John "the Pilgrim" Phinney, Sr.

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John "the Pilgrim" Phinney (Finney), Sr.

Also Known As: "The Pilgrim"
Birthdate: (98)
Birthplace: Lenton, Nottinghamshire, England
Death: 1702 (97)
Swansea, Bristol, Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Son of Robert Finney and Protesia Catherine Finney
Husband of Christian Phinney; Christian Phinney; Abigail Phinney and Elizabeth Bailey
Father of John Phinney, II; Margaret Finney; Thomas Phinney; Jonathan Phinney; Robert Phinney and 6 others
Brother of (No Name); Sarah Pinney; Katherine Fallowell; Joyce Finney; Anne Finney and 2 others

Occupation: Immigrated to New England in ~1637. Assigned land in 1639 near Plymouth. Was a constable and teacher of Latin. Given a grant to bare arms/defend the town.
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John "the Pilgrim" Phinney, Sr.

John PHINNEY 1, 2, 3, 4 was christened 15 Mar 1604 in Lenton, Nottinghamshire, England. He died 1701/1702 in Swansea, Bristol, Massachusetts.

  • parents: Robert Phinney b. c 1568, d. c 1637/38 & "Mother" (?) b. c 1570, d. 22 Apr 1650


  1. Christian Patten in Lenton, Nottinghamshire, England, on 22 November 1636.1.
  2. Abigail Bishop widow Coggin in Barnstable, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, on 10 June 1650.1,2.
  3. Elizabeth Bailey in Barnstable, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, on 26 June 1654.1,2.

Brief Biography

John Phinney. immigrant ancestor, was born in England. He came to Plymouth in New England in 1638. In the early records his name is spelled Finney, Fenney, Fennye and Phinney. He was one of the proprietors of the town of Plymouth, December 2, 1639, and was admitted a freeman, August 20, 1644. He removed to Barnstable, where his descendants have been prominent to the present time. His wife Christian died September 9, 1649, and he married (second) at Barnstable, July 9 or June 10, 1650, Abigail Coggin (or Cogan), widow of Henry Coggin. She was buried May 7, 1653. He received a letter, dated at Burdport (Bridport), England, April 10,1654, from his father-in-law, Thomas Bishop, asking him to send to him Abigail Coggin, his grandchild, to Weymouth to his daughter Mrs. Sarah Lydds in Milcomb and requesting him to care for the other grandchildren, Thomas and Henry Coggin. Henry Coggin was a wealthy merchant and "adventurer" (promoter). Mr. Phinney married (third) June 26, 1654, Elizabeth Bayley, of Branstable. He was constable at Barnstable. He became interested in that fertile region about Mount -Hope and thither he removed in his later years. 'Mother Phinney," doubtless his mother, died at Plymouth, April 22, 1650, aged upwards of eighty. His brother Robert settled also at Plymouth, where he was a town officer and deacon; married, September i, 1641, Phebe Ripley; died January 7, 1687-88, aged eighty, and in his will bequeathed to the children of his brother John and others, having no surviving children.
Child of first wife: I. John, born at Plymouth, December 24, 1638, mentioned below.
Children of third wife: 2. Jonathan, August 14, 1655. 3. Robert, August 13, 1656, lost his life in Governor Phipps expedition in 1690. 4. Hannah, September 2, 1657, married Ephraim Morton. 5. Elizabeth, March 15. I059- 6. Josiah, January n, 1661, married. January 19, 1688, Elizabeth Warren. 7. Jeremiah, August 15, 1662. 8. Joshua, December, 1665.

JOHN FINNEY, was born Bef. March 15, 1603/04 in Lenton, Nottinghamshire, England, and died 1702 in Swansea, Bristol co., MA.
He married (1) CHRISTIANA PATTEN November 22, 1636 in Lenton, Nottinghamshire, England. She was born Bef. November 23, 1608 in Sneinton, Nottinghamshire, England, and died September 09, 1649 in Plymouth , Plymouth co., MA.
He married (2) ABIGAIL BISHOP June 19, 1650 in Barnstable, Barnstable co., MA, daughter of THOMAS BISHOP and AVIS ABBOTT. She was born Bet. 1612 - 1613 in Bridport, co., Dorset, England, and died May 06, 1653 in Barnstable, Barnstable co., MA.
He married (3) ELIZABETH BAYLEY June 26, 1654 in Barnstable, Barnstable co., MA. She was born in Of Plymouth, Plymouth, MA, and died February 09, 1683/84 in Bristol, Rhode Island.

