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Genealogical and personal history of Fayette county, Pennsylvania (Volume 2) online

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Mestrezat, Ruth, Brown, Edward Sterling,
Emily Jean.

This family name is found in
EDW.\RDS early days, not only in New
England, but in Virginia,
in old King William and Stafford counties. The
Stafford county family later settled in Ken-
tucky, where a descendant married Elizabeth,
daughter of Robert E. Todd and sister of Mrs.
Abraham Lincoln. Another descendant of
Hayden Edwards, the Stafford county, Vir-
ginia, settler, was Benjamin Edwards, of Mont-
gomery- county, ^Maryland. Another Edwards
family was of Louisa county, Virginia. John
was a common name in these Virginia Ed-
wards families and there is no doubt but what
John Edwards, of Preston county, Virginia,
: was a descendant of one of them, but no rec-

ord can be found by which he can be definitely

(I) John Edwards, when a man grown, set-
tled in Preston county, Virginia, where he was
a farmer and landowner. Later he moved to
Fayette county, Pennsylvania, where he con-
tinued farming operations until his death. He
is buried with his wife in Connellsville, Penn-
sylvania. Children : i. Squire, of whom, further.
2. Green .A.shbald, served as a private in the
Union army during the civil war, dying short-
ly after his return from the army. 3. Thomas
Jefiferson, married Susan Saylor and died with-
out issue; she survives him. 4. Salathial, de-
ceased, married and left a son. 5. Rebecca
Jane, married Henry Hileman ; both died near
Brownsville, Pennsylvania. 6. Mary Ann. mar-
ried Lint ; they died near Dawson, Fayette

county; their six children are all deceased.

(II) Squire, eldest .son of John Edwards,
was born in Virginia, January 9, 1831, died in
Dunbar township, Fayette county, Pennsyl-
vania, December 27, 1907. He came to Fay-
ette county with his parents and became a
farmer, owning about two hundred acres of
land in Dunbar township, which he cultivated
until his death. He was a Democrat, serving
as school director, collector of taxes and poor
director. He belonged to the Presbyterian
church, his wife also being a member. He
married, in 1858, Clarissa Leighty, born in
Dunbar township, Fayette county, Pennsyl-
vania, Januar}' 25, 1841, who survives him, a
resident of Connellsville, Pennsylvania. She is
the daughter of Henry and ^largaret (Barnes)
Leighty, and granddaughter of Jacob Leighty,
of German descent, who came to Fayette coun-
ty from near Bradford, Pennsylvania. Jacob
Leighty was a farmer and an early settler of
Fayette county, where he died. He is buried
in the Leighty family cemetery on one of the
farms now owned by the J. W. Rainey Com-
pany. His son, Henry Leighty, became a
wealthy and influential farmer of Fayette
county. He married (first) Sarah Smith, who
bore him eight children. He married (second)
Margaret Barnes Sechrist, daughter of Jacob
and Mary (Staufi^er) Barnes, residents of Can-
ada and Pennsylvania, and widow of John Se-
christ. Children of Mr. and Mrs. Sechrist :
.\nn, Mary and Lydia, all deceased. Children
bv her second husband, Henry Leighty: Jo-
seph, now living in Kansas ; Christopher, also
living in Kansas; Peter, living in Missouri;



Sarah, deceased, married (first) Andrew
Work, (second) James Aliddleton ; Clarissa, of
previous mention, widow of Squire Edwards.
Henry Leighty died in 1844, aged sixty-two
years. His widow married (third) George
Boyer and Hved near Dunbar, Pennsylvania,
on a small farm. She had no issue by this
marriage and died in 1882, aged nearly eighty-
two years. Children of Squire and Clarissa
Edwards: i. John, an undertaker and furniture
dealers of Vanderbilt, Fayette county, Penn-
sylvania. 2. Margaret, married Joseph G.
Strickler, both deceased. 3. Elizabeth, died in
infancy. 4. George, deceased. 5. Frank, re-
sides in Vanderbilt and is foreman on the Pitts-
burgh & Lake Erie railroad. 6. Alvin C, of
whom further. 7. Zella, married Alfred W.
Hair and resides in Franklin township, Fay-
ette county. 8. Ada, a school teacher, making
her home with her mother. 9. Clara, a stenog-
rapher, also living at home. 10. Robert, died
in infancy.

