I'm going to venture a guess that there are more books written about our family than there are most other families out there. I suppose we should be flattered, but I find I spend equal amounts of time cringing from the things I read. Some of the stuff written about us is unadulterated tripe, with no grounding in fact whatsoever, and solidly leaching off the success of The Da Vinci Code. Many of the older books we rely on for genealogy research are valiant attempts to make use of very old and not necessarily well-researched documents. However, some of the books the avid Sinclair genealogist will end up looking at are simply terrific resources.
Since we now have this powerful tool with which to assess these stories, let's have at it.
Morrison, Leonard A.,
“The History of the Sinclair Family in Europe and
America,” Published by Damrell & Upham, 1896, Reproduced by the
Photoduplication Program of the New England Historic Genealogical Society,
Boston, Massachusetts. (No ISBN)
The author claims that this book is the first to attempt a history of the Sinclairs of America. Like many books of this era, he errs towards flowery sentence structures. He, too, takes our family back to Rollo. I have no way of knowing if Morrison and R. W. Saint-Clair met or traded notes. However, he does state that “from these works [his] information was largely gathered.” (p. 21)
Morrison claims that the family held a castle St. Clair on the Epte river by 894. He claims that this branch from the castle gave rise to the St. Clairs of Rye, Normandy, the St. Clairs of St. Lo and the Earls of Senlis, who had great possessions near Paris. (p. 21) He claims that ‘many stalwart knights of this blood circled about William the Conqueror on that battle day at Hastings, Oct. 14, 1066.” (p. 21) I’m not certain of his source here as I only have the Battle Abbey Roll (and I’m sure that’s all he had). If we get away from the usual Rogenwald, Rollo stories from which, in this case, is clearly sourced, Morrison lists some very useful names that I haven’t often seen, such as a Radulph Sinclair of 1026. He does as good a job as any in identifying General Arthur St. Clair, General in the American Revolution and Governor of the Northwest Territory (also, technically, the first President of the United States). (p. 43) Morrison says that overwhelming evidence points to a shared relative between General Arthur St. Clair and John Sinclair of Exeter, New Hampshire who arrived by 1660.
Morrison's is the definitive book on the Sinclairs of Exeter, New Hampshire and our lineage from those parts owe him a large debt of gratitude. Morrison traces the family back to a John Sinkler of 1656. He says this man was part of a small group of involuntary emigrants from Massachusetts settling with a Reverend John Wheelwright.
Morrison gives no good reason that I can see to connect this John of
Exeter to the Henry Sinclair, descendant of George, the 5th Earl of
Caithness. Morrison says this John was one of many who disappeared from
the records in Scotland and whose name "John" later appeared in Exeter.
This is a possibility, but better proofs would certainly help. He says
no records are found which mention the name of the father.
Unfortunately, Morrison gives no good reason that I can see to connect this John of Exeter to the Henry Sinclair, descendant of George, the 5th Earl of Caithness. Morrison says this John was one of many who disappeared from the records in Scotland and whose name "John" later appeared in Exeter. This is a possibility, but better proofs would certainly help. He says no records are found which mention the name of the father.
wonderful story about when, in 1816, a James St. Clair of
Albion, New York visited the distinguished General Arthur St. Clair and
they decided they were cousins of a 'remote degree.'
Morrison believed this line pointed back, in all likelihood, to the
Murkle branch of the family. (p. 45)
There's a wonderful story about when, in 1816, a James St. Clair of Albion, New York visited the distinguished General Arthur St. Clair and they decided they were cousins of a 'remote degree.' Morrison believed this line pointed back, in all likelihood, to the Murkle branch of the family. (p. 45)
The question is, does the DNA project back up Morrison's assertions? Or does it undo them?
There are at least 5 members of the project who are of our Exeter Lineage. They are part of the DYS390=24 (AMH) line. They are 18/25 markers but 29/37 from the closest other lineage - myself, Stan and the rest of the AMH, so it's likely we don't relate in Scotland and possibly for a couple thousand years. Yet, both being part of the AMH, we likely all traveled the same routes into Scotland, perhaps arriving at different times. There are others in the AMH group, not directly matching the lineage group, who show a slightly closer relationship to this Exeter Lineage.
