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Finch Families

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Alternate Spellings - none found

Links - Bear, Boyd, Willits (Newton) and (Milton), Emerson, Noble, Honeyman, Ives, Lewis, Long, Martin, Muhlenberg, Rader, Smith, Pullen, Gibson, Wolfe, Poffenbarger, Fleming

Contacts - Paula Nevels of Mercer County is a descendant of David and Catharine Rader Finch. She furnished a photo of Drusilla Finch Green. Don Finch is also a descendant of David and Catharine Rader Finch and thanks to him we have done more census research and as a result have made some corrections to Milton and Elizabeth Finch data below. Jackie Kloppenborg is a descendant of George and Sarah Farnham Smith, whose daughter Jennie married James Finch.

References - Various census records for Mercer County, Illinois Marriage records, Finch-Neff Bible Records (see Bear Bible in Bibliography), Noble/Rader History (see author Danford in the Bibliography)

Milton and Elizabeth Finch

Milton (probably Millington) Finch and wife Elizabeth seem to be the progenitors of the Mercer County Finch families. They are found in Township 14N Range 5W (future New Boston Township) in 1850: Milton Finch, farmer, age 78, born North Carolina; Elizabeth Finch, age 76, born North Carolina. Thanks to a contact from descendant Don Finch, we have searched through census and other records and believe this was actually Millington Finch, son of John and Mary Williamson Finch, and named for his grandmother Margaret Millington Finch of Virginia.

Millington Finch married Elizabeth (Betsey) Harvel on 19 January 1807 in Surry County, North Carolina, bondsman Jesse Patterson. The numerous Milton Finches found in early census records seem to be connected with New England while none are found in the southern states. Millington Finch is found in North Carolina in the 1820 census records. In 1820 Millington and Elizabeth are found in Surry County, North Carolina, with 4 male children under 10 and 1 female under 10. Both are shown to be between ages 26 and 45.

In 1840 they are found in Stoney Creek Township in Henry County, Indiana with only one male, age 20-30 still at home. This may have been David Finch as he is not definitively found in Mercer County until his marriage in December of 1840. Next door to them in Henry County was son John Finch, age 20-30, wife age 20-30 and 1 male under 5, 2 females under 5. John Finch is still living in Stoney Creek Township in Henry County, Indiana in the 1880 census, age 63, born NC, parents born NC; wife Mariah, 46, born In, parents born Ky; Laura, 24, born In; Clayton, 2, born Indiana.

Pettis Finch appears to be the son of Millington and Elizabeth, born in North Carolina, and preceded them to Mercer County, where Pettis is found in the 1840 census. It is not entirely clear whether David Finch was their son or not, as David was born in Alabama and in the 1880 census gives his parents as born in Tennessee. Both Pettis and David are consistently given in the census records as born in 1818. It is clear that the families of David and Pettis were very close, as they lived very near each other in New Boston Township in 1850 and next door in 1870. Don Finch definitely believes that David is the son of Millington and Betsey Harvel Finch and follows family records which give David as born 1823.

The Finch-Neff Bible records do not shed any light as they deal with the Pettis Finch family, although they do reference a 1914 History of Mercer County [Past and Present of Mercer County, 1914] which calls David brother of Pettis. The Bible records were copied in 1929 from Bibles in the possession of Mrs. Walter Finch (Mary Neff Finch). No information is given as to the publication date of the Bibles (this is important as it would tell us whether records were entered as they occurred or whether they were written in much later from memory and thereby subject to error.)

Milton and Elizabeth also had a daughter Miranda who married Sampson A. Tenny in Mercer County on 3/2/1843. She was with brother Pettis in the 1840 census (female age 15-20). We have nothing further on Miranda's family.

There is some evidence that Millington Finch may have gone by the name "Milton" since descendants named children "Milton". Milton/Millington Finch and wife Elizabeth are not found in Mercer County in 1860. According to Don Finch they died and are buried in Blountsville, Indiana, so it is likely they returned to Indiana where their son John was living.

