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
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.
State of Georgia
signed sealed published
/s/ Jas Garneth
Simeon Stroud appears in the 1810 Mississippi US Census and his descendents are an exact 37/37 DNA Marker match with Samuel Joseph O'Kelley a descendent of Columbus Pennington O'Kelley indicating that Simeon Stroud is likely a previously unknown son, grandson, or nephew of Thomas D O'Kelley.
Appearing on the 1752 Lunenburg Co Tithe Census is a William Waire and a William Harwell and Harwell is also a name that appears decades earlier in Prince George Co. William Waire might be the father of Elizabeth Wyers who married Thomas O'Kelley in Granville NC and Thomas and Elizabeth Wyers son, Rev James married a Franky (Frances) Harwell and Charles's daughter Betsy Dean married a Mark Harwell, William Harwell may have been their grandfather.
* 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.