Kitty and Her First Husband’s Will

This is another installment in a series of posts about my ancestor Catherine James Bellamy James. You can read from the beginning here: Kitty James & Child Marriage.

Lately, I’ve been working with a John Jacobi James researcher named Mary, who also happens to work in the Gallia County Genealogy office. Woo hoo! She reviewed Elliott Bellamy’s probate records and had some interesting observations.

Transcription:
Elliott Bellomy’s Estate
Gallia County SS Be it Remembered that on the twentieth day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty five the appraisers heretofore appointed to appraise the goods and chattels belonging to the estate of Elliott Bellomy, deceased filed in the Clerks office of our court of Common Pleas Gallia County in the State of Ohio the following inventory to wit “Agreeably to the command of an order of the court of Common Pleas of Gallia County at their march from 1834 the undersigned have [illegible] and appraised certain articles the property of Elliot Bellomy decd late of the County ass[esse]d viz: 1 Bed and Bedding 20.01 1 Pewter Bason 1.06 1/4 $21.071/4
Respectfully submitted 24th March 1834 Wm F Gooldin, Philip Cubbage, Joseph Hazlett, appraisers.

We also certify that there is in the hands of Wm L Bellomy in notes and accounts for which the said William L Bellomy lord the chattel property of said Elliott Bellomy the sum of one hundred and forty nine dollars and thirty two cents $149.32
Wm Golding, Joseph Hazlett, Philip Cubbage

State of Ohio Gallia County SS I do hereby certify that the within named Wm F Gooldin Philip Cubbage and Joseph Hazlett appeared before me one of the acting justices of the peace of the County aforesaid on the 24 March 1834 and was sworn to faithfully & impartially appraise the goods & chattels which are of Elliott Bellomy late of Ohio Township dec[ease]d [illegible] Nehemiah Davis JP seal
End transcription

First off, there’s a date inconsistency there. Based on the other probate records involving Elliott’s estate, I assume this all took place between March 18 and March 24 of 1834 and the mention of “thirty five” is a typo.

Did anything strike you reading that record?

Three dudes appraised Elliott’s belongings and came up with a bed, sheets, a washbowl and $149.32. Why did it take three men to appraise three things?

Where is Elliott’s wife, Catherine? Why wasn’t she or their sons and daughter named at all? If she had refused to be executor it most likely would have been recorded here. Instead, Elliott’s father William is named executor, which isn’t unheard of but how could people assess the belongings of a man without mentioning the family members who use them every day. Why were they all handed to his father?

Curious.

These observations of Mary’s add doubt to my belief that Catherine James was still married to or living with Elliott when he died. But I still don’t think she was married to multiple men as the census records and the birth years of her children might suggest.

It also raised the possibility that the Elliott Bellamy who married Levina Cogshill in Greenup County, Kentucky, in 1827 might be the man who died in Gallia County in 1832. But on further inspection, I notice that “Ellet” Bellamy and Levina Cogshell had a double wedding with Andrew Bellamy and Lenna Cogshell. For both marriages, the women’s father gave consent. I find it hard to believe that a 31-year-old man with four kids would marry a set of (twin?) sisters with a family member. I think this might be the older Elliott’s nephews, sons of his brother Matthew, who lived in this county at the time.

Sources:

1. Ohio Wills and Probate Records, 1786-1998, Probate Place: Gallia County, Ohio, Ancestry.com, Image 105, page 179. Accessed 12 Jul 2020.

2. Greenup County Kentucky Marriages, 1804-1850, Index (original record could not be found). FamilySearch.org. Accessed 12 Jul 2020.

Kitty and Her Place of Birth

This is post #5 in my exploration of my 3x great-grandmother, who may or may not be Catherine James Bellamy James. You can start at the beginning of this thread here.

This post discusses the results of my research to answer the question: Where was Kitty born?

All but one of Kitty’s census records indicate that she was native to Virginia, but Virginia happens to be a big place with a long history. How do I narrow her birthplace down to a county or a region of Virginia?

My answer: I have been researching her FAN club, her Friends/Family, Associates, and Neighbors, to narrow things down.

I started with her husbands.