Could we be looking at the Murkle line? Perhaps, but there's a chance that a line in the DYS390=23 lineage connects there as well and may rule this lineage out.
This group and the Virginia group are not matching on some significant markers. So one of us cannot be part of the Murkel branch in Scotland. Here's how the lineages line up, or rather, don't line up -
391 389ii 447
GATAH4 YCAIIb 456
Exeter 24 10 30 24 12 24 16 15
Virginia 24 11 29 25 11 23 17 16
These results show a genetic distance of seven on the slower mutating markers on the 25-marker test - quite a distance.
What we may be seeing is one of the many branches that claims to connect to the Earldom Lineage. Or, alternatively, we may be seeing Hermandstown or another branch than Morrison and all the others wanted to connect to just one lineage. However, it's clear that this group plus the Virginia group of DYS390=24 group can't connect in Scotland.
I was going to suggest that this line may have been closer to another group and mutated off of DYS390, having been closer to another lineage, but looking at the results, I don't see enough evidence of this.
Finally, Morrison falls prey to the Rollo bait that all these older books, is seems, must. He wants to get us back to Rollo. I wish I could have been there when they were reviewing the material at hand to see how they made the decisions they made.
Beryll, Scottish Hazard, Proctor Press, Greenwich London
SE10 8ER, available from
Heraldry Today, ISBN: 0 906650 04 6
Ms. Platts has done remarkable work here and I quote her widely in any section of this website regarding Flanders and Normandy. I've seen this work described as 'somewhat contentious' and I can understand why. Platts makes her points in no uncertain terms, and some of her ideas clearly over reach. For instance, not all Scottish nobility came from Flanders.
Platts' greatest achievement in my mind is her understanding of the importance this group of Flemings played in the ultimate history of Scotland and she traces this beautifully with her unassailable work on the heraldic symbols of the Scottish families she follows.
A major point that Platts makes is that almost all the noble families of Scotland were, before that, in England and were forced to flee north. Platts reasonably proved that the noble families of Scotland descended from Flemish ancestors of nobility and not the Normans they were long thought to be. I see all the signs of someone that has taken this theory too far. For instance, Platts also claimed that all of Norway was originally populated by the Flemish and DNA proves this flat wrong.
In fact, the DNA Name Matching project strongly bears out that certain of our lineages match the Lindsays, Grahams and other names of known Flemish descent. I count Ms. Platts work among my prized possessions. I only wish she'd leave it at that but, as you'll see, she takes her theories much further in later work.
Books of fiction get a pass. But it certainly is nice when they seem to have their facts straight. The Da Vinci Code is a great read if you're of the Sinclair/St. Clair family. As evidenced by the much-publicized lawsuit by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, Brown borrowed heavily from the sensational bestseller "Holy Blood, Holy Grail," reviewed here. Brown makes some obvious mistakes, such as when he lists two family names that are the only 'remaining' families of the Bloodline - Plantard and Saint Clair. Most who believe in such a Bloodline also include several other families.
If you're a neophyte of Sinclair lore, I highly recommend this book. I read it in 36 hours, nearly non-stop - I simply couldn't put it down. The popularity of the book and subsequent movie by Tom Hanks caused their share of problems for our family as well. More than anything else recently, this book is responsible for some of the difficulties encountered by Rosslyn Chapel and the overcrowding that still continues there. The book has also caused a ton of completely silly "research" to proliferate on the internet. The plot winds up at Rossyn in their version of a secret crypt.
This DNA report makes mention of the Bloodline theory in many places. You’ll be able to figure out whether you believe it or not after looking through more of the DNA research printed here. Pay close attention to our Name Matching project with regards to this subject.
Brody, David, "Cabal of The Westford Knight: Templars at the Newport Tower," Published by Martin & Lawrence Press (January 27, 2009) ISBN-10: 0977389871 ISBN-13: 978-0977389872
Any review of a book about Prince Henry St. Clair by a member of the St. Clair family may be viewed with some skepticism. However, I assure you, I am not a 'true believer' of the Prince Henry St. Clair story. This is why we held the Atlantic Conference this past Fall in Halifax, Nova Scotia - to find the real evidence of early trans-Atlantic voyaging. There, I was lucky enough to meet David and receive an advance copy of his book.
