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.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Patrick Kelley 1753-1834, Harwich, Mass.

Patrick Kelley was born in 1753, probably in Harwich, Mass., one of the six sons of Patrick Kelley and Bethiah Baker. His name is also spelled Killey and O’Killey in records.

On 23 January 1777 Patrick married Dorcas Chase, the daughter of Sylvanus and Charity Chase. Dorcas was born in Harwich 13 November 1757. The couple settled on the Penney farm, which he purchased from Isaac Weekes in 1788. The house which he built and in which he resided until his death is now occupied (1890) by his son Marshall Kelley, standing northwesterly from the Harwich railroad station and is one of the oldest houses in town.

The pre-1925 photo below is of my great-great grandparents, David Howes Kelley and Mary Ann Kelley, standing in front of the old family homestead in Harwich. On the back is written "grandfather Kelley's house in Harwich," which would mean Patrick's grandson Oliver, so perhaps it had been Patrick's in his lifetime. Years back I contacted the Harwich Historical Society to see if they had information on Patrick's house, but they did not. I would guess it is no longer standing, but would love to know the exact location. 

Patrick and Dorcas had 11 children born Harwich (information is a work-in-progress):

--Oliver b. 31 December 1795, married Priscilla Chase and had 10 children
--Henry b. 08 July 1777, married Temperance Baker and Lucinda Swift
--Huldah b., 01 November 1779, married Watson Baker
--Amos b. 30 January 1782, married Keziah Crowell
--Rosana/Roxana b. 16 December 1783, married Gamaliel Chase
--Sarah/Sally b. 09 January 1786, married Freeman Burgess and moved to Nova Scotia
--Patrick b. 17 February 1788, married Hepsebeth Chase and had 10 children
--Isaiah b. 04 January 1792, married Sally Downs
--Marshall b. 15 April 1798, married 1st Cynthia Clarke and 2nd Eliza Bassett
--Lilly (son) b. 15 November 1793, married Achsah Chase
--Coleman b. 02 January 1801, married Christiana Calhoon

I descend from Oliver and Priscilla.

Patrick Kelley was a shipwright by trade. One vessel he built was the Schooner Dorcas, presumably named after his wife, which was launched in 1817. Some of his sons were mariners, captains and co-owners of vessels. 

Ship Registers, Barnstable Co., 1814-1913, Compiled from original documents stored in the New Bedford Custom House, National Archives Project:

DORCAS, schooner, of Harwich.  Built at Harwich in 1817.  Reg'd 3 May 1821.
Owners:  Henry KILLEY, Patrick KILLEY, Patrick KILLEY Jr., Gamaliel CHASE, Harwich.
Master:  Isaiah KILLEY.

Gamaliel was likely Patrick’s son-in-law of that name. Henry, Patrick and Isaiah were Patrick's sons.

Old postcard of the Mouth of Herring River
Vessel building on the river in West Harwich commenced in the early 1800s and continued until 1848.

Patrick was also part-owner of the Harwich and Chatham cotton and woolen factory. In 1824 the factory was erected on the Red River, a small, muddy stream on the southeastern part of Harwich, but was soon removed to North Harwich along the Herring River because of the poor supply of water. Also nearby were the grist mill and the mill for carding wool. Patrick’s father of the same name owned one of the mills and Patrick inherited a quarter share of that.

Patrick died Harwich 28 October 1834 in his 81st year. He is buried at the Kelley Cemetery in Harwich.
Patrick Kelley's gravestone at Kelley Cemetery in Harwich

Dorcas died Harwich 15 April 1834 in her 77th year. She and Patrick are buried side-by-side with identical gravestones. When I visited in 1999, the stones were in very good condition. They are slate, with weeping willow and urn engravings.
Dorcas Chase Kelley's gravestone, Kelley Cemetery, Harwich

Patrick died intestate, but there are several records at the Barnstable Co. Probate, Case No. 791, dated 1834.

Patrick’s son Henry was named Administrator on 11 November 1834. The estate inventory was dated 15 December 1834. It included his Harwich homestead on four acres worth $350; 8 acre parcel of cleared and woodland and cedar swamp worth $100; 4 acres of brush called Brookes lot worth $20; ½ acre of land at the west side of the factory $10; ¾ acre land called Burgess lot $70; Burges swamp $20; one acre Nickerson meadow $40; 3/8 acre Bridge meadow $32; ¼ of mill and mill privileges in land $150; 1/12 of the Chatham and Harwich woolen and cotton factory $290; one piece of land and swamp adjoining that factory $10. Total $1,042.

Patrick’s personal estate included one-half of the Schooner Dorcas worth $250, three shares of bank stock, cow, hay, desk, tables, stove, spinning wheel and pair looms, bible, silver buttons and gold beads, his and deceased wife’s wearing apparel, notes against Henry and Isaiah Killey, Nehemiah Robbins, David Robbins, 1/13 of a school house. Total value $907.82.

The division of his estate dated 18 March 1835 named his children: Henry Kelley, Patrick Kelley, Isaiah Kelley, Oliver Kelley, Lilly Kelley, Marshal Kelley, Coleman Kelley, Huldah Baker, Rosanna Chase & Sally Burgess. To be divided as soon as able to notify Anthony Kelley, appointed attorney for the said Sally (can't read rest of sentence).  Coleman, Isaiah, Oliver, Marshall, Patrick, Henry, Lilly, Huldah Baker, Rosanna Chase, Sally Burgess each received land and/or shares in the factory.  

Henry Kelley also presented a list of expenses, including purchase of tombstones and digging of graves for a total of $16.83.

Son Amos predeceased his father.

Sources not listed above:

Simeon L. Deyo, editor, History of Barnstable County, Massachusetts, HW Blake & Co., New York, 1890

Eunice Kelly Randall, David O'Killia the Immigrant of Old Yarmouth, Massachusetts with His Descendants and Allied Families, 1652 to 1962 


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  2. I come from Patrick II and his son Marshall (then Marshall II, then Marshall III, how original huh.) which we were under the impression by stories that Marshall (Patrick son) owned the house Patrick built at the entrance of Kelley Cemetery. By the map you already have for Oliver it shows M. Kelley owning the house just before the turn onto Kelley rd now Old Brewster. I looked it up on the town assessors database and 502 Main St was built in 1920. Very well could have been built on the property site of the old house of Patrick Kelley.

    1. Christina, I somehow missed this three years ago when you wrote it. My apologies but thank you for such great information! Chris