Saturday, August 10, 2013

Is Dave Clark Jewish?

Princess Beatrice of York and Dave Clark have been dating for about six years.  According to several reports, they were introduced by Beatrice's first cousin, Prince William.  Clark's parents moved to London when he was five years old.  He attended the American School in London.  He spent a year abroad at Edinburgh University. 

David Arnold Campbell  Clark, who works in Astronaut Relations for Virgin Galactic, is a dual citizen of the United States and United Kingdom.  He was born in the United States in 1982, the son of Michael Archibald Campbell Clark and Carol Mary Bernstein. In 2004, he received a BA in Psychology from Bowdoin College, a private liberal arts school founded in 1794 in Brunswick, Maine.

This is a very cursory shake of Dave's family tree.  I don't have access to or other online genealogical databases.  The New York Times provided details for weddings and deaths with obituaries and paid death notices.  There are also family history sites that offered historical and biographical details about the Wynkoop Kiersted line. 

David Arnold Campbell Clark's ancestry is very similar to millions of other Americans.  He has British (English and Scottish) ancestry.  His paternal grandfather, Donald, came to the United States as a young child.   The ancestry lines on Dave's mother's side will lead more likely to Germany and Central Europe, perhaps even Russia, due to the Jewish heritage.  Both parents have ties to Scarsdale, New York. 

Michael was born on August 15, 1947 at Scarsdale, New York.  He is the son of the late Donald Graham Clark, a "long-time attending surgeon at Sloan-Kettering Hospital" in New York, and Ann Beveridge Kiersted. 

The Clark-Kiersted wedding took place at the Greenville Community Church in Scarsdale, New York, where Ann and her family lived.  Ann was the daughter of Wynkoop Kiersted and his wife, Janet Beveridge Cook.

Clark, a surgeon in the British Merchant Navy, was the son of Archibald Campbell Clark and his wife Alice Smillee, who were living in Glasgow, Scotland, at the time of Donald's marriage.

The couple were married on December 9, 1944.   The bride graduated from Smith College earlier that year,  and was a student at the Yale School of Nursing.  Her husband attended Yale University, and, according to the New York Times article on their wedding, expected to "return to sea duty early in the New Year."

Michael was the second of four children.  He has a sister, Alison and two brothers, Graham and Peter.  He was a senior at Bowdoin College in Maine when his engagement to Carol Mary Bernstein was announced in January 1969.

Carol was the daughter of Arnold and Jeanne Bernstein (nee Postley) of Scarsdale, New York.   The bride-to-be was a senior at Sarah Lawrence at the time of the engagement.

Ann Kiersted Clark is still alive and living in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Arnold Bernstein (1910-2003) was a New York lawyer, the son of David Bernstein and Ruth Helborn.   Jeanne Bernstein grew up in Scarsdale, the daughter of Gilbert John Postley (1890-1975) and his wife Bernice Stonehill (1895-1975). 

Gilbert John Postley was born in Maryland, perhaps Baltimore.  His family lived in Baltimore, according to the 1900 Federal Census.  It is possible that he descended from the Postley family of Virginia.  Members of this family served in the American Revolution and War of 1812.  At least one Postley married into the Fairfax family.   Fairfax County is named for Baron Fairfax of Cameron.

Bernice Stonehill, daughter of Moses Stonehill married Gilbert Postley on June 4, 1917 at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City.  In 1932,  Gilbert J. Postley donated $300 to the Federation for the Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies. A year later,  Postley was mentioned in  a New York Times article regarding the start of raising funds for the 1933 campaign for the Federation of Jewish Philanthropic Societies.  Several financial organizations were involved in the fundraising.  Postley was the chair of a division of Unlisted Securities and Foreign Exchange of one firm that took part in the annual campaign.    One list, published in the New York Times in 1934, included Postley's name as one of the leaders in business and finance to lead the 1934-1945 drive for the Federation of Jewish Philanthropic Societies.

In 1935, Postley was the head of Gilbert J. Postley & Co., 29 Broadway, in New York City. His firm had applied for registration with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Gilbert John Postley was the younger son of John M. Postley and Jeanette Appel, who died in November 1929.  He had a brother, Harold A. Postley.

