The Highland Township Historical Society
Highland, Oakland County, Michigan

Original Highland Township Landowner

Jeremiah Finch, Jr.
John Finch
William M. Finch

E 1/2 of NE 1/4 of Section 26         E 1/2 of NW 1/4 of Section 26        W 1/2 of NE 1/4 of Section 26
SE 1/4 of NE 1/4 of Section 27        E 1/2 of NW 1/4 of Section 35

Jeremiah S. Finch, born circa 1784, and his wife, Eunice (King) Finch, came from Saratoga County, New York, and settled in Rose, Wayne County, New York, sometime between 1820 and 1830.  Here they raised a family of at least twelve children, including sons Jeremiah Finch, Jr., John Finch and William M. Finch, as well as a daughter, Sophia Finch.  Jeremiah S. Finch died at Rose, New York, on January 29, 1874, at age 58 years, 10 months and 27 days, while his widow, Eunice (King) Finch, died October 24, 1864, at age 80 years, 2 months, 10 days.

Of the four children named above, Jeremiah Finch, Jr. married ______ Wilcox; John Finch married Deiademie Chapin; William Finch married Clarissa Overton; and Sophia Finch married John Hadley, Jr.  Soon all four families would buy land in Oakland County, Michigan, although only Jeremiah and Sophia would actually settle here.   Thus, between May 27, 1836, and June 15, 1837, John Hadley, Sophia (Finch) Hadley and John Finch all purchased parcels in Section 18, Springfield Township; John and Sophia (Finch) purchased lands in Section 11 of Rose Township; and Jeremiah, John and William M. Finch purchased land in Highland Township.

Jeremiah Finch, Jr. thereafter settled in Highland Township where he appears on both the 1840 Federal Census and 1845 Michigan State Census.  At some point, however, he left Highland and headed west, eventually settling in Mound, Lykins (now Miami) County, Kansas Territory, where he appears on the 1860 Census, age 43, born in "Michigan."  It seems his first wife must have died since his spouse is identified as Catherine, age 43, born in North Carolina.  There is likewise no mention of any of the children suggested by the previous censuses for Highland.  Ten years later Jeremiah Finch, Jr. appears on the 1870 Census for Mound, Miami County, Kansas, age 55, born in New York, again with a wife Catherine, age 54, born in North Carolina.

John and Sophia (Finch) Hadley settled on their holdings in Rose Township, Oakland County, where they appear on the 1840 Federal Census and 1845 Michigan State Census, and where John Hadley held several township offices.  It is interesting to speculate whether the fact Sophia hailed from Rose, Wayne County, New York and her husband hailed from Clyde, Wayne County, New York, played any role in the naming of either Michigan community.

For their part, neither John nor William Finch never came to Michigan.  Both remained in Rose, Wayne County, New York where John became a successful farmer and raised his own large family, while William retained the parental home and raised two surviving children.  For an interesting account of the entire family see Alfred Seelye Roe, Rose Neightborhood Sketches, Wayne County, New York, Wooster, Mass (1893).

One final item deserves mention, i.e., mistakes in the residences given for John and William M. Finch.  For example, while both First Land Owners of Oakland County and John Finch's actual patent give his residence as Wayne County, Michigan, the information above, as well as his patent for land in Springfield Township show his actual residence was Wayne County, New York.  So too, First Land Owners of Oakland County gives the residence of William M. Finch as Wayne County, Michigan, whereas his actual patent reads Wayne County, New York.  Such errors were not uncommon in cases where New York and Michigan counties shared the same name.


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