O'Kelley Research Library

Below is a listing of books that contain important information about O'Kelleys great and small. Each book listed on this page records part of our family story, a story shared by many more descendants than appear on this website.  If you read or in this case listen to no other book, I strongly recommend that you obtain the audible book "The Short History of Ireland" by Dr Jonathan Bardon as this book provides a stark and chilling description of the life our Irish ancestors lived giving an explanation as to what may have happened to a great many of those who remained in Ireland after our ancestor(s) came to America and giving an explanation why our ancestor may have never spoke about his former life in Ireland mostly because the memories were too painful to recall or seek to preserve.  We are lucky, few families have so much available and documented by so many authors which is an indicator as to how important the O'Kelleys of Ireland may have been.  Books are only written about important people and important families and our O'Kelley line is one of the lines of regional Kings who ruled over a selected area of about 1000 square miles in western Ireland.


Abbeys of Ireland A listing of Abbeys and Priors of Ireland.
   
Baronies of Ireland Map of the Baronies of Ireland
   
First page of book of Ui Maine

Book of Ui Maine Ireland  1394 Digital Image.  Some believe that J R R Tolkien borrowed from the Welsh and the Irish for his book the Lord of the Rings and indeed the elvish language that Tolkien created does resemble Gaelic script somewhat.  The similarities doesn't end there, if you look at the map of Middle Earth one will find the evil Mordor in the east just as England was to the east of Welsh and Ireland and both have many tales and folk lore about Elves and little people. 


Great Book of Lecan (MS) by Ádhamh Ó Cuirnín 1397 1418 (Gaelic)

Annals of the Four Masters 1632 - 1636  Collector's Edition at Amazon

This is a must have two volume collection of high quality books for those building their own library of ancient Irish books.  This book contains Irish history beginning in the 12th century and bring the reader into the 17th century when it was first translated from Gaelic into English and published by Owen Connellan.  If you own only one book of Irish history this two volume set should be it.

   
Hearth Money Rolls

1665 Co Monaghan Hearth Money Rolls

   

 If you are researching Irish families  The King James Army List should be at the top of your lists.  It was complied and publish by John D'Alton and is the who's who of many great Irish families who either voluntarily or were forced to become part of King James II's Army during the time he was still King of England.  The English protestant chaised King James II out of England into Ireland and put William of Orange on the English Throne solely because he was protestant and King James II was catholic.  A great war occured, Ireland was laid waste and at the war's conclusion in the favor of King William of orange a great many of those who appear in this book were either forced from Ireland or left Ireland due to the English confiscation of their lands and estates.  These Irish lands that had been in some Gaelic family longer than there had been and England were by the English to wealthy English Lords causing considerable and understandable hate of the English by the Irish.  The book is huge, at least as large as many modern family bibles and while I don't know anyone with enough time on their hands to count them, it is estimated that 30 to 40 thousand Irish that came to be know as the "Willd Geese".  What may be a little confusing about this book this The King James was not the King James Bible, this was Catholic King James II who the Irish put great hope in, thinking he would restore the Irish to their lands, I doubt that would have every happened because James II was like all the others, he was an Englishman first, his only interest in the Irish was to fight the English protestants who by that time in history dominated England.  If the Jacobites had won that war it would not have changed anything in Ireland and I am of the opinion the Irish were foolish to risk their lives on such a promise.  The English have an evil history that spans almost 800 years in Ireland, far exceeding the rule of Adolf Hitler but often just as deadly and evil. 

   

Macariae Excidium by Col Charles O'Kelley1, 9th Lord of Screen, CO Roscommon Ireland, MS Written in 1692, you can read it on line in pdf format or buy the book in both paperback and hardback from Amazon.  Col Charles O'Kelley's Macariae Excidium provides the reader an eye witness description of the Jacobite Williamite War of 1690 and 1691, a war that saw the death or exile of many of our ancestors.  I have read that at the Battle of Aughrim as many as 25 Gaelic Gentry O'Kelleys died clearly setting in motion the pending immigration of our ancestor from Ireland.  Col O'Kelley served in that war under an assumed name as to protect his family and their wealth and position.  A man charged with treason lost not just his life but his family lost his property.  This story is hidden in the fictional place and event and it is an example as to how some Gentry Irish had to live, surely many came to American under assumed names thus their true names are not found in ship records.

The book also appears in an interpreted version titled "The Jacobite War in Ireland 1688 - 1691"

   

Linea Antiqua (MS) by Roger O'Farrell 1709  (Gaelic).  Dr John O'Donovan quoted from O'Farrell's work in his English work Tribes and Customs of Hy-Many.  This is a Gaelic Manuscript that has never been published and I am unaware of an English version.  It is reportedly stored in a library in Dublin Ireland.

   
1749 Elpin Census

1749 Elphin Co Sligo Census

   
1788

Early Virginia Property Tax Records

   
1823 to 1837

The Tithe Applotment Books of Ireland

   

Tribes and Customs of Hy-Many: Commonly called O'Kelly's Country by Dr John O'Donovan P 1843 (English and Gaelic)  Available for reading on line.  Dr O'Donovan's Tribes and Customs of Hy-Many is the authority for every thing Irish about my family line.  The families that Dr O'Donovan describes in his book are the Irish ancestors of those listed on this website and Dr O'Donovan does the work for us by translating and quoting heavily from the Great Book of Lecan and O'Farrell's Linea Antiqua which are both Gaelic manuscripts never widely copied.

