Thomas and Honora Kelly
Born 1669

Thomas and Honora Kelly may have been Huguenots who came to Virginia in 1690.  Both were reported born in 1658 and likely were born in Ireland.  Ship records report 5 children came with them and there are records that report that one was a male and another a female, the sex of the other three is not know.  They first appear on a plantation of John Pleasants a Huguenot and his  plantation was located in Henrico Co Virginia along the James River which was very near Manakin Va.  It is unknown what happened to their other three children but it was not uncommon for children above the age of eight to be indenture out to learn a trade or skill.  In 1700 King William of Orange granted ten thousand acres to the Huguenots.  It is estimated that as many as ten thousand came from Europe, Ireland, England and France to settle in America begin a new start and their descendants were the creators of the Baptist and Church of Christ movement 

Anyone familiar with this website well knows that because our ancestor came to America reportedly as a protestant, that was an indicator that he must have been Irish Landed Gentry but there were French Huguenots in Ireland and some were successfully converting a tiny number of Irish.  I have found no Kellys or Deans in the Huguenot records but the above record for Thomas and Honora Kelly indicate they came from France as Huguenots.  This is not the only Huguenot record as there also exists  a ship named "Blessing" that either sailed or arrived April 24 1703 giving Thomas and Elizabeth Dean and they are identified by some as Huguenots so it seems likely or possible that Thomas and Honora had a son named Thomas Kelly and the Deans had a daughter they named Elizabeth after her mother and these two both coming from Huguenot families married and they were the grandparents not the parents of Thomas, George, William, Charles, Benjamin, and Francis. 

My theory and this is only a theory seems supported by DNA and accepted family records.  The DNA results of a descendant of Thomas and Charles indicate they may not have been brothers but cousins.  Since the Dean name appears in both lines for many generations as does Elizabeth Dean it seems likely that this is a name that has been passed down beginning with a grandmothe they shared.  This possibility is also supported the claims of Peter Jefferson Kernolde who in his 1909 book titled Lives of Christian ministers: over two hundred memoirs tells his readers that Rev Francis Dean O'Kelley, Rev James O'Kelley, and John P O'Kelley were descendants of Rev James O'Kelly the founder of the Christian Church.  Below I have provided how our family may have really appeared.

Thomas and Honora Kelly both born 1669 in Ireland.
There could be an additional generation here.
  1-? James O'Kelley b about 1706 married Anna Dean   Line of Dr Thomas K O'Kelley    
      1-1-?-? Benjamin b 1761 in King and Queen Co    
  1-2 William Kelley b about 1708*        
    1-2-1 Thomas Kelley
born abt 1730
    1-2-2 Unknown abt 1734      
    1-2-3 William abt 1736*      
    1-2-4 Rev James O'Kelly b 1738 Founder of Christian Church    
  1-3 Thomas Born about 1710 married Elizabeth Dean**      
    1-3-1 Thomas born about 1730      
      1-3-1 Thomas Kelley  b 1750    
        1-3-1 Francis Dean b 1779  
    1-3-? William born about 1732      
      1-3-?-1 Thomas died as child  
      1-3-?-2 George died as child  
      1-3-?-3 Charles b 1756    
      1-3-?-4 Benjamin b 1758    
      1-3-?-5 Francis b 1761    
* Could be the William  and son that Harold O'Kelley found living in Caroline Co Virginia.
** Thomas and Elizabeth Deane were Huguenots who arrived from France and settled in Henrico Co Virginia in 1703.  If they had a daughters it is likely the one was named after her mother and she was the Elizabeth Dean who married Thomas Kelley.


One of the problems with our early family as presented by Alethea Jane Macon and Harold O'Kelley is none of the accepted pedigrees account for the daughters or the wives and sons that died and do not appear.  At the time our early ancestors lived it would have been a rarity for a family to remain intact with no early deaths.  I suspect that as some of these families were devastated by disease and other calamities that the survivors were all lumped into a single family likely by Dr Thomas K O'Kelley and Dr Francis C O'Kelley.  Genealogy has always been the past time of those with resources and leisure time to do it.  These two men were some of the earliest to achieve such and because they were contemporaries I feel certain they likely exchanged family information and using the fragments of information available to them they constructed the family that most accept today.  Clearly there was not complete agreement as Dr Thomas K O'Kelley's peedigree begins with James O'Kelley and Anna Dean and Dr Francis C O'Kelleys pedigree begins with Thomas O'Kelley and Elizabeth Dean something my above fictional pedigree includes.

Something that has puzzled researchers is the Dec 6 1804 Mecklenburg marriage record of John Kelley and Frances Crowder that Charles Kelley appeared as the second.  Clearly there were other family relations living in Mecklenburg that have not been accounted for in the traditional tree.  John could have been a younger brother to Charles or a cousin the above tree allows for the possibility that there were others related to our family living near them.

Do I have any proof that Thomas and Honora were our first ancestors to arrive in America?  No but I am certain that the tree of James and Anna and the tree of Thomas and Elizabeth can not be all there is to our family story.  There are far too many questions that these two family trees fail to answer.