Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sinclair DNA Data Combining

By Steve St Clair

Data can come from many areas. One of the keys to getting more from your participation in the Sinclair DNA study is to be open to where you get new information.

Study the names in your STR matches, and especially your SNP matches. (The SNP matches are irrefutable.) If you're a student of medieval history, you might recognize some of them from their time in England or when they first got into Scotland.

Keep in mind, the time you share a common ancestor with them might be before the time that surnames became fixed. In my own SNP matches, a researcher found a name that came north into Scotland and received land in Scotland from the de Morville family. He thinks they changed their name to the new land they were living on. If you didn't know this, you'd think they were one of the traditional Highland families. This is throwing off many of the researchers in my SNP.

Think those Irish names in your Sinclair DNA matches originated in Ireland and are proof you're pictish? Check them carefully and read the books on ancient history. You might find out they got to Ireland right after the Norman Conquest of England.
The video above has two different ways of combining DNA name-matches with historical research.
  1. Using FTDNA's Family Finder's name matches, then going in to look for mentions in Google Books.
  2. Using SNP matches, then looking into good medieval records online.
 The key is to keep digging.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Another Way St Clair DNA Got to Scotland

By Steve St Clair

I had this information sitting in a large pile of research notes I sift through again and again looking for new inspiration. You have to appreciate the source to fully understand why I'm so blown away by it.

The Battle Conference on Anglo-Norman Studies was founded by R. Allen Brown in 1978. It takes place annually and accepts only papers of the highest standard. It was described by Frank Barlow in 1999 as 'a golden treasury with a steadily expanding scope.' The research in these annual volumes has inspired my research for years.

The particular paper that just jumped out at me again is -
Barrow, G.W.S., "Companions of the Atheling" a paper presented to Anglo-Norman Studies, Proceedings of the Battle Conference 2002, Volume 25," edited by John Gillingham, The Boydell Press, 2003  ISBN 0 85115 941 9

Wikipedia says, "Geoffrey Wallis Steuart Barrow DLitt FBA, FRSE, Honorary FSA Scot, is a British historian and academic. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Edinburgh, and arguably the most prominent Scottish medievalist of the last century." I wholeheartedly agree.

In this paper, Barrow agrees with Boece, who credits Malcolm Ceannmor with bringing in a group of outsiders who opposed William the Conqueror. William proscribed all those he judged to be friends of Edgar the Atheling, who fled to Scotland, where they were welcomed and given land. Their surnames were: Lindsay, Vaux, Ramsay, Lovel, Touris, Prestoun, Sandelandis, Bisset, Sulis, Wardlaw, Maxol (Maxwell) and many others unspecified.

Boece says many others came from Hungary - Crichton, Fotheringham, Giffard, Maule, Borthwick. "There were also, surely much more convincingly, families from France: Fraser, Sinclair, Boswell, Mowat, Montgomery, Campbell, Boyce, Betoun, Tallefer, and Bothwell."

Wikipedia has this on Hector Boece "(also spelled Boyce or Boise; 1465–1536), known in Latin as Hector Boecius or Boethius, was a Scottish philosopher and first Principal of King's College in Aberdeen, a predecessor of the University of Aberdeen."  He lectured on medicine and divinity. In 1527 he published his "Historia Gentis Scotorum."

For more on the Battle Conference, Click Here.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Different surnames. Same blood.

By Steve St Clair

[post updated and corrected 11/4/12 based on information from David Vance. Thanks David] 

If you're following this blog, you'll notice that I'm obsessed in tracking down particular medieval families who changed their second names. I don't even call them "surnames" because of their fluid use of land-based names.

Here's another case:  Dalston = Vaux

Richard Ferguson (p. 286) has Robert, Baron of Dalston as the brother of Hubert de Vallibus (the Latinized spelling of Vaux).
The Dalston Barony was granted by Ranulph de Meschines to Robert, brother of Hubert de Vallibus, Baron of Gilsland.
reference url

That Hubert was the Baron of Gilsland, grandson of the founder of Pentney Priory.

Hubert and John de Vaux had come north at the invitation of David I.

Many older books state that they were brothers, but there's no primary evidence of this.
Hubert received Gilsland from Henry II.  John received Dirlton in East Lothian, Scotland, on which he later built Dirlton Castle, about 13 miles north of the Morville family seat of Saltoun Castle.  The Morvilles were giving gifts to Lanercost Priory, witnessed by the Maitland family, among others.

