Henry Kelly Family History
By: Stephen L. Butler, 30 May 2005

  Henry Kelly (my 3rd great grandfather) was born in Virginia, 17-Dec 1793.  Died on 8 Aug 1843  in Posey Township, Switzerland County, Indiana. I have not found his parents, nor siblings.  He married Sarah Reamer (Remer), the 6th daughter and 9th child of David Reamer and Nancy Smith. (See history of Remer’s below).  Sarah was born in Montgomery County, Kentucky, 6 May 1800 and died 20 Sep 1851 most likely Cave-in-Rock, Hardin, Illinois. They married 26 Mar 1818 in Posey, Switzerland, Indiana and had the following children: (more on the children below).  *denotes my genealogy line.
 1. William, born 18 Aug 1820, died 4 Oct 1842, no issue.
 2. Nancy, born 9 Nov 1822, died 20 Jun 1900, married William Rittenhouse.
 3. David, born 9 Mar 1825, died Dec 1875, no issue.
 4. Thomas, born 18 Nov 1827, died 31 Mar 1854, married Mary Jane Roberts.
 5. Catherine, born 21 Dec 1829, died 28 Jun 1914, married Isaiah Gustin.
 6. George, born 5 Mar 1832, died 28 Jul 1852.  Nothing further known.
 7. *James, born 13 Nov 1834, died 17 May 1923, married Mary Jane Roberts, daughter of William Roberts and Elizabeth Waugh.
 8. Hannah, born 23 Feb 1837, died 4 Oct 1839, 2 years, 7 months, 11 days.
 9. Sarah, born 26 Aug 1839, died 15 Sep 1920, married John Henry Lawler.
10. Henry, born 20 Mar 1842, died 5 Mar 1884, no issue.

  Henry and Sarah farmed 80 acres in Switzerland County, Indiana.   Martin Blum & James Finley released the West ½ of Sec 31 T3N, R1W to Henry on 9 Aug 1831. 
  Peter Lostutter sold to Henry and Sarah Kelly, William and Nancy Rittenhouse a parcel of land comprising of eight and 43/100 in the NE1/2 of the NE ¼ Sec 31, T3N, R1W. 

  In 1843 Henry died leaving a will, which reads as follows:
Last Will & Testament of Henry Kelly, Dec' d
State of Indiana Switzerland County ss:
  Be it remembered that on the 4th day of September AD 1843 Sarah Kelly produced the last will and testament of Henry Kelly and prayed to have the same proved and admitted to court which accordingly is done and which reads in the words and figures following to wit.
  "The state of Indiana Switzerland County August the 2nd AD 1843." Know all men by these present that I Henry Kelly of Posey Township State of and County above mentioned do make and cause to be made this my Will this day in the following words and figures to wit: First I leave to my wife Sarah Kelly all my moveable property to have the full use and control of the same as long as she lives, and at her death to be divided equal amongst my children. And my real estate I leave to said wife as long as she lives and at her death to be equally divided amongst my children
  It is my wish that the deed that I got from Peter Lostutter for 80 acres be given up to said Lostutter if he will take it back again and do hear by authorize my wife to deed the same land back to said Lostutter and further empower my wife to settle all the business belonging to this my will and testimony whose of I hereby set my hand and seal this day and year above written".  Signed Henry X Kelly  (X denotes his mark)
  Will dated, 2 Aug 1843 and proved on the 4 September 1843;  Switzerland County, Indiana; Peter Lostutter and Andrew Hodges as Witness.  (both men are son-in-laws).

  Sarah and the children left at home tried to farm, but lost the land.  William Lancus & Prince Athern filed a suit on November 1848 to force the sale of "Real Estate".  Named defendants: Sarah, David, William & Nancy Rittenhouse, Thomas Kelly, Katherine & Isaiah Gustin, George Kelly, James Kelly, Henry Kelly and Sally Kelly.
  March 13,1850 a order by the courts to sell the real estate. Described as: W half of the NE quarter of section 31, T3, R1 in Switzerland County, Indiana.
  Sarah files and becomes the lawful guardian of  George, James, Sally and Henry Kelly.  In the 18 September 1850 she files a motion to sell her real estate.  The motion is denied and  the court appoints a probate guardian.
  After all said and done she ends up with $43.00.
  The next sworn statement, given 26 November 1851, as an affidavit and sworn to by the four living siblings, Sarah was not named, as she was deceased.
  After leaving Switzerland County, Sarah and her children went down river on a boat where they landed at Cave-in-Rock, Hardin County, Illinois.  This is where her daughter “Kate” lived.  Maurice Thompson (a grandson of James Kelly thru Etheleen Kelly) states that the Kelly family had come into contact with Cholera on their boat trip and several died.  The Bible records of the Kelly's show Sarah died 20 Sept1851.  I suspect she died at Cave-in-Rock, Hardin County, Illinois. 

