Barbara McClintock was born Eleanor McClintock on June 16, 1902 in Hartford, Connecticut, the third of four children born to physician Thomas Henry McClintock and Sara Handy McClintock. Thomas McClintock was the child of British immigrants, and Sara Ryder Handy, descended from an old American Mayflower family. When she was a young girl, her parents determined that Eleanor, a "feminine" and "delicate" name, was not appropriate for her, and chose Barbara instead. McClintock was an independent child beginning at a very young age, a trait she later identified as her "capacity to be alone". From the age of three until she began school, McClintock lived with an aunt and uncle in Brooklyn, New York in order to reduce the financial burden on her parents while her father established his medical practice. She was described as a solitary and independent child. She was close to her father, but had a difficult relationship with her mother, tension that began when she was young.