Genealogical and Family History
of the

Compiled under the editorial supervision of George Thomas Little, A. M., Litt. D.

New York

[Please see Index page for full citation.]

[Transcribed by Coralynn Brown]

[Many families included in these genealogical records had their beginnings in Massachusetts.]


The name on early records was variously spelled: Pheney, Finney, Fenney, Fennye, but Phinney was most universally adopted. The family were on record in Derbyshire and Staffordshire, England, at an early date. Edward Finey, of Coats Park, was high sheriff of Derbyshire in 1690. In the eighteenth century a gentle family of this name resided in Fulshaw, Cheshire, and Samuel Finney, of Fulshaw, who died 1798, was an enamel painter to the Queen. An Edward Fynney was bailiff of Litchfield, Staffordshire, 1619 and 1627; Edward Finney was sheriff of that city, 1641. The name, however, was represented in Burton-on-Trent fully three hudnred years ago.

(I) The first of the name in America was John Phinney, of Plymouth, Massachusetts, whose first child was born there in 1638. His first wife was Christian (surname not given), who died at Plymouth Sept. 9, 1649, and according to church records he married (second) July 9, 1650, Abigail Bishop, widow of Henry Cogan (or Loggin), a wealthy merchant and adventurer, and one of the first settlers of Barnstable, Mass. About this date John Phinney removed to Barnstable, where his second wife died and was buried May 7, 1653. He married (third), June 26, 1654, Elizabeth Bayley.
He held the office of constable at Barnstable, which at that date was an imposing one. He afterward became interested with a friend in the fertile region of Mount Hope, Rhode Island, and removed there.

(II) John (2), eldest son of John (1) and first wife, Christian Phinney, was born in Plymouth, Mass., Dec. 24, 1638, but baptized in Barnstable fifteen years later, July 31, 1653.
He married Aug. 10, 1664, Mary Rogers. He was a soldier in Capt. Gorham's company from Plymouth Colony in the swamp fight of King Phillip's war, 1675.
1. John, born May 5, 1665, see forward.
2. Malatiah, born Oct., 1666, died Nov., 1667.
3. Joseph, born Jan. 28, 1667.
4. Thomas, born Jan., 1671.
5. Ebenezer, born Feb. 18, 1673.
6. Samuel, born Nov. 4, 1676.
7. Mary, born Sept. 3, 1678.
8. Mercy, born July 10, 1679.
9. Patience, born Aug. 27, 1681.
10. Benjamin, born June 18, 1682.
11. Jonathan, born July 30, 1684.
12. Hannah, born March 28, 1687, died Feb. 10, 1689.

(III) John (3), eldest son of John (2) and Mary (Rogers) Phinney, born in Barnstable, Mass. May 5, 1665, died Nov. 27, 1746. He married May 39, 1689, Sarah P., sister of Hon. Solomon, and daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth (Deeby) Lombard. (Lineal descendant of Thomas Lombard, who came in the "Mary and John," 1630). It is said that the Lombard family trace back to the time of William the Conqueror and by history of undoubted creditability to the kingdom of the Lombards in Italy, who finally dispersed, settling in Germany, France and elsewhere. Rudolph de Lambert (French spelling), of Normany, France, went to England with William the Conqueror as his knight of arms, and from his son Hugh all of the name of England and America are said to be descended.
John (3) Phinney was given the title of deacon on the records, and he probably was active in the Barnstable church.
1. Elizabeth, born April 4, 1690, married David Bradford, 1714.
2. Mary, born Jan. 20, 1692, died Jan., 1694.
3. John, born April 8, 1693, see forward.
4. Thomas, born May 25, 1697.
5. Hannah, born April 8, 1700.
6. Sarah, born Oct. 8, 1702.
7. Patience, born Sept. 12, 1704.
8. Martha, born July 12, 1706.
9. Jabez, born July 16, 1708.

