Passing Through Finley Farm, Smithton, Pennsylvania Sinc 1750's

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This family history summary updates work that was done for a 2002 gathering at our Pennsylvania farm. At that time thoughts and comments on what we knew of all those who may have passed through over the times since our ancestor Andrew Finley first settled on the farm, after serving with Washington in the revolution. Since then the images have been updated, but with photography not being commonly available until after mid 19th century, earlier images are less reliable.

Family legend has the farm being given to our Scots Irish ancestor Captain Andrew Finley, who had served with George Washington throughout the Revolutionary War. It may have been part of lands Washington was given for surveying the area around what is now Pittsburgh before the French and Indian War. The farm which became known as Finley Fancy was comprised of two 80 acre tracts, now bisected by Painter Road and now between the Smithton exit of I 70 and the old coal mining town of West Newton on the Youghiogheny River. We have the original deed to one of the eighty acre grants and the other is at farm which is still owned and lived on by my Painter cousin.


Pittsburgh and SE area including Smithton and West Newton; Finley Farm on Painter Road; South Huntington Township, Westmoreland County PA


This update also include views of where those who passed through originated, albeit with a touch of poetic license, since much less is available from the mists of centuries long ago than from recent periods. Greater clarity on maps, family tree and text images may be gained by downloading and enlarging image or using Google search for more detail. Following are comments that may add to an understanding of how our ancestors as well as others may have passed through the lands of our Finley Farm, now with the Painter family to the Moores that date back to the Finley's.



1976 Miriam Painter back porch swing; 1952 Christmas Jane, Betty, Jack, Bob; 1964 Thurman and Miriam Painter; 1976 Miriam kitchen porch

Images of our Mother's parents, Miriam and Thurman Painter and their children Jane, Betty Jack and Bob on the farm are a fitting start to these notes and images. For it was Miriam's ancestor Andrew Finley who first settled on the farm. And it was through the remarkable coincidence of marrying Thurman Painter in the early 1900's, whose family owned the farm, that my grandmother returned to her ancestral farm to live until she died in 1982. The farm is where my mother lived until completing high school and moving to Chicago area where job prospects were better. And her younger brother Jack lived with his family on farm his entire life, just as his son Scott still does.


As indicated above, our Finley ties go back to the Finleys in the 1500’s in Scotland. Further back, the Finleys are descendants of Scot Kings Duncan I and Malcolm III Canmore in the 1000’s. Shakespeare indicates in Macbeth that Duncan was killed by his uncles Macbeth and Thorfinn Sigurdsson. Macbeth in turn died in battle with Malcolm, who's first wife was Thorfinn's daughter Ingibjörg. That was same era when Viking powers raided and ruled that area of Scotland around Fyfe. However, whether Malcolm and Ingibjörg might have been the first blood ties between my father's Norwegian Viking ancestors and my mother's Scots-Irish Finleys would be just as difficult to refute as confirm.


1070+: Malcolm Canmore and Margaret meet on her Scotland return; Falling in Love; 1070 Marriage; 1085 Sword ritual dance


1000 Scotland Map with Macbeth Fife and Burnham Woods; Fife Parish Map with Newburn Balchristie

About the time of our Finley beginnings in Scotland, Shakespeare would have been writing of Macbeth five centuries before. The Scottish map of that era indicates the Cupar Angus locale where our Finleys probably had lived for generations. And the Fife parish map indicates Newburn, of which our Balchristie hamlet was part. These places still exist on the modern Scotland map, along with Amargh in Ulster where our Finleys moved for a generation. They were probably part of Scots England encouraged or moved to Ulster and Amargh after 1707 union with Scotland to pacify or offset Irish Catholics. With poor crops, famine and rebellions in Armagh in 1720's against Scots Irish, Finleys were probably among those newly Scot immigrants to Ireland tempted by hopes for better life in the American colonies. In 1734 they joined the nearly 200,000 Scots Irish immigrants, mostly to Pennsylvania from 1710 to 1775.


1600's Ulster towns and topography; Scottish Landlords in Ulster after 1707 England-Scot Union; Eagle Wing type immigrant vessel; Immigrant routes

References and descriptions do exist of the many Eagle Wing voyages. From 1714-49 it brought Ulster settlers to Philadelphia or Delaware from Belfast. Among these were our ancestors John and Michael Finley and their families. All Michael's nine children and seven sons including our ancestor John were born in Ireland. The ship above may not be Eagle Wing, but one of other similar immigrant ships that would take six to ten weeks depending on weather and wind to cross the Atlantic with their Presbyterian cargo. Michael settled as a farmer in Bucks and Chester counties near Philadelphia and paid taxes with his son Michael until he died in 1747 or 1750.


