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My family has two glaring questions regarding the Kinley family line. These questions are: (1) Where was Henry Kinley from 1805-1839? (2) Where did Henry Kinley’s wife (presumed to be) Sarah Ann (possibly nee: Ross) reside from 1841-1880? Thank you in advance for any helpful hints or suggestions you may have.

Documented Information:

Free Person of Color Document in Wilberforce Library – document from Old Towne, Greene County, OH: 29th November 1805 Thomas Embree entered this day with the Clerk of the Court of Com Pleas the name and age of a Black Boy by the name of Harry Kinly in the following manner towit Henry Kinley was born on the 31st day of January 1801 and was brought to this state on the 29th Nov 1805.

We find Henry in the 1840 Census in Portsmouth, Scioto County, OH. The census lists 2 boys 10-24 years old, 1 man 36-55, 1 or 2 girls under 10 (difficult to tell whether census taker changed the 1 to 2 or 2 to 1) and 1 woman 24-36.

The next time we can find the Kinley’s in the 1870 Census (see military record documentation for connection). In the 1870 Census for the town of Oxford, Butler County, OH we find: George H. Kinley (30) Mu, White Washer born in OH; Lucy Kinley (25) b Keeping House born in OH; Mary W (6) mu born in OH; Kate (5) mu born in OH; Nettie (2) mu born in OH; George A. (8 months) mu born in OH and Esther Russell (70) b at home born in KY.

The 1880 Census gives us further clues: Hamilton, 2nd Ward, Butler County – George H. Kinley mu 41 cook mom, dad, self born in OH; Lucy Kinley 36 wife keeps house self born OH mom & dad born in KY;
Wiley Mary 17 daughter at home self, mom, dad born in OH; Catherine 16 daughter at home self, mom, dad born in OH; Nettie 13 daughter at home self mom dad born in OH; Georgie 11 son self mom dad born in OH; Leona 9 daughter self mom dad born in OH; Flora 8 daughter self mom dad born in OH; Bessie 6 daughter self mom dad born in OH; Edward 5 son self mom dad born in OH; Lulu 3 daughter self dad mom born in OH; Sarah Ann Kinley 67 M in law innate self mom dad born in OH.

We can follow the family through 1930 they move in with each other move and stay in Oxford, Hamilton and Dayton OH or move to Indianapolis, IN because an elder sister gets married and resettles there. We lose some of the children due to a flood in 1913 but we never see Sarah Ann or Henry Kinley listed again on a census.

George H. Kinley enlistment record information – K 5 H Art’y USCT, Geo. H. Kinley appears with the rank of Pvt on Muster and Descriptive Rolls of a Detachment of US Vols forwarded for the 5 Reg’t US Col’d H. Art’y. Roll dated Columbus OH, Feb 11, 1865. Where born Portsmouth, OH, Age 26 y’rs; occupation Cook When enlisted Feb 3, 1865. Where enlisted Cinti O. For what period enlisted 1 years. Eyes Brown; hair Blk Complexion Mul; height 5 ft 1 in. When mustered in Feb 3, 1865. Where mustered in Cinti O. Bounty paid $ blank 100; due $100. Where credited blank Battery to which assigned blank Remarks: Crediter to Spencer The Hamilton Co. 1 Dist 0.

Assumptions from documented information: George H. Kinley is the son of Henry Kinley although based on his age he may not be listed in the 1840 Census. Esther Russell is the mother of Lucy Kinley. We know this from Oxford County Census records for 1850 and 1860. We also have the 1840 Census were Esther and children are listed with her husband Alfred (although not by name of course). Sarah Ann Kinley is actually George’s mom based on confirmation of who Lucy’s mom is. This is further supported by family folklore.

Family Folklore:

We were fortunate (thanks Art) to connect with the Embree family who have tons of documentation and are genealogy buffs. They relayed the following story – Thomas Embree sued several prominent whites in Tennessee alleging that whites who had migrated to Tennessee from Virginia, were unlawfully holding free blacks as slaves. Embree’s relatives believe Harry/Henry may be the son of one such woman. They were able to supply us with the deposition testimony of several Virginians who testified that one slave woman in particular was born free in Virginia. Unfortunately the courthouse in Tennessee threw out all the old court records. Additionally they provided information that Harry/Henry was born near Jonesboro, Tennessee. They also had mention of Harry/Henry’s marriage believed to be - Henry and Sarah Ann Ross were married in Ross County Ohio on September 6, 1834 but cannot find a marriage certificate to verify this information.

None of the living ancestors remembered hearing stories about Harry/Henry Kinley. They did remember that the family spent a lot of time in Chillicothie and Xenia Ohio. (This becomes an immense challenge because we don’t know which Chillicothie or Xenia they are referring to. There are several of both in Ohio. This also becomes a challenge because we don’t know which of the family lines they are referring to as ‘the family’ – the Bowser(s), Thompson(s), Kinley(s), or Russell(s). We can prove that the families moved through Butler County, OH; Hamilton County, OH; Scioto County, OH and Marion County, IN but beyond that we can’t seem to find any other documents which mention Xenia or Chillicothie.)

What we’ve done already to solve the mystery:
(1) Spoke to living members of the Kinley family and took their oral histories.
(2) Looked at the Census for 1790, 1810, 1820, 1830,1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930 for Cinlay, Cinly, Cenlay, Cenly, Kinley, Kinly, Kenley, Kenly, Kanley, Kanly, and other soundex variations like Kennerly and of course all the McKinley versions. We specifically double checked Scioto, Ross, Hamilton, Clark and Butler Counties OH, Marion County, IN.
(3) Went to Butler, Hamilton and Scioto County and researched deeds, wills etc… and marriage, death and birth records. Also visited local libraries to get histories of particular towns in those counties.
(4) Posted inquiries on a variety of genealogy websites.
(5) Searched military records at the National Archives.
(6) Looked at the back of family photos and random pieces of paper.

As you can see we are not afraid of having to apply a little elbow grease. If anyone has any suggestions on where to go next we are all ears.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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