Thursday, January 14, 2010

William D Kelly - my great-great grandfather

So often, family history information shows up when and where you least expect it. I've been continuing my research on the family of Daniel Kelly of St. Paul, Minnesota and while scouring the old issues of the St. Paul Daily Globe, I came across an obituary notice of my great-great grandfather, William D. Kelly, who was a brother of Daniel Kelly.

William had lived in St. Paul, MN from the late 1850s to the mid 1860s and had been in Nebraska for nearly 30 years when he died. And yet, here is his obituary from the St. Paul, Minnesota newspaper, more than 400 miles away.

This death notice also confirms another piece of information for me. I knew that William, his wife, Mary, and their children took off on one of the westward expeditions from St. Paul led by Captain James Fisk. Daughter Mary Kelly Fitzgerald was about 12 years old at the time and described their journey in detail in a 1938 newspaper interview. Based upon Mary's descriptions and the printed newspaper reports and journals from the time, I had concluded that the Kelly family was on the Fisk expedition of 1864. That date is confirmed in William's obituary. It is so nice when you are able to find corroborating information from different sources!

Date of newspaper notice: February 21, 1896.

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