William Kelsey (c.1600 - 1680) MP

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Birthplace: Chelmsford,,Essex,England
Death: Died in Kllingworth, Connecticut, United States
Managed by: Jocelynn Elaine Oakes
Last Updated:

About William Kelsey

William Kelsey, the first