Elliot Bellamy’s researchers agree that he was also born in Virginia. His parents, William Lee and Eleanor Molen Bellamy were married in 1794 in Henry County, Virginia, near Martinsville. That’s along the border with North Carolina, south of Roanoke. Elliot was definitely in Gallia County, Ohio, by 1816 to marry Kitty, so the Bellamys migrated between 1794 and 1816, probably via the Kanawha Trail, a path through the land that would become West Virginia. Probably all of the families I discuss in this post traveled the trail to get to Gallipolis and Portsmouth, Ohio.

Kitty’s second husband, and my forefather, Jacob James’s birthplace is also exclusively listed as Virginia. The people I believe to be his parents, Josiah James and Mary Brock McCann, were probably married in 1800 in Bedford County, Virginia.

These marriage locations are pointing me to a clear region of Virginia in which to research.

To support this hypothesis, the people I believe to be Kitty’s family, John Jacobi and Julia Ann James, also have ties to this area. Please read my previous posts to learn why I think they are Catherine’s people. Their younger children, including all four of the brothers and sisters who married in Gallia County about the same time as Kitty and Elliot, were born in Bedford County between 1784 and 1802, according to their family researchers. One of their daughters (Catherine’s sister if I have the relationships right) Christina, married Lewis Settle there in 1803. John’s sister, Eva, married Samuel Hibbs in Bedford County in 1791.

I realize it’s risky to base my search on people I’m not sure are Jacob and Catherine’s parents, but I have to start somewhere, and I can’t ignore the confluence of so many surnames that the James Family researchers have discovered in our shared DNA matches, such as Basham, Angel, and Brock, in addition to the Bellamy family members living in the county at this time.

Kitty and the Double Life

Honestly, the more I research my third great-grandmother, Catherine James Bellamy James, the more I don’t think she’s my third great-grandmother. You can read why I think that at the beginning of this series of posts.

There are just some details in her records that don’t make any sense. Like, how was she running two households and two families 50 miles apart in the 1820s?

Here’s what I mean. Take a look at these two census records from 1830.

I know that the census records above contain the right men because they were in the exact same place with the same neighbors in other censuses: Elliot in 1820 and Josiah in the 1840 and 1850 censuses.

The top census record is from Scioto County, Ohio. It says Jacob James is in his 20s, is living with a woman the same age, and has 2 boys under the age of 5, one of whom I assume is Josiah.

The bottom census record is from Gallia County, Ohio, from the same year. It says Elliot Bellamy is in his 30s, is living with a woman in her 20s, and has 4 children under the age of 15.

Some back story: The children of Elliot and Catherine Bellamy were William, Nancy, Joshua and Bartlett. They were all born between 1817 and 1826-ish. My ancestor, Josiah James, is consistently described as being born in 1828 in Kentucky. All of the data of the children in these records checks out.

To give an idea of the geography between these two places, here’s a map of very southeastern Ohio. Kentucky is at the bottom across the river. West Virginia is the far bottom right across the river.

Accounting for all the little turns in the highlighted road and the fact that it takes an hour and a half to drive 58 miles, I’m guessing the land in between these cities is pretty hilly terrain. Granted, in 1830, folks would likely be traveling by boat, so the trip from Gallipolis to Portsmouth would be faster than going back upriver.

Some research of the James/Bellamy family suggests that Catherine was mother to both of these families at the same time, a sort of reverse polygamist situation. I just don’t think it can be true. First off, that’s a ways in 1830 for Catherine to be traveling to raise both families. And it would be very expensive for the wife of two farmers with 6 children to feed. Women did not have the kind of power back then to be able to move freely between households and keep their secret excursions under wraps.

Another reason I don’t think Catherine is the woman in both of these censuses is because I know that Elliot passed away in 1832 or 1833. I found his will on Ancestry on which his son William is executor.

So, in order for Josiah to have been born in Kentucky in 1828 to Catherine, not only would she have been married to another man and raising at least four other children, she would have been on an excursion in Kentucky while pregnant for some reason.

Divorce was uncommon in this place at this time for social and religious reasons. Evidence exists that the James children and the Bellamy children were close when they grew older. Josiah James and Bartlett Bellamy had a double wedding in May 1848. Josiah brought his father and Catherine out to Muscatine County, Iowa, to join William and Bartlett Bellamy in 1854. These facts suggest to me that there was no scandal between them.

So I don’t think Catherine was living with Jacob James in 1830. I do think Jacob had a wife before Catherine. To complicate things, though, I match genetically to descendants of all four of the Bellamy children.