   
Griffith Valuation 1858 Ask about Ireland Website
   
Clicik to see a larger view

An Index to Printed Pedigrees: Contained in Country and Local Histories by Charles Bridger 1867and page 234 provides documentation that at least three Gaelic Gentry lines use the double "e" O'Kelley spelling of our name including the Lord of Screen family.  There are only five lines in this book important to our family but I believe these five lines provide the proof of truth in our family tradition story that the double "e" Kelleys descended from the "old Irish" Gentry O'Kelleys.


Lives of Christian ministers: over two hundred memoirs by Peter Jefferson Kernolde P 1909.  Available for reading on line.  Peter Kernolde Lives of Christian Ministers provides us early documentation of the connection between our O'Kelley line and that of Rev James O'Kelly.

The life of Rev. James O'Kelly and the early history of the Christian church in the South by Wilbur Earnest MacClenny P 1910  Available on loan from your local library from Elon University.  MacClenny in his Life of Rev James O'Kelly tells us the name of Rev James's father and mother.  MacClenny makes a claim that Rev James O'Kelly descends paternally from the O'Kellys of Hy-Many Ireland something my DNA testing has confirmed to likely be true. A free download of Rev James O'Kellys genealogy as given by MacClenny is available.   Most of what W E MacClenny claims about Rev James O'Kelly's origins can be disproven by MacClenny's own documentation that he references to support his claims. You may read my analysis of claims along with some excerpts from his book here.  MacClenny's book is not without merit, it provides a true account of the importance of Rev James O'Kelly and some of his fellow ministers in the founding of our nation.  I don't think our founding fathers could have gain the support of the common man without ministers such as Rev James O'Kelly.

"Rev James O'Kelly, A Champion of Religious Liberty" by J F Burnett published 1921.  Burnett makes the claim that Rev James was high born but this cannot be proven by any documentation and is contradicted by Rev James own description where he states he came from poor parentage.

Some Descendants and Ancestral Kin of James Stamps O'Kelley and Lucy Woodruff England by J Fred O'Kelly P 1966.  Out of Print availability unknown.  A free download is available.   J Fred O'Kelly focuses on just one small branch of the modern O'Kelley tree, my great great grandfather and grandmother, James Stamps O'Kelley and his wife Lucy England.  Because this book does not bear the required Copyright notice it is now public domain and you can read it in it's entirety here.

Mary Evelyn Thompson published a paper for College in 1966.  A free download is available.  

Origins of the Surname O'Kelly  1968 by Anthony Mathews

Four O'Kelley Sons and Some of their Descendants by Alethea Jane Macon Paperback 1969,  Hardback 1970 Out of Print availability unknown but a free download of her book is available.   Alethea Jane Macon is the author of modern O'Kelley history; a difficult and time consuming task in her day but one that she accomplished with a great deal of accuracy and one that was picked up later by Harold O'Kelley and Judith Ries and will surely be continued by new generations yet to be born. Thanks to the descendants of Alethea Jane Macon I am able to provide her book as a free download so  Ms Macon, in your honor I have made your work available here for all to enjoyThank you for leaving us this legacy.  Ms Macon's book may be read or downloaded in its entirety as a PDF at this link.  You may not use this PDF for commercial purposes, please respect Ms Macon's descendants who have graciously given permission to aid family research.  Alethea Jane Macon makes a claim in her book that we descended from the O'Kellys of Hy-Many Ireland something my DNA testing has proven to be true. 


Bollinger County: 1851-1976 A Bicentennial Commemorative (Mary L. Hahn, 1976)  Available at Amazon.

A Patchwork of Memories, a Knowles/O’Kelley genealogy by Judith Ries p 1976  Out of print but an undated version is reported in the works by the author.  I will list it when it becomes available.

Our Ancestors by Jessie and Adelle Ashford 1977, descendants of Rev James O'Kelly pdf download

Four families through Georgia: a southern history of the Adcock, Blackwell, O'Kelley, Yates and related families by Harold Ernest O'Kelley P 1985.  Out of Print availability unknown.  A free download of a portion of his book is available.

O'Kelley Bowen Heritage Cook Book complied by Mary Emeline O'Kelley Montoya 1992


If you can trace your ancestral tree back so far but can not find ship records it may be possible that your ancestors may not have come to America willingly.  This book provides a chilling account of how many whites were transported from their homeland and into slavery in America

Ed O’Kelley: The Man Who Murdered Jesse James’ Murderer by Judith Ries P 1995.  Available at Amazon.

The Thomas O'Kelley Website P 1997 by Kathleen O'Kelley  A website of American O'Kelleys and Allied families.


(Ronald B. Lansing, 2005)  Available at Amazon.

