Camera Workers, 1858-1950

The British Columbia, Alaska and Yukon Photographic Directory, 1858-1950

Finley, William Burton[1, 2, 3, 4, 5]

Male 1872 - 1958  (85 years)


Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Finley, William Burton 
    • VARIANT NAME: Finley, W. Best.
    Born 11 Oct 1872  Skugog Island, ON Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Gender Male 
    Marriage 31 Oct 1893  Gananque, ON Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Married Leona Adelaide Kelsey 
    Business Address/Year 1898  New Westminster, BC Find all individuals with events at this location  [8
    Address:
    725 Fifth Ave.
    New Westminster, BC
    Canada 
    Home Address/Year 1898  New Westminster, BC Find all individuals with events at this location  [9
    Address:
    Napanee
    between Tenth and Eleventh Ave.
    New Westminster, BC
    Canada 
    Business Address/Year 1899  Nanaimo, BC Find all individuals with events at this location  [10
    Address:
    50 Victoria Crescent
    Nanaimo, BC
    Canada 
    Business Address/Year 1899-1901  Nanaimo, BC Find all individuals with events at this location  [11, 12, 13
    Address:
    Commercial St.
    Nanaimo, BC
    Canada 
    Home Address/Year 1899-1901  Nanaimo, BC Find all individuals with events at this location  [14, 15
    Address:
    Newcastle Townsite
    Nanaimo, BC
    Canada 
    Home Address/Year 1901  Victoria, BC Find all individuals with events at this location  [16
    Business Address/Year 1902-1903  Victoria, BC Find all individuals with events at this location  [17, 18
    Address:
    59 1/2 Government St.
    Victoria, BC
    Canada 
    Business Address/Year 1903-1904  Vernon, BC Find all individuals with events at this location  [19
    Home Address/Year Jun 1906  Alberta Find all individuals with events at this location  [20
    Business Address/Year 1905-1908  Kamloops, BC Find all individuals with events at this location  [21
    Undetermined 
    Business Address/Year 1908-1909  Vernon, BC Find all individuals with events at this location  [22
    Buried 1958  Gananoque Cemetery, Gananoque, ON Find all individuals with events at this location  [23
    Died 4 Aug 1958  Ottawa, ON Find all individuals with events at this location  [24
    Association Finley and Foxall (Relationship: Partner) 
    Person ID I239  Camera Workers | F, vol. 1, 1858-1900
    Last Modified 26 Mar 2018 

  • Notes 
    • STATUS: Commercial.
    • BIOGRAPHICAL SUMMARY: According to Tony Sproule's family history site about Finley, after marrying in 1893 (his wife's second marriage), he began his photographic career in Gananoque, ON, then moved on to Sherbrooke, QC for a short period time. Following that he worked as a photographer in Brockville, ON. From Onatrio he moved to the west coast and worked in New Westminster, possibly as early as 1897, followed by Nanaimo, then Victoria. Sproule has him in Auburn, WA in 1901, and Vancouver, BC, in 1901. He moved to the interior where he worked in Kamloops and Vernon in 1904-1905. His photographs were reproduced in a Jul 1904 special illustrated edition of the Vernon News. He went from Vernon to Red Deer, AB, in 1905, followed by Saskatoon, SK, ca. 1910. In the 1920s he was again photographing in eastern Canada and the United States.

      The BC directories paint a slightly different picture of his movements in the early 1900s and do not confirm his presence in Kamloops. Information in his Photographer File in the BC Archives indicates he moved from Victoria to Kamloops in Aug 1902.

      The Jul 1904 special illustrated edition of the Vernon News also provides a somewhat different timeline, stating that he had 15 years experience starting in Sherbrooke, QC, followed by photographic work in other parts of eastern Canada. The newspaper indicates he arrived in BC six or seven years prior to 1904, which would be 1897 or 1898, and had worked at studios in New Westminster and Victoria. While in Vernon he also made trips to the nearby communities of Enderby, Armstrong, Kelowna and other parts of the Okanagan Valley. The newspaper noted he had a large number of view camera negatives depicting landscapes, ranching, farming and mining scenes. He was also renovating his studio.
    • IDENTIFYING MARKS: "W.B. Finley, Nanaimo, B.C." on front of print mount.

  • Sources 
    1. [S142] COLLECTION: BVMA (Reliability: 3), 8 Dec 2016.
      Prints.

    2. [S65] COLLECTION: BNCA.

