Second Generation


william
 William D (Dennis) O'Kelley and Elizabeth Dean

5. Charles Dean* O'Kelley (Kelly, Kelley, or O'Kelly)1,2,3,4 was born in 1760, in Virginia.

Charles was my 4th great grandfather and there are several mysteries associated with Charles, the first is the appearance of "Dean" given as his middle name on the Whiteside family DNA website, no one seems to know the source for that claim.  I am unsure how reliable the birth year 1756 might be, Alethea Jane Macon in her book Four O’Kelley Sons and Some of their Descendants - Allied Families presents Charles as the fifth son in her chart, after Benjamin, which would indicate that Benjamin was older but then she gives Charles born in 1756 or before Benjamin causing me to wonder if she had clear knowledge of his birth year at the time she was compiling her book.  From an investigator's viewpoint I believe that after writing her book but before it was published that Alethea Jane Macon likely believed Charles was younger that Benjamin and she had good reason to believe such as George Welborn O'Kelley's family bible gives his grandfather Charles as born about 1760 thus making him the younger brother to Benjamin.  To my knowledge this is the only record that gives his estimated year of birth so I believe something very late in Macon's research cause Ms Macon just before publishing to believe Charles was born in 1756 and having her book already typed it would be a great labor to reorder Charles and Benjamin and their descendants so it is likely she just added the 1756 date of birth and left the birth order in her book as she originally created it.  Alethea Jane Macon was experienced at writing books about families so I find it unacceptable to think that she just made a mistake.  She was elderly at the time she published, she may have been very aware that the clock would soon stop for her and she desired to have her work completed before that occurred as she may have had other projects she desired to complete in her limited number of remaining days.

My grandfather Charles appeared to be a young man with considerable resources for he was 22 when he married, owned land very near that time, and at the age of 23 he had the finances to hire a substitute to serve in the Mecklenburg Militia in his stead. 

  Charles died young in Nov 1810 and he and his wife are buried just south of Comer Ga and just inside Oglethorpe Co in the O'Kelley Whitehead Cemetery 6.  Harold Ernest O'Kelley in his book connects Charles to the Benjamin born in 1761 in King and Queen Co VA thus he believes Charles may have been born in King and Queen Co Virginia but Benjamin was very old when his revolutionary war pension application was made and that is Harold Ernest O'Kelley only source for King and Queen.  I have doubts we can depend upon its accuracy because at his age the elderly often get this confused so I think this is a very large leap to King and Queen Co.  What is known for certaint is Charles and Francis married Crowder sisters from Prince George Co which borders Surry and Rev James is said to have come from Surry.   Charles O'Kelley was my 4th great grandfather. 


To the left is a 27.5 Acre Mecklenburg Co VA land grant to a Charles Kelley dated Dec 8 1800 that Harold Ernst O'Kelley makes mention in his book. Source: Online Catalog Library of Virginia
   
 
     
