Kelly...

On this page I'll try to put together a narrative of the information that we have right now. To put things in perspective, I'm the grandson of Dr. James Francis Kelly and Loretta McGovern.

At this point in time, I'm afraid we don't have a lot of information on the Kelly's. Here is what I/we do know... James Francis Kelly Jr. was born in Pennsylvania (PA) on April 3rd 1901 and died on June 30th, 1969. James Jr. married Loretta Marie McGovern on June 30th, 1928 in Philadelphia. They initially lived with James Jr.'s parents at 5120 Haverford Avenue in Philadelphia. They would later move to xxx in South Philadelphia and then finally to xxx Brookline Boulevard, Havertown, PA. While maintaining a home in Havertown, they also had a summer home in Brigantine, New Jersey (xxx, 10th Street North). James Jr. obtained a degree in dentistry from XXX University.

James Jr. had one sibling Florence Marie(?).  Florence married William Doyle.  Florence and William (Uncle Bill) had no children.

James Jr. and Florence's father was also named James Francis Kelly (obviously...). We have census information from 1930 (click here) - enumerated on April 5th of that year. The address was 5120 Haverford Avenue, Philadelphia. James Sr. was listed as the "head", age 60, born in Pennsylvania (PA), parents both born in Ireland, occupation: Post Office Clerk. Wife Florence M. (Marie) is listed as "wife", age 56, born in PA, both parents born in Germany, occupation: none. James Jr. is listed as "son", age 29, born in PA, both parents born in PA, occupation: Dental Parlor (i.e., he was a dentist). James Jr's wife Loretta was listed as "Daugther-in-Law", age 20, born in PA, father born in PA (actually incorrect) and mother born in Ireland (also incorrect), occupation: none. The last listing was for Florence (my mother) who was listed as "Grand child", age 2/12, born in PA, mother and father born in PA, occupation: none.

The incorrect information about Loretta McGovern's parents is probably attributable to the fact that Loretta McGovern was very young when her parents died. We know her mother died some time between 1910 and 1920 based on the census information and her father died some time after 1930 - of course that is information to be discussed on the McGovern half of this web site. Back to the Kellys... Unfortunately, we do not have James Sr's Death record. We do, however, know where he is buried - Saint Denis Cemetery in Havertown, PA. In the absence of a death record (which would provide positive evidence of the names of his parents), using James Sr's age of 60 and knowing that he was born in PA - a census search was made. Using census searches and some first hand info from a distant relative - I believe I have found the right Kelly family.

The best first hand information we have is from a woman named Alice McMahon who was "Uncle Willy's" sister-in-law (married to Uncle Willy's wife's brother). Based upon her information, there were five brothers that she knew of... John, Charles, Edward, James and William. The 1870 census record I located had a Charles Kelly, wife Catherine/Katherine, and six children, all boys... John (14), Dennis (11), Charles (9), Edward (6), William (3) and James (1). The only name that doesn't seem to match the information provided by Alice McMahon is Dennis. I suspect that Dennis either died, or moved away and Alice McMahon either didn't know him, or just didn't remember about him.

I found the same family in 1880 with a little twist... father Charles is gone... mother Katherine/Catherine is gone. The younger boys Dennis, Charles, Edward, William and James are living with an uncle Dennis. At this time the oldest son John would have been 24 years old is likely just out on his own. I've tried looking for him in Pennsylvania but there are about a million John Kellys and it's like trying to find a needle in the haystack - I'll find him eventually - according to Alice McMahon, he went to Pittsburgh. I have found Edward, James and William in 1900, 1910 (except William), 1920 and 1930 and all of these census records are on the documents page of this web site. It's worth mentioning that on the 1900 record for Edward, you'll also find William along with who I believe is their father's brother Dennis - as boarders living only 4 doors down from each other. I'm still working on Charles and John - I'll locate them eventually - the problem is that I don't know a lot about them other than their ages from the 1870 and 1880 census records.

More research is needed to further verify the info but I'm fairly confident that I have the right Kelly family. The first thing to do will be to try to obtain James Sr.'s death record. This will require contacting St. Denis Cemetery to determine the date of his death and then requesting the record from the state. Stay tuned for further developments (but don't hold your breath... these things take a lot of time and funding)...

The "not so big" family secret... Florence Getz was descended from a German immigrant who was Jewish.  There was an excellent program on WHYY about Jewish Americans - click here for more info on it.

St. Denis Cemetary
2401 St. Denis Lane
Havertown, PA 19083-1698
(610) 446-1217
(No headstone or marker)