The Geneaology Chronicles: Different Beginnings For Darby
I periodically search for names of my ancestors on the internet. Strangely, many times different information comes up - information that has never appeared the other times I have searched for the same or similar term.
This is exactly what happened last week. The only solid information regarding our founding Kelley ancestor, Darby Kelley, was in the now-proven-to-be-unreliable "Reminiscences of New Hampton, N.H.". I have to say that I wasn't skeptical of the Darby Kelley information in it, per se, but neither my mother's cousin, Jackie Farrell, nor a more distant cousin, amateur genealogist extraordinaire Thomas Shank, had much to say about good old Darby; so there was really not much to go on. Nothing I had found contradicted RONH.
Thomas Shank states that the Daughters of the American Revolution data has Darby being born circa 1705, but that's pretty much it. There's no other definitive information that has been dug up.
However, in one of my random searches, I found another genealogy volume, "Past and Present of DeKalb County, Illinois, Volume 2", which strangely enough, mentions Darby Kelley. Here's how it reads regarding the marriage of a Miss Sarah Dudley Perkins: Miss Perkins was the daughter of Otho W. Perkins, born in Hebron, Grafton County, New Hampshire on June 10, 1800. Otho married Nancy Kelley at St. Charles, Illinois in January of 1838.
Now, here's the good part: Nancy Kelley was born in New Hampton, Belknap County, New Hampshire on July 13, 1807, and was the daughter of Dudley and Ruth (nee Dow) Kelley. It does have Dudley's date of birth wrong, which is 1763, so when he had Nancy he would have been about 44. That could be plausible especially if this was a second or third marriage, as was so common back then due to people dying left and right.
As you may remember, Dudley was one of two sons born to Darby by his second wife, Sarah Dudley. Both Dudley and Daniel were far younger than the other Kelley siblings born during the marriage to Sarah Huntoon (our line). The text goes on to further state that Dudley was the son of Darby Kelley, who was a son of Daniel Kelley, and that Darby was born in Waterford, Ireland in 1700 and who, at the age of ten years, ran away to sea becoming a cabin boy on a ship of which his cousin was captain.
Darby thus made his way to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Once there, he refused to re-cross the ocean and was left by his kinsman in the new world, after which he never saw or heard from any of his people again. It goes on to say that Darby was "adopted" by the family of Phillip Huntoon, whose daughter he married when he was twenty-eight years old. That would match up, as it is reported they were, indeed, married in 1728. That would put Darby's date of birth sometime in the year 1700 and his arrival in the New World sometime in the year 1710.