Sinclair history france

Sinclair Genealogy France

When we began the St Clair / Sinclair DNA study, our operating hypothesis was clearly stated – Saint Clair being a “place-name,” and there being multiple places in Normandy with this name, it made sense that there would have been more than one family moving onto these various lands. Then, following the custom of the time, they would have referred to themselves “of Saint Clair.”

St Clair History France By searching Google Maps, I was able to come up with 8 such places which Google recognizes as being large enough to include on their maps.

This might lead one to think there were fewer places named Saint-Clair back in time. However, just the opposite turns out to be true. There were many more. And this makes more sense if you study what’s happening in most areas today - cities expand and swallow up smaller hamlets. As populations grow, the boundaries of their cities move outward, engulfing other smaller towns.

Research reveals even more places named Saint-Clair

In 1851, a book was published which listed the cities, towns, villages, hamlets and farms of France. A study of the book turned up 29 different places named some derivation of Saint-Clair. The complete list is below.
St Clair Family DNA
This doesn’t mean every owner of a small farm in France on property named Saint-Clair adopted this as his surname. But just as certainly, with 29 places named Saint-Clair, there was more than one person in post-conquest England carrying the surname, and likely different haplotypes of DNA. And without much difficulty, I’ve already found at least one. I’m absolutely certain there are others.

Main De Sancto Claro
The Domesday tenant of Hugh de Montfort in Kent is probably to be identified with the Main de Sancto Claro who attested a charter of Beatrice Malet, wife of William of Arques, Domesday lord of Folkstone in Kent (Eye Cart., no. 2). Fauroux, p. 33, shows that Richard Croc and his wife Benceline left to Préaux land at St-Clair. The identity of the place is obscure bucould be either Saint-Clair-d’Arcey, near Bernay, Eure, or Saint-Clair-sur-les-Monts, near Yvetot, Seine-Maritime. His successor may have been the Normand de Assactesford (Ashford) who was an early benefactor of Monk Horton priory (EEA ii, 138).

Our "family bible" Saint-Clairs of the Isles, by Rowland William Saint-Clair, doesn't mention Main at all. Nor does the book about our family in England.

France Sancto Claro That land at Preaux Abbey is very interesting. It was held in 1070 by Eudo Rye. The Montfort family, a name very familiar to Sinclair researchers, was donating land to this abbey, some 40 kilometers East of Caen, in the Eastern part of the Department of Calvados, about halfway between the villages of Saint-Clair-Sur-l’Elle and Saint-Clair-sur-Epte.

In looking at the name-matches on our various Sinclair Lineages, it’s clear that we don’t all connect to the same people. Some connect more to others with differing backgrounds and in different geography. I’ll very soon be publishing a more detailed assessment of our name matches because, given the recent activity in SNP studies, they take on far greater urgency.

My advice for those seeking their Sinclair genealogy in France is to look closely at your Name Matches section on your personal Family Tree DNA page, then go into the medieval records of England and see if you find the families circulating around one another consistently. If you do, and your DNA matches them, then you've got a new direction to research.

As promised, the list of places in France named Saint-Clair or some derivation, as published in 1851.

General Dictionary of cities, towns, villages, hamlets and farms of France

1. SAINT-CLAIR, Ardèche, ar. Tournon, co» Annonay (383 h.) Annonay

2. SAINT-CLAIR, Calvados, co» de Gonstranville-saint-clair (216 h) Dosullè

3. SAINT CLAIR, Calvados, co» de Saint-Lèonard (100 h.) Honfleur

4. SAINT-CLAIR, Isère, ar. La Tour-du-Pin co» La tour-du-Pin (991 h.) La Tour-du-Pin

5. SAINT-CLAIR, Isère, ar. Vienne, co» Roussillon (605 h.) Condrieu.

6. SAINT-CLAIR, Lot, ar. Gourdon, co» Gourdon (535 h.) Gourdon.

7. SAINT-CLAIR, Lot, co>> de Cènevières (40 h.) Limogne

8. SAINT-CLAIR, Manche, ar. Saint-Lè, co>> Saint Clair (722 h.) Saint Lo

9. SAINT-CLAIR, Rhone, co>> de la Croix-Rousse (2,589 h.) Lyon.

10. SAINT-CLAIR, Seine-et-Oise. Voir GO-METZ-LE-CHATEL.

11. SAINT-CLAIR, Seine Intèrieure, co>> de Mordeaux. Monttvilliers.

12. SAINT-CLAIR, beine-Infèrieure, co>> de Gourjnay (50 h.) Gournay

13. SAINT-CLAIR, Tarn-et-Garonne, ar. Moissac, co>> Valence-d'Agen (387 h.) Valence-d'Agen

14. SAINT-CLAIR, Var, co>> de Bormes (10 h.) Hyères.

15. SAINT-CLAIR, Vienne, ar. Loudon, co>> Moncontour (593 h.) Mirebeau.

16. SAINT-CLAIR-D'ARCEY, Eure, ar. Bernay. co>> Bernay (602 h.) Bernay.

17. SAINT-CLAIR-DE-BEAUVILLE, Lot-et-Garonne, ar. Agen, co>> Beauville (202 h.) La Laroque-Timbaut.


19. SAINT-CLAIR-DE-HALOUZE, Orne, ar. Domfront, co>> Domfront (956 h.) Domfront.

20. SAINT-CLAIR-DE-MARQUES, Aveyron, co>> de Salvagnac-Cajare (63 h.) Cajare.


22. SAINT-CLAIR-SUR-EPTE. Seine-et-Oise, ar. Mantes, co>> Magny (600 h.) Magny

23. SAINT-CLAIR-SUR-GALAURE. Isère, ar. Saint Marcellin. co>> Reybon (564 h.) Saint-Marcellin.

24. SAINT-CLAIR-SUR-LES-MONTS, Seine-Infèrieure, ar. Yvetot, co>> Yvetot (353 h.) Yvetot.

25. SAINTE-CLAIRE, Meurthe, co>> de Vasperviller (60 h.) Longuin.

26. SAINTE-CLAIRE-, Haute-Viennes, co>> de Limoges (51 h.) Limoges

27. SAINTES-CLAIRES, Loire, co>> de Montbrison (30) h.) Montbrison.

28. SAINT-CLAR, Haute-Garonne, ar. Muret, co>> Muret (568 h.) Muret.

29. SAINT-CLAR, Gers, ar. Lectoure, co>> Saint-Clar (1,638 h.)

Sources –

1. Ardant, Martial, “Dictionnaire général des villes, bourgs, villages et hameaux de la France, et des principales villes des pays étrangers et des colonies, contenant la nomenclature complète des 37,153 communes de France et de leurs écarts, l'indication de leur chef-lieu de canton, du bureau de poste qui seul les dessert, et du nombre de leurs habitants.” 1851

2. Domesday Descendants: A Prosopography of Persons Occurring in English Documents 1066-1166 II: Pipe Rolls to `Cartae Baronum' (Vol 2) (Hardcover), by K.S.B. Keats-Rohan, Boydell Press (April 15, 2002) ISBN-10: 0851158633, ISBN-13: 978-0851158631

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