Thomas and Honora Kelly
Thomas and Honora Kelly and five children arrived in Virginia in 1693 and less than two years after the end of the Willamite War in Ireland which decimated a larger number of O'Kelly families.  I don't yet know where in Virginia this family settled but they may be the Thomas and Honor Kelley with two children, a boy and a girl and we find on a 2625 acre land patient of John Pleasants plantation which was located on the north side of James River in Henrico Co Virginia.  There was a great deal of deceit that occurred in the headright system so they may have arrived in 1693 but the headright records backdated to make it appear they arrived in 1690 or these could be two different families.  Their headright share would have been 200 acres or 50 acres per person and it is not clear if they got to keep that land or if it was surrendered to John Pleasants as part of the payment of their importation.  Ship records indicate that both Thomas and Horor were 32 years of age or born in 1658. This family is of considerable interest because John Pleasants was a Huguenot and this may be the source of the protestant faith in our early family as in 1690 99.9% of all native Irish were Catholic but because these Kellys came as a intact family and settled in the heart Virginia in an established Huguenot community it seems likely they were one of the very rare protestant native Irish.  It may be possible that it was this Thomas that gave birth to the story that our ancestor was Thomas who came from Ireland and married Elizabeth Dean that his generation was merged with her much later generation and the two were confused into one couple.  It is in Henrico County Virginia where I find Peter Chastain who was a French Huguenot settled at Manikin Town in Henrico Co not long after the arrival of Thomas and Honor Kelly, and Peter's descendants seem to have followed a similar migratory path as the O'Kelleys, out of Henrico Co finally settling in Georgia where three of the Chastain family, Elizabeth, Nancy, Abner Charstain married members of the O'Kelley family. 

Charles isn't a tradition Irish name, but Charles O'Kelley runs deep in the family lines of Thomas, Charles, and Benjamin and I have come to believe that perhaps it originated with the French Huguenot influence. 

The below Pedigree is created based upon the known records and pedigrees.  I present it only to suggest that his is one of several possibilities as to how our early family could have appeared. 

  Thomas and Honor Kelley
 b 1661 in Connaught Ireland
  William Kelly
born in Ireland abt 1685 arrived with parents
  James Kelley and Anna Dean abt 1710  
William Francis Rev James Thomas
  Children of  
1 William Kelley1 abt 1732 Brunswick Co2   3 Rev James P O'Kelly abt 1738 Brunswick Co2
|   |
1 - James abt 1752 d 9/11/77
2 - George abt 1753
3 - William abt 1754
4 - Charles abt 1756
5 - Benjamin abt 1758 New DNA result suggest differently
6 - Francis 1761
  1 - William Jefferson
2 - John Franklin
3 - James Jr
4 - Thomas
How did I come up with the above family tree?  It is based upon records and known pedigrees.  Thomas and Honor I have explained above and certainly their children went on as protestants likely living in and around Henrico Co Virginia but as more counties were created from Henrico and surround counties they likely didn't always remain in Henrico Co.  The pattern that our ancestors followed was as free land opened up in more remote locations, they or their descendants migrated to take advantage of those opportunities.  I have no information about the children of Thomas and Honor other than what appears in the ship records, they landed in Virginia with five chidlren and at least one was a male and another a female.  I must turn to other records to construct the great grandchildren of Thomas and Honora. 

James Kelley was likely born in Virginia, somewhere around Henrico Co, maybe Caroline, maybe King and Queen, there are several James appearing in the records in different places in that region.  I suspect that James and Anna were real people as Dr Thomas K O'Kelley's Pedigree begins with James O'Kelley and Anna Dean and i doubt that was just manufactured, I suspect it was based in some knowledge but that it wasn't fully understood or intact.  While I have never been able to prove the existence of James and Anna with records it does seem likely they may have existed but there are several problems with Dr Thomas K O'Kelleys pedigree, the first being the age of James and Anna.  Their Pedigree puts there birth in 1710 and their first born son in 1735 and last born in 1761 making Anna 51.  That wasn't impossible but I think it was unlikely.  The second problem is the pedigree doesn't account for Elizabeth Dean and it seems certain Charles O'Kelley and Mary Crowder named their first born daughter after the mother of Charles, Elizabeth Dean.  My modified pedigree premites both Anna Dean and Elizabeth Dean and it is supported by the naming of the first born daughters of Thomas and Charles. 

Many desired to make James born in 1735, the first born son of James and Anna as represented in Dr O'Kelley's pedigree Rev James O'Kelley and while that seems possible, author W.E. MacClenny made the claim that Rev James's father was named William and that brings me to my final problem.  I am certain the names Thomas Dean, Charles Dean, and Francis Dean came from the Dean family that is why they appear with the Dean surname as the middle name but how did three different Deans come to appear in our early family?  The naming custom was to name the second son after the maternal grandfather and the fourth son after the maternal great grandfather but we have three Dean names so to solve this problem I looked at the early history of our family where we find two Chastain women and three Crowder women, sisters married O'Kelleys so why can the same not be true for two or more Dean women, that they married different O'Kelley men?  This really makes good sense when one considers that Thomas and Elizabeth Wyers named their first born daughter Ann and Charles and Mary Crowder named their first born daughter Elizabeth Dean.  A great many things become possible if there are two Dean women marrying two O'Kelley men and if Thomas was an uncle and there are reasons to suspect this might be true, our family pedigree takes shape in a way that fits with the known census records.

