Finney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the Finney family

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.

Early History of the Finney family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Finney research. Another 98 words (7 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 and printed products wherever possible.

Finney Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Finney family (pre 1700)

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


United States Finney migration to the United States +

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 [1]
  • Robert Finney, who landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1687 [1]
  • Mary Finney, who landed in Virginia in 1695 [1]
Finney Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Robert Finney purchased land in Virginia in 1716
  • Robert Finney, who settled in Virginia in 1716
  • John Finney, who landed in Maryland in 1774
Finney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Finney, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [1]
  • Ellen Finney, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1840
  • W W Finney, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [1]
  • C Finney, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [1]

Canada Finney migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Finney Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Peter Finney U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [2]
  • 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 [2]
Finney Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Jacob Finney, who arrived in Canada in 1834

Australia Finney migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Finney Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Edward Hierom Finney who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Bengal Merchant" on 4th August 1836, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [3]
  • John Finney, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Constitution" in 1851 [4]
  • John Finney, English convict from Yorkshire, who was transported aboard the "Adelaide" on April 16, 1855, settling in Western Australia [5]

New Zealand Finney migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Finney Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Finney, American settler travelling from Honolulu aboard the ship "Nebraska" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 16th November 1872 [6]
  • Child Finney, American settler travelling from Honolulu aboard the ship "Nebraska" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 16th November 1872 [6]
  • Alexander Finney, aged 35, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Assaye" in 1874
  • Phynia Finney, aged 35, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Assaye" in 1874
  • Mary Finney, aged 12, a servant, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Assaye" in 1874
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Finney (post 1700) +

  • Albert Finney (1936-2019), five-time Academy Award-nominated English actor and director
  • Rev. Leon Dorsey Finney Jr. (1938-2020), American minister, community organizer and businessman
  • Ernest Adolphus Finney Jr. (1931-2017), first African-American Supreme Court Justice, Chief Justice of South Carolina (1994-2000)
  • Ben Rudolph Finney (1933-2017), American anthropologist
  • Charles Grandison Finney (1905-1984), American fantasy novelist and newspaperman, winner of the Most Original Book of 1935
  • Lynn Carol "Nikky" Finney (1957-2011), American poet, recipient of the 2011 National Book Award
  • Charles Grandison Finney (1792-1792), American leader in the Second Great Awakening, often referred to as The Father of Modern Revivalism
  • 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
  • George E. Finney, American Democrat politician, Postmaster at Columbus, Indiana, 1886-89 [7]
  • Frank E. Finney, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Indiana, 1940 [7]
  • ... (Another 27 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


Suggested Readings for the name Finney +

  • 1827 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.

  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  2. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bengal-merchant
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) CONSTITUTION 1851. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Constitution.htm
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 17) Adelaide voyage to Western Australia, Australia in 1855 with 261 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/adelaide/1855
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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