Friday, October 26, 2007

Early America - William Kelsey 1600-1680, 11th great-grandfather

William KELSEY Arrived in New England 1632
11th great-grandfather
William KELSEY-b.1600 and Berthia HOPKINS / Mark KELSEY-b.1628 / Thomas KELSEY-b.1663 / Thomas KELSEY-b.1701 / Thomas KELSEY-b.1729 / Marcy KELSEY-b.1764 / Thomas LUCAS-b.1788 / Marcy Jane LUCAS-b.1814 / Polly WILLIAMS-b.1838 / Elizabeth Ann DAVIS-b.1859 / Laura Elizabeth PARKER-b.1889 / Kirt DeMar WOOD/b.1923 / Lark / TR

The Kelsey Kindred of America Descendents of the Puritan Ancestor, William Kelsey Genealogy from 1632 Cambridge, 1634 Hartford, 1636 Kenilworth Connecticut

William Kelsey, the first of the Kelsey name in America, was born in 1600, Chelmsford, Essex County, England. He was the son of George Kelsey Jr. and Elizabeth Hammond and had 2 brothers: John and Henry.

William Kelsey was one of the original "Braintree Company" followers of the Reverend Thomas Hooker, who came to America and they were the first settlers of "New Towne" (now Cambridge) Massachusetts in 1632. Reverend Hooker joined them the following year.

In June, 1636, Mr. Hooker and Mr. Stone, with more than 50 families of the "first church" (Mr. Hooker's) removed to Connecticut where, in the valley of the same name, they established another "New Towne" which was changed to "Hartford" on February 21, 1637. Among these were William Kelsey.

Coming to "Hartford" with the Hooker Company, William Kelsey was one of the "original proprietors" and, as such, his name appears on the "Founders Monument" in the "ancient burying ground" of the First Congregational Church of that city, presently known as "Center Church". His name is also found on the "Adventurers Boulder" located at City Hall, Hartford, CT.

In March 1663, William Kelsey and 26 others migrated to the "Hammonasset Plantation" and founded the Town of "Kenilworth", later changed to "Killingworth". In 1838, the town was separated into North and South parts. The South part called "Clinton" and the North, "Killingworth".

William Kelsey had 9 children: (his wife or wives have not been verified). Mark, Bethia (recent data questions this daughter's name; and, it is thought that it may be either Hester or Esther), Priscilla, Mary, John, Abigail, Stephen, Daniel, and William Jr.

Mark Kelsey lived in Windsor and Wethersfield. He first married Rebecca Hoskins, second Mrs. Abigail Atwood. Rebecca was the daughter of John Hoskins and his wife, Ann Filer. John Hoskins came to New England on the "Mary & John" in 1630. Mark and Rebecca had 8 or more children.

Priscilla Kelsey lived and died in Windsor, CT. She married Cornelius Gillette. They had 9 children.

Mary Kelsey lived and died in Windsor, CT. She married Jonathan Gillette (brother of Cornelius Gillette). They had 10 children.

John Kelsey removed to Killingworth with his father, William Kelsey, at the age of 27. He married Hannah Disborough 2 years later in Hartford, CT. They had 9 children. John and his father are noted as two of the first settlers of Kenilworth.

Abigail Kelsey also accompanied her father, William Kelsey, to Killingworth at the age of 18. She married Lieutenant John Hull. They had 4 children.

Stephen Kelsey lived and died in Hartford, CT. He married Hannah Ingersoll. They had 10 children.

Daniel Kelsey also removed to Killingworth with his father, William Kelsey, at the age of 13. He later married first Mary Stevens. They had 5 children. He married second, Jane Chalker. They had 5 children.

William Kelsey Jr. was born 3/23/1654. It is supposed that he died young before the family removed to Killingworth, CT.


Nancy said...

Thanks for posting this. I am also a descendant of William Kelsey and am working temporarily in NJ. My sister lives in MA and we planned to meet half way, she suggested Clinton. It is great to know I will be going somewhere that has some family significance! Where exactly is this marker?

Lark said...

The monument is located between 90 and 92 East Main Street in Clinton CT. It was erected by the Kelsey Kindred Organization.

I got the photo from the Kelsey Kindred Web site. It had been submitted by Douglas Kent Kelsey.

just me said...

I am so excited to see a Kelsey blog and what great info, I am trying to get as much Kelsey family as possible!!

Angela Johnson said...

I'm looking for some source information for William's wife. Do you know a source? I am writing a family history book (we also come through Mercy Lucas), and am finding disputes on Wm's spouse. I want my book to be right!

Lark said...

