Ahnentafel Chart for Nicholas "Nicolai" Finley

David Charles “Chalk” Courchane March 18, 2009




First Generation


      1. Nicholas "Nicolai" Finley was born about 1816 in , , Canada and was christened on 4 Mar 1849 in St. Paul Mission, Stevens Co., Washington.

Nicholas married Suzette (Josephte), daughter of Cayuse and Palouse, on 4 Mar 1848 in St.Francis Regis, Washington. Suzette was born about 1819 in , , Oregon Terr. and was christened on 4 Mar 1849 in St.Francis Regis, Meyers Falls, Washington Terr..





Second Generation


      2. Jacques Raphael "Jocko" Finlay was born in 1768 in Finlay Fort, Saskatchewan R., Canada. He died about 20 May 1828 in Spokane House, Columbia Dist., Oregon Terr. and was buried in 1828 in Spokane House, Columbia Dist., Oregon Terr.. Jacques married Teshwentichina.


      3. Teshwentichina.




Appendix A  -  Notes



1.  Nicholas "Nicolai" Finley

REL: Letter to David Courchane from Betty Pierce; 4 Jan 1983; containing  family tree chart sent to her by E.M. 


!REL: Letter to Betty Pierce from Harriet D. Munnick; 16 Oct 1980.

!CENSUS: 1860; US; W.T.; Spokane Co.; Bitterroot Valley.

!CENSUS: Flathead Reservation.

!MAR/REL: Marriage record of Antoine & Rosalie Plouffe; St.Paul Mission;  Kettle Falls; W.T.; 1857.

!BAPT/REL: Baptism of Francois, Nicholas & Suzette Finley; St.Paul Mission;  Kettle Falls; W.T.

!BAPT/REL: St.Paul Mission Church Records; p.9; #16; Josette Marie Finley.

!BAPT/REL: St.Paul Mission Church Records; baptism of Francois Finley.

!DEA: St.Francis Regis Mission; W.T.; Burial Book.

!REL: Gonzaga Notes; from Mrs. Leda Finley; 27 Jan 1988; Spokane; WA; from  K.M. MacGregor.



1.  Occupation:  trapper and hunter.


2.  According to Basil Finley's allotment record #1307.  He and Rose Finley were  1/2 brother and sister to Koostah,

Miquam, Penache, & Margaret Finley.


    1849 St.Francois Regis, p1:

    Nicolas - 4 Martii Nicolas Finley 33 annorum nater ex Jacobo Finley ex uxor  Spocanne (above uxor is written

sometime that is too small to read).

    Patrinus Alexander Guerret (vulgo, Dumon)


4.  St.Francois Regis Mission; W.T.

    Josette Finley (PS Nic.) sm/ 4 Mar 1849


                                 4 Mar 1849


   From St. Francis Regis Mission, Washington Record Book Burials 1853-1887

   Listed alphabetically according to christian (or first) name.

   (In this group of records is inserted a book that seems to list names in  some kind of census or status record thus:

   No date has been determined for this book.

                  (Possibly means)

   name                  tribe?    baptism       census?       marriage?       Page

   Nicolas Finley   sm        1 Mar 1849    1854          1 Mar. 1849


   In St. Paul's and St. Regis' Mission Marriage Records from 1848:

   He and "Clementia" Finley are witnesses to the wedding of Laurence Silimoultshe & Therese Wpial on 23 May 1852 at

St. Francis Regis.


   There is a discrepancy with his baptism date. It should be 4 Mar. 1849


5.  Rosa Finley:  son Louis; bapt. & born June 1862


6.  St.Mary's Mission, MT - Baptisms

    Narcisse Finley born 24 Dec 1874; bt 9 May 1875

    Father:  Francis Finley; Mother: Julia Finley


         NICOLAS FINLEY: aka Nicoli, Nicola, Niquala, & "Schwn-mui-miah"


     Nicolas was the son of Jacques Raphael Finlay and a Spokane Indian woman,  possibly Teskwentichina, who was the

mother of his sister, Margaret Finley Ashley.  Census records indicate his birth date is about 1816.  He grew up in the

Spokane House area.  He probably traveled with his father and siblings on trapping hunts through out the Old Oregon

Territory.  When his father Jocko died, Nicolas was about twelve years old.  Nicolas was a engaged in trapping and


hunting at an early age as a "free trapper" for the Pacific, North West and Hudson's Bay Fur Companies.  He was too

young to have been on John Work's Snake Brigades or preceding brigades, but he may have been on those of Francis

Ermatinger and Tom McKay.


    From Bruce M. Watson:

    "associated with:

    Fort Vancouver (1834)

    Thomas McKay's trapping party (1834-35) apprentice

    Snake Party (1835-36) apprentice (1836-37) middleman (1837-39) apprentice?

     (1839-41 middleman

    Flatheads (1841-43) trapper

    Columbia Department (1843-44) trapper


Nancy Anderson [nananderson@shaw.ca]

Fri 06/13/2008 1:18 PM

From: A/B/20/V, Fort Vancouver Corres. outward July 13, 1840 to May 24, 1841, PABC (James Douglas' letters)


Nicholas Finlay was one of the servants in the Snake District establishment, Oct. 1839 [41] Retired from the coast: Fort

Langley, John Finlay.


They were everywhere!

How're you doing? Hasn't this been the worse spring possible? We are actually getting our first spring like day today --



    "...began work with the Hudson's Bay Company at Fort Vancouver on February 1, 1834 at the young age of 13 or 14.  

 In outfit 1844-45 money was owed to him from the previous outfit but he did not appear to work in 1844-46.  He later

settled in the Colville Valley, near brothers Patrick and Koostah and down the valley from brother James."  Watson's

source: HBCA York Factory Abstracts of Servant's Accounts: 1833-34; 1834-35; 1835-36; 1839-40; 1840-41; and 1844-

45,and York Factory District Statements 1833-34; 1835-36; 1836-37; &

1840-41, and Fort Vancouver [Columbia] Abstracts of Servants' Accounts 1836-37 17 years old, native, 3 years of

service; 1837-38; 1838-39; 1841-42; 1842-43; 1843-44 and 1845-46.


    We again  notice him  in 1842-44 at la Porte d'Enfer (Hellgate, MT), when Father Nicholas Pointe baptized his son,"

Nicolas, son of Finlay, infidel" at the Finley Camp.  He himself was baptized on March 4, 1849 at St.Paul's Mission,

Kettle Falls, Oregon Territory.


     He was known to have had at least two wives:  Marie Iroquois and Suzette (Suzitt or Josette) a Palouse Indian who

was often referred to as a Cayuse.  Her father may have been a Cayuse, but her mother was a Palouse.  This is the tribe

she probably lived with.  Not much is known about Marie Iroquois.  She is mentioned in an 1851 baptism as the mother

of Nicolas' son, Francois.  How long she was with Nicolas or if Nicolas had two wives at the same time, Marie and

Suzette is not clear.  Suzette was born about 1818-1823 in the Oregon Territory and was baptized on March 4, 1848 at St.

Paul Mission, Kettle Falls, Oregon Territory (later Washington Territory).  Suzette was married to Nicolas for a very long

time, moving to Montana with him and there dying.


     Of his children it isn't very clear who was the actual mother, Marie or Suzette.  Suzette is usually given as the mother

on the later Flathead Tribal allotment records.  Seven children are known.


     Nicolas lived in the Colville Valley with his brothers: James, Patrick, Miquam, Augustin and brother-in-law

Alexander Dumont.  In 1846 he lived near Tshimakain Mission.  The missionaries Walker and Eells mentioned him in

their journals.


     Sometime prior to 1847, he moved south to work for Marcus Whitman at the Waiilatpu Mission near Fort Walla

Walla.  Here he became associated with the renegades Tom Hill and Joe Lewis.  Early missionaries included him as

partners in this group of killers.


     The following are excerpts dealing with his involvement in the Whitman Massacre:



WAIILATPU:  THE SAGERS WEST; both by Erwin N. Thompson.  From the former; p.65:



   "With the wagons of 1847, a half-breed named Joe Lewis had arrived at Waiilatpu.  Whitman soon learned that Lewis

was a troublemaker, but had no success in getting rid of him.  When the epidemic struck, Lewis told the Cayuse that

Whitman was spreading poison in the air to kill off the tribe."  (A measles epidemic which killed hundreds of Indians

was raging in the northwest.)  "The more desperate of the Indians believed Lewis and decided to rid themselves of the

doctor who now seemed a man of evil design.  In this belief, they were encouraged by Nicholas Finley, another half-

breed living near the Mission.  His lodge, a few hundred feet from the mission house, became headquarters for the



     From the latter, Pages 87-88:


     "Mention must be made too of a shady figure who also has been named as being one of the plotters.  This was

Nicholas Finley, a half-breed living in a lodge within sight of the mission and married to a Cayuse woman."  (Some

accounts say she was a Chinook.)  "Finley's exact role is not described by any of the survivors of that fall, except that his

lodge was said to have served as a headquarters for the ringleaders and their followers.  This may well have

been true and it may be that Finley was at least sympathetic with the Cayuses; but the lack of evidence strongly suggests

he was not a leader of the discontented and he was probably not an active participant in the events to

follow.  Mary Saunders, the wife of Judge L.W. Saunders, and one of the few surviving adults to write about the

massacre said that Finley was sympathetic to the Cayuse.  But from her account it would seen that Finley's own survival

was based partly on his being an ex-employee of the Hudson's Bay Company and partly because he cooperated just

enough to stay alive.  His concern for Whitman was outweighed by his concern for himself."



p.201; Clifford M. Drury; The Arthur H. Clark Co.; Glendale; 1973:


     "Joe Lewis moved into the lodge of Nicholas Finley..."




     "McBean, in his letter of November 30, 1847, to the officials at Fort Vancouver, repeated what he had learned from

the half-breed, Nicholas Finley, who was the first to carry news of the massacre to Fort Walla Walla.  According to

Finley, the Indians killed the Whitman’s in retaliation, believing that Dr. Whitman was poisoning them in order to get

their property.  Furthermore, Finley claims that Andrew Rodgers had told the Indians that he had overheard Whitman and

Spalding plotting to poison them.  Finley claimed that Rodgers had been induced to tell what he had heard by being

promised immunity by the Cayuses.  Of this McBean wrote:  It was reported that it was not their intention to kill Mr.

Rodgers, in consequence of an avowal to the following effect, which he is

said to have made and which nothing but a desire to save his life could have prompted him to do.  He said, `I was one

evening lying down and I overhead the Doctor telling Mr. Spalding that it was best you all should be poisoned at once,

but that the latter told him it was best to continue slowly and cautiously and between this and spring not a soul would

remain, when they would take possession of your lands, cattle, and horses.'  Since Rodgers had been

killed in spite of the supposed immunity promised him, some explanation of this had to be made, so, according to

Finley's report to McBean, it was claimed that `One of the murders, not having been acquainted with the above

understanding, shot Mr. Rodgers.'


     "McBean refused to believe such an incredible story.  In his report to Fort Vancouver, he wrote:  `These are only

Indian reports, and no person can believe the Doctor capable of such an action without being as ignorant and

brutal as the Indians themselves.'


     "It is time to say that because McBean considered the Indians "ignorant" and "brutal" and so was already biased to

anything Nicholas Finley would have said.  He and later authors, such as Clifford Drury, were certainly prejudiced for

the Whitmans, who probably did not conspire to poison the Indians, but certainly wanted their land.  Why would

Nicholas Finley say that Rodgers bargained with the Indians in the first place, if he was not involved with them some

how.  Certainly some motive is missing.  Like Whitman, Rodgers was only human, facing certain death sometimes makes

people act differently that they normally would under pleasant circumstances.  Besides Nicholas Finley has a "clean

record" before and after the Whitman incident, a man who was at the wrong place at the right time, and who took the side

of the losers.


     "Whitman decided to ask Nicholas Finley what he knew about any supposed plot.  Finlay was sent for and when he


arrived, Whitman asked him:  `I understand the Indians are to kill me and Mr. Spaulding.  Do you know anything about it?

'  Although Finlay was fully aware of what was to happen, since the conspirators had met in his lodge when they agreed

on their course of action, he brazenly professed ignorance by replying:  `I should know doctor; you have nothing to fear;

there is no danger.'


     p. 223:  "This is when he should have left the country, but maybe he did think that things would be okay.


     "On the day of the Whitman Massacre three half-breed boys escaped to Nicholas Finley's tepee, where he cared for

them.  On November 30, 1847 when he got the chance Nicholas slipped them into Fort Walla Walla and safety.  It has

been said that Nicholas and the other employee, Joseph Stanfield, went about the chore of milking the cows almost

casually in the midst of the carnage that day."


     Footnote on p.229 of MARCUS AND NARCISSA WHITMAN:  "The two Manson boys, John and Stephen, were

present during the first day of the massacre and were then taken to Fort Walla Walla by Nicholas Finley."


     From pp. 234-235:  "In the meantime, Mrs. Saunders, not knowing what had happened to her husband or the

Whitmans, and fearing for the safety of all the white women and children, decided to make a desperate appeal for mercy

to Chief Tiloukaikt through Nicholas Finley.  She bravely ventured to leave the comparative safety of her room in the

emigrant house in order to call on Finley in his lodge.  John Manson was at the lodge when Mrs. Saunders arrived and

has given us the following account of what happened.  Since he was able to understand what the Indians were saying, his

recollections have special significance.


     "`Soon Mrs. Saunders came up to the lodge where Mrs. Finley (an Indian woman), her sister and several other Indian

women were standing.  Besides the Cayuse Indian women, there were some Walla Walla Indian men.  The women

seemed friendly to Mrs. Saunders.


     About four hundred feet away from the lodge was a hill that had three Indians on it looking over the plains.  (Possibly

looking to see if anyone was approaching.)  One of the Indians rode down to kill Mrs. Saunders, but Mrs. Finley

expostulated with him and he rode off.  Then Chief Tiloukaikt rode down, shaking his hatchet over his head.  He

threatened Mrs. Saunders with it, but again Mrs. Finley urged him to desist and he rode off.  Then Edward Tiloukaikt,

the oldest son of the Chief, rode down very rapidly, shaking his tomahawk over his head and that of Mrs. Saunders with

fury.  She had sunk down on a pile of matting in front of the lodge.  But the Indian women shamed him and talked to him.

  Then he rode off.


     Mrs. Saunders then came to see me (John Mason) and kneeled down.  She begged me to interpret for her to the Chiefs,

 as she did not understand the language of the natives.  She said: "Tell the Chiefs that if the Doctor and the

men were bad, I did not know it.  My heart is good and I want to live.  If they will spare my life, I will make caps, coats,

and pantaloons for them."


     John interpreted for her as she pled with Tiloukaikt for the life of her husband and for the women and children.  In all

probability her husband by that time had been killed, but of this she was unaware.


     "What do they say, John?"


     "They are talking about it."


     After some consolation, Tiloukaikt and the other chiefs agreed that none of the women and children would be killed. 

Mrs. Saunders then begged to let all who were in the main mission house to go to the emigrant house.  Tiloukaikt gave

his consent.


     Mrs. Saunders then turned to John, while still on her knees, and begged: "John won't you go home with me?"  John

replied:  "I do not dare to go, but I will ask."  Tiloukaikt then told Stanfield to take Mrs. Saunders back to her

quarters and to get her some meat.  John's account continues:  "Then Mrs. Saunders rose from her knees and went with Joe

Stanfield.  The Chiefs and all the natives then left the lodge.  They went to Dr. Whitman's house.  Very soon, several

shots were fired there.  Mr. Finley came and told us that three more had been killed.  They were Mrs. Whitman, Mr.

Rodgers, and Francis Sager."'"


     From page 243:  "McBean was alarmed at the news that Hall had brought to him.  Eager to get more information as to

what had actually taken place at Waiilatpu, he sent his interpreter, a man by the name of Bushman, on Tuesday morning


o make inquiry.  In the meantime, Nicholas Finley left the mission with the three half-breed boys that same morning for

Fort Walla Walla.  Mrs. Saunders, learning from Joe Stanfield that Finley was going to the fort, hastily wrote a note to

McBean for Finley to carry in which she listed the names of eleven people she thought had been killed.  She included the

names of Osburn and Canfield, as she was unaware that both had escaped.  Catherine, in her account of what happened

on Tuesday, said that when Bushman arrived at

Waiilatpu, he was so frightened by what he saw and heard that he `came only to the door and as soon as they assured him

that it was so, he left.'"


     From page 267:  "In the meantime, Finley with three half-breed boys had arrived at the fort.  Finley delivered to

McBean the letter that Mrs. Saunders had written which listed the names of those she believed had been killed.  On the

basis of this information, McBean wrote that Tuesday evening to the `Board of Management' at Fort Vancouver and

reported what he had heard.  He also repeated a rumor that Finley had brought to the effect that the Cayuses were

planning to attack Fort Walla Walla.


    "Even after the massacre he is said to have slandered the Whitmans, for some reason he did not like them.  Although

the superior air of Narcissa would be reason enough for resentment and her discourtesy and rudeness to Indians and half-

breeds would make them dislike her.