  Sarah's father, David Reamer (Remer) was a Revolutionary soldier. David was in the Revolutionary War from the fall of 1779 to the spring of 1782.  He was a Matross in Captain Thomas Wylie's company of Artillery and Artificers stationed at Washington, near Carlisle, Pennsylvania, under the command of Colonel Benjamin Flower, the date of his enlistment in this company is given as September 27, 1778. This corps, as it was first designated, was raised by the Continental Line and the several companies were stationed at Carlisle and Philadelphia, and their duties were to cast cannon, bore guns, and prepare ammunition for the army. He was a blacksmith by trade.
  He and his family traveled down the Ohio River from Pennsylvania to Kentucky.  They landed in Fayette County, but the insects made life hectic, so they moved to Montgomery County, later Boone County.  Later they found the soil better in Switzerland County, Indiana and moved there.  David stated in his pension papers he had lived in Pennsylvania, 15 years, Kentucky 22 years, before living in Indiana.  They helped establish the Grants Creek Baptist church.  David applied for and received a pension and in his petition for the pension, he stated all his family papers were lost as he had fallen overboard in the river.  His son-in-law Peter Lostutter had saved him.
  Nothing by way of detail is known of the coming of David and Nancy from Pennsylvania to Kentucky, where they resided for about twenty years. It is known, however, that they came by flatboat on the Ohio River.  Family tradition is that when the party was coming down the Ohio River, David Reamer was thrown from the boat, when it struck a bar, or snag, in the river.  Peter Lostutter, his son-in-law, who was accompanying them to Kentucky, went to his rescue.  The boat was in some rapids, and both men disappeared from view, and it was thought for a time that they were both drowned.  However, as the boat came down the river, the two men were found on a sand bar, where Peter had succeeded in bringing David to shore.  David had been injured when falling from the boat and was unable to swim.
  A letter by Ann J.(last name unknown) dated 1-25-1984 had the following information:  "Peter (Lostutter) settled in Posey, Switzerland, Indiana in 1813...in 1811 moved to Dearborn Co. from Kentucky.  Immigrated to Boone County, Kentucky in 1808".  If this is the case, then it applies to David and his family as well.
  "Just when they reached Kentucky is not known.  They settled near Covington (now Kenton County, which was formed from Campbell County in 1840) and preempted land there.  Later malaria and mosquitoes drove them on to Boone County".
  David bought land on 7 Feb 1815 in Randolph, Dearborn, Indiana; SW ¼ Section 20. T3N, R1W. 60 acres, for $109.00.  He sold it in 1816.
  David and his wife are buried at the Lostutter Cemetery, near Grant's Creek Baptist Church, west of North Landing, Indiana.
  Some of their children migrated to Schuyler County, Illinois as follows: James A. Kelly who married Mary (Polly) Reamer (her first husband was a William Kelly); Rev. Andrew Hodges who married Permelia Reamer; (his second marriage was to Susannah Kelly) and Michael Smith who married Malinda Reamer, (her first husband was a  Perry).  A book, "History & Genealogy of the Manlove - Tharp - Reamer - Smith - Kelly Pioneer Families of Schuyler County, Illinois" by Oliver Harmon Kelly, contains more information on these families.