David's writing style is thorougly enjoyable, but this book goes much further in that it's also a tremendous resource on all matters of this unusual story of Templar history, the St. Clair family, diffusionism, petroglyphs, and much more. Being a member of the family who may descend from Jarl Henry St. Clair, it's difficult to show me new information, but Mr. Brody does and frames it with a knowledge of the plot lines of history that put it all in perspective. HIs writing style is so fluid and the story so gripping that I read cover to cover in a single 24 hour period.
Can our DNA project help to prove the book accurate? Click that link at left, "Assessing Family Stories" and look for the Jarl Henry link. There you'll read all about the evidence, and lack thereof.
I highly recommend this book, both as a fun read and as an historical resource.
I love this book! I'll just get that out of the way. You get to watch an amazing alternative history unfold as you, the transfixed reader, are mesmerized by the well-researched story. What began as a search for a small mystery in Rennes-le-Château, France, became a full-scale conspiracy theory that seems completely plausible in this presentation.
Along the way, we learn about the Cathars, the Templars, the Prieure de Sion (including more than one from the St. Clair family). Our name also comes up again in their list of the Bloodline families, a longer list than Dan Brown's - Godfroi de Bouillon, and the following families: Blanchforts, Gisors, Saint-Clair, Montesquiou, Montpezat, Poher, Luisignan, Plantard, and Hapsburg-Lorraine. An interresting thing began to happen when I compared our DNA to these families, some of whom are also testing their DNA. You can read about it in the Name Matching section of this website.
There are many other interesting things that the DNA research begins to prove. For instance, we clearly have some lineages who descend from the Merovinginans and on back to the Salian Franks. Some research in the book has since been proven incorrect. For instance the existence of a Priory of Sion was, apparently, completely invented by Pierre Plantard in the 1960s as a strange attempt to take over the thrown of France. However, some of the names from the list in the book do also match the historical record of Templars operating in France at the time of the crusades and after. (First person research of Templar trial records)
This book, plus Holy Blood, Holy Grail, achieved such heights of attention that several investigative reports were done of the validity of the research. CBS News' 60-Minutes investigated the Priory, and if you go on YouTube and search for Niven Sinclair, you'll see a very brief clip of his interview with National Geographic.
Holy Blood, Holy Grail is a very important resource for me. I refer to it often and actually own 2 copies in case I lose one.
Bill has become a friend through his association with the Atlantic Conference of 2008. In this book, he makes good use of his extensive background with Freemasonry and with his deep connections with Native leaders across Canada. Bill weaves together an extensive theory that the Templars indeed had the motive, the method and strong motivation to come to North America. Led by Prince Henry St. Clair, they established both a safe haven for the Merovingian Dynasty and mining operations which led to a military edge over their opponents back in Europe. These Templars left clues all over North America recognizable to those Templars who might follow. As part of the Atlantic Conference, Bill heard presentations by the likes of Scott Wolter who has proved the Kensington Runestone to be just such an artifact.
Bill's book is one of the first I had read that clarified the importance of economic motivations as a reason these explorers might have crossed the North Atlantic. Mark Kurlanski's "Cod" applied this to the early Basque crossings. And while DNA evidence can't directly prove any of this, it's still very interesting to keep in mind for future research. For instance, if these Templars were mining Copper long term in, for instance, the Lake Memphrémagog area, they might have had children with Native women and left a European YDNA signature. I'm currently looking into the YDNA signatures of Native tribes and have found research that indicates a very high percentage of European YDNA (R1b) in some tribes. I have not yet looked into the tribes indigenous to the areas around these early copper mines but this would make a very good area of study.
Saint-Clair, Roland William, "Saint-Clairs of the Isles, Being a History of the Sea-Kings of Orkney and Their Scottish Successors fo the Sirname Sinclair," H. Brett, General Printer and Publisher, Shortland and Fort Streets, Auckland, New Zealand, 1898.
