Family heads to Glasgow ‘home’

REUNITED: The Feinstein family in the great hall at Ellis Island

NEXT year in Glasgow! Those words meant that the Feinstein family reunion on Ellis Island in New York City — organised from Australia — had been a success.

Some 50 descendants of Samuel Feinstein from three continents gathered, with many meeting for the very first time.

Indeed, some of the family branches did not even know of the existence of other branches.

And where better for a second reunion than Glasgow, where Samuel and his wife, Pollie, lived from 1900 to 1906?

It’s also where two of Samuel’s sons — Barnet, from his wife Rachel, and Robert, from his wife Pollie — remained when the rest of the family emigrated to America.

Robert, born in the mid-1880s, changed his name to Finniston after the Finnieston Crane.

He married Esther Diamond and they had five children, including Sir Monty Finniston, who went on to head British Steel back in the 1960s.

Robert’s older half-brother Barnet was known as Finestein, but some of his children in Scotland adopted the name Finniston.

In America, name variations included Finestein, Funston, Fine, Finnieston and Finneston.

Samuel and Pollie moved to America around 1906 with six of their children — and three children from Samuel’s earlier marriage to Rachel also landed on American soil.

In the 1920s, Barnet’s eldest son, Sam, also made the move from Glasgow to America.

Nine branches of the family ended up in America, with two in Scotland.

The American family remained in touch with each other initially, but over the years contact ceased.

The Ellis Island reunion brought together eight branches of the family.

The Glasgow event is slotted in for the last weekend in August, 2019.

Once again, three continents will be represented and hopefully all the known branches will be there.

Some of the places to be visited will include the family homes, including Aitkenhead Road and Bowman Street, the gravestones of the family who stayed in Glasgow and other relevant sites.

It is still early days, but the reunion organisers are hoping to contact other family members living in the UK who may wish to attend.

* If you are related or know of someone who is, email Gillian Bullock:

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