(HI) Alvin C, son of Squire and Clarissa
(Leighty) Edwards, was born in Dunbar town-
ship, Fayette county. Pennsylvania, July 10,
1868. He grew to manhood on the home farm,
and received his education in the public schools.
He devoted his entire life to farming, but did
not become a landowner until 1908, when he
purchased a farm of about one hundred and
thirty-two acres, his present home, which he
had rented for many years. On his farm is
a valued sand deposit, from which he ships
many carloads of sand annually. He is a di-
rector of the Union National Bank of Connells-
ville and a capable and successful business
man. He is a public-spirited citizen, extremely
generous, and of a quiet, contented spirit, en-
joying the company of his books, and of an
intelligent and genial disposition. He is a
Democrat, and a member of the Presbyterian
church, his wife of the Methodist Episcopal
church. He married, February 21, 1895, Bird
C, daughter of Samuel Crossland. Children:
Samuel C, born May 14, 1896; Eliza C, Au-
gust, 1898; Mary Frances, September, 1907.

The Finleys of Fayette county.
FINLEY Pennsylvania, descend from a

Scotch ancestor, Michael Fin-
ley, born in Scotland, or possibly Ireland, of
Scotch parents, in the decade 1680-1690. He
lived in county Armagh, Ireland, from whence
he emigrated to America, landing at Philadel-

phia, Pennsylvania, September 28, 1734, with
wife and seven sons (possibly eight). He first
settled on Neshaminy creek, in Bucks county,
Pennsylvania, afterwards in New Jersey, and
later in Sadsbury township, Chester county,
Pennsylvania, where he lived from 1737 to
1747. Children, all born in Armagh, Ireland:
I. John, was killed by Indians in Lurgan town-
ship, Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, where
he settled before 1744; married Martha Berk-
ley and had issue; his descendants are found
South and West. 2. Samuel, D.D., LL.D.,
born 1 71 5, died in Philadelphia, July 17, 1766;
he was president of Princeton College, 1761-
66, a man of deep learning and a powerful
preacher, an ordained minister of the Presby-
terian church. He married (first), September
26, 1744, Sarah Hall, born 1728, died July 30,
1760; married (second), Ann, daughter of
Matthew Clarkson, of Philadelphia ; left issue
by both marriages. 3. William, died 1800; a
farmer of Chester and Adams counties, Penn-
sylvania, later of Augusta county, Virginia ;

married (first) ; (second) Catherine,

daughter of Samuel Culbertson, of London
Grove township, Chester county, Pennsylvania.
4. ]\Iichael (2), a farmer of Chester county.
Pennsylvania ; married Ann Lewis ; their eldest
son, Joseph Lewis Finley, was lieutenant, cap-
tain and major in the revolution. 5. Rev.
James, of whom further. 6. Clements, born
March, 1735. died August 11, 1775, in South
Huntington township, Westmoreland county,
Pennsylvania; married, January 12, 1761, Eliz-
abeth Carnahan, and left issue. There is some
doubt as to whether Clements was a son of
Michael, or a grandson, and son of John Fin-
ley. The strongest inference is as given. Of
the other children of Michael Finley there is no

(II) The Finleys of Fayette county descend
through Rev. James Finley. fifth son of Mi-
chael Finley. He was born in county Armagh,
Ireland, February, 1725, died in Rostraver
township, Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania,
January 6, 1795. He came to America with
his father and brothers in 1734. He received
a good education and became a regularly or-
dained minister of the Presbyterian church, and
was for many years pastor of the East Not-
tingham church, Cecil county, Maryland, East-
ern Shore, 1752-83, and of Rehoboth and
Round Hill churches, Westmoreland county,
Pennsylvania, 1783-95. He played an import-



