Sinton Family Trees header image
William Sinton of Richmond
12d 6mo 1787 in Greenmount (House), Rockmacreany, Co. Armagh, Ireland [ s673 s2233 ]
27d 1mo 1860 in Richmond City, Virginia, United States of America [ s986 ]
in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond City, Virginia, United States of America [ s986 ]
Born 1752 - Died 4d 4mo 1806
Born About 1748 - Died About 1838
Born 6mo 1794 - Died 20d 7mo 1863
7 December 1816 in Richmond, Virginia, United States of America
 Child 1
Born 11d 12mo 1817 - Died 16 August 1888
 Child 2
Born 22d 4mo 1819 - Died 28d 6mo 1902
 Child 3
Born 8d 2mo 1824 - Died 21d 10mo 1872
 Child 4
Born 10d 3mo 1833 - Died 3 March 1913
 Child 5
Born 17d 1mo 1835 - Died 23d 3mo 1906
Ancestral View
Quaker Records Ireland - Birth Details
William Sinton
Gender: Son
Date of Birth: 12d 6mo 1787
Place of Birth: Rockmacreany, Co. Armagh
Parents: John & Rebecca Sinton
Parents' Residence: Rockmacreany, Co. Armagh
Description of Father:
Registration Meeting: Richhill Meeting, Volume 1, Page 144
[RFSS Jan 2012]

William Sinton 1787 to 1860
William Sinton 1787 to 1860
© Colonial Williamsburgh Foundation, Williamsburgh, Virginia, USA
Headstone of William Sinton, Richmond, Virginia, USAIn Memory of



January 27th 1860

In the 72nd year of his age



His Wife


July 20th 1863

in her 69th year.

The headstone photograph comes from the Find A Grave website courtesy of John Shuck
The location is Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Richmond City, Virginia, USA.
Link to the Find A Grave site for William Sinton
[RFSS May 2008]


He lived and died at home next to the United States Hotel, 19th St, Richmond, VA. His mother-in-law's family were "of Lisburn, Co. Antrim". Caryl Carlson's chart says that William and immediate members of his family are buried at Hollywood Cemetery. He lived and died on 19th Street, Richmond, next to the U.S. Hotel. (emigrated to this country in 1810, 63 days to Philadelphia); married 7 December 1816 at Richmond, Virginia. Rebecca Sinton Clarke (died 20 July 1863), his first cousin, daughter of John and Hannah (nee Watts) Clarke. He had ten children, five of whom died in infancy.

(Following letter supplied by JHJ July 2003]
William Sinton, Richmond, Va., to Henry (Sinton), (Cork), Ireland, November 26, 1810.

