Are Charles Clinton and Charles Fiennes the same person?

+2 votes

Trying to discover whether WikiTree has a profile for Charles Fiennes - the name found on page 114 of The Great Migration Directory (GMD) - not wanting to create a new profile if there already is one.

GMD gives only one source: "The Winthrop Fleet" which is not available to me.  Checked American Ancestors and "The American Genealogist" (TAG) 15 was given as a source. 

 TAG15:122 says Charles Fiennes came to New England in Winthrop's flagship in 1630 and that he was son of the 1st Theophilus Fiennes, Lord Clinton, Earl of Lincoln. who died in 1619.  WikiTree has him named "Thomas "3rd Earl of Lincoln" Clinton aka Fiennes"  here:

 TAG15:122 also says Charles Fiennes was brother to Theophilus Fiennes who married Bridget the daughter of Viscount Say and Sele.

So this Charles Clinton has the correct relationships, and I believe probably represents the same person as Charles Fiennes. (I just now added myself as PM for the profile.)

Needed is someone to bring clarity,  who is familiar with this family's surname(s) and has access to TAG15 and  to "The Winthrop Fleet." 

Thank you.

WikiTree profile: Charles Clinton
in Genealogy Help by Cheryl Skordahl G2G6 Pilot (247k points)
retagged by Darlene Athey-Hill
On page 69 of The Winthrop Fleet by Bangs, there is the entry for Charles Fiennes:  "Brother of Earl of Lincoln. Returned to England (G.R., LXXV, 236)."

G.R. stands for N. E. Genealogical Register.

The NEHGR article is here

From 1921.  Points out that Savage confused Charles with another man.

Savage is here

and is pretty bad.  He confuses Charles (younger brother of Theophilus the 4th Earl) with William Fiennes, Lord Saye and Sele (the father of Theophilus's wife Bridget Fiennes).

William and Bridget were real Fienneses, not Clintons at all.

1 Answer

+6 votes
Best answer

The Clinton alias Fiennes or Fiennes de Clinton business is very confusing. This was before legal name changes and double-barrelled names were invented - I think of this family as Fiennes-Clinton but that's not accurate in this time period.. 

Our modern sensibilities don't really care about the status of our particular name but adopting the name Fiennes was both a way of protesting the loss of the Barony of Say and a simple way to indicate your social status. After a half dozen Earls of Lincoln they apparently decided Clinton was an ok name after all and they dropped it.  We put a bunch of detail here in this G2G we wrote about a few years ago. There's a long footnote on the bottom of pages 315-316 of v3. of the Complete Peerage (Clinton) and v7 64-65 (Fiennes)

Since he's kind of both Fiennes and Clinton at the same time, by saying "Fiennes" everyone knew he had gentry connections to the Earls of Clinton. I thought the consensus was we decided these people were LNAB Clinton even though it is written as Fiennes. Hopefully that helps!

by Kirk Hess G2G6 Mach 6 (64.8k points)
selected by Lynden Rodriguez

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