The descendants of Hubert's brother John patronized Dryburgh Abbey.

Hubert's son Robert founded Lanercost Priory beside Hadrian's Wall in 1169.

My current obsession with Dalston started after seeing the spelling Dalton in the STR matches of a particular lineage in our Sinclair DNA study, and them bumping into the connection in the records pointing to a blood relationship with the de Vaux family and the Morvilles.

Sources -

Ferguson, Richard Saul, "Cumberland and Westmorland M. P.'s from the restoration to the Reform Bill of 1867, (1660-1867.)" C. Thurnam and Sons, 1871

Website - 1066, Medieval Mosaic -

Guidebook to Dirleton Castle, which I picked up at the castle in October, 2012. Published by Historic Scotland.

Barry, T.B., "COLONY & FRONTIER IN MEDIEVAL IRELAND: Essays Presented to J.F.Lydon" Continuum International Publishing Group, Nov 1, 2003

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Redver, Moreville, and St Clair Connections

Shown above is a 19th century print of the ruins of Montebourg Abbey in the diocese of Coutances, Normandy.

Richard de Redvers was buried at Montebourg in 1107. Lewis C. Loyd had the Moreville family holding land of Reviers (Redvers) in England after the conquest.  Many researchers believe the Saint Clairs of England came north to Scotland with Hugh de Moreville. He later granted them lands which became their Hermanstoune holdings.

William de Moreville" donated property to Montebourg abbey, for the souls of "his wife Mathildis and his son Eudo. Son Eudo confirmed it in 1174. Roger de Stuteville (Stotvilla) witnessed Eudo's confirmation. The Stuteville name is quite interesting in our history. A Helwis (Heloise) de Stuteville was married to a Hugh de Moreville. There was more than one Hugh de Moreville.  The one who married Stuteville was the Forester of Cumberland.

Robert de Vaux and Roger de Stuteville were Sheriffs of Cumberland and Northumberland, 1170 - 1185. Their families were, at one time, both prominent. They worked together in silver mining and minting.

William d'Aubigny (Albini), the Earl of Arundel, granted lands to Montegourg Abbey. He also gave to Thetford Priory, as did the de Vaux, Warenne, Haga (Haig), Malet, Bigot, and Longespee (Earl of Salisbury).

In 1175, Gilbert de Hunfrancvilla (Umfranville) gave his chapel of Douna to Montebourg Abbey for the well-being of his soul and those of his family living and dead. Among the witnesses was Philippo le Ver (Vaux).

Sources -
Loyd, Lewis C., “Origins of Some Anglo-Norman Families,” edited posthumously by Charles

Anonymous, “Calendar of Documents Preserved in France: Illustrative of the History of Great Britain and Ireland. A.D. 918-1206, Volume 1,” Edited by J. Horrace Round, M.A., Printed for Her Majesty’s Stationery Office by Kyrk and Spottiswoode, printers to the Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty. 1899

Lyttelton, George, "The History Of The Life of King Henry the Second, And of the Age in which He Lived…" printed by Sandby and Dodsley, 1767

Doherty, Hugh, "Robert de Vaux and Roger de Stuteville, Sheriffs of Cumberland and and Northumberland, 1170 - 1185." A paper for the Battle Conference 2005. Printed in "Anglo-Norman Studies XXVIII: Proceedings of the Battle Conference 2005" edited by Christopher Piers Lewis

Saturday, July 7, 2012

R1b in St Clair, Sinclair DNA

The Sinclair DNA study has 12 distinct lineages. Some of these lineages have many different surnames in their DNA matches. Others will find that they have almost none outside of our family.

Early on in the recent history of DNA, we were told the reason for all of these name matches was:
1. The fact that we are part of the R1b haplogroup
2. The R1b haplogroup were successful breeders since the last Ice Age. 

But this theory became suspect when some of our R1B members had almost zero name matches, and others had nearly 1000. The question of why some people have so many name matches has never really been resolved by Family Tree DNA, or other groups on the Internet. And then there's the question of the surnames among the name matches.

Today I'm going to propose a new theory, based on research underway in the Sinclair DNA study.

Some of our Sinclair DNA name matches show nearly 1000 different surnames. Setting aside the standard reasons that this might be the case, what other reasons might account for having so many name matches?  I offer the theory that perhaps we have an ancient ancestor who was very active, siring many children. The candidate that comes to mind is Charlemagne.