Richmond 26th November 1810

Dear Henry
I have this morning Recd thy favor of the 13th Sept. by which I perceive thee has got the only letter I [fold in paper] might be miscarried that I wrote thee since I.'ve been in this place, perhaps I have been too severe, but your long silince at first put me entirely out of patience, & in the heat of disappointment & neglect as I supposed it to be I determined on giving one scolding letter & have done with you or patiently wait the results let what would happen, I was determined on being satisfied, I am sorry it happened so but I find It was entirely owing to the unaccountable delay which my letter from Philadelphia met with therefore I hope thee will excuse me as I was entirely ignorant of the real cause, but I thought It very hard to be without hearing from you for 7 or 8 months it was more than I could bear without sensuring you but I trust in future neither of us will have cause for complaint.
I have recd all thy five letters & I expect I have answerd them all fully, although thee ought to make some allowances knowing that I have five to write to where thee had but one, yet still I reckon my time very well spent If I can afford you any satisfaction of give you any information that may be of service to you.
As to the kind of Linens that would answer this market are such as you could purchase in Dublin from 2/- to 4/- or 4/6 you could not be wrong, I suppose you may remember the piece I got from Jacob when I was in Cork I could not buy such here for less than 5/6 or 6/- this currency, but I suppose in the present state of affairs there is little chance of thy bringing any quantity if thee should come there is 17 pCent duty on all goods Imported from Europe as to the risk of smugling goods it is very little provided the Vessel comes to Richmond I would not be the least affraid of geting them safe If the Capt or Mate would render any assistance which no doubt they would if thee was along with them there is no custom House here within a mile of the Landing nor will you seldom or ever see a Custom House officer on Board so that you may see business is Carried on in a very different manner here from what it is with you, I wrote to Jacob to know if you ( ? w)ould receive Tobacco from your CustomHouse without opening it out if the hhd If you could I would send a hhd & have a box of nankeens prized in the Heart [fold]f it which I can buy here for 6/6 the short piece, ( ? ) India where [tear in paper] again mention this as I [tear in paper] yet done it, If it can be done I think something handsome might be made but if there is any Risk I would not venture, thee wishes to know what salary I have p year this I cannot at Present tell thee, but I am perfectly easy as to the settlement for I think I am with one of the best old men I ever met with and in many instances has proved very liberal, when I engaged with him being unacquainted with the business I did not make any special agreement ( ? ) but at the end of the year which will be again the 12th of March I will let thee know how I have managed, as yet I have not drawn one cent nor don't intend until then & what is better I am very little in debt so thee may see I have been practising a little of Thos Abbott's ecconomy I had as many clothes coming here as has kept me without purchasing almost any as yet & I expect will for some time to come, after a little I hope to be prepared for the reception of my Mother & Brothers I am about purchasing a tract of Land If I can accomplish it about 15 Miles from this place containing between 4 & 500 Acres. the greatest part of which is well-timbered, It is a beautiful Situation the only objection I have to it is there is not a good House upon it but still I think there is a bargain to be got in it I know I can get it for about £450 if I can get only about 6 or 12 mos for the payment of part of the money my Uncle intends going on friday or Saturday to make the necessary inquiries if we suceed I will let you know Imediately after and if my Uncle & Aunt Harcourt concludes on coming along there will be Land enough for both families until they can get another place if they think proper the land in general here is not very good but there is plenty of it here yet I think it is principally owing to the bad management of the planters it is quite common for them to plough with one mule & a little bit of a plough you [line illegible, destroyed by a fold in the paper] almost ever think of manuring their Land but just work it out as long as it will bring anything & then throw it out & clear more such is the plan of farming they have in this place but they have nothing to pay so that they take little care of anything if they were to manage in the manner they do in Ireland they would be too rich in a little time, only consider by their mode of cultivation they reckon it a good crop of Wheat that will produce 10 ( ? ) bushel to the Acre if over this it is very fine, such a crop in Ireland would break a farmer In some few instances where they manure and manage their Lands anything tolerable they have much finer crops.----at all events if I cannot bargain for this place, I will for some other so as to have them here next fall, in the present state of affairs with you, It seems almost impossible for to support a family in Ireland by farming a single person [fold] manage very well any place provided they have an education & forms a good connection but this entirely depends upon themselves in any place or situation [whatever?] but a family makes a very different arrangement in affairs with you, or on your side the Water, therefore as John & my Mother now seems determined on coming I intend they shall not have to say that I refused to lend my aid to the accomplishment of their wishes when once they are here I hope it will put an end to all complainings, I shall postpone all negotiation on my own account until they are settled which is all I can promise at present, I observe thy liberal contribution toward them this year, which I hope will be the last where they ( ? ) at the distance I am it is out of my power in that way but I intend to make up for the deficiency as before mentioned. If I had only compleated this it will make this place have many charms which it wants [lines illegible because of fold] acquaintances might if here, in a great measure make up for a long time it appears to me to be since I enjoyed that confidence and satisfaction which I threw away I may say [ tear in paper ] Cork or at my leaving it yet still I am satisfied whatever may happen there is one thing certain I can make more money here I think by one half then I could in Ireland this is the only consolation which at present helps to console me in a great measure but by my exertions if I can render any natureal service to others which I expect to do, I shall bless rather then regret the day I came to this place, I wrote three letters one to thee one to Jacob & one to John by Eliza Parkison daughter to Mrs. Pumphrey whom thee might have heard of that came over from Lisburn about 4 or 5 years ago shee is since dead & her daughter is returning to her Grandfather J Crossley of that Place. ---- about 10 days ago very probable thee will get this first as shee intends staying sometime in New York before shee starts for Belfast -------------- thee wishes to have description of our cousins in this place if they are as agreeable as when in Ireland as to what they were there I have but a faint recollection therefore shall only speak for the present