Pettis Finch Family

Pettis and Mariah Jenkins Finch

Pettis Finch was born August 12, 1818 in North Carolina. He lived out his life in Mercer County and died there January 28, 1887. He and his three wives [Mariah Jenkins, Esther Rader, and Catharine Wolfe Neff] are buried together in New Boston Cemetery.

Pettis Finch married Mariah F. Jenkins on 10/5/1837 in Mercer County. Her marriage record is as Maria Jinkins but the Bible record is as Mariah Jenkins. She was born November 13, 1819 and died December 17, 1848. Pettis and Mariah are found in the 1840 census in Township 14N, Range 5W: 1 male 20-30 [Pettis], 1 female 30-40 [Mariah marked in the wrong age column], 1 female 15-20 [probably Miranda, sister of Pettis], 2 females 5-10 [also in the wrong age column - Sarah and one unknown]. Pettis's occupation is given as trader.

Pettis and Mariah Jenkins Finch had children: Sarah Jane Finch, born 5/13/1838; probably another who died per 1840 census; Phoebe A. Finch, born 7/17/1841; Milton Finch, born 8/14/1845; and James W. Finch, born 12/4/1848, and died in infancy. Note that Mariah died shortly after James was born, probably of "childbed fever."

Daughter Sarah Jane Finch married William Lewis on 10/30/1856 in Mercer County. The Bible gives a marriage for her first to an unknown Allison but her marriage record to William is as "Sarah Jane Finch." William was born 4/25/1832 in Wayne County, Indiana. They had a son Levi Lewis born 3/25/1859 in Mercer County, who married Lavina H. Willits, daughter of Milton and Sarah Willits, on 1/8/1880 in Mercer County. There is considerably more information about William Lewis on the Willits page. William is found in New Boston Township in 1870: William Lewis, age 37, farmer, born Indiana; Sarah Jane, 32, born Il; Levi, 13, born Il; LeGrand Ellis, 20, farm laborer, born Ohio. In 1880 Levi's new wife Lavina had joined the family.

Daughter Phebe A. Finch married (1) George Alvin Willits, son of Newton and Mary Rader Willits, on 3/7/1861 in Mercer County. George was born about 1838 and died before 1877. She married (2) Widower James Pullen on 3/22/1877 in Mercer County. Phebe and George Willits had children: Kate Willits, born 9/1/1861, died 12/8/1863; Harry Willits, born 4/13/1863, died 8/16/1864; Jennie Willits, born about 1865; and Nettie Willits, born about 1868. James aaand Phebe are found in the 1880 census: James Pullen, farmer, age 52, born Virginia, parents born Virginia; Phoebe, 38, born Il (parents birthplaces not given; Cora Pullen, 17, born Il; Britt Pullen, 11, born Il; Jennie Pullen, stepdaughter, 14, born Il; Mirtie Pullen, stepdaughter, age 11, born Illinois. Note that Jennie and Nettie [Mirtie] have taken the Pullen name. Cora and Britt were children of James and his first wife.

Son Milton Finch (named for his grandfather) was born 8/14/1845 in Mercer County. He married Viola Gibson, daughter of James and Polly Gibson, on 10/22/1862 in Mercer County (we will be putting up a Gibson page). Milton was living next door to David and Pettis Finch in the 1870 census in New Boston Township. They have two children: Eva, born about 1867 and Louisa, born about 1869. Terri Nielsen, a Gibson researcher, kindly sent us census information in Kansas on Milton and Viola Finch: 1880 Allen County, Kansas, Milton Finch, 34, farmer; Viola Finch, 33; Eva Finch, 13; Louisa Finch, 11. In 1900 Milton was working as a drayman in Chanute, Ward 3, Neosho County, Kansas. The two girls are not at home and were probably married.