Derek Wilson's biography "Charlemagne" indicated that the man had 20 children, some legitimate and some illegitimate. Sir Francis Palgrave indicated that Charlemagne had seven sons who reached maturity. suggests that Charlemagne had up to 18 children. Those would be the documented and prove-able ones. 

Other researchers have suggested he had 4 or 5 wives and 5 concubines. Click here >

Beryl Platts, a researcher whom I quote often in the Sinclair DNA study, has suggested that many of the Flemish of Scotland are direct mail descendants of Charlemagne. If you  study the counts of Boulogne, you will see that they have descendants who have surnames like Graham, Lindsey, Oliphant, Seaton, Stewart, Montgomerie, Hay, Umfraville, Douglas, Crawfurd, etc. These are the surnames Platts focused on in her research of the heraldry of Flanders. These are also surnames that show up in many of the Sinclair DNA study's L21 SNP participants' name matches.

Charlemange (Charles the Great) was born about 742 AD and died in January 814. He was the son of Pepin "the Short" and the grandson of Charles Martel, famous for winning the Battle of Poitiers against the Umayyad Caliphate.

No one can yet prove the DNA of such people. 

Other Reading

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sinclair DNA Friends

By Steve St Clair

The link to the letter you'll see below points to a website maintained by our Clan Sinclair U.S. Commissioner, Mel Sinclair. Mel got into the DNA study early and has kept up with it ever since, taking any new SNP tests that might add value for the rest of the family.

 I should point out, our DNA study is not a part of the Clan Sinclair organization, but many of our clan have taken the test and, as you can see from this letter, we get a great deal of support and advice from our clan leadership. Mel, in particular, has been very helpful over the years.

 A lot has changed since this letter from my partner Stan St. Clair was posted:
  •  We're now recommending 67-markers with 37-markers the lowest we recommend. 
  • That link to our UK website doesn't work any more because the participation there has been relatively low and it was expensive to maintain.
  • We're very focused now on SNP studies.
And several things haven't changed:
  • Stan St Clair remains a great partner. 
  • Mel Sinclair remains a wonderful resource. 
  • And the family continues to benefit from participation in our Sinclair DNA study. 
 Click here to review the letter about the Sinclair DNA study on Mel's website.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Twelve Lineages of the Sinclair DNA Study

And counting...

The definition of a Lineage in the Sinclair DNA study has changed quite a bit since we started back in 2004. If you're participating in an active DNA study, it's important to understand just how dynamic they are. As new distinctions come along, a good administrator will give the different groups unique names. Early on, we grouped people by numbers - Lineage 1, Lineage 2, etc. This was based in part on how old their genealogy was.  Then we switched to early SNPs like R1b.  Those who follow DNA studies know that this is now ridiculously broad. But back then we were working with the data we had. As time has gone by, the R1b group has split up into over 8 Lineages.

Even those Lineages we divided up have had to be further segregated. We've still got some people calling lineages by the names we used in 2004. One group was called Lineage 4.  It's changed because SNP studies have proven that the members within Lineage 4 split into 4 groups who don't share a common ancestor for about 2,300 years (based on the current accepted calculations).

Dynamic means you have to keep up with Sinclair DNA

One reason I started this blog is because its more fluid; easier to populate with content. So if you're looking for the latest views on our Sinclair DNA study results, this is the place. The focus of all active family DNA studies now is SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms).  These are coming out now at a rapid rate thanks to the Walk the Y project by Family Tree DNA. As a result, the Sinclair DNA study is benefitting from all the new low-cost tests available.

Is your lineage waiting for the next SNP?

These new SNPs seem to come in fits and starts. Once one is cracked open, several others often come out very quickly. Witness the L48 SNPs of Z8 and Z1. This added a lot of knowledge in our study in particular. There are other SNPs in our study which came out very fast recently. So if you suddenly find yourself in a holding pattern, just wait a few months. There will shortly be a new SNP coming out for you to take.

More Lineages coming

We will soon have even more SNPs coming out. And that means more distinct Lineages. Keep an eye out here over the next six months. I'm sure we'll be dividing the Sinclair DNA up into even more Lineages.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Joining the St Clair Sinclair DNA Study

The Sinclair DNA study helps interpret the DNA of over 200 members worldwide. We can help you figure out your genealogy using DNA.

Click here to understand which of our 12 lineages you match. DNA and SNP studies are the most powerful way to get beyond genealogy brick walls in the Sinclair family.

