Welcome! I really enjoy exchanging information with people and love that this blog helps with that. I consider much of my research as a work in progress, so please let me know if you have conflicting information. 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 male 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, and John Howland.
Female Mayflower ancestors: Mary Norris Allerton, Eleanor Billington, Mary Brewster, Mrs. James Chilton, Sarah Eaton, and Joan Hurst Tilley.
Child Mayflower ancestors: Giles Hopkins, (possibly) Constance Hopkins, Mary Allerton, Francis Billington, Love Brewster, Mary Chilton, Samuel Eaton, and Elizabeth Tilley.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Olive May Kelley 1877-1889, West Dennis, MA

This is my last entry of the year 2011 and the last one on the 11 children of David Howes Kelley and his three wives, Lucina Doane Ellis, Mary E. Chase, and Mary Ann Kelley. It took much longer than anticipated, but helped me discover new bits and missing information as well. I'm incredibly drawn to the Kelley family, so any work I do on them is always a treat. Thank you to anyone who has taken the time to read my blog this year and especially those that have left encouraging comments and sent emails to exchange family information. When I started this blog in July, I went gang busters posting nearly every day, but that quickly slowed down as work, family and life also vies for my time and attention. My goal for 2012 is to keep a more steady (and realistic) pace of two posts a week. Happy New Year, everyone!

Mary Ann, Harry, David, Robby and Ethel Kelley in their Ferry Street yard

Olive May Kelley was the only child born to David Howes Kelley and his second wife, Mary E. Chase. She was born 20 August 1877. She had two half-siblings--Roland, who was nine when Olive was born, and Lila, who was seven.

On 30 March 1879, when Olive May was 17 months old, her mother died of consumption.

In December 1881, Olive’s father married again, to Mary Ann Kelley.

Olive May died  in West Dennis on 28 January 1889, of purulent otitis, which from what I’ve read is a viral or bacterial ear infection caused by the malfunction of the Eustachian tube. Olive was just 11 years of age. She was buried at West Dennis Cemetery, but the engraving on several small stones at the family plot is now illegible.

Her death record says her mother was Mary A. Kelley, but she was Mary E. Chase. There’s been some confusion because of David marrying two women named Mary, but the marriage dates help sort out the children. Unfortunately I do not have any family photographs that identify Olive.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Lila / Leila Norton Kelley Nickerson 1869-1956, West Dennis and Yarmouth, MA

David Howes Kelley and Lucina Doane’s third child, Lila Norton Kelley, was born in West Dennis, Mass., on 15 September 1869. Her name is also seen as Lillia and Leila.

She married David Atwood Nickerson on 18 May 1889 at West Dennis. He was born Yarmouth 30 November 1853, the son of Simeon Nickerson and Belinda Eldridge. Belinda’s first name is also seen as Melinda. David was a marble and granite worker and had gravestones in front of his house on Main Street, Yarmouth, where Captains' Row is now.

Lila was David’s second wife. Had had two children, Sarah born in 1878 and Rufus born in 1888, from his first marriage to Bertha Ellis. Rufus died soon after his birth, as did Bertha.

Lila and David had four children together:
Norton Atwood Nickerson, born 08 January 1898. He married Ellen May Clark; I don’t believe they had children.
Alice R. Nickerson, born 04 April 1904; died July 1904.
David Malcolm Nickerson, 01 January 1906; died May 1906.
William Fisher Nickerson, 14 June 1907. He married Evelyn Rose Desmond and had five children.
William Fisher Nickerson, 1907

David Nickerson died at Mass General Hospital in Boston on 14 January 1912, of a carcinoma, leaving Lila to raise two young children on her own.

Yarmouth Register “75 years ago,” 20 Sept 1956. On 19 Sept 1931, Mrs. Lila Nickerson left for Cornwall, Conn. to take up her duties as matron of the Ramsey Hall School for the second year. (Same item under 25 years ago 8 Sept 1955, from 6 Sept. 1930.)

