This John Finley, who lived on South River, was one of two John Finleys found in Augusta County, Virginia, in the late 1730s. He was very active in the founding of Tinkling Springs, one of the first Presbyterian Churches in the Shenandoah Valley, having served as one of the first Commissioners of the church, and as an Elder for many years. He should not be confused with another John Finley and his wife, Thankful Doak, who lived on Middle River, about fifteen miles away. Several publications have been written about this John Finley who lived on South River. These include "John and Mary Finley of Montgomery (Wythe) County, Virginia," published in The Virginia Genealogist in 1990; "John Finley of Montgomery (Wythe) County, Virginia: Additional Children Identified," published in The Virginia Genealogist in 1995; "The John Finleys of Augusta County, Virginia: Correcting the Record," published in The Virginia Genealogist in 2002; and The Finleys of Early Sonoma County, California, published by Heritage Books, Inc. in 1997. The latter includes a chapter on John Finley and Thankful Doak.
Please be aware this is a working report and not everything is formally documented. However, many sources are given in the notes. In addition, the above cited periodical items can be found, along with much other Finley information online in the Finley Genealogy Collection at Sonoma State Univeristy, Sonoma County, California.
Carmen J. Finley, Ph.D., CG
4820 Rockridge Lane
Santa Rosa, CA 95404
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