Descendancy of Finley (Finlay) Holmes (born 1802) Jr. - annotated

Compiled by Paul W. Holmes — gggrandson of Finley Holmes   —   updated: November 2017

Note on the name of Finley Holmes:  This Finley Holmes (born 1802) Jr. has erroneously been shown on the web with a middle name.  This Finley Holmes had no middle name.  There are no public documents, voting records, real estate transactions, wills (his will shows it as Finlay Holmes), or tombstones that show him with a middle name — as Vance or otherwise.  Likewise his son, Finley Holmes (born 1832), who was named for him has no middle name.
Finley Holmes

Born:  1802, March 24 in Columbia, SC

Died:  1884, September 24 at Plum Point, MS on the homestead of Valley Grove. Buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Memphis, TN

Father:  Finley Holmes (Sr.) (b. 1765, County Down, Ireland; d. 1815, Columbia, SC - buried in Fairfield County, SC) - arrived in America at Charleston, SC about 1785.

Mother:  Jane (Jenny/Jennie) Downs (Downes) Holmes (b. in SC; d. ~1835 in Talbot County, GA)

Siblings:   James Holmes (b. 1794, d. 1854),   William Holmes (b. 1797; d. probably died before his brother, William Thomas Holmes, was born),   Mary Catherine Holmes Bryan (b. 1800, d. 1862),   Robert Holmes (b. 1806, d. 1884),   William Thomas Holmes (b. 1810, d. 1888), another infant son.

Wife:  Emily Goodwyn Raines Holmes.   Emily and Finley were married on December 17, 1823, in Bibb County, GA.

Finley was a "hard shell" Baptist and Emily was a "blue stocking" Presbyterian.  They continued to live near Macon, GA, where young Finley acquired considerable farm lands.

In the year of 1836, Finley decided to sell his holdings in Georgia and to take his family further West into a recently-admitted state that was often referred to as "Mississippi Territory."   The previous move from South Carolina to Georgia in 1823 and now the move further West in 1836, from Georgia into Mississippi, seems to have been in keeping with a trend of the times; a general migration from the Carolinas to the states which lay further inland from the Atlantic.

Emily Goodwyn Raines

Valley Grove, Plum Point, MS     

Finley Holmes with his wife and children traveled the long journey by carriage with their household possessions following in wagons, drawn by oxen.  Upon their arrival in Mississippi, Finley bought several square miles of land that had been lands of the Chickasaw Indians and started the construction of his new home which was called Valley Grove (a house of Colonial design built between 1845 and 1852 on land located in DeSoto County, Mississippi near the Tennessee-Mississippi state line on Tchulahoma Road.  The main house is no longer standing, but the land is now just north of the Stateline Road in Mississippi!).

Finley and his wife, Emily, had a total of eleven [living] children.  Five were born in Georgia. Six were born at Valley Grove.

Narrative on the Children of Finley Holmes and Emily Holmes in PDF Format

In the years before the war, Finley Holmes had amassed a large acreage of prime Mississippi and Arkansas farmland and had become a successful farmer.  When he died at Valley Grove on March 24, 1884, at the age of 82, only one of his eleven children (Francis Holmes) was still at the old home.  At his death he left farmland at Dumas and Walnut Lake, AR to each of his five (living) sons.

Narrative of Life of Finley Holmes (born 1802) in PDF Format

 "   "  "  "  "  " 

Note: Plum Point, DeSoto County, MS was located just below the Tennessee-Mississippi state line on Tchulahoma Road - so called because there was a plum tree grove there.  In the early nineteen hundreds, there was a small general store which also housed the Post Office, a sign proclaimed the area as Plum Point, Mississippi. It was little more than a postal name, for this was countryside in every sense of the word, and houses were few and far between.

United States Federal Census data
(2004). Historical Census Browser. Retrieved [Date you accessed source], from the University of Virginia, Geospatial and Statistical Data Center:
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.
Beasley, Irene. (1973). AS I REMEMBER THEM ---. (Memoirs of the Holmes' family - printed for family distribution)

Comments or queries? email

Return to Names Directory

Search billions of records on