Welcome! I really enjoy exchanging information with people and hope this blog will help with that. I am not an expert and I consider most of my research as a work in progress. Some of the surnames I'm researching:

Many old Cape families including Kelley, Eldredge/idge, Howes, Baker, Mayo, Bangs, Snow, Chase, Ryder/Rider, Freeman, Cole, Sears, Wixon, Nickerson.
Many old Plymouth County families including Washburn, Bumpus, Lucas, Cobb, Benson.
Johnson (England to MA)
Corey (Correia?) (Azores to MA)
Booth, Jones, Taylor, Heatherington (N. Ireland to Quebec)
O'Connor (Ireland to MA)
My Mayflower Ancestors (only first two have been submitted/approved by the Mayflower Society):
Francis Cooke, William Brewster, George Soule, Isaac Allerton, John Billington, Richard Warren, Peter Browne, Francis Eaton, Samuel Fuller, James Chilton, John Tilley, Stephen Hopkins, John Howland.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Arthur Thacher Kelley, 1888-1972 Brockton to Plymouth, Mass.

Arthur was born Brockton, Mass., 23 March 1888, the third son of David Howes and Mary Ann Kelley. He was born in Brockton when his parents lived there briefly, but grew up mostly in West Dennis, Mass.
Arthur Kelley (photo from James Roscoe)

Arthur married first Susan Herrick Gage in Providence, Rhode Island on 8 October 1906. She was the daughter of Richard Gage and Hannah Ellis. They had nine children together:

Susan Gage Kelley with two of her children

1.     Ralph, who married first a woman named Olive and had a daughter Beverly. He married second a woman named Philomena. He died in South Yarmouth in 1982 at age 74.
Philomena and Ralph Kelley

2.       Ruth, who married Benjamin Roscoe and had two sons, David and Bruce. She died in South Yarmouth in 1978 at age 68. I’ve been in touch with her grandson James, who has been wonderful to exchange information with.
Ruth, Ralph and Vannie outside Ferry Street house, West Dennis
3.  Evangeline, nicknamed Vannie, who married Victor Shanks and had two daughters, Marilyn and Rosemary. She died in Manchester, Connecticut in 1994 at age 83.
4.     Arthur died in Brockton at age 69 in 1984. He married Mary Ann Doucette and had: Arthur, Janice, Susan, and Richard.  
Arthur and Avis Kelley

5.      Avis married John Sullivan and had one son, Dennis. She died in 1961 at age 45, leaving a son of about 10 years of age.
6.      Hazel died 1938, in Avon, at just 19 years of age, of rheumatic fever. 
Hazel Kelley 1929

7.      Virginia who died at age 5 in 1926 in Avon.
Virginia Kelley (from James Roscoe)
8.      June married Norman Willard and had a son, Timothy. She lives is Florida. 

June Kelley (from James Roscoe)
9.       Claire, who married Herbert DeMers and had: Herbert, Dennis, Donald, Cathleen. She died at age 64 in 1989 in Brockton.
Claire Kelley (from James Roscoe)

They raised their large family in Avon, Mass. Arthur was raised in the Reorganized Latter Day Saint Church, but at some point became a Baptist.
Arthur Kelley's home in Avon

According to various records Arthur worked as a wire cloth worker as a young man and then as a mail clerk for the railroad. His daughter June says he was a teacher for a time as well.

Arthur and his sister, Ethel, (my great-grandmother) were close, so I found a lot of photos of his family and old cards/letters. This led me to his daughter June, whom I met in 2000. She was so friendly and welcoming and helped me identify her siblings in some of the photos I brought with me. She was the last of her siblings living, which must be difficult for her but she maintains a very positive attitude. We’ve exchanged Christmas cards ever since.

Susan died from a stroke in September 1933 at just 45 years of age. Arthur married second Mildred Brown on 1 May 1940. They had a daughter, Elizabeth, born in 1942. Arthur married third, Ida Rogers, whose nickname may have been May, in 1968.

After his retirement, Arthur lived in South Yarmouth, Mass. on Cape Cod.

Arthur passed away 20 July 1972 at a nursing home in Plymouth, Mass. He was 84.


  1. Wonderful job Chris! I shared this with my father, here at our family Thanksgiving gathering, and he especially enjoyed it. It stirred up some great stories and memories that I shall have to share with you soon.

  2. Thanks, James. Let me know if I got anything wrong!

  3. I love hearing about my family and the pictures are wonderful. Thank you so much, Chris and James.

  4. Thank you, Janice. Please let me know if anything is inaccurate! Chris

  5. Hi Chris, another branch heard from, James roscoe reached out to me today, and my grandfather was Ralph Kelley, son of Arthur. My mother was Ralph's only daughter, Beverly Mae Kelley, and I am one of her three daughers, Candace, Linda, and Roberta. I read more tonight about our family history than i ever knew before, so this is really interesting for me! Candyhaynes@hotmail.com