Monday, January 8, 2007

A Break-through

I had a huge break-through on my Kelly line over the weekend and I've been a little obsessed with tracking down the lines to see where they lead. My great-grandfather, James Kelly was born in Adams, NY and moved to Ottawa, Ontario as a young man. From what I understand he was not a good person and my grandmother had very little to do with him so I had very little information to go on. Years ago I found the family on early census records but soon lost track of the line and put it aside. Those census records are recorded in my last post.

This article was what set things in motion:

The Watertown Herald, Dec. 26, 1896, pg 1

Suicide Caused by Drink
ADAMS, Dec. 25 - William Kelly. a man of about 40 years of age, who resided on Liberty street, committed suicide Monday afternoon about 2 o'clock. He had an attack of delerium tremens Sunday night, and after that time was watched closely, as he threatened taking his life. One of his neighbors was sitting with him, and left him alone about 10 minutes, but in that short time he ran to the barn and with a knife cut his throat. Dr. W. H. Nickelson was summoned, but he died soon after the arrival of the doctor. He was a son of Mrs. Mary Kelly and lived here all his life. He leaves a wife and five small children. Coroner Sias, of Ellisburg, was summoned.

He was probably only about 35 years old. His age on the 1870 and 1880 census were both consistant with an 1862 birth.

Next I looked at the 1900 census. In Adams I found only one Kelly widow with several children:

1900 Census, Adams, Jefferson Co, NY, pg 37A, family 355

Mary Kelly head b Jun 1861 ag 38 wd Eng Eng Eng
Phillip son Jan 1881 19 s NY NY Eng
Will son Jul 1886 13 s NY NY Eng
Mammie dau Mar 1890 10 s Ny NY Eng
Hazel dau Dec 1895 5 s NY NY Eng

There were only four children listed. A few pages later I found:

1900 Census, Adams, Jefferson Co, NY, pg 41B, Frank C Raymond’s Hotel
Bert Kelly servant Mar 1883 17 s NY NY Eng Occ – Porter

Certainly not proof that Bert was the fifth child but it seemed right so I kept digging. I found hundreds of references to Bert Kelly while searching the newspaper archives. I hit pay dirt with his obituary:

The Palladium Times, Oswego, NY, September 17, 1960, pg 5

Fulton Deaths

FULTON – Bert H. Kelly, 76, of RD1, died unexpectedly Friday night at his home.

Born in Adams, Mr. Kelly had lived at RD1 45 years and until eight years ago, when he retired, operated a dairy farm. He was a member of Hannibal Lodge 550 F. and A. M.

Surviving are his wife Mrs. Lelah E. Kelly; a son Carroll Kelly of Fulton; a grandson, (name removed); two great-grandchildren and two sisters, Mrs. Hazel Crowder of Jamaica, L. I. and Mrs. Fred Stife (?) of Watertown.

Funeral arrangements are being made by the Foster Funeral Home.


The Fulton Patriot, Sept. 22, 1960, pg 7

Bert H. Kelly, 76, of Fulton, ………. Suddenly Friday at his home.

Mr. Kelly had lived in the Fulton area 4? years and until eight years ago operated a dairy farm. He was a member of Hannibal Lodge 50 F and A M.

Survivors include his wife, Lilah E. Kelly; a son, Carroll Kelly of Fulton; a grandson and two great-grandsons; and two sisters, Mrs. Hazel Crowder (Crawder?) of Jamaica, L. I. and Mrs. Fred Safe (?) of Watertown.

While still searching for Bert, I found his brother, William's obituary which ties the family back to William Kelly, Sr.:

Undated scrapbook article @ Old Fulton Post Cards abt 1956?

William D. Kelly

William Dwight Kelly, 70, husband of Lucy Barrett Kelly of 92 Erie St., died unexpectedly this morning at Oswego Hospital.

A Native of Adams, he was the son of the late William and Mary Liney Kelly and had lived in Oswego for the last 15 years. For the last nine years he was employed at Oswego Hospital in the maintence department. Mr. Kelly attended First Methodist Church.

Surviving with his wife are three sons, Philip and William Jr., both of Oswego and a step-son, Thomas Flemming of Syracuse; two daughters, Mrs. Catherine May and Mrs. Mary Huseby both of Oswego; two sisters, Mrs. Mammie Streiff, Watertown and Mrs. Hazel Crowder, Jamaica, L. I.; a brother, Bert Kelly, Fulton.

Burial will be in Rural Cemetery.

I will write more about what I found later.

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