     "He next journeyed north to his homeland, the Colville Valley.  The missionaries at Tshimakain, Walker and Eells

were fearful when they heard he was on his way north to see his brothers and the Spokanes."


     From NINE YEARS AMONG THE SPOKANES: The Diary of Elkanah Walker -

1838-1848; Clifford M. Drury; 1976; The Arthur H. Clark Co.; Glendale:


     "Several weeks of agonizing suspense followed the arrival of Old Solomon on December 9, 1847, with the first news

of the Whitman massacre.  A number of questions cried out for an answer.  What had happened to Spalding and his

family?  What was the fate of Perrin Whitman and Alanson Hinman at the Dalles?  What about the women and children

held captive at Waiilatpu?  But the most disturbing question of all was - what was to happen to them at Tshimakain?  A

frightening possibility haunted their minds - would the hostile Cayuses attack their station and seek to kill them?  This

was the situation at Tshimakain - they did not know what was going to happen -- events to follow in succession after the

ordeal at Waiilatpu were -- the Cayuse War, the rescue of Perrin Whitman and Hinman, the captives at Waiilatpu were

released mostly to Peter Skene Ogden's efforts, and the Spauldings were safely protected by the Nez Perce.  But the

Tshimakain people were still jittery - Walker and Eells hoped

the Cayuse would stay in the south.


    "It was .... early in February when the missionaries heard of an attempt being made by the Cayuses to induce Half-Sun,

or Sakatal-kukum, to join them in their expected conflict with the American soldiers.  Half-Sun was a child of the "

Kowalchins" or "Columbias" Indians who lived in the vicinity of what is now Wenatchee, Washington.  Walker reported

that the Cayuse offered him "60 horses & 40 cows, the property of the (Whitman) Mission", if he would assist them. 

Fortunately for the missionaries, Half-Sun refused to become involved.

The possibility of the Cayuses moving into the Palouse country alarmed Chief Factor Lewes at Fort Colville.  Again he

urged the two missionary families at Tshimakain to take refure in his fort.


    "A still more serious threat to the safety of the two families at Tshimakain came early in February when Nicholas

Finley arrived at the Finley- Dumont settlement for the purpose of persuading them and the Spokanes to join the Cayuses

in their war against the Americans.  If Walker and Eells had only known the extent of Nicholas' involvement in the

Whitman massacre, they would have added reason for being alarmed.


    "Walker wrote on Tuesday Feb. 8, 1848:  `...Just after dinner we had another report said to have come from one of the

Finleys (Nicholas) who has been sometime with the Cayuses.  The report is that the Indians are collecting from all

quarters & that the whites are determined to make a grand sweep of the native in the whole land & that the Americans

were going to fight the (H.B.) Company as well as the Indians & that he had come up to get his friends to go down &

join the Cayuses & also that the Cayuses had said that we should not be molested.'


    "Wednesday, Feb. 9, 1848:  `I had a quiet night's rest but awoke in rather low spirits this morning.  I have been most

anxious about the coming of Nicholas.  I fear he has some evil design against us.  Our Indians are much

moved, more I think than we are.  I have tried to compose myself but without effect.  I have had much talk with the Chief


ut he does not afford me much consolation.  The idea that (Nicholas) has come up after his brothers & the people to join

the Cayuses makes it very evident that he is deeply implicated with them, or else he has to deal for his own safety--which

is difficult to tell.  One thing is very certain, that if his brothers & the Spokanes join him, we are placed in a very

precarious situation & it will be impossible for us to remain here with any safety. .... I know not what course they will

pursue.  My prayer is that God would lead them in the right course....O Lord, we are here to do thy work.  I pray Thee

sustain & defend us & thy truth.


     `The people are much alarmed on account of the report that the half breed brought, that all the Indians from this

region in the Willamette were killed, but I think that much of them do not believe it.  I think that it is only a

report got up to induce the Indians in the upper country to join them.  What effect it will (have) none can tell......


     "Thursday, Feb. 10, 1848:  `I have suffered more from excitement to day than at any previous time this winter.  I have

been at the Chief's once or twice.  He does not seem well pleased with the movement of things.  I have been

expecting the half breeds all day but they have not made their appearance, I prayed, if ever it I did, that God could bring

all his (Nicholas') councils to nought & think that they will be frustrated so that the remainder of the wrath

of man will be restrained.


