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

We thank Doug Pratt for providing information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 19 December 2016

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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