Magilbry Findley
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Magilbry C Findley (abt. 1796 - 1884)

Magilbry C Findley
Born about in Union County, South Carolina, United States of Americamap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married about 1817 [location unknown]
Husband of — married 8 Mar 1858 in Covington county, Alabamamap
Descendants descendants
Died at about age 88 in Loango, Covington County, Alabama, United States of Americamap
Problems/Questions Profile manager: Lisa Franklin private message [send private message]
Profile last modified | Created 16 Oct 2013
This page has been accessed 3,838 times.


Magilbry was born in South Carolina[1] about 1796. He died 16 Jan 1884, and although the Covington county, Alabama courthouse burned after this date, his descendants are lucky in that his granddaughter Julia Thames filed documents that led to the probate of his estate 20 years after his death in 1905. Magilbry's is the first probate record in the files for the county after the last courthouse fire, making it the oldest as well. Magilbry's line has been Y DNA tested and validated through two of his sons. In addition, numerous of his descendants have done atDNA ancestry testing which can be done by both males and females.

Y DNA testing has validated the family lineage back to Magilbry, however, beyond that advanced SNP testing along with Y STR marker testing indicates that the surname is likely Bradley (or the variant Broadley) which may explain why we have been unable to find records for Magilbry in records with a Findley surnamed father.

Magilbry served in Capt. D. Felder's South Carolina Militia and saw action at the Battle of Pensacola, Florida and New Orleans, Louisiana as part of Andrew Jackson's Army during the war of 1812. The Alabama Archives in Montgomery, AL has the flint-lock rifle Magilbry used in this war in their permanent artifact collection in the Department's Museum & Educational Programs Division. The rifle was donated to the Archives in 1989 by Mary Evelyn Mason Lee, a descendant of Magilbry. They also have copies of pension papers (1812), which I donated, in the private records collection in the Department's Archival Services Division.[2][3]

Among the early settlers of the Brooklyn Community,[4] Magilbry appears on the 1820 Alabama state census in Conecuh County.[5] He next appears on the 1830 census of Conecuh County, Alabama with the following household members:

males)-5:2 ; 5-10:2 ; 10-15:1 ; 30-40:1
females)-5:1 ; 20-30:1[6]

The first land record found for Magilbry is dated 01 Mar 1826 to Magilbree Findley of Conecuh County, Alabama for the E 1/2 of the NE 1/4 of Section 19, Township 3, Range 13, totaling 80 acres.[7]

Then on 21 Aug 1837 Magilbry Finley of Conecuh County, Alabama purchased 80 acres described as the NE 1/4 of the NE 1/4 and the NW 1/4 of the SE 1/4 of Section 8, Township 3, Range 13.[8]

Magilbry also purchased the SW 1/4 of the NW 1/4 of Section 30 in Township 5N, Range 14E, containing 40 acres on 01 Dec 1852.[9]

Then on 01 Aug 1853 he purchased an additional 40 acres described as the SE 1/4 of the NW 1/4 of Section 36 in Township 5N, Range 14E.[10]

On 01 Sep 1860 Magilbry purchased the N 1/2 of the NW 1/4 of Section 1, Township 4N, Range 14E, containing 80 acres.[11]

Magilbry wrote his will on 22 Jul 1870 and it reads as follows (see

page 1
The State of Alabama Covington County In the name of God, Amen I, McGilbra Finly, of the county of Covington and State of Alabama being advanced in life and knowing the certainty of death and being of sound body and mind do this day make and publish this as my last will and testament in revocation of all other wills made or signed by me.

1st. I hereby give and bequeath my soul to God who gave it.

2nd. It is my will and desire that for and in consideration of the love and affection that I bear towards my beloved wife

page 2
Sarah Finle I give and bequeath unto her at my death the following described property as follows: a certain tract or parcel of land known and distinguished as the Northeast quarter of the North West quarter of section 30 Township 5 Range 15 containing forty acres, more or less, lying on the west side of land above described and known as the land purchased from Elbert Howard. The branch known as the line of said land on the west, all of the land lying in the County of Covington, Alabama. And I further bequeath unto my wife Sarah Finle two cows and yearlings marked with a cross and hole in left ear, a swallowfork in the right ear together all their future increase. And I further give and bequeath unto my wife Sarah two sows and pigs marked in the same mark as the cows towit cross and hole in the left ear, swallowfork in the right ear together with all their future increase. And I further give and bequeath unto my wife Sarah one work steer and cart. The steer known as the steer I got from John A. Franklin. And I further give and bequeath unto my wife Sarah all the household and kitchen furniture that may belong to me at the time of my death, and I give unto my wife Sarah all the (page 165 starts here) peas, potatoes, rice, meat and all other provisions that may be on hand at the time of my decease.

3rd. It is my will and desire for the love and affection that I bear towards my daughter Mary Johnson I give unto her and the heirs of her body the following described property towit: The North East quarter of the South west quarter and South East quarter of the North west quarter section 36 T.5 R.14 in the County of Covington, Ala and I further give and bequeath unto Mary Johnson and the heirs of her body one mare colt now in my possession.

page 3
4th. I give and bequeath unto John Finle, William Finle, Martin Finle, Bluford Finle, George Finle, Mahala Craker, Sealy Franklin, Martha Harvill, and the heirs of Riley Finly , Deceased, all being my lawful heirs all the other property that I may be possessed of at the time of my death both real and personal except that above given to my wife Sarah Finle, and my daughter Mary Johnson. Said division being made equal between all of said heirs as above directed. In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affix my seal in the presence of C.S. Thomasson and James M.K. Little on the 22nd day of July 1870. McGilbre Finle (his mark) We the undersigned McGilbra Finle signed his name and at his request witnessed the same. C.S. Thomasson James M.K. Little

cover of packet

State of Alabama Covington County I, J.M. Robinson Jr, Judge of Probate in and for said County do hereby certify that the written instrument of writing has this day in said Court and before me as the Judge thereof been duly proven to be the genuine last will and testament of McGilbie Finly, Deceased, and that said will together with the proof thereof has been recorded in my office in Book of Probate Minutes on page 164. In witness thereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal of said Court. This the 19th day of Feby. 1906. J.M. Robinson Jr. Judge of Probate

In 1883 Magilbry appears on a list of pensioner's for the War of 1812, residing in Covington County, Alabama.[13]

In seeking a source for Magilbry's unusual name, I always take note of any possible clues and recently found an interesting item in a book I was reading. It references Brewer's history of Coosa County as telling of a diary owned by an early pioneer named Joel Spigener in which he tells of attending a green corn dance five miles above Wetumpka in 1834 where the presiding chief was Magilberree.[14]


  1. "United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 9 November 2014), Magalbury Findley, Conecuh county, Conecuh, Alabama, United States; citing family 22, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  2. NARA War of 1812 Bounty land packet, military service records and pension packet.
  3. Personal knoweldge and research of descendant Lisa R. Franklin.
  4. Conecuh County Historical Society. People and Places of Conecuh County, Alabama 1816-1860. p58.
  5. 1820 Alabama State Census. Conecuh County. p41.
  6. "United States Census, 1830," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 24 August 2017), Mgilberry Finlay, Conecuh, Alabama, United States; citing 100, NARA microfilm publication M19, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 3; FHL microfilm 2,330.
  7. Land Certificate #459. Dated 01 Mar 1826. NARA.
  8. Land Certificate #4229. Dated 21 Aug 1837. NARA.
  9. Land Certificate 12202. 01 Dec 1852. NARA.
  10. Land Certificate #12338. 01 Aug 1853. NARA.
  11. Certificate #18590. 01 Sep 1860. NARA.
  12. AGS Magazine. Alabama Genealogical Society, Inc. Birmingham, Alabama. Volume 36 Fall/Winter 2004. Bibles, Wills and Court Records - The McGilbie Finley Family. p15-16.
  13. Genealogy Trails1883 Pensioners entry for Magilbry Findley, Covington County, Alabama.-
    Certificate #2,515 Pensioner: Findley, Magilbry PO Address: Andalusia Pension for: Survivor War of 1812 Monthly Rate: $8.00 Original Allowance: Feb 1872.
  14. Causey, Donna R., Alabama Footprints: Pioneers, Lost & Forgotten Stories2015. p29
  • War of 1812 military service and pension application records from NARA.
  • Alabama State Census-1820 Conecuh County, AL as Gilbery Findley.
  • US Federal Census- 1840 Conecuh county, AL
  • US Federal Census- 1860 Covington county, AL
  • AL State Census-1866, Covington county, AL
  • Covington county, AL Voter registration records of 1867.
  • [Will, dated 22 Jul 1870, Covington county, AL
  • US Federal Census- 1880 Covington county, AL
  • Covington county, AL probate records, 1905, courthouse, Andalusia, AL. (see also
  • Newspaper article, The Andalusia Star-News, 13 Apr 1980
  • Newspaper article, The Andalusia Star-News, 2000
  • Book- The Heritage of Covington County, AL, 2004
  • Newspaper article, The Andalusia Star-News, 16 Jul 2005, p7A
  • Newspaper article, The Brewton Standard, 27 Jul 2005, p3B
  • Alabama Land and Deed Records
  • Oral family history from interviews with Ms. Sarah L Franklin Mock 1898-90, Rt 4, Box 440, Andalusia, AL 36420.
  • Early History of Covington County, Alabama 1821-1871 by Wyley D. Ward, p. 338. (attached)
  • Burial Find a Grave, database and images ( accessed 12 February 2023), memorial page for Magilbry C Findley (1796–16 Jan 1884), Find a Grave Memorial ID 130610464, citing Fairmount Cemetery, Red Level, Covington County, Alabama, USA; Maintained by 47117651 (contributor 47117651).


Thank you to Lisa R. Franklin for creating Findley-507 on 16 Oct 2013.

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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Magilbry by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree: It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with Magilbry:

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