ant part in the early settlement of Fayette
county, Pennsylvania, particularly in Redstone
township, where he was the first of the family
to arrive in 1765. He made a .wide circuit
through the county, preaching here and there,
but on the lookout for a good location. He is
said to have been the first minister of the Gos-
pel (except army chaplains) who ever pene-
trated \\' estern Pennsylvania. He tarried about
a month on his first visit, then returned to his
church in Maryland, but came again in 1767
and again in 1771, each time on a preaching
mission. His first favorable opinion of the
country was confirmed by each succeeding
visit, and in 1 771 he made a large purchase of
land on Dunlap's creek, within the present
limits of the townships of German, Redstone
and Alenallen. He returned east and in 1772
came again, bringing his fourteen-year-old son
Ebenezer ; a farm hand, Samuel Finley (not a
relative), and several negro slaves. Rev. James
was at no time an actual settler of Fayette
county, but his son Ebenezer always remained
and was the real pioneer Finley. Rev. James
Finley was regularly settled pastor of Rehoboth
church, in Westmoreland county, Pennsyl-
vania, in 1783, continuing until his death in
1795. It is worthy of remark that from his
first coming in 1765 until 1783, thirty-four
families connected with his church in Cecil
county, Maryland, removed to Western Penn-
sylvania. These families scattered and were
the nucleus from which later sprang Presby-
terian churches at Chartiers, Cross Creek,
Rehoboth, Laurel Hill and Dunlap's Creek.
Of the thirty-four families named, twenty-
two of the heads of these became ruling el-
ders of the churches named, at their organ-

Rev. James Finley married, in 1752, Hannah
Evans, born 1715, died April i, 1795, daugh-
ter of Robert Evans. Children: i. Rev. John
Evans, born July 6, 1753, died in Ohio, after
1813; he was pastor of Faggs Manor Church,
1781-93, removed to Bracken, Mason county,
Kentucky, thence to Red Oak, Ohio ; married
a daughter of Job Ruston, of Chester county.
2. Samuel Robert, born December 19, 1754,
died October 25, 1839. 3. Margaret, born Sep-
tember 5, 1756, died May 10. 1836; married
Colonel John Power, of Westmoreland county,
Pennsylvania. 4. Ebenezer, of whom further.
5. Hannah, born June 20, 1764, died- before
1820; married John Robinson. 6. Joseph, born

December 13, 1766, died June 3, i860; married
(first), a Miss Veech, (second) Frances
Moore. 7. James, born January 14, 1769, died
November 17, 1772. 8. William, June 10,
1772, died August 20, 1857; married (first)
Sarah Patterson, (second) Margaret Wilson.
9. Michael, born March 24, 1774, died July 29,
1850; married (first) Eleanor Elliot, (second)
Mrs. Mary Plumer Smith.

(HI) Ebenezer, third son and fourth child
of Rev. James apd Hannah (Evans) Finley,
was born in Cecil county, Maryland, December
30, 1758, died January 18, 1849. He came to
Fayette county with his father in 1772 and set-
tled on lands in Redstone township, purchased
by his father in 1771. Ebenezer was a daring,
hardy lad, and amidst his pioneer surroundings
rapidly developed stature and strength. Sam-
uel Finley, who came at the same time, but not
a relative, was in charge of the farm, aided by
his negro slaves brought from Maryland. Sam-
uel was drafted for militia duty, but Ebenezer
was allowed to go as his substitute. While at
Fort Wallace a rider brought news of the ap-
proach of Indians. Young Finley was one of
the party of twenty men who left the fort, and
soon came upon a large body of Indians before
whom they retreated, keeping up a running
fight. Finley's gun would not go off, and in
stopping to fix it he fell behind the others. An
Indian with a leveled gun was about to shoot
him, when a settler's shot struck him. Finley
ran, closely pursued, and soon caught up with
the hindmost man, who received the toma-
hawk, intended for Finley, in the back of his
head. Close pressed, but protected by the fire
of a comrade, he safely crossed the bridge and
reached the fort. A remarkable case of pre-
monition or telepathy, or call it as one may,
must here be recorded : During young Finley's
running fight and narrow escapes, just men-
tioned, his father. Rev. James Finley, three
hundred miles away, had a strange and unde-
finable impression that his son was in great
danger, but could form no distinct conception
of its nature or cause. He fell to his knees and
spent a long time in earnest prayer for his son,
arising with the comfortable feeling that the
danger was past. He made a note of the time,
and when a few weeks later he received a letter
from his son giving an account of his narrow
escapes from death, he saw that the time cor-
responded exactly with his own strange experi-
ence. Rev. Finley was a man of absolute truth



— the reader must settle for himself what was
the cause of this wireless intercourse between
father and son and separated by three hundred
miles of space.