Pettis and Esther Rader Finch

Pettis Finch married Esther Rader, daughter of Abraham and Catharine Beam Rader, on 4/28/1849 in Mercer County, Illinois. Esther was born 1/17/1827 in Rockingham County, Virginia, and died 6/11/1860 in Mercer County. Pettis and Esther Rader Finch had six children: Walter Pryne Finch, born 3/4/1850; Melville Danford Finch, born 8/23/1851; Mariah Frances Finch, born 8/1/1853; Warren S. Finch, born 9/14/1855; Amanda Vanwinkle Finch, born 10/3/1857; and Esther Finch born 5/11/1860. Again note that Esther died within a month of the birth of her daughter; probably with "childbed fever."

Son Walter Pryne Finch (named for a neighbor, Walter Pryne) married Mary Catherine Neff, daughter of Christian and Catharine Wolfe Neff, on 4/1/1871 in Mercer County, Illinois (see Wolfe page for more on the Neff family.) Mary Catharine is the one who had the Finch-Neff Bibles in her possession in 1929. According to the Noble/Rader History Mary Catharine was born 10/4/1855 and died 7/3/1839 in Mercer County. The 1900 census gives her birthdate as October 1854.

Walter and family lived on a farm one half mile due south of the old Prouty School District (see NE Section 28 on the New Boston Township plat).’ Walter and Mary Neff Finch had children: Clair, born 1873, died 3/8/1873; Grace, born 4/5/1874; Arthur, born 3/7/1876; Howard, born 2/5/1879 (1900 census says March 1879). Grace married Rev. Warren Sedgwick Wlech on 5/17/1893; Arthur married Jessie Sanders 11/12/1898, and Howard married Anna Narin 6/6/1906. There is more on descendants in the Noble/Rader History but we will not include them here as it will get too close to living relatives.

The 1900 census is curious. Walter and Mary are living next door to James Monroe Finch, son of David Finch, and the census record seems to indicate that Walter is also a son of David. Perhaps the information was given by the family of James and they simply assumed that the information for Walter's parents was the same as their own. This could also account for the birth dates of Mary and Howard differing from Bible records. Walter Finch, merchant (general store), born March 1850, Il, father born Tennessee, mother born Virginia; Mary, born October 1854, Indiana, parents born Pennsylvania; 4 children born, 3 living; Howard, born March, 1879; Bertha Jones, servant. The 1880 census gives his parents correctly: Walter Finch, 30, born Il, father born NC, mother born Va; Mary, 26, born In, parents born In; Gracie, 6, born Il; Arthur, 4, born Il; Howard, 1, born Il; Anna Neff (sister of Mary), age 22, born In.

Son Melville Danford Finch, married Almeda Brundage on 10/22/1879 in Marshall, Iowa. Melville died in 1924 in Sheldon, Iowa, and Almeda died in 1937 in Sheldon. Their children were all born in Iowa and are given in the Noble/Rader History: George, Nellie, Pettis, Harry, Melville, Jr. The Noble/Rader History was written by a son of Melville Danford who was probably the namesake of Melville Danford Finch.

Daughter Mariah Frances Finch was probably named for Pettis's first wife Mariah F. Jenkins. It was not at all unusual for a child of a second wife to be named after the first wife. It was a token of respect. Mariah Finch married (1) Sylvester Fleming on 3/20/1873 in Mercer County, and second Frank Poffenbarger in 1917. We will be putting up a Fleming page (the children of Mariah and Sylvester are given in the Noble/Rader History as John, Harley, and Lane).

Sylvester and Francis are found in New Boston in the 1880 census: Sylvester, farmer, 41, born In; Francis, 16, born Il; Effie, 19, born Il; Elsey, 16, born Il, R [Roxie], 13, born Il; John P., 6, born Il; Harley, 3, born Il. Only the last two children belong to Francis Finch Fleming. In addition to the large family there is a farm worker, Leonard Brown, age 21, and a schoolteacher, Mary Somers, 24, living with the family. Sylvester and "Fanny" are found in the 1900 census in New Boston Township: Sylvester Fleming, born May 1839, Indiana, City Marshall, parents born Virginia; Fanny, born August 1854, Ill, father born North Carolina, mother born Indiana; Lane, son, born December 1883, day laborer. Next door is son John: John Fleming, born December 1873, Illinois, time keeper; Maude [Baner], born Dec 1875, Il, parents born Iowa; Daryl, born July 1896; Freddie, born January 1898.

