What is the Finch family history in the south?

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Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Finch family history is provided early in the first chapter.  Scout shares with us that the Finches did not have a lengthy history in Great Britain, that went back to the Battle of Hastings.  What she is trying to tell thereader is that the family cannot trace its history back to 1066, which was when William the Conqueror invaded England. This means that they cannot claim to be an old and distinguished family. There is  a certain amount of social snobbery (or distinction) in being able to trace one's family roots back very far. 

The family can only trace its roots back to a "fur-trapping apothecary" (3), who came to the United States because of religious persecution.  He made his way to Philadelphia and then to the South. This was Simon, who ultimately bought land and a few slaves, lived on his land called Simon's Landing, and this land remained in the family. But Atticus became a lawyer and his brother became a doctor.  A sister remained on the land and married a man who was quite lazy. 

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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