(IV) John (4), eldest son of Deacon John (3) and Sarah P. (Lombard) Phinney, was born in Barnstable, April 8, 1693. He was the founder of Gorham, Maine, and known as "Captain John." Maine was at that time a part of Massachusetts, and the soldiers of the Indian wars felt that they had a claim on this territory. In 1727, after many delays, the legislature of Mass. granted to the officers and soldiers of the Narragansett expedition during King Phillip's war, and their heirs, a township six miles square, in the province of Maine, "to each of one hundred and twenty persons whose claim should be established within four months of the passage of the Act." The seventh town was named Gorham in honor of Capt. John Gorham of Yarmouth. The first who took up residence there was Capt. John Phinney. On May 26, 1736, he and his eldest son, Edmund (afterward the distinguished colonel of the revolutionary army), started the building of his house, the young son felling the first tree for the settlement.
Capt. John married, Sept. 25, 1718, Martha, daughter of John and Patience Coleman of Barnstable. About 1732 he removed with his family from Barnstable to Falmouth, Maine, and settled in Gorham in 1736. At the beginning of the French and Indian war, in 1745, Capt. Phinney's and eight other families moved into the fort, while the remaining families, although repeatedly warned, were either entirely killed or some ofo them carried captive to Canada. Here, under the command of Capt. Phinney, these brave settlers, together with a handful of soldiers, furnished by Massachusetts, defended the fort for fourteen years against the repeated assaults of the Indians. During four years of this time the settlers were confined continuously within the fort. Capt. Phinney was a brave, energetic, sagacious man, who "looked after the interests of the little colony that grew up around him with affection and discretion of a father." He died greatly beloved and respected. Dec. 29, 1780, aged eighty-four years. His widow died at the same age, Dec. 16, 1784, and both were buried in the old cemetery in Gorham village. A monument in the center of the town bears this insciption:
May 6, 1805
Capt. John Phinney
Came the first settler in this town
May 1736
Granted by the General Court 1732 to the
Narragansett Soldiers
Assigned to Captain John Gorham
and nineteen others
Then called Narragansett No. 7
Town Incorporated 1764.

1. Elizabeth, born in Barnstable July 15, 1721, married Eliphlet Watson in 1740.
2. Edward, born in Barnstable July 27, 1723, married Elizabeth Meserve, 1750.
3. Stephen, born in Barnstable Dec. 16, 1725, married Oliver Early.
4. Martha, born in Barnstable, Oct. 18, 1727, married Feb. 18, 1750, Hart Williams, of Falmouth.
5. Patience, born in Barnstable July 27, 1730, married Feb. 3, 1750, Thomas Weston.
6. John Jr., born in Falmouth March 18, 1732, see forward.
7. Sarah, born in Falmouth May 18, 1734, married Jan., 1756, Samuel Leavitt, of Buxton, died April, 1793.
8. Mary Gorham, the first white child born in Gorham Aug. 13, 1736, married March 10, 1756, James Irish.
9. Coleman, born in Gorham July 18, 1738, died young.
10. James, born in Gorham April 13, 1741, married July 12, 1763, Martha Hambleu, and (second) Lucy Cross.

(V) John (5) (Or John Jr.), third son of Captain John (4) and Martha (Coleman) Phinney, was born at Falmouth March 18, 1732. He married Jan. 24, 1755, Rebecca, daughter of John Sawyer and sister of Capt. Jonathan Sawyer. When his father settled in Gorham, John (5) Phinney was but four years old, and "under his father's direction was planted by white hands in that town." In 1775 he enlisted as sergeant in Capt. Hart Williams' company, in Col. Phinney's regiment, and served out his enlistment. Afterward he was drafted, but being a man of considerable means it was thought best he should send his two sons Ebenezer and John to serve, while he remained to assist in the support of the families of the poorer soldiers of Gorham.
His home was on a thirty-acre lot, given him by his father in 1763 with another thirty-acre lot opposite, which he sold to his brother Edmund, in 1766. He died May 3, 1815, aged eighty-three years, and his wife died about the same time, aged eighty.
1. Sarah, born Nov. 21, 1755, married John Emery, 1776.
2. Rebecca, born Aug. 18, 1757, married John Moody, of Standish, 1788.
3. Ebenezer, born Dec. 14, 1759, see forward.
4. John, born April 11, 1762, married, 1786, Susanna Stone.
5. Martha, born April 29, 1764, married 1793, Jonathan Haskell.
6. Abigail, born 1766, died unmarried.
7. Coleman, born Dec. 13, 1770, died in Portland, 1856; married, 1793, Peggy Moore.