Gilbert and Bernice's daughter, Jeanne Mary, married Arnold J. Bernstein on July 1, 1940 at the bride's home in Scarsdale.  Jeanne's sister, Margaret Ann, was the bridesmaid, and Arnold's brother, Robert, served as the best man.   Several years later, Margaret, known as Peggy, married Ira Mendell.

Jeanne attended Wellesley College.  Her husband was a graduate of Harvard and the Columbia Law School.   At the time of his marriage, Arnold was a practicing attorney in New York City.

Arnold's father, David, died at the age of 63 of a heart attack while in his sleep at his home, 730 Park Avenue, on November 10.  Bernstein was born in Utica, New York, the son of Jacob Bernstein and Rebecca Lipstein.

He left school at age 13 to work work in a Utica dry goods store.  In 1905, at the age of 23, he answered an advert for a job as bookkeeper with the Marcus Loews People's Vaudeville, Company. This position was the foot in the door where Bernstein rose to "one of the top posts in the motion picture industry," reported the New York Times.

It was his "sound conservative policies were largely responsible for the stability and growth of Loew's Inc."   At the time of his death, Bernstein was director of 25 corporations, most of which were Loew's subsidiaries.  He was also president of the Popsicle Corporation and the Leo Feist, Inc., music publishers.  This was noted in an obituary published in the New York Times.

In 1943, David Bernstein was one of the highest paid executive in the US, earning $333,434.

He served for many years as a leader in the Federation of Jewish charities, as well as "many other humanitarian organizations."   He was also a member of the Quaker Ridge Country Club, which was one of leading Jewish country clubs in the United States.  Ruth died in 1963.

The marriage of Gilbert Postley and Bernice Mary Stonehill, the daughter of Moses and Rachel Stonehill, took place at the St. Regis Hotel in New York City. Only the "immediate family" were present at the wedding.  The newly weds  moved into an apartment at 302 Central Park West several weeks after their wedding.

The roots of Dave Clark's paternal great-grandfather, Wynkoop Kiersted,  ran deep in Sullivan County, New York.  His father, also named Wynkoop, studied at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  After graduation, he headed west helping to survey and develop waterworks systems in Missouri and Kansas City.  The family lived in Liberty, Missouri, for many years.

Their son, Wynkoop, eventually settled in Scarsdale, with his wife, Janet Beveridge Cook, a native of Troy, New York, where he was an executive with Texaco. He died in 1988.

Dave's father, Michael, served as a corporate lawyer, most notably with Cadbury-Schweppes.  He received his law degree from Columbia University and was admitted to the New York bar in 1973.  Although he and his family moved to London in late 1980s for his career,  Clark remains a member of the New York  Bar, and is licensed to practice in New York State.

Michael's parents were Protestants, and their families had ties to England and Scotland, as well as the Netherlands.  His wife, Carol, is also a native of New York, but her heritage has strong Jewish ties on both sides of her family.  Judaism is passed through the mother. The Stonehills and the Bernsteins were certainly Jewish with German and Central European ancestry.  David Bernstein's son-in-law Gilbert Postley was also a member of the Quaker Ridge Country Club, according to the death notice published in the New York Times.

David's parents and grandparents were educated privately, attending Ivy League universities.   Most likely,  David was named for his maternal great-grandfather, David Bernstein, a self-made millionaire.  

One can assume that experienced genealogists will delve further into Dave Clark's family tree, and find connections to colonial roots and, perhaps, even a descent from Edward III.


phoebes in santa fe said...

Generally, if a child's mother is Jewish, the child is, too. But in today's Reform and Conservative branches, Jewish descent can occur from the father, too.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Michael Clark is not Jewish, but Carol Bernstein is, as is her family, father and mother,

Anonymous said...

Marlene, do you think there will be a wedding soon? I read that Bea left her job recently.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

Terren, no predictions. Could have been a birthday celebration

Anonymous said...

Marlene, Bea left her job in London permanently which made me think she is devoting full time to wedding planning.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

I do not see that at all. She could have left her job because she did not like it. Because she is taking on more charity works, one does not leave a job to plan a wedding. Her wedding will be a very small affair in comparison to other royal weddings, most of the work will be done by others.

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

I do not see that at all. She could have left her job because she did not like it. Because she is taking on more charity works, one does not leave a job to plan a wedding. Her wedding will be a very small affair in comparison to other royal weddings, most of the work will be done by others.