Children of Henry and Sarah:

1. William died at 21 years old, unmarried, nothing further known.

2. Nancy married William Rittenhouse on 1 Jan 1840, Posey Township, Switzerland County, Indiana.  William was born 8 Jan 1818 in Switzerland County, Indiana and died 23 Apr 1879 in Bainbridge Twp., Schuyler County, Illinois. The following children were born to them: Henry, Enoch, Washington, Sara, Rosanna, Marion Francis, Mary, Thomas, William S., Delila, James, Hiram and Nancy Jane.  They moved to Schuyler County, Illinois around 1848 and settled on Section 17 in Bainbridge Township.
  "After four of their children were born, William came to Illinois and made a claim on what is now known as Aunt Nancy and Uncle Tom Burnside farm, south of Rushville.  He returned to Indiana for Nancy and the four children.  They came down the Ohio and up the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers by boat, landed at Frederick in the fall of 1848. They walked and carried Washington and Sarah.   Enoch was six years old and Henry was eight years old, Washington was three years old and Sarah was one year old.  They also carried a boiler of dried apples and clothes and a rifle.  They walked as far as Bill Icenogle's homestead the first day, on what is now known as the Henry Burnside's farm.  They settled on 160 acres, where Aunt Nancy Burnside lived.
  William and Nancy were a good, honest, hardworking couple, very religious, they were Baptists.  They soon made friends on arriving here, cleared the land, made ties and cord wood, raised cows and hogs. As the boys grew up, they loved to hunt and trap.  There were a lot of wild tomatoes on their land and they tried to feed them to the hogs, but they refused to eat them, so William and Nancy were afraid to eat them also.  After they were there for a while, William traded his rifle to a Mr. Warrington for 40 more acres.  William said it was the hardest thing he ever had to do, to part with his rifle.
  Nancy's hobby was knitting socks and smoking a pipe.  She carded wool, colored it and made their clothes.
  William's death was caused from a carbuncle and pneumonia.  He died at the age of 61 years - 21 years before Nancy's death.  Nancy and Tom Burnside moved on the old homestead in the fall of 1899 and Nancy lived with them.  She passed away in June 1900 at the age of 78 years.  She suffered terribly from what the doctors called lockage of the bowels.  Nancy requested that she be buried the same day she died, as she did not wish to be embalmed". Her wish was granted and she was buried the next afternoon." 
  "Nancy, undoubtedly the oldest or the next to the oldest of the oldest of the Kelly family married William Rittenhouse and came to Frederick about 1842. . He owned the 40 acres now owned by his youngest and only living child, Nancy Burnsides. He had a very large family who has made history in Schuyler County, they were, Henry, Enoch, Washington, Marion, Thomas, James, William, Hiram, Mary Rittenhouse Hatfield, Sarah Montague, Rose Grist, Nancy Burnsides. Wm. Rittenhouse lived until about 1879 and died at his home near Hard Scrabble Church, Bainbridge Twp. Nancy, his wife, died in the 90's".
  Obit of Nancy, 21 June 1900. "Mrs. Nancy Rittenhouse died at her home in Bainbridge township on Tuesday at the advanced age of 78 years.  She had been but ill for a short time.  Mrs. Rittenhouse was an early settler in Schuyler county, moving here in 1848.  She was the mother of eleven children, a number of whom are residents of this county.  Funeral services were held yesterday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock."
  Nancy and William are both buried in the Ebenezer "Hardscrabble" Cemetery in Schuyler county, Illinois. A large stone marks their grave site.

3. David left the family farm and went into the Mexican war (1846-1848).  David bought 40 acres at $1.25 per acre 21 Nov 1851 in Hardin County, Illinois.  The legal description SE NW Section 10, Twp 12S, R 9E.   He joined the Union forces in 1861 at Hardin County, Illinois and served with “distinction”.   David was described as "6'2" Dark hair, blue eyes, dark complextion", in his Civil War folder.
He purchased a farm with his pension from Robert G. Welker, 9 May 1870, for the sum of $125.00, situated in Woodstock Twp., Schuyler County, Illinois; described as follows: 12 acres in the SE corner of the NW quarter of Section 24, T1N, R2W. This was about 6 miles west of Rushville.
Have not found a wife or any issue listed for David.
  "Dave Kelly had quite a history. He was a hard egg. He was born about 1829. Grandfather Kelly and him were plowing ground when a neighbor boy rode past and told them of the war with Mexico. He was 16 said granddad. Dave a1tho the mainstay of his mother got on behind the neighbor and went to war. Grandfather was 10. Before this they had lost some brothers and sisters with the "colery". Grandfather walked to Shawneytown(Shawnee town) for help, got sick on the way and kept going. He very near died but made it through. Dave came home from the Mexican war and he was very tough. He was sent in a collection errand by a saloon keeper but when the debtor wouldn't pay Uncle Dave shot him. He dodged the authorities and came to Schuyler. He went to the Civil War, where he kept himself in a mess at least part of the time. He almost killed an officer who had hit him and got 3 months in the guard house. He came home after the war and bought a farm.
The farm known as the Dave Stevens in Woodstock Twp. near Scotts Mill where he was found dead in 1878. This farm he left to James his brother and my grandfather. He traded it for a sou & piggs, I don't know what became of them" (David did serve in the Civil War and was recognized as "Distinguished Service")."
  He died in 1875, after falling from his roof.  Buried in either Persinger or Ebenezer “Hardscrabble” Cemetery.

