Lena McVea and I continue to try to determine the connection between the Mac Giolla Fhiondain (sons of the devotee/follower/servant of St. Fintan/Finian) aka the "Mac Liondain" and the Clints of the Ards.
The confusion regarding multiple Catholic saints who share the same (or nearly the same name) has caused much confusion amongst historians of Ireland. I found this information today, which does shine a great deal of light on one of these St. Finians:
Feast Day: September 10
Irish abbot, a disciple of Sts. Colman and Mochae also called Winin. He was born in Strangford, Lough, Ulster, in Ireland, a member of a royal family. Studying under Sts. Colman and Mochae, he became a monk in Strathclyde and was ordained in Rome. Returning to Ulster, Finian founded several monasteries, becoming abbot of Moville, in County Down, Ireland. He became embroiled with St. Columba, a student, over a copy of St. Jerome’s Psalter, and St. Columba had to surrender that copy to Finian. He also founded Holywood and Dumfries in Scotland. Finian was known for miracles, including moving a river.http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=3365
The fact that we have the earliest known Clint graves of the Ards are in an area (Ardkeen "Ard-caoin") that was reportedly the birthplace of one of the St. Fintans / Finians I think is no accident, especially in light of the fact that these Clints of the Ards match the Y-DNA of the Mac Giolla Fhiondain.
Irish historians have long assumed that these Mac Giolla Fhiondain came from further east, because, I think, they have assumed that they were the followers of the wrong saint: St. Finian of Clonard:http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=3368
For right now, I would have to say that the Y-DNA evidence, combined with the existing historical documents and headstones, strongly suggest that the Mac Giolla Fhiondain were the sons of the devotee/follower/servant of St. Fintan / Finian of Ardkeen.
The members of this ancient Ulster sept went by the following surnames:
Mac Liondain, McAlindon, McAlinden, McLindon, McLinden, Lindon, Linden, McGlyndon, Glyndon, Lyndon, McClinton, Clinton, Clint, Macklenden, Macklenden, McClendon and McLendon (in America).
We will likely be able to refine this theory, as we gather additonal historical documents and Y-DNA test results from families from the Ards Peninsula.
More on St. Mary's Church of Ardkeen and Castle Hill:http://www.worldfamilies.net/forum/index.php?topic=11468.0http://www.worldfamilies.net/forum/index.php?topic=11605.0
Mary (McClendon) Becker
Ards Peninsula Families DNA Project