The book is now online via Fiona (click the link just above), but I recommend getting the hardcopy as well. For anyone working on their paper genealogy, this book is the bible. It has all 34 Cadet branches (c. 1700) of the family represented. and goes all the way back to Rollo and beyond. "For the ancestral home of the Orcadien Jarls we must voyage to the Norwegian Uplands, fitting cradle for this primeval line, noble even beyond the breath of tradition." This is the sort of flowery prose that was standard fare for the time in which this was written. The Sinclairs of England also engages in such language. While this language makes the book terrifically fun to read, knowing how grossly wrong the basic foundation of this book is makes the use of language very difficult - more on that later.
R.W.'s work is based on the writing of a Father Richard Augustis Hay, son of a woman who married into the Earldom Lineage and, being quite proud of this new family, wanted to write it all down. Lucky for us, as the originals from which he wrote were lost in a fire.
This work suffers from what almost every book of its kind inevitably must. It is, after all, written by a genealogist and their goal, above all others, is to get back to the source, the one common ancestor of the entire family. For R.W., and thousands of Sinclairs who followed, this common ancestor is Rollo. And, according to R.W., all the lines of the Sinclair family come from this man. My major complaint of the book, when compared to the DNA research is that it attempts to paint our family as all related and we clearly are not. We have 5 or more lineages who were, many of them, in Scotland and undoubtedly living in these cadet branches of the family. They had the name but don't all share Rollo as a common ancestor. In fact, some don't connect for 4,000 years, others for over 30,000. years.
The book has 546 pages. The first history of the house goes back to 850 in Norway. It traces the Dukes of Normandy; the Sea Kings of Orkney from 871 through 1471; the St. Clairs of the Isles, including the Orcadian and Zetland branches; the Earls of Caithness and their cadet branches, including the Sinclairs of Stemster, Murkle, Assery, etc.; the baronetical branches; the Longformacus line; the Lords of Rosslin; the Barons of Ravenscraig; the Lords Sinclair; the Lords of Herdmanston; the family in Sweden and Alsace; the Irish, English, and North American Sinclairs; and related Orcadian families. Also included are extended genealogical tables showing all the major and minor families. He leaves us hanging on the Hermandstoune line, and I have to believe he knew this in the way he glossed over the issue. The DNA project, however, may have solved this line.
Interestingly, this book, the bible of our family, does not mention the Jarl Henry St. Clair voyage to North America. The research being done in 1898, Frederick Pohl's work was not done and the story of the Zeno Narrative and others were not widely known.
In broad terms, Margaret Stokes has said that our family, despite that traced by R.W. Saint-Clair, shows 5 likely groups that may not all relate. Two in England, then Ireland, Rosslyn-Caithness, then Hermandstone. I personally believe we’ll find even more as time goes by and this alone makes it difficult for me to regard R.W.’s book as an accurate account of our family before the 1200's. However, since then, it is an incredible source of actual records of those bearing our name in Scotland and other areas. In that alone, it is an invaluable resource.
I consider this book essential for any member of the family. It was one of my first purchases when beginning my genealogy and it's very tattered from use.
Platts, Beryll - Sinclair, The Vikings and The Flemings, an upcoming monograph to be published by the Procter Press, © Beryl Platts 2008
Sometime in the next couple years, the Procter Press will be publishing a series of monographs on famous families of Scotland. Mrs. Beryl Platts, noted author of such works as Scottish Hazard, has been exchanging notes with me since I wrote to offer some support of her theories that the Norse are of Flemish origins. I must clarify that my support of this theory is limited to the southern coastal lands of Sweden and Norway due to the presence of the R1b Hg there. In no way were all Norse of Western European origins. Mrs. Platts has been kind enough to send me an advance draft of her manuscript that deals with our family. As this will likely be published soon, I’m compelled to critique it.
Mrs. Platts states that the Sinclairs, like other old Scottish families, “fell victim to unscrupulous monks who wrote what their patrons wanted to read.” Citing Professor Bryan Sykes, we learn that Somerled was not a Celtic chieftian. This is indeed made clear by Mr. Sykes YDNA study. If I’m reading her correctly, she is stating that William, Earl of Rosslin (1350) is a direct YDNA descendant of Somerled. This link appears to be made via St. Clair’s sister, Marjorie, who was to become Countess of Orkney and Caithness via her marriage to Sir William. While her theory would mean that the Ross family are the R1b descendants of an ancient Flemish line, the male descendants of Sir William would have received no YDNA from Somerled. This theory shows a complete lack of understanding of DNA, and her use of it as support is divisive at best.
