Clan Timeline

  Last updated 25 January 2010 14:02:32 

“No family in Europe beneath the rank of royalty boasts a higher antiquity, a nobler illustration, or a more romantic interest than that of St. Clair”
Sir Bernard Burke ‘A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage’

“The Lordly line of high St. Clair”
Sir Walter Scott

In olden times surnames were not used but the key family figure in the late 9th Century was a Norwegian, Rognvald, Jarl of Moeri, who, with King Harald Fairhair, conquered the Orkney Isles and later Caithness and was created Jarl or Earl. One of his sons Einar succeeded to the title and established the line of Norse Jarls, most of whom owed allegance to both the Scandinavian and Scottish Monarchs until 1470. Another Rollo conquered Neustria (Normandy) in France and his direct descendent was the 7th Duke of Normandy, William the Conqueror, who became King of England. The name Sinclair probably comes from St Clair-sur-Lo in Normandy and was established in Scotland in 1057 when William St Clair, a close relative of William the Conqueror, was given the life barony of Rosslyn, near Edinburgh, and in England, by others of his family, after they were given land and titles following the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The link of the name Sinclair to Caithness and Orkney was established in the mid 14th century when Sir William St Clair of Roslin married Isabella daughter and heiress of Malise, Earl of Caithness. Although Caithness and Orkney is considered ‘home’ for the Clan, Sinclair families are found not just throughout the UK but worldwide. The main Scottish branches of the family are headed by the Earl of Caithness, Earl of Rosslyn, Lord Sinclair, Viscount Thurso and Sir Patrick Sinclair of Dunbeath. However, given its history it is not surprising to find branches of the family in Norway, Sweden, France and Germany. Equally, Sinclairs have played and are still playing a prominent role in the history of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States of America.


Clan Timeline









Created and maintained by Iain Laird and all rights donated to the Clan Sinclair Trust.
© Clan Sinclair Trust. All rights reserved.