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Frequently Asked Questionsfor

Clan [Clan Sinclair] Sinclair

FAQ about Prince Henry Sinclair
From: "Spirit One Email" <>
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 1999 07:29:06 -0800

Dear Cousins,

John Quarterman has asked me to help develop a FAQ (frequently asked questions) link from the main website. I thought that I would go to the experts on this.....YOU.

What are some of the questions that led you to and around The Clan website and to this one.... Since then what other questions have come to mind? These could be on how to do whatever, or find whatever, why, what do I do next, is anyone reading this message, etc.

I'm not sure whether it is better to send these ideas directly to this list or directly to me. Of course, if you think that it might be a more personal question or if you hesitate because you think that you are the only one having this question, send it to me. Don't use this site to express your annoyance with something just send a short statement of your question. You may be surprise to find out that many others have had the same question. Whatever you are comfortable with, will be fine. This will be an ongoing project. So if you think of something in a month or two, etc., send a message. Put "FAQ" in the subject line.

Laurel has been busy, and there are now 57 [now 62] [now 63] [now 66] [now 68] [now 69] FAQ items. Many of them have answers. The answers are attributed where possible. Unattributed answers are mostly from Laurel, or are drawn from pre-existing web pages, with some filling-in by jsq. Many of them still need answers. Anyone who knows any of the answers, please speak up. —jsq
  1. What are the motto, badge, lands, and pipe music of Clan Sinclair?
  2. Where can I get the Sinclair March? It is in a book named as one volume of a two-volume set of the Black Watch Pipe Band's Music, or something like that. My guess is that most Grade I through III have copies of this for their usual practice. Pipe teachers also would be a likely source for the tune. President Emeritus David Bouschor says it's a "quick march" but he doesn't say he has any CD's or tapes of the tune. If anyone finds this in commercial stocks, I would appreciate knowing how to obtain it. —Ray Lower,

    The Sinclair March or Red Ribbon is a piobreached. The quick march I mentioned was "Colonel Sinclairs March" different tune. —David Bouschor,

    We also have much more information about this march, also called the Red Ribbon, from Rory Sinclair, Toronto.

  3. What is the origin of the Sinclair name? It's from the place name, St. Clair sur Epte, which in turn is derived from the name of a local saint, Saint Clere. Sinclair and Sinkler (and numerous others) are phonetic variants of St. Clair.

  4. Did the word gringo come from a Scottish song? OK, this has nothing to do with Sinclairs, but it was asked on the Sinclair Discussion List.

    [Prince Henry]
  5. Why don't we read about Prince Henry in the history books? Because he died shortly after he returned to Scotland, defending Kirkwall from an English invasion. His navigator also died very soon, and Henry's son was imprisoned by the English. Pete Cummings provided more detail in his Prince Henry FAQ.

  6. Is anyone teaching about Prince Henry now? Yes. Elaine [needs detail] has developed a school curriculum about him, and schools in VT, MA, and NS are learning about him.

  7. Are there any Learning Channel shows about Prince Henry? We don't know, but we think there should be.

  8. What is a Clan? Clan means children
    Mac means son of
    Clan MacIvor = family of the son of Ivor
    Clan MacDonald = family of son of Donald
    Clan MacPherson = family of son of Pherson (the parson)
    etc. —Gary M. Sinclair

  9. How was a Clan organized?
    Chief = Supreme Leader and Lawgiver
    The Tanist
    Nominated by the Chief
    Tanistry was a system of succession
    by a previously elected member of the Clan or family.
    Commander/Military Leader
    (heads of various branches or Septs of the clan,
    always appointed if the Chief were old or infirm)
    (those who could claim a blood connection with the Chief)
    The greatest in numbers —
    In times of peace, the clansmen did the manual work;
    in times of war, they fought for their chief
    —Gary M. Sinclair

  10. What are the septs (associated families) of Sinclairs? [Orkney] Caird, Cline, Clouston, Lyall, Mason, Dunnet, Linklater. —Gary D. Sinclair

  11. How do septs come about? a. "Sept" is a term borrowed from Irish culture in the 19th century to explain the use of various surnames by members of a single Clan or family. Generally, these are small Clans that live within the boundaries of an area that is controlled by a strong Clan and Clan Chieftain. These smaller Clans would join with the larger Clan and enjoy the benefits of that Clan's castles for protection, the Clan's knights, and pay for the privilege through "taxes" paid to the Clan Chieftain. —Gary D. Sinclair
    b. Clan Septs and Dependents comprise those who were descended from the Chief through the female line and consequently bore a different surname; and those who sought and obtained the protection of the Clan and became dependents. Anyone who has an ancestor bearing a Sept name, or the Clan name itself, has the privilege of wearing or displaying the Crest Badge and the tartan of the clan. —Gary M. Sinclair