Mrs. Platts goes on to eventually arrive at what appears to be her key point - William St. Clair, builder of Rosslyn is not of Viking origins and was, in her opinion, embarrassed by his family’s association with the Viking ‘scourge.’ Thus, Sir William St. Clair needed to find a way to “remove the Viking stain from his family.” The title he bore in Orkney compelled him to claim a Viking origin. Yet his (very loosely defined) association with a heraldic symbol of the Rampant Lion of Hainaut means he was, claims Mrs. Platt, of Flemish origins. Mrs. Platts goes on to say that the building of Rosslyn was Sir William’s attempt to visually explain his predicament. Also, she says that he attempted to equate the Vikings with the Templars and that this was one of his great strokes of genius. His solution was to “produce a history” that tied the heroic Templars to the wicked Vikings, thus erasing the stain of the Vikings and, with it, the stain attached to our “false history” as a family of Viking origins.
I would not write this lengthy review, were not Mrs. Platts’ opinions to be published as though they are fact. She is an extremely readable author. Her scholarship in tying the genealogy of Scottish families back to their Flemish origins via the often overlooked history of heraldry is, in my opinion, unassailable. But this monograph appears to me to be an exercise in clutching at straws. Countless notions are stated as fact with nary a source for the reader to study.
I wish the army of authors eager to rewrite the history of the Sinclair family would take a long holiday until the factual work of our DNA study can be fully understood. Much transpired to attract the different Haplogroups of our family to those areas of Normandy, Southern France, and Flanders from which their claimed their surname and became fodder for today’s historians to do battle over their interpretations of history. But this much is certain - it is too soon for any author with an agenda to claim that DNA proves their opinion to be the correct one.
Montgomery, Hugh, "The God
Kings of Europe, the Descendents of
Jesus Traced Through the Odonic and Davidic Dynasties," published by
The Book Tree, San Diego, California, 2006, ISBN 978-1-58509-109-6
Montgomery, Hugh, "The God Kings of England, the Viking and NOrman Dynasties and their Conquest of England (983-1066), The Temple Publications, Somerset, UK, 2007, ISBN 978-0-9555970-4-6
I write about these books, and all that I review in this report, because they bring up the Sinclair / St. Clair family. These books bring up our name in their discussion of the Odonic and Davidic lineages.
have great difficulty reading Montgomery's work. In my opinion, his
writing jumps around
and I can never quite arrive at the point. Montgomery seems to be
many different points that it's very hard to follow. Luckily, I found a
video of Hugh summarizing all his
his chronology of events and that makes it much easier for me to
analyze his central theme against the DNA of the families in the books.
And analyze it I must because we're a
part of his story. Here's a link to the video - Video
filmed at the
& Stones Forum
A description from the jacket of his second book helps a bit - "Following on from The God-Kings of Europe, The God-Kings of England, continues the Saga of the great Ulvungar Dynasty. It shows that there was a plan to counter the hegemony of Roman Christianity, by counter attacking, first with Viking raids and later by conquest and settlement. This is the tale of the Ulvungars and their attempt to conquer England, under the leadership of Danish Kings such as Sweyn Forkbeard and Canute. They were opposed by their Odonic Anglo-Saxon cousins such as Alfred and Aethelred. The Ulvungars would take control by force of arms. One branch would take England; another would take control of Normandy. Ultimately, they would combine after the Battle of Hastings in the Anglo-Norman Dynasty that would found the Angevin Empire."
From what I've been able to discern from a chat group on which Hugh posts, he has found a document in which Mary, wife of Jesus (yes, that Jesus), is angry that her daughter has been raped and aims to punish the descendents of this man's line saying, "Thy see shall be estranged from me and thine inheritance taken from thee. They see shall end by the piercing of an eye and so shall thine inheritance cease." This plan, and the taking back of the rightful lands of the Ulvungars, apparently continued for over 1000 years.
Mind you, there's not a trace of written evidence that this "plan" was passed from generation to generation over the thousand years that transpired in medieval Europe. We are led to believe that the actions of the characters in history are proof enough that the plan was being carried out by successive generations.
