James O. St. Clair was born November 21, 1930 in Massachusetts, the son of Byron St.Clair and Louise May Marsh. His mother, Louise, was the daughter of Susan MacFarlane of Mull River, Cape Breton, and Clarence Otis Marsh of Massachusetts. Both sides of the family were Scottish in origin; the St. Clairs had come to Massachusetts in the 1750’s, the MacFarlanes to Cape Breton some 70 years later.
Trained as a teacher and historian, Dr. St. Clair developed a life-long enthusiasm for genealogy and family history. He has researched many of the immigrant families of Cape Breton, people of many ethnic strains, and has published in Mabou Pioneer II, histories of 50 families of the Mabou area. He is a much sought after genealogical resource for people “from away” researching Cape Breton and those at home wishing to know more.