Patrick Kelley was born on the southern coast of Ireland in Dungarvan, County Waterford. He was probably born in 1796. Other researchers cite his birthdate as March 17, but I have yet to find a corroborating document. He immigrated to the United States in 1813 and joined the army shortly thereafter. The timing of his enlistment would mean he fought in the War of 1812, which, despite its name, lasted until 1815. I have not been able to pinpoint his military records as there are many Patrick Kellys in the ranks.
After his time in the army, he accompanied his captain, Adam Swan, of Stonington, Connecticut, along with five other men to the wilds of the Western Reserve, a large swath of land adjacent to the western border of Connecticut and extending into present-day Ohio. He settled near Norwalk, Ohio, the hamlet named after the Connecticut town from which they had left.
I’m fairly certain this is our Patrick because his marriage record to Tamer (or Tamar or Tamour or Famour or Fanny) Wilson takes place in Norwalk, Ohio, in 1824. So I know they resided there at that early time in the history of the town.
I also think it’s him because Patrick is the only Kelly/Kelley listed in the 1830 census of the area. His name appears on the same page as Seth Keeler, one of the men mentioned in the historical excerpt above as accompanying Swan and Kelley to the area. Kelley’s obituary also states he was “among the first settlers of this part of Ohio.”
Between 1830 and 1840, they may have moved from Norwalk to Milan, Ohio, or the boundaries of the proximate towns may have changed. Patrick and Tamer raised their 7 children: John W (born 1824), Celia (born 1826), Mary (born 1828), James (born 1831), Ellen (born 1833), and the twins, Amelia and Amanda (born 1838).
Patrick died on 29 May 1847 in Milan. The cause is not clear. He was laid to rest in Milan Cemetery. Probate records exist that name Tamer and John W. as executors. I believe a will exists in the records but it is not published online.