God-Kings of Outremer Paperbck, 192 pages, Published by
Book Tree, October, 208, Paperback: 192 pages, ISBN-10:
1585091197, ISBN-13: 978-1585091195
(Hugh's third book, just being published as of this writing. I have not read it. Outremer was the name the western knights used for Palestine.)
First, any attempt to trace living descendants of Jesus is a tall order. And any book that discusses the subject of a bloodline of Jesus is, by its very nature, opening itself up to a very critical examination. Many feathers will be ruffled by such a subject. There are many who don't question the divinity of Jesus Christ. Any exploration of his having a bloodline, in their opinion, will call into doubt the virgin birth, His divine origins, The Apostles Creed and much more. It's not my task to question the motives or opinions of the author, those who believe in his theories, or those of my readers who don't. My goal is simply to examine Hugh's theories (and they are still only theories) in light of the DNA findings I can bring to bear – either to support the theories, or to oppose them.
There's a Brick Out of Place and It's Called CCR5-Delta-32
One of my clients had a great phrase he used when he'd find a mistake in our advertising. "If you find one brick out of place, you'd better check the entire wall."
One of Hugh’s notions is that, in Babylon, a Haemorrhagic Plague occurred known as 'The Hand of Marduk.' He goes on to say that some members 'built up an immunity to this plague,' with a mutation called CCR5-Delta 32, and this plague caused some, who had 'built up' this immunity to exit Babylon. Thus, in one fell swoop, we've solved the ancient biblical question of the tower of Babel.
For a part of the population of Babylon to build up this immunity in sufficient numbers to survive it would have meant that the mutation would have had to have already been in a significant number of the population. This means that the mutation would have had to occur at a predictable period before the time of Babylon. Then, what caused those with the mutation to leave? Did they recognize they had a mutation? Were they the only ones living in Babylon when they left? Was everyone else dead?
Hugh states that we can trace the migration of the residents of Babel due to the CCR5-delta-32 mutation. This is simply not scientifically valid. If Hugh is right about the source of the CCR5-Delta-32 mutation beginning in Babel, then it would be most concentrated in the area of Babel, the Hebrew name for Babylon or Akkadian Babilu, to this very day. (See map below in red). Unfortunately, it’s most concentrated in Northwestern Europe (shown in blue). This leaves a rather large hole in the theory unless, like Hugh, you want to claim that this group kept to themselves for several thousand years and did not intermarry with those around them in Europe as they moved out of the Middle East and into northwestern Europe. If this were the case, they would be the only people in history to do so. The source of CCR5-Delta-32 also clarifies that it is a post-LGM event (meaning it happened after the retreat of the last ice age, about 20,000 years ago, not at the time of Babel)
The next part of the theory that's easy to examine is the idea that William the Conqueror was descended of the Visigoths. This can be examined by looking at the known descendants of families that can make a good claim to kinship with the Conqueror. This is discussed in the section "Assessing Family Stories." While I can’t completely solve the haplotype of the Conqueror, I make a very good guess using the available data. I don’t find compelling evidence at all that either he or Rollo were Visigoth descendants.
Hugh’s books are
fun to read from the prospective of a provisional
historian. He covers (read:
rambles) a lot of ground, so it takes a while to review it
all. But then there are these other issues I'd expect an
historian to understand. For instance, Hugh
states that the Vikings 'raped their way across Europe...' I'm
just have to say that this view of the Norse (Vikings) has become
Leading historians now understand that the Norse culture did not
entirely of rape and pillage. Hollywood painted the Viking culture this
way. Most Norse
were very adaptive and this shows in how they adopted many aspects of
the cultures into which they moved.
A Second Brick?
Hugh is claiming that Rollo's ancestor is Ataulf. And he is claiming that Rollo is a direct descendant of the Visigoths and, thus, back to Babel. He then goes on to state that William, Duke of Normandy and King of England is a direct descendant of this line and, thus, a Visigoth and a descendant of the CCR5-delta-32 family of Bebel. And, now, Hugh wraps up this theory with the thought that, when Rollo's descendant becomes Duke of Normandy, he's simply taking back his ancestor's realm. Also, when Duke William takes England, he's taking back his ancestor's kingdoms of Mercia, East-Angles and East-Saxonony. What prodigious memories these folks had, to spend over a thousand years completing the revenge of the wife of Jesus.