I was fortunate to find Lila’s granddaughter, also named Lila, who lives in Montana. Here are excerpts from an email: My grandmother worked all her life, she worked for Knox Hatters in New Bedford, decorating hats before she married. She was widowed when my Father was 4, she took in boarders, teachers from school. Roland (her brother) lived with her for a time, my Father thought of him as a Father. She had a Tea Room in her home in Yarmouthport for years and sent her Fruit cake all over the U. S. She was a nurse for a Dr. Matthews I think that was his name. She dressed the dead for Mr. Doane in Hyannis. She also took in Girls from N. Y. C. "to teach them service" as she said. Many of the girls kept in touch with her for many years after leaving. Her last job was in Conn. at Ramsey Hall School for Boys as a dietitian. She loved life and was always a happy person. She had a horse and buggy and would go to Hyannis to shop and would wait for the train to Yarmouth at 4:00. She had the first bicycle in town. She helped start the Friday Club and the Willing Workers at Church.

I was so surprised in November 2010 when I opened my mailbox to find a copy of the magazine Cape Cod View, which had an article about the Yarmouth Friday Club. My cousin Gail, who is the granddaughter of Roland Kelley, sent it to me. It included a photo of Lila, and although I have many photos of family members, I don’t have any of Lila, as well as a recipe for Lila’s recipe for Cranberry Pie. I was thrilled and so touched by Gail’s kindness and generosity. I am constantly amazed at how thoughtful and friendly “new” cousins can be.
source: Cape Cod View magazine, Nov/Dec 2010 issue

The Friday Club was founded in 1901 and published a cookbook in 1912, which is where Lila’s recipe was found. It continues today as a group of women who sell baked goods to raise money for charity. The group now also holds yard and book sales, sells clam chowder and lobster rolls and runs a strawberry festival. Wouldn’t Lila be pleased to know her charitable works continue?

Lila certainly sounds like even though she suffered many losses in life, that she still thought of other people less fortunate than herself and lived a happy and incredibly productive life. She died at Hyannis on 16 July 1956 at age 86. She is buried at Woodside Cemetery in Yarmouth.

Her obituary, Yarmouth Register, 19 July 1956:

Yarmouth Port and Yarmouth - Mrs. Lila Norton Nickerson of Yarmouth Port, who would have been 87 in September, died last Saturday at Cape Cod Hospital where she had been a patient for two weeks. Mrs. Nickerson was the widow of David A. Nickerson. She was born in West Dennis, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David H. Kelley and had lived in Yarmouth for the last 67 years. Recently her granddaughter, Mrs. Frederick W. Kinat, moved here from Conn. to reside with Mrs. Nickerson on Minden Lane. A member of the First Universalist-Unitarian Church of Yarmouth Port and the WillingWorkers Alliance of that church, Mrs. Nickerson was also a charter member of the Friday Club of Yarmouth. She leaves two sons, Norton A. of Summer Street, Yarmouth Port, and William Fisher Nickerson of Slate Hill, NY, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Services were held Monday afternoon in the church, Rev. Kenneth Warren officiating, and interment was in Woodside Cemetery.

Tribute to Lila N. Nickerson, also from the Register, 26 July 1956:

In my teens I worked for Lila N. Nickerson of Yarmouth Port and I would like to say she was sweet and kind to me. I was taught to do many useful things. She always spoke a kind word about everyone. To anyone in distress she always gave a helping hand. I will always remember her as a very "sweet lady." My sympathy for the two sons she has left behind.  Laura K. Fitzgerald, P.O. Box 34, Union City, NJ.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Roland David Kelley, 1867-1931, West Dennis and South Yarmouth, Mass.

