William Kelsey

M, #140, (c 1800 - 1869)

Relationship=Great-grandfather of Dorothy Kollros.


RelationshipEnd-of-Line Ancestor
William Kelsey was born about 1800 in Northern Ireland. He married Mary Emily Knox, daughter of John Knox, about 1819 in Northern Ireland. He died on February 7 in Lisburn, Down, Northern Ireland.1

He left a will on November 9 in Lisburn, Down, Northern Ireland. Named as heirs were Mary Emily Knox, Henrietta Knox Kelsey, Mary Kelsey, Sophia Kelsey, Henderson Kelsey, William Rea, Arthur Kelsey, Alexander Kelsey, John Kelsey and Henry Kelsey.2
The surname Kelso and Kelsey seem to have the same origin, though Kelso is the common spelling of the Scotch families and Kelsey of the English. Other spellings such as Calsey, Kelse, Kelsea, Kelsa, Kelsy are also found in both families in America and in the old country. There is a parish of North and South Kelsey in Lincolnshire, England. A Kelsey family had its seat at Chelmsford and Thorp, county Essex, in 1634, and had a coat of-arms3.
One source states that the Kelseys are descendants from William Kelsey, of Ripley, Surrey County, England, who was born about 1300, and who married in the time of Edward III, Maud, the daughter and heiress of Sir William Willoughby. About the year 1350 or earlier, a Coat of Arms was granted to this William Kelsey, which in modern English may be described as follows: Gules (Red) for the body of the shield, on which is a Cross Moline, silver, surmounted by a band of azure, charged with three plain crosses of silver.4 Another source has that the founder of the Scotch family of Kelso lived at Kelso-land, county Ayr, Scotland, Hugo de Kelso, by name, as early as 1296. John Kelso, a descendant, alienated the property in 1676 and his second son William acquired lands in Dankerth, Ayrshire, near the family estate. Another seat of the Kelso family is in Roxburghshire. One of the Scotch Kelso family was the Presbyterian minister of Enniskillen, Ireland, at the time of the revolution of 1688 when William took the throne of the United Kingdom from James. The family in Ireland settled in Antrim in Ulster Province and was doubtless descended from the redoubtable minister.3
Found in "Northern Ireland Marriages - vol. I" by Z. Mettam is the record of a marriage between a William Kelsey and a Jane Jennings that took place in 1804 in Dromore townland, County Down, Northern Ireland, but it is not known if these are the parents of William Kelsey.5 The name "William Kelsey" appears in a number of 19th century records of Northern Ireland and one such place in is the Freeholder's Records. These records can be found on-line at the Public Records Of Northern Ireland (PRONI) which defines these records as "lists of people entitled to vote, or of people who voted, at elections. A freeholder was a man who owned his land outright (in fee) or who held it by lease which could be for one or more lives (for example, his own life or for the lives of other people named in the lease). From 1727 to 1793 only Protestants with a freehold worth at least 40 shillings a year were legally permitted to vote. Between 1793 and 1829 both Protestants and Catholics with 40 shilling freeholds could vote, but in 1829 the franchise level was increased to 10 pounds, so 40 shilling freeholders were no longer allowed to vote. This last measure increased the influence of landlords by effectively confining membership of Parliament to the propertied or monied classes."
In the Freeholder records we find that a William Kelsey of Drummonocken townland [Dromore parish] registered and paid 40 shillings at Hillsborough on 22 June, 1824. On that same list (just above the name of William Kelsey) appears a John Knox of Edentrillick who also registered on the same date at Hillsborough. Listed with John Knox as "names of lives or other tenure" is Mary Emily Knox, Alexander and George Knox. According to the record both William Kelsey and John Knox are tenants of Arthur, Marquis of Downshire. The townlands of Drummonocken and Edentrillick are about one mile apart, 2 miles from Hillborough and twelve miles from Belfast.6 In the "Tithe Applotments of 1834", a record of landowners and farmers who paid a "tithe" (tax) to the Protestant Church of Ireland, there is listed a William Kelsey of Ballymullen.7