KELSEY

From the files of Stephen M. Lawson


Kelso/Kelsey Siblings

Samuel Kelso and Susannah Mills

George Kelsey and Hannah Jones

Bathshaba Kelsey-Jones-Hail and Josira Wallace

Lucilla Margaret Wallace and Wilkerson Bell Freeman

George Romulus Freeman and Susanna Carpenter

Aretus Erastus Freeman and Minnie Elsie Morey

Iva Melvina Freeman and Donald VanHoosier Lawson

Stephen Martin Lawson

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Primary information source: Samuel Kelso/Kelsey 1720-1796, by Dr. and Mrs. Mavis Parrott Kelsey, Sr., Houston, TX (1984). Additional information from the pages of The Earl of Donegal - The Kelsey (Kelso) Family Bulletin (1984-87), compiled by Mason D. Kelsey, and contacts with sharing cousins.


The Kelso/Kelsey Siblings

It is believed that Samuel KELSO, the progenitor of this line, was one of several siblings who came to America in the middle of the 18th century and who resided in western SC during the Revolutionary era. There is no known connection between these KELSEYs and the family of the same name in New England. Much of the date and place data for the immigrant generation is based on undocumented sources and is subject to correction as more information is obtained.


  1. Jannet - b. about 1710; d. Jul. 30, 1776, Chester Co., SC; bur. Fishing Creek Cemetery. There is a common grave marker for Samuel KELSO and 'Jannet KELSO / his sister / Died July 30, 1776 / aged 66 years.' There is no evidence of her every marrying.
  2. George - Possible brother.
  3. Samuel - b. 1720, Scotland; d. Aug. 16, 1796, Chester Co., SC.
  4. Elinor - b. 1721, Scotland or Northern Ireland; d. Jun. 30, 1804, Chester Co., SC. Resided in PA prior to moving to SC. Married Robert GILL (b. 1720; d. Jun. 30, 1804, Chester Co., SC). Children of Elinor and Robert GILL: Thomas married first Nancy BARR, and second Agnes DOWNING; Jane married John C. CALDWELL; John married nancy Agnes DICK; Margaret Agnes married James CRAWFORD; Robert married his first cousin Elizabeth KELSO, daughter of Samuel KELSO and Susannah MILLS; George married Jennette HAMILTON; William married Mary; Capt. James married Mary Louise GASTON; Col. Archibald D. married first Mary Ann MILLS, second Catherine DENTON, and third Mary Agnes DENTON; Mary married John MILLS; and Eleanor married her first cousin Samuel KELSO, Jr., son of Samuel KELSO and Susannah MILLS.
  5. Mary - b. about 1722, probably in Northern Ireland. She came to America with her children about 1760, as did Hugh COOPER, weaver, settling first at Basking Ridge, Somerset Co., NJ. In announcement in the New York Mecury in Nov. 1762, Hugh states that Mary had left him.  Hugh moved to Chester Co., SC before Jan. 1772 when he purchased 300 acres of land on the South Fork of Fishing Creek from Samuel PORTER. Mary married about 1745, Hugh COOPER (1720-1793), and they were divorced by Nov. 1762. Mary, with her children by Hugh COOPER, moved to PA to be close to her sister Elinor (KELSO) GILL. Children of Mary and Hugh COOPER: Robert (1746-1798) married Jane HAMILTON (1752-1823); Elizabeth (1749-1803) married James FERGUSON (1735-1778); Jane (b. 1752) married James McGAUGHEY; John (1755-1804) married Elizabeth WALKER (b. 1765); and James (1758-1780) never married.
  6. Robert - b. about 1725, Ireland; d. before Feb. 21, 1802, Chester Co., SC. Will dated Jan. 20, 1800 and proved Feb. 21, 1802, Chester Co., SC. Married about 1750 in Ireland to Mary (b. about 1724; Ireland; d. May 28, 1774, Chester Co., SC). He is called the older brother of Samuel, implying some dates here may be incorrect. Children of Robert and Mary KELSO: Robert; Thomas (1752-1780) probably never married; Hugh (1754-1817) married Margaret MILLS (1758-1849), daughter of John MILLS, probably brother of Susannah (MILLS) KELSO; Elizabeth; Mary married Lt. John MORROW, son of David MORROW and Agnes WHITE CROCKET; and Susannah married Mr. MORROW.