So, Hugh states quite clearly that William, Duke of Normandy is a Visigoth. This should be easy to prove. We'll simply examine the best bets for descendants of Duke William. I’ve researched all the likely descendants of Duke William and can tell you I'm 95% certain that he was NOT a Visigoth. This is assessed in the link at left "Assessing Family Stories."
Hugh then claims that all those who led the capture of Jerusalem (that's right, every single one of the leaders!!) in 1099 were of the Ulvungar Dynasty, therefore Visigoths. (I love lists of names because it gives us something with which to do DNA research) -
William -(Almost certainly not descended of Visigoths)
Bohemond of Taranto, Hautville - (A chance they're Visigoth, but most of the family in their DNA study are not)
Raymond of St. Giles - (Haven't had time to look yet)
Godfrey & Baldwin of Boulogne - (I can prove beyond any doubt that they are not descended of Visigoths)
Raymond of Toulouse - (Haven't had time to look yet)
Montgomery is correct, then each of these families with descendents
alove today, should match the known DNA of the Visigoths. Yet, you'll
see in other sections of this report that almost all of them do not
and, of those families who show participants with Visigoth DNA, only a
few of their entire project are close. Another brick is out of
Source – Video filmed at the Stars Stones Forum, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, UK, produced by Holistic Channel, www.HolisticChannel.org.uk 2008
Pohl, Frederick J., Prince Henry Sinclair, His Expedition to the New World in 1398, Nimbus Publishing Limited, Halifax, Nova Scotia, ISBN 1-55109-122-4, Originally published: New York: C.N. Potter, 1967.
In our family, other than Rowland William Saint-Clair’s book, this one is considered the bible. Among my friends and close associates in the Sinclair family, so much hinges on this book that I originally dreaded reading it. It’s so important to members of our family I was afraid I would find problems with his theories. Luckily, there were no theories - everything was stated as absolute fact. As I read through the pages I was quickly taken in with Pohl’s wonderful writing style and before I knew it, I was halfway through the book. Pohl’s strength is in the way he provides context for the documents he was able to dig out regarding ‘Prince Henry’ and I very much enjoyed those parts of the book. However, and I know I’ll be flogged for writing this, in my opinion he veers towards fantasy in too many areas. I believe he’s bending the facts to fit his pre-conceived notion of the truth, in particular with the translation of the Zichmni to read Sinclair, in inventing the date of the arrival, in translating the ancient story of Glooscap to fit the Prince Henry timeline and events, in Prince Henry’s attack of lands he had promised to defend (Shetland), and in many other areas. The main weakness is in using the Zeno Narrative and map as his primary sources. To many scholars, this narrative has serious problems and the map is far worse. It doesn’t even show the Orkney Islands, home of the story’s hero. It invents entire islands, like Frislanda, which cannot be explained. And it, too, was re-created by an adult who “regretted” tearing it and the documents up when he was a small child.
No reading of this book is complete without also reading the contrary views of Brian Smith. Click that link to find his views of the story. If I were to attempt to write an opposing view of the Prince Henry theories, I could do no better than Smith’s work. He provides a well-founded history of the chasing of this story, the players, and the facts (or lack thereof). As many in my family will come to learn, I’m not here to perpetuate the stories of our family, only to evaluate them in light of new research. You may not like all you hear. I think Smith's writings need to be kept in mind so one doesn't become a "true believer."
Much as I admire a good retort based on what appears to be well-researched evidence to the contrary, I must point out that Brian Smith says, "My impression of Henry Sinclair, from looking at the documents that have survived about him, is that he was a minor figure. He played little or no part in the politics of his native country or of Norway. His name doesn't appear in the records of the Scottish parliament or exchequer, and he only figured in Norwegian affairs on a few ceremonial occasions." 149
Yet, we know from such documents as the Declaration of Arbroath that the St. Clair family was, in fact, important. Among the signers of the Declaration of Arbroath, they were one of 51 of the most important leaders of Scotland at the time. We also know that the Sinclairs were often called to England and to Norway. We know that the position of Jarl was considered very important in Norway. Niven has mentioned a document that makes clear that the Earl met with Henry VIII and, the meeting being deemed by the king too important for Cardinal Wolsey’s ears, he was asked to leave the room. Clearly the family was important and this weakens Smith’s arguments. Where one brick is out of place, one must check the entire wall.