Notes for JOHN FINNEY:

According to Plymouth, Mass., records, John Finney was in that town as early as 1630 with his mother, his brother Robert, and his sister Catherine. Tradition has it that the father died while crossing the sea. No definite information has been found as to the boat upon which they arrived or their place of birth in England. Some investigators claim that the family came from Wales and others that theywere from Pontypool in Monmouthshire, a country which once belonged to Wales but was taken over by Henry VIII to become a part of England early in the 16th century.

John Finney's mother who is referred to only as "Mother Finney". died in Plymouth, April 22, 1650 "age upwards of 80 years." His brother Robert was born about 1608 and died Jan 7, 1687; he married Phebe Ripley, who was born about 1619 and died Oct. 9, 1710, in her 92nd year. They had no children. John's sister Catherine married Gabriel Fallowell.

John Finney probably lived in Plymouth for several years; his two sons by his first wife were born there. He next moved to Barnstable, Mass., where seven of his children were born, and eventually to Bristol, R.I. He had seven sons. The eldest, John, Jr. settled in Barnstable and founded what is known as the Barnstable branch of the family; his descendants have ususally spelled their surname "Phinney." Josiah made his home in Plymouth and thus established the Plymouth line. Jonathan, Jeremiah, and Joshua all went to Rhode Island with their father, and their descendants form the so called Bristol branch. The Phinney spelling is sometimes found in the Plymouth and Bristol lines also, especially in the later generations.

Source Finney-Phinney Families in America by Howard Finney, Jr., Montclair, New Jersey, February 21, 1956.

G929.2 F514fi

LC# CS71. P5723 1957


"Mr. Phinney with his townsman Major Walley, became interested in the fertile region about Mount Hope, RI where he removed after holding the office of constable in Barnstable. The importance of this office is not to be estimated by its relative consideration at the present day. A constable, in the time of the fathers, was a most imposing and awe-inspiring personage and those who saw fit to indulge in any levity at his expense, would find it to be a fatal and costly experiment."

Source: Genealogical Notes of Barnstable Families by Amos Otis


Children of John Finney and Christina Patten are:

     John Finney jr., b. December 24, 1638, Plymouth , Plymouth, MA; d. Bet. 1718 - 1719, Barnstable, Barnstable, MA.
    Margaret Finney, b. Bef. July 20, 1637, Lenton, Nottinghamshire, England.



  1. 1McCracken, George E., "Early Cogans, English and American," NEHGR 111:3 (Jul 1957) (New England Historic, Genealogical Society.), p. 176, Los Angeles Public Library.
  2. 2Savage, James, A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, showing three generations of those who came before 1692 (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1860-62.), 3:417, Los Angeles Public Library, 929.274 S264.
  3. 3Anderson, Robert Charles, George F. Sanborn, Jr., Melinde Lutz Sanborn, The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635 (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1999-2007.), 2:134, Los Angeles Public Library, Gen 974 A549-1.
  4. 4Stratton, Eugene Aubrey, Plymouth Colony: Its History & People, 1620-1691 (Salt Lake City, Utah: Ancestry Incorporated, 1986.), p. 266, Los Angeles Public Library, Gen 974.4 S911.

John Finney was born on March 15, 1604, in Nottinghamshire. He married Elizabeth Bayley on June 26, 1654, in Barnstable, Massachusetts. He died in 1702 in Swansea, Massachusetts, at the impressive age of 98.

Full text of "The clan Finney":

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John "the Pilgrim" Phinney, Sr.'s Timeline

March 15, 1604
Lenton, Nottinghamshire, England
July 20, 1637
Age 33
Lenton, Nottinghamshire, England, United Kingdom
December 24, 1638
Age 34
Plymouth, Plymouth, MA, United States
Age 43
Plymouth, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
August 14, 1655
Age 51
Barnstable Village, (Present Barnstable County), Plymouth Colony (Present Massachusetts), (Present USA)
August 13, 1656
Age 52
Barnstable, Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA
September 2, 1657
Age 53
Barnstable, Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA