Jeremiah Kelley (spelled in many ways including O’Killey, Oceley and O’Killia) was born circa 1664 in Yarmouth (in an area that is now West Dennis), Mass., one of the seven children of David O’Killia and Jane Powell. I wrote about David and Jane here.
Jeremiah’s wife is not known with certainty, only that her first name was Sarah. Genealogist R. Dudley Kelley states her maiden name is unknown. Genealogist Burt Derick gives her name as Sarah Chase, daughter of John Chase and Elizabeth Baker, as does an article by Mrs. Earl Chase.
Jeremiah was very influential in Yarmouth (now Dennis) and was a large land-holder, owning almost all of the current day village of West Dennis between Bass and West Pond Rivers. He was involved in farming, fishing and building windmills.
|Bass River, West Dennis, MA|
Jeremiah and Sarah were Quakers. “Jeremiah Cille” first appears in the Sandwich Monthly Meeting Minutes 3d 4mo 1709 as the Yarmouth representative. He is next mentioned 6d 8mo 1709 when at "this meeting frends give acount what they are willing to give tord Boston meeting hous," and he gave two shillings (Sandwich Monthly Meeting Minutes of the Society of Friends, Men's Friends Minutes 1672-1754, RI Historical Society in Providence.)
Jeremiah and Sarah had nine children:
Sarah who married Oliver Carpenter and Robert Hall
Jeremiah who married Charity Pease
Joseph who married Tabitha Baker
John who married Hannah Eldredge
Eleazer who married Sarah Browning and Phebe Baker
Seth who married Mehitable Wing
Amos who married Abigail ____
Hannah who married Elnathan Eldredge
Deliverance who married Silas Baker
The first eight children were recorded at Yarmouth as Ocelley (Yarmouth VR 1:8). Deliverance’s birth isn’t recorded in Yarmouth, but she is named in her father’s will.
I descend from Eleazer and his first wife Sarah Browning.
He was granted land 11 Feb 1691/2: "There is given and granted to Jeremyah OKilly his heirs and assignes forever 28 acres of land be it more or less where now his house is, the bounds first beginning on the west side of his fence the sd fence standing upon his owne land and the range extends fr the pond neere nor north east to a pine tree with an old mark and thence to a red oak marked (25 pole from sd pond) thence by a sett of neere east south east 80 poles to two pine trees marke thence by a sett of neere south west 60 poles to a pine tree marked thence turning about a poynt more westward to the affore sd pond which is about 40 rods to a pine marked by the pond the sd pond being the south west bounds..." (Yarmouth Grants)
In the first division of Yarmouth lands Jeremiah OKilley bargained with the committee for lands abutting his present property; in return he remitted his choices in the division. He was also allotted one day's pay for helping lay out the division. In June 1712: "laid out to Jeremiah Killy apeace of Land below his house in ye neck: Set from a stake by his fence E. & by S. 18 road to ye pond. & from Sd stake sets S. & by W. 124 rod by marked trees to stake by Zachariah Riders marsh a little distence from ye pertision fence then set is Bounded by ye marsh to ye nerrow upland Betweene ye marsh & fence & so to ye pond & by ye pond to ye stake on ye Bank in ye first mention line Leaving ye way by his house to go on ye E. side of his corner stake; reserving all Necessery ways for people to go to ye marsh for there hay for which he Remiteth his whole Right in this first Divition." (Yarmouth MA Proprietors Records, 1710-1787, Yarmouth Town Clerk's office)
At the second division of lands, held June 1713, Jeremiah once again remitted his allotment: "Laid out to Jeremiah Killey a piece of Land Bounded on ye w. side by his own Land & at ye S. End by ye pond & swamp & set Eastly by his oun Marsh & Part of burgeses marsh to a tree marked IO. & IC: Set thence N. half Eastly about 74 rod as trees are marked: to a pine tree marked on 4 sides: Standing on ye south marked set thence westward about 26 rod to his own corner Bounds: Reserving to Burges 2 rod in Bredth along by his meddow for his conveance to his meddow for which peice of Land he Remits his whole Right in this Second Division to witt 20 shares". (Town of Yarmouth, second division of lands in the Proprietors Book)
In the third division of lands at Yarmouth July 1714, he chose: "Lot No. 124...Begineth at ye N.W Corner of ye 123d Lott a tree No: 123: 124: Set thence S: in ye Range of ye 123d Lot 388 Rod to ye No tree by ye pond & thence into the Sea. Sets from Sd No tree of ye 123 Lot. Nere ye Sea W: about 39 Rod to tree No 124 Sets South from Sd tree to ye Sea: & Sets N. from Sd tree about 380 Rod as trees are marked to a white Oak tree No 124: 125: by a Little Swamp thence on ye same Range to ye Rang of a piece of Land laid to John Chase thence Easterly in ye same Range of Sd piece of Land laid out to Chase about 38 Rod to ye first mentioned stake allowing all Needfull ways through this Lott." (Town of Yarmouth, third division, Proprietors Book.)