Click here to join the Sinclair DNA study.

The Sinclair DNA study also has a very active discussion group. Click the contact link here to learn more.

Follow the Sinclair DNA study on Facebook.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sinclair DNA Mystery Lineage

By Steve St Clair

As much fun as it is getting to the answers using genealogy and DNA, it's also fun when one still has mysteries to solve. It's sort of like the anticipation of Christmas, and a slight let-down when it's over.

In our Sinclair DNA study, we have one lineage which I call the mystery lineage. We don't know the precise geography where the members connect, and we have not identified a common ancestor. While none of our lineages know their common ancestor, several know the general geography where their ancestors were, within a general time frame.

Within the Mystery Lineage, there are currently 10 members who carry our surname. One interesting thing about this lineage is the fact that the genetic distance seems to point to a common ancestor in the 1400s. Many of the members have family stores that point back to the Edinburgh area and Rosslyn. Some of these stories are quite specific.

Yet another Sinclair DNA SNP

The mystery lineage is showing the SNP P310. The common ancestor for P310 is quite far back in time, so the Sinclair DNA study will not be of much help yet using pure DNA. However what we're currently doing is working together with as many of the members of this lineage as possible to compare their genealogies. To this end, we are going to line up another blog talk radio show so that all the members and others in her family can join in the hunt for a common ancestor within a genealogical time frame. Given all the stories of the members of this lineage, we believe that common ancestor is probably in Scotland or northern England.

If you're a member of the family, with any of our variant name spellings, please join the Sinclair DNA study.

The main website for the Sinclair DNA study is at this link.

Follow the Sinclair DNA study on Facebook.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Clues for Sinclair DNA in Frisia

A gentleman whom I follow and admire, Dienekes Pontikos, alerted us to a paper back in April which is quite telling. This subject has been much discussed, but the paper which Dienekes alerted us to adds real data to the discussion. 

The point made is this - The SNP R-U106 is well-represented among those with "authentic" Flemish surnames. Also very telling; U106 is not well-represented in the Île-de-France or in Nord-Pas-de-Calais.

        Details of the paper -  "In the name of the migrant father—Analysis of surname 
       origins identifies genetic admixture events undetectable from genealogical records" 
       by M H D Larmuseau, J Vanoverbeke, G Gielis, N Vanderheyden, H F M Larmuseau 
       and R Decorte.  You must register to receive it in full. Click this link >> 

The paper acknowledges something far too many amateur genealogists won't - that family records aren't reliable before the 16th century. Then the paper points out that surnames were moving in large numbers during the demic migration from French-speaking parts of Normandy to scantily populated parts of Flanders. And I'm assuming that resulted in the densities we're seeing on the chart at Dienekes blog post. 

However, what's interesting about the percentages of French among the Flemish is that most (if not all) of the St Clair / Sinclair DNA study participants were already located in the U.K. long before this demic migration took place. 

Does this mean that the actual numbers of French DNA among Flemish, as well as Flemish DNA among the French, was much lower before this migration? I'm not certain yet. But the French among the Flemings is a very low percentage among modern DNA study participants.

If the St. Clair / Sinclair surname originated in France, then how and when did those with the DNA SNP called R-U106 obtain it so long ago? Especially if they were across the border in Flanders?

I think the answer is there can't be an answer yet.  DNA subclade studies of the U106 SNP will lead to more answers for the Sinclair DNA study very soon. Already we're down to the Z1 SNP, and that's getting relatively recent in terms of when their common ancestor was alive in Europe.

The demic migration was certainly not the only such event. We know that William the Conqueror recruited far from the borders of Normandy for his invasion. Surely there was other mixing going on; both with large groups and smaller numbers.

We have 3 groups in our Sinclair DNA study who show U106

That's quite good data. And, while our U106 groups members show 3 distinct SNPs downstream of U106, they all share an ancestor within the last 4,000 to 4,500 years, possibly sooner. It's currently believed that all the visible SNPs beneath U106 all share a common ancestor who lived on mainland Europe, not in the U.K. So there's still a long way to go before we have clear demarkations in the groups who showed up in the U.K. versus those who stayed behind in mainland Europe.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Sinclair DNA in the Shetlands, on Limited Data

By Steve St Clair

This web page, posted by David Faux of a Shetland DNA study, gives a good ideas of just how little we all knew about Sinclair DNA in the early days. The posting was from March 21, 2004, not long after Stan and I started the St. Clair / Sinclair DNA study.

