Descendancy of Finley Holmes (born 1765) - annotatedCompiled 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 1785 View old map of County Down
in northeast Ireland
Wife: Jane (or Jenny) Downs [or Downes] Holmes (b. in SC; d. ~1835 - Talbot County, GA).
- According to family history, Jenny Downs Holmes' maternal grandfather had served with the British regular army under King George III. His name was Lieutenant Guerry (or Guary). But Jenny's own father was a Major in the American army, a Major Downs [Downes].
During the battle of Kings Mountain, Jenny's grandfather was mortally wounded, or became mortally ill. Apparently he sent for his son-in-law (Jenny's father). Under Flag of Truce, Jenny's father was escorted through the British lines to the bedside of Lieutenant Guerry where he wrote and received the last will and testament of the elder man.
Jane and Finley married while she was in boarding school in Columbia, SC in ~1785. After her husband's death in 1815, she moved her family to Georgia, near Macon.
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.
- James Holmes (b. 1794 - Columbia, SC; d. 1854 - Talbot County, GA) - married Mary "Polly" Bryan Holmes, later married Jane O. Gaither Holmes. Children: by Polly: Sarah Bryan Holmes [Quinn] Carter (b. 1810, d. 1898), Narcissa Jane Holmes [Thorp] [Talton] Burke (b. 1815, d. 1859), David Monroe Holmes (b. 1818, d. 1855), William D. Holmes (b. ~1820), Finley David Holmes (b. ~1825, d. 1854). Children: by Jane O.: Oliver Skinner Holmes (b. 1851).
- William Holmes (b. 1797, June 24; d. probably very young).
- Mary Catherine Holmes Bryan (b. 1800, March 18, Columbia, SC; d. 1862, Talbot County, GA) - married David Bryan (b. 1791, d. 1864) from Washington County, GA. Children: John Hardy Bryan MD (b. 1818, d. 1886), David Finley Bryan (b. 1831, d. 1897), Jane Elizabeth Bryan Goulding (b. 1829, d. 1892), Robert Sylvanius Bryan (b. 1851, d. 1896), William Thomas Bryan (b. 1834, d. 1853), James Hamilton Bryan MD (b. 1836, d. 1898), Preston Holmes Bryan (b. 1839, d. 1859), Henry Monroe Bryan (b. 1842, d. 1816).
- Finley Holmes (Jr.) (b. 1802, March 24 in Columbia, SC; d. 1884, September 24 at Plum Point, MS on the homestead of Valley Grove), married Emily Goodwyn Raines Holmes . Children: Georgiana Jane Goodwin Holmes [Wood] Bott, Robert Raines Holmes, Alpheus Cadmus Holmes, Finley Holmes (III), Laurentius Holmes, Thomas A. Holmes, Francis Holmes, Abercrombie Holmes, Nathaniel Holmes, Marcia Elbertina Holmes [Treadwell] Beardsley, Winfield W. Holmes.
- Robert Holmes (b. 1806, April 28 in SC; d. 1884, February 27), never married.
- William Thomas Holmes (b. 1810, November 10 in Columbia, SC; d. 1888, August 28 at Bellevue, Talbot County, GA) - married Mary Lucinda Owen Holmes (b.1815, d. 1888) from Wilkes County, GA. Children: Sarah Jane Holmes Leonard (b. 1831, d. 1856), Daniel Owen Holmes (b. 1833, d. 1834), Frances Elizabeth "Fannie" Holmes Bryan (b. 1834, d. 1914), Mary Catherine "Kate" Holmes Clements (b. 1836, d. 1965), Martha Owen Holmes (b. 1838, d. 1839), Eugenia Isabella Holmes (b. 1840, d. 1844), Martha Dixon "Mattie" Holmes Gorman (b. 1842, d. 1903), Mildred Ann Holmes (b. 1843, d. 1844), William Thomas Holmes Jr. (b. 1845, d. 1928), Finley Owen Holmes (b. 1847, d. 1909), Robert Augustus Holmes (b. 1848, d. 1914), James Grant Holmes (b. 1850, d. 1851), Jane "Jennie" Downs Holmes (b. 1853, d. 1936), John Owen Holmes (b. 1855, d. 1916), Emma Isabella Holmes (b. 1857, d. 1909), another infant son.
- First Map of the City of Columbia, S.C. - 1786 - Shows Finley Holmes as original purchaser of land - eight city blocks and three lots (1/8 of a block each)
- Posted in the South Carolina Gazette - 1798 - Columbia, SC - Notice of a letter for Finley Holmes with postmaster
- 1810 Census Richland County SC - line 17 "Holmes Finlay"
- Deed for Land Purchase • 1810 Fairfield County SC - from Wade Hampton for 406 & 1/3 acres
- Deed for Land Purchase • 1811 Fairfield County SC - from John Morris for 59 & 1/3 acres
- Finley Holmes Cited in SC Supreme Court Case 1813
- Finley Inventory and Estate Holdings Upon His Death Richland District SC - 1815
- Probate Records Administration Papers, Petition Papers, Miscelanous Papers - Richland District SC - 1815, 1816
- Finley Holmes Estate Sale • 1816 Fairfield/Richland District SC - by Sheriff at Auction to Ainsley Hall for 474 acres
- Information on Finley Holmes (1765) in biography of Nathaniel Holmes in Goodspeed. (1890). Goodspeed's Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Southern Arkansas. Nashville: Goodspeed Publishing.
- Genealogy in Part, of the Anderson-Owen-Beall Families - 1909 on the history of Finley Holmes
- Find A Grave Memorial # 75125429
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 http://www.ken-shelton.com/Fairfield/Deeds/deeds.htm
Comments or queries? — email
Return to Names Directory
Census Records | Vital Records | Family Trees & Communities | Immigration Records | Military Records Directories & Member Lists | Family & Local Histories | Newspapers & Periodicals | Court, Land & Probate | Finding Aids