1760 Scots Irish-German immigrant settlements; 1800's Scot Irish; 1760 Colonial Ethnic Settlements; 1754+ French and Indian War in North America


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1758 Trails West Mid Atlantic, NY; 1750's Virginia view of their West; 1730-54 Trails west to Ohio Country

Michael would never have ventured west across the Allegheny mountains, but his son John did. By 1752 he had descended the falls of the Ohio and was probably the first European to reach the lush blue grass county of Kentucky. His harrowing ventures in Kentucky where he also learned of the Warrior's trace which led to Cumberland Gap through mountains to south of blue grass are described in Billington's Westward Expansion pages 160-9. Anxious to promote his findings, he may have had the opportunity as part of Washington's 1754 Jumonville Glen and Fort Necessity confrontations with French, who by then had established Fort Duquesne where Monongahela and Allegheny rivers joined to form the Ohio in what is now Golden Triangle of Pittsburgh.


1750's Kentucky Blue Grass area with Wilderness trails, waterways, settlements; 1750's Fort Duquesne; Washington travels to Western PA and Ohio

While Finley was in Kentucky, George Washington was a young surveyor in what is now Western Pennsylvania, but then being contested between Pennsylvania and Virginia. His familiarity with these rugged lands would have helped in his appointment in 1753 to lead a regiment of Virginia military to inform the French that what is now Pittsburgh belonged to England, not France.


May 1754 Washington Skirmish with French at Jumonville Glen and July surrender at Great Meadows of Fort Necessity to start French Indian War

In 1754 he returned with a military force to use more forceful measures to evict the French if necessary. This led to the 22 year old George Washington accidentally triggering the French and Indian War which evolved into the Seven years war which drew major powers of Europe into a global fray, more over the sugar islands of the Caribbean and trade and dominance in India and Indonesia than the battle between England and France over North America colonies. The skirmish at Jumonville Glen in May 1754 followed by surrender to French at Fort Necessity July 3 when Washington was accused of assassinating a diplomat at Jumonville Glen set off battles that gave England dominance of North American colonies and lands west to Mississippi all just a few miles south of what would become our Finley farm. In 1755 Braddock was defeated in attempt to force French from Fort Duquesne. It was not until 1758 that Forbes pushed French out of what would be Fort Pitt.


1755 Braddock campaign to take Fort Duquesne fails due to wilderness, Indians, leadership; Washington leads orderly withdrawal as Braddock dies

When Washington returned with Braddock's disastrous 1755 campaign, both John Finley and a young Daniel Boone were among troops. It would have been then when John Finley would have fired the imagination of a young Daniel Boone about the lands beyond the mountains through nightly campfire stories, even though Finley never followed the Warrior's Wilderness trace through Kentucky to the Cumberland Gap.


1755 Indian scout views Fort Duquesne; Washington VA regimental uniform; Monongahela battlefield; Braddock route and retreat

History tells us that it was John Finley who led Daniel Boone through the Cumberland Gap. But the John Finley, who was father of our Captain Andrew, and who enlivened the campfires of Washington and Braddock as well as inspired Daniel Boone, was killed by Indians shortly after the French and Indian War. It would have been his oldest son John, who remarkably showed up at the Boone cottage as a peddler indicating that he could lead Boone through the mountains to Kentucky and after a winter together in Boone's Yadkin Virginia home did.


1767 Boone Finley party through Cumberland Gap to Kentucky; Cumberland Gap colors, clouds, passes; Boone legend; Boone party in sunlight

It is unclear whether it was his father’s self confidence showing or stories from his father, who had only heard of a mountain pass from its connection to the Warrior’s trace he traveled in Kentucky. John like his father had gone down Ohio River to Kentucky in late 1750's and faced harrowing times and escapes as he trapped for and lost his cache of furs, but escaped with his life. After his Kentucky travels he settled down in Western Pennsylvania to life as a back woods peddler. It is unclear how he came to find Boone and whether either knew this John Finley was the son of Boone’s inspiration to go west. Despite Boone’s many past attempts and failures to find the pass, Finley and Boone spent the winter planning the journey and in the spring of 1767, Finley did find and lead Boone through what became the Cumberland Gap to Kentucky. It is this juxtaposition of coincidence, mystery and history that makes the ghost image most moving of the Cumberland slides. For me, that ghostly image will always be John Finley, father and son.