     `The report is to night that all the Spokans are going to join the Cayuses, at least that was one report but it seems that

it was modified & that the chief at Spokan had sent word to our chief to remain here & take care of us......'


     "Friday, Feb. 11, 1848:  `I went with Mr. Eells after the horses & had a very pleasant ride.  I have felt more calm to

day.....We heard to night that the half breed (Nicholas) who came up went back alone, but what his brothers will do, we

cannot tell.  They do not appear to say much.  I had worship with the people this evening.  Some few attended.....'


     "Sunday, Feb. 13, 1848:  `I received another letter from Mr. Chief Factor Lewes, stating that things at that place had

taken a very serious turn & that they had been under arms ever since three o'clock that morning......'


     "Monday, Feb. 14, 1848:  `I wrote Mr. Lewes this morning giving him as fair account of things as I could and

requesting him to make some arrangements with the Finleys & Dumont to come here & stop awhile with us, until we

should see how things would go with us.  I had a long ride after the horses.  I did not like to go far from home & so left a

part of them.   In the afternoon I sent an Indian to drive them in.....I went to see the Chief.  He does not seem to mend

much.  The people are anxious to know what course we are going to pursue & seem well satisfied with the idea of our

taking our families to Colville until the strain is over......'


     "Tuesday, Feb. 15, 1848:  `I had last night some very interesting thoughts  to me.  I had a more hight & exalted view

of the happiness of heaven than common & what would constitute that happiness....I have not felt well to day & have

been low spirited all day.  I spent considerable time at the lodges.  Some Indians from above came in to day & reported

that none of the Spokans was induced to follow Nicholas.  If this is really the case, it is encouraging....'


     "Nicholas Finley had sided with the Cayuse Tribe after the Whitman ordeal and had been with them in the skirmishes

with the Americans on the Umatilla on Feb. 24 and Feb. 25, 1848.  The missionaries could breath easier once Nicholas

left the country, Cushing Eells wrote,  `Thursday 30, Near night, reached the half-breed settlement.  Here are four

families by the name of Finley.  The other man (Dumont) married their half sister.  She has a brother, Nicholas who has a

Kayuse woman for his wife.  He, together with his family, is at the encampment of the Kayuse murderers.  It is reported

that Nicholas is detained against his will, or if he leaves, shall not be allowed to take away his property.  The statement is

very improbable.'  Walker later wrote, `Friday,  April 21, 1848:  One of the Finleys arrived yesterday from the Paluse

camp.  He says the Kayuse murderers were separated from the Paluses & gone off in an easterly direction; that Nicholas

Finley with his family is coming this way.'


     Later Nicholas and two of his brothers, one said to have been Xavier, attempted peace overtures with the government

commissioners.  From THE NEZ PERCE IN  University of 


     "The evening after the fight between the forces of Gilliam and the Cayuse Indians, just after the Whitman incident--

February 1848--`Nicholas Finlay and his two brothers, who had been with the Cayuses, came into the American camp. 

Nicholas was already suspected of having played a role in arousing the Cayuses against the Whitmans, and Newell wrote

that he "is a friend to the enemy in My opinion."  However, Gilliam gave him a letter, which he promised to deliver to

McBean.'  But fearing to be hanged he fled."




     From MARCUS AND NARCISSA WHITMAN; pages 309-310:  "(Joe) Lewis is reported to have settled in the Jocko

Valley in the Flathead country, in what is now Montana, about forty-five miles due north of present-day Missoula.  There

he was joined by Nicholas Finley, in whose lodge at Waiilatpu the conspirators had

met to plan the killing of the Whitmans.  Nicholas had a Flathead mother; this may have been the reason why he returned

to that part of the country. ....Lewis is reported to have been killed in an attempted stagecoach robbery in 1862, nearly

fifteen years after the Whitman Massacre.


     "Before he left the Colville Valley he stopped by to see the fearful Walker, who wrote on May 23, 1848:  `Just at

night Pishnot (Patrick Finley who was called Bish-ca-nah) & Nicholas Finley came in.  I met & spoke with them.  They

rather put themselves in my way or came out of their own to speak with me.'"


