Canadian Prime Minsiter Justin Trudeau looks at NRS documents on his family history at the National Museum of Scotland
NRS’ Dr Alison Rosie shows Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire Trudeau documents about his Scottish family history. Copyright Stewart Attwood.

You may well be aware that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Edinburgh this morning to meet the Queen. During his visit, he also visited the National Museum of Scotland, where he saw Canadian artefacts, as well as documents on his family history from National Records of Scotland which show his Scottish ancestry over five generations.

It’s well known in Caithness that Mr Trudeau’s mother Margaret Sinclair’s family came from the area, and her father, James Sinclair, emigrated from Scotland to Canada in 1911 with his family. He became a well-known politician and businessman there. 

James Sinclair’s birth record lists him and his father, also James, a schoolteacher. Mr Trudeau also saw his great great great grandfather Francis’ will, from 1893, and his birth record from 1811 which show that Mr Trudeau’s great great great great grandfather was a fisherman in Sarclet, near Wick, Caithness.

James Sinclair birth 1908
Birth of James Sinclair 1908 Statutory Register of Births, 1908, Grange, 156, page 9 (entry no.26)
Will of Francis Sinclair
1893 Will of Francis Sinclair (1811-1893) retired fisherman, signed by him RD15/1893 Sep 29, Disposition & Settlement by Francis Sinclair, 1893
Francis Sinclair birth OPR 1811
1811 Baptism of Francis Sinclair, son of James Sinclair, fisherman in Sarclet, near Wick, Baptism of Francis Sinclair, 1811 OPR 43/3, p.288

8 thoughts on “Trudeau’s Scottish family

  1. Dear Mr Trudeau,

    Delighted to hear you have some Scottish blood running through your veins! That must account for the good looks, the intelligence, the wonderful sense of humour and the charisma. Welcome home to your Scottish family 🙂 Remind me to give you a warm Scottish hug should we ever meet.

    Susan Evans.


  2. Mr. Trudeau’s Sinclair line are of the Sinclair’s of Broynach Caithness, a line descending from the Sinclair Earls of Caithness .


    1. The fourteenth Earl of Caithness was also called James Sinclair. I stumbled across this whilst researching my family tree, discovering that my g.g.grandmother worked in his kitchen as Stagenhoe, St. Paul’s Walden in Hertfordshire.


  3. We believe we are also descended from the earls ofCaithness but we are having a hard time fing our actual link ass we don’t know who our ggg grandfather James Sinclair’s parents were he was supposedly from County Monaghan and Armagh Ireland


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