Son Warren Shedd Finch was named for a popular teacher in Mercer County named Warren Shedd (see schools page). He married Alma T. Emerson, daughter of James and Harriett Emerson, on 8/23/1880. The first five of their children died young from typhoid. The others were Delphia, Dorston, Waldo, and Vera. More on descendants is given in the Noble/Rader History. Alma died in 1919 in Mercer County and Warren died in 1944 in Muscatine County, Iowa.

Daughter Amanda Vanwinkle Finch married Lewis Alfred Noble on 3/2/1876. Lewis Alfred was a son of John Summerfield and Jane Long Noble. Jane Long Noble was a relative of Jill Martin and Nadine Holder, creators of this site. Lewis and Amanda had children: Harry Noble, born 3/14/1878, died 2/25/1879; Orr Wesley Noble, born 8/1/1879; John Summerfield Noble, born 4/30/1883; and Jennie Myrtle Noble, born 9/4/1886. Amanda and family went to Dodge City, Kansas, but Amanda apparently returned as she died 2/3/1936 in Mercer County.

Daughter Esther married Albert E. Ives, son of Gilbert and Mary Ann Ives, on 9/9/1880 in Mercer County. Alicia Ives has a Web Site up on the Ives family and we will eventually be adding an Ives page to link to it. See Alicia's email and Web Site links under "Ives Contacts" on our Surnames page. Children and grandchildren of Esther and Albert are given in the Noble/Rader History (unfortunately we are missing the page that would give a complete list of children.) The family lived in Harper County and Seward County in Kansas. Esther died in 1934 in Portland, Oregon. They were still in Mercer County in 1900 living in New Boston Township: Albert Ives, born August 1860, Il, farmer, father born Connecticut, mother born New York; Esther, born May 1860, 5 children born, 4 living, born Il, father born Tennessee, mother born Illinois; Lena M., born June 1881; Lottie [Charlotte] M., born March 1887; Dorton, son, born November 1893; Lester, born January 1899.

Pettis and Catharine Wolfe Neff Finch

Pettis next married the widow of Christian Neff, Catharine Wolfe, on 11/8/1860 in Mercer County. Catharine brought Neff children (Warner, Mary, and Anna) and it became a blended family. Pettis and Catharine had children: Charles H. Finch, born 4/25/1862; Edna Finch, born 9/4/1864; Willard Finch, born 3/30/1866; and Omar Finch, born 1/5/1868. In 1880 the family is shown in New Boston: Pettis, age 62, born NC, parents born NC; Catherine, 48, born In, parents born Pa; Warren, 23, born Il; Hettie [Esther], 19, born Il; Charles, 18, born Il; Edna, 16, born Il; Willard, 12, born Il; and Omer, 9, born Il.

Son Charles H. Finch married Lenore Boyd, daughter of Martin and Lydia Bear Boyd, on 9/3/1890 in Mercer County. They had a son Ernest Finch, born 2/14/1899, died 5/23/1899 and he is buried in the Eliza Cemetery. We have not checked the 1900 census for more children.

Daughter Edna Finch married James Fausett on 7/1/1886 in Mercer County. We have nothing further on this family.

Son Willard Finch married Stella Worthland according to the Finch-Neff Bibles.

Omar Finch married Jennie Martin, daughter of Jay and Eliza Martin on 2/7/1888 in Mercer County. She was born May 1869 and died in 1952 in Mercer County. We will be putting up a Martin page. They had a son, Cole A. Finch, born 1890, died 1958, with a wife Bessie (according to New Boston cemetery records.) The 1900 census gives children: Clovis, born December 1888; Cole, born April 1890; and daughter Loren, born May 1895.