My great-great grandfather David Howes Kelley had three children with his first wife Lucina Doane Ellis: Roland, Lila and Hiram. Hiram was born in West Dennis 5 May 1871 and died the following year. He is buried at West Dennis Cemetery.
Roland D. Kelley was born in West Dennis on 6 October 1867, the first child of David Howes Kelley and his wife Lucina Doane Ellis. His first name is spelled Rowland on his birth record, but in other records it is Roland. According to my grandmother, Milly, family called him “Rola D.”
ca 1920s

Roland married Lilla Baker on Christmas Eve, 24 December 1889, in West Dennis. Lilla was born in Dennis on 10 February1872, the daughter of Albert and Eliza (Snow) Baker. She is called Lillian in some of her children’s birth records. Her name is unrecorded on her birth record.
Lilla Baker Kelley ca 1953

Lilla and Roland grew up near each other and their parents stayed in those homes, often listed within one or two households of each other in census records.

Roland and Lilla had four children:

1.      Winfred Roland, born 27 February 27 1892, West Dennis. He married Stella Ryan and had Roland, Lillian and Winfred. After Stella’s 1940 death, he married Gladys Court and had Gladwyn Jennie, Paul and Gloria. He died suddenly in Norwich, Conn., in September 1964, when he was returning home to Harwich by bus from the World’s Fair in New York. He was a police officer in Brockton and later had a painting business on the Cape with his brother Alton. 
Winfred Kelley

2.      Alton Stanley, born 22 October 1893, Brockton. He married Claire Beattie and had a daughter Alice. In the 1920 census his wife is given as Annie, so he either married twice or Annie was a nickname. He died of a heart attack in March 1956 in South Yarmouth. He worked in a shoe factory in Brockton before returning to the Cape.
Winfred and Alton Kelley, 1940s (from Roland W. Kelley)
Winfred and Alton ca 1894

3.       Bernice, born 29 November 1895, probably Brockton. She married Louis Robillard and died 19 August 1986. I don’t know if she had children.
Bernice Kelley ca 1896

4.      Gertrude, born about 1908. She married Chester Bryant and had a daughter, Gail. She married second Norton Nickerson, her cousin. She died in 1992.

Roland worked in a shoe factory in Brockton and later had a barber shop there (the latter according to his granddaughter Gail). I’ve met his granddaughter Gail, who lives on the Cape, and I have corresponded with his grandson Roland W., who inherited his grandfather’s 1891 Waltham Railroad Watch. 
Roland with son Winfred, grandson Roland B., and Roland B's other grandfather Samuel Ryan (from Roland W. Kelley)
Lilla liked to write poetry and my great-grandmother kept a little book of her poetry she must have given to family and friends. 

Lilla’s story, below, was sent to the Yarmouth Register by her granddaughter Gail:

I am writing this on special paper in honor of a very special day of long ago, and in memory of two of the best friends I ever had in my life.

On Christmas Eve in the year 1889, I donned by bridal finery to become the bride of a most sincere and devoted man. This event took place in the front parlor of my little Cape Cod home.

My gown was of steel blue cashmere trimmed with contrasting colors of striped silk. Long peplums hung loosely from the waist down to the bottom of the skirt, which was ankle length and lined with silk.

High necked, the dress had long sleeves with wide white lace covering half the hand. My only flower ornament was a white wreath in my hair, which was dark and abundant. My shoes were high and had 16 tiny buttons.

My husband, who then lived in Brockton, had to take the train to Cape Cod that day and he arrived about noon.

He did not see me in my wedding clothes until he met me at the altar.

He was dressed in a "spick and span" dark suit, high collar with corners turned over and a black bow tie. His hair was cut pompadour.

My mother, with joy in her heart because she knew I would be well taken care of, also carried a heavy burden because I was her only girl and I was going to live 70 miles away.

But being so happy in my new life I did not realize what my wedding meant to her. I made my home in Brockton for 45 years, until the great separation, the hardest thing I ever had to bear.

My home is once again on the Cape. But as Christmas Eve draws near, all these memories come fresh to mind as it if were yesterday.

