Clan Sinclair Association Canada is part of the worldwide Sinclair clan,
originating in Scotland, whose hereditary Chief is the Earl of Caithness. Click
for links to other Sinclair websites.
On this page:
To visit other areas of the CSAC website, click in the menu
at the top of this page.
[Page last updated 13 July 2011]
Chief of the Clan
The Hereditary Chief of Clan Sinclair is The Right Honorable Malcolm
Ian Sinclair, The Earl of Caithness.
Our Chief is an elected member of the House of Lords in the UK Parliament,
the chief executive of the Clan Sinclair Trust, which
owns Castle Sinclair Girnigoe, and also the patron
of the Clan Sinclair Association of Canada.
The Clan Sinclair Association of Canada began with the informal
gatherings of one Ontario-based Sinclair family; CSAC is now
a national non-profit group and part of the worldwide Clan
Sinclair. Visit our History page to learn more.
The quarterly newsletter of Clan Sinclair Association Canada
is called Roslin O Roslin after the historic war
cry of the clan. More information at the Newsletter page.
One strong interest of clan members is genealogy. Forms to get
you started are available from our
Clan Sinclair has active groups based in Nova Scotia, Ontario
and British Columbia.
To see contact information for clan volunteers, visit our
Annual membership dues are $15.00 for singles and $20.00 for
families (in Canadian dollars). To join, and subscribe to
Roslin O Roslin, mail a cheque or money order
together with your contact information and a note about
your Sinclair connection to the CSAC Secretary.
Clan Membership, Surnames and Septs
The spelling variations of our clan name
include Sinclair, St Clair, Sinkler and many others.
In his article on
"Scottish and Irish Chiefs" for
Burke's Peerage, genealogist Hugh Peskett
explained how families unrelated to the chief came to use
gave their clansmen leadership, justice, housing, land to grow
food, grazing for their cattle and, importantly in a more violent
age, protection. In return the chief would expect able bodied
clansmen to fight with him and for him. While many clansmen were
of the chiefly kindred, others placed themselves under the chief's
leadership and protection and assumed his name."
- Burke's Peerage, Baronetage and Knightage,
107th Edition, 2003
Other family names associated with Clan Sinclair are Caird,
Clouston, Clyne, Flett, Gallie, Linklater, Lyall, Mason and Moar;
these are usually called septs of our clan.
The Court of the Lord Lyon, which is the heraldic authority for Scotland,
has a webpage on "Who is a member of a clan" which explains about
clan membership, surnames and septs:
"Every person who has the same surname as the chief is deemed
to be a member of the clan. Equally a person who offers allegiance
to the chief is recognised as a member of the clan unless the chief
decides that he will not accept that person's allegiance.
There is no official list of recognised septs. This is a matter for each chief
– as posted at The Court of The Lord Lyon
official website, retrieved 06 Jan 2008
The Engrailed Cross
Since 1057, a black engrailed cross on a white ground has been
associated with the Sinclairs. "Engrailed" refers to the
indentations along the cross's edge, as pictured on the shield at right.
The CSAC logo, available as a lapel badge through the clan
shop, is an engrailed
cross with, in the centre, a red maple leaf as on the Canadian
The clansman's badge, available from retailers specializing
in Scottish goods, consists of the crest of the chief's Arms:
A Cock sejant surrounded by the traditional belt and buckle
with the Motto, "Commit Thy Work to God"
Some landmarks of interest to members of Clan Sinclair, with
links to locator maps:>
- Castle Sinclair Girnigoe, the Castle of Mey, and Thurso Castle in the old county of Caithness, Scotland.
- Ravenscraig Castle in Kirkcaldy, Fife, near Sinclairtown.
- Rosslyn Castle, Roslin, near Dalkeith in Midlothian, Scotland.
- Herdmanston Castle near Samuelston in East Lothian, Scotland.
- Saint-Clair-sur-l'Elle near Saint-Lô and Saint-Clair-sur-Epte, both in the Normandy region of France.
For further information, click here.
The Sinclair plant badge is furze (whin) or white clover,
worn on the cap or lapel.
Sinclair Peers, Baronets and Knights
The Sinclair clan chief, the Earl of Caithness, is an elected
representative peer in the House of Lords of the United Kingdom, as
is the Earl of Rosslyn. Other Sinclairs in the Lords are the life peers
Baroness Linklater of Butterstone and
Baroness Masham of Ilton.
Another Scottish peer is Lord Sinclair,
who inherited his title in 2004. The past five generations of
his predecessors were representative
Scottish peers in the House of Lords prior to its reform.
His father had been an Extra Equerry to
the Queen Mother for more than 50 years.
The Member of Parliament for Caithness, Sutherland
and Easter Ross is John Archibald Sinclair, 3rd
Viscount Thurso. John Thurso
is the first peer to sit in the House of Commons
after being in the Lords.
Clan chiefs may be peers, but a chieftainship is not a peerage.
Many peers have more than one title. Peerages – and
chieftainships – have varied rules of inheritance, and
some may be inherited by women. A life peerage is an individual
Baronets and knights are not peers. A baronetcy is inherited;
as for a knighthood, its holder is addressed as "Sir".
A knighthood is an individual distinction.
For more on Sinclair Peers, Baronets and Knights, click here.
The best-known Sinclair tartans are the Dress Red
and Hunting Green. Both have modern, ancient, and ancient
The Sinclair tartan at right is Ancient Red. The Sinclair tartan
background on this website is Hunting Green.