My Ards Project co-admin and cousin, Lena McVea and I were wondering for some time, why there were both Catholic and Protestant families of Clints on the Ards. Also, where did the Clints of the Ards come from, and where did they all disappear to? Since a very large number of Ards families have at least one Clint in their ancestry, it was important for us to find out.
We finally located one of our Clints from the Portavogie line who was happy to test. Well, due to these Clints of the Ards matching the Y-DNA of the McAlindens/McLindens of Ireland and the McClendons/McLendons of Colonial America, we can probably safely assume that, like the McAlindens/McClendons, these Clints were also once a part of an ancient and powerful Ulster sept, the 'Mac Giolla Fhionndain' who lived in the areas of south Down and the southern part of Armagh. Their Irish name means "sons of the follower/devotee/servant of St. Fintan."
This sept was allied with the O'Neills of the Fews, and probably other's of the O'Neill clan. They were warriors, poets and songwriters, and classical scholars.
You will also see from some of Lena's posts, that we know that one of the Savages (aka 'Nugents') married a Clint. We also know that both Savages and Clints are buried in St. Mary's Church graveyard on Castle Hill in Ardkeen. We also know that Castle Hill was the site of the Feast of St. Fintan of Ard-caoin. And we now know that the Clints were the "Mac Giolla Fhiondain' aka the sons of the follower of St. Fintan. And we know that the Mac Giolla Fhiondain were allied with the O'Neills. Plus, the Savages drove the O'Neills out of the area of the Ards:http://www.worldfamilies.net/forum/index.php?topic=11468.0
Can you see where we are going with this?
According to the most prominant Irish historians, the variations of this sept's surnames are: McAlinden, McLinden, McLindon, McGlyndon, Linden, Lindon, Glyndon, Lyndon, Clinton. Some of the Ards Clints apparently dropped the 'Mc" and "on" from their surname. The earliest McClendon in Colonial America (1600s) went by "Macklenden," which gradually morphed to McClendon and McLendon.
As luck would have it, my father was a McClendon (I am Mary McClendon), and my mother's great grandmother was one of the Clints from Portavogie. And it just so happens that I have been the head group administrator for the McClendon DNA Project for perhaps 8 years(?), and I also created and ran the Orial Septs of Ireland DNA Project (along with Lena McVea) in order to see if the Oriel septs all shared a common male ancestor on their direct male line from the 3 Collas, which they did not.
My co-admin, Lena McVea, is also a Clint of the Ards descendant, a native of the Ards, and a long time historical researcher of these Clints. If not for Lena, I would never have found the resting place of my great great grandmother, Jane Clint.
So we are going to be taking a very close look at these Mac Giolla Fhiondain, with all of their surname variations, along with the other powerful families who intermarried with them.
According to archaeologists, there has been 10,000 years of human habitation around Strangford Lough. That is a lot of history!
Ards Peninsula Families DNA Projecthttp://www.familytreedna.com/public/ardsdnaproject/
McClendon DNA Projecthttp://www.familytreedna.com/public/McClendon/