She wrote to a Brockton newspaper as “Cousin Lilla,” in a column that seems similar to the Boston Globe's old Confidential Chat. It had a sort of tribute to her after her death. It mentions her love of music, learning the organ by ear as she couldn't read music. She didn't have her own organ until her husband Roland bought her one while they lived in Brockton. She made sure her children were exposed to music and they are all musical and good singers. Her father liked to recite poems. Her daughter writes poetry.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Robert Studley Kelley, 1898-1918, West Dennis, MA

My project of writing about the children of David and Mary Ann Kelley has taken me much longer than anticipated. Nothing like the holiday season to push writing to the back burner!

Robert Studley Kelley, nicknamed Robby, was the youngest child born to David and Mary Ann Kelley. He was born in West Dennis, Mass., on 6 September 1898. His mother was 43 years old at his birth and his father was 56. He must have been named after his uncle Robert Studley. My father, Robert, was named after him. He had eight older siblings/half-siblings looking out for him. My grandmother, Milly, said he was adored by his siblings and had a fun-loving personality.
Robby Kelley ca 1917

For all of her life, my great-grandmother (his sister Ethel) kept the program from his graduation from the West Dennis Grammar School, which had a whopping seven graduates. Robby read an essay at the exercises.

He is listed in the 1900 census with his family. Robert S., born Sept. 1898, 1 year old. He is in the 1910 census with his parents and brother Harold in West Dennis. He was 11, could read, write, in school.
Robby Kelley; writing is my grandmother Milly's

Sadly Robby died on 19 October 1918, after contracting the flu during the 1918 outbreak. My grandmother said he caught it in Lowell, Mass., when visiting his fiancée Cora. He was just twenty years old and left behind a devastated fiancée, his parents and eight siblings to mourn his loss.
Robby with his fiancee Cora (last name not known)

Robby is buried at West Dennis Cemetery, in a plot with his parents and other family. His gravestone was likely quite a splurge for a family with limited funds. Most of them shared stones and some of the children did not have stones, at least none that have survived. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Harold Leon Kelley 1892-1962, West Dennis MA to Springfield, MO

Harold Leon Kelley was born 2 December 1892 in West Dennis, Massachusetts, the fifth child of David Howes and Mary Ann Kelley.
Harry Kelley as a young man

Harold, nicknamed Harry, was very involved in the Reorganized Latter Day Saints Church as an adult, serving in various capacities including Elder.

He married Marion Goodspeed in West Barnstable on 6 May 1915, the daughter of Leslie Goodspeed and Sophia Cohen.  My grandmother Milly thought Marion was of Native American descent. They had children Harold and Mavis. He also had a son Paul, but I’m not sure if he was with Marion or his second wife.
I believe this is Marion Goodspeed Kelley on far right, with Susan Gage Kelley and Ethel Kelley Booth

Milly said that he built a house on his parents’ orchard with access from an adjoining street, so possibly was on Main Street. After Mary Ann died, he sold his parents’ home and their land on the Bass River. He also lived in Brockton and Florida, then finally in Missouri.
I believe this is Harry on the left with his brother Arthur

In the 1900 census, he’s living in West Dennis with his parents, age 7, born Dec 1892. In 1910 he is still in West Dennis, age 17, in school. In the 1920 census he’s in Brockton, 27, married, chauffer for a private family, with wife Marion, 25, and Harold Jr. age 3 10/12.

My cousin James Roscoe found his burial information on findagrave.com. He is buried at White Chapel Memorial Gardens in Springfield, Greene County, Missouri.
Harold L. Kelley, Sr.
Birth: 1892
Death: 1962
Harry's stone at Memorial Gardens source: findagrave.com

His first wife Marion is buried there also. She died 24 Oct 1989 in Bois D’Arc, MO. The information on his burial states he is buried with his wife Orville Becker, 1898 to 1977. What an unusual name for a woman. The social security death index lists her birth date as 20 June 1898, death date as 17 June 1977.   Harold Jr. is also buried at White Chapel.