1769 Reconstruction Frontier East trail town; Cumberland Gap Map today; PJ at dusk at top of Cumberland Gap

We don't know much about John's younger brother Andrew until we learn of him as part of Pennsylvania regiment for Revolutionary War. We know he served the entire war and rose to an important position on Washington's officer corps. We know that Washington made several trips to Western Pennsylvania both before and after Revolutionary War. Initially he continued surveying, mapping and acquiring prime land along wilderness rivers. He also tried to secure for himself as well as troops from Braddock campaign bounty lands that Virginia had made available to Virginia volunteer soldiers, even though it was unclear whether Virginia owned those bounty lands in what became part of Pennsylvania. Washington also worked with a Pennsylvania surveyor named Crawford until he died in 1782. By then Washington owned or controlled about 58,000 acres of Western Pennsylvania and Virginia lands through payment for surveyor services, purchase, or other claims and patents.


It is not clear that Washington made available any of these lands to either soldiers who served with him in French and Indian War or long serving officers such as Andrew Finley in the Revolutionary War. In addition to land acquisition, Washington believed in opening Ohio and Midwest lands through canals from Great Lakes south to link up with Cumberland and Chesapeake waterways and supported early steamboat entrepreneurs like John Fitch and James Rumsey. In 1984 Washington came to Perryopolis where he had built a grist mill and had surrounding lands and to defend those lands he had received for military service from squatters. Long and disputatious negotiations with settlers were never fully resolved although Washington's claims were upheld by courts and settlers mostly moved on to other wilderness lands. Washington loved Perryopolis lands and may have had dreams of making it US Capitol according to Jack Painter.


1755 Great Meadows Fort Necessity; 1776 Washington Perryopolis Mill; Great Idea develop west by canal Erie to Chesapeake; Mill; Jumonville

In 1789 George Washington became the first President of the United States, the same year that Pennsylvania granted the deed we have to Andrew Finley. Whether Washing was influential in facilitating Finley's ownership is not clear, but it is clear that Washington's signature is not on the deed. From that point on our ancestors and current relatives have lived on the farm with the exception of a few decades at end of 19th century when ownership may have passed to our Pore neighbors. To capture some of those since who have passed through is focus of remainder of these highlights of farm mostly been in our family since 1789.


Finley Farm from Jack Painter home to southeast; 1848 Wallace built Painter farmhouse; Rear of Farmhouse; Farmhouse before loss f front porch


Passing Through Finley Farm of Westmoreland Country Pennsylvania

As we grow older and closer to the end than the beginning, it is natural to think more of all those who came before. Old genealogy records help us reconstruct lives of ancestors, but I have always found the lands on which they lived even more fascinating. Perhaps it’s because the land is always there, while people just pass through. As I recall, ‘Gone With the Wind’ summarized it as the red earth of Tara. Of the lands of our family, the place most set apart through which we have all passed is a tract known in history as the old Finley farm.

Family legend has lands being given to a Captain Andrew Finley by George Washington for his service in the Revolutionary War, perhaps from lands Washington received as a surveyor years before. Whether fact or fantasy, we do know that George Washington would have passed through when his skirmish with the French in 1754 ignited the French and Indian War and he built Fort Necessity south of what would become our family farm. He would have passed through the following year on Braddock’s campaign to take Fort Duquesne from the French and make it Fort Pitt. And he would have passed through as a surveyor to make the maps we still have of the lands around the mouth of the Ohio River.


1754 George Washington passing through at Jumonville Glen and Fort Necessity while starting French and Indian War

We have no blood ties to George Washington, as does my wife PJ’s clan. Nor can we even go back as far as Pocahontas and John Smith floating by PJ's Virginia ancestral home. But our old Finley farm has had a distinguished parade of luminaries who have floated by or passed through. It’s of those I think as I stand on the hills and look over the same lands they passed through so long ago. And as I do, I dream of what it must have been like for:


Michael and Archibald Finley and their families landing in Philadelphia on September 28, 1734 on the good ship Eagle Wing from Armagh in Northern Ireland. They were the first in our family to arrive in America and probably never got as far as our farm as they settled around Philadelphia in Chester and Bucks Counties. But their children did. Michael’s son John, who is our Andrew’s father, lived in and had several of his children born or die in Westmoreland County.