  12. Are Septs and Affiliated families the same? It is difficult to state which is correct when you talk about affiliated families of a Clan. Many Clans insist that there are Septs of their Clan and they will continue to use the definition. There are other Clans, such as Ross, that identifie all of their families as Septs. My own usage for our Highland Games in Northern California is to call all families affiliated and delete the reference to Sept. We follow Philip Smiths definition in Tartan for Me:
    ``The variety of surnames within a Scottish Clan do not represent separate and definable sub-clans but instead reflect the vagaries of transition of the Gaels into the English naming system as well as marriages, migrations and occupations (miller. mason, carpenter, brewer, etc.) The main family itself may have developed a variety of surname spellings (Sinclair, St. Clair, Sinkler, Sinclaire, Sinclare). The prefered modern usage is to avoid the use of the term "Septs." and to simply describe these names as what they are — surnames of the family and of allied or dependent families. It is preferable to speak of "The names and families of Clan xxx" rather than to call a name a "sept of Clan xxx."''
    I hope this helps.
    Gary D. Sinclair

  13. Is this a list of Sinclair Affiliated families? Caird, Caithness, Cline, Clouston, Clyne, Coghill, Corner, Comloquoy, Cumlaquory, Corrigall, Cursiter, Delday, Drever, Dunnett, Flaws, Flett, Flette, Goar, Gotts, Halcrow, Harrow, Horrie, Hourrie, Hourston, Ibister, Inkster, Isbister, Kilday, Linklatter, Linkletter, Lyall, Luddale, Lyell, MacBarnett(e), Mainland, Mason, Moar, MacNackaird, Mey, Paplay, Pottinger, Papay, Pappey, Patter, Pettenreck, Pettenrick, Rosie, Rosey, Roslin, Rosslyn, Sciater, Scollay, Scolley, Scully, Snoddy, Snoddie, Westray, Wick, Ilrick, Whitefield, Wolley. [Needs answer by someone who knows.]

  14. But Sinclair is a Norman name from a Norman family. Does the Gaelic clan system really apply? Yes and no.

  15. What is the Sinclair tartan? There are four main forms of Sinclair tartan; two red (formal) and two green (hunting). Here are pictures of them.

  16. What is the hereditary role of the Clan chief? [Needs answer by someone who knows.]

    [The Chief]
  17. The current chief is Lord Malcolm. What would his job description be? [Needs answer by someone who knows.]

  18. And what would it have been at different periods in the past? [Needs answer by someone who knows.]

  19. Who were the previous chiefs, and their titles and offices? [List of Barons and Earls with their titles and info such as Lord of the Marches, Admiral, etc. I do have such a list. Presided at the Courts of Kilwinning. pg. 79 The Sword and the Grail.

  20. What is a "March" as in Earl of the Marches? The border or boundary of a country or an area of land; a frontier. A tract of land bordering on two countries and claimed by both. England "marches" with Scotland. William "The Seemly" Sinclair, 1st Baron of Rosslyn was Earl of the Marches. His son Henry was the Warden of Border Marches. —Laurel

  21. Is there a map of Scotland showing where Sinclair territory was during different eras? The map Scotland of Old - Clan Map shows the territories that were controlled by the various clans. These maps can be obtained from vendors at Highland Games. —Gary D. Sinclair

  22. Are there maps of the same areas of Scotland today? For Rosslyn, look under location in the Rosslyn Chapel Trust web pages. For Caithness, including Thurso, Wick, Noss Head, John O' Groats, etc., see the page on Caithness. Lonely Planet has a good map of Scotland.

  23. Why did the Sinclairs leave Scotland?
    • Many Sinclairs never left Scotland.
    • Many others emigrated to North America, Australia, or New Zealand for the same reasons as everybody else: economic opportunity, etc.
    • The Clearances (of which a Sinclair was one of the main proponents).
    • For King and Country (two of my great-great-uncles died in India, serving in the Raj —jsq).
    • General population pressure (several of the above-mentioned uncles' brothers and sisters moved to the United States or Canada because their parents said they had given enough children for King and Country —jsq).
    • Some Sinclairs were probably missionaries.
    • Probably there were many other reasons, as well.

