From: "The Dictionary of Canadian Biography"
By W. Stewart Wallace, MacMillan Co.of Canada, 2nd edition 1945
FINLAY, James , (d.1797), fur-trader, was a native of Scotland who came to Canada in the early days of British rule. Here he engaged in the fur-trade, and the date on the medal given him by the Beaver Club of Montreal, of which he became a charter member in 1785, shows him to have wintered in the Indian country as early as 1766. He was the first of the "Old Subjects" to reach the valley of the Saskatchewan, and in 1768 he built what was known as Finlay's House near Neepawin. Later, he entered into partnership with a young Englishman named, John Gregory; and from 1773 to 1783 the firm of Finlay and Gregory appears in the fur-trade licenses as sending canoes to the West. In 1783, James Finlay, retired from the fur-trade; and in his later years he was inspector of chimneys in Montreal. He died in Montreal in 1797. He married in Montreal, apparently, about 1765, Christiana Youel; and by her he had two sons, James Finlay (Jr.) and John Finlay, and two daughters, Anne Finlay and Christy Finlay , the latter of whom became the wife of Capt. Edward Townsend Jones of the 34th Foot.
In 1792 James Finlay subscribed 3 guineas to the building fund for the St. Gabriel Presbyerian Church.
James Finlay...................Sue Wilson