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Samuel and Susannah (Mills) Kelso

Samuel KELSO - b. 1720, Scotland; d. Aug. 16, 1796, Chester Co., SC; bur. Fishing Creek Cemetery. He probably left Scotland for Ireland in the mid 1740s. Samuel, sword maker, with his wife and seven children ages 6 to 17, arrived at Charlestown, SC on Dec. 22, 1767, on board the 'Earl of Donegal,' Duncan Ferguson, Master. The ship had departed from Belfast on Aug. 14, 1767, with 291 passengers. Samuel received 400 acres of land (100 to head of household, and 50 for each additional member), and children George and Jannet, both over 16, received 100 acres each. The land grant, for land near Long Canes, Craven Co., SC, was made Sep. 12, 1768. By 1770 the Fishing Creek Presbyterian Church was established at Rock Hill, with the KELSOs as prominent members. Samuel, his wife, and their seven children are listed in the Jun. 8, 1775 visitation of their church. During the Revolution, on Aug. 18, 1780, The Battle of Fishing Creek was fought near the church. Samuel, then aged 60 and with poor hearing, was abused and threatened by the Tories for not answering their questions. Samuel married about 1749 in Ireland.

Susannah MILLS - b. 1723; d. Sep. 12, 1804, Chester Co., SC; bur. Fishing Creek Cemetery. The MILLS family also migrated from Scotland to Ireland, and thence to America. Susannah was perhaps the sister of John Mills (d. Nov. 9, 1815 at age 83), and aunt of Col. John MILLS (d. Mar. 19, 1795 at age 38), who migrated first to PA, and then to Chester Co., SC, and were buried in the Fishing Creek Cemetery.