Ebenezer Finley grew to be a man of im-
portance in his community. His home was in
Redstone, on Dunlap's creek, where at an early
day he erected a grist mill and a saw mill. He
married four wives, and all rest in Dunlaps'
Creek churchyard. He died J?nuary i, 1849,
aged eighty-eight years. He was an elder of
Dunlap's Creek Presbyterian Church for seven-
ty years, and for half a century ruling elder.
He married (first) Jane Kinkaid, died June 5,
1793, (second) Violet Lowry, died November
II, 1804, (third) ;\Iargery Cunningham, born
1770, died January 27, 1822, (fourth) Mrs.
Sarah Jones, born September 14, 1769, died
January 24, 1848. Children of Ebenezer
Finley. by first wife, Jane Kinkaid: i. John
Evans, born November, 1783, died March,
1793. 2. James Elliot, born November, 1784,
died 1861 ; a farmer of Menallen township,
Fayette county. 3. Elizabeth, born December,
1786, died July, i860. 4. Joseph, born March
8, 1788, died ' December, "1848. 5. Hannah,
born October, 1791, died March, 1793. Chil-
dren of second wife, Violet Lowry : 6. Rebecca,
born October, 1795. 7. Hannah (2), born
October 10, 1796. 8. William, born August,
1798; moved to Ohio, where he died, 1865;
married Rhoda Harris. 9. Samuel, born July,
1800; moved to Ohio, where he died. 10. Jane,
born 1802, died August, 1890; married John
Hibbs, and lived in Redstone township. 11.
Ebenezer, born October 24, 1804, and lost his
mother the following November 1 1 ; he was a
farmer of Menallen township, Fayette county,
died December 28, 1891 ; married, February 9,
1826, Phoebe Wood Ward. Children by third
wife, Margery Cunningham: 12. Eli H., born
April 6, 1807, died January 7, 1892; a farmer
of Menallen township ; married a Miss Baird.
13. Robert, of whom further. 14. Margaret,
born November 29, 18 10.

(IV) Robert, thirteenth child of Ebenezer
Finley, and second child by his third wife, Mar-
gery Cunningham, was born in Redstone town-
ship, Fayette county, Pennsylvania, .\pril 4,
1809, died October 7, 1874. He was educated
in the public schools and grew to manhood at
the home farm. He became a farmer on his
own account, owning three hundred and twelve
acres of good land, well stocked and improved.

He was a man of industry and strictly tem-
perate, having little patience with tipplers, lag-
gards or spendthrifts. He was a successful
business man, but very quiet and peaceful. He
was a Republican in politics, serving as school
director. He was a member of the Dunlap's
Creek Presbyterian church, as was his wife.
He served the church in Redstone as trustee
and was very active in church work. For
forty-five years he was a member and for
thirty-five years a trustee. He was broad-
minded and charitable, a judicious counsellor
and a genial companion. His hospitality was
proverbial, and his friends were legion. He
married (first), January 23, 1833, Catherine
Carothers, who died June 19, 1842; (second)
May 13, 1845, Anna, daughter of Samuel and
Margaret Herford, both born in Fayette coun-
try, but lived all their lives in Luzerne town-
ship, where they owned a good farm ; they
were members of the Methodist Episcopal
church; their children: i. Thomas, moved to
Illinois. 2. William, lived in Luzerne town-
ship, but in old age moved to Brownsville,
Pennsylvania. 3. Lawrence, moved to Ohio.
4. Naomi, married Thomas Dunaway, and
moved to Ottawa, Illinois. 5. Mary, married a
Lawrence, and moved to Iowa. 6. Anna ( of
previous mention).

