Category Archives: Finney

Joseph Finney & Sarah Lawrence, Early 1700s

Joseph Finney and Sarah Lawrence had two ties by marriage to my husband’s Thompson family. Sarah’s maiden name is undoubtedly the origin of the given name “Lawrence” entering the Thompson lines, too.

Little has been proven about Joseph’s origins. Joseph Finney was born c1680 and married (1) Rebecca Crispin, c1705. They became the parents of two daughters, Mary, born c1705, who married Charles Bell and Elizabeth, born c1707.

Rebecca died by 1710, perhaps giving birth to a third child, who also didn’t survive.

Joseph married (2) Sarah Lawrence, c1710. He became the father of six more children. Joseph reportedly died at Finney’s Ford, then part of  Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in April 1733.

I say reportedly because I haven’t found any will or administration of his estate in county records. I haven’t even found any land deeds for him.

In spite of the lack of primary records, there are numerous stories online detailing the founding of the town of Reading, Pennsylvania by sons of William Penn.

The site chosen for the town had been known as Finney’s Ford, home of – yep – Joseph and Sarah (Lawrence) Finney. In fact, the “Widow Finney’s house” is still standing today.

It is said that the house was built on the 150 acre tract of land first owned by Samuel Finney, said to be the father of Joseph Finney.

Given that the land information and details about the life of Samuel Finney all come from one book that I still haven’t been able to access, I won’t repeat further details until I can verify sources.

Children of Joseph and Sarah Finney:

1. Samuel, born c1713
2. Ann, born c1715; married Thomas Thompson and removed to Orange County, North Carolina by the 1750s
3. Rebecca, born c1717; married James Hart and removed to Orange County, North Carolina
4. Joseph, born c1719; reportedly died in 1730
5. John, born c1721
6. Sarah, born c1723: married Lawrence Thompson and removed to Orange County, North Carolina

After Joseph died, it is said that Sarah was left with at least five minor children and that Joseph Jr. had predeceased his father.

If you are related to this family, have documented sources to support any of this information and are willing to share, I’d very much appreciate it.