Person:John Kelly (26)

John Kelly
b.Abt 1799 Belfast, Ireland
  1. John KellyAbt 1799 - 1850
m. 1830
  1. Thomas Edward Kelly1836 - 1902
  2. Jane Kelly1839 -
  3. John Kelly1840 - 1914
m. 1845/1850
  1. Girl Kelly
Facts and Events
Name John Kelly
Gender Male
Birth[1] Abt 1799 Belfast, Ireland
Marriage 1830 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United Statesto Nancy McDermott
Marriage 1845/1850 to Bessie Clarke
Death? 1850 Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Letter from Editah Doran Gyde (?)

I have been told several variations of the Kelly early family history so shall set down only the points on which all agree

John Kelly was the son of Thomas Kelly who lived on a small poor farm near Belfast, Ireland. There was a large family, John being the youngest. The family made great sacrifices to apprentice John to a Belfast weaver at L40 per year for 5 years. When his apprenticeship was completed he was paid very low wages and was dissatisfied. He worked for 2 years and managed to save enough money to pay his fare to America.

To save money he walked from Belfast to Cork and while waiting there for a ship to Boston he met and fell in love with Nancy McDermott (NB - It is at this point that the stories begin to differ - and some of them are quite romantic, all quite possible!) In any event John reached Boston and later obtained employment and eventually was taken in as partner by an elderly weaver who had a good business. He sent for Nancy McDermott and they were married and the three children were born. Then the old weaver died and his sons ( who had had no interest in weaving) took over the shop and ended the partnership. John took what money he had saved and moved his family to Toronto, where he started up a weaving shop of his own and apparently did farely well.

Then Nancy McDermott died (not sure of death) and John married again - second wife's name unknown. There was a agirl born of this second marriage and apparently it was not too happy a marriage. When John died in 1850 his second wife took her own child and disappeared. Thomas was then 14 and was taken in by a family in Islington (Thompson or Anderson) with whom he lived till he was 21. Jane (12) and John (10) were raised by another family and Thomas did not know of their where-about for many years. About 1870 he heard at Morkdale that they were both married and living not to far apart at Lion's Head, Ontario - which was about 40 miles from Thomas' home. The families met and visited, of course.

When I was 7 or 8 years old I went with my parents to visit Mother's Uncle John and Aunt Jane. Both had large families. John's oldest was girl, Effie, a little older thatn I. I do not recall Jane's married name and the families have drifted apart with the years.

  1. Irene Harrington. Harrington Family Research.