    3. [S706] Nanaimo Free Press, 1 (Reliability: 3), 3 Jan 1900.
      Ad, Finley Studio

    4. [S633] BVIPA VR Photographer File (Reliability: 2).

    5. [S830] Information about William Burton Finley (Web site), Tony Sproule, (Genealogy.com) (Reliability: 3), 8 Dec 2016.
      Contains a career summary and citations to his birth, marriage, death and children.

    6. [S830] Information about William Burton Finley (Web site), Tony Sproule, (Genealogy.com) (Reliability: 3), 8 Dec 2016.
      Cites Registration of births - Ontario, LDS film # 1844890; Reg # 0192951872.

    7. [S830] Information about William Burton Finley (Web site), Tony Sproule, (Genealogy.com) (Reliability: 3), 8 Dec 2016.
      Cites Ontario Register of Marriages, LDS Film # 1870475; Reg # 006730.

    8. [S38] HEN98, (Victoria, B.C.: Henderson Publishing Co., 1898), 304 (Reliability: 2), 8 Dec 2016.
      "Finley, Wm. Burton, photographer, 725 5th ave. ..."

    9. [S38] HEN98, (Victoria, B.C.: Henderson Publishing Co., 1898), 304 (Reliability: 2), 8 Dec 2016.
      "Finley, Wm. Burton, photographer ... [h] Napanee, bet. 10th and 11th."

    10. [S40] WIL99, Williams, R.T., comp., (Victoria, B.C.: Province Publishing Co., 1899), 160 (Reliability: 2), 8 Dec 2016.
      "Finley, W.B., photographer, 50 Victoria Crescent."

    11. [S39] HEN99, (Victoria, B.C.: Henderson Publishing Co., 1899), 316 (Reliability: 2), 8 Dec 2016.
      "Finley, Wm. B., photographer, Commercial street...."

    12. [S41] HEN00, (Victoria, B.C.: Henderson Publishing Co., 1900), 386 (Reliability: 2), 8 Dec 2016.
      "Finley, Wm. B., photographer, Commercial street...."

    13. [S42] HEN01, (Victoria, B.C.: Henderson Publishing Co., 1901), 1108 (Reliability: 2), 7 Dec 2016.
      Classified Business Directory: "Photographers. Finley, William B.--Nanaimo"

    14. [S39] HEN99, (Victoria, B.C.: Henderson Publishing Co., 1899), 316 (Reliability: 2), 8 Dec 2016.
      "Finley, Wm. B., photographer, ... h Newcastle townsite."

    15. [S41] HEN00, (Victoria, B.C.: Henderson Publishing Co., 1900), 386 (Reliability: 2), 8 Dec 2016.
      "Finley, Wm. B. ... h Newcastle townsite."

    16. [S647] Census of Canada 1901, 12 (Reliability: 3), 10 Dec 2016.
      Province of British Columbia, Victoria District (no. 4), Sub-district D [?], Victoria City, lines 43-49, family 132.

    17. [S781] HEN02, (Vancouver: Henderson Publishing, 1902), 910 (Reliability: 2), 7 Dec 2016.
      "Finley, W.B., photographer, 59 1-2 Government, h 7 Centre Rd."

    18. [S782] HEN03, (Vancouver: Henderson Publishing, 1903), 977 (Reliability: 2), 7 Dec 2016.
      "Finley, Wm. Best [sic], photographer, 59 1-2 Government."

    19. [S703] Vernon News, unpaged (Reliability: 2), Special Illustrated Ed., Jul 1904.
      Came to Vernon fall 1903; most of the photos in this issue are by W.B. Finley.

    20. [S723] Census of the Northwest Provinces 1906, 14 (Reliability: 3), 10 Dec 2016.
      Province of Alberta, Strathcona District, Sub-district 44, lines 21-27, family 109.

    21. [S785] HEN05, (Vancouver: Henderson Publishing, 1905) (Reliability: 2).
      No listing for Vernon or Kamloops.

    22. [S339] Voters List, (Victoria, B.C.: Province of British Columbia, 1874-), Ref. NW 324.1 B862. (Reliability: 3), 1908, 1909.
      In Vernon.

    23. [S830] Information about William Burton Finley (Web site), Tony Sproule, (Genealogy.com) (Reliability: 3), 8 Dec 2016.
      Burial information confirmed at http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=150463496

    24. [S830] Information about William Burton Finley (Web site), Tony Sproule, (Genealogy.com) (Reliability: 3), 8 Dec 2016.
      No source cited for date or place of death.