[Clan Sinclair]
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Niven Sinclair on Sinclair as a Clan

From: Niven Sinclair <>
Date: Tue, 18 May 1999 09:23:29 +0100

The earliest mention of the St Clairs is, of course, in France from where they took their name.

Charles 'the Simple' of France offered Hrolf 'the Ganger' the Province of Neustria and his daughter Gizelle in marriage if Hrolf (known as Rollo in France) would cease his raiding of the French coast. That Treaty (912) was signed at Castle St Clair-sur-Epte and it is from that place the St Clairs take their name. Neustria soon became known as Norse-man's-land or Normandy. Hrolf soon added Brittany and the Channel Islands to his Duchy.

His marriage to Gizelle was childless so all subsequent Dukes of Normandy (and St Clairs) are descended from Hrolf's first wife, Popa, the daughter of Count Berenger of Bayeux. Within three generations St Clairs are to be found in every Province of France and Alsace.
The first St Clair to arrive in Scotland accompanied Margaret (later St Margaret) from Hungary in 1057. He was William 'the Seemly' St Clair.

The English Sinclairs arrived in force with their 'bastard' cousin, William 'the Conqueror' in 1066 and, again within three generations, are to be found with land in 43 English Counties and in Wales.

The word 'clan' simply means a family and, on that basis, the Sinclairs are certainly a Clan. However, they have always had a European dimension which they retain to this day and,with an estimated 250,000 Sinclairs worldwide, their Viking wanderlust has remained undiminished. The World is their oyster.

Niven Sinclair

Date: Wed, 09 Jun 1999 22:57:12 +0100
From: Niven Sinclair <>

As far as the family name is concerned (i.e. those Sinclairs who are descended from Rollo) it is a choice between St Clair-sur-Epte and the town of St Clair near St Lo — the Castle of which was destroyed in the 100 years war. My money has always been on St Clair-sur-Epte for the simple reason that the town of St Clair of St Lo didn't seem to exist until the St Clairs moved there. If I am wrong perhaps someone will correct me.

Niven Sinclair

Origins of Clan Sinclair

The ancestry of the Sinclair family can be traced back to at least the ninth century, starting in Norway, through Orkney, Normandy, England, Scotland, and of course through numerous emigrants to all parts of the world.

[Sinclair Lineage] The Sinclair lineage continues to this day, in numerous countries. Another good source of Sinclair history is Paul Sinclair's Sinclair History web pages.

The name Sinclair or St. Clair

[historical Normandy] The name Sinclair comes from the hermit St. Clare who lived at the edge of what is now called Normandy.

[Rollo the Viking] Our ancestors took their surname from an abbey that was named after the hermit, because that was the site where in the year 911 our ancestor Rollo signed the treaty with King Charles III the Simple of France that created him Count of Rouen.

How Sinclairs Arrived in England and Scotland

[Battle of Hastings] Rollo's descendants included the Nine St. Clare knights accompanied their cousin William the Conqueror (also a descendant of Rollo) to England in 1066. They assisted his victory at the [in England] battle of Hastings, 14 Oct 1066. Many of them remained in England.

[in Scotland] [Roslin Castle] One, William ``the Seemly'' Sinclair, went on to Scotland, accompanying the Holy Rood, for which Holyrood Abbey was later named. He was the first Baron of Rosslyn (south of Edinburgh) and the ancestor of the Scottish Sinclairs.

Last changed: 00/01/23 13:12:28 [Clan Sinclair]