1925 Biography - James Finny

Judge James Finny was a very prominent man in the early history of this section of the state. His name appears on the Cahokia records 1780, and on Randolph County records as early as 1806. He was the first county clerk of this county and seved till about 1830 or later. He was also recorder of deeds, and must have been a man of classical education. His writing of more than one hundred years ago, is neat and legible, and the records kept by him are in good form as long as he was in office. He was never married. David Finny of Pope County born 1833, says he was the grandson of Alexander Finny, a prominent educator of Virginia, who had seven sons, eight daughters, of which his father, Norman was one, and that Judge James Finny was Alexander Finny's brother. James Slack, grandson of John Finny said Judge James Finny was his great uncle, which would mean that Norman was one of Alexander's sons and John another. R. M. Finny of Kennet, Mo., says, it has always been his understanding, that Alexander Finny of Virginia was his grandfather, and gives as his father's brothers Greenville Penn (2), John (2), William (2), his father James M. (2), who was born 1817. R. M. Finny gives as his father’s sisters, Mary (Polly) (2), who married William Slack, Matilda (2) married David Penrod, another sister married a Mr. Penrod, another sister married Walton John Gore, still another married a Mr. Hooker. William and John Penrod were mentioned as buyers at the sale of the John Finny estate, 1837. John (2) married Sarah Reynolds and had Mary, who married William (see Slack). James M. (2) married Mary Ann Smith, born 1829 and had Matilda (3), Milinda (3), John Marshall (3), Jefferson G. (3), R. M. (3), Sarah Elizabeth (3), W. B. (3), Virginia M. (3), and Sample Parks (3), this family has all moved out of the county. R. M. is a successful business man of Kennet, Mo. and is well known in this and his community. Sally Finny entered land in this county 1837 and was the mother of John Finny.
Will of John Finny, October 24, 1836, I, John Finny, of the county of Johnson, being weak in body but sound mind and memory, do ordain and establish this to be my last will and testament, hereby revoking all others and I do hereby appoint Sally Finny, my mother to be the executrix of this, my last will and testament. This is my will that she will take all my family and let them live at her house, and that she will take all my property and spend it to raise my children, and my wife must work and help to raise my children, and she is to have her part with them, and if there is any more than it takes to raise them, I want her to let them have it when they become of age. William Slack, James M. Finny and Polly Slack, witnesses. In connection with this estate is an instrument signed by Polly Finny, wife of John Finny in which she renounces all claim to her husband's property and also a notice to Mary Ann, Lucinda, and William Finny, heirs of John P. Finny to appear at court in 1837. The estate of Green P. Finny who died in 1863, was administered on by John Slack. Rachel is given as the wife of Greenville P. and their children were William M., John M. and Gilbert.

Extracted 06 Feb 2017 by Norma Hass from 1925 A History of Johnson County, Illinois, by Mrs. P. T. Chapman, pages 376-377.

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