34.006711 -83.119172
Photo above and to the left comes from Krista Whitehead, the photo in the middle is by Joyce Lambert, 4th Great-granddaughter of Charles and Mary
Revolutionary War Records for a Charles Kelly, 8th Virginia might not be valid for Charles O'Kelley
Harold Ernst O'Kelley makes the claim in his book that the Daughters of the American Revolution set the grave stone for Charles in 1982 and it states he served in the 8th Virginia Regiment in 1776–1777.5 A  Harold Ernst O'Kelley may have been mistaken or mislead as a descendant of Vic Raimey has informed me that Vic set both the gravestone and the O'Kelley Whitehead bench in a ceremony.  As for the information on the stone, my research indicates that it is very unlikely that Charles or his sons used the O'Kelley spelling that appears on his gravestone and appears on the DAR record, it is uncertain that Charles could even spelling his name but 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 so it seems possible that Charles could read but his mark indicates he could not write so those who recorded his name recorded it as Kelly before our revolution and O'Kelly sometime after and they might have done so at his instruction or maybe like me, he sometimes doesn't seek a correction.  I think Charles and his father and brothers always used O'Kelley but likely spelled as O Kelly and those who recorded their names just assumed the O was an initial and wrote it as "Kelly".  I didn't know the true meaning of "O' " I was near 60 so it is possible that Charles and is brothers had no greater knowledge.  Our national archives does have records of a Charles Kelly who served from September 1776 to April 1777 in the 8th Virginia, 10 Company commanded by Captain William Crogrhan and this record use to be associated with Charles O'Kelley's DAR record created by Macon but that has changed very recently, it no longer appears and has been replaced with the substitution of Captain John Farrar on the 1779 Mecklenburg Co Militia.  The Daughters of the American Revolution Ancestor #A085952 in 2012 gave its source for Charles's service in the 8th Virginia as Author John H Gwathmey and from his book titled  HIST REG OF VA IN THE REV, Vol 1 P. 437 and it appears this supporting documentation was submitted with Alethea Jane Macon's application.  I have  seen the brief entry in this book and it lists Charles Kelly 8 Vir CL but sometime in 2013 the DAR changed this and Charles is no longer given as serving in the 8th Virginia and I think they are correct, in my own research I came to question how that line was drawn between Charles O'Kelley and the Charles Kelly who appears on the roster for the 8th Virginia.  For research record only, I will continue to display the records for Charles Kelly below. 
I list this only so other researchers will know that Alethea Jane Macon claimed that Charles Kelly served in the 8th Virginia Regiment 10th Company but it seems certain that this was a different Charles Kelly and he was listed as a deserter on May 18, 1777 (see records to the left).  My grandfather Charles Kelly appears on the muster rolls of the 8th Virginia Reg.  Also appearing on the rolls with him is Benjamin Kelly and according to Alethea Jane Macon this is Charles and his brother Benjamin born in 1758.  I have found nothing that disputes or proves her claim.  The company commander was Captain William Croghan'sB born 1752 in Dublin Ireland and immigrated to America when only 16 being sponsored by his rather famous uncle, George Croghan. Reportedly Croghan first served as a British officer but later formed his 8th Virginia 10th company in April 1776 near Ft Pitt which is at the far extreme edge of West Virginia and is Pittsburg PA today.  The 10th company was also known as the Germany company because most of its recruits came from the German immigrates living in that area.  Charles join many months after the 10th was formed so he was likely a replacement to fill the ranks.  During his service many of the 8th contracted malaria and smallpox and this could be a reason that Charles is listed as a deserter, he may have been so ill that once they returned to Virginia in April 1777 he had to go home to try to get well. I don't believe the Charles Kelly who served in the 8th Virginia is Charles O'Kelley found in Mecklenburg Co Virginia.


I believe the truth about my 4th Great Grandfather Charles O'Kelley appears on a Virginia State Militia roll that was formed at Mecklenburg in 1779.  What makes this record interesting is a substitute named John Farrar served in the place of 19 year old Charles.  Who was my 4th Great Grandfather that a man like Lieutenant John Farrar would choose to serve as a substitute in his stead?  Was it because Mary was pregnant?  I suspect it was because his father was an Officer.

John Farrar was born in 1728 so he was near the age of James O'Kelley and a James Kelley received pay for his Militia so I wonder if John and Charles father might have been close friends.  Lt Farrar was a man of substance, he sold beef to the colonies to support the war. At his young age did Charles have the resources to hire someone of Lt Farrar stature to serve his duty for him or was something else the primary factor?  John Farrar was born about 1758 so they were very near the same age but John was the second cousin of Thomas Jefferson.  John Farrar's grandmother was Judith Jefferson the aunt of Thomas Jefferson.  The Militia was commanded by Captain Reuban Vaughn, the service was for six months and they joined General Lincoln in South Carolina and were in the Battle of Stone Ferry.  You can see the full roster including my grandfather's name on that roster and while he is listed as a double "e" Kelley, he only made a mark so the spelling results from the training of the person who has written his name.  Also on the Roster are two Crowders who in 1779 were likely related to Mary Crowder the wife of Charles. 

