Show ContentsSinclear History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Sinclear surname was a Norman habitation name, derived from when families lived at St. Clai-sur-Elle in La Manche and in St-Clair-L'Evêque in Calvados, Normandy where the site of the seignorial castle is still discernible. [1]

Early Origins of the Sinclear family

The surname Sinclear was first found in the barony of Roslyn, Midlothian where King Alexander I of Scotland granted a parcel of land to William de Sancto Claro in 1162. They were originally from St Clare, Pont d'Eveque, Normandy, and are descended from Walderness Compte de Saint Clare who arrived in England with William the Conqueror.

"Wace mentions the Sire de St. Clair at Hastings. This was Richard de St. Clair who held lands, Suffolk, 1086, [2]" [3] The Domesday Book also notes that Britel de St. Clair, brother of the aforementioned Richard de St. Clair held lands in Somerset. Britel's son William de St. Clair held lands in Dorset in 1130.

Despite these early records in England, the name is more often than not associated with Scotland. For it is there that the name excelled both in numbers and power. "The first Sinclairs in Scotland appear to have been vassals of the great territorial magnates, de Morville. Their first possession in Scotland was the barony of Roslin, near Edinburgh, which they held in the reign of David I (1124-1153). The earliest bearers of the name appear in charters connected with the abbeys of Dryburgh and Newbattle, the Hospital of Soltre (now Soutra in Midlothian), the church of Glasgow, etc." [4]

Sir Henry Sinclair fought with King Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn, and helped assure the independence of the Scottish Kingdom. Sir Henry's son married Isabel, the heiress of the earldom of Orkney, and their son became the senior Earl of Norway. The Clan achieved great status having married into both Norwegian and Scottish royalty.

Back in England, the name prospered as well as The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 confirms: John de Sanet Claro in Suffolk; Robert de Sancto Claro in Somerset; and William de Sancto Claro in Kent. [5]

Over in Somerset, from the first listing above, Richard Seinteclere and William Seyncler were both listed in Kirby's Quest. [6]

Early History of the Sinclear family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sinclear research. Another 189 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1330, 1345, 1400, 1455, 1470, 1566, 1576, 1582, 1607, 1610, 1643, 1676, 1683, 1696, 1750 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Sinclear History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sinclear Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Sinclair, Saint Clare, Sancto Claro, Singular, Sinclaire, Seincler, Sanclar, Sincklair, Sinclear, Sincler and many more.

Early Notables of the Sinclear family

Notable among the family at this time was Henry I Sinclair, Earl of Orkney, Baron of Roslin (c. 1345-1400), Scottish and a Norwegian nobleman; Prince of Orkney, 3rd Earl of Orkney; and George Sinclair or Sinclar (d. 1696), a Scottish mathematician, engineer and demonologist, the first Professor of Mathematics, Glasgow, probably a native of East Lothian. Other notables include: George Sinclair fourth Earl of Caithness (d. 1582), second, but eldest surviving, son of John, third Earl of Caithness; and George Sinclair, fifth Earl...
Another 82 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sinclear Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Sinclear family to Ireland

Some of the Sinclear family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Sinclear migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Sinclear Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Jean Sinclear who settled in Virginia in 1655
Sinclear Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Sinclear, who arrived in Maryland in 1716 [7]
Sinclear Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Sinclear, who landed in New York in 1813 [7]

  1. Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  4. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  5. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  7. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8) on Facebook