Facts and Events
Robert Finley was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
Early Land Acquisition in Augusta County, VA
Robert Finley's land (NM, 155 acres, 1754) as shown on the map meticulously drawn by J.R. Hildebrand, cartographer. This map is copyrighted©, used by permission of John Hildebrand, son of J.R. Hildebrand, April, 2009.
Acquisition of Land from Chalkley's:
Disposition of Land from Chalkley's:
Administration of Robert Finley's Estate
Records of Robert Finley in Augusta County, VA
From Chalkley’s Augusta County Records:
Information on Robert Finley
Probably a different Robert Finley in these transactions:
Page 709.--__ _____, 1750. John Finley, Gent., to William Finley, Gent., 298 acres on So. River in Beverley Manor; corner Robert Finley (his house), Charles Dolway's line, Mary, wife of John. Teste: Wm. Henderson, Robert Patrick, John Black.
Page 713.--__ ____, 1750. John Finley. Gent., to Robert Finley, Gent., 297 acres. In Beverley Manor on South River, corner Israel Christian; Charles Dolway's line; corner Wm. Finley; Manor line, near Robert's houses.
Carmen Finley's article on Robert and James Finley
ROBERT AND JAMES FINLEY OF AUGUSTA COUNTY, VA.
By Carmen J. Finley, Ph.D., C.G.
[Published in The American Genealogist, Vol. 66, No. 4, October 1991, pp. 239-246]
A previous paper demonstrated this principle by distinguishing between two George Finleys, both sons of a different John Finley (Carmen J. Finley, "The George Finleys of Augusta County, Va.," TAG 64 :216-225). The purpose of the present paper is to similarly define the lives of a Robert and a James Finley, brothers. Robert lived in Augusta Co. from the early 1750s until his death in the early 1760s. His brother, James, appeared in Augusta Co. to settle Robert's estate and moved on to Bedford Co., Va., about 1768. By accounting for them, it is possible to reduce the number of remaining records in Augusta Co. belonging to other Roberts and James Finleys.
The first record found for Robert Finley, merchant, was dated 15 August 1753, when he purchased three half acre lots in Staunton from Andrew Lewis and Robert McClenehan (Lyman Chalkley, Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta Co. . . . [Roslyn, Va., 1912], hereafter Chalkley, 3:316). For the next six years, he rented, leased, bought and sold property in and around Staunton (Chalkley, 3:323, 3:324, 3:338, 3:357, 3:359). He was variously referred to as "merchant," "of Staunton," and "King of Peddlers," in the Fee Books of 1754 (Chalkley, 2:398). His property was located in north central Beverley Manor very close to the border line and adjacent to properties of Felix Gilbert and William Preston, who are mentioned in his property descriptions (J.R. Hildebrand, "The Beverley Patent. 1736; including original grantees, 1738-1815 in Orange & Augusta Counties, Va.," map inserted in Howard M. Wilson, The Tinkling Spring. . .[Verona, Va., 1974]).
This Robert Finley died sometime prior to 16 Nov. 1763, for on that date, his brother, James, was appointed administrator of his estate (Chalkley, 1:110). Subsequent records involving the settlement of Robert's estate give a prior location and additional information about his brother, James. This information may eventually contribute to the task of unraveling other Finley relationships in Augusta Co.
RESIDENCE PRIOR TO AUGUSTA CO.
A key document in determining from whence the brothers Robert and James came was found in the settlement of Robert's estate in November 1766. Expenses had been allowed for traveling from Carlile (Carlisle, Cumberland Co., Pa.) in the amount of 2, 9d. (Chalkley, 3:96). Cumberland Co., Pa., records showed that on 28 April 1764, James Finley of Carlisle, administrator for Robert Finley, deceased, had sold to Samuel Rippey of Shippensburg, Cumberland Co., 500 acres in Guilford Twp., late the property of Robert Finley (Cumberland Co., LR 2A:227). Tax lists available for the years 1753, 1762, 1763 showed a James Finley living in Guilford Twp. (Merri Lou Schaumann, Cumberland County Tax Lists [Carlisle, Pa., 1974] pp. 18, 29, 39). He disappeared from Guilford tax lists after 1763 and in 1765 through 1767 James handles the appraisement and sale of Robert's estate in Augusta Co. (Chalkley, 3:89, 3:431, 3:437, 3:448, 3:454, 1:333, 1:348). One of the documents executed in the Spring of 1766 identified James and Agnes, his wife, as "of Staunton" at that time (Chalkley, 3:448). In another key document, executed in October 1765, John Finley acknowledged receipt of money from his father, James Finley, an inheritance of 24 from the estate of his "onckall," Robert Finley (Chalkley, 3:437).
Robert and James Finley, brothers from Cumberland Co., Pa., lived for a brief period of time in Augusta Co., Va. (early 1750s to late 1760s). Robert died in Augusta Co. prior to 16 Nov. 1763 and his brother, James and his wife, Agnes, moved from Cumberland Co., Pa. to Augusta Co. to settle Robert's estate. James and Agnes moved on to Bedford Co. about 1768. Their children included at least John Armour (eldest), and Elizabeth, and most likely David, Robert and Samuel. James died prior to 22 Aug. 1785. There is some indication that the family may have moved on to Ohio Co., (now West), Va. but more research needs to be done in that area to be confident of this move. James and Agnes of Bedford, John and Mary of Montgomery (now Wythe Co.) and John and Thankful of Augusta each had a son, David. Additionally, James and Agnes and John and Mary also had sons, Samuel. The primary purpose of this paper has been to help sort out the many Finleys who lived in Augusta Co. during the second half of the 18th century. Robert of Staunton and his brother, James, have now been accounted for.
Submitted by Carmen Finley <finleyc@SONOMA.EDU>