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Home: Surnames: Finlay Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Texas Finlays -- James Finlay of MS and parents
Posted by: Victoria Simmons (ID *****2580) Date: August 25, 2008 at 14:35:11
In Reply to: Re: Texas Finlays -- Information and names. by Don Lefevre of 389

In my earlier post I meant that I had NOT been able to acquire "Notable Men of Mississippi," and still don't have it.

I received some info from an older relative that brings the names of James Finlay's parents into question. Previously I had Daniel Finlay and Jane Unknown. However, according to this new info (which does not come with any kind of proof), the parents of James Finlay (1789-1860) was Joel Finlay (abt 1750-1846) and Margaret Stewart (died at 98), born in Northern Ireland of Scots-Irish ancestry and coming to the Colonies in 1770. According to this information, Joel and Margaret settled in Bladen Co., North Carolina, and he fought in the American army during the Revolution. Later he and Margaret moved to Dover, Stuart Co., Tennessee. (The Battle of Fort Donelson was fought virtually over their graves.)

James Finlay was born in Bladen Co., North Carolina, in 1789, but moved with his parents as a youth to Tennessee. As a young man he went to Mississippi, and at Augusta, Perry Co., met Cada Lewis. Shortly after their marriage they moved to Brandon, Rankin Co., where they remained the rest of their lives. James Finlay was a prosperous planter, served in the Seminole War, and was later probate judge of Rankin County for 14 years. He died at Brandon in 1860, and Cada died in 1863.

They had eight children:

George Preston Finlay (1829-1911)
Luke William Finlay (b. 1831)
Veturia Finlay
Quitman Finlay
Oscar Finlay (b. 1843)
Luther J. Finlay (b. 1844)
Octavius Finlay
Virgilia Finlay

George Preston Finlay enlisted in 1846 in the First Mississippi Rifles, under Col. Jefferson Davis, with which he served in the War against Mexico. Returning home, he read law and taught school in Mississippi for a few years. In the mid-1850s he moved to Lavaca, Texas. He served in the Civil War in various capacities for the Confederacy, and returned to Texas after the war, where he practiced law and went into politics.

There's quite a bit of information about George Preston Finlay in the "Handbook of Texas Online" and a book called "Types of Successful Men of Texas," a facsimile of which can be read online courtesy of Google Books. (A search on +"George Preston Finlay"+"Types"+"Texas" will bring it up.) The book includes a wonderful picture of Finlay, who clearly cultivated his whiskers with great care.

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