I pretty much know most of Finis Thomas Whitsett b. 1852 and his family. What I ( and every other searching Finis is about his father). The only info is that he married Miriam Vandiver in Washington county AR in Sept 1850, Had a son Finis in Dodd TX in 1852 and Miriam remarried in 1855. Rumor has it that James went to CA to find gold and when he came back his wife said to keep going. I have a hand written letter from Finis’s daughter from the early 1960’s saying that when Finis was 18 he went to visit his father James S. Whitsett ( either in AR or MO) and nothing could be worked out so no contact was ever made again. On different Census Finis listed his father as born in AR, KY, USA, Unknown and MO twice. On his death certificate it lists his father James S. Whitsett as born in Missouri.
This is the problem that everyone in the Finis line seems to be facing. We only know a few things for a 3 to 5 year period of time. That and in 1850 he left AR in Sept and the census was in Oct. He arrived in TX after the census was taken in Aug so it seems that he is not listed on either.