1734 Newcastle port of Philadelphia where Finleys arrived; 1770's Colonial Philadelphia of Declaration of Independence; 1800's Philadelphia aerial

That first John Finley ancestor in America first fired my imagination as I read history’s account of him as 'the Old Indian Trader to whom fell credit for the first confirmation of Indian stories of the richness of what was to become the Mecca of pioneers a generation later, the bluegrass country of Kentucky' in Billington's Westward Expansion. He would have floated by our farm as he descended the Youghiogheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers with his canoes of trading goods in 1752 to learn, after capture by the Shawnees, of the Cumberland Gap’s access to the fertile Kentucky lands. This same John was with Washington as part of Braddock’s 1755 campaign to take Fort Duquesne. It was then that a young Daniel Boone was entranced by John’s nightly campfire tales of the wonders and perils of Kentucky and his travels and trading there. However, despite legend, if our John Finley was the Old Indian Trader and who introduced Boone to Kentucky and the Cumberland Gap, he most certainly did not lead him there years later. For John was killed by Indians the following year and died in Pennsylvania’s Cumberland.


John’s son John, when he showed up at Boone’s cabin in 1769. They spent the winter planning the trip they took the next Spring through the Gap. This John was in Kentucky a couple years before, was still single, and was part of the famous John Thompson expedition to Kentucky in 1773. He is our Andrew’s brother, making Andrew brother to Boone’s guide and son of the Old Indian Trader. Some historians contend that Michael’s brother Archibald may have sired Boone’s guide, which would have meant that our ancestral link would be back a generation. But I’ll stick with the two Johns as Indian Trader and Boone guide, perhaps identifying with them after reading that John ‘like his father, had a tendency to wander’.


George Washington, who passed through during 1753. 1754 and 1755 on way to Fort Duquesne. Later Washington may have been responsible for promoting the land awards for military service, rather than directly giving our farm to Andrew. But we do know Andrew was on the land from after the Revolutionary War until his death in 1791. We can only imagine the effort to clear the land and build a productive farm with all the limits of American frontier life in those times.


We can next imagine the generation of Andrew’s six daughters and two sons on the farm,. One of those daughters is our direct ancestor. The other the tie to next farm owners, the Wallaces, who became most prominent of all those who lived on, owned or passed through our farm through John Wallace, who emigrated from Ulster in 1823, walked across Pennsylvania and ended up on our farm. He worked as a hired hand, married one of our Andrew’s granddaughters, settled on another farm and then took over our farm, as indicated in the news article below which validates that it was the exact farm of Andrew Finley that my grandmother returned to as a new bride in the early 1900’s.


1840's John Wallace, Martha Finley Ross Wallace; 1805 Ross Home; 1914 Finley Fancy Farm; Henry; 1850's Wallace at Jefferson college

I mistakenly assumed the farm had been sold to the Wallaces in the 1800’s. Only recently did I piece together facts that made them relatives rather just another family passing through. And with our Wallaces as scions of two US Secretaries of Agriculture and a Vice President, there is less to imagine about their family history than ours. However, as with Michael and Archibald and families, I can dream about how it must have been for John Wallace arriving in Philadelphia in 1823 from Kilrea, Ireland and walking across Pennsylvania to find work in the only skill he knew, farming.


Our direct ancestor Mary Finley married Walter Bell and moved to his nearby farm. Her sister Martha married Randall Ross and moved to another nearby farm. John Wallace may have worked on our farm for their father Andrew. A few years after Andrew died, John Wallace married Martha Randall’s daughter Martha, built the new farmhouse in 1848, and lived on the farm through the Civil War.


1917 Uncle Henry's Life Story; Henry Wallace; Book Contents; Four Generations of Henry Wallace; 1848 farmhouse, 1914 Henry cemetery return

John Wallace’s son Henry, born on the farm in 1836, was only one of nine children to survive. He left a lovingly written book on our farm with ‘its fat pork sausages and cream as thick as pancake batter’ The book was published in 1917 as ‘Uncle Henry’s Own Story of His Life’. But Henry longed to be elsewhere. So we can imagine him finishing West Newton High and Jefferson College and using his missionary training as his ticket West. Even though the Wallace’s built the existing farmhouse, we lose track of them until my Mother recalls Uncle Henry’s grandson showing up while he was FDR’s Agriculture Secretary shortly before be became Vice President and talking of walking the fields and learning about crops as a boy from George Washington Carver in Iowa and founding Pioneer Hi Bred, which was recently sold to DuPont for $6 billon to become focus of life science biotech seed business.


