Thursday, 6 July 2017

A Kelly conundrum

When I began researching my Kelly ancestors from Tipperary, Ireland I was extremely lucky to have been given transcriptions from the Parish registers of the Catholic baptisms of my great great grandmother and her siblings as well as the marriage of their parents.

My 3rd great grandparents Cornelius KELLY and Mary nee MOLOUGHNEY had 6 children.  These baptism images are now available online at the National Library of Ireland so I have been through and found the originals which pretty much agree with the transcriptions I received.

Margaret "Alice" KELLY (my great great grandmother)
Baptised 10 Dec 1834, Dualla, Sponsors were Laurence Mockler and Judith Dwyer (vicc Judith Mulloughney) which I am told means "standing in for"  So it seems that Judith Dwyer was standing in for Judith Mulloughney. Or was her maiden name Mulloughney?
Alice emigrated to Australia and married John MORGAN in Melbourne in 1858.

Michael Kelly
Baptised 18 Sep 1836, Dualla, Sponsors were Patrick Molloughney, Mary Mahony.
He arrived in Australia in about 1897 only six months before his death from TB and was living with his widowed sister Alice.

Edmond Kelly
Baptised 16 Sep 1838, Dualla, Sponsors were Thomas Ryan, Julia Kelly.
No further information found as yet on Edmond Kelly.

John Kelly 
Baptised 20 Jun 1840, Newpark, Sponsors were William Mahony, Mary Ryan.  Emigrated to Australia in 1858 with his two younger brothers.  He married Mary Ann FRANCIS in 1869.

Thomas Kelly 
Baptised 1 Jan 1843, Dualla, Sponsors were Thomas Quinlan, Catherine Mulloughny.  Emigrated to New Zealand from Australia in 1861 where he married Juliana Bassett.

William Kelly 
6 Jan 1846, Dualla, Sponsors were Michael Kelly, Mary Ryan Dualla.
I am fairly certain he died a bachelor in Queensland in 1899.

Australian marriage and death certificates for Alice name parents as Cornelius Kelly and Mary Moloughney as does the New Zealand death certificate for Thomas.

Edmund I haven't yet found.

Michael's parents are listed as unknown on his Australian death certificate by his nephew John MORGAN Junior.

The death certificate that I believe belongs to William Kelly (can be seen on link on his name) names parents as Con Kelly and Mary O'Laughlin (a variant of Moloughney)

The conundrum is with John Kelly.  Why did he give this information on his marriage certificate to Mary Ann FRANCIS in Victoria in 1869?
He states he was born in Waterford, Ireland and his parents were Cornelius Kelly and Mary Brien or O'Brien.

John's death certificate in Victoria 1905 states he was born in Tipperary, father Cornelius, mother not known. The informant's names aren't familiar but they were present at the coronial inquiry into his death.

I do have the correct John Kelly as information in newspaper articles about his death connect him to his sister Alice and brother Thomas.
Also I have DNA matches with some of his descendants.


  1. Sometimes people just make errors. One of my distant relatives whose wife died in the flu epidemic in 1919 filled in the spot for her maiden name with his mother's maiden name. My husband's grandfathers' brothers gave their mother a variety of maiden names. I still don't know what they were thinking.

    1. You're probably right Lenore, I think they did it just to annoy us.

  2. In times of stress truth often suffers.

    1. I have seen it happen often on death certificates Jill but not usually on marriage certificates. Perhaps he was stressed at his marriage too.