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Re: Origin of Sinclair-St. Clair the Hermit
Just back from nice trip to Nebraska.
Read your information, Richard, with much interest since this Clare the
Hermit is the subject of my next Yours Aye article.
You have sent me into a panic!!
Your information says that he was martyred in 834. The Morrison history
of the Sinclairs gives the date of 884. Now I wonder whether this date was
misread on the stone monument. 8 often can look like a 3 or the reverse.
Or when Morrison's handwritten manuscript was put into print, it could have
been misread. I know that there are numerous errors as I have told you
before just on one page for my St. Clair ancestors in his book.
I did think strongly that it should have taken more than 27 years for
him to be cannonized and several towns named after him. So that by 911 when
the Rollo-King Charles treaty was signed, there was a town called St. Clair.
Does that seem reasonable that cannization can be done so quickly?
What is your source of information? Please understand that I am not
challenging you, but seriously needing to find the right date. If your date
is correct, I AM IN A PANIC! I will need to rewrite portions of my article
that has already been submitted.
Perhaps our Sinclair friend from France who was going up to St. Clare
soon can quickly settle this problem or some of you with other sources can
settle this for me.
I am trying very hard to get the facts straightened out on this early
history. It is a problem as you can see. Already I see that information in
the first article should be changed according to new findings since March.
I hope that any of you who has corrections to the articles will contact me
personally. Happily the internet provides the means to correct the articles
after they are on the web.
Another thing that makes we sweat a lot is to find errors in the books
that I'm using as resources. For instance:
One book says that certain Danish raiders into Ireland in 852 rewarded St.
Patrick with gold and silver for favoring them over the Norwegians--BUT--
Patrick lived about 389-461.
and a book on Celtic history says that Alfred the Great, King of England,
led the English Saxons to defeat and William, Duke of Normandy, led the
Normans to victory in 1066 .---BUT King Alfred d. 899 and there were
NUMEROUS kings before 1066. King Harold was the actual English king at the
Battle of Hastings 1066.
and another book says St. Margaret's daughter Edith (Maude) was confined to
a nunnery at Winchester during the invasion by Duke William in 1066. (There
is no mention of her mother, Margaret, being with her, so it is assumed that
she is almost or all grown up) HOWEVER, since St. Margaret didn't marry
Malcolm until 1070 that was impossible. Even if Margaret had married Malcolm
when she was about 14 (1059), as many Sinclair stories tell us, this would
still be impossible because Margaret had 6 sons before the birth of Edith.
So she could hardly have 7 children by 1066. And even if some boys were
twins and we could get Edith born by 1066, it is unreasonable to think that
Margaret would not have her baby with her.
Also there are numerous Norman conflicting genealogy charts to sort
My point to this is: it is scary that these authors, living there in
England who have the records and resourses at their fingertips, have made
such gross errors. There seems little hope for me.
From: David Quarterman <email@example.com>
To: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com>
Date: Thursday, June 03, 1999 6:38 AM
Subject: Origin of Sinclair
>Aunt Jane found this newspaper clipping, it was old, yellowed and very
>hard to read. I keyed it in so it could be printed so she could read it.
>Since I have keyed it John says we might as well post it here for general
>information. The source is unknown.
> David Quarterman
>The Sinclair Family
>English Hermit Who Gave His Name to the Norman St. Clairs.
>By Frances Cowles
>Clan Crest was here
>Clare was an English hermit in Normandy, who was martyred in the year 834,
>and became St. Clair. The town of St. Clere is near the hermit's retreat,
>and nearby castle also. took the name St. Clair.
>The family which took the castle's name is of Norse origin, and like
>the Norman Conqueror trace its descent through Rollo the Viking. In the
>year 912 Charles the Simple, King of France met Rollo, who had ravaged the
>coasts of Normandy, at the castle of St. Clair, and there made him Duke
>Rollo, thus made the first Duke of Normandy, was the son of Rogenwald the
>Rich, a favorite of Harold the Fair Haired of Norway. Rollo had a son
>William Longwood, whose son, Richard, is the direct ancestor of the
>Sinclairs of Norman blood, and also of William the Conqueror.
>Richard's son, Richard, was the father of Robert, father of the Conqueror.
>Richard's son Malger, Robert's uncle and the Conqueror's great-uncle, was
>the Earl of Corbueil, and he is the ancestor of the Sinclair faimly, after
>it leaves the royal line.
>The Sinclairs soon multiplied to such an extent that they could not all
>at the castle of Sinclair--or St. Clair, as it was always called in
>Normandy. So they were given various other castles about France. About the
>year 1006 at the Castle of St. Lo, was born Walderne, Earl of St. Clair, a
>descendant of Malger, Earl of Corbueil. Walderne, married his cousin Mary,
>a daughter of Richard, Duke of Normandy and had three sons. Richard,
>and William, all born in Normandy.