Click here to read a post made with very limited data about Sinclair DNA ... but that's all any of us had at the time.

It's human nature to want to figure things out, even with limited data. And we certainly had limited data in the early days of the Sinclair, St Clair DNA study. In fact, we had about 12 or 25 markers; no more. In hindsight, making judgements based on such limited data seems futile. Given that, we still made some very good decisions.

In this case, David Faux noticed the migration of Sinclair DNA from Caithness up into Shetland and Orkney. His logic was good and has still held up to scrutiny.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

St. Clair DNA Trip

I was traveling this week by car down to Virginia. As I always do, I drove by the old St. Clair Cemetery between Bedford and Roanoke Virginia. I suspect many members of our St. Clair DNA lineage known as L193 have also been to this cemetery.

Unfortunately, this time the old gravel road which leads up to the cemetery had a brand-new shiny fence put in front of it. The road had been freshly graveled, and made much wider, as well as having taken a new path up the hill. Because I had my teenagers with me, I only had a few minutes in which to try to find the cemetery (they do not share my interest in genealogy, and they are teenagers). I was not able to get to the cemetery on this day. This leaves me wondering if the cemetery has been moved, damaged, or made more difficult to access.

I write all of this to remind the members of our St. Clair DNA study to keep up with these precious resources of our history. We all still have a great deal more research to do. And these resources of our past will be a vital part of that research.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

St Clair DNA Plus Peter Sinclair’s Work on Our English Family

Peter Sinclair has just posted new information on the St Clair family of England which I encourage everyone to read AT THIS LINK..

This page about Hubert de St. Clair is new, but you’ll also note several other links on that page. Peter covers the Burgh family, as well as the FitzWalters, the Marshalls, the Lanvelei, and the Moreleys. It's one of the largest additions of research Peter has ever put up at once; quite a lot to read.

Many in our family are aware of Peter’s work. He’s on the ground in England and has a great deal of information others would never be able to get their hands on otherwise.

St Clair DNA in England

On the St. Clair Research website, you’ll notice a link called “A Confluence of Surnames.” In this work, I compare what may be a super-family of surnames that existed before surnames became fixed and carried through generations.

In that study, I kept bumping into the names Lanvelei and Marshall, as well as others which were signing the same documents and charters, and making gifts to the same priories and abbeys in Normandy and England.

Through our DNA study, I’m hoping that I can offer more data to geology studies like Peter’s. Where this will all lead is anyone’s guess. But careful documents research, plus unbiased DNA work will hopefully one day lead us to certainty on our St Clair ancestors in medieval times.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sinclair DNA U106 Lineages

By Steve St Clair

Our Sinclair DNA project currently shows 4 Lineages who have tested positive for the U106 SNP or some of the downstream SNPs. As you can see from the chart below, there are lots of SNPs "downstream" of U106.

The U106* Lineage - That asterisk means that, while there are SNPs downstream to test for, the participants currently have tested negative for all available to date. We currently have 2 confirmed members of our study who show this SNP.

The Z9* Earldom Participant - This gentleman has a Burkes Peerage confirmed paper trail that supposedly connects him to our Earl of Caithness. He currently has no other matches in the entire FTDNA database, including the St. Clair famly. This makes sense if you consider this line's proclivity for having female children.

Our Z2 Argyle Lineage - We've tested 3 different Sinclair DNA study members who have very good documents back to Argyle. 8 of these members are tested out to 67-markers. Even the participants who have the greatest genetic distance (all 3 proven Z2+ via SNP testing) show up as sharing a common ancestor about 540 years ago with FTDNA's TiP Calculator.

There are 12 members of this lineage tested out to 37-markers. Again, at 37-markers, the TiP calculator still shows about 540 years to a common ancestor.

Our Z1 Northern Scotland Lineage - We currently have 7 members who have been confirmed Z1+ via SNP testing. There are currently 17 members of the Sinclair DNA study who have tested out to 67-markers. The same number shows up at the 37-marker level. Using FTDNA's TiP Calculator, those furtherest from each other in genetic distance in this Lineage show a common ancestor about 600 years ago.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

One St Clair DNA Lineage of Virginia is L193

If you're in a DNA study, these regular updates will help you understand more about your results.

