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William Kelley was born about 1785. The 1850 Delaware Census
gives him age as 65. The date on his tombstone is a
little hard to read, but it indicates he was born
about 1785. The census always has him
younger. so there is always a doubt as to his
He was the son of Samuel Kelley.
Samuel was married first to Rebecka. She
died in 1783 leaving Samuel with a young daughter,
Elizabeth. The tombstone and census records
give his birth year as 1785. Samuel married
Grey on Sept. 4, 1787 by whom he had four
more daughters. Was William an early birth for the
Biographical and Genealogical History of the state of
Delaware, page 564 , which I found years ago in
Historical Society collection, "William Kelley was
born on the family homestead in Mill Creek Hundred
of New Castle County. He inherited part of
his father's land. It stated that "He was an intelligent
and progressive man, exerting his influence among his
neighbors in behalf of improvements in methods of
agriculture. He supported the Whig
Party." Actually the land had come from Rebecka's
father. When William's older sister
Elizabeth married, she sued William and his
sisters because "she had been left out of the will".
See Samuel's story for more information on the
The Delaware Census New
Castle County, Newark of 1810 lists William
Kelley as head of household:
William Kelley 3 males 16-25. 1 female 10-16, 1 female 16-26, 1 female 26-45, and 1 female >45.
As William was the only son with five sisters, I believe the census should move 2 males to the female side 16-26.
The Biographies went on to state that "William Kelley married
ann Morrison, daughter of Douglass
Morrison and Elizabeth
Wilson Morrison of Mill" creek. A news clipping from the
Delaware Historical Society reads:
"Oct 19, 1821 Married Tuesday evening by Rev. A.K. Russel, William Kelly to Catherine Morrison, daughter of Douglas Morrison.
Both of White Clay Hundred."
The History of the State of
Delaware printed by J.M.Runk in 1899 contains
the children of William and Catherine Morrison
Kelley. There were said to be
The 1850 Delaware New
Castle, Mill Creek Hrd Census Page 70 confirms
ages and three of the children:
William Kelley age 65 born Delaware - farmer
Catherine Kelley age 50 born Del
Elizabeth Kelley age 22 born Del
John Kelley age 17 born Del - farmer
Hannah Kelley age 13 born Del
Henry Barr age 10, black born Del
I can find Samuel
Kelley on both 1850 and 1860 Census, born
1825. George died and is buried next to his
parents. Again the numbers are hard to read, but it
"died June 13, 1838 aged 15 years 11 months"
William Kelley appears on all the Census reports
as head of household during his adulthood. His home
was often filled with people I cannot identify.
There is the lot: 1810 and 1815 are above
1820 Delaware Census New Castle County White clay Creek Hnd
1 male under 10 ???????
1 male 16-18 ??????
1 male 16-26 is this the same guy as 16-18??
1 male 26-45 William Kelley
1 female under 10 ???????
2 females 26-45 maybe 2 of his sisters?? - perhaps married to male 16-26 with 2 children??
1 female over 45 probably Margaret Grey Kelley
1830 Delaware Census
New Castle County White clay Creek Hnd
1 male under 5 (Samuel Kelley ?)
2 males 5 - 10 (George Kelley ? &????????)
1 male 15-20 ( maybe the male under 10 in 1820)
1 male 30-40 (William though he is closer to 45 or the male 16-26 in 1820)
1 male 60 - 70 (??????? or William??)
2 males 80 - 90 ( I cannot even guess)
1 female under 5 (Elizabeth Kelley)
1 female 15- 20 (the under 10 from 1820)
1 female 20 - 30 (Catherine Morrison Kelley)
1 female 70 - 80 (probably Margaret Grey Kelley)
Delaware Census New Castle County White clay Creek Hnd
1 male 5 - 10 (John Kelley)
1 male 10-15 ( Samuel Kelley)
1 male 20-30 (? )
1 male 40 - 50 (probably William though he is now closer to 59)
1 female under 5 (Hannah Kelley)
1 female 10-15 (Elizabeth Kelley)
1 female 30 - 40(Catherine Morrison Kelley)
William and Catherine are both buried in plot 62 of the White Clay Presbyterian Church Cemetery at the intersection of Kirkwood Highway and Polly Drummond Hill Road. The Tombstone reads " Catherine M. Kelley 1800 died 1891, Oct. 18 William Kelley 1785, Died 1854, Feb. 11. Unfortunately, the White Clay historical records were lost to fire many years ago.
Catherine M. Kelley was living with the family of
her daughter Hannah (Ann) and Robert Taylor in
Mill Creek hundred - just next to White Clay Creek Hundred
on the 1870 and 1880 census. It is unknown where she was
between 1854 and after 1860.
If you know the answer please CONTACT US
1. Confirm names and birth dates of all the children?
4. Where was Catherine between 1854 and 1860?
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Maier_Associates: © Copyright 2020
Date created: 3/20/2007
Date edited 8/18/2013
Date edited 4/20/2015
Date edited 7/8/2015
Date edited 1/3/2020