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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the Scottish Finley family come from? What is the Scottish Finley family crest and coat of arms? When did the Finley family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Finley family history?

The ancestors of the Finley family lived among the ancient Scottish Pictish tribes. The name Finley comes from the Gaelic Fionnlagh which is often Anglicized to fair hero.

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Spelling variations of this family name include: Findlay, Findlow, Findlaw, Finley, Finlay and others.

First found in Banffshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Bhanbh), former Scottish county located in the northeasterly Grampian region of Scotland, now of divided between the Council Areas of Moray and Aberdeenshire, where they were descended from the Chiefs of the Clan Farquharson, one of the great federation of 26 Clans, known as the Clan Chattan.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Finley research. Another 269 words(19 lines of text) covering the years 1480, 1547, 1629, and 1755 are included under the topic Early Finley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Finley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Finley family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 84 words(6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Finley Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Elizabeth Finley, who landed in Maryland in 1668

Finley Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Robert Finley, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1702
  • Michael Finley, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1734
  • John and Will Finley settled in Georgia in 1735
  • Patrick Finley, who landed in Virginia in 1753
  • John Finley settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1768


Finley Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Eliz Finley, aged 57, landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1803
  • Napthali Finley, who arrived in America in 1812
  • Eliza Finley, who arrived in New York, NY in 1836
  • Margt Finley, who landed in New York, NY in 1836
  • Louisa B Finley, who arrived in New York in 1843


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  • Charles O Finley (1918-1996), American businessman and former owner of the Oakland Athletics
  • James Finley (1762-1828), American civil engineer
  • Charles Edward "Chuck" Finley (b. 1962), American former Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher
  • Steven Allen Finley (b. 1965), American former Major League Baseball outfielder
  • Sirt Moses I. Finley FBA (1912-1986), American and English classical scholar, best known for his work is The Ancient Economy (1973)
  • Morris "Mo" Finley (b. 1981), American professional basketball player
  • Major-General Thomas Dewees Finley (1895-1984), American Commanding General XVI Corps (1945)
  • David Finley, Director, National Gallery of Art, Washington
  • Michael Douglas "Doug" Finley (1946-2013), Canadian Senator, Campaign Director for the Conservative Party of Canada during the 2006 and 2008 federal elections


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  • The Finley Clan, A Condensed Genealogy of the Finley Family at Home and Abroad by Herald Franklin Stout.
  • Our Book of Finleys and Their Kinfolk Families by Leslie McLaughlin.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Beati Pacifici
Motto Translation: Beati Pacifici

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  1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  2. Black, George F. The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3).
  3. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  4. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  5. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  6. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
  7. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  9. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  10. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  11. ...

The Finley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Finley Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 18 June 2014 at 13:51.

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