Miscellaneous Pettis Finch Information

The Noble/Rader History says that the six children of Pettis and Esther Rader Finch were all probably born on the Pettis Finch farm about five miles SE of New Boston. The 1875 map of New Boston Township shows Pettis Finch owning land in Sections 27, 28, and 34 which would be more directly east of New Boston town.

Pettis Finch raised fine hogs and horses. An article in the Aledo newspaper on 2/16/1861 states that the pork crop of Mercer County packed 4,823 pounds with an average net weight of 230 pounds per hog. Pettis Finch had two hogs with an average net weight of 478 1/2 pounds, more than twice the size of the County average. At the 6th Annual Fair in Mercer County, held in November 1859, Pettis Finch took three prizes in the category "Horses of all work": Best stallion, 5 years old, best stallion 4 years old, and 2nd prize for a suckling mare colt.

David Finch Family

David Finch was born about 1818 in Alabama according to census records. In 1900 he was living with son William and his birthdate is given as March 1818. This is another point that makes it not too likely that he was brother of Pettis as his birthdate is too close to Pettis. In the 1880 census he lists his parents as born Tennessee, and not North Carolina. In 1900 his birthplace is given as Tennessee and his parents South Carolina. (None of this is exactly definitive as census records are notoriously inaccurate since information can be gathered from small children in the family and even from neighbors.) David Finch is not found in Mercer County in 1860 and may have been across the River in Muscatine, Iowa. We have not yet explored this possibility, nor looked for other Finch families in Muscatine. There are numerous Finch marriages in Muscatine County that do not relate to the Mercer families so we suspect there were several Finch families in Iowa in the same time period as David and Pettis Finch in Mercer County.

David Finch married Catharine Rader, daughter of Abraham and Catharine Beam Rader, and sister of Pettis's wife Esther Rader, on 12/13/1840 in Mercer County, so we know David also came to Mercer County by 1840, either after the census, or he was missed in the census. Catharine was born 1/11/1817 in Rockingham County, Virginia, and died 7/28/1892 in Mercer County. Information on the family is included in the Rader portion of the Noble/Rader History. Here it too refers to David as brother of Pettis Finch. It confirms the 1818 birthdate given in census records but says family records have it as 1823 in North Carolina. The History lists children for David and Catharine as: Drucilla; Mary Ellen; James Monroe; Rachel; Lewis David; Elizabeth; William; and Minerva. Trying to correlate this list with census records creates some problems.

The 1850 Census in Mercer County is quite unreadable but we have obtained a copy of the census sent to the State in 1850 from the Illinois Archives. The family of David Finch, #409 in Township 14North Range 5West, taken the 25th day of September, 1850, is quite clearly written as: David Finch, 32, farmer, born Alabama; Catharine Finch, 33, born Virginia; David Finch, 8, male, born Illinois; James M. Finch, 7, female (sic); Mary Finch, 6, female; Ellen Finch, 1, female, all born Illinois. In Household #368 with the John W. and Margaret Swafford Denison family is also found Rachel Finch, age 1, female, born Illinois. Since the Denison record was taken on September 21, four days before the Finch record it is possible that Rachel and Ellen Finch were one and the same. It seems more likely though that they might have been twins and one was sent out for nursing if Catharine did not have enough milk for two. This would have been quite a common occurence. The Noble/Rader History gives Rachel Finch born 5/13/1849 and died in Mercer County on 8/27/1851; since Ellen does not appear again in the records they were probably one and the same person.

We do not at the moment have an 1860 census record that might help clear things up as they are not indexed anywhere in 1860. In 1870 David is back in Mercer County, living next door to Pettis Finch in New Boston Township: David Finch, age 52, farmer, born Alabama; Catharine, age 53, born Virginia; James M., 28, assisting on farm, born Il; Lewis D [David]; 18, assisting on farm, born Il; William Finch, 14, born Il; Minerva Finch, 11, born Il; George Thomas Hollister, 27, farmer, born Ohio; Elizabeth [Finch] Hollister, age 26, born Illinois.

