Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Three Timothys in #232

The Kelly family plot in Fort Wayne, Indiana, wasas I discovered in searching for our ancestor Catherine Kelly Stevensa jointly owned plot held by two different Kelly families.

The presumption is that the joint ownersJohn Kelly and Timothy Kellywere 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 Libraryat least, when I wasn't traveling through the area and could stop in for a brief in-person research sessionso 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 partwith one notable exceptionthe 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 1873just 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 Avenuethen one mile outside the city limits of the timemight have encouraged parishioners to pool their resources to purchase plots. However, the fact thatwith one notable exceptioneach 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 bornat least according to the cemetery recordin 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.

Confusing, right?

With just those threethe third Timothy having died in 1901you can see how the family plot was comprised of members of two families. How they related to each otherif at allI 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 numberentered 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 birthas well as some other detailsI 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 soand if the relationship warrants the moveI'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. 


  1. Sooner or later you will get those Timothys sorted out! :)

    1. I dunno. I have this crazy feeling I will encounter more Timothys before I get the whole thing sorted out...


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