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Top Surnames

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  • Henrik Johnson Sinclair (c.1395 - d.)
  • Jocelyn Sinclair (c.1425 - c.1477)
  • Sir Henry Sinclair, 2nd Earl of Orkney (c.1375 - 1420)
    Henry Sinclair, 2nd Earl of Orkney (c. 1375 – 1422) was a Norwegian nobleman and Pantler of Scotland.[1] He was son of Henry Sinclair, 1st Earl of Orkney by his wife Jean, daughter of John Hal...
  • Sir William Sinclair, 1st Earl of Caithness (c.1410 - 1482)
    William Sinclair (1410–1484), 1st Earl of Caithness (1455–1476), 3rd Earl of Orkney (1455–1470), Baron of Roslin was a Scottish nobleman and the builder of Rosslyn Chapel, in Midlo...
  • Sir William Sinclair, 2nd Earl of Caithness (c.1463 - 1513)
    William Sinclair, 2nd Earl of Caithness (1459 – 9 September 1513) was a Scottish nobleman born in Ravenscraig Castle, Kirkcaldy, Scotland to William Sinclair, 1st Earl of Caithness and Marjory...

The Clan Sinclair Project

This project is for users researching the Scottish clan Sinclair, its history, and descendants.

Clan Sinclair

  • Current Chief: The Rt. Hon. Malcolm Ian Sinclair The 20th Earl of Caithness
  • Gaelic Name: Mac na Ceardadh or Singlear
  • Crest Badge: A cock rampant
  • Plant Badge: Whin
  • Motto: Commit thy work to God
  • War Cry:
  • Lands: Rosslyn, Caithness, Orkney


A full size image of this this map is available - use the magnifier for an even larger image.

Origin of the Name

The name Sinclair is derived from "Saint-Clair", a place in France. However, there is a dispute about which Saint-Clair was the original home of the family.

Names Associated with Clan Sinclair

  • Name Variations: Saint-Clair, St. Clair
  • Septs:
  • Other Names: Budge, Caird, Clouston, Clyne, Hourie, Howrie, Laird, Linklater, Lyall, Mason, Peace, Purdie, Snoddy

Clan History and Origins

It is likely the Sinclairs came from St Clare in Normandy. They first went to England (before they came to Scotland) with William the Conqueror during his invasion of England. Richard of Saint-Clair and Brittel of Saint-Clair are both mentioned in the Domesday Book. William of Saint-Clair accompanied Saint Margaret of Scotland, daughter of Edward the Exile to Scotland in 1068, where she eventually married Malcolm III of Scotland. In return for his efforts, the king supposedly granted Sinclair the barony of Roslin, Scotland "in free heritage". The chiefs of Clan Sinclair descend from Sir William St Clare who was sheriff of Edinburgh and who was granted the barony of Roslin (Rosslyn) in 1280. In 1379, Sir Henry Sinclair claimed the Earldom of Orkney through his mother and received it from Haakon VI of Norway. The Sinclairs were later forced by James III of Scotland to resign the earldom of Orkney, and received instead the title Earl of Caithness. (Source: Wikipedia)

What You Can Do Here

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If you have any questions or suggestions please do not hesitate to contact the project manager, Justin Swanström

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