Children of Robert Finley and his first wife,
Catherine Carothers: i. Ruth, born March 13,
1834, died June 9, 1842. 2. Mary Margery,
born October 25, 1835, died March 26, 1902;
married Jeremiah Baird ; eleven children. 3.
Samuel E., born March 15, 1838; married
Sarah Burchinal. 4. Ebenezer, born Septem-
ber 6, 1841, died November i, 1842. 5. Cath-
erine, died June 9, 1842. Children by second
wife, Anna Herford : 6. William Herford, died
young. 7. Thomas W., born June 18, 1848;
married, August 28. 1884, Jennie Smiley: he
lives on the old Finley homestead. 8. John E..
of whom further. 9. Margaret E., born March
29, 1851; married James G. Wilson. 10. Na-
omi, born February 11, 1852, died August i,

(V) John E., son of Robert Finley and his
second wife, Anna Herford, was born in Red-
stone township, Fayette county, Pennsylvania,
September 23, 1849. He attended the Pleas-
ant Valley subscription school, and spent four
years in attendance at Merrittstown Academv
in Luzerne township, riding three miles to
school every day. He then became his father's

^^ o/Ar// ■ yy^^/ry



farm assistant, continuing until the death of the
latter in 1874. He then purchased one hundred
and fifty-seven acres of the old William Stone
farm in Menalleti township, on which the
Stone tannery was located. The farm was un-
derlaid with the Pittsburgh nine-foot coal vein,
and Mr. Finley disposed of several acres of
the coal, only receiving therefor $1,000 per
acre. He has continued the cultivation and
improvement of his farm all through life, and
still makes it his home and chief business con-
cern. He is a Republican in politics, but has
never sought or held public office. Mr. Finley
is an elder of the Second Presbyterian Qiurch
of Uniontown, his wife also being a communi-
cant of the same church. He has also been
connected for several years with the Patrons of
Husbandry, an order that has greatly benefited
the agriculturist in many ways.

He married, September 23, 1873, Josephine
Hazlett, born in Franklin township, Washing-
ton county, Pennsylvania, October i, 1846,
daughter of Samuel (2) and Jemima (Condit)
Hazlett, both born in Washington county ; her
father was son of Samuel (1) Hazlett, born
in Ireland, emigrated to the United States and
settled in Washington county. Samuel (2)
Hazlett was the owner of a good farm of one
hundred and ninety-six acres in Washington
county, which he cultivated until death. He
was a Democrat in politics, and a Presbyterian
of the most rigid type. His wife Jemima was
a daughter of Isaac Condit, and of Irish de-
scent. Children of first wife : Eliza, Ann,
\\'illiam, Elizabeth, Carofine and Charlotte,
all deceased. Children of his second wife:
Samuel J., deceased, a fnrmer on the old
Washington county homestead ; Dr. I. C,
now of California; John M., deceased, a
soldier of the civil war, enlisted in Company K,
Sixteenth Regiment, Pennsylvania Caval^^
saw hard service, and was in many of the
famous battles of the war, including Gettys-
burg; Josephine (of previous mention) ;
James K., now manager of a company farm
near Jeannette. Pennsylvania ; Ruth E., now
residing with her sister Josephine.

Children of lohn E. and Josephine (Hazlett)
Finley: i. Winona B., born May 16, 1876;
married Thomas Holland, a civil engineer of
Uniontown, in the employ of the H. C. Frick
Company ; children : Wilbur F. and Rosa L.
2. Anna IMyrtle, born June 7, 1878; resides
with her parents at the home farm.

For complete early history of
FINLEY this fine old Scotch-Irish and
early Fayette county family, see
sketch of John E. Finley in this work. The
line of descent from Michael Finley, the emi-
grant ancestor, is through his fifth son, Rev.
James Finley, whose third son, Ebenezer, mar-
ried (third) Margery Cunningham. Ebenezer
Finley had by his first three wives fourteen
children, of whom Eli H. was the twelnh, and
first of the three borne by his third wife. His
full brother, Robert Finley, is recorded at
length in sketch mentioned.

