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Sims Kelly 1784 SC – 1860 AL

Sims Kelly 1784 SC – 1860 AL

Sims Kellywas born 11 March 1784 in Wake County, North Carolina. On 29 June 1808 in Warren County, Georgia, he married Mary Camp. [i]

Sims Kelly, loving liberty like his father, became one of the combatants when war was declared against England in 1812. About this time the family moved to Tennessee, and thence in 1840, to Alabama, and there members dispersed, some going to Texas, some to Arkansas, and some remaining in Alabama.[ii]

Sims Kelly served in the war for the State of Tennessee but he did not remain there. By 1840 he was in Alabama. His house must have been a large residence because, in 1846, it was called the Jacksonville Hotel and advertised in the local newspaper as a Boarding House for Females.

Boarding for Females. The subscriber will furnish his house in Jacksonville, known as the Jacksonville Hotel, expressly as a Boarding House for Females during the next session of the Jacksonville Female Academy. The rooms are comfortable, and will be well furnished, and the house will be constantly under the care of Mrs. Kelly who will devote every attention to the boarders. She undertakes this mainly for the purpose of attending to the education of her own daughter.  Sims Kelly July 21, 1846[i]

Sims’ family was directly affected by the Mexican-American War which was fought from 1846-1848, primarily on foreign soil.  Three of Sims’ sons served during the war. Samuel Camp Kelly, William Kelly and Benjamin Gerard Kelly all served in Company I of the Alabama Militia Infantry.[ii]

In 1840[i]and 1850 Sims Kelly and family lived in Benton County, Alabama. In 1850 Sims was 67 years old, was a farmer living with his wife and two daughters on property valued at $8,000.[ii]Due to a merging of counties rather than changing locations, in 1860 Sims and Mary Kelly were living in Jacksonville, Calhoun County, Alabama. Sims’ estate was valued at $8,000 and his personal property was valued at $10,000.[iii]

Sims Kelly died 17 July 1860 in Calhoun County, Alabama.[i]His son, Samuel Camp Kelly, was executor of the estate.[ii]The settlement of the estate took several years. One step in the settlement involved the sale of his personal property. That included: “One mare, six head of Mules, Several hundred bushels Corn, Wheat, Oats, Fodder, 2 wagons, one Cart, Cattle, Hogs and Sheep, Blacksmith and Farming Tools, One buggy and Harness.”[iii]In 1864 Samuel advertised in the local newspaper to rent his father’s plantation and house.[iv]In 1868 Samuel organized a sale of “the valuable plantation of Sims Kelly, deceased, containing about 840 acres”.[v]


[i]Alabama Marriages, Deaths, Wills, Court and Other Records, 1784 – 1920; digital record, Ancestry (ancestry.com: accessed June 2020) Sims Kelly.

[ii]The State of Alabama. (Jacksonville, AL, Jacksonville Republican, 6 Sept 1860)  2; digital image, Genealogy Gophers (gengophers.com: accessed June 2020).

[iii]Executor’s Sale of Personal Property. (Jacksonville, AL, Jacksonville Republican, 10 Jan 1861) 1; digital image, Genealogy Gophers (gengophers.com: accessed June 2020).

[iv]Notice. (Jacksonville, AL, Jacksonville Republican, 27 Oct. 1864) 1; digital image, Genealogy Gophers (gengophers.com: accessed June 2020).

[v]Executor’s Sale. (Jacksonville, AL, Jacksonville Republican, 29 Aug. 1868) 4; digital image, Genealogy Gophers (gengophers.com: accessed June 2020).


[i]1840 US Census, AL, Benton; digital image, Ancestry (ancestry.com: accessed June 2020) Sims Kelly.

[ii]1850 US Census, AL, Benton; digital image, Ancestry (ancestry.com: accessed June 2020) “Sime Killey”.

[iii]1860 US Census, AL, Calhoun, Jacksonville; digital image, Ancestry (ancestry.com: accessed June 2020) Sims Kelly.


[i]Boarding for Females. (Jacksonville, AL, Jacksonville Republican, 19 Aug. 1846) 4; digital image, Newspapers.com: accessed June 2020).

[ii]Index to Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Soldiers Who Served During the Mexican War; NARA, Record Group 94; digital image, Fold3 (fold3.com: accessed July 2020) Samuel C. Kelly, William Kelly & Benjamin G. Kelly.


[i]Alabama Marriages, Deaths, Wills, Court and Other Records, 1784 – 1920; digital record, Ancestry (ancestry.com: accessed June 2020) Sims Kelly.

[ii]DuBose, Joel Campbell.Notable Men of Alabama: Personal and Genealogical With Portraits, Volume I (Spartanburg, SC: The Reprint Company, 1976) Genealogy Gophers (gengophers.com: accessed June 2020) 323-325.