John Junior: Who’s the Daddy, Part 4

Oh, look: another John Kelly. Let’s see if he’s my 3rd great-grandfather.

John Kelly Junior, son of John Kelly and his second wife Susannah Osborn, was born on October 8, 1807, in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. He married Parmelia Downing on September 8, 1842, in Logan County, Ohio. 

In the 1850 census, he is with his father and uncles, John, Peter, and Nathaniel Kelly in Logan County. His wife Parmelia and three children, Josiah, Addison, and Darby, are listed along with a schoolteacher Rodolphus Pettit, a laborer Elonzo Hutchison, and a girl Rebecca McNeal, probably a servant. 

The 1860 census is difficult to read. According to the index, John and his wife now have six children, all boys. One of them is named John (long sigh). Rebecca McNeal is still with them, so maybe a family member rather than a servant.

All of the Kellys are there in 1870 as well. This time there are eight children, only one daughter. (This is an error in the census: They had six sons and two daughters.) There’s a Nathaniel in the family now. Looks like the oldest, Josiah, got married to a Louisa. They live next door to John’s cousin Mary Kelly Neal. 

So far, it seems like John is a potential match. He’s the right age; he didn’t marry Parmelia until he was 35 years old. He could have easily had another wife and family in that time. He was on my list until I read this biography:

History of Logan County and Ohio, by Baskin, published in 1880, page 672


John Junior is probably not the daddy, though he could have had a fling. Would he have named two sons John, though?


One Reply to “John Junior: Who’s the Daddy, Part 4”

  1. I have considered the possibility that our John was illegitimate. The John living with David R Kelley in the 1850 census and who was labeled insane might be a candidate for the father of John W. Depending on what was meant by insane, he could have fathered a child in 1825. He might have even been married and his wife left because of his condition. BTW, crazy John was David’s brother.

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