The McLendon surname is an Americanized version of the original Gaelic name "Mac Gille Fhinneain." The derivation of this name came from "Servant of Saint Fionnan."
Over time the family dropped the 'Mac', which meant 'child of'. Therefore, the pronunciation changed to, first to "Gil-Hinaan," and then to "Glinaan."
Originating in the Scottish town of Druimdeurfait in Ross-shire, the McLendons belonged to the Highland clan of the Logans. Gilliegorm, the Chief of the northern Logans, was killed battling the Clan Fraser.
His pregnant wife had been taken captive by Lord Lovat. Her son, Crotair MacGilliegorm, the hunched-back son of Gilliegorm, was sent to a monastery at Beauly, where he became an ardent follower of the Irish Saint Fhinan.
One of his children actually took the name Mac Gillie Fhinan, which is how the family name eventually became MacLennan. William MacLenan, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1773 aboard the ship "Hector," may have been the first McLendon in North America.
The Bulloch County McLendons (or McClendons) are mostly likely descendants of Ephraim Elijah McLendon. Ephraim Elijah was born in 1750 and died between 1808 and 1810. As is the case often with genealogical records, there has been some confusion over Elizabeth Tomberlin's husband's name.
Records have proven conclusively that it was Ephraim Elijah who married Elizabeth Tomlinson. Elizabeth's father, William Tomlinson, raised her in what was at first Effingham but became Bulloch County.
Their children were Lewis; Needham; William Burrell; Nancy; Dennis; Ezekiel; John; and Mary. Not much is known about their oldest son, Lewis, other than he married a woman by the name of Cleo Walker.
Needham Jr's last two children were the twins Pollard McCormick Lenton and Matthew Jacob, both of whom were born on October 22, 1822. Some researchers believe William Burrell had a son named Pollard as well.
Needham Sr.'s daughters, Cemantha and Mariah, had a strange relationship. After Cemantha married Thomas Andrew Davis and had a daughter, Cemantha Elizabeth Davis, Mariah (according to records) had several illegitimate children by Davis (William Henry Harrison, Martha Ann, Harriet Corene, and Mary Chloe).
E.E.'s third son, William Burrell, was born in 1785 in South Carolina. He was married to Feriby Joiner on August 8, 1816. Their children were Wiley (or Wylley), who was born in 1822; William Robert "Bill," who was born in 1829; Dennis, who was born in 1830; and daughters Ferriba, Emily, and Sophia.
E.E.'s next child was his fourth son, Dennis, who was born in 1800. Dennis married Martha "Patsy" Tison. Dennis and Martha's first two children were daughters, Martha Ann and Elizabeth "Betsy" Ann.
Dennis' next nine children were all boys: James Madison, born in 1827; John Wesley, born in 1828; Berrien, born in 1830; John Andrew, born in 1832; Needham III, the third Needham in this family line, born in 1833; Isaac Tison, born on March 19, 1835; John Dennis (also called Dennis), born in 1839; Ephraim Jr., born in 1842; and Burrell L., born in 1843.
Roger Allen writes a genealogy column once a month. E-mail Roger at roger firstname.lastname@example.org.