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Sinclairs of Dun

When Roland Wm. St. Clair was interviewing Sinclair families in Caithness and 
the Isles in the late 1890's, he came to a place called "Dun" on the 
coastline overlooking the North Sea.  The names he placed in the record for 
his work Saint Clairs of the Isles for the Dun family included one which 
caught the attention of one of my Sinclair family, William MacDonald 
Sinclair, Archdeacon of London, who was one of the Ulbster line of Sinclairs 
in Caithness.  He corresponded with a maiden daughter of my 
great-grandfather, James Richard Monro Sinclair, who was born in Edinburgh 
and immigrated to Nashville, Tennessee, where he raised a large family.  The 
corresponence had the effect of adding information to that obtained and 
published by Mr. Saint Clair.  The founders of Dun were not known or not 
named by Saint Clair or any subsequent biographer that I have been able to 

Speculation on the logical origin of this family was refealed to me by Niven 
Sinclair, who felt that the first family were de Sancto Claros from the coast 
of Normandy, probably descendants of Rollo, and that they were people who had 
the Viking heritage and ability to expore of their ancestors; for reasons 
unknown, they decided to move to Caithness, about which they must have heard 
from the obvious sources available to them because of their location and 
contacts in the port city they lived in or near in France.  The year of their 
travel is not known, but there were many in their extended family who were 
going to Scotland and seeking a place  where they could live and grow.  The 
years following the Battle of Hastings seem likely.

When they sailed to the north coast of Scotland, they probably were looking 
for a goe, or natural harbor to land in and seek a place to settle.  There is 
just such a place on the coastline down from the promontory which houses the 
old fortification and settlement of Old Wick, and just above the modern 
castle at Dunbeath.  The village of Lybster is inland from the present ruins 
of the place which was called Dun.
No identifiable ruins exist in this day of what could have been a Broch, or 
fortified house, but there must have been something fairly large in the 
1890's, when Saint Clair wasthere doing his research.,  On modern maps, the 
only place=names with the word "Dun" are Dunn and Southdunn, both in the Loch 
Watten District.   Bit Sant Clair indicates that some of the Dun family left 
to establish new families of their own in places called "Southdun" and "Dun", 
which indicates to me that at one time there were Sinclairs in those places 
that now bear those names on modern maps.  I went there by car one year and 
stopped in front of the only structures at those places.  There is no 
antiqity in appearance at either place, one being a modern house with 
acreage, and the other a tall stone house in front of an asssortment of farm 
structures.  I didn't feel it would be productive to knock on the door of 
either place and infquire if any people by that name still lived there.

My search now is to find if there are any Sinclairs in our present seeker 
company who can relate to descendany to the Dun family.  They wound up in 
Brabsterorran, Southdun, Ulbster, and possibly Lybster.  I would appreciate 
being able to add any of the names and stories to my own, and will gladly 
engage in correspondence with anyone who shares this interest.

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