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William S Kelly 1739 Ireland – 1826 TN

William S Kelly 1739 Ireland – 1826 TN

William Kelly was a private in the Revolutionary War, serving in the North Carolina Militia.[i],[ii]

[He]Served as a private in Capt. Brown’s Company, Col. Thomas Clark’s Regiment (first) North Carolina Continental Line 1777; also in Capt. Brinkley’s Company of 1st Regiment of North Carolina Militia.[iii]

William married Mary Frances (Durham) Kelly[i], daughter of William Durham and Margaret (Colough) Durham.[ii]Fortunately William’s Will lists the names of their children. 

When writing about William’s great grandson, Richard Bussey Kelly, Joel Campbell DuBose briefly explained William’s travels.

William S. Kelly, “an Irish lad, tiring of the oppression of England, decided to come to America, where men enjoyed the privilege of political and religious freedom. This Irish lad, William Kelly, settled in Wake County, N. C., where his son, Sims Kelly, was born in 1784. Sims Kelly loving liberty like his father, became one of the combatants when war was declared against England in 1812.”

 In 1800 William and family were living in York District, South Carolina.[iii]During the War of 1812 William and Mary’s sons, William Durham Kelly and Sims Kelly served as volunteers from Tennessee. They enlisted in September 1814 which tells us the family was living in that state at the time.[iv]In 1820 William Kelly and his wife were living in Franklin, Tennessee.[v]

It would be interesting to have more details on William’s movements from Ireland (1739), to the Colonies (1755), to North Carolina (1777), to South Carolina (1800) and on to Tennessee (1814). Unfortunately, we do not have that information.

 William Stark Kelly died 13 December 1826 in Tennessee.[i]


[i]Russey, George S., The Russey Family in America: A Genealogy of James Russey(1970) Genealogy Gophers (gengophers.com: accessed January 2020) 79.


[i]US and International Marriage Records, 1560 – 1900; digital image, Ancestry (ancestry.com: accessed January 2020) William S. Kelly and Mary Frances Durham, m. in NC.

[ii]Russey, George S., The Russey Family in America: A Genealogy of James Russey(1970) Genealogy Gophers (gengophers.com: accessed January 2020) 79.

[iii]1800 US Census, SC, York; digital image, Ancestry (ancestry.com: accessed May 20200 Wm Kelly.

[iv]Tennessee Secretary of State, History & Genealogy/War of1812,Regimental Histories of Tennessee Units During the War of 1812; digital image (sos.tn.gov: accessed June 2020) Major William Russell.

[v][v]1820 US Census, TN, Franklin; digital image, Ancestry (ancestry.com: accessed January 2020) William S Kelly.


[i][i]Compiled Service Records of Soldiers Who Served in the American Army During the Revolutionary War; NARA catalog 570710, Record Group 93; digital image, Fold3 (fold3.com: accessed January 2020) William Kelley.

[ii]Revolutionary War Soldiers for NC and SC; digital image (ourfamtree.org: accessed January 2020) William Kelly/Kelley.

[iii]Sons of the American Revolution, Membership Applications, 1889 – 1970; Louisville, Kentucky; National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, microfilm; William Kelly.