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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


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

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The surname Finney was 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.

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.


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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.

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

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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 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 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 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

Finney Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Mr. Peter Finney U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784
  • Mr. Peter Finney U.E. who settled in Osnabruck [South Stormont], Stormont County, Ontario c. 1786 he served in the Royal Regiment of New York

Finney Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Jacob Finney, who arrived in Canada in 1834

Finney Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • John Finney arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Constitution" in 1851
  • John Finney, English convict from Yorkshire, who was transported aboard the "Adelaide" on April 16, 1855, settling in Western Australia

Finney Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Alexander Finney, aged 35, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Assaye" in 1874
  • Phynia Finney, aged 35, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Assaye" in 1874
  • Mary Finney, aged 12, a servant, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Assaye" in 1874
  • Annie Finney, aged 18, a servant, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Assaye" in 1874

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  • Willard Finney, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Virginia, 1980
  • Tal C. Finney, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1996
  • Seldon J. Finney, American politician, Member of California State Assembly 8th District, 1869-71
  • Noble H. Finney, American politician, Member of Michigan State House of Representatives from Ionia District, 1839
  • Robert H. Finney, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kansas, 1964
  • John Finney, American politician, Presidential Elector for Wisconsin, 1888
  • Joan Finney (1925-2001), American politician, Representative from Kansas, 1972; Kansas State Treasurer, 1975-91; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Kansas, 1984, 2000; Governor of Kansas, 1991-95
  • John Finney, American politician, Member of Nebraska Territorial House of Representatives, 1857; Delegate to Nebraska State Constitutional Convention, 1864
  • Jervis Spencer Finney, American Republican politician, Member of Maryland State Senate District 13-C; elected 1966, 1970; U.S. Attorney for Maryland, 1975-78
  • Jared W. Finney, American politician, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, 1894, 1898

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  • 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. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  2. 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).
  3. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  4. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  5. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  8. 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.
  9. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  10. MacLysaght, Edward. Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7).
  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 13 January 2016 at 14:21.

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