In the Rev James O'Kelley Elon University collection is a Pedigree created in the early part of the 20th century by a descendant, John Daniel McCurry and it is his Pedigree that we learn that Rev James O'Kelly may have had three brothers, a William, John, and a Thomas O'Kelly.  Long have many believed Rev James O'Kelly was of our family, Alethea Jane Macon makes mention of this in her book and Dr Thomas K O'Kelley's pedigree has a James O'Kelley born about the time as Rev James O'Kelley but what has always caused problems with connecting Rev James to our family is author W. E. MacClenny wrote in his book The Life of Rev James O'Kelly that Rev James O'Kelly's father was William O'Kelly of Ireland and his mother was the granddaughter of Englishman Rev John Chetwode but MacClenny's documentation doesn't connect the dots, it does not provide any support for his claim and the  Pedigree of John Daniel McCurry doesn't give Rev James O'Kelly's father's name so the only evidence we have to look at is the naming of his sons, William, John, James, and Thomas.  William is the only son that we have a birth year so we do not have the birth order of the children allowing the researcher to apply the naming custom.  Most believe John was the first born because he is mentioned first in the will of Rev James O'Kelly but John appears to be the only surviving son at the time of the wills formation, dead sons are normally not mentioned in a will but William is mentioned but only to identify his children so it seems only natural that a living son would be named in a will before grandchildren so I do not see the will as an aid in determining birth order, meaning Rev James's father could have been William, John, James, or Thomas leaving me free to fit Rev James into our pedigree where he best fits which I have done above. 

There is a major shift in my pedigree as I have moved Thomas who is most often given as the first born son of Thomas O'Kelley and Elizabeth Dean from being a brother of Charles to being his uncle and I believe that is true because of the naming of the daughters and because we never see Thomas and Charles living near each other but it is also possible that Thomas could have been the son of Rev James O'Kelly and Elizabeth Meeks.  Thomas lived in NC where Rev James lived, both were friends with the Penns, James with William Penn and Thomas with John Penn, both were anti slavery, both named sons John and the name Pendleton only appears in the line of Rev James and Thomas.  Both has a descendant named John Wesley O'Kelley.  Professor Peter Jefferson Kernolde in his book "Lives of Christian ministers: over two hundred memoirs" makes the claim that three descendants of Thomas O'Kelley and Elizabeth Wyers were descendants of Rev James O'Kelly and that would be true if Thomas were the son of Rev James O'Kelly.  Thomas does not appear in the will of Rev James O'Kelly but he was dead by the time that will was written and with his descendants living in Georgia and Williams living near Rev James it seems only natural they would not be named in his will so it seems likely Thomas and Rev James were brothers as given by John Daniel McCurry in his pedigree or the son of Rev James O'Kelly that Alethea Jane Macon speaks of in her book.  Being born about 1750 he is of the age that he could have been Rev James's younger brother but no one truly knows Rev James's year of birth and an 1800 Oglethorpe Census gives Thomas as born before 1755 so Thomas could have been born in 1754 and Rev James O'Kelley in 1734 so it is very possible that Thomas could also be the Thomas that appears as Rev James's son.  I think he was Rev James O'Kellys brother because his first born daughter was named Ann likely after Anna Dean and we see the Dean name handed down in his line.  By moving Thomas this makes it possible for Elizabeth Dean to be younger by maybe as much as ten years and this could be supported by year another document for we find in the 1827 Georgia Land Lottery an Elizabeth O'Kelley of Oglethorpe County Ga who received land as a revolutionary war widow.  Elizabeth Dean is the only person who could be using the O'Kelley name, living in Oglethorpe and be a revolutionary widow and this could be possible if she was born about 1735.  Also receiving land in that lottery was Francis O'Kelley given as a Revolutionary War veteran but I know of no one who has found evidence of his service, the Daughter's of the America Revolution quotes the same book that we find Elizabeth O'Kelley in but there were many reasons people became eligible to draw in that lottery, War Vet, a war widow and an orphan all received two draws and while one might think an orphan had to be a minor, in 1827 there were no minor revolutionary war orphans causing me to suspect that the term orphan was loosely defined and it also meant those who were orphaned during that war.  No one has every found Elizabeth Dean's husband and that might be that he was killed in the war and before Francis was 18 making him a minor who lost his father and that could have resulted in him being mistaken for a War Vet when he was actually a War Orphan.  The above pedigree solves a great many problems and answers a lot of questions that can not be answered using the commonly accepted pedigrees.  There is however one last detail, in place of Thomas O'Kelley I have a James O'Kelley as the first born son of William Kelley and Elizabeth Dean.  There was a James Kelley from Caroline Co Virginia who was in the 10th Virginia 7 Company and he died at the battle of Brandywine Sept 11, 1777.  I suspect he may have been of our family but he could have also been the son of Rev James O'Kelly and Elizabeth Meeks as some believe they came from Surry County Virginia but no one knows for certain. 

1 William is proven by a 1752 Lunenburg Tithe Census and a 1782 Mecklenburg VA Head of Household Census.
2 Mecklenburg Co was created in 1765 from the southern portion of Lunenburg.  Lunenburg was created from Brunswick Co Va in 1746.  Brunswick Co was created in 1720 from portions of Prince Georgia Co.   In 1732 some portions of Isle of Wright and Surry Co were added to Brunswick Co.  If Rev James was born between 1734 and 1738 in the area that is known today as Mecklenburg Co VA, he would have been born in Brunswick Co VA as Mecklenburg did not yet exist.