(IV) Eli H., eldest son of Ebenezer Finley
and his third wife, Margery Cunningham, was
born in Redstone township, Fayette county,
Pennsylvania, April 6, 1807, died January 7,
1892. He grew to manhood at the home farm
and received the usual education of a farmer
boy of that period. After arriving at manhood
he settled in Menallen township. Fayette coun-
ty, where he purchased and cultivated a farm
the remainder of his days. He was energetic
and capable, conducting his farm operations
successfully. He was quiet and retiring in dis-
position and was held in high esteem among
his neighbors. He and wife were members of
the Presbyterian church. He married Maria,
daughter of Aaron Baird. Children: i. Mar-
garet, married Jefiferson Burnett and moved to
Iowa, where both died. 2. Mary, married
James Corder and moved to Illinois, where both
died. 3. Fairmine, married J. P. Brown, whom
she survives, a resident of New Salem, Penn-
sylvania. 4. Anna, married Jacob Brown; he
lives in New Salem, she is deceased. 5. Dr.
Robert E. was a dentist of Coshocton, Ohio:
died December 31, 1903. 6. William E., of
whom further.

(V) William Elliott, youngest son of Eli H.
and Maria (Baird) iMnley, was born in Men-
allen township, Fayette cotmty, Pennsylvania,
April 7, 1843, died March 11, 1905. He was
educated in the public school and remained at
the home farm until his departure for the front
during the civil war. He enlisted in August.
1861, in Company I, Eighty-fifth Regiment.
Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, serving
three years and four months, when he re-
ceived his honorable discharge. He was
severely wounded at the battle of Fair
Oaks and was confined in the hospital
at Pniladelphia for three months before
he was able to rejoin his regiment. After



the war he returned to Fayette county and for
seventeen years thereafter he cultivated his
father's farm.

Immediately after the sale of the farm and
the erection of the Buffington Works thereon,
he moved to Uniontown, where he engaged in
teaming very successfully until his death. He
was a man of high standing in his community,
faithful and upright in all his business engage-
ments and highly esteemed. He was a Repub-
lican in politics and served as assessor and
borough auditor. He was a member of the
Grand Army of the Republic and of the Pres-
byterian church.

He married, April 6, 1870, jMrs. Rachel C.
(Moore) Shaqmack, born in German town-
ship, Fayette county, daughter of Abraham
Moore and widow of Jasper N. Sharpnack.
She is a great-granddaughter of Captain
Cowan, an officer in the revolution. She is also
a great-granddaughter of Captain John Moore,
and his wife Margaret (Colvin) Moore, who
came from ^Maryland in 1765 and settled in
Redstone township, Fayette county, on a tract
yet owned in the Moore family. Aaron, son of
Captain John Moore, married Mary Haney
and had : John, William, Abraham. INIargaret
and ]Mary. Abraham, son of Aaron Moore,
was born in Fayette county, May 17, 1823. died
August 28. 1902. He was a farmer of Fayette
count}- and a man highly esteemed. He mar-
ried Adeline McClean, born in Westmoreland
county, Pennsylvania, April 2, 1823. died De-
cember 24, 1894, daughter of John and Rachel
(Cowan) McClean. old settlers of West-
moreland county. She was one of a
family of eight children: Gibson, Samuel.
A\'illiam. Thomas. Mary. Isabel, Adeline
and Rachel. Children of Abraham and
Adeline (McClean) Moore: John Seymour, a
farmer of German township ; Aaron, deceased,
and Rachel C. (see forward).

Rachel C. daughter of Abraham Moore,
married (first). October i, 1868, Jasper N.
Sharpnack, born in Fayette county, son of John
and Sarah Sharpnack. On October 12, just
twelve days after his marriage, he was
drowned. She married (second) William El-
liott Finley. of previous mention. She is a
member of the Presbyterian church and since
she became a widow has resided at her home
No. 64 South Mount Vernon avenue. Union-

This old Fayette county family
RICHEY is of Scotch-Irish descent. The

first of whom we have record is
James Richey. who is named on a list of early
Connellsville occupations as a "forge carpen-
ter." He was a flat boat builder, a thriving

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