Clan Sinclair Association Canada   
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[Page last updated 01 August 2011]

Clan Sinclair Association Canada welcomes all those who share an interest in furthering research into the family name of Sinclair. This research is one of the major objectives of our association.

Click to open the Family Chart forms
famchart.pdf (47 KB)

The official CSAC genealogist is Wanda Sinclair of Rexdale Ontario, who has provided printable forms for members to get started on family history.

With other researchers, Wanda is also active on the Yahoo-based Sinclair-Roots email list. To join the list, you must be registered at Yahoo and have a public profile there.

After gathering as much information as you can from your family, and checking to see if others have researched the same lines, often family history research involves checking through a lot of old records. Many of these are now available online — click here for a list of some genealogy links.


Many Canadian Sinclairs trace their family's ancestry back to Argyll in Scotland. A particular focus of interest is the island of Islay, one of the inner Hebrides.


CSAC founders - click to see photos of the Early Days

The family of CSAC founders Roselma and Edward Sinclair is descended from Sinclairs of Fintry in the Campsie Fells, which is west of Stirling. Their third son, Rory, carried on his father's search for family, and eventually got to know an elderly Scottish cousin, Mary Sinclair. Read his editorial from Summer 1996, Roots: A Small Tale for more of the story.


One-time Canadian Fisheries Minister James Sinclair (1908-1984), whose daughter Margaret married Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, is descended from the Sinclairs of Banffshire. Jimmy Sinclair was the son of Kathleen and James G. Sinclair, a teacher. His papers are at the University of British Columbia.

Jimmy Sinclair attended the University of British Columbia, and received a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford in 1928. From 1940 to 1958, Sinclair represented North Vancouver as a Liberal Member of Parliament; he was the only MP on active service. He was Fisheries Minister from 1952 to 1957; a Fisheries vessel is named after him, as is the Sinclair Center at Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver.

Sinclair's grandson Justin Trudeau has been Liberal MP for the Papineau district of Montreal, Quebec since 2008.


Click to see photos of the Memorial

The Prince Henry Sinclair Memorial commemorating Sinclair's 1398 expedition is at Boylston Park in Guysborough County, Nova Scotia.

Four hundred years after Prince Henry's stay, Sinclairs arrived in Nova Scotia as settlers. Former CSAC President Bill Sinclair and current President Jim Sinclair are both descendants of the Sinclairs of Goshen, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia. A 1901 book, The Sinclairs of Roslin, Caithness and Goshen, by the Gaelic scholar Rev. Alexander Maclean Sinclair, F.G.S.C., LL.D, has been re-issued by the Association and may be purchased from the Clan Shop.


William Sinclair from East-on-Quay in Harray on the Mainland of Orkney joined the Hudson's Bay Company in 1792, and was shipped to York Factory on the north coast of North America.

Soon after establishing his first outpost at Nestoowyan, William married a local girl, Nahovway - whose Cree name is now written Nahoway. They had a large family, and their descendants have spread round the world.

William Sinclair worked for the Hudson's Bay Company the rest of his life, rising to chief factor. Most of Nahoway and William's daughters married company men. Their oldest son, William Jr., also rose to chief factor. Son Thomas was a councillor at Assiniboia, and built the first steam grist mill in Manitoba. The youngest child, Colin, became a merchant seaman.

Another of Nahoway and William's sons, James, was most famous as a Red River-based free trader, but at times he also worked for the Hudson's Bay Company. James was the Sinclair who, in 1841 and 1854, successfully led parties of emigrants from the present-day Winnipeg area across the Rockies to settle in the Oregon territory. In 1963, the University of Washington Press published D. Geneva Lent's book, West of the Mountains: James Sinclair and the Hudson's Bay Company, which gives some background about his family.

The article on this family at Paul Sinclair's website kingcrest.com/sinclair is by Neil Ray, a sixth-generation descendant, who publishes a newsletter of particular interest to the descendants of Nahoway and William Sinclair.

[Kingcrest.com not available, 17-Apr-2006.]


South Leith Parish Church 1836 - click for more old pictures

Through parish registers, Ian C. Sinclair of Solihull, England has traced his Sinclair roots back to a John Sinclair, "Tayllor in the yeard heads" whose son David was born 3rd March 1707 in the parish of South Leith, Midlothian.

Click here to read more....

Photo: LeithHistory.co.uk


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