Thursday, July 23, 2009

Samuel Kelley

Samuel Kelley (sometimes Kelly) died in Greenville, SC in 1819, leaving a will, which for a while was the only concrete fact known about him. However, he is starting to emerge from the shadows. Based on the fact that his daughter married in Caswell County, NC, looked there and found a Samuel Kelley, but the name is too common to assume it was the right one. However, that Samuel Kelly, fortunately, owed money and moved away without paying, generating several lawsuits against him. The lawsuits confirmed that he had moved to Greenville, SC. This, combined with his daughter's marriage (to a neighbor of the Samuel in Caswell) gives a fairly strong presumption that this is the same person. Further proof still to be sought, however.

Assuming it is the same, then the following is known about Samuel -

The first official record of him is 1778, when he was granted land in Caswell County, NC.

Caswell county records:
In 1779, he and Sarah Stafford witnessed a deed from Peter Bankston to Isaac Reeves.
In 1784, he paid tax on 300 Acres, with 1 poll.
In 1786, he sold 400 acres of land to David Jones.
In 1789, he sold 300 acres to David Enoch.
In 1793, a deed makes reference to bordering the land of Samuel Kelley. This was the final land record in Caswell County.
In 1800, Margaret Greer, administrator of the estate of Samuel Greer of Caswell County, sent a letter of Attorney to Jonathon Davis of Greenville, SC, to collect money owed by Samuel Kelley to Greer.
In 1807 This debt was paid.

Greenville County records:
In 1790, appears in the Greenville Census.
In 1796, he purchased 150 acres from Benjamin Kevil. However, this was not recorded until 1797, by the oath of Abner Butler.
Also in 1796, he purchased 320 acres from John Peek. Again this was recorded in 1797, immediately after the previous deed but by the oath of (son-in-law) James Gooch. "A. Butler" was one of the witnesses.

In 1819, he died leaving his property to his wife Mary Ann, his daughter Elizabeth Gooch, his grandson Tilman Gooch and his grandson Samuel Forrester. The other children of Elizabeth Gooch were not mentioned in the will.

Based on his will, Samuel's wife was Mary Ann. Her surname is unknown, but a David Porter in Caswell county mentions in his will his daughter Mary Kelly. Further investigation needed.

Samuel and Mary Ann (Polly) had at least two daughters - Elizabeth, who married James Gooch, and an unknown daughter who was the mother of Samuel Forrester.

No idea who Abner Butler was or what was his relationship to the family, but it is interesting that he swore to one land transaction and a known son-in-law swore to the other, which he witnessed. It is probable from the dates and the fact that the two records are sequential that both were probably registered at the same time. Definitely needs to be pursued.

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