[Up] [Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Sinclair Septs

Whilst looking for some information on an unrelated subject, I came across the following on Sinclair
septs and although I know there has been considerable discussion about the Sinclairs of Argyll, the
following may be of some interest:

                                        CLAN SINCLAIR SEPTS

(1) Caird - the Cairds (Clann-na-ceairde) including both of that name and the romantic 'Romany'
     Gypsies of Scotland are reckoned as a sept of the Sinclair Clan.  The name signifies (Gaelic
      ceard or craftsman) a worker in metals*.

     The name has appeared in various forms such as Macnecaird, MacNokerd, MacIncaird, etc.
      - most frequently on the borders of Argyll and Perthshire.

MacBain remarks on the Cairds (Sinclairs) as follows:

                "In the course of inflection the name, Sinclair, when borrowed into Gaelic,
                 as it stands, becomes 'Tinkler' pronounced like Scotch 'tinkler', a caird,
                and, in looking about for a suitable equivalent or translation for M'Na Cearda,
                the popular fancy hit upon what was at once a translation and an equivalent
                M'Na-Cearda translated into Scotch Tinkler, and passed by a law of Gaelic
                phonetics into Sinclair (Ma-an-t-Sinclair)

(2) Clyne
- as far back as 1561 the Sutherlands of Berriedale were dispossessed by the Earl of
                Caithness in consequence of their cruel treatment of the Clynes, dependents of
                the Caithness family, several members of the former having been killed by the

(3) Gallie - Gunns from Caithness who settled in Ross in the seventeenth century were locally
                termed na Gallaich - the Caithness men.  They would appear to be a Sinclair
                sept by all normal rules**.

* As mentioned in an earlier contribution to the Sinclair Discussion List, these 'workers in metal'
  were thought to have been the armorers from the Spanish galley which sank in Tobermory Bay
  in 1588. 
In support of this suggestion the Sinclairs of Argyll are said to be of a darker complexion
  than their Northern namesakes.

** One wonders what the Gunns would make of this suggestion?

Niven Sinclair