Look up information on 1- "Braintree Company" followers of Reverend Thomas Hooker. 2- First settlers of "New Towne" or Cambridge, Massachusetts 1632. 3- Settlers of Hartford, CT. 4- "Hammonossit Plantation" name later changed to "Kenilworth" then separated into Killingworth and Clinton. 5- Ancestor file.

You can find some information about "Marcy Jane LUCAS" (some times call Mercy)on this family blog. How do you go back to her.

Carolyn said...

I recently tried researching the Kelsey lines in Chelmsford, Essex, without any luck. We searched the Parish Records, Bishops Transcripts for Chelmsford and the five surrounding Parishes. I even researched Hooker [including reading someone's Phd Thesis on him] for hints. However, I could not find a listing for a Kelsey nor a Hammond in any of those parishes. I am wondering if anyone has any documentation of the history ascribed to the Kelsey's before they arrived here.

Anonymous said...

George Kelsey
View relationship to me
Birth 1572 in Thorpe, Essex, , England
Death 1599 in Thorpe, Essex, , England
Marriage to Elizabeth Hammond

George Kelsey
View relationship to me
Birth 1546 in Thorpe,,Essex,England
Death 1576 in Takeley,,Essex,England
Marriage to Johane Kelsey

That's as far back as I could get

Jean said...

My Mother is a member of the kelsey Kindred. I wonder if you could clear up something for me. The copy of the Certificate of Membership to the Kelsey Kindred Of America that I have states that William Kelsey was married to a Bethia Hopkins. In your information in your blog above, you have her listed at Berthia. Which is the correct spelling??

Lark said...

Jean, Thanks for your inquiry. I will have to make a change on this post. I have looked at Bethia Hopkins on and find that her name is repeatedly spelled Bethia. There is one tree listing her name was Elizabeth with Bethia as a nick named. Another comments that William Kelsey's wife has never been named. Next I will check at, then make my changes.

Lark said...

At her name is spelled Bathia.

There is also a question as to her death date. Some say 1680 others say she died in 1636. Both are listed at and 1680 is listed on Jean do you know which information is correct?

writerlygirl said...

I found a will available digitally online for "George Kelsey of Takeley" (created in 1578 or 79" online at the Essex Records Office ( So cool! I believe that would be William Kelsey's grandfather. I am also a descendant of William Kelsey.

Laura Kelsey (Indiana)

writerlygirl said...

I found a will available digitally online for "George Kelsey of Takeley" (created in 1578 or 79" online at the Essex Records Office ( So cool! I believe that would be William Kelsey's grandfather. I am also a descendant of William Kelsey.

Laura Kelsey (Indiana)

Anonymous said...

No first or maiden name know for wife of Wm Kelsey. There is no record of a marriage in England or New England. No document found to date lists her first or maiden name.

New England Historic Genealocial Society ("Great Migration Begins"), and Connecticut and Massachusetts Kelsey & Hopkins scholars/researchers agree that Wm Kelsey's wife is never named (and the Mayflower Society agrees she isn't the dau of Stephen Hopkins of the Mayflower (who didn't marry the mythical Constance Dudley who was disproved in 1998)).

C.A. Torrey's original "New England Marriages Prior to 1700" (info collected before 1962 from best sources available at the time) publshed 1985 had her as
Bethia [? HOPKINS] (with a question mark which most people ignored)
perhaps copied from Claypool, 1928
since Savage, 1862
copied from Hinman, 1846
who didn't have maiden name.

See Hinman's original error 3rd paragraph (about Bethia Phillips) at

Good explanation of the errors from 1993 (TAG 37:38-42 and 68:211-14)at

The Kelsey Kindred states "Williams’ wife or wives have not been verified . . .'

In 2003 the 3rd Supplement of Torrey's "New England Marriages Prior to 1700" was published.
BOTH names for Kelsey's wife are now replaced with blank lines.

"KELSEY, Wiliam (c1609-1675/6) & ______ ______ (perhaps Hester); m by 1634 [GMB 2:1118]".

See images at (list of the 8 kids on the next page)

See details in the comments section from dorseeker about the confusion of the children and lack of the wife's name (but new info on her birth year) at

On Ancestry, the US & Int'l Marr Rec 1560-1900; Family Data Collections; Millennium File & AGBI are databases/indexes, NOT historical docs/records. They were compiled by programmed computer sweeps through submittals from people who often were just collecting names and not actually researching. Ancestry doesn't check images, stories, Green Leaf Hints, "Suggested Records", comments or Find-a-Grave submittals for accuracy.

The reason for so many spellings of her fictional name is because no records exist. Remember that the AF and PRFs on FamilySearch don't require documentation. Same with the "contributed" IGI files. The recycled errors from the now discontinued (2008) IGI files are making their way back into the FamilyTree.