Smith makes many good arguments. This is one - 'Less than fifty years after Henry's death his grandson commissioned a genealogy of the Sinclair family, full of praise of his ancestors' achievements. Did he mention his grandfather's alleged maritime exploits? He did not.' So how do we account for this? Some have suggested that the family was quiet because they were keeping a great secret. This isn't the first time such mysteries have surfaced. In 1546, Marie de Guise wrote one of her letters to William St Clair. The letter included this remarkable passage:
"Likewise that we shall be Leal and trew Maistres to him, his Counsill and Secret shewn to us we sall keep secret." In 1556, she sent William St Clair to France, to find more support for her daughter, Mary, Queen of Scots. It underlines the close relationship Marie de Guise and the Sinclairs had in the defence of the Scottish monarchy, a cause which was always close to the heart of the Sinclairs. 150
The question is what "The Secret" might be. There is some speculation that this included jewels, which had gone missing and of which the Sinclairs were suspected for being involved in. However, it seems that such a secret would not be referred to as "The Secret", nor would it require a letter from the Queen Regent, pledging her cause to Sinclair. Rather than Sinclair pledging his loyalty to the Queen Regent, it is the Queen Regent saying she will obey Sinclair and not betray him.
complete evaluation of the Prince Henry story is in the section
"Assessing Family Stories." Pohl’s book brought
pearls of knowledge that I had not yet known and can now be evaluated
here. On page 22 the book mentions that Henry’s father had to
hire himself and some of his key men out to fight a war with the
Teutonic Knights in Prussia. This became necessary to pay his share of
the ransom demanded by the English for the safe return of the Scottish
king David II. Pohl cites no source for this, but he lists several
important figures leading a total company of sixty horsemen and a
strong body of footmen. The leaders were, Sir William Keith, Marshal of
Scotland, Sir Alexander Lindsay, Sir Robert Clifford, and Sir Alexander
Montgomery. The names Clifford, and Lindsay show up very strongly in
our name matching project, lending credence to the possibility that
these families had purposeful intermarriage sometime in the past,
perhaps at the time of Jarl Henry.
The other interesting piece of information I could work with to compare with our DNA project is a mention in the Sources and Notes section, “The Winning of Shetland,” #7 (p. 196). Here, Pohl has found a fact about Henry sending his half brother, David Sinclair, son of Isabella Sparra in Orkney and Shetland away to England. “To all who shall see or hear these presents, Henry Sinclair, Earl of Orkney and Lord of Roslin, safety in the Lord! I concede to my brother, David Sinclair, for life, because of his claim through our mother Isabella Sparra in Orkney and Shetland, all the lands of Newburgh and Auchdale in Aberdeenshire, to return to me if his heirs fail.” (his source - Regesta Dip. Hist. Danicae, April 23, 1391). Here we have a Sinclair likely not of the same DNA stock as Prince Henry, as he’s listed as a half brother. This could be one of many reasons for there being S21 in our family in the Shetlands who carry the Sinclair name to this day. HOWEVER...THIS JUST IN:
Nina, a member of our Google group, has found an original latin document from Regesta Dip, Hist. Danicae, dated 23 April 1391, as printed in "Records of the Earldom of Orkney" that leads to a different conclusion. It leaves open for debate the reasons for S21 north of Caithness. See the link above left "Assessing Family Stories" then click "Jarl Henry St. Clair" to read the document Nina sent. Thanks Nina !!
With regard to the DNA project, the Jarl Henry story will be best proven or disproved with DNA testing among Native populations such as the Mi’kmaq, the Narragansett and others. That said, these name matches among Henry’s closest associates bears close inspection.
Tim & Hopkins, Marilyn, “Rosslyn, Guardian of the
the Holy Grail,” published by Element Books Limited, 2000
This is a nice spiritual journeys. Robert Lomas, author of the Hiram Key, gave the book praise in a quote on it’s jacket. In a quest for facts to support DNA and real records research, I did not find it useful. There are many instances of “if, then” statements, making it difficult to take as a serious piece of scholarly research.
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