(VI) Ebenezer, eldest son of John (5) and Rebecca (Sawyer) Phinney, was born Dec. 14, 1759. He married May 28, 1781, Sarah P., daughter of Wentworth and Susanna (Lombard) Stuart, born Feb. 28, 1764. They lived and died in Standish, but most of their children resided in Gorham. Capt. Wentworth STUART, father of Sarah, was son of Joseph and Mary Wentworth (Lord) Stuart, of Berwick, York county, Maine, and was a man of prominence. He was town clerk, selectman, representative to general court 1773-74, received commission of captain in the army of the revolution, and died in serivce at Sewell's Point, near Boston, of smallpox, April 17, 1776. The mother of Sarah (Wentworth) Phinney was a daughter of Rev. Solomon Lombard. As his widow, she married May 4, 1779, William Wood, of Gorham. She died in Standish (Probably at the house of her daughter Sarah) May 7, 1803.
1. Statira, married June 11, 1807, Thomas Files.
2. Wentworth S., married ____ Moore, of New York city.
3. John, lived at Stockton, Maine.
4. Patience, married April 2, 1818, Robert Files.
5. Isaac, see forward.
6. Rebecca, married Charles Jordan, of Raymond, lived at Gorham.

(VII) Isaac, third son of Ebenezer and Sarah (Stuart) Phinney, was born in Gorham, Maine, where he resided. He married Edie Merrill, of Raymond, Maine.
Thomas Files (see forward).
another son John Coleman, died in 1889.
Other children who died young.

(VIII) Thomas Files, eldest son of Isaac and Edie (Merrill) Phinney, was born at Gorham Sept. 3, 1833. He was in business in Portland, Belfast and Thomaston, Maine, until the breaking out of the civil war, when he volunteered and served throughout the war.
He married Sarah Elizabeth, daughter of Ephraim Adams and Susannah (Houston) Pitcher, of Belfast. She was descended from the Adams family of Massachusetts, and the Houston family, of which Sam Houston, of Texas, was the most noted.
Horace Coleman, born June 18, 1861, see forward.
Nathaniel Clifford.
Warren Rice.

(IX) Horace Coleman, eldest son of Thomas Files and Sarah E. (Pitcher) Phinney, was born at Portland June 28, 1861. He was educated at Thomaston high school, from which he graduated in 1878 and fitted for college under private tutors. He was graduated from Bowdoin College, A. B., 1884, and A. M., 1887, and attended Harvard summer school, 1889-90. While at Bowdoin he was captain of the tennis team, champion of the college, and was the promotor of this sport at Bowdoin. He was also organizer and captain of the Bowdoin polo team, and a member of the college baseball nine, and of his class nine. He engaged in business in New York city with his uncle, F. W. Pitcher, immediately after graudation; later became a partner, remaining as such until the business was sold, and has since been actively engaged in the real estate business in New York.
He is a member of the Bowdoin Alumni Association, Maine Society, West Side Tennis Club, and Alpha Delta Phi Club.
He married Sept. 12, 1894, Sarah Estelle Clarke, of New York city.
Horace Adams, born in Thomaston, Maine, Sept. 12, 1898.
Beryl Isabelle, born in New York May 4, 1903.

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