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What is a Laird? A fair question!

Date: Sun, 3 Oct 1999 09:49:45 -0700
Subject: Re: W T Laird's 1888 Letter on the Origin of the Laird's?


Dear Henderson/Sinclair Clansperson

As GaryD suggests, please look at John Sinclair Quarterman's Website 
"www.mids.org/sinclair/".  On the front page your will find a hyperlink 
"Laird" which will take you through to a note from me that explains our link 
to the Clan. 

All Clans have "Septs", families with surnames distinct from the Clan name 
but nonetheless closely associated.  Some families had to change their 
surnames following the suppression of the Clans following the 1745 Rebellion. 
 Henderson is a Sept of the Clan Gunn (see 
"http://www.electricscotland.com/webclans/dtog/gunn.html", and the Gunns 
have, as you say, always been closely associated with the Clan Sinclair.  The 
Westford Knight in Connecticut, part of the evidence of Prince Henry 
Sinclair's voyage to the New World, is thought to be Sir James Gunn.  The 
Drumhead Pardon from Flodden was carried to Caithness by a Gunn drummer boy.

The Septs of Sinclair include the surnames of Budge, Clyne, Lyall, Linklater 
and Mason, and the Sinclairs as the main Clan of Caithness can count on the 
support, as Gary says, of all the families of Caithness origin. This includes 
a small family of Lairds, also of Norse origin, overlooked until relatively 
recently, whose whoms were on Sinclair land. There is a Laird Family 
Association, to whom we also post, which shares knowledge specifically to 
Lairds principally from the south of Scotland and Ireland, but it has little 
knowledge of Caithness, which is where my family comes from.  In my website 
(http://ourworld.cs.com/inslaird/) I explain the conventional sources and 
what my family knows of its background. The Sinclair Discussion group is a 
wonderful place to exchange and share information and recover lost history 
and is the premier source of information on Caithness and our Norse roots.  I 
have found it of incredible help in developing an understanding of our roots, 
and I hope others will too, through the contributions of a very special and 
well informed group of people.  The Sinclair Discussion Group has, therefore, 
become much more than a place to discuss the genealogy of those fortunate to 
bear the family name Sinclair, though this remains the core of our identity.

There is a tremendous renaissance taking place in the Sinclair Clan at 
present.  Our Chief has set us all the task of preserving our heritage with 
the Sinclair and Girnigoe Castles Trust.   And we are very proud, with our 
Clan Chief, Malcolm Caithness's permission, to wear the Sinclair Tartan and 
Badge, and look forward to participating in next year's Millennium Gathering 
at his command.

I hope I have explained the posting!

Yours aye

Iain Laird, a Sinclair Follower

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