Family Story as Related by

Edith Jane FINNAMORE

Born 1887 in Barony, New Brunswick

Edith is my paternal grandfather's first cousin

                   Charles & Betsy (WHITE)                        
                              |                                   
                    Isaac & Susan (WHITE)                         
                             / \                                  
Charles W. & Melissa (LAWSON)   John Henry & Fannie (McCRAE)      
               |                              |                   
          Edith Jane         John William, Sr. & Alice (LINDVALL) 
                                              |                   
                             John William, Jr. & Nancy (FLEMING)  
                                              |                   
                                          David John              

See a photo of her with her nephew, Allan FINNAMORE (her brother Bert's son).

Sometime presumably between 1950 and 1978, Edith gave a brief rendition of her family story to a Dr. Lillian Maxwell for the Genealogical Scrapbook of Southern Victoria Co. 1978 Historical Project, as best I understand the situation presently. The document is stored in Dr. Lillian Maxwell's Collection, MC167 Archives, UNB Fredericton, NB. If Edith was still living in 1978, she would have been 91 years old. Unfortunately, the hand writing is difficult to read; it's filled with abbreviations and cryptic language. Her story doesn't quite add up at every point, but it offers some tantalizing details, and it may help connect some otherwise vague points.

So Hardy Boys and Nancy Drews, lets get out our magnifying glasses and put on our thinking caps. There's mystery afoot.

The Case of the Maxwell's Cryptography

Allowing for some uncertain signs and necessary inference, it reads something like this:

Finnamore Family, by Edith Finnamore
d. of Chas F.
Fa's gt. gd. fa Isaac Finnamore came fr the N of Ireland, a place c'lld Finamore's (Fenamore) Crossing, & setl. in U.S.A. at time of Rev. fa's gd. fa Chas F came to Can wit the Empire Lt's & setl. in F'ton, blding a h. (carpenter) wh still stands behind the jail in F'ton. He had 10 chln 6 boys & 4 girls, who all d. when yg exc 4. Fa's fa Isaac F was the 1st bn in F'ton.
Fa's Gd-fa Chas F had 2 bro's Abraham & Jas both soldiers who went to ?? in 1812 but returned & both died in Prince Wm leaving no family. His sister md Judge Allen in F'ton but d soon after they were md. Richard F also lived a Marysville, was a cousin is fa's father.

Valerie FINNAMORE of Fredericton, N. B. found it in the Woodstock library in May 1998, and interpretted it thus:

"Finnamore Family" was written by Edith Finnamore,
daughter of Charles Finnamore.
Father's great grandfather Isaac Finnamore came from the North of Ireland, a place called Finamore (Fenamore) Crossing, & settled in U.S.A. at time of Revolution.
Father's grandfather Charles F. came to Canada with the Empire Loyalists & settled in Fredericton, building a house (carpenter) which still stands behind the jail in Fredericton. He had 10 children (6 boys & 4 girls) who all died when young except 4.
Father's father Isaac F. was the first born in Fredericton.
Father's grandfather Charles F. had 2 brothers Abraham & James both brothers who went to Ireland in 1812 but returned & both died in Prince William leaving no family. His sister married Judge Allen in Fredericton but died soon after they were married. Richard Finnamore also lived at Marysville, was a cousin is (of) father's father.

This must have taken her some time to decode, and it's probably a highly accurate rendition. David observes:

Thus:

"Finnamore Family" [statement given] by Edith Finnamore,
daughter of Charles [W.] Finnamore[, born 1856].
Father's great grandfather Isaac Finnamore came from the North of Ireland, a place called Finamore's ([possibly spelled] Fenamore['s]) Crossing, & settled in U.S.A. at [the] time of [the American] Revolution.
Father's grandfather Charles F[innamore] came to Canada with the Empire Loyalists & settled in Fredericton, building a house ([he was a] carpenter) which still stands behind the jail in Fredericton. He had 10 children (6 boys & 4 girls) who all died when young except 4.
Father's father Isaac F[innamore] was the first [of Charles' children to be] born in Fredericton.
Father's grandfather Charles Finnamore had 2 brothers, Abraham & James, both soldiers who went to Quebec in [the War of] 1812, but returned; & both died in Prince William, leaving no family. His sister married Judge Allen in Fredericton but died soon after they were married. Richard Finnamore also lived at Marysville; [he] was a cousin [of] father's father [Isaac].