Children of Samuel and Susannah Kelso

  1. George - b. about 1750, Ireland, probably Co. Antrim; d. Dec. 2, 1802, Chester Co., SC.
  2. Jannet - b. about 1752, Ireland. Married Capt. Alexander PAGAN (d. Aug. 18, 1780). Children of Jannet and Alexander PAGAN: Agness married Leonard JONES; Susan married Thomas WHERRY; and Alexander married Mary MILLS.
  3. Elizabeth - b. 1754, Co. Antrim, Ireland; d. 1824. She married her first cousin Robert GILL, Jr. (b. about 1752; d. Sep. 24, 1786), son of Robert GILL (1720-1804) and Elinor KELSO (1721-1801). Robert served in the Revolution, supplied swords, and was captured by the British and imprisoned at Camden, SC. He was buried in Fishing Creek Cemetery. The estate papers contains a schedule of the accounts of Robert as a blacksmith. Children of Elizabeth and Robert GILL: Thomas; John; Robert Kelsey married Martha; and two daughters.
  4. Isabella - b. 1755, Co. Antrim, Ireland; d. about 1821, Perry Co., AL; bur. Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Selma, AL. She provided many services during the Revolution (ref. Women in the Revolution, by Ellet), including harvesting crops, supplying prisoners, and defending the homefront. In 1782 she married William WYLIE (b. 1758, Co. Antrim, Ireland; d. about 1820), after his release from the British prison at Camden. Children of Isabella and William WYLIE: Susan married Alexander WALKER; Mary 'Polly' married David HAMILTON; Jennet 'Jenny' married William WALKER; Peter Kelso married Annie EVANS; Sarah 'Sally' married William Wiley MORROW; Samuel Kelso married Maria H. McNEAL; John Nixon married first Jane NELSON, and second Mary Bell PEPPERS; and Annie died young.
  5. Samuel - b. 1757, Co. Antrim, Ireland; d. 1819, Clifton, Wayne Co., TN. Married about 1777 his first cousin Eleanor GILL (b. about 1759, Lancaster, PA; d. May 2, 1817, Wayne Co., TN), daughter of Robert GILL (1720-1804) and Elinor KELSO (1721-1801). Samuel's Revolution service was in manufacturing swords. Children of Samuel and Eleanor KELSO: John married Margaret PAGAN; Robert Gill married first Elizabeth JONES (daughter of Peter and Sarah JONES), and second Elizabeth KELLY; Thomas Gill married first Jannet JONES (sister of Elizabeth JONES), second Hester Jaggers SEALY, and third Sarah BUTLER; George R. married Cecelia COLWELL; Janet married John (or Robert) GILL; Samuel Alexander (twin) married Jannet AVERETT; and Susannah Eleanor (twin) married George GILL [son Samuel Kelsey GILL married Mary Jane A. ROBERTS, daughter of John Osborn ROBERTS and Mary MOORE].
  6. Margaret -  b. 1759, Co. Antrim, Ireland; d. about 1831, Dallas Co., AL. Margaret married, about 1783, David MORROW (b. 1762, MD; d. Oct. 17, 1843, near Oxford, Lafayette Co., MS). His lineage extends through David MORROW and Agnes WHITE CROCKET, Daniel MORROW and Diana, Alexander MORROW and Grace SMITH, and David MORROW and Ann, to David MORROW. David served in the Revolution. Children of Margaret and David MORROW: John married Margaret BOYD; Samuel married Hannah (? MILLING); Alexander married Mary (? WOODS); Joseph married Sarah Elizabeth WAUGH; Elizabeth; Adam married Mary B. WILEY; David married first Margarett WAUGH, and second Isabella REED; and George married P. Frances Saline WILEY.
  7. John - b. 1761, Co. Antrim, Ireland; d. Sep. 15, 1776, Chester Co., SC. He was buried in Fishing Creek Cemetery and shares a marker with his mother.


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George Kelsey and Hannah Jones

George KELSEY - b. about 1750, Ireland, probably Co. Antrim; d. Dec. 2, 1802, Chester Co., SC. Son of Samuel KELSO and Susannah MILLS. At the age of 17, he, together with parents Samuel and Susannah (MILLS) KELSO/KELSEY and six brothers and sisters, arrived at Charleston, SC on Dec. 22, 1767. They set sail from Belfast, Ireland on Aug. 14, 1767 aboard the 'Earl of Donegal,' Duncan Ferguson, Master. George obtained land in York, Craven and Chester Counties, SC, and donated 50 acres to the Fishing Creek Presbyterian Church of Chester Co. in 1789. During the Revolution, he was paid for various supplies, and for 161 days of service under Capts. WILSON, John MILLS and Robert COOPER. About 1781 he married Elizabeth CARR (b. 1765, SC; d. Jun. 19, 1824, Chester Co., SC; bur. Fishing Creek Cemetery), daughter of David and Margaret CARR.

Hannah JONES - b. 1765-1770; d. probably in McMinn Co., TN. Two entries in the Chester County, SC court minutes, along with census and other evidence, identify Bathshaba as the illegitimate daughter of Hannah and George: On April 8, 1788 George KELSEY entered into bond for payment of the fine of Hannah JONES incurred in committing fornication. On July 9, 1788 Hannah JONES being charged with bastardy, was acquitted of any fine, and entered into bond with Jonathan JONES as security for the child's maintenance. Hannah married William HALE about 1795, and information on all their children follows. Daughter of Jonathan JONES and Bathshaba.

William HALE/HAIL - b. by 1765; d. probably in McMinn Co., TN. He served in the Revolution, probably from Chester Co., SC where he lived at the time of the 1800 and 1810 censuses. William moved his family to Rutherford Co., NC between 1810 and 1815, and between 1823 and 1830 they moved to McMinn Co., TN.