If Catherine wasn’t Josiah’s mother, how could I be genetically linked to her Bellamy children?

Well, I’ve been researching that question.

What if Josiah’s mother was Catherine’s sister?

Like, after Elliot Bellamy and Josiah’s mother passed away, Jacob married his wife’s sister. It wasn’t an uncommon practice. It would explain the genetic ties. It would explain why the James siblings were tight with the Bellamys: they were brother-cousins. And it would make the descendants of Catherine Bellamy my 4th cousins instead of my half 3rd cousins once removed. For you DNA buffs out there, the shared centimorgans between those two relationships is virtually the same.

What do you think?

Sources are located in the links throughout the post. I found all of the censuses mentioned, as well as Elliot and Catherine’s wedding record, on Ancestry. The fact that she married Jacob James as her second husband can be found in censuses and in Joshua Bellamy’s biography on page 518 here.

Kitty and the Two Johns

This is the third entry in an on-going series of pretty much me writing out all of the weird stuff I’m finding about my third great-grandmother, Kitty James Bellamy James. To start this link, click here.

This post continues to discuss the research question: What were the names of Kitty’s parents?

So I narrowed Kitty’s father down to four men in my last post. After researching them further, I only found verifiable facts about two of them: John Jacobi James and his son, John Samuel James. I plugged John Senior and his wife into my Ancestry family tree to see if any DNA matches came up.

After seeing that I matched 13 of John James Senior’s descendants, I took a step further and plugged in John Senior’s parents’ names. I had 7 matches to 5 of John Senior’s siblings.

And I went back another generation and found that I matched to 8 descendants of John Senior’s grandparents. GRANDPARENTS!

We’re talking about people born in a section of the Holy Roman Empire known as Germania in 1714. There is no doubt in my mind that if John Jacobi James isn’t Catherine’s father then he must be her grandfather or uncle.

To read more findings, click here.

Sources:

1. Personal records from DNA test.

Kitty James and the Unknown Parents

This is a continuation of my research on my 3rd great-grandmother, Kitty James Bellamy James. For the start of this thread, click here.

In this post, I am writing about my findings to the research question: What were the names of Kitty James’s parents?

If Kitty married in Gallia County when she was a teenager, it stands to reason that her family was living nearby. Right? Running with that theory, I gathered the names of all the Jameses in the county in 1820. My research for 1810 didn’t go very far because early records for Ohio are spotty.

I work in Excel spreadsheets. It’s just who I am.

Five Jameses lived in Gallia County in 1820: Bartlet, John in Gallipolis, John in Green Township, Joseph, and Henry. Let’s look at them one at a time.

Bartlet is 27-45 years old and living with a woman 19-26. I’m thinking because of the age of the woman and the lack of kids in the house that Bartlet is on the lower edge of the age range and newly married.

John of Gallipolis is between 27-45 with two women in the same age range. There are three children under the age of 10 and a young woman who is 19-26 in the house. With an older John nearby, I am thinking this is John Junior.

John of Green Township is over 46 years old living with a man and a woman between 27-45, two men between 19-26, a woman between 17-18, a girl between 11-16, and a boy under 10. According to the Gallia County Cemetery records, John James died June 1, 1845, in Gallia County at 92 years old. His wife Julia Ann died in 1851 at 83 years of age.

Joseph is over 46 years old living with 3 people between 19-26 and 8 kids under 16. This is pretty clearly a 3-generation household.

Henry is 27-45 living with a woman 19-26. No children in the house makes me think Henry is in the lower end of the age range and newly married.

Map of Gallia County Townships. Source: Wikipedia

Next, I researched all of the Jameses who married in Gallia County around the time of Kitty’s marriage in 1816 in the hope of compiling a list of possible siblings. I found four people with the last name James—Rachel, Polly, Henry, and Elizabeth.

  • Rachel married Jesse Allison in 1813
  • Polly married Samuel Boggs in 1815
  • Elizabeth married Samuel Callahan in 1818
  • Henry married Susan Williams in 1819 (my inferences about him above were correct!)

Interesting that the surnames of the non-James grooms match maiden names and middle names of people I found death information for. Interesting that the name Kitty gave her third son was Bartlett. Interesting that Familysearch.org has a family tree for John and Julia James. Very interesting that I found DNA matches to descendants of two of the circled people below.

