Our Finley Family History

Our Finley line can be traced back to the early 1200's in Rothiemurchus, Scotland to Shaw MacDuff.  His son was the clan chief, Fearchar McFinlay, who was born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland in 1236.  The clan name is Farquharson.

According to tradition and family history the chiefs of the Farquharsons were lineally descended from the great ancient Thanes of Fife.  They emerge into the limelight of history early in the fourteenth century in the person of a redoubtable Shaw MacDuff.  (He is my 19th great grandfather.)  It was a time when the great house of Comyn, previously all-powerful in many quarters of Scotland, was going down before the might of the Bruces, their junior competitors for the Scottish crown.  The Comyn chiefs had their headquarters in Badenoch, and Shaw MacDuff with his followers performed prodigies of valour in driving them out of that country.  As a reward King Robert the Bruce is said to have appointed him hereditary chamberlain of the royal lands of Braemar, about the upper waters of the Dee, on the other side of the Cairngorms from his original patrimony.  Here ever since, with the vicissitudes more or less dramatic and romantic, the Farquharson chiefs have remained settled.

The son of Shaw MacDuff, founder of the family, was a certain Fearchar who lived in the reigns of Robert II and III.  From him the clan takes its name of Mac'earchar, or Farquharson.  He married a daughter of Patrick MacDonachadh, ancestor of the Robertsons of Lude.  This Fearchar left a large family, several of whom settled in the Braes of Angus, and became the ancestors of respectable families there.  From Finlay More, the grandson of this Fearchar, the clan took its name of Finlay or Finley.

Balmoral Castle, summer home of the Royal family of England, was once owned by the Farquharson's.

For those of you that are genuinely interested, I have the line from Shaw MacDuff down to my fourth great grandmother, Sarah Finley who married Nathan Sellers.  Sarah was a second cousin of Robert the Bruce (15 x removed) and a tenth great granddaughter of James the First.  He was in actuality James the Sixth of Scotland before coming James the First of England.

I have a hand written note from my great aunt that says that Sarah Finley Sellers was a cousin to George Washington, however I have never been able to verify that.

Back to Our Mortenson Story