Wednesday, September 21, 2016
The Three Timothys in #232
The Kelly family plot in Fort Wayne, Indiana, was—as I discovered in searching for our ancestor Catherine Kelly Stevens—a jointly owned plot held by two different Kelly families.
The presumption is that the joint owners—John Kelly and Timothy Kelly—were relatives, but I still haven't been able to determine just how they were. To document this relationship might involve a more exhaustive search into the roots of the other Kelly family than I would otherwise have done. After all, this might turn out to have been just another friendly face remembered from that far away homeland in County Kerry, Ireland. Or these two Kellys might turn out to be cousins. Or brothers.
I spent a lot of time using the online databases of the Allen County Public Library—at least, when I wasn't traveling through the area and could stop in for a brief in-person research session—so I'm grateful for that long-distance access. Because of those resources, I was able to determine more about the Kelly family plot at the Fort Wayne Catholic Cemetery than could otherwise be gleaned using Find A Grave.
For the most part—with one notable exception—the family plot was labeled Lot Number 232 in Section C of the Catholic Cemetery. According to the map on the cemetery's website now, Section C is also called the Garden of Angels. An information page provided on the cemetery by Find A Grave indicates that, at its current location, the Catholic Cemetery was open for interments in 1873—just two years before the first of the Kellys' burials in their family plot.
It could have been possible that the church, in a push to gather enough support to purchase the new cemetery property on Lake Avenue—then one mile outside the city limits of the time—might have encouraged parishioners to pool their resources to purchase plots. However, the fact that—with one notable exception—each of the burials in the family plot were surnamed Kelly leads me to think that all those buried in the Kelly plot were likely related to each other.
The question is how.
For instance, there are three different Timothy Kellys buried in this plot. One, obviously, became the final resting place of the co-owner of the plot, the Timothy Kelly born—at least according to the cemetery record—in 1829. Because I already have verification on it, I can identify the Timothy Kelly who died in 1876 as the son of John Kelly, while the third Timothy Kelly was the son of the co-owner, Timothy Kelly.
With just those three—the third Timothy having died in 1901—you can see how the family plot was comprised of members of two families. How they related to each other—if at all—I have yet to discover.
By searching the Allen County library's database of Catholic Cemetery burials, I can simply enter the surname Kelly and bring up details on the seventy Kellys who were buried there from the cemetery's establishment in 1873 through 1993. Then, using my "find" function and searching the exact designation of lot number—entered in the database as "ln. 232"—I can spot every one of the people buried in that Kelly family plot.
Since the database records provide me with the name, date of death and sometimes the year of birth—as well as some other details—I can begin to separate those Kellys belonging to the family of John Kelly from those belonging to Timothy Kelly. Since I don't yet know how Timothy Kelly fits into my husband's Kelly family line, I started a separate tree in my database management program for the details I find on his family members. Once I've located enough convincing documentation to do so—and if the relationship warrants the move—I'll migrate the information into my husband's family tree.
Hopefully, at that point, it will help me match up the relationship between my husband and these two recent matches that have popped up on his DNA test results.
Before we can untangle any of that, though, we need to start at the beginning, and review what is already known about each of the players in this two-family tango of Kellys.
Above: "Cobbler's Shop in Lancelot Place, Knightsbridge," watercolor by Dublin-born artist, Rose Maynard Barton; courtesy Wikipedia; in the public domain.