I will begin with the oldest Poor Phibe who is at home with the ( ? ) & freed of all trouble as to Husband & Children which you have heard of no doubt. I think I mentioned it before & I think shee is in a great measure slighted by the whole family which I must say I think unjustly shee has since I came here been very kind & attentive to me and anything that was in her power was always free and willing to contribute to my satisfaction especially the few days I was laid up I experienced a great deal of kindness & affection from her which I think is a very good time to Judge to make an observation, Sarah was likewise very good but still there is a difference or rather a preference due to Phibe in time of sickness yet S is a very good agreeable girl & always the same I rank her among the best of the family as for Abby all I am going to say is I think shee is a [seems as if something is missing] shee lay under a mistake, so now if shee gets offended I just let her please herself but let her be in good or bad humour it is all alike to me I always make her speak to me before I speak to her by never taking any notice of her Henry I think is a good sort of lad, but to much under the controul of all the rest which puts many notions into his head he otherwise would not think of Rebecca is a lively funny girl with a good deal of good humour but sometimes gets into darker fits something bordering upon Abbey but it does not last any time ----- as for William without exception I think he is one of the worst children I ever seen, spoiled by both father & Mother if he does not give them trouble you I am vastly Mistaken [for? ] he seems at present to be a composition of every vice and Devilment & when he is at home it is a scene of perpetual ( ?uneasi)ness & rumour. ----------as to what I have here stated, I dont wish thee to mention to any person but If thee ever has an opportunity of Judging for thyself I make no doubt thee will find I have not made things worse than thee really are, but until then keep this a secret, I never gave a true description of them before nor will I again to any person let every person make a trial as I have done & Judge for themselves, but as it was thy wish and depended upon me to give a description It would ill become me to withhold it from thee My Uncle & Aunt would be very agreeable but for the contention that frequently arises which no doubt helps to sour their disposition more I am certain than It other ways would be but no family is without their own failings, but If I had a daughter that would use me in the disrespectful manner that Abby Devil in Minature & highly painted full of conceet affictation & pride "suffice to say" if any man is so unfortunate as to get her, I think my Uncle & Aunt H. lives comfortable to what they wi11 the one can make herself agreeable often the other seldom or ever, I think it more than probable shee will scatch the bottom of and old maid, excuse me making the Vulgar expression----- I often (set? ) her mad I know by her look, although she dares not speak her sentiments when shee is in some of her high keys she strives by way of embelishment to make use of refined language but is as often cut short of her intentions shee at first thought shee would be too many for me but I soon proved to her sometimes does my uncle which God forbid, I ever shall I fear I should use some desperate means.
Thomas & Benjm arrived here about (5? ) or 6 weeks ago I have by a good deal of trouble got Thos situated in a dry goods store where If he takes care of himself he may do verry well but I think he is too conceited of his own abilities which in fact he is very deficient of & knows very little but still he may do where he is, He is an Irishman he is with his name is Archibald Foster they are not a very particular family which will answer Thomas I think Tolerably well Benjm is at a Powdermill about two miles from this at 18 dollars (p? ) month and finds himself but I expect shortly to have a more comfortable situation for him; there is no comparison between his & Tho. Disposition If I can get them genteely situated a trifle of salary will be no object for a little time and as to the farewell Wm gave it was like many of his petty actions low and degrading to the name of a Brother and more especially as he in all probability will never see them again He has likewise got joined to a dirty generation that will never let him be worth one cent ---------------I understand when he gets a little drunk he puts the five fingers to her very tight by way of keeping her in tune he has seen very little pleasure in this world nor I dont think ever will now and he may blame himself for it & I think the [sooner ] others get out of that the better, as to bringing a few pieces of cloth or cassimere It would be no great object for the quantity thee would be able to bring, there is no doubt an immence profit on them by retail but a few pieces where there is not an assortment would not sell to so great an advantage, I have still a notion I shall be in the Woollen and trimming business yet and that before many years goes about, you cannot by a good piece of superfine cloth here such as I have got from JPower for 30 (f?) for less than 12 dollars p yard & even at that not so good, If thee comes here get me in addition to the other orders I have given thee a Black Coat of the best & pantaloons & that will do me another year & more with what I have get them made by Hennissey to fit thee & they will answer me as I am not near as fat as when I left Cork, have the coat made just as I used to have not long in the back but have it pretty narrow behind by getting these for me it will add another to the many obligations I am under to thee which I hope to repay when I have the pleasure of seeing thee in this place but If that is denied me perhaps I will see thee in Cork but never in the capacity I was before, I think if thee complains of my short letter this time I shall be greatly disappointed & all I ask is one as long in return I observe you had a pleasant party at Kilcrea shortly before thee wrote I would give any consideration I could spend a few days with you all such as that was, I would freely give a dozen of the most agreeable sundays I ever spent here for one of such there I should not perhaps speak so hard of this place for fear of frightening thee from coming to it but no doubt if two or three of us was together It would be no comparison more agreeable than I find it at present I wish thee would come & bring two or three hearty fellows such as John Abbott & John White with thee tell them I still hope to see them either here or there
Give my best respects to J Sinton & family Joseph Allen & family & likewise my Uncles family (at Sundays) well, but I suppose that unfortunate affair of Sallys has entirely put me out of their good grace if so I cannot help it but I (did ? ) what I thought only Just & right therefore cannot blame myself on that score, I rather expect my Aunt is more displeased than any of the rest which I should be very sorry for in any other case than the above mentioned & in that I think she has no sufficient reason I only conjecture this from thy seldom mentioning their names, I have not seen one of the McQuillans since I came here Geo & Maryann lives with ( Jno.? ) & Edwd Cunningham in Cartersville a small town about 60 miles from this Ed(wd ? ) died a short time before I came here & Joseph Went to New Orleans where he is at present Ephram Is still quite deranged I have been told he has a small farm up the Country about 80 or 90 miles from this the boys had a bad turn out every one given to drink so much so as to be at times as to be what you call dead drunk in Ireland very often
I conclude for the present with my love to Jacob & Sally & believe me to be
thy affectionate Brother
if thee get tired reading this
which I fear thee will
Burn it

