Peter Kinsley, born 12 Jul 1797 Dublin, Ireland; died 15 Dec 1837 New London, Huron Co OH; married 13 Mar 1820 New London to Lydia Merrifield, daughter of Joseph Seymour Merrifield and Hannah Estey, born 24 Jan 1797 Leicester, Addison Co VT; d. 20 Nov 1869 New London, Huron Co OH. She was buried in Grove Street Cemetery, New London. Kinsley was noted as being of England on his intent, filed in Huron County on 13 May 1824, and his naturalization, filed 11 May 1829. His estate record is on file in the courthouse at Norwalk. Kinsley was said to be the first school teacher in New London. He had a store on the corner (called then Kinsley's Corners) and started to build a hotel which was finished by Henry King after Kinsley died.

Local historian William B. Thom writes: "Peter Kinsley was an early settler at New London, serving the village as the first or one of the first postmasters at what was then called Kinsley's Corners. He also taught day school and singing school, and was one of the organizers of the Baptist Church. He came to this country when a young man with the British army, which he deserted in Canada, and swam the St. Lawrence River to the county of his dreams. He was a native of Dublin, Ireland."

  1. Edward, born ca. 1828/29 New London
  2. Lovisa Mary, born 1832 New London; d. 18 Jan 1890 Norwalk, Huron Co OH; bur. Grove Street Cemetery, New London; m. William P. Belding 1832-1880, bur. Grove Street.
  3. Betsy Ann, born 22 Mar 1833 New London, Huron Co OH (stone 1834); d. 23 Dec 1915 Anderson, Madison Co IN; m. ca. 1866 to Dr. David Derick Van Vecten 1813- 3 Oct 1887 Huron Co; both buried in Grove Street Cemetery, New London.
  4. Seymour Charles, born 1836 New London; d. 19 Jan 1905 Norwalk, Huron Co OH (but do not spot in death records); first wife Laura F. Morse, 1838- 26 Oct 1869 Huron Co; second wife Isabelle Walker 1842-1888; all three buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, Norwalk.
  5. James H., married 25 Sep 1853 Huron Co OH to Catharine Harriet "Hatty" Brooks; moved to Indiana.

The sources listed include Firelands Pioneer, June 1870, p. 25; notes of Stella Harris; notes of Larry Templeton; notes of Wayne C. Hart; 1850 census for New London; Pioneer Women of the Western Reserve; New London Record Jan 1890; article on David D. Van Vecten by William B. Thom in New London Record, 22 Aug 1929; New London Record for 19 Jan 1905; Huron Co Marriages, Vol. 1, p. 15; Vol. 3, p. 346; Huron Co Deaths, Vol. 1, p. 11, 137, 152; Huron Co Common Pleas, Vol. 2, p. 469 Intent, Vol. 3, p. 514 Naturalization, Vol. 5, p. 532 Estate; Huron Co Probate Record, Vol. 1, p. 98; Estate Packet for Kinsley.

Some survey papers dealing with hotel (i.e. estate) when Kinsley died are among the Daniel Hemenway Justice of the Peace papers. He doesn't seem to have a tombstone that survives. The Baptist Church records do exist from the 1830's, and perhaps his death can be verified there. There seems to be no mention of his death in the Norwalk paper for 1839.

Tom Neel