Descendancy of Finley Holmes (born 1765) - annotated

Compiled by Paul W. Holmes ggggrandson of Finley Holmes     updated: April 2017

Finley (Finlay) Holmes

Born: 1765 County Down, Ireland (in the Ulster-Scots region of Ireland) 
Died: 1815 Columbia, SC or on his plantation, Fairfield SC - before June 17 
Arrived in America about 1785View old map of County Down
in northeast Ireland

Wife: Jane (or Jenny) Downs [or Downes] Holmes (b. in SC; d. ~1835 - Talbot County, GA).

Just after the American Revolution, this first Finley Holmes came to America. His cousin, William Holmes (b. in Ireland; d. 1799 in Fairfield County, SC), came with him. Both were young men, and they landed at the port of Charleston, South Carolina - soon thereafter, traveling inland to the Richland Territory where the proposed city of Columbia was to be located. The first map of the yet to be incorporated city of Columbia, SC shows the names of the original purchasers of land there — two adjacent lots on Blossom Street and one lot on Devine Street - all between Assembly Street and Richardson Street (now Main Street) and several whole blocks (8) in the southwest part of the new city were held by Finley Holmes. These lots were sold in a sale held in Charleston, September 26-27 in 1786 and in Columbia on November 10, 1786.

Finley amassed considerable wealth before his death near Columbia in 1815. He owned land in Columbia (Richland District) and in what is now known as Fairfield County, SC; and in 1810 and 1811, there are records that show that five years before his death Finley was still acquiring land in Fairfield County near the mouth of the Terrible Creek which feeds into the Broad River. His plantation could be near these lands. The exact location of the home site remains unknown.

Finley died at his plantation (west of Winnsboro in Fairfield County SC) about 25 miles (north) out of Columbia, SC and is buried there or in Columbia. Reports have it that burial records and the grave site itself were destroyed during the Civil War.

To Finley and Jenny Downs there were born six children.



United States Federal Census data
Family Records, unpublished records of the Holmes family - correspondence, Bibles, interviews, etc. " 
Newspaper accounts of weddings and deaths, and other public documents for wills, land transfers, etc.
Anderson, G. J. (1909). Genealogy in part, of the Anderson-Owen-Beall Families. Richmond, VA: Whittet & Shepperson.
Beasley, Irene. (1973). AS I REMEMBER THEM ---. (Memoirs of the Holmes' family - printed for family distribution).
Property deed records and property related matters recorded by Fairfield District/County Clerks Office were provided by Ken Shelton in association with the Fairfield County Historical Museum, the Fairfield County Library, and the Fairfield County Genealogy Society —  see
Comments or queries? email

Return to Names Directory

Search billions of records on