     There is a sort of census that was made by the priest at the St.Paul's Mission, Kettle Falls, Washington Territory,

sometime in the 1850s which shows:

     Finley,  Nicolas





     From FLATHEAD AND KOOTENAI; Olga W. Johnson; The Arthur H. Clark Co.; Glendale; p. 277; Footnote:


     "Nicholas or Nicoli Finley, son of Jocko was sometimes with two of his brothers and their half-breed friend Dumont,

who had settled near what is now Chewelah, Washington.  Four of Nicholas' brothers, Francois and Zavier, Patrick and

Koostah (evidently Augustus, also referred to as Yoosta) are mentioned in various accounts as residing in the Spokane

country during this period.  A Finley descendant, Mrs. Arnold Trahan, writes that Nicholas was employed in 1846 at

Tshimakain, where he pitched his lodge."


     On January 1, 1851 his son Francois was baptized at St.Paul's Mission, Kettle Falls with Marie (Iroquois) as the

mother and Francois Morigeau as godfather.  Francois was born on December 6, 1850 which indicates that his

parents were wintering in the Colville Valley.  It is at this period of time that he may have had two wives, or Marie could

have been only an affair.


      From St.Regis Mission, Meyers Falls, WA., Baptismal Records 1852-1866:

      In baptism number 47 on May 23, 1852 he is listed as godfather.


     1860; Washington Territory; Spokane County; Bitterroot Valley; US Census



Dwelling #136; Family #94

Phinley, Nicolas  age 32  trapper & hunter  born in Canada

                                            $600.00 value personal property

         Susate   age 41                    born in Washington Territory

         Angale   age 18                      "   "   "          "

         Francis  age  8                      "   "   "          "

         Mary     age  4                      "   "   "          "


     1886 Flathead Indian Census shows:


#1054  Finley, Nicholas  age 70

#1055          Suzitt    age 63 (note great age difference with above census)

#1056          Timothy   age 28

#1057          Francois  age 22


     Carrie Orr's List of Nicholas Finley's children:





     Angelle Plouff



    Angelle Plouff


     From FIRST WHITE WOMEN OVER THE ROCKIES: Diary of Mary Walker; Drury;

Arthur H. Clark, Co.; Glendale; California; 1963; p. 340:


     "Thurs. 6 (Apr. 1848) -- `The Finlays have gone to bring off their brother from the Kayuses.'


     "Sat. 8 (Apr. 1848) -- `The Finleys turned back & did not go for their brother.'"


     p. 337:  "One of the Finleys arrived from the seat of war.  There had been one engagement.  More than 300 Americans,

 200 half breeds, 200 or 300 Kayuses were waring.  100 Nez Perces on their way to join the Americans.  I hope matters

may be brought to a speedy close and the land again enjoy rest.."


    and p. 288:  "Tues. (Dec) 2 (1845)  Traded this morning with one of the Finleys.  Brought nine prs. of shoes & seven

deer skins for which I paid a kettle, knife, spoon, fire steel, a few pins & needles, a shawl, an old coat

of C's & an old dress of my own & a piece of Baize worth 20 loads.  He seemed pleased with his trade & I am sure the

skins & shoes are worth more than I gave for them & probably the things are worth more to him than he paid for them...."


List of Servants - HBC - Film #1M7865 - Section B, Class 3, Sub.-Div.F - Piece 17:


Nicholas Finley - Columbia - 1838

                     "       1839  (Piece 19)


HBC Film #1M802; Section B239

page 43  Columbia Servants & Trappers - 1833 - piece 13

page 43                                 1834 -  "    14

page 41                                 1835 -  "    15

page 43                                 1836 -  "    16

page 122 Native Apprentice Snake River  1837 -  "    17  4 yrs of service

page 53                                 1838 -  "    18

page 61  Native Middleman Snake Party   1839 -  "    19

page 84  age 21                         1840 -  "    20


    Two people who have shown some interest in Nicholas Finlay are Warren Louis "Tuck" Forythe of Ellensburg,

Washington (forsythe@televar.com), who compiled the book "Whitman Mission 29 Nov 1847 Families including some

Cayuse and Nez Perce", 1998; and Jean Roth, who wrote several articles on the Whitman Mission and at least one on

Nicholas Finley for the Seattle Genealogical Society.   Roth attempts to cover the Finlay family (I think she has seen my

work somewhere) and it seems to be a rehash of my article that has circulated for a number of years, with some of her

own conclusions.  I understand she has a manuscript prepared, but I don't know it's title.


My name is Stephenie Flora. Return to [
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