Sunday, August 17, 2014

In Search of McClintock Origins

   Our McClintock information goes back as far as James McClintock, thought to be born in Wheeling, Virginia in about 1820.  (West Virginia wasn't formed until 1863, when the western part of the state was so opposed to Virginia's inclusion in the Confederate States that it broke away and aligned itself with the Union.)  James' origin came from senior members of our branch of the McClintock family, who have since passed away.  As best I know, their source was a family bible, known as the Covington Bible, that contained birth, marriage and death dates for the families of Robert Lee McClintock, the fifth of James' six sons that we know of, and his wife, Catherine Covington.  Over the years I've been able to verify most of the names, places and dates, establishing this bible as a reliable source of information. According to the Covington Bible, James was married to Ann Wilkins, born in 1831 in Union county, Kentucky.

   The earliest record I have that is definitively the family of James McClintock is the 1870 US census of Bells Mines, Kentucky, a tiny town in Crittenden county, on the Ohio River (the same river that runs through Wheeling, West Virginia) that no longer exists.  In other words, the first record isn't until James is fifty years old.  Ten years later the family is located in adjacent Hopkins county, a little further inland. I've tracked several of the kids to and through Oklahoma, Texas, Michigan and California.  Recently, I've been trying to confirm what little I know and find more about James and Ann.

Marker of James McClintock in Earlington, Kentucky
Marker of Ann McClintock in
 Lehigh, Oklahoma (

     I found these grave markers through .  James was buried in Earlington, Kentucky in 1886.  Ann was buried in Lehigh, in the Choctaw Nation of the Indian Territory, now Oklahoma, in 1900.  I've searched online records extensively, but have not found anything definitive about James and Ann prior to the 1870 census.  I have three major leads:

1) I found a birth certificate for Albert B. McClintock, born in Crittenden county, Kentucky in 1859 to James A. McClintock. This matches the Covington bible information, except for a six day difference in birth dates, i.e., it's almost certainly a match.  The birth record lists the mother as Ann Dobbs, not Ann Wilkins.  This raises a host of questions that I will try, as time allows, to resolve. I am now wondering what the source of the Covington Bible information is, if it was recorded more or less contemporaneously with events, or if it was all from a family genealogist, and may contain errors.  Ann Wilkins may be a married name, Dobbs a maiden name. I have searched for Dobbs families and Wilkins families in the Union county area, and in West Virginia, but have not found a likely match. To do: get copy of birth certificate; talk to owner of Covington Bible, revisit census records, contact remaining senior McClintocks.

2) I found a James and May (Mary?) McClintock of the right age in Wheeling, Virginia in 1850.  He was a ship's carpenter, as was our James in the 1870 census in Kentucky. He lived next door to a John McClintock, 5 years older, who was also a ship's carpenter, and I assume the two of them were brothers. One of John's kids was born in Kentucky. I was on the verge of accepting this James as ours, but have now traced John and James through census records to Wood county, West Virginia, where James and his family were living in 1870.  The family names are not those of our Kentucky family, so I've had to give up on the Wheeling, West Virginia McClintocks as our ancestors.

3) Several years ago I contacted a McClintock genealogist who had compiled a book of hundreds of McClintock families, and included our own.  According to his research, James was the son of Noble and Eleanor McClintock, Irish immigrants living in Harrison county, Ohio, not far from Wheeling. He cited records that prove the relationship, but also mentions brothers John and James in West Virginia. I was hoping to confirm the link to Noble, but given the 1870 census record discrepancy, I'm less certain of this. To do: get copies of sources cited.

If you have any information on James and Ann (and possibly James' first wife and family), please leave a comment.

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