From the moment I started to read, I could not put it down.  The author covers Nimrod's story from beginning to the end and provides a great deal of documentation and sources.  Being a retired criminal investigator I found the story very believable, in my mind's eye I was observing the happenings as surely as if I was there.  

Nimrod was the grandson of our family's Irish immigrate ancestor and this book contains much information that is of interest to anyone researching our family line.  I highly recommend it as an addition to any O'Kelley family library as it provides a detailed account as to how our first ancestors lived and traveled during their lifetime.  Comments by Rick O'Kelley

Ui Ceallaigh of Eirinn P 2011 by Rick O'Kelley  A genealogy website of the O'Kelley's of Hy-Many Ireland


"The Short History of Ireland" by Dr Johnathan Bardon P 2008.  This audible book is critical in understanding the life and experiences of the Irish as to gain a better understanding how their history impacts genealogy research.    This is only available as an audio book and is not available in written form. 

"The Short History of Ireland" by Dr Johnathan Bardon P 2008.  This audible book is critical in understanding the life and experiences of the Irish as to gain a better understanding how their history impacts genealogy research. 

Library of Virginia Online Catalog

The Southern Banner Newspaper Archives - Newpaper in Athens Georgia with online archive going back to the early 1800s.  This is a great resource for learning more details about early ancestors living in the counties mostly in Northeast Georgia; Clark, Crawford, Gwinnett, Habersham, Hall, Madison, Walton, and White counties.

March 30 1827 page Wm Kelly Land Lottery Clarke Co Georgia
April 6 1827 pare 2 Wm Kelly Land Lottery Hall Co Georgia
Oct 25 1831 page 4 William O'Kelley Hall County, Gainsville Georgia Post Office, unclaimed letter.
July 9, 1837 page 3 Thomas O'Kelley Walton Co Georgia
August 5, 1837 page 4 Thomas O'Kelley Walton Co Georgia
August 19, 1837 page 4 Thomas O'Kelley Walton Co Georgia
August 26 1837 page 4 Thomas O'Kelley Walton Co Georgia
August 9 1839 page 3 James O'Kelley unclaimed letter at Clark County, Athena Georgia Post Office
July 10 1840 page 3 unclaimed letter for C D O'Kelley at Monroe Post Office Walton Co GA.
Jan 8 1841 page 3 unclaimed letter for Francis D OKelly at Monroe Post Office Walton Co GA.
Jan 8 1841 page 3 unclaimed letter for Wm and Nancy Kelly at Monroe Post Office Walton Co GA.
June 3 1842 page 3 Elizabeth O'Kelly 200 Acres of Land in Habersham Co
July 12 1849 page 3 Ben F OKelly Letter at Athens Clarke Co Georgia Post Office
July 15, 1843 page 3 W J and Lucinda O'Kelley Oglethorpe Co Georgia, debt notice
July 11, 1850 page 3 Benj F O'Kelley notice to sell Negros of late George W Madison Co Ga.
October 3 1850 page 4 Benj F O'Kelley notice to sell Negros of late George W Madison Co Ga.
November 7 1850 page 4 Benj F O'Kelley notice to sell Negros of late George W Madison Co Ga
November 21, 1850 page 4 Benj F O'Kelley notice to sell Negros of late George W Madison Co Ga
this notice names the Negros and location and description of land to be sold on the courthouse steps at Danielsville.
Feb 17 1853 page 4 James O'Kelley seeking dismissal as Exec on Estate of Francina Spratling Madison Co GA
March 24 1853 page 4 James O'Kelley seeking dismissal as Exec on Estate of Francina Spratling Madison Co GA
above notice ran for six months
July 26 1855 Charles O'Kelley deceased notice to sell estate Madison Co Ga.  Two additional notices.
Additional notices for property and estate in 1856 including the sale of a six year old Negro named John.
Additional notices for property and estate in 1857 including the sale of a six year old Negro named John.
Nov 12 1857 page 2 James Francis O'Kelley photographer Clarke County Georgia
Dec 9 1858 page 1 James Francis O'Kelley photographer advertisement Clarke County Georgia
Dec 30 1858 page 1 James Francis O'Kelley photographer advertisement Clarke County Georgia and numerous months in 1960
Jan 21 1859 a chilling description of North Carolina justice.

 

This is certainly not a complete listing.  If you are aware of a book about the O'Kelley family that isn't listed here please contact me.


Wanted for purchase

Some books relating to the O'Kelley family are out of print and in only a few public libraries. If you have books or are aware of those who have O'Kelley books that they might be interested in selling, please contact me.

Books that are wanted:

A Patchwork of Memories, a Knowles/O’Kelley genealogy by Judith Ries p 1976


1  Most authors lists Col Charles O'Kelly as a single "e" spelling but Charles Bridger in his 1867 book titled An Index to Printed Pedigrees: Contained in Country and Local Histories lists the O'Kelley's of Screen as double "e".  He lists three branches as double "e" and two as single "e" a clear indicator that the last name spelling wasn't an accident or a mistake.  Some families who used a translated name very early used the middle English spelling of O'Kelley which included the unneeded extra "e" and I suspect this is the source of my families story that our double "e" spelling is the way the "old Irish" spelled our name.