Another interesting detail about John Farrar, according to a Mecklenburg Co marriage record his son also named John Farrar married Ann Baskerville 24 December 1794 and her father William Baskervill appears as the second on the marriage record of Francis Kelley and Delilah Crowder so it would seem there was more than just an casual friendship between the Farrars and the O'Kelleys.  Judith Jefferson wasn't the only of her family to live and die in Mecklenburg, one will find the grave of her brother, Field Jefferson, also in a Mecklenburg Cemetery. Peter Jefferson the father of Thomas Jefferson also appears in the Lunenburg Co Road records so the Jeffersons conducted business in the portion of Lunenburg Co that became Mecklenburg Co. 

~ Charles O'Kelley ~
Private ~ Virginia

DAR Patriot Index:
Born c1756 in VA
Died before November 1810 in GA
Married Mary Crowder

Marker at O'Kelly/Whitehead Cemetery: GPS 34.006711 -83.119172
Charles O'Kelley
8 Va Regt
Rev. War
1756 - 1810

source http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~gaogleth/patriots.htm


There may be a blood relationship between the descendants of Charles O'Kelley and John Farrar as some make the claim that Charles O'Kelley's mother-in-law was Mary Branch (Crowder) who was the great, great, granddaughter of Christopher and Mary (Addie) Branch and they were also the great great grandparents of President Thomas Jefferson and great great grandparents of John Farrar who appears as the substitute for Charles O'Kelley.  The Crowders and the Branchs settled along the James River in Virginia about 1620 and lived near each other.  If Mary Branch was the wife of George Crowder as some claim, then the descendants of Charles and Mary (Crowder) O'Kelley will be maternal cousins to President Thomas Jefferson.

Georgia Archives lists Charles O'Kelley as receiving land in the Headright system. 

DOC 4113: 1783 - 1909, O'Hearn, Josiah - Orvis, James

C 169989: O'Kelley, Charles

Charles O'Kelley and Mary Polly Crowder were said to have married about 1778 in Mecklenburg Co, VA but because the English ministers who held the authority to marry left America, I suspect they likely were common law wed explaining why no record has ever been found. They lived in Oglethorpe Co, GA in 1798–1809.  He may have been a slave owner.

 Mary "Polly" Crowder was born on 25 December 1757 in the portion of Lunenburg Co that became Mecklenburg Co, VA in 1764. She appeared in the census on 7 August 1820 in Oglethorpe Co, GA.8 She died on 12 November 1842.  I am certain that Polly is the nickname she used because Polly was a common nickname for someone named Mary.  To name a child Mary Polly would be the same as naming her Mary Mary.  The Crowder name is of English origins meaning one who plays the fiddle but it is very unlikely an English Crowder would have permitted his daughters to marry the lowly Irish so it is far more likely that Mary's family were of the Crowders who settled in eastern Ireland sometime after the 1600s then came to America with the Scots Irish many generations later.

The Crowder's have an early history in America.  Mary Crowder's line can be traced back five generations to Hugh Crowder who came from Surry England in 1619 and established a small plantation in Virginia Colony.  Mary's father was George -> Bartholomew C -> Bartholomew O -> Henry -> Hugh.  George Crowder was born in Bristol Parish Prince George Co VA which is likely where the O'Kellys and Deans also lived.

Charles O'Kelley and Mary "Polly" Crowder had the following children.  To my knowledge we have nothing to tell us this lists is correct or in the right order.  We do not have a Thomas in this family but do have a William which could be and indicator that Charles's father may have been William and not Thomas or James.

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i.

William O'Kelley was born in 1779 according to Macon and she tells her readers such knowledge comes from the poll-taxes paid for him by his father until he was 21yrs. old; remained in Va.22, I believe William was named after Charles O'Kelley's father

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ii.

Elizabeth Dean O'Kelley.  Betsy is a nickname for Elizabeth and she is named for her paternal grandmother, Elizabeth Dean.

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iii.

George Washington O'Kelley.  Certainly named after George Washington but also like named after George Crowder his maternal grandfather.

+15

iv.

Benjamin F. O'Kelley.  Likely named after Benjamin Franklin

+16

v.