1900's George Washing Carver. 1933-9 Wallace Ag, Commerce Sec. 1941-45 FDR VP;1926 Pioneer Founder; 2000 Pioneer DuPont bio seeds; Wallace American Dreamer

We can read about the fame of the Iowa Wallace’s in politics, agriculture and the Farm Journals they founded. But we can imagine 18 year old Henry leaving the farm and climbing abroad his first ever train to head west. We expect he stopped to see his cousin Lew in Crawfordsville, Indiana who, would have been under the beech tree where he wrote most of Ben Hur. John ended up at Monmouth College to complete his ministerial degree. And we can muse about him being eloquent exponent of farm life he became for the rest of his life without ever again living on a farm.


1860 B&O tracks along Youghiogheny; Gen. Lew Wallace; Ben Hur written by Lew Wallace in Crawfordsville, IN

As we return to thoughts of the farm and the changes and people it saw flow through, our dreaming turns to one last Finley ancestor, Samuel Finley Breese Morse. As a direct descendent of our Michael Finley through his son Samuel, who was Princeton President, Morse was a NY portrait painter and inventor of the telegraph and Morse code. Even though he was a relative, he probably never passed through our Finley Farm, but his telegraph lines certainly did and we visited his Hudson River Locust Grove home recently.


1830's Samuel Finley Breese Morse; Morse with eminent US inventors and scientists; Morse old; Morse code telegraph; Locust Grove on Hudson River

Davy Crockett legendary frontiersman, hunter, Indian fighter, U.S. Congressman and one of those martyred at Alamo met Mary "Polly" Finley, daughter of our Finley's Martha, at a frontier social event. In his autobiography Crockett recalled "she looked sweeter than sugar". They fell in love and were married in 1806 at Finleys Gap, Jefferson, TN and had three children before Polly died in 1815. Polly probably lived near our farm with her parents. Davy Crockett probably didn’t see the farm, but might have cruised by on a flatboat down the Ohio with Mike Fink.


1753 Youghiogheny Monongahela rivers; Davy Crocket and Mike Fink; River Pirates VCR; Davy Crocket King of Wild Frontier; Polly Crockett grave

Industrial America barons of the late 1800’s were not relatives, but would have passed by our farm. Rockefeller would have turned north of Pittsburgh to the Titusville and Oil City fields in the 1870's. Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick would have passed by our farmlands as they wove their integrated coke and steel empires together in the 1880's from Frick's Connellsville coke ovens south of our farm to Carnegie steel mills along Pittsburgh rivers. And the might B&O railroad would have carried steel, coal, and oil along the Youghiogheny river in forest beyond our farm where an old blown out dam for watering steam behemoths still stands near tracks.


1900 Andrew Carnegie; 1880's PA steam engine coal train; 1880's Steel blast furnace; Braddock works Pittsburgh; 1900 Henry Frick

West Newton and Fitzhenry were river towns where coal miners lived and descended into mine shafts. They were not supposed to tunnel and mine under farms, but mother often recalls hearing sounds of work underground of our farm. Even though coal has moved on, covered mineshafts still exist, now superseded by fracking rigs in fields where few crops are still farmed.


1900's Boot leg coal mine entrance; Abandoned PA underground coal mine and 1800's miners; 1890's Connellsville coke ovens

Concluding Observations

So finally we reach the most stunning and phenomenal passing through, which surely would have been the return of my Grandmother to her ancestral lands as a new wife in a family whose lands the Finley farm became after the Wallace’s. We know that John Wallace left during or shortly after the Civil War to join his son Henry in Iowa. The farm was sold to a neighbor John Pore who around 1900 sold it to John Fullerton, my grandfather John Thurman Painter’s grandfather. That became the third area farm Fullerton owned. The other two were the Ross-Blackburn farm to west of Millgrove cemetery and large farm to east with timber that terrified mother when visiting John's youngest daughter Clara, who lived with her son Horace and is still in Christmas dinner photo below in 1950's.


