McClintock / McClintic Prologue V

The Origin of the McClintock Surname

McClintic Saga

The surname MCCLINTOCK is the English conversion of the Gaelic name, 'Mac Giolla Fhionntog', which means the "Son of the Ghille of Saint Finnian". Finnian is also spelled Flintoc, which means fair haired. The Gaelic word 'Ghillie' in English means a male attendant or follower which in Irish and Scots Galic and present day English is used to describe gamekeepers. The 'ghillies' were the guides of the hunting and fishing parties who hunted the game on the estates of their Clan Chief. The 'guillies' also took care of the game and hunting dogs which were usually deer hounds. They also protected the game from poachers. The 'guillie' suits worn by the U.S. Army Special Forces are camouflage suits adapted from suits worn by these ancient gamekeepers to let them more through the estates unseen from the animals as well as the poachers. The Gaelic word "Mac" means the son of. The literal translation of the name is the son of the servant of Saint Finnian. The sons of the man who was the follower of Saint Finnian, either in a religious sense or actual capacity as a gamekeeper were the first to be called by the name, 'Mac Giolla Fhionntog'. As there are no written records to establish the people who served Saint Finnian it will never be known whether the original progenitor of the McClintocks lived during the same time period as the Saint or admired him as a religious figure and followed his teachings.

Ethmologists believe the Irish race is the purest Celtic stock in existence. From Tyrone County, Ireland, the midst of this people, the McClintocks immigrated to and settled in Pennsylvania during the first half to the 18th century. The original spelling of the name was McClintock. Why has it been so scrupulously retained by the descendants of the same people all over the North and as studiously corrupted in this section of the south (VA) and all over the South and Southwest? Sir Francis Leopold McClintock, the Irish arctic explorer, clung to the original form on the other side of the ocean, while John McClintock, a Methodist clergyman and author of some celebrity, adhered to it with the same pertinacity on the American side. Indeed, as a matter of taste, some of the descendants with us prefer the early mode, and yet continue to use the corrupted orthography.

Now, as to the descendants of the four McClintic brothers (Robert, Alexander, William [Moses] and Joseph), children of William and Nancy Shanklin McClintock (tic) who came from Pennsylvania to Bath and Greenbrier counties the numbers are legion. Yet a history of the remaining Pennsylvania brothers and sisters who originated the various McClintock families of the Northern States cannot be written at this time, for the simple reason nothing is known of them. Life's dark stream has forced their identity beneath its murky tide.

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