Mac na cerda

According to Black's1 Macnokard was a common name in the 16th and 17th centuries in Scotland and can be found in many records. It appears to have died out or become Caird in some areas of Scotland. In Argyll the McNokard's slowly became Sinclair's.
DNA shows that most Argyll Sinclairs don't have a common ancestor with Caithness Sinclairs for 2500-3000 years ie pre-surnames.2

"The name derives from the Gaelic Mac na Cearda - ‘Son of the Smith’. The Smith in this case being a whitesmith rather than a blacksmith, skilled in working in brass and the lighter metals and producing ornaments and jewellry and household metalwork, goods much prized in early Celtic society.

But in time the craft was debased to the mere patching of pots and pans and its practitioners became synonymous with travelling people or ‘Tinkers’ whose modern reputation was not very salubrious. So it is that Black in his ‘Surnames of Scotland’ records the fact that the MacNocairds frequently used the alternative name of Sinclair without perhaps realising that this was adopted as a very much more respectable name than ‘Tinkler’ which it closely resembles but without having any of the unfortunate associations of the latter.

The name Caird is a shortened form of MacNocaird and the compilers of sept lists might well have included it as well. The form MacNocaird is early found in Argyll and neighbouring areas and Black gives several examples: ‘Gregor Makenkerd’ appears in 1297, ‘Iain Mac nocerdych’ is a witness in Lismore in 1525. ‘John M’Necaird’ was tenant in Eyich in 1594 (Ewich, just between Tyndrum and Crianlarich) ; ‘Archibald M’Nokaird’ is merchant burgess of Inveraray in 1695 and ‘Donald McNougard’ is in Islay in 1741. ‘Gilfolen Kerd’ a sailor in the service of Alexander of Argyll was arrested in Bristol in 1275 for being a suspected pirate; in the form Caird the name appears more widely across Scotland as one might expect from a common workname."3

Inveraray OPR Banns & Marriages 15 Sep 1685

Donald McNachton son to Duncan McNachton in Barvrack (?) & Marie NcNokard in Auchindraen gave up their names in Proclaimation in order for marriage…4

Inveraray OPR Banns & Marriages 4 Apr 1686

Hew McLeglais & Catherine McNokaird in Auchindryen (??) female child baptized named More, Witness: Johne Mc(?) & John Mc (?) in Auchindreyn.5

Argyll Commissary Court 28 May 1694

Donald M'Nokaird (M'Nocaird), in Auchnadryan, parish of Glenary, who died May 1690; Mary N'Nokard, relict; Christian, his only daughter; Duncan M'Nokaird, uncle to Christian.6

Hearth Tax Records, Argyll & Bute 1694

Marie MacNokeard, Auchindrain7

Inveraray Sheriff Court, Bond of Presentation 1733

Katharine MacNokaird, servant to John MacPhaden of Auchindryen, at present in Tollbooth, Inveraray8

Inveraray Sheriff Court, 25 Jan 1734

The Procurator Fiscal agt Katharine MacNokaird in Auchindrain - found guilty of theft. Scourged through the streets of Inveraray and banished from Argyll. Malcolm MacNokaird, father. Maternal grandmother was Katherine MacCallum of Duren.9

Rental of the Lands belonging to Dugald Clerk of Braleckan, 1752

At Auchindrayn John McNokaird pays for 1/2 a quarter of tack £25-5-6

Will be listing records that show individual McNokard's that also were recorded as Sinclairs.

Found in Argyll Records as:

MacNokaird MacNokeard McNacaird
McNacard McNickard McNocaird
McNocard McNockaird McNokaird
McNokard McNokerd M'Nocaird
M'Nokaird N'Nokard NcNokard

Other Suggested spellings to try:

Mc nocerdych