4. Thomas married a Mary Jane Roberts (interesting her name being the same as James Kelly’s wife) 15 September 1849 in Switzerland County, Indiana.  They had one son James born Aug 1850, I do not know what became of Mary or her son James, unless they died in the Cholera epidemic of 1850-1851.  Thomas died in 1852 and is buried in the Ebenezer, “Hardscrabble”, Cemetery.  I took a picture of his stone, which was about twenty feet from the old church.  The stone is no longer there (2002).

5. Catherine (Kate) married Isaiah Gustin, 6 Dec 1847 in Switzerland County, Indiana.  Isaiah was born 4 Oct 1816 in Switzerland County, Indiana and died 1 Aug 1879 in Cave-in-Rock, Hardin County, Illinois.
  They moved to Cave-in-Rock, Hardin County, Illinois around 1850 or shortly there after.  They were in the 1850 census in Switzerland County. 
  Here they established a trade with boats plying the Ohio River.  They later established a Inn and became Tavern keepers.
  The following children were born to them: Amariah, J. H., Alexander Tuppet, Samuel Davis, Mary E., William B., and Elizabeth.
  They are both buried in Peters Creek Cemetery, Hardin County, Illinois, with no grave site markers.

6. George died in 1852.  It may have been from the cholera.

7. Hannah died as a young girl, two years old.

8. *James (my 2nd great grandfather) moved to Schuyler County, Illinois and became a Cooper.
  "Ed Davis always told me that his father Chas. Davis and James Kelly run a sawmill in 1853. He met end married Mary Roberts about 1855. He was a cooper by trade and worked in that business in Woodstock Township and probably made barrels for his brother in law Wm. Rittenhouse. When "Uncle Billy" was in the meat packing, business during the Civil War and following the war he lived in Bainbridge near "Hard Scrabble" in Woodstock near Schraum (Schramm)school, in Oakland township and in Ray, Ill. He was in business Ray, Ill. for years. Here his older children grew up and were married. After the death of his youngest daughter in 1906 they moved with David McCombs and raised his family. After the children attained their majority he resided with his eldest son Wlm. where he passed away in 1923".                                                 
  He worked for his uncle William Rittenhouse making barrels in Ray, Illinois.  He married Mary Jane Roberts 26 July 1855 in Schuyler County (she had just turned 16 years old) and they lived near Ray, Illinois.  Mary Jane was born 22 Mar 1840 in Switzerland County, Indiana and died 7 Jan 1927 in Rushville, Schuyler County, Illinois.  Later he became a farmer moved south of Rushville, Illinois (Woodstock Twp) and had *William Henry (my great grandfather), Sarah Elizabeth, Ethleen, Isabella, Alford, George W., Albert, Rosetta, Alfred, and three other children who died young.  James lived with his son Wm. in his later years and his wife lived with their daughter Ethleen (Kelly) Thompson.  Mary Jane had broken her hip before she died.
  "Death was due to natural causes, no evidence of injury to body", according to the death certificate issued 17 May 1923. 
  Obit:  24 May 1923 "James Kelly, one of the pioneer residents of South Schuyler, died at the home of his son William.  He was found dead in an out house a short time after he left the house.  Mr. Kelly was in his 89th year and his wife to whom he was married 60 years ago survives him.  Funeral services were held at Fairfield Baptist Church Saturday afternoon, conducted by Rev. B. F. Ray.  James Kelly son of Henry and Sarah Kelly was born in Switzerland Co., Indiana, November 13, 1834 & passed away May 17, 1923, at the age of 88 years, 6 months & 3 days.  He was the 7th child of a family of 10 children, 6 boys & 4 girls.  His father died when he was 12 years old but he had a wonderful mother who instilled great truths into his life.  June 26, 1855 he was united in marriage to Mary Roberts.  To this union 12 children were born.  Those left to mourn their loss are William of Rushville, George of St. Louis, Mo., Mrs. Sarah Adkison & Mrs. Etheline Thompson of Rushville, also 19 grandchildren, 34 great grand-children & 3 great-great-grandchildren.  He became a member of the Baptist Church at an early age & had lived a quiet exemplary Christian life for many years."
