History of the Kinney Family


Aaron Kinney (1773-1857) married Mary Clingman (1778-1849) in Pennsylvania in 1797. Aaron, Mary and their four children came to Portsmouth in 1804. Nine more children were born to the couple with the last child dying 2 weeks after her birth.

The twelve Kinney children all grew to adulthood and became outstanding citizens and leaders in the Portsmouth Community. They were active in local government, banking, river transportation and business. The Kinney’s were prominent in establishing All Saints Episcopal Church.

The Aaron and Mary homestead (now the 1810 House and Museum) is a major focal point of historic preservation. Three generations of the Kinney family occupied the house: Aaron and Mary….. their son Henry….. and Henry’s daughter Isabel, who resided there until her death in 1946 at the age of 88.

The Kinnely legacy still exists today. There are six Kinney Homes remaining in Portsmouth: The 1810 House on Waller; Eli’s home on Court St. (the former Elk’s Club); the Peter Kinney Home on Front Street; Margaret Kinney Hall home on Second Street; Nancy Kinney Walker house is South Shore, Kentucky: and lastly, another home built by Peter Kinney after his return from a trip abroad in 1867. This home was located on Mt. Tabor above Kinney’s Lane across from Greenlawn Cemetery. All homes with the exception of the 1810 house are now privately owned.

The 1810 House, the original Kinney homestead, is an outstanding example of pioneer history in Portsmouth and is one of only a few such examples now remaining.

In 2012, over 200 years after Aaron and Mary setup housekeeping in this old house on Waller Street, the 1810 House and Museum is alive and well with gardens, fence, sign and sidewalks!

We hope our current members and any new members will continue to share the history and importance of preserving this homestead with any and all who have an interest!