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White and Black Sinclairs
There were Africans in America long before Columbus ever set foot on San
(he never set foot on the Continent of North America) as the Kings of Ghana
crossing between West Africa and Brazil centuries earlier. The huge
African heads in Brazil is indelible proof of this.
True, slaves were brought in from West Africa for the cotton plantations
just as the
Scots were forced to seek a new life in the "Colonies" because of the infamous
Highland Clearances when they were driven out of their homes by having them
to the ground by the 'storm-troopers' brought in by (in the main) English
had acquired vast Scottish Estates with industrial money.
The lot of the slaves and the early Scottish 'settlers' had much in
conditions aboard the ships were universally appalling. Africans and Scots
been forced out of their homes. This is probably why there has always been
level of 'empathy' between Scots and people of African origin. We also
the tribal system because it was similar to the Clan system. (This was the
reason why the majority of officers serving with African troops during the
from Scottish Regiments. I was one of them.)
Just as many of the 'udalers' in Orkney and Shetland took the Sinclair name
Prince Henry became 'jarl' of Orkney so those African people working on
Estates (mainly in Barbados and Hawaii) took the Sinclair name because it gave
them an 'identity' which would be immediately recognisable rather giving
name which might have been Oleyaken, Awodipe, Awosoji, Adefioye, Ogunfidodo,
Omisore, Ayoola etc.etc. These names are unpronounceable and certainly
unmemorable to the average European. Even my own nephew (who has a Polish
father)gave up trying to spell his name every time he answered the 'phone,
uses Sinclair instead.
Our Clan genealogist is Nicholas Cram- Sinclairs who hails from Jamaica but
now resident in Edinburgh. He probably knows more about the Sinclair
than any of his white name-sakes.
So, whether you are black or white, be proud of your Sinclair name. My own
were crofters and, yet, the family has produced some outstanding
individuals with, at
least, three millionaires. My elder brother has received the CBE for
services to agriculture.
His daughter received the MBE for cancer research (Tragicalls, she died
On the African side of the family, we have equally noteworthy members e.g.
mother was a Sinclair and one of our premier league footballers, is Frank
carries his name with pride.
Names are often an accident of geography and history. If Hrolf 'the
Ganger' had not signed his
Treaty with Charles 'the Simple' , the King of France, at a place called
Castle St Clair-sur-Epte
we might have had a completely different name!!
I hope we will have some African Sinclairs at our Millennium Gathering this
year. They will
be warmly welcomed because they, too, are part of our history. Let us
For the best tune on a piano, we need the black and the white keys. So it
is with people.
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