Original Highland Township Landowner
Robert Findlay (Findley)
What little is known about this man is found in Durant's 1877 History of Oakland County, Michigan, which declares:
Robert Findley emigrated from Scotland with his son Alexander - then a boy, but now a prominent citizen of Milford - and his son-in-law, Duncan McCall, in 1834, and settled on the southwest quarter of section 34. After Robert Findley's death, the land was divided, Alexander taking the south half of the quarter section, which he subsequently sold to a Mr. Pierce, of the State of New York... Mrs. McCall took the north half of the quarter section, which, after her death, was sold to T. A. Smith...
Based on the birth of daughter Janett Findley (Mrs. Duncan McCall) in 1808, Robert Findlay was presumably born no later than 1788. The name of his wife is unknown. He has not been found on any census and it is uncertain when he died or where he is buried.
Even the proper spelling of his last name is disputed. Durant's account employs the spelling "Findley" while his patent clearly reads "Findlay." The name of son Robert is spelled "lay" on the 1870 Census for Milford, Oakland County, while the 1880 Census uses the "ley" variant. A biography of Frank S. Hubbell, who married Alexander's daughter Justina Jeanette, employs the "lay" spelling.
Note that Robert Findlay's patent gives his residence as Wayne County, Michigan. This suggests the family may have paused for a time in Detroit before finally coming to Highland.