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

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

The name Finney originally appeared in Gaelic as O Fiannaidhe. This name, which was O Feinneadha in its earlier form, refers to a soldier.


During the Middle Ages, a standardized literary language known by the general population of Ireland was a thing of fiction. When a person's name was recorded by one of the few literate scribes, it was up that particular scribe to decide how to spell an individual's name. So a person could have several spelling variations of his name recorded during a single lifetime. Research into the name Finney revealed many variations, including Finney, Feeney, Finnay, Finny, Fynnie, Fynney, Feenay, Feeny, Feaney, Feanay, Feany and many more.

First found in Galway (Irish: Gaillimh) part of the province of Connacht, located on the west coast of the Island, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, and where their territories were Ballyfeeney and in Roscommon. Moving north into Ulster the name became Finney. This branch also moved into southwest Scotland from about the 15th century.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Finney research. Another 415 words(30 lines of text) covering the years 1509, 1541, 1551, 1640, and 1678 are included under the topic Early Finney History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


A massive wave of Irish immigrants hit North America during the 19th century. Although many early Irish immigrants made a carefully planned decision to leave left Ireland for the promise of free land, by the 1840s immigrants were fleeing a famine stricken land in desperation. The condition of Ireland during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s can be attributed to a rapidly expanding population and English imperial policies. Those Irish families that arrived in North America were essential to its rapid social, industial, and economic development. Passenger and immigration lists have revealed a number of early Irish immigrants bearing the name Finney:

Finney Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • William Finney, who arrived in Maryland in 1671
  • Robert Finney, who landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1687
  • Mary Finney, who landed in Virginia in 1695

Finney Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Robert Finney purchased land in Virginia in 1716
  • Robert Finney settled in Virginia in 1716
  • John Finney landed in Maryland in 1774

Finney Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Patrick Finney, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • Ellen Finney settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1840
  • W W Finney, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • C Finney, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851


  • Jack Finney (1911-1995), American author, best known for his thriller The Body Snatchers which was the basis for the 1956 movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers
  • Charles Grandison Finney (1792-1792), American leader in the Second Great Awakening, often referred to as The Father of Modern Revivalism
  • Lynn Carol "Nikky" Finney (1957-2011), American poet, recipient of the 2011 National Book Award
  • Ben Rudolph Finney (b. 1933), American anthropologist
  • Charles Grandison Finney (1905-1984), American fantasy novelist and newspaperman, winner of the Most Original Book of 1935
  • Albert Finney (b. 1936), five-time Academy Award-nominated English actor and director
  • Sir Thomas "Tom" Finney CBE (1922-2014), English footballer who played for the England National Team (1946-1958), President of Kendal Town
  • Lance-Corporal Christopher Finney GC (b. 1984), British soldier awarded the George Cross for bravery under friendly fire during the 2003 invasion of Iraq
  • James "Jim" Finney (1924-2008), English football referee, active during the 1960s and 1970s
  • Charles William Thomas "Bill" Finney (b. 1931), former English footballer from Stoke-on-Trent



  • Rachel Barkely's Children: A History of the Finney Families (Southern Branch) by Edan B. Reece.
  • Cates-Hess-Phinney and Allied Lines by Florence Cates.

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  1. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  2. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  3. Sullivan, Sir Edward. The Book of Kells 3rd Edition. New York: Crescent Books, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-517-61987-3).
  4. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  5. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  8. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  10. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  11. ...

The Finney Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Finney 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 1 October 2014 at 17:53.

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