SNP testing is a critical step for anyone in the Sinclair / St Clair DNA study, and every other family out there. A single-nucleotide polymorphism is a very stable mutation and, therefore, one that can be considered irrefutable. If other in the FTDNA database have the same SNP, then it is certain that you share a common ancestor with them in a particular timeframe. That timeframe depends on which SNP it is that you share.

For instance, I also show the L21 SNP. The timeframe for the common ancestor in that one is quite old. Downstream (or more recently), I show the L513 SNP. This one is believed to have a common ancestor in Southwest England. The timeframe is somewhat uncertain. The geography of these SNPs works like this -

L21 - Western Europe, about 4,000 years ago
L513 - Southwestern England - ??
L193 - Possibly in the Borders Region of Scotland - about 900-1,000 years ago.

These timings are still being debated, as are the specifics of the geography.

Learn about our approach in exploring the L193 Lineage of the Sinclair DNA study here.

More on St Clair DNA showing L193 and L21 in this video:

Specifics on the St Clair Sinclair lineage showing L193 DNA SNP at this link.

Think you might have the L193 SNP? Contact the Sinclair DNA Study here.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

St Clair Research Passed the 200 Mark in DNA tests

We've been so busy working with people to help them understand their DNA that we completely forgot to point out that we've passed a major milestone - 200 people tested.

In fact, we're out to 216 people. We're overwhelmingly a Y-DNA study, otherwise known as a one-name study. Our goal is to fully understand just one surname, and all the lineages and participants who carry it.

This blog exists to help us put out thoughts out more quickly than the main website and to keep people informed.

St Clair Research is Non-profit

All those who help with the study, with genealogy, and with data management are doing this out of our love of the family and our interest in DNA.

St Clair Research Has Learned Much

We continuously stay abreast of the latest learning in DNA for genealogy. There are several online communities that you can follow as well. is hosted by Family Tree DNA. It's divided up into sections that you can follow based on your own DNA Haplogroups, on the geography of your ancestors and on your interests.

St Clair Research is a Life-Long Hobby

We intend to continue working to help the St Clair / Sinclair / Sinceler family understand our history as long as possible. To that end, we've set up a secession plan to make sure the work continues into the next decades.

Monday, February 20, 2012

St Clair DNA

Welcome to the St Clair DNA study. This is where we'll put up postings and occasional thoughts about the DNA of the Sinclair family.

This is the official blog of the St Clair DNA Study

Look around the web and you'll find a lot of information about the Sinclair family. Much of what you'll find is based on the lore of the movie Da Vinci Code. That work of fiction caused a great deal of difficulty among those in our family who'd rather believe myth than fact.

The St Clair DNA study deals with facts

DNA doesn't lie but, by itself, it cannot tell the entire truth. DNA is a string of numbers. Without genealogy, linguistics, the testing of ancient bones, or archaeology DNA remains a string of numbers, subject to the half-truths or outright lies of those who would invent for themselves a more romantic history.

The St Clair DNA study has shown that our family has (as of now) 12 distinct lineages who do not share a common ancestor for a very long time. Some of our lineages don't share a common ancestor for at least 2,300 years. Others don't share one for 4,000 years. Some don't connect to the rest for about 50,000 years. But this is to be expected of a family who derived their name from a place.

As an article on the St Clair DNA Study shows, there were many places in France with the name Saint-Clair - nearly 30, scattered throughout France. Anyone who owned land might have styled themselves "de Sancto Claro," or "of St Clair." This simply meant they were living on land called St. Clair. Later, these place names were adopted as surnames.

The St Clair DNA Study has shown that our Norman ancestors weren't as attached to their second names as we are today

This article by Steve St. Clair explores surname connections in DNA and in medieval English and Norman records. Certain families inter-married before the time that surnames became fixed in stone. The Ashley / St. Clair connection is a perfect example. As is the de Vaux / St. Clair connection. There are many more illustrated in this 24-page paper.

If you carry a surname of the Saint-Clair famly - St Clair, Sinclair, Sinceler, Sinkler, etc. - then we recommend you read up on the origins of our family and our surname. These days, everyone focuses entirely too much on our history in Scotland. We had a much stronger influence on events in medieval England than we ever had in Scotland.

Enjoy our DNA study.

Kind Regards,

Steve St. Clair Regular thoughts and updates about the Sinclair DNA study are posted on Tumblr. Learn more about our Sinclair family DNA study at our main website. Click Here. Check out the YouTube channel where we post frequent videos to better explain the complexities of our Sinclair DNA SNPs.