Janet and Robert Wolfe Genealogy --- Go to Genealogy Page for Willam Kelsey

Notes for Willam Kelsey

Research Notes:

"William Kelsey is first recorded in America in Newtown (later Cambridge), Mass., on 29 March 1632, but in June 1636 removed with others to become a founder of Hartford, Conn. In 1663 ... he once more changed his residence, this time settling in Killingworth, Conn., where he is last recorded in the Town Records on 17 June 1675." [George E. McCracken, "The Wife of William Kelsey," TAG, vol. 37, 1961, p. 38.]

The Great Migration reports [1]:

William Kelsey
Origin: Unknown
Migration: 1633
First Residence: Cambridge
Removes: Hartford 1635, Killingworth by 1668

Freeman: In Killingworth section of 1669 Connecticut list of freemen (as "William Keilsey") [ CCCR 2:525].
Education: Signed deed by mark [ CaBOP 42].

Offices: On 11 May 1671 "W[illia]m Callsey" was deputy to Connecticut General Court from Killingworth [ CCCR 2:147].
On 24 March 1657/8 "William Kelsey is freed from watching, warding & training" [ CCCR 1:314].
Estate: Granted one rood for a cowyard in Cambridge, 5 August 1633 [ CaTR 5]. Granted three acres in Westend Field, 4 August 1634 [ CaTR 9]. Granted a proportional share of one in the meadow ground, 21 April 1635 [ CaTR 13].
In the Cambridge land inventory on 5 October 1635 "William Kellsie" held five parcels: half a rood in town with one house, garden and backside; three acres on Small Lot Hill; three acres in the Great Marsh; half an acre in the West End; and three acres in Westend Field [ CaBOP 24]. On 19 April 1636 "William Kelsey of the New Towne [Cambridge]" sold to Thomas Fisher his right in "any parcel of meadow ground lying & being in the New Towne aforesaid" [ CaBOP 42].
In the Hartford land inventory of February 1639 "Will[ia]m Kelsy" was credited with twenty-one parcels: one acre with dwelling house, outhouses, yards & gardens; three acres "lying partly in the neck of land"; one rood in the Little Meadow; two roods eighteen perches in the North Meadow; five acres, three roods and thirty-eight perches of meadow and swamp in the North Meadow; one acre eight perches on the east side of the Great River; five acres in the Cowpasture; nine acres three roods in the Middle Oxpasture (annotated "sold Wm. Spencer"); five acres of meadow on the east side of the Great River "which he received in exchange of William Spencer"; one acre, two roods and fourteen perches in the neck of land; three roods thirty-seven perches in the neck of land; seven acres, twenty-four perches in the Cowpasture; two acres, one rood and thirty-one perches in the neck of land "part whereof he received of Edward Ellmer"; threescore perches in the neck of land; three acres, three roods and twenty perches in the neck of land; one acre, thirty-three perches in the neck of land "which he bought of John Maynord"; three acres in the neck of land "which he bought of Richard Goodman"; one acre in the neck of land "which he bought of John Tayllcott"; five acres on the east side of the Great River "part of which he bought of William Edwordes"; thirty perches of swamp on the east side of the Great River "which he bought of William Edwordes"; and two roods "that he bought of William Williams and did sometime belong to John Beddell" (annotated "sold G. Granis 1664") [ HaBOP 141-44]. (Five of these parcels were marked as given to "Steven Callsey" in 1670/1.)
On 21 September 1676 the will and inventory of William Kelsey were presented at New London County Court; these documents do not, unfortunately, survive [ TAG 69:28, citing New London County Court Records, Trials, 3:83].

Birth: By about 1609 based on estimated date of marriage.
Death: Killingworth between June 1675 and 21 September 1676 [ TAG 69:218].
Marriage: By 1634 _____ _____, who was "born about 1613 and living at Hartford in December 1666" [ TAG 68:213-14].(Several false leads regarding the identity of the wife of William Kelsey have been carefully examined and discarded by George E. McCracken and Gale Ion Harris [ TAG 37:38-42, 68:211-14]. Based on onomastic evidence Harris suggests that her given name was Hester.)

i Mark, born say 1634; m. (1) Windsor 8 March 1658/9 Rebecca Hoskins [ WiLR 1:58]; m. (2) Windsor 26 December 1683 Abigail (_____) Atwood, widow of Captain Thomas Atwood [ WiLR 1:58; CTVR 52 (giving only the year of the event)].
ii Hester, born say 1636; m. (1) by 1656 James Eggleston, son of Bigod Eggleston; m. (2) Windsor 29 April 1680 James Eno; m. (3) Windsor 10 June 1686 John Williams. (See TAG 68:208-10 for a detailed discussion of Hester's marital career, which includes full documentation.)
iii John, born say 1638; m. by 1668 Hannah Desborough [ TAG 38:210-11, 68:214].
iv Priscilla, born about 1640 (aged 17 on 22 December 1657 [ TAG 68:214, citing WMJ 74]); m. by January 1659[/60?] Cornelius Gillett, son of Jonathan Gillett [ TAG 68:214].
v Mary, born about 1644 (aged 14 in May 1658 [ TAG 68:215, citing WMJ 109]); m. Windsor 23 April 1661 Jonathan Gillett [ Grant 39], son of Jonathan Gillett .
vi Abigail, born Hartford 19 April 1645 [ HaBOP 575]; m. Killingworth 3 December 1668 John Hull [ TAG 68:215].
vii Stephen, bp. Hartford 7 November 1647 [ HaBOP 578]; living 1670/1 [ HaBOP 141-44].
viii Daniel, born Hartford [blank] July 1650 [ HaBOP 581]; m. (1) Killingworth 27 March 1672 Mary Stevens [ TAG 68:215]; m. (2) by 1693 Jane Chalker [ TAG 68:231].

Comments: William Kelsey appears in a list dated 7 January 1632/3 of those who were to make fence [ CaTR 5], but this list was actually compiled at a later date.

Bibliographic Note: In 1993 Gale Ion Harris published a definitive study of the family of William Kelsey [ TAG 68:208-15]. We rely on his conclusions here, except for a few minor adjustments in approximated dates to conform with the guidelines used in these volumes.


[1] Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633 (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995), 1117, [AmericanAncestors].