Birsay, Orkney, Scotland
Thomas Stickler was my 3rd great-grandfather on my maternal grandfather's side of the family. He was the fourth of six children born to Thomas Stickler Sr. and Margaret Bellie of Marwick, Birsay, Orkney Islands, Scotland on December
1, 1800. Birsay is a small rural community on the main island where farming would be the most common occupation of its inhabitants.
In conducting family history research, I have met and stayed in close contact with other descendants
of the Thomas Sticklers, including 3rd, 4th and 5th cousins in North America and Scotland. I have visited the communities where these ancestors lived and worked, well over 200 years ago.
The Sticklers are not found in the 1821 Scottish Census, however
after the parish record of his birth and baptism, the next record on Thomas Stickler Jr. is in relation to an illegimate daughter. In September 1825, Thomas had a child; Margaret was the illegitmate daughter of Thomas Stickler and Margaret Sinclair
(who never married). According to the Shapinsay parish records, Margaret was babtised before age 6 by Rev John Barry before the congregation on July 14 1831. It is unknown if Thomas had any relationship with her, however she was baptised Margaret Stickler.
On May 27, 1830, according to an extract of the Old Parochial Register in the Parish of Kirkwall, Orkney, "Thomas Stickler and Mary Shearer, both of this parish, were matrimonially contracted on 7th and married on 27th of May 1830, by the Reverend
William Logie". Thomas and Mary had five children together over the next 15 years. My 2nd great-grandmother, Mary Shearer Stickler (see week 10) was their fourth child. The family moved around the Orkneys over the years before settling
again in Kirkwall, near Birsay, with Thomas working as an agricultural labourer on farms for the majority of his life. Their histories can be tracked through the Scottish Census every ten years from 1841 until their deaths.
Thomas Stickler Jr.
died at home in Kirkwall on July 19, 1865 at the age of 64; the cause of death is unknown as his death certificate indicates that no medical attendant was present. His wife Mary survived him for another 15 years.