>However, they all went to England with the Conqueror. The youngest of the
>three sons, William, did not like the Conqueror, so with some other
>discontented barons, he went to Scotland and placed himself in the service
>of King Malcolm III, and his Queen St. Margaret. William married Doratha
>Dunbar, a daughter of the Earl of March and had Sir William St. Clair of
>Roslin. Sir William's great-grand-son, his namesake was sheriff of
>county, and in 1284 was a member of the Parliament of Scone. He had three
>One of them Sir Henry, a supporter of Robert Bruce when he claimed the
>throne, was the ancestor of William St. Clair, third Earl of Orkney, first
>Earl of Caithness, and High Chancellor of Scotland from 1454 to 1458.
>The first earl of Caithness, it is said lived like a prince. His wife,
>according to an old chronicler, was ``served by seventy-five gentlewomen,
>whereof fifty-three were daughers of noblemen, all clothed in velvets and
>silks, with their chains of gold and other ornaments and was attended
>by two hundred riding gentlemen in all journies''. They lived at Roslin
>George, the fourth earl of Caithness, their great-grandson, is the supposed
>ancestor of the Norman St. Clairs, or Sinclairs, in this country and the
>known ancestor of Gen. Arthur St. Clair, one of Washington's generals, and
>of John Sutherland Sinclair of North Dakota, who in 1891 became the
>seventeenth earl of Caithness.
>The descent of Gen. Arthur is traced through one of George's sons, John who
>was the great-grandfather of General Arthur St. Clair.
>The descent of John St. Clair, who as John Sinkler appears in Exeter, N.
>in 1656, is not certain, but it is established to the satisfaction of many
>who have given careful research to the subject. It is said that John, son
>of George, fourth earl of Caithness, had two sons James and Henry. James is
>the ancestor of Gen. Arthur. Henry is the probable ancestor of John Sinkler
>The first known settler of the name of Sinclair, or St. Clair, on the
>shores of North America was Salamon, who came on the John and Sara, from
>London in 1651. John Sinkler, as he called himself, who was, born in
>Scotland about the year 1630, was in Exeter, N. H. by the year 1658; and is
>the second known settler of the name in America.
>He married twice. His first wife was named Mary. His second was named
>Deborah. From all accounts, Deborah was a woman ahead of her time, for she
>formed a business contract with her husband before marriage. John respected
>this contract, as the first clause in his will testifies. It reads: ``I
>that my debts of charges shall be paide and discharged and all my contract
>with my wife before marriage be performed by my Executors.''
>John had James, Mary Sarah, another daughter, and John. These sons, James
>and John, are the American ancestors of most of the Sinclairs in America
>once lived in Normandy.
>Not all the Sinclairs in America, however are of Norman stock. Some of them
>came from Germany. One family of German descent lives in New Jersey, and
>founded there at New Holland by Peter Cincleare, who chose yet another way
>spelling this variously spelled name. He was born in Germany in 1719, and
>arrived in Philadelphia in 1753 in the St. Michael, from Hamburg. He
>settled on a tract of some eight thousand acres of land and for thirty-one
>years worked the ground as a renter. He had three children, John, Peter,
>John, born in Germany in 1743, eleven years before his father came to
>America, bought the property his father had worked, and additional lands at
>New Holland, and became a prosperous former. He served as a teamster in the
>Revolutionary war. His wife was Anna Ahlbach, or Alpock, daughter of Johan,
>who came from Holland in the Hope in 1743. John's son Samuel also married
>a young woman of Dutch descent, Permelia Vancamp, and Samuel's son, Jesse
>Sinclair, teacher, farmer and man of affairs, married for his first wife
>Catherine Welsh, also of Dutch descent.
>In early days the name was variously spelled, Sinclare, Sinkler, Sinklaire,
>Sinclair and St. Clair; in the case of the German Peter, Cincleare.
>it is generally spelled either St. Clair or Sinclair, although in parts of
>Virginia Sinklers are still found.
>The arms of Sinclair, earl of Caithness are blazoned: Quarterly, 1st azure
>a ship at anchor, sails furled, oars erect in saltire, or, within a double
>tressure flory, counterflory of the last, for Orkney; 2 and 3 a lion
>gules for Spar; 4th, azure a ship under sail or for Caithness. Over all a
>cross engrailed sable dividing the four quarters for Sinclair. The crest is
>a cock proper armed and crested or. The supporters are two griffins sable
>armed and beaked or. The motto is ``Commit thy work to God.''
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