(Following supplied by CSC July 2003]
The original painting is with the Colonial Williamsburgh Foundation, Williamsburgh, Virginia, USA. The following details are those supplied by the foundation.
Thursday, July 17, 2003

Department: Folk Art Center Collection
Object Name: Drawing
Title: Portrait of William Sinton (1787-1860)
Classification: Watercolor Portraits
Attributed to: Charles Burton, 1782 - after 1847
Label Text: Included among the numerous Richmond, Virginia, portrait subjects depicted by Charles Burton are at least a dozen members of William Sinton's extended family. The bust-length and profile format of this portrait are typical of the larger group, as is the significant amount of detail in the background.

William Sinton grew up near Rich Hill (County Armagh), Ireland, and was a member of the Society of Friends. In 1810, he immigrated to Richmond, Virginia, where his aunt and uncle, John and Hannah Watts Clarke, were already well established. He had only been in Richmond a short time when he sent home a candid description of his first cousins, the Clarkes' children. Some of these kin were not at all to William's liking, but he found Rebecca Clarke to be a "lively funny girl with a good deal of humour." He married Rebecca on December 7, 1816. Shortly thereafter, both were disowned at the Friends Henrico Monthly Meeting for marrying "contrary to discipline."
Date Label: 1835-1840
Culture: Richmond, Virginia
Medium: Watercolor and graphite on paper
Description: A bust-length profile portrait of a man facing left, shown within a fully furnished interior. He has sideburns and curly hair, a white stock and shirt and black coat. He faces a window whose curtain is held back by a drapery tie-back. A framed portrait hangs on the back wall, a patterned rug covers the floor, and a side chair with an oval back splat is on the far wall.
Dimensions: Other (unframed): 10 1/4 x 8 1/4in. (26 x 21cm)
Framed: 14 x 12in. (35.6 x 30.5cm)
Signed: See "Inscriptions."
Mark(s): See "Inscriptions."
Inscription(s): A modern label on the backboard reads, "JOHN SINTON/B/ 1813 D. 1878". [This suggests that the frames for 2001.300.1 and 2001.300.3 were switched at some point, it is not known why]. A pencil inscription upside down in the middle back of the lower frame member reads, "4".
Related Works: Also see 2001.300.2 and 2001.300.3, portraits of the subject's wife and son, respectively.

