McClintock / McClintic History

The Migration of William McClintock from Northern Ireland to America

McClintic Saga

There are several conflicting stories about the year William Alexander MCCLINTOCK came to America, as we are seeing. Moses Hamilton MCCLINTIC from Hot Springs, Virginia, his great grandson (b.1848-D.1929) tried to discover the exact date for many years. A personal correspondence between Moses and Lottie M. Bausman, who researched the public records in Lancaster County, PA in 1913 and 1914 show no discoveries of records relating to William Alexander MCCLINTOCK.

Moses MCCLINTIC discovered a traditional story concerning WILLIAM ALEXANDER MCCLINTOCK as being the son of ALEXANDER MCCLINTIC who came to Lancaster, PA. in 1725 from Northern Ireland. However, this story seems suspect in light of the info shown in the Revolutionary War Pension Application of Joseph MCCLINTICk (spelling error on the original document) who was William's oldest son and dated January 24, 1835 and other info described later.

From the documentary evidence of the pension record and the 1880 census record, it seems almost certain that William A. MCCLINTOCK and his family came to America in 1763 from County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. The family is believed to have settled in what was then Lancaster County, in William Penn's colony of PA. (Pennsylvania means Penn's Forest). Other members of the MCCLINTOCK FAMILY had come to America several years before and were living in this part of PA. It is reasonable that this immigrant farmer settled among his relatives and friends. the Cumberland Valley of Pennsylvania had a large number of Scottish-Irish immigrants in the 1700's due to the liberal policies of William Penn regarding religious freedom. More than 6,000 Scotch-Irish are known to have entered Pennsylvania in the year 1729 alone. This family, as many others in the province of Ulster where County Tyrone is located, found it difficult to live with the trade restrictions of England and the bitter resentment caused by the special priviledges and powers of the Church of Ireland whichwas controlled by the British Crown. The Ulster Presbyterians were descendants of the Scots who settled in Northern Ireland in the late 1500's by the Protestant Queen, Elizabeth I, to control the Irish rebellion against the Crown. The Scots were loyal to Elizabeth I. The settling of the Scots in that area was known as "The Plantation System". Grants and leases of land that had been taken from the Irish Tribal Chieftains was granted to the Scots. This policy was continued by King James I, their countryman, who was also King James VI of Scotland. This same King James had the Christian Bible translated into English. It is still in use in Christian churches today and is known as the KING JAMES VERSION. The firs permanent settlement in America in 1607 in Virginia was named Jamestown in honor of this same king. This was his attempt to duplicate the same system he promoted in Northern Ireland which was known, again, as "The Plantation System".

In 1689, the economy of Belfasts, Ireland was destroyed by a law that forbade the English to purchase any cloth produced in Ireland. In 1704, all civil rights of the Irish were revoked and in 1714 Queen Ann had all Presbyterian Church doors nailed shut. The Presbyterians could not hold civil and military office, and their ministers could not perform the marriage ceremony. They were in constant conflict, even guerrila warfare, with the native Irish over their occupation of the Ulster Lands.

These people had bent their knee to no man when they came from Scotland to Northern Ireland. This oppression from the British Crown about 100 years later was more than they could live with so they up and left. Between 1718 and 1775 entire congregations of Presbyterians took to the ships and sailed to the American Colonies. As many as 200,000 are believed to have left Northern Ireland. Many of them wound up on the Applachian Frontier of America where they battled with American Indians instead of Irish Rebels. They were a strong and hardy people. Four signers of the Declaration of Independence were of Ulster Scots, because the native Irish never accepted them as Irish. During the five years preceeding the Revolutionary War more than 30,000 Scotch-Irish arrived in America. George Bancroft, one of American's first historians, said that "The cry for independence came from the Scotch-Irish Presbyterians." In Northern Ireland they were the first to demand the separation of the church from the state. Teddy Roosevelt's mother described the Scotch-Irish: "They were evil. . . relentless, they were, of all men, best fitted to conquer the wilderness and hold it agaist all comers."

During those days sailing ships took several weeks to carry their cargo of immigrants to the British Colonies. The ship captains kept a list of passengers to collect their fares for the trip and to report anyone that may have been lost at sea. Some passenger records of these ships sailing from Irish Ports have survived to the present day. However, no listing of Irish passengers by the name of WILLIAM MCCLINTOCK and family sailing in 1763 have been discovered. Since the family is believed to have settled in Pennsylvania perhaps they entered the country through the Port of Philadelphia or Baltimore.

There were no immigration procedures or naturalization laws in 1763. During the colonial period citizenship was a natural thing for British subjects. The colonial government required allegiance to the British Crown but individuals were citizens of a particular colony. Only non-English people took the oath of allegiance to a colony so they might buy land from the Indians. In 1740 the British Parliament passed a law requiring a seven year residence period in a colony before renouncing a previous sovereign.

The first naturalization procedure was passed by the government of the United States in 1790. It made white males citizens of every state. The federal regulation of immigrants did not begin until 1875. So, there are no immigration or naturalization records to verify the date of the MCCLINTOCK family's entrance into America.

The only written record, so far, discovered to establish the date of the MCCLINTOCK family's migration is the Revolutionary War record of JOSEPH MCCLINTICK (varations of spellings are frequent in early records.) Joseph is the oldest son of WILLILAM. He states in his application for a pension for service as a soldier in the War of the Revolution (Revolutionary War) that he was born in Ireland and came to this country in 1763. This pension application is dated Janary 24.1835 when Joseph was 83 years old. It seems probable that the entire family came to America that same year, as most immigrants traveled in family groups.

In the year 1763, WILLIAM MCCLINTOCK would have been 46 years old, his wife NANCY SHANKLIN, 40, his son JOSEPH 11, ROBERT 6, AND WILLIAM II was 4. There is no record of the dates of birth of the three daughters: Nancy, Jane and Margaret. The youngest child F. ALEXANDER, was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania on February 12, 1765.

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