During the spring of 1721, a committee of Yarmouth proprietors was chosen to report on the effects of erosion in this area and on 10 May 1721 they reported: "that they had been Down to ye above Sd beach & viewd it & there was a certin parsel of beach falt & sedge ground to Eastward of Yarmouth of ye bass River finding that ye meddows of Divers persons are in danger of being bound with sand. To prevent ye same...it was Needfull that something be Done in order to prevent the sand and do think it adviseable that ye same shoud be either sold to them that appear to buy ye same or be hired out to som person that will keep it with in fence & whereas a great part of it Lyes fronting to Jeremiah Okilys & some other with in him we do think it adviseable or proper they should have the Refusall of sd beach or flat." Committee: Joseph Hall, John Hallet and Shubal Baxter. Proprietor Clerk, Samuel Sturgis. (Proprietors Record)
A road layout, recorded 15 April 1723, gives a general location of some of Jeremiah's property: "a public road was laid out from the Harwich town line westerly, past John Gages house, over the brook, along John Chases field to John Baker's; past Isaac Chase, and then along ye old way till it cometh to ye new way, newly cleared by Jeremiah Okilley, and so along in said new way bounded on ye East side by the West end of the Long Lots, 2 rods wide all along from the Harwich line; then ye new way leaveth, along by Jeremiah okilley's barn and house, and so along as ye old way goeth, by Richard Taylor's fence, thence by Wm Baker's, thence to the corner of Thomas Follon's fence, into ye County Road. (Yarmouth Town Clerk's Book)
Jeremiah died in Yarmouth (now West Dennis) on 30 August 1728. It is possible he is buried in an unmarked grave at the old Quaker Burial Ground in Dennis.
|Granite marker at the Quaker Burial Ground, Dennis Source: Findagrave.com|
|Some of the very view gravestones at the Quaker Burial Ground in Dennis|
The will of Jeremiah Ockilley of Yarmouth, County of Barnstable, dated 8 Nov 1727 (Barnstable Probate Records, Vol 4, pg. 466-7):
"All my debts to be paid by my four sons Joseph, John, Eleaser & Seth. To son, Joseph Ockilley: upland at South Sea in Yarmouth he now lives upon with the housing and fencing being the Easterly side of my land there, and is divided by a fence beginning at the salt meadow and so to a pond as fence stands then to bottom end of said pond to a stake, then straight through a little swamp to stake by the highway. To son, Eleaser Ockilly: the other part of my upland at South Sea he now lives on, with housing and fencing, being the Westerly side of tract. To sons, Joseph, John, & Eleaser Ockilley: salt meadow at Crookey Neck, containing that part of my right there which is bounded - beginning at John Gage's meadow on the South side, and leaving the Herring River on the East side, along River from Gage's meadow to a fence that runs across my meadow and a certain Island of upland ( ) to the said River on the West side of the tract, and said to mark ( ) pounds on the Northerly end of their right of meadow. To son, Seth Ockilley: all my homestead which I now live upon with housing fencing and orchard, and all my other lands that I do not give to anyone else, and a parcel of salt meadow lying by my well, being the northerly part of my meadow in Crookey Neck, Joseph, John and Eleaser allowing convenient and necessary cartways without cost for said Seth to cart from his meadow; also I give unto my son Seth all my moveable estate except what shall be hereafter expressed. To son, Amos Ockelley: meadow in Crooky Neck beginning at a pine tree by upland and stake by River being the most Westerly bounds of Joseph, John & Eleasers meadow in Crooky Neck, thence West to the end of my meadow together with all my lands in Crooky Neck; Amos to pay to my two grand daughters Elisabeth and Jerusha Ockilley daughters of my son Jeremiah Ockelley deceased the sum of 10 pounds apiece if they live to eighteen years. To my four sons, Joseph, John, Eleazer, & Seth Ockilley all my salt meadow and Stage flats at South Sea equally, with that Small Island of upland and meadow I bought of Wheelden. To my three daughters, Sarah Carpenter, Hannah Eldridge & Deliverance Baker my three beds and all my pots, iron and pewter vessels. Executores: Eleazer OKilley & Seth OKilley." Nathaniel Sherman, Judah Wing and Elisha Wing were witnesses. The will was proved 23 Oct 1728 (Barnst. Co. Prob. 4:466-68).
The inventory, taken by Peter Thatcher, Richard Taylor and Josiah Miller on 27 Nov 1728 totaled 1,447 pounds, 5 shillings, 10 pence, a large amount of money for that time. (See Barnst. Co. Prob. 4:469.)
Sarah is not named in Jeremiah’s will and is thought to have died in 1727.
Sources Not Included Above:
R. Dudley Kelley, Descendants of David Okillea of Yarmouth, NEHGR, April and July 1997
Eunice Kelley Randall, Kelley Genealogy, 1962
Mrs. Earl Chase, The Kelley Family, CCGS Bulletin, Summer 2004 (reprinted from October 1975)