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Would these families be related?

Would these families be related?

Posted: 28 Dec 2012 11:10PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Finnie, Phine, Fin
Hi All,

I was reading a book about heraldry, and found that my cousin's Arms (Robert Finnie McEwen) included as Arms of Affection, the Finnie Arms. Researching further, I found the Arms of William Finnie of Hilbrae, and those of James Phine of Whitehill. All of these Arms bear striking similarities, and I'm trying to ascertain whether or not the families were closely-related. Interestingly, the Phine Arms had a notation: "Fin of yt ilk", which I take to be "Fin of that ilk". I'm finding it all to be very confusing. Thoughts?

Many thanks in advance,

Re: Would these families be related?

Posted: 29 Dec 2012 3:38AM GMT
Classification: Query
It seems likely that the families are, at least distantly, related. Proving it would be another matter. In theory such arms are inherited, with the main inheritors assuming an un-changed design. Other relatives, possibly cousins, would use a slightly amended version, hence the variation. Spelling changes over time in a similar organic fashion.

The problem is that people can assume that their name comes from the same root as the family that has the coat of arms. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily so. Consequently, people assume the right to use a particular coat of arms when actually their name comes from somewhere else.

The Finnies seem to trace their history back to the Ballyfeeney area. So, if both families can trace their roots to this area, they really could be from the same family. An interseting, if heroic, goal would be to prove or dis-prove the link.

Re: Would these families be related?

Posted: 29 Dec 2012 6:51AM GMT
Classification: Query
Thank you so much for this. Actually, I am led to believe that the Finnie name in Scotland is of Scandinavian origin? Altough it was listed as a Pictish name in an old Icelandic equivalent of the Domesday Book?

It's all very confusing!

I shall nevertheless see what I can find re: Ireland. For a rather famous (infamous?!) family, they are very difficult to pin down at times. I do know that my Finnies were originally from Constablewood (Largs), but think that they may have moved to there from Bishopstoun with the Brisbanes.

Re: Would these families be related?

Posted: 30 Dec 2012 2:42AM GMT
Classification: Query
Yes it is confusing.

Your source might be right in that some people named Finnie originated in Scandinavia, whilst another family with the same spelling originated elsewhere.

The reason they are difficult to pin down is simple. Lack of written records. If only they had us genealogists in mind back then.

Online sources suggest the name is gaelic - O'Feanna, meaning son of (O' now dropped in this line) of a soldier (Feanna mutated in to Finnie). The intermixing between Irish and Scottish blood lines is huge, though the name, as I said previously, could come from literally anywhere. Scotland certainly has links with Scandinavia in abundance. However, I can't find any source that describes the name as Scandinavian.

Re: Would these families be related?

Posted: 7 Jan 2013 6:21AM GMT
Classification: Query
Oh well, they aren't going anywhere....I'm sure that I shall be able to pin them down eventually!! :)
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