Second Generation


James O'Kelley and Nancy (Anna) Dean
2. Thomas Dean O'Kelley1,2,3,4 (Kelly, Kelley, or O'Kelly) was born between 1748 and 1754 something in King and Queen Country Virginia but he may have been born in Co Meath Ireland and came to America as a small child with his parents. He died on 18 July 1818 in Madison Co, GA and is believed to be buried along with his wife in an unmarked grave in the Collins Family Cemetery in Madison Co GA.  If you are a descendent of Thomas and would like to mark his grave please contact me as I am compiling a list of those willing to donate to this cause.  He signed a will with a mark on 18 July 1818 in Madison county Georgia and he appears as OKelly in will.  It is assumed that a mark means a person could not read and write but that may not be the a valid assumption as according to Harold B Gill Literacy in Virginia it wasn't uncommon for rural children to be taught to read but not taught to write, they are two independent skills so it is possible that Thomas knew how to read but didn't know how to write.  It also wasn't uncommon for a will to be signed with a witnessed mark because the person was just too feeble to sign their name so it is possible that Thomas knew how to both read and write and was too feeble to sign. 

Thomas served during the American Revolutionary War in the 10th NC Reg.

He appears as Thos. OKelly in the 1800 Oglethorpe US Census. It seems he may have lived a great many years in Granville Co NC and he could be the Thomas Killey that appears on the 1771 militia roster in that county.  There has been a belief that because he married in his 30s that Thomas may have had a previous wife but my research causes me to believe that Thomas's father was the James Kelley killed at the Battle of Brandywine and Thomas stepped up and took care of his widowed step mother Elizabeth Dean and his half siblings who ranged in ages from near new born to 17 and that delayed Thomas's marriage and the beginning of his own family.  I think Thomas and Elizabeth Wyers might have married about 1779 as Francis and appears in several US Census as born in 1779 which is six years before the marriage record for Thomas and Elizabeth Wyers but Thomas and Elizabeth may have been "common law" married earlier due to the war and took out a license after the war was over.   

In the time Thomas lived, the naming of the children were very important and a custom most often followed.  The best way to remember and honor an ancestor was to name a child after that ancestor.  When as ancestor was famous as was Rev James O'Kelly it wasn't uncommon for sons, grandsons, and nephews to be named after such an ancestor and ministers like Rev James were the Rock Stars of Thomas's generation.  So who did Thomas name his first born son after?  If Thomas was the eldest son as Macon claimed then tradition dictates that Thomas name his first born son after his father yet Francis was the name given to the first son, or is he the first born son?  To my knowledge the sole source for the names of the offspring of Thomas and Elizabeth is an 1818 will.  Wills do not contain the names of deceased person so it is very possible Francis had an older brother who was named after his paternal grandfather.  Because the name of John appears to be very important in this family, i suspect that Thomas may have had an elder son who could have married, had children and died before John P their last son was born.  I have no proof, but the name John appears  only in the family of Thomas and it appears sometimes more than once per generation so it is a name of importance within this family.

A Thomas Kelly served in the North Carolina First Reg during our Revolutionary War commanded by Co Thomas Clark.  September 8, 1778 Muster Roll  DAR Ancestor #: A068095

Thomas sold his land and appears n Granville Co NC Deed book.  Because some of his children give Virginia as their birth place it is believed he may have moved to Mecklenburg Co VA after the below sale:

Elizabeth Wyers mother was a Johnson so it is likely that John Johnson Jr was an uncle or first cousin to Elizabeth Wyers.

Thomas signed a will on 18 July 1818 in Madison Co, GA.10,11 Thomas.12

State of Georgia
County of Madison In the name of God amen I Thomas Okelly of the said state and county being very low in body but of good and sound memory, do make constitute and ordain this to be my last will & testament. Revoking and anulling every other will or wills testament or testaments heretofour by me made. And my will is as follows (viz) first I will my soul to God who gave it & my body to be deceantly buried __. And, for the settling of my temporal Estate I will dispose of the same in the form following (viz) first I will that all my just debts shall be paid, by my Executors & Secondly I will that my dearly beloved wife Elizabeth shall have all my lands houses household and kitchen furnature one black mare two choice cows & calves one saw & seven shoats four barrows and the plantation utensils during her life or widowhood & then the whole if she marries, to be sold & equally divided between her & all the children & if she dies then the whole to be sold & equally divided amongst my dear children named as follows (viz) Francis Okelly . Ann . Polly . Thomas D. James . Sarah. William . Nancy Reaney & John P Okelly to be equally divided mongst them their heirs & assigns forever (thirdly) I will that one black calf one cow & calf one heifer one shot gun two saws half the flock of sheap & one mans saddle all to be sold after my death by my executor hereafter named and the money to be equally divided amongst my wife and the above named children (fourthly I will that my son John P. shall have the colt that the black mare is with fold with at this time if she brings it above his equal share with the rest of the children and lastly I do appoint my two sons Thomas D Okelly & James Okelly to be the two whole & sole executors of this my last will & testament to carry the same into effect In witness where of I have here unto set my hand. & affixed my seal this eighteenth day of July in the year of our Lord One thousand eight hundred & eighteen

signed sealed published
& delivered in the presents of
us to be his last will & testament

his
Thos x Okelly
mark

/s/ Jas Garneth
/s/ John Murry

his
/s/ Dean / Tucker
mark

Thomas Kelley married Elizabeth Wyers 5 May 1785 in Granville NC.  Elizabeth Wyers was born about 1760 to 1765. She appeared in the census in 1820 in Madison Co, GA.13 She appeared in the census in 1840 in Habersham Co, G.14   The 1820 Madison Co census lists her as OKelly and her son James as OKelley.  The 1830 Habersham Census puts her living with her son Rev John Pendleton and family.  A descendant of Thomas and Elizabeth believes she died about 1848, but may have return to Madison Co several years before her death and she may be buried next to her husband in the Collins Family Cemetery and not next to son John P who is buried in White Co.

Elizabeth O'Kelly appears as a Revolutionary War Widow Land Lottery winner in a Georgia 1828 Land Lottery.

Harold O'Kelley, a descendant's webpage

Thomas O'Kelley and Elizabeth Wyers had the following children:

+23i. Francis O'Kelley.  likely named after Francis Marion the revolutionary war hero or his maternal grandfather a Francis.
24 ii. Ann O'Kelley  named after paternal grandmother
+25 iii. Mary Frances "Polly" O'Kelley.  named after maternal grandmother
+26iv. Thomas Dean O'Kelley.  named after his father

+27

v.

Rev James O'Kelley.  named after his paternal grandfather, James O'Kelley.

28

vi.

Sarah O'Kelley was born in 1793.1

+29

vii.

William O'Kelley.   named after William O'Kelley his paternal grandfather

30

viii.

Nancy O'Kelley was born in 1797.1   named after paternal grandmother

31

ix.

Reany O'Kelley1 was born in 1799.

+32

x.

Rev John Pendleton O'Kelley.

 

* Three of this Thomas's line became minister's in Rev James's church thus this could be the source of the James name in this family.