The Charles whom she refers to as "Father's grandfather" must be the one who married Elizabeth, even though she equates him with the Charles that fought as a Loyalist soldier in the American Revolution (or could "came with" mean only that he came along as the young son of a soldier? But Isaac is not listed in the Loyalist muster rolls.). I know of four of Charles and Elizabeth's children who survived to adulthood, two boys and two girls: Isaac, William, Elizabeth, and Mary Ann, all of whom married. That confirms my earlier guess that George and Alexander died young. Data compiled by Stanley Corey indicate that Christ Church, Fredericton baptismal records show Charles and Elizabeth to have baptized James (the day after his birth) and Edwin (presumably as an infant) in 1843 and 1847, respectively. That comes to eight kids.

It's curious that Isaac is said to be "the first born in Fredericton," implying that at least one child had been born to Charles and Elizabeth prior to their move to Fredericton. A GenCircles document has Richard, first child of Charles and Elizabeth, born 1829; also a Julia born 1842. Checking the linked docs makes it clear this is our Charles and Elizabeth. That makes ten!

A diffulty arises from Edith's indication that neither of her great-grandfather Charles' (herein named) brothers left progeny, yet his son Isaac had a cousin, Richard. If Richard was a first cousin, as Edith believed, then either Abraham or James did leave family (namely, a son, Richard), or Charles had at least one other brother who did, but whose identity(s) Edith was uncertain of or forgot to give. Two Abrahams are known of, both with children. However, there was a James who married Col. Isaac Allen's oldest daughter Elizabeth when she was "late in life," and had no children. That would fit Edith's description. The reference to Prince William is puzzling. There was an Abraham in Pr. Wm. But James lived on, farmed, and payed a mortgage on a part of Isaac Allen's estate on the North side of Fredericton.

The Case of the Mysterious Charles

There was a Charles FINNAMORE listed in the Muster Roll of Captain Daniel COZENís Company in the 3rd Battalion, New Jersey Volunteers - Fort Ninety Six, February 23rd, 1781. And that company was evacuated to New Brunswick in 1783. There is a record of a Charles FINNAMORE, Loyalist soldier, requesting a land grant in New Brunswick at that time.

Unfortunately, the Charles F. that Edith refers to as her father's grandfather is not very likely the one who fought with the Loyalists in the American Revolution. A man who was in the Loyalist army in 1781 would have to have been at least, say, 16 years old at that time, bare minimum, probably in his early twenties. That would put his birth prior to 1765. But Charles and Elizabeth continued to have children through at least 1849, by which time the Loyalist soldier Charles FINNAMORE would have been over 84 years old, probably over 90! Further, according to information compiled by Stanley Corey, the Loyalist soldier Charles FINNAMORE stated in a 1799 memorial that he had nine children at that time; whereas Charles and Elizabeth's children are recorded as having been born beginning in the late 1820s or early 1830s.

So it appears nearly certain that Edith either inadvertently skipped a generation, or her story is more supposition than fact. My guess is that her great-grandfather Charles was the son of the Charles who fought in the Revolutionary war (he had at least five sons). On the other hand, it cannot be completely ruled out that the two are the same Charles; it's remotely possible that he had nine or more children by a previous wife, plus the six to ten by Elizabeth, continuing well into his 80s or 90s (consider the case of Senator Strom Thurmon of South Carolina). But certainly such a remarkable acheivement would have resounded in family and community stories for generations! And it conflicts with Edith's testimony that Charles had only ten children. Surely would be nice to find hard evidence one way or the other.

Will the real Charles FINNAMORE please stand up? No, no, just kidding!

The Case of the Missing Crossing

As to "the North of Ireland, a place called Finamore (Fenamore) Crossing," I have found no such place via internet research.

Most of the FINNAMOREs in Ireland seem to reside in County Offaly and the surrounding counties. According to Genealogy Of The Family Of Phillimore by W. P. W. Phillimore, The Irish FINNAMOREs are descended from two brothers who fought for Oliver Cromwell, and they settled in Kings County (now called Offaly) and Wicklow County. There is a pair of lakes called Finnamore's Lakes in County Offaly's Lough Boora Parklands; they were created in 1996 by filling mined-out peat bogs. Is the Offaly/Kings county area, in the Leinster Midlands, far enough north to have been colloquially considered "the North of Ireland" in the 18th century? Or should the phrase be taken to indicate Ulster only?

map of Ireland counties

This page is designed to open in a separate window from summary.htm, which is part of David FINNAMORE's Genealogy Site.

May 2002
David J. Finnamore
Orlando, FL, USA
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