Entry for John Jacobi James on familysearch.org

For more of my findings, click this.

Sources:
1. Federal Census Year: 1820. Location: Springfield, Green, Gallipolis, and Harrison Twp, Gallia County, Ohio; NARA Roll: M33_88; Image: 81. Accessed on Ancestry.com, 7 Mar 2020.
2. Ohio Marriages 1800-1956, Film 004016313, FamilySearch.org.
3. John Jacobi James profile on FamilySearch.org. GQH1H-H1H.
4. Julia Ann Callaghan profile on FamilySearch.org. L71R-6JB.
5. Personal records from DNA test.

Something About Mary: Following the Kelleys to Iowa, Part 2

I suspect a woman named Mary Stewart is my 3rd great-grandmother. Read Part 1 to find out why. This post is all about me speculating if it could be true. Fun!

Mary Stewart, was born in Windham, Connecticut, on February 9, 1799 to Ozias Hibbard or Hebard and Polly Flower. According to her father’s census records, her family moved to Union County, Ohio, by 1830. Union County borders Champaign and Logan Counties on its west. In other words, the Hibbards lived very close to the Kelleys and Hurds in west-central Ohio.

She married John Stewart in Logan County, Ohio, in 1833. She was 34 years old; he was 55. They had five children: Thomas, Ann, James, Barbara, and Lorenzo. John Stewart passed away in 1855, which probably was the reason the rest of the Stewart family moved to Iowa with the Kelleys and Hurds a year later.

By 1870, the widow Stewart and her family lived in York County, Nebraska. York County had recently been the frontier. The village they lived near was called Stewartville because Mary’s son James was a semi-famous frontiersman who had founded the town. He knew and rode with such historic figures as Kit Carson and Jim Beckwourth. Probably due to James’s wandering nature, the Stewarts didn’t stay long. Mary was buried in Montesano, Washington, on February 12, 1883.

How does her story fit into my 2nd great-grandfather, John Kelley’s?

John was born in 1825, so eight years before Mary married John Stewart. She would have been 26 at his birth, which is plenty of time to have been married to another person and have a family. Mary’s son that I mentioned in Part 1 was 3 years older than my John Kelley. He must have been a step-son from John Stewart’s first marriage.

We’ve established that John Kelley and Mary Stewart were living near Urbana, Ohio, in 1850. They were neighbors in Henry County, Iowa, from 1856 to before 1870. It seems the Kelleys stayed in Henry County longer than the Stewarts. But in 1880, the Kelleys had moved west to Council Bluffs, Iowa, three counties away from the Stewarts in York County, Nebraska. The best part about that census, though, is the fact that John’s mother’s place of birth is recorded for the first time on any document (check the far right column):

So exciting, right? I’ve never been so happy to see the abbreviation Conn for Connecticut! The same state Mary Stewart was born in. But how else can I prove my theory that Mary Hibbard is John’s mother? Who is John’s father? Did John have brothers and sisters?

It wouldn’t be fair to not mention my cousin and friend Cathy and our new friend Kate, a genealogist friend of a Kelley relative. We arrived at different parts of this theory and synthesized the information together. I’m just the one recording it. Thanks, Cathy and Kate!

Read Part 3. Also, sources are on my Sources page.

A Lead!: Following the Kelleys to Iowa, Part 1

Last October, I visited Urbana, Ohio, to look into my 2nd great-grandparents, John Kelley and Eliza Hurd Kelley. More specifically, I went to figure out who John’s parents were because I was pretty sure they weren’t the couple most Ancestry researchers said they were. You can read about my trip and my ultimate conclusions starting with this post.

I’m getting ready for another research trip to the town John Kelley and his family settled in when they left the Urbana area in 1856 or so. I’m heading to Mount Pleasant, Iowa, which is in the southeastern corner of the state.

I’ve already figured out the people I need to research while I’m there. In addition to the Kelley family, Eliza Hurd Kelley’s father William and his family followed them there by 1859. But the biggest reason I’m going there is to try to find out more about this person:

What does a woman named Mary Stewart have to do with the Kelley and Hurd families?

Oooo. This is the fun puzzle-y part!

Mary Stewart and her husband James were living in the Urbana, Ohio, area in 1850 in the same township where I believe John was living. And she appears in Jackson Township, Henry County, Iowa, in the 1856 Iowa census, five households away from John Kelley. So they probably moved together.