2009 Blackburn Ross farm W of Millgrove Cemetery; Fullerton farm E of Millgrove; 1950's Christmas dinner at farm; Millgrove and Fullerton graves

Fullerton was descendant of Scots Irish immigrant James Kilgore, whose son David organized the 8th Pennsylvania with brothers John and Andrew Finley to defend Fort Presque in Revolutionary War. When NY was lost, they joined Washington's forces, fought in battles from Brandywine to Yorktown and endured Valley Forge winter. David Kilgore's mother was Betsy Jack who's brother John was awarded a 328 acre farm next to the first 80 acre tract Andrew Finley got shortly after. It is likely that Andrew married his neighbor John Jack's daughter Jane. Since David Kilgore's granddaughter married John Fullerton's father in 1823, that would explain Thurman's reference in newspaper above of his ancestry tie to Finley farm, through Andrew Finley's wife Jane Jack. It may also be that the Ross farm where one of Andrew's daughters lived when she married Ross and their daughter later married John Wallace before they returned to Finley Fancy to build the farmhouse which still stands, tastefully and sturdily renovated by our cousin Scott since it became his home after grandmother died in 1992.

The Painter side of Thurman's lineage is German. His first Painter Westmoreland ancestor was a judge until 1826 whose father in law of Huguenot heritage was among first US Congressmen. Most accomplished great uncle Israel Painter had been an acclaimed Civil War Colonel while also managing war supply companies and then owning over 100 farms and many rail, coal and other industrial firms in Western Pennsylvania. Thurman's father George married John Fullerton's daughter Margaret in 1887 and the family lived some years in Missouri in horse business.


1863 Thurman great uncle Col. Israel Painter; 1886 Margaret Fullerton, George Painter, Thurman; 1887 Esther; 1890 Cynthia; 1900 Clay, Thurman


1890's Missouri hard times; Missouri home; Irwin Painter home; Will Tree Farm; Clymer, Thurman, Jane, Mabel; Iz at Willow Tree with Miriam; Janet Painter

My Grandmother Miriam Fluvenna Moore married Thurman Painter in 1917. He had graduated as a lawyer from Jefferson College, as did Henry Wallace. Unlike Uncle Henry, who headed West to leave farming, no one else in my grandfather’s family seemed to want the farm, so he returned to it with my grandmother, where they lived the remainder of their lives. The farm, where my Mother and her siblings grew up, remains the home of her brother and his son.

Farming as we recall it associated with livestock and growing and harvesting food crops has mostly disappeared from most farms in the area over the past half century. With stretches of level space, our farm may have had fleeting prospects for prominence in recent decades as a potential site for an air base after World War II which ultimately didn't get built and a Volkswagen plant that went instead to New Stanton and is now closed. The fruit orchard above the now renovated three brick thick Wallace farmhouse of 1848, has been developed into home sites. The old springhouse that cooled fresh milk until pickup now feeds a swimming pool instead. Beyond the barn where cousins at Thanksgiving and Christmas would build tunnels and play games is now an industrial park rather than the stump field and dairy cow pasture with blackberry bushes. Chicken coops and sheep sheds are now mostly new machinery storage sheds and with no corn, slatted bins and silos are long gone. But the lands are probably more beautiful than ever with rolling hills and spring to autumn beautiful foliage and life. Fracking rigs fill some of those open hillsides, but don't pollute or disrupt like their predecessor coal operations. And there is no sign of new ownership in Finley Fancy's two century plus years of association with mostly same intertwined family ties of all the years since 1789.


2000 Aerial Farms on Painter, Sherbondy Rds Smithton; Industrial park from barn; new equipment shed; Barn, chicken coop; Renovated farmhouse back

Other tales surely will be told about those who have passed through these fine lands. I recall Mother’s stories of all the coal miners who were heard passing under the land although they were seldom seen other than the busloads of miners from West Newton descending into the vertical shaft back by the dam. And I recall hearing of all the colored folks who always asked whether they could pick black berries in the stump field while the white folks never asked. And as I learned how little money there was, it was heartbreaking to hear of those who passed through to take turkeys just before they were ready for Thanksgiving sale.

Perhaps along with all the tales yet to be told or recalled of those who passed through will come answers to the still puzzling ties. How exactly are the Wallace’s related to our Finley’s and did the farm ever passed out of family hands? Fullerton names and Westmoreland Country ties in both Finley and my Grandfather Painter’s clan make this question even more intriguing. Hopefully all this will spark the interest of another generation about where we all came from and who all passed through, just as the Finely my thought above still keep me dreaming and imagining.


1900's Marge, Nelle, Pearl, Sara Offitt, Miriam Moore; 1920's:Painters, Moores at farm; Nelle, Miriam, Marge, Pearl; Jane, Betty, Jack Painter, cousins