CLINTON Surname Meaning and Origin

What Does the Last Name Clinton Mean?

An old riverside village in Wiltshire, England
The Clinton surname denotes someone who came from one of several towns that mean settlement on a river or hill. Getty / Danita Delimont

As an English surname Clinton is a locational name meaning one who came from one of several places:

  1. Glympton in Oxfordshire, a town whose name means "settlement (from the Old English tun) on the Glym river." Glym is a Celtic name for "bright stream."
  2. Glinton (Clinton) in Northamptonshire, a place name possibly derived from the Middle Low German glinde, meaning "enclosure" or "fence," and the Old English tun, meaning "settlement." 

    According to Charles Beardsley in A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames, "the change from initial G to C is common in nomenclature."

    The Clinton surname may also be a shortened form of the Irish surname McClinton. 

    Surname Origin: English, Irish

    Alternate Surname Spellings: CLYNTON, GLINTON, GLYNTON, CLINT

    Where in the World is the CLINTON Surname Found?

    According to WorldNames public profiler, the Clinton surname is found in greatest numbers (as a percentage of population) in northeast Ireland, followed by Scotland, central England, the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

    Famous People with the Surname CLINTON

    • William Jefferson Blythe "Bill" Clinton - 42nd President of the United States
    • George Clinton - the fourth U.S. vice president, serving in the administrations of both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison
    • DeWitt Clinton - the seventh and ninth governor of New York
    • Sir Henry Clinton - a British general during the American Revolutionary War
    • Edward Clinton, 1st Earl of Lincoln - a 16th-century English admiral

    Genealogy Resources for the Surname CLINTON

    100 Most Common U.S. Surnames & Their Meanings
    Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, Brown... Are you one of the millions of Americans sporting one of these top 100 common last names from the 2000 census?

    The Clinton - Clint DNA Project
    The Clinton - Clint DNA Project was created to assist Clinton and Clint family researchers in using DNA analysis to determine family ties, and to help trace the history and origins of their own particular Clinton or Clint family line, and learn how they connect to other Clinton families.

    Clinton Family Genealogy Forum
    Search this popular genealogy forum for the Clinton surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own Clinton query.

    FamilySearch - CLINTON Genealogy
    Explore over 540,000 historical records and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Clinton surname and its variations on this free genealogy website hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    CLINTON Surname & Family Mailing Lists
    RootsWeb hosts several free mailing lists for researchers of the Clinton surname.

    DistantCousin.com - CLINTON Genealogy & Family History
    Free databases and genealogy links for the last name Clinton.

    The Clinton Genealogy and Family Tree Page
    Browse genealogy records and links to genealogical and historical records for individuals with the Clinton surname from the website of Genealogy Today.

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    References: Surname Meanings & Origins

    Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1967.

    Menk, Lars. A Dictionary of German Jewish Surnames. Avotaynu, 2005.

    Bardsley, Charles W. E. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames. London: Oxford University Press, 1901.

    Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia. Avotaynu, 2004.

    Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. London: Oxford University Press, 1989.

    Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. London: Oxford University Press, 2003.

    Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.


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    Powell, Kimberly. "CLINTON Surname Meaning and Origin." ThoughtCo, Jun. 5, 2017, thoughtco.com/clinton-surname-meaning-and-origin-3862338. Powell, Kimberly. (2017, June 5). CLINTON Surname Meaning and Origin. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/clinton-surname-meaning-and-origin-3862338 Powell, Kimberly. "CLINTON Surname Meaning and Origin." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/clinton-surname-meaning-and-origin-3862338 (accessed January 22, 2018).