Paula Nevels of Mercer County is a descendant of David Finch's daughter Drusilla (Photo). She tells us that Drusilla was born September 24, 1841 (from tombstone). It seems likely that the child listed as David, age 8, in the 1850 census, was actually Drusilla as the ages match. Drusilla married Patrick Green on 7/26/1861 in Mercer County, so she does not appear in the 1870 census with David. Patrick Green was working for Pettis Finch in 1860, age 28, born Ireland, and that is evidently how Patrick and Drusilla met. Patrick and Drusilla are found in Mercer Township in 1870: Patrick Green, 38, farmer, born Ireland; Drusilla, 28, born Illinois; Catharine, 8, born Il; Jane, 6, Il; John, 5, Il; Julia, 2, Il; Ann, 1, Il. Patrick and Drusilla lived out their lives in Mercer County in the Keithsburg area. They are found in the 1900 census: Patrick Green, born October 1830, Ireland, parents born Ireland, came to America in 1850 and is a naturalized citizen; Drusilla, born September 1841, Illinois, father born Alabama, mother born Virginia, 12 children born, 9 living; twins George born October 1879; Maggie, born October 1879; Otto, grandson, born February 1891. Son Henry Green is living next door to them: Henry Green, born April 1876, Ill, father born Ireland, mother born Illinois; Lena [Olson], born May 1878, Illinois, father born Sweden, mother born Illinois; Fred, born July 1899. The three children of Patrick and Drusilla who were deceased by 1900 were James, Ruth, and Ann, according to the Noble/Rader History and two others not mentioned here were Minerva and Mary.

Son James Monroe Finch married Jennie Smith on 7/4/1870 in Mercer County (Jackie Kloppenborg tells us Jennie's parents were George Talcott and Sarah Farnham Smith). The Noble/Rader History gives 6 children: James Monroe, Jr.; Bobby (born 1876, died 1879); Cora May; Della Fern; William Harl; and John. Cora May Finch married Earl Eugene Honeyman on 7/26/1898 (again a relative of page creators Jill Martin and Nadine Holder). The 1880 census gives the family as: Monroe J. Finch, 37, born Il; father born Alabama, mother born Va; Jennie, 30, born Maine, parents born Maine; James, 9, born Il; Cora May, 6 months, born Il; Elmore Crow, 17, hired hand. The 1900 New Boston Township census gives the family as: James M. Finch, born November 1842, Ill, father born Tennessee, mother born Virginia; Jennie, born January 1849, Maine, father born Massachusetts, mother born Maine; Fern, born October 1882, [William] Harve born December 1886, and John born November 1889. Daughter Cora and husband Earl Honeyman were living with Earl's parents, George and Caroline [Coe] Honeyman in 1900 in New Boston Township: Earl, born December 1872; Cora, born November 1878; daughter Helen, born July 1899. James Monroe, Jr. married Ella Marie Sloan in February 1897. Daughter Elizabeth Finch married Thomas George Hollister on 9/29/1869 according to the Illinois Marriage Index. Quite clearly then David did have a daughter Elizabeth not listed in the 1850 census and living with him in the 1870 census. Given her age 26 shown in the 1870 census, she is likely the daughter Mary listed in the 1850 census as born 1844 and the Noble/Rader History is confused between Mary Ellen and Mary Elizabeth. The History gives Elizabeth's birthdate as 1853 while the 1870 census indicates 1844. We have not checked the 1880 census for children of the Hollisters or for further verification of Elizabeth's birthdate. The Noble/Rader History gives David and Lucinda as children. The Mary Finch given in the 1850 census is given in the Noble/Rader History as Mary E. Finch married Samuel D. West on October 31, 1865 in Mercer County and curiously there is such a marriage in the Illinois Marriage Index. The 1870 census however indicates Mary West as age 23, or born 1847 which does not match the 1850 Finch family census record. The History lists one child Benjamin West who never married, but Samuel and Mary have two children, Effie and Benjamin, in 1870. We do not know who this Mary Finch is; she may have belonged to the Iowa Finches.

