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Re: Surnames more on
Parish registers were introduced in 1538 and until the advent of civil
1837 provide the main source for tracing baptisms (not births), marriages and
burials (not deaths). The Civil War and Commonwealth interrupted the production
of parish registers with Bishops' Transcripts ceasing for twenty years from 1642
although in 1653 a layman, confusingly known as the Parish Register, was
appointed in each parish to maintain registration. Even after the Restoration
there are many gaps in Bishops' Transcripts until the 1720s. From 1754, Lord
Hardwicke's marriage act introduced printed books of forms and the parties and
witnesses had to sign or give their marks - important evidence for literacy.
Neil Sinclair/Peggy Rintoul wrote:
> Pertaining to the aforementioned thread....
> Some small issue with 1379 as the date for the use of surnames being common
> or "surnames being a necessity". It seems that until the common
> registration of written records with the Parish churches toward the end of
> the 1600's surnames were not widely as popular as family names and what we
> may have is among the rank and file a widespread use of names based on
> geography, trade or physical feature. This continued to 1700-1800 when
> because of writing more formal recognition became necessary. Now as one
> further interesting note is that where names and wealth and title were an
> issue identification and certainty were an issue and I sense that the titles
> and use of names were regarded as important. Now a general quiry at what
> point of histor do we see Sinclair names in Orkney and Caithness and
> Midlothian becoming widespread in written use and parlance. My suspition is
> cira 1700 but I profess a great amount of ignorance on the topic.
> Now one relation shared with me that unless you had wealth and title or were
> arrested and or hung, there was little reason to record anyones name before
> 1600 or so and it simply did not matter. Thoughts anyone?
> Neil Sinclair
> Forever Argyll
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Niven Sinclair" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> To: <email@example.com>
> Sent: 10 April, 2000 6:10 AM
> Subject: Re: Surnames
> > At 20:15 09/04/00 -0400, you wrote:
> > >Niven --
> > >
> > >After coming to appreciate your tremendous knowledge of all aspects of
> > >Sinclair heritage , I thought that I would take a chance and see if you
> > >provide any insight into my Sinclair line ??
> > >
> > >I am descended from a William B. Sinclair , who was born in "" England ""
> > >1835 .
> > >
> > >I am curious as to whether you might have any guesses as to what surname
> > > "" B. " might represent ??
> > >
> > >Family elders seem to think he was Welsh ?
> > >
> > >I can say that he had a generally round face and dark ( black ? ) wavy
> hair ,
> > >not at all in keeping with a typically scottish appearance !
> > >
> > >I am hoping that the middle name may provide some clue as to his local
> > >birthplace or perhaps some other clues as to his lineage .
> > >
> > >Thank you ,
> > >
> > >Joe Greigg
> > >
> > >There is the Barony of St Clare in Wales although the town is now called
> > St Clears which is on the A40 about 9 miles from Carmarthen.
> > The Sinclairs were also well-entrenched on the other side of the
> > Channel (in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset) where we find the township
> > of St Cleer which is not far from Liskeard.
> > The name St Clair/Sinclair/St Clere/Synclere etc. has been spelt in 70
> > different ways.
> > After the Conquest (1066) the Sinclairs were to be found in 43 English
> > Counties and in Wales. We were in Scotland slightly earlier than that
> > (1057) but, of course, people of our blood had been in Orknmey since
> > the 9th Century although they did not adopt the name Sinclair until
> > Prince Henry Sinclair became the 'jarl' of the Northern Islands in
> > by which time 'surnames' had become a necessity. Previously people
> > had been identified by their physical peculiarities*, by their
> > or by the name of their holding. *E.g. Campbell = crooked mouth.
> > Cameron = crooked nose. Canmore = big head.
> > The "B" in William B Sinclair could stand for almost any name. The le
> > family came from Calvados in France settled in the South West and in
> > Orkney
> > with the Sinclairs. The name became "Bews" but it could have been Bevin
> > or Bevan
> > which, as you know, are typical Welsh names (which means a 'wine
> > William is likely to have married a Welsh lass. They are very comely.
> > Incidentally, the Sinclair of Argyllshire descent tend to be dark. So,
> > for that
> > matter, are the Sinclairs of Ulbster in Caithness. We are not all blue
> > blonds. Some, as we have heard, are red haired throw-backs with green
> > (and very attractive, too) but most of us, alas, are a nondescript
> > brown.
> > Niven Sinclair
> > from some knowledge. The language was not a problem.
> > >[ This is the Sinclair family discussion list, firstname.lastname@example.org
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