Candidate #3 on my list of potential 3rd great-grandfathers is Nathaniel Kelly, son of John Kelly and his first wife, Elizabeth Loar or Lohr.
Nathaniel Kelly was born January 13, 1806, in Greenbrier County, Virginia (now West Virginia). He married Margaret Smith in Logan County, Ohio, on June 30, 1831, at the age of 25.
The 1840 census has Nathaniel living in Lake Township, Logan County, Ohio, with a woman his age, who I assume is Margaret. There is also a boy between 10 and 14 and a girl under 5 in his household.
In 1850, Nathaniel and Margaret are in Monroe Township, Logan County, Ohio. They are listed immediately after his brothers: Peter, John Senior. Included in the couple’s household are Samuel Smith, aged 28, who I assume is a relative of Margaret’s, and Sarah Burgess, aged 9. The ages of these two don’t match the ages of the boy and girl in 1840. Also, Sarah Burgess is a name that has come up before in two places: Nathaniel’s grandmother’s name, and the wife of Abraham Kelly, another prominent Kelly in the county who I believe is related.
Nathaniel’s death is not known at the time I write this. His wife remarries a man in 1867, which most likely means Nathaniel passed away before then. His missing name from the 1860 census may mean he passed before 1860.
I can’t rule Nathaniel out as the father of my ancestor, John W. Kelley.
Arguments against include the family bible only listing one marriage for him. Since Nathaniel married Margaret six years after my ancestor was born, Margaret is probably not the mother.
Arguments for include that Nathaniel was within the age range, lived in the area, and had a boy living with him in 1840 that is about John’s age at that time. Nathaniel was 25 years old when he married, so that leaves room for him to have had another wife and family.