Ancestral Family Topic 1002

 1002   Thomas Finney (c.1710-1783)
Pedigree Chart 09

Thomas Finney, in his own words
If he could speak to us today, Thomas Finney might describe his life as follows.

A widower with two unmarried daughters in 1750, I agreed to give Benjamin Dickson half of all I owned at my death if he married Winifred.  Tabitha, I married off to James Boyce.
A very responsible citizen, I served on a jury in Halifax County in December 1752, only a few months after it was formed from Lunenburg County,  and every other Sunday, from 1752 to 1754, they conducted worship services in my home in Antrim Parish.  After our pastor, Rev. James Foulis, was fined for swearing and being drunk on Sunday, I assaulted him and used some profane oaths myself, for which I was fined. 
By 1774 I acquired 800 acres south of present-day Meadville, Halifax County, where I lived. 
In 1779 “for diverse good causes and for the service I have received from my granddaughter, Mary Boyce (now Farmer),” I gave her husband Frederick Farmer Jr. and my grandson Stephen Dickson some of my land on the Banister River. 
I was “aged and infirm in body, but of sound mind” when I made my will 20 November 1779 leaving my 422-acre plantation on the Banister River to my Stephen.
Any attorney would observe that my deed and will transferred my assets contrary to my agreement with Mr. Dickson. Yet in 1790 he was kind enough to acknowledge that by giving land to his son, I was as good as giving it to him. 

Thomas Finney was one of the earliest settlers of Halifax County. As early as 1748, he appeared next to James Boyce in that part of Lunenburg County that became Halifax County.  An adult daughter in 1750 suggests he was born, say 1710.
At the Sept. Court 1746 he registered an earmark,  and at the June Court 1752 Finney was appointed surveyor of the road from the falls of the Banister River to Terrible Creek.  He was apparently the Thomas Fenney who patented 115 acres on the north side of the Irwin River in Lunenburg County in 1756. 
Thomas Finney acquired a substantial amount of land along the north side of the Banister River in Halifax County: 280 acres in 1760, 800 acres in 1762, and 563 acres in 1774,  but disposed of 800 acres in 1764.  Thomas was still living in 1782 when his name appeared next to his grandson Stephen Dickson twice in the enumeration of that year, apparently because he had property in two sections of Halifax County. He then owned 9 slaves. 

His death
Finney lived another 3 years after he made his will, as it was not proved until 20 Feb. 1783. 

Rev. James Foulis
Finney had been overseeing the estate of Rev. James Foulis, a large landowner in Halifax County,  who had left the Colony in 1770.  Because Foulis had not returned by 1779, Finney’s will conveyed the obligation to Stephen Dickson and James McCraw. Foulis who received a Kings Bounty for Virginia 24 Jan. 1750/1 and was minister of Antrim Parish until 1759, “when tradition relates that he went away, nobody knew wither, and that he was not for a long time, if ever afterward, heard from again.”  He apparently went to South Carolina where he settled in Cheraw Hill, 1770, before leaving that colony in 1779. 
In Feb. 1783 3 citizens inventoried the estate of Thomas Finney, which included horses, cattle, household furniture, and plantation tools.  Stephen Dickson presented another inventory of James Fowlis, deceased, which included his slaves, 15 Sept. 1785.  His 1767 will was presented in 1792. 

Descendants of Thomas Finney
Information about the children of Thomas Finney, their descendants, and allied families previously found at is now available as Southside Virginia Genealogies. Learn more 
Names found in this topic include the following.
 Winifred (Finney) Dickson (c.1730-c.1770),  
Benjamin Dickson,   
 Tabitha (Finney) Boyce,  
James Boyce,  
John Boyce,  
Jesse Boyce,  
Mary Boyce,  Frederick Farmer Jr.,   
David Johnson,  Meads Anderson,   
Obedience Farmer,  Nipper Adams,   
Judith Farmer,  Harbard Nunnally,  
Sarah Farmer,  John Carter,  
Thomas Boyce,  

This topic, which represents .05% of all the family history material at, includes 49 citations and the names of 19 individuals.
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