Co-Founder of The Beach Boys
- 2nd Great-grandfather of Brian Wilson — 5th Generation
- Ahnentafel No:
- (probable) Abraham Finney Jr.
- Birth Date:
- 24 Dec 1827
- Birth Location:
- Groton, Tompkins, New York
- Christening Date:
- Christening Location:
- Death Date:
- ABT 2 Jun 1891
- Death Location:
- Burial Date:
- Burial Location:
- Spouse Name:
- Ellen Celia Coughlin
- Marriage Date:
- 29 Dec 1850
- Marriage Location:
- Watertown, Wisconsin
Albert H. Finney (Ahnentafel No:14 )
William Harvey Finney
Ella May Finney
Charles S. Finney
Published sources claim that Eli Barnum Finney was the son of Uri Finney and Mary E. Graves. However, there appear to be a number of circumstantial reasons to believe that Eli is actually the son of Uri's brother Abraham Finney Jr.
Evidence against parents being Uri Finney and Mary Graves
1. In 1881, a biography of Eli Finney gave his birth as 24 DEC 1827 in Groton, Tompkins County, New York. Federa; census records support this birth date. However, multiple census records reveal that Mary Graves was not born until about 1814 or 1815. Mary would have only been about 12 or 13 when Eli was born.
2. The oldest documented child found for Uri Finney and Mary Graves is a son Abraham Finney who was born about SEP 1834 and died two and a half years later on 01 MAR 1837. Based on this child being the oldest and Mary Graves's age, it would appear Uri Finney and Mary Graves were married about 1833 when Mary was 18 or 19 years old.
3. The household for Uri Finney's father Abraham at Groton, NY, in the 1830 Federal Census (Abram in census) shows a male in the age range of 20 to 29. Only three sons fit this age range, Ezra, Abraham, and Uri. Both Ezra and Abraham have their own households in the 1830 census. Only Uri is missing, so he would appear to be the son remaining in his father's household.
4. Uri Finney's household in the 1840 census only has one male child listed as under 5. This would be his son Richard Finney. If Eli Finney was Uri's son, he should have showed up in the 10 to 15 column, but he does not.
Evidence for father being Abraham Finney, brother of Uri Finney
1. Eli Finney's birth was on 24 DEC 1827 in Groton, Tompkins County, New York. He should appear in the 1830 census in the “under 5” column.
2. Only three Finney households appear in the 1830 census, Abraham Finney Sr. (Abram Phinney in census) and his two sons Ezra Finney and Abraham Finney Jr. (Abram in census). There are no children under 5 listed in Abraham Finney Sr.'s household. Both Ezra Finney and Abraham Finney Jr. have males under 5 in their households indicating one of them is probably Eli's father.
3. Although Abraham Finney Jr. does not appear in the 1840 census, his brother Ezra still does. The male children listed in his household in 1840 would appear to be Everett B. Finney (b. 1828, 10 to 15 column), C. Francis Finney (b. 1832, 5 to 10 column), and Theodore Finney (b. 1838, under 5 column). These three sons of Ezra also appear in the published Finney-Phinney genealogy. This leaves Abraham Finney Jr. as the probable father of Eli Finney.
Unfortunately Abraham Finney Jr.'s family, other than Eli Finney, appear to disappear from the records. The 1830 census indicates that Eli had two sisters as well. Perhaps Eli's middle name of Barnum is also the maiden name of his mother. Further research is needed to further support his father being Abraham Finney Jr. and to reveal the identity of his mother.
Eli Barnum Finney
View famous kin of Eli Barnum Finney
Scroll down to see sources.
Sources for Eli Barnum Finney
- 1 Federal Census, WI, Marquette County, 1850, Indian Lands, Image 47 of 69.
- 2 Federal Census, WI, Columbia County, 1870, Randolph, p. 18, Image 18 of 29.
- 3 Federal Census, WI, Columbia County, 1860, Randolph, p. 14, Image 14 of 30.
- 4 History of Northern Wisconsin: Containing an Account of Its Settlement, Growth, Development and Resources . . ., Chicago: The Western Historical Company (1881), 322.
- 5 New England Ancestors Magazine, 2007, Vol. 8.5. p. 39.
- 6 United States General Index to Pension Files, 1861-1934, Pension record for Eli B Finney and Ellen C Finney.
- 7 United States Veterans Administration Pension Payment Cards, 1907-1933, Record for spouse Ellen C. Finney.
- 8 Wisconsin Marriages, 1836-1930, Marriage record for son William Harvey Finney and Flora E. Richardson.
- 9 Meggison, Michael Thomas, "#71 Royal Descents, Notable Kin, and Printed Sources: The Immediate New England and Royal Ancestry of the Beach Boys", (accessed 11/20/2016).
- 10 Roberts, Gary Boyd, The Mayflower 500: Five Hundred Notable Descendants of the Founding Families on the Mayflower, Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society (2020), 369 [disagree with Eli's father being identified as Uri Finney.
Brian Wilson photo by wonker (CC BY 2.0)