  24. Commerce and businesses of Caithness? [Caithness] In the Caithness page there are links about flagstones, the glass factory, windsurfing, etc. [What else now and in the past?]

  25. What about Sinclair castles? [Girnigoe Castle] You're in luck. Among many other Sinclair castles, the most romantic castle ruin in the north of Scotland is Girnigoe and Sinclair Castles. —jsq Other Sinclair castles include: Castle of Old Wick, Ackergill Tower, Castle Dunbeath, Brims Castle, Keiss Castle, Castle Mey, Rosslyn Castle, Ravenscraig Castle, Kirkwall Castle, Findlater Castle, Thurso Castle, Knockinnan Castle, Berridale Castle, Braal Castle, Ravensheugh Castle, Dysart Castle, and Dounreay Castle. —Gary D. Sinclair

  26. Any apparitions and romantic stories about the castles? The gypsy stories would be one.
    The bitumen well at Rosslyn that connects with NS; see spring of pitch.
    Even the story of Clare that became St. Clare is a good one.
    Hidden treasure in the Chapel Column.
    Soundings and explorations at Rosslyn, etc. —Laurel [Can someone fill in the details?]
    The White Lady that appears to children at Rosslyn Castle.
    The Hound of Rosslyn. —Gary D. Sinclair

    It has been reported by a number of people staying at Rosslyn Castle that they have had some strange unexplained experiences. In one instance while they were sleeping, the covers were repeatedly pulled off of them. They immediately looked around but could not find an explanation.
    In the second story, the couple heard faucets being turned on and off all through the night but again, investigation showed no reason for this.
    Apparently these "ghostly" pranks are not threatening or dangerous but just a ghostie with a sense of humor. —Anonymous

  27. What about Cabalistic rituals? Well, Kaballa is a kind of Jewish mysticism; it's not clear that Sinclairs ever practiced it. But there might be Templar rituals?

  28. Why does no one appear to post to the RootsWeb Sinclair mailing list? Maybe they're all posting to the Sinclair discussion list.

  29. So many islands around Orkney end in "say". Does that mean Island in Celtic or Norwegian? [Needs answer by someone who knows.]

    [Rosslyn Chapel]
  30. Why was Rosslyn Chapel built? See the Rosslyn Chapel Trust web pages.

  31. Where did the money come from to build Rosslyn Chapel? [Needs answer by someone who knows.]

  32. What does ``Sacred Architecture'' refer to? What makes it sacred? The short and the long of it.

  33. Is there nothing about it in the Bible? There is quite a bit of information in the Bible about the architecture of the Temple.

  34. What is being done concerning the Money Hole of NS? Lots of things.

  35. How about a map showing sites on NS? OK.

  36. Is there a picture of the money hole? Yes.

  37. Have they put up the signs for the Glooscap trail from Cape d'Or to Advocate Harbor yet? [Needs answer by someone who knows.]

    [The Westford Knight]
  38. Is there anyone working on the preservation of the Westford Knight? [Needs answer by someone who knows.]

  39. Do we have a picture of the flower rubbing on the web and where is the original is now? [Needs answer by someone who knows.]

  40. How do I get a copy of the book Warriors & Bankers offered by the Sauniere people? See their web pages.

  41. Could we get a link to their books from our publications site? Here it is.

  42. The Templar Video was WONDERFUL!. Are there any more planned? [Needs answer by someone who knows.]

  43. At the 1997 Symposium it was said that Zeno was in prison and couldn't have traveled with Prince Henry. Was this conflict resolved? [Needs answer by someone who knows.]

  44. What did d'Layne Coleman learn in Venice this year? [Needs answer by someone who knows.]

  45. Are there more places to visit in NS that commemorate Henry's trip? Salmon Hill, Stellarton, Cape d'Or, Advocate Harbor, Pictou.

  46. What were the "Land Clearances"? There are numerous books about the Clearances. Here is an online chronology. The Clearances were the forced removal of a great part of the population of the North of Scotland, in the name of improvment of agriculture. More bluntly, the lairds had discovered that sheep (see Sir John ``James'' Sinclair of Ulbster) produced more income than their tenant farmer relatives. Many of the dispossessed people took ship over sea. Others crowded into the coastal towns where they tried to become fishermen. The empty Scotland you see today is not the one our ancestors knew. —jsq

  47. Does this have something to do with a statement I read about a certain Earl Sinclair who had only a 10 mile strip of land across Caithness? [Needs answer by someone who knows.]