You can’t see it in the picture above, but Mary here is part of a pattern in the census pages. Four households ahead of her is my 35-year-old great-grandfather John Kelley. Two households ahead is William Hurd, John’s father-in-law. And two households after Mary is William Hurd’s oldest son. The every-other house pattern seems to indicate that the census taker was crossing the street zigzag-style as he worked, instead of recording one side and then the other, which means John, William, Mary, and John Hurd were next-door neighbors.

Don’t you think there’s something about Mary living BETWEEN the two Hurd households that hints at a closer relationship than just neighbors?

You probably see where I’m heading here, but just because Mary moved from Ohio with my family doesn’t mean she’s also family. Right? Just looking at this census page, how could a widowed woman with the last name Stewart and a son three years OLDER than my John Kelley be his mother?

Read Part 2. Sources are on my Sources page.

Nathaniel Kelly, son of John and Elizabeth: Who’s The Daddy, Part 3

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.

Logan County Marriage Records 1774–1993, Ancestry.com

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. 

Analysis:

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.

John Kelly, son of Peter and Mary: Who’s the Daddy, Part 2

So with Peter Kelly, Jr, off my potential daddy list, I turn to his brother, John.

According to a family bible and his father’s will, John Kelly, son of Peter and his first wife Sarah Burgis, was born July 18, 1781, in Shenandoah County, Virginia. He married Screen Shot 2018-12-03 at 2.10.53 PMElisabeth Loar in Augusta County, Virginia, on May 6, 1803. He and Betsy had two children: Polly, born in 1804 in Staunton, and Nathaniel, born in 1806 in Greenbrier County, Virginia (now West Virginia).

John married Susannah Osborn on August 3, 1806, in Greenbrier County. (Since John remarried the same year Nathaniel was born, I am inclined to believe Elisabeth died in childbirth.) Susannah was the daughter of a well-known Baptist minister, Josiah Osborn. A biography of one of their sons states that John and Susannah had 12 children. I have only been able to nail down 6 from records so far: John in 1807, Sallie in 1809, Elizabeth in 1812, Martha in 1814, Peter in 1816, and Harriet in 1819. Other researchers of this family have listed children younger than Harriet, but how do we know whose children they are. As you will read in the next paragraphs, this family was big into housing extended family. In 1820, the family moved near Bellefontaine, Ohio.

There’s a John Kelly in the Logan County census records for the years 1820, 1830, and 1840. As this family has so many Johns in it, I wasn’t sure these records were for this John Kelly and his family. Remember that censuses before 1850 listed just the head of household’s name and their families were recorded as hash marks representing their age and sex.

The 1820 census has 8 people total in the family. The hash marks match the ages of John and Susannah’s children. The only kids missing are Polly and Nathaniel, John’s children by his first marriage, who would have been 16 and 14 years old. It could be that they may have stayed behind in Virginia with other family members.

The 1830 census lists 18 people in John Kelly’s house. That’s certainly more than the 14 (12 children, 2 parents) I was expecting. But even 14 is too many because it assumes John and Susannah had a dozen children who survived. Three of the new people are easily spotted; there are a thirty, a sixty and a seventy-year-old man in the hashes. Their presence on the census makes me believe John is housing more than one family—probably his or his wife’s parents and a brother or brother-in-law. Four of John’s children would be in their twenties at this time so they may not be living with their parents. Most interesting, there’s a boy between 5 and 9 years old, and a boy under 5 years old on the record. My John Kelley ancestor was born in 1825 or 1826. More on this in a few paragraphs.

John’s family is back down to 8 people in the 1840 census. Of course, most of his children were married and gone by this time. Harriet, the youngest daughter that I know of so far, would be 21. I looked ahead and noticed she would marry in 1842. There is a 90-year-old man listed. The two boys listed in the 1830 census also appear on this census, ten years older. Could one of them be my John Kelley?

John the elder’s wife passed away in 1844.

In the 1850 census, John is listed with people this time. John is 68, Martha Price is 36, Jonathan Yeck is 18, Mary Ann Williams is 16, John Price is 9, and Harriet Fuson is under the age of 1. I’ve verified that Martha is this John Kelly’s daughter, and Harriet Fuson is his granddaughter. I’m not sure who the others are yet. The fact that this is the right man in the right county makes me think the previous censuses are also him. My thinking here is, if we know he moved there in 1820 and he is listed there in 1850, he most likely stayed there in between.