Children of George and Elizabeth Kelsey

  1. Mary - b. ca. 1782; d. Dec. 20, 1843. Married first Mr. ROBINSON, and second Mr. WEIR.
  2. Katherine - d. Nov. 6, 1819. Married William MILLS.
  3. Zubby - Married Samuel MILLS.
  4. John - d. Feb. 21, 1855. Married Sarah ELLIOTT.
  5. Samuel -
  6. Jannet - Married Robert G. REID.
  7. Thomas - b. Oct. 20, 1796; d. Oct. 13, 1828. Married Margaret FERGUSON (b. May 3, 1800).
  8. Robert - b. Jan. 13, 1799, SC; d. Nov. 18, 1868, Faulkner Co., AR; bur. New Liberty Cem., Faulkner Co., AR. Married on Sep. 22, 1825 in Madison Co., AL to Mary MASON (b. Apr. 5, 1808, Madison Co., AL; d. Aug. 1, 1895, Faulkner Co., AR; bur. New Liberty Cem., Faulkner Co., AR). Children of Robert and Mary KELSEY: a son; Isabella E. married William THOMPSON; Samuel W. married first Missouri Arkansas HARDIN, and second Amanda Jane SHAW; and Joseph Robert married first Sarah Elizabeth 'Bettie' DUNAWAY, and second Elizabeth Jane BUTCHER.

Daughter of George Kelsey and Hannah Jones

Children of William and Hannah Hale

  1. Elizabeth HALE - b. about 1796, Chester Co., NC. They moved to McMinn Co., TN by 1830. Living in Polk Co., TN in 1850 at age 54. She married Absalom COXEY on Oct. 12, 1815 (bond) in Rutherford Co., NC. Children in household oof Absalom COXEY in 1850: Rachael L.; and Benjamin.
  2. Zula HALE - b. about 1798, Chester Co., SC. Living with Will Hale (age 23) family and sister Rachel in McMinn Co., TN in 1850 at age 52. Zula did not marry. Will, who married Hannah G. WRIGHT on Sep. 23, 1947 in McMinn Co., TN, may have been her or her sister's son.
  3. Benjamin HALE - b. about 1801, Chester Co., SC; d. 1860-1870, Rutherford Co., NC. He married first on Mar. 6, 1824 (bond date) in Rutherford Co., NC, Elizabeth KEETER (b. Jan. 1804; d. Nov. 7, 1839; bur. Keeter Family Cemetery, Rutherford Co., NC), and Benjamin married second on Aug. 15, 1844, Rutherford Co., NC, Mary VICKERS (b. about 1808, NC; d. after 1880). Benjamin HALE is found in the 1830 and 1840 Censuses of Rutherford Co., NC, Benjamin and Mary are found in the 1850 and 1860 Censuses, and Mary is found in the 1870 and 1880 Censuses. In 1850 the family name is recorded as HALL, and in 1870 Mary HOLE is found living in the household of her son-in-law 'Monro' KEETER. Children of Benjamin and Elizabeth HALE: William; John; Nancy; Mary; John Wesley; and A. C. 'Sealilina' married John Monroe KEETER. Son of Benjamin and Mary HALE: Columbus.
  4. Hannah HALE - b. about 1803, Chester Co., SC. Married James A. CALLAHAN on Aug. 26, 1822 (bond) in Rutherford Co., NC. Moved to McMinn Co., TN by 1830, and to Murray Co., GA by 1850 when Hannah is listed as age 47. Children in household of James CALLAHAN in 1850: James N.; John I.; Caroline; Rachel U.; and Francis M.
  5. Rachel HALE - b. about 1810, Chester Co., SC. Living with nephew Will HALE (age 23) family and sister Zula in McMinn Co., TN in 1850. Will, who married Hannah G. WRIGHT on Sep. 23, 1847 in McMinn Co., TN, may have been her or her sister's son.
  6. Jonathan HALE - Perhaps a son of William and Hannah, residing in McMinn Co., TN.


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