Son Lewis David Finch was born 6/16/1851 and died 1/20/1871 in Mercer County, Illinois, according to the Noble/Rader History.

Son William Finch was born 10/31/1855 in Mercer County and died 8/19/1917 in Mercer County. He married Laura Martin, daughter of Jay and Eliza Martin, on 11/15/1877 in Mercer County (we will be putting up a Martin page). They are living with David and Catharine in New Boston Township in 1880: David Finch, 57, farmer, born Alabama, parents born Tennessee; Catharine, 62, born Va, parents born Virginia; William, 24, works on farm, born Il; Laura, 20, daughter-in-law, born Il, father born Eng, mother born Ohio. [Note: this is the only census record varying from the 1818 birthdate - the birthdate here would be 1823 and may be the source of the "family" information that David was born in 1823!] The Noble/Rader History lists children as Ethel Orr, Katharine, Jay Martin, Oak Miles, and Friend David. Father David is still with the family in 1900: William Finch, born October 1853, Il, father born Tennessee, mother born Virginia; Laura, born November 1861, Il, father born England, mother born Ohio; Kate, born November 1880; Jay M., March 1883; Oak M., May 1891; Friend D., March 1894; David, father, born March 1818, Tennessee, parents born South Carolina.

Daughter Minerva Finch married John Muhlenberg, son of Charles and Sophia Muhlenberg, on 5/23/1876 in Mercer County. The Aledo Weekly Record of May 7, 1877 carried an article, "About two weeks ago the house of John Muhlenerg of Eliza Township was struck by lightning, almost demolishing the house, killing a dog, and shattering a bedpost, but beyond a slight shock, which stunned both for awhile neither Mr. M. nor his wife were injured although they slept in the bed that was struck. They were a newly married couple and had recently commenced housekeeping." In the 1880 census, Minerva's niece, Kate Green, age 18, is working for them as a domestic. We have recently learned that in the 1800's young women were often sent out to relatives to learn household skills and these young women are often shown as servants in the household in census records. While they did do work in the household to earn their keep and to pay for their training, they were much more than domestic servants since they were usually also cherished nieces! According to the Noble/Rader History John and Minerva had four children: Harvey Muhlenburg; David, who lived in Colorado Springs, Colorado; Clair who died in 1949 in Denver, Colorado; and Burr who resided in Joplin, Missouri. John and Minerva are found in New Boston Township in 1900: John Muhlenberg, born August 1857, born Il, parents born Germany; Minerva, born October 1858, Il, father born Pennsylvania, mother born Indiana; Harry, born July 1878, Il; David, born January 1881, Il; Clair, son, born October 1883, Il; and Burr, son, born June 1886.

David Finch Miscellaneous Information

It can be seen from various census records above that the actual birthplace of David may forever remain a mystery. A look at the 1830 Alabama census records shows eight Finch families in Alabama. The area that became Alabama was settled by people including Carolinians as early as 1783 and some of the confusion in the birthplace may come about from the fact that the northern part of Alabama was geographically part of the Tennessee Valley. The records are quite consistent throughout as giving his birthdate as 1818, but Alabama did not become a state until 1819.

The Mercer County estate of Isaac Willits includes an entry for the rent of 30 acres of ground to David Finch at two dollars per acre payable on the 1st of October next [1846]. Also on March 3, 1845 there is a debit account of David Finch against Isaac Willit's estate of sixty dollars [which may be the same land transaction as the amounts are the same.] This shows a very early connection with the Willits family accounting for several Willits marriages both in the family of David and of Pettis Finch.

David Finch owned land in the NE quarter of Section 27 in New Boston Township next door to Pettis Finch. He bought it sometime before 5/14/1861 when he is listed on the tax list for this parcel of 160 acres and showing $30.53 in taxes owing.

David too raised fine hogs and fine horses. On 2/26/1861 when the pork crop of Mercer County averaged a net weight of 230 pounds per hog, David Finch had 31 hogs weighing an average net of 295 pounds. At the 6th Annual Fair in November 1859 David took first prize in the Draught Horse category for best gelding.