To date, the numerous relations of William Sinton's who were depicted by Charles Burton include: (1) his aunt, Mrs. John Clarke (Hannah Watts) (ca. 1754-1843); (2) his wife (who was also his first cousin), Mrs. William Sinton (Rebecca Clarke) (1794-1863); (3) his son, John Clarke Sinton (1817-1888); (4) his son, Samuel Sinton (1833-1913); (5) his sister- in-law, Mrs. Jacob Sinton (Sarah Murphy) (?-?); (6) his brother James Sinton (1792- 1872); (7) his sister-in-law, Mrs. James Sinton (Harriet Dyball) (1811-1886); (8) his niece's husband, Josiah H. D. Lownes (1809-1849); (9) his sister-in-law/first cousin, Mrs. Josephus Colton (Abby Clarke) (?-1843); (10) his brother-in-law/first cousin, William John Clarke (1800-1872); (11) the wife of his brother-in-law/first cousin, Mrs. William John Clarke (Jane Wilson Cornthwaite) (1810-1857); and (12) his wife's niece, Jane Eliza Colton (1818-1840).

Notes: See 2001.300.2&3 portraits representing this subject's wife and son; more information can be found in their files.
The subject's parents were John Sinton (1752-1806) and Rebecca Clarke Sinton (?-?); their children were Jacob (1780-?), John (1785-?) and Henry (1785-?) {twins}, William (1787-1860), Joseph (1790-1872), and James (1792-1872).
The subject and his five brothers grew up near Rich Hill (County Armagh), Ireland, but William (like his brothers Jacob and Henry) resided in the city of Cork for awhile before immigrating to Richmond, Virginia, where his aunt and uncle, John and Hannah Watts Clarke, were already well established. William seems to have left his homeland in October 1809, sailing from Belfast and arriving in Richmond (via Philadelphia and Norfolk) on January 3, 1810.
In about two months' time, William got a job keeping books for the flour merchant Phillip Haxall, but later he wrote saying he expected to get into the "Woolen and trimming business." Soon after his arrival, William began trying to acquire a piece of farmland; whether he succeeded or not, he seems to have prospered, for he wrote home December 28, 1812, that he had accumulated about $1200 and had a yearly income of 200 pounds.
William had only been in Richmond a short time before he sent home a candid description of his first cousins, the children of Mr. and Mrs. John Clarke. Some of his kin were not at all to his liking, but he found Rebecca Clarke, his future wife, to be a "lively funny girl with a good deal of humour."
The subject's tombstone gives the date of his death as January 27, 1860.

Provenance: From the subject to his grandson, Arthur C. Sinton (1854-1933); to his dauther, Mrs. Howard Sutton (Ellen Binford Sinton) (1884- 1968); to her brother, Admiral William Sinton (1896-1977); to his wife, Mrs. William Sinton (Christine Lincoln)(1902-1988); to her daughter, Mrs. Harry F. Carlson, Jr. (Caryl Sinton), who is AAFFAM's donor.
Credit Line: "Gift of Louise Sinton Clay and Caryl Sinton Carlson in memory of their father, Admiral William Sinton, USN (Ret)"
[ s673 ] Ancestral File - THE SINTON FAMILY - Page 1-9 Ref 20d - Walter Lyon Sinton / Lulu Bell Sinton / John Ronald Howard Greeves / Robert Francis Speers Sinton / Ann Heacock Sinton - Version 1.01 (Feb 2003]
[ s2233 ] Birth Registration - Quaker Records Ireland - Birth of William Sinton to John and Rebecca Sinton on 12 June 1787 in Greenmount, Rockmacreany, Co. Armagh, Ireland - The Religious Society of Friends, Richhill Meeting, Volume 1, Page 144 - BR1787-12-06-WS
[ s986 ] Cemetery Marker - Headstone, Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Richmond City, Virginia, United States of America - H1860-27-01-WS 
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