In the winter of 1859, John Kelly dies in Logan County.

Analysis:

I can’t rule out this John Kelly as the father of my ancestor.

Reasons I’m leaning toward him not being the daddy: John Senior already has a son named John. The family bible lists Senior’s children rather meticulously; there are only 8 births listed, which leads me to believe 4 children did not survive birth.

Screen Shot 2018-12-03 at 2.14.43 PM.png
page 9 from the family bible in my possession (but procured from Margaret Gerdeman)

On the other hand, John was 43 in 1825 when my ancestor was born, so he could still have children. My ancestor named one of his son’s John Henry Osborn, which makes me think there’s a connection to Susannah. There’s the question of the missing six children John and Susannah are to have had, and the question of the two boys in the 1830 and 1840, who may be John’s or maybe somebody else’s. Of course, there’s also the possibility that John and Betsy or Susannah are my ancestor’s grandparents. John’s sons Nathaniel and John Junior are old enough to be my ancestor’s father. I guess I have my Who’s The Daddy? Parts 3 and 4 now.

Peter Kelly, Jr.: Who’s the Daddy, Part 1

Now that I’m 97 percent certain I’m researching the right Kelley/Kelly family, my next task is narrowing down potential fathers.

Using Peter Kelly’s will, I determined that two of his sons, Peter Junior and John, could be my third great-grandfather’s father.

I had already known that Elizabeth Enoch had a brother named Peter because they were mentioned in a biography of Elizabeth’s husband, John.

Peter Kelly, Junior, was born in Staunton, Augusta County, Virginia, in 1799. He moved to Logan County with his family in 1820 when he was 21 years old. He married Sarah “Sally” Smith in Logan County in 1822.

The Ancestry community in general believes he and Sally had Mary in 1823, Jeremiah in 1824, Henry in 1826, Elizabeth in 1829, and John in 1830.

In the 1830 census, he is listed as having 2 sons between the ages of 5 and 9 and 1 son under the age of 5. Jeremiah and Henry are probably the two sons between 5 and 9; John is probably the one under age 5.

As the History of Champaign and Logan County excerpt above states, Peter Kelly was a county sheriff, not an easy job so early in the European history there. At the Logan County Library in Bellefontaine, Ohio, I confirmed that a Peter Kelly served as sheriff of the county twice: from 1831 to 1834 and again from 1839 to 1840. The couple had more children that I won’t mention here because I am only concerned about his children born around 1825.

In 1840, he has 1 son between 15 and 19 and 2 sons between 10 and 14, which corresponds with Jeremiah, Henry, and John’s birthdates.

In 1850, everyone except Jeremiah is present and living in the same county they were in the previous censuses.

A newspaper clipping index I discovered at the Logan County Historical Society lists a Judge Peter Kelly (Junior) dying in West Liberty, Ohio, on 10 December 1856 of Lung Fever. He was in his 58th year and was a native of Augusta County, Virginia. The index says this information was in the 12 December 1856 edition of the Bellefontaine Republic newspaper. I need to find this obituary because an index isn’t a strong source.

Findagrave confirms a Peter Kelly was buried in Fairview Cemetery in West Liberty, Ohio, in 1856. He is next to Sarah Kelly, Elizabeth, and Belle, and his other children are also linked in his record. They are Sarah Kennedy, Anna Deck, Martha Patterson, and John Kelly.

Analysis: I don’t think Peter Junior is likely to be the father of my ancestor John Kelley, who was born (most documents agree) in July 1825.

1. The censuses agree as to the number of sons Peter had in 1830, 1840, and 1850, and they consistently match the ages of Peter’s known children.

2. Peter’s son Jeremiah became a well-respected reverend in this county. His life is well documented. He was born in October 1824, exactly nine months before my John Kelley relative was born. It’s possible Sally bore two sons that close together, but not probable.

3. Peter and Sarah named a son John in 1830. It’s possible they named two sons the same name, but not probable.

4. As an upstanding member of the community—earning a mention in his brother-in-law’s biography I might add—Peter Kelly and his family would be well recorded even at this early time. All of his living children would have been recorded.