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,

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.

Where There’s a Will, The Two John Kelleys Part 16

On the second day of my trip, I visited the Logan County Historical Center in Bellefontaine, Ohio. The center is a converted old mansion with several modern additions strung behind it. The building just behind the mansion is a history museum. The genealogy and archival departments are on the second floor in the very back building.

I met with two volunteers that day. Beth in the archives looked up newspaper articles on the Kelley family for me. Deb helped me locate records of the Kelly family in the area.

Most of the records on hand were from the 1870s and after. Remember that my Kelly family had left the community by 1856. So I mostly collected information on the family members who stayed. But Deb did find one gem of a record.

It is Peter Kelly’s will written on November 27, 1822. The will was executed March 27, 1826. Peter Kelly is Elizabeth Kelly Enoch’s father. I am only including the first page of six here for the sake of space. If you’d like to see the rest of the will, please contact me through this blog.

To his wife, Mary, he gives all the furniture except the bookcase, two cows, all the sheep, geese and poultry, and a third of all the real estate. To his son John*, he gives 50 dollars and the book case. His books are to be equally divided among his children. He gives 100 dollars to be divided among the three children of his deceased son, Nathaniel, when the youngest comes of age. His son, Peter (Junior), received the wagon, harness, all of the farming utensils, and the responsibility of taking care of his mother the rest of her life, including making sure she had a good horse “when it shall be her pleasure to ride during the whole time of her widowhood.” Daughters Sally Houver and Betsy Enoch receive one “horse beast” each. They, along with a third daughter, Patty Knox, also receive a third of the money due to him in Virginia. (They lived in Augusta County, Virginia, before moving to Ohio in 1817 or so. Apparently, he still had business dealings there.) Daughter Caty Blag receives 25 dollars. David and Madison Watts or Walts, Sally’s children by her first marriage, receive a portion of the money when they turn of age.

* This John cannot be the John Kelley whose parents I’m looking for. This will was written in 1822, and my John was born in 1825 or 1826.

There’s so much information on the family here. Its immediate members are listed and there are hints to other relationships. Reading was important to them, though it seems wife Mary either couldn’t read or didn’t favor it as much as Peter’s children. Peter Kelly seems to favor his daughters equally with his sons. Poor Caty Blagg seems to have gotten a raw deal with just 25 dollars bequeathed.

I’m mostly interested in who of Peter’s children could be my John Kelley’s father. This document offers me just two candidates, John and Peter, Jr. Nathaniel is not a candidate because he died before my John Kelley was born.

So my findings lead me to research more into John and Peter Kelley, Jr. More to come!