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John FINLEY of Middle River
Thankful DOAK
WARNING:  Our subject is being confused with the John FINLEY (c1710-<1782) who married, first, Ms. THOMPSON and, second, Mary CALDWELL.  These are two different men.
Husband:  John FINLEY
Birth probably:  ca. 1719, in PA
Death:  1791, Augusta Co., VA
Occupation:  cooper
Marriage:  PA or VA
The average 18th/19th Century woman married first at the age of 19 to a man four years her senior.  If George was her first child, and assuming he was baptized as an infant, that puts her birth at ca. 1723 and John's birth at ca. 1719.
Wife:  Thankful DOAK
Birth probably:  ca. 1723, in PA
Death apparently:  1791-94, presumably in Augusta Co., VA
Children (listed in the order named in subject's will, except David, executor of the will and presumed youngest):
baptized at Tinkling Spring, Augusta Co., VA:
1.  George FINLEY, bap. 30 Jan 1743
2.  Robert FINLEY, bap. 21 Apr 1745
3.  Margaret FINLEY, bap. 21 Nov 1746; m. Mr. SHIELDS

baptized at Brown's Meeting House, Augusta Co., VA:
4.  James FINLEY
5.  John FINLEY
6.  Jean FINLEY; m. Joseph TRIMBLE
7.  Thankful FINLEY; m. Mr. McKARTER
8.  David FINLEY

Keywords for search engines:  genealogy; USA, US, United States, Pennsylvania, Virginia

Date Location Event
c1719 PA birth of John FINLEY
c1723   birth of Thankful DOAK
    marriage of John FINLEY to Thankful DOAK
1740 VA: Augusta Co.: Fishersville founding of Tinkling Spring Presbyterian Church
1 Dec 1740  VA: Augusta Co.: Cathey's River1: Finley's Branch John FINLEY patents 183 acres
15 Oct 1741 VA: Augusta Co.: a "draft" of Cathey's River John FINLEY patents 300 acres2
30 Jan 1743 VA: Augusta Co.: Tinkling Spring Church baptism of son, George FINLEY
21 Apr 1745 VA: Augusta Co.: Tinkling Spring Church baptism of son, Robert FINLEY
21 Nov 1746 VA: Augusta Co.: Tinkling Spring Church baptism of daughter, Margaret FINLEY
16 Feb 1748 VA: Augusta Co.: Middle River: Meadow Run Brown's Meeting House opened by John & Margaret BROWN
Note that our subjects stopped baptizing their children at Tinkling Spring once Brown's Meeting House was opened.
27 Nov 1749 VA: Augusta Co.: Cathey's River John FINLEY sold 183 acres to Alexander GARDEN
17 Nov 1767 VA: Augusta Co.: Middle River John & Thankful FINLEY deed 179 acres to son, George FINLEY
20 Jul 1768 VA: Augusta Co.: "middle River of Shanando"3 John FINLEY patents 238 acres
1768 VA: Augusta Co.: Middle River: Meadow Run John FINLEY named representative and commissioner of Brown's Meeting House
and received two acres of land from John & Margaret BROWN
ca. 1772 VA: Augusta Co.: Middle River George sells the 179 acres to Robert & Margaret CLENDENEN
ca. 1775 VA: Augusta Co.: Middle River John & Thankful repurchase the 179 acres from Robert & Margaret CLENDENEN
1777-78 Tax Roll4 VA: Augusta Co.  John FINLEY tithable
1782-87 Tax Roll4 VA: Augusta Co. John FINLEY tithable
7 Aug 1791 VA: Augusta Co. John FINLEY writes will
1791   death of John FINLEY
20 Dec 1791 VA: Augusta Co. estate of John FINLEY is appraised
1791-94   death of Thankful DOAK
1 Oct 1794 VA: Augusta Co. son, David FINLEY, sells holdings and moves away5
1Now known as Middle River, a branch of the Shenandoah River.
2Adjacent to Alexander BRECKENRIDGE, whose son, George BRECKENRIDGE, married Thankful's sister, Ann DOAK, the next year.
3Adjacent to the land John is living on.  "Shanando" = Shenandoah.
4The only years these rolls are available.
5Presumably signaling the death of his mother, Thankful (DOAK) FINLEY.


1.  Carmen J. Finley.  1995.  "The John Finley's of Augusta County, Virginia."  Finley Findings International, vol. 9, no. 2, published by Timothy Kessler, P.O. Box 314, Wynne, Arkansas 72396-0314, finley5308@aol.com (online at the Sonoma State University Library web site). 

2.  Herald Franklin Stout.  1940.  The Clan Finley. 1st ed.  Eagle Press, Dover, OH. (2nd ed. in two vols.: Vol. 1 in 1957, Vol. 2 in 1961; available in facsimile from Higginson Books).  [not seen]  According to Carmen Finley, C.G., Ph.D., Stout's book is rife with errors and the root of many being seen among novice genealogists to this day (e.g., the LDS databases, WorldConnect, etc.).  Do not accept anything from this work without confirming it!

3.  Albert Finley France.  [1941-41]  The Clan Finley.  Unpublished manuscript, with additions by Lillian Hicks Frandsen (Feb 1962).  Contains many errors, incorporated and perpetuated by Herald Stout in his later editions.  Caveat emptor.

4.  WorldConnect / WorldTree (online at RootsWeb.com/Ancestry.com):  many files here have the two John FINLEY's totally mixed up.

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