Mary O'Kelley.  likely names after her maternal grandmother.

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vi.

Patsy A. O'Kelley.

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vii.

Frances P. O'Kelley.

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viii.

Nancy O'Kelley.

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ix.

James O'KelleyProbably named after Charles father James Kelley.

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x.

Charles Dean O'Kelley.  My Ancestor, named after his father.  

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xi.

Polly Crowder O'Kelley.

 

*Source  is the Whiteheaddna.com website.

A. DAR source documentation is listed as John H Gwathmey, HIST REG OF VA IN THE REV, P. 437 I personally viewed this book and found Charles Kelly listed but the book gives no other information.


B. formed April 9, 1776 at St Augusta near Fr Pitt.  A Guide to Virginia Military Organizations by E. M. Sanchez-Saavedra  Benjamin Kelly and Charles joined the 10th Company 8th Virg Reg Sept 1776 and served till April 1777.

c. There are some facts known about Major William Croghan.  He was born in Dublin Ireland in 1752 and came to America when but 16 years of age and originally served with the British.   He would have been a contemporary of Charles and may be the reason Charles enlisted but I suspect Charles was drafted and may have just been assigned to the 10th company because it had an Irish born commander.  William at his young age formed his company at St Augusta near Ft Pitt and in addition to Charles there was a Benjamin Kelley born in 1726 and a Michael who I have yet to find his date of birth.  William had a rather famous Uncle named George Croghan.  George was a surveyor and a contemporary of Charles's father and of George Washington whom he had many dealings and he left written records in his Journal.  After the war William married a Caroline Co Lucy Clarke the sister of William Clarke of Lewis and Clarke.


Muster Roll of Captain Reuben Vaughn”
Virginia Colonial Militia, 1779
(From the Edmund W. Hubbard Papers, Southern Historical Collection, UNC Chapel Hill, NC)
 
A list of Men Marched out Under the Command of Captain Reuben Vaughn from Mecklenburg on a detachment to the Southard Under the Immediate Command of David Mason, Col. Command.  AD 1779
 
Rubin Vaughn            Capt.
Jno. Holmes               Lieut.
James Wilson            Ensign
Samuel Lark              Serg. Maj.
Wm. Holloway            “
 
Thos. Adams
Wm. Mason
Wm. Cradle
Robt. Crowder
Sterling Dixon
James Arnold
Wm. Brandum
Wm. Cunningham
Francis Hinton
Wm. Archer
Howell Hargrove
Wm. Hudson
John Hall
Mark Evans
John Parks
James Hy. Kidd
Wm Conell
Thos. Crage
Richard Lewis           Sustituted by Wm. Adkins (deserted)
Jeremiah Lucas        “                       Jno. Adams
Jeremiah Smith         “                       Barnet Burnit (deserted)
Ezekiah Crowder      “                       Epheram Andrews
John Stevens            “                       Ansel Cunningham
Josiah Cunningham  “                       Jno. Cunningham
John Guy                    “                       Christopher Guy
Jesse Bowin              “                       Bracey Bowin 
James Bowin             “                       David Bowin
Hicks Bowin               “                       Alexander Bowin
Wm. Roberts             “                       Abel Dortch
Isaac Watson            “                       Joseph Cradle
John Cook Taylor      “                       David Dortch
Ray Moss                   “                       Robt. Wilmore
Wm. Hatchell             “                       Willis Hatchell
Jesse Bugg               “                       Jno. Mallit
John Goode               “                       Wm. Guy
James Hicks              “                       Wm. S. Roberts
James Ramey           “                       Wm. Delafield
Charles Kelley           “                       John Farrar  second cousin to Thomas Jefferson
Dick Evans                “                       Godfrey Evans
Thos. Meares            discharged at Salisbury
Thos, Wright              Inlisted in Regular Service
Wm. Epps                  “
Edward Giles             “
John Mize                   “
John Burnit                 Deserted
John Wilson               “
Benj. Burnit                “
Lewis Sawyer            “
John Decker              “
Wm. Mealer               “