  48. Surely that 10 mile part was an exaggeration? [Needs answer by someone who knows.]

  49. Why did a Sinclair Earl end up in ND? [info in discussion archives, I believe but maybe there is more yet to know?]

  50. Genealogy: I just got started with my research. What do I do to find my ancestors? For links to copious genealogical resources, many of them specific to Sinclairs, see the genealogy page.

  51. Genealogy: I put a query (asked for help) to find [Books] my ancestors on the Sinclair discussion group but got no answer or no one could help me. What do I do now? Read Pete Cumming's message, buy some books.

  52. Where can I get information on the Sinclairs extant in Caithness, the Isles, Fife and Midlothian in the very early years, say before 1800? See the listing of related books on the genealogy page.

  53. What is the Sauniere Society? [Needs answer by someone who knows.]

  54. Where did the Templar treasury and lands come from? Here's a good web page on the origins of the Templars.

  55. What was the Hanseatic League? A federation of trading cities centered in northern Germany and extending throughout the Baltic Sea and as far north as Bergen, Norway. See a more formal description. This was no mere league of sister cities; it could and did wage war on sovereign nation-states, such as on Denmark in 1362. [some info in pg 43 & 129 The Sword and the Grail.]

  56. What does a Grand Master do? [Needs answer by someone who knows.]

  57. The Sinclairs were hereditary Grand Masters of the Templars for how many years? The Sinclairs were not Grand Masters of the Templars. They were the Hereditary Grand Masters of Freemasons. The Sinclairs were granted the position of Grand Master Mason of Scotland by James II in 1441. Sir William St. Clair, the last male heir of the Rosslyn branch, resigned his office as Hereditary Grand Master Mason of Scotland to the Scottish Lodges at their foundation in 1736. The Lodges then appointed him as the first non-hereditary Grand Master Mason of Scotland at their meeting on St. Andrew's Day of the same year. —Gary D. Sinclair

  58. Was that just a nominal title or did they have some power? [Needs answer by someone who knows.]

  59. What proof is there that a Templar Grand Master was m. to a Sinclair woman and who was she? [Needs answer by someone who knows.]

  60. I find it interesting that Orcadian and [Clan Sinclair Nova Scotia] Arcadian are such similar words. It seems like some memory must have persisted concerning the Orkney connections to NS. See Rory's writeup.

  61. Where is the Bodleian Library? Oxford University, Oxfordshire, England.

  62. Is it open to the public? Its web pages are.

  63. What is in it? Many rare books.

  64. Can we get copies of the St. Clair books for the Noss Head Library? [pg. 79 of Sword and Grail states that some of William St. Clair's books survive there. One of the books is about rules and customs of shipping and the Guilds of Scotland.]

  65. What was the purpose of the Kilwinning Courts, what was it that the Sinclairs judged people about? [Needs answer by someone who knows.]

  66. What about societies, associations, clans, places to join in person and online? All known Sinclair organizations are linked from these web pages, under organizations or people. Sounds like this person wants to get involved in their history. How about Templars, Society for Creative Anachronism.

  67. Are there piping band, country dancing, caber tossing, sheep herding, etc. societies? Many of those can be found through the various Highland Games pages.

  68. Why is there a statue of our ancestor Rollo outside the Sons of Norway building in Fargo, ND? [Rollo the Viking] The Summer issues of Yours Aye will contain an article about Rollo: get a copy by joining Clan Sinclair Association U.S.A..

  69. What does Yours Aye mean? Yours Always.

  70. What is the Augustan Society's library? They have a library of approximately 100,000 items, including collections on Heraldry, Vexillology, Chivalry, Knighthood, Crusades, Imperial and Royal Genealogy, Noble Families, Ancient History including Egypt and Rome, Medieval History of Europe, The Celts, The Arthurian Period, Native American Cultures, Ancient Literature, Archaeology and Anthropology, Insignia, Medals and Decorations, Order of the Temple, Order of St. John, Order of St. Lazarus, and the Sacred Military Order of Constantine St. George, and more. Special Collections contain materials on royal and noble families, including many rare reference works on noble and royal lines from antiquity to the present. The Heraldry and Chivalry Collections are some of the most extensive on the West Coast.

  71. What are Sinclair's Chains? A lock puzzle.
Last changed: 00/09/30 18:22:44 [Clan Sinclair]