Linklater Surname Genealogy

as a surname originated from place-names in the
Orkneys Islands that lie north of Scotland – either Linklater in North
and South Ronaldsay or Linklet in North Ronaldsay.
The Orkneys have a strong Norse heritage and the derivation of Linklater is from
Old Norse words – lyng meaning
“heather” and klett
meaning “rock.” Linkletter is a variant

Linklater Resources on

Linklater Ancestry

Scotland. There was an early reference in the Orkneys to
Christe Linklater as a landowner, probably at Linklater in Sandwick, in

His grandson Andro was to marry
twice, thereby creating two separate branches of the family. The Linklater line by his first wife remained
at Linklater for the next six generations until the land there was sold
in the
1660’s; while the Linklater line by his second wife owned Quoy Crystie
at Newgar
in Sandwick and were later to be found at Birsay.

emerged as the preferred surname
spelling. However, in the poll tax
records for Sandwick in 1690, it was the Linkletter spelling which

In the next two centuries
Linklater name spread as emigration from the Orkneys began:

  • some Linklaters were to be found further
    north in the Shetland Islands. Linklaters were in Tingwall parish
    there by
    the early
  • some went away as seamen, such as Peter Linklater on the ill-fated Bounty.
  • others
    moved to mainland Scotland, in many cases to Aberdeen or Edinburgh. Magnus Linklater for instance migrated from
    Orkney to Edinburgh in the 1820’s. His
    son Magnus was a sea captain on China clippers.
  • and many left for
    Canada after the
    Hudson Bay Company began recruiting in Orkney.

Eric Linklater’s roots
from his sea
captain father were in Orkney, although he himself was born in Wales in
and educated at a grammar school in Aberdeen.
His first novel, White Maa’s Saga
written in 1929, was informed by his family’s background in Orkney and
this was
followed by a succession of other popular novels. He
moved to the Orkneys in 1934 and died
there forty years later.

He and his wife
Marjorie were the scions of a Linklater media family.
There was
Magnus Linklater
, a leading
journalist of his day; Andro, a writer and
historian; and their sisters Alison, a painter; and Kristin, a voice
expert who
moved to America. Kristin’s son is the
American-based actor Hamish Linklater.

. Linklaters, based in London,
is a large
multinational law firm that is among the elite of British law firms. It was founded in 1838 when John Linklater,
then aged just twenty-one, entered into a partnership with Julian Dods,
initially known as Dods & Linklater, which later became

Linklater was born in London, but had Orkney/Shetland roots traced back
to the
early 1700’s. His father Robert, a
merchant, had moved from the Shetlands to London in the early 1800’s.

One Linklater line here began with James Linklater who came to Michigan
sometime in the 1860’s, settling in St. Clair county. His
Charles migrated to Texas which was where, two generations later, the
film maker Richard Linklater was born in 1960.

. There have been Linklaters and Linkletters in Canada,
Linklaters mainly in western
Canada and Linkletters in eastern Canada.

Linklater. Early Linklaters in Canada
were fur traders
and employees of the Hudson Bay Company.
They were to be found at the first HBC settlement at Moose
Factory on
James Bay in northern Ontario and, more noticeably, at its Red River
colony in

William Linklater built a trading post there at Sandy Point in
and was its first factor. The HBC
community soon clustered around Lac de la Crosse nearby.
Descendants of William were recorded as
working there until 1882. Another
Linklater line at the Red River colony began with Hugh Linklater who
arrived in
the 1820’s and continued with his son Peter who worked at HBC until

Linklaters there married native women.
Their offspring were known
which over time constituted a very distinct local

Linkletter. The Linkletter
name has been a name found mainly in the Maritime Provinces.

In the
John and Isobel Linkletter left their home in the Orkneys to settle in
Connecticut. After the Revolutionary War
in 1783 their Loyalist son George and his family departed for Prince
Island where they were given land by the Government near Summerside. The Linkletters continue to farm there. Lester Linkletter’s 1979 book The
Linkletter Family of Prince Edward
covered their history.

From this line came John Fulton
Linkletter, an evangelical preacher in Saskatchewan in the early 1900’s. He adopted in 1912 a
baby boy who took the name of Art Linkletter and who, after their move
California, became a well-known American radio and TV presenter. He and his wife Lois had one of the longest
marriages of any public person in America, lasting nearly

Linklater Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Linklater Names

John Linklater
was the co-founder in London in 1838 of what became the international
law firm
of Linklaters.
Eric Linklater
was a
Scottish writer of novels and short stories popular in the 1930’s and
Art Linkletter, born Arthur
Kelly, was a well-known radio/TV presenter in America from the 1940’s
to the 1960’s.
Richard Linklater is an
American filmmaker from Texas.

Select Linklaters Today

  • 1,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Orkneys)
  • 3,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)





Click here for return to front page

Leave a Reply