  Another Obit also appeared which contained most of the above information plus this:
  "On Thursday evening our citizens were shocked to learn that Grandfather, James Kelly, one of our oldest and most highly respected citizens had been suddenly called from his earthly labors, at the home of his son William, five miles southwest of Rushville.  The time of his death was about 5 o'clock. (next was the same as above…added) He had been a teacher in the Ebenezer Sunday school in the years past, and was faithful in his attendance, careful in his preparation of the lesson, and able in his presentation to his class.  Bad weather physical infirmity did not hinder or cause him to be neglectful of his duties.  To an unusual degree he was possessed of the spirit of meekness, never calling attention to himself or pushing himself forward.  Instead of calling attention to his goodness, he referred frequently to his unworthiness before God.  Among his relatives, fiends and neighbors he is remembered as a good man, anxious to help, desirous of the good of others seeking to be of as little trouble as possible.  He manifested in a marked degree of patience.  He was thoughtful of the comfort of others, anxious to help, but not to hinder." 
  My father who was living at his grandfather's farm in 1923, remembers James dying in the outhouse and being carried out.

9. Sarah also moved to Schuyler County and worked in the household of James Garret Kelly, a minister.  She married John Lawler 2 Jun 1867 in Schuyler County, Illinois.  John was born 21 Nov 1826 in Fauquier, Virginia and died 21 Jan 1884 in Schuyler County, Illinois.  Living on a farm about seven miles south of Rushville, in Woodstock Township, they had the following children: William Henry, Della, Lemuel Grove, Lily White, John W., Owen Alfred and Adda Mirtle.  Sara lived to the age 81. 
  "Grandma Lawler was a wonderful women.  Since John Harvey, her husband passed away when their eldest child was only 16, she was left to raise their children on her own.  Grandma Aunt Sara as she was known to neighbors and friends passed away in 1920".
Sarah is buried in the "Old Lawler Cemetery", Schuyler County, Illinois.  Her grave stone reads: “Lawler, Sarah 1839  1920”.

10.  Henry worked for the railroad in Wellsville, Missouri.  He died in a railroading accident at the granary. "A young man named Kelly was crushed to death by the cars at Wellsville Wednesday morning.  He was the engineer at Mosby's elevator and had been sitting up with a sick friend all night and had gone to the elevator about daylight when he met with the accident".
  Obituary: Rushville Times; March 6, 1884.  "KELLY, HENRY - James Kelly, of Bainbridge township, received a dispatch yesterday announcing the death of his brother Henry of Wellsville, Missouri, by an accident at the railroad station in that place.  The remains are expected to arrive here to-day and the funeral services will be held at 10 o'clock tomorrow at Ebenezer in Bainbridge Township."
  "Henry Kelly brother of James Kelly was never married and must have been about the youngest of the family. Unlike his bro. Dave he was un-war like. He ran off to keep from going to the Civil War. He was a railroader and very stingy. He accumulated quite a large amount of cash. He was killed in Wellsville Mo. in about 1888. He was run over by a train."
  Burial, most likely was in Ebenezer Cemetery, Schuyler County, Illinois.

Contact: Steve Butler <stevebutler@centurytel.net>



back to index

© 1999- 2009 Sara Hemp
Copyright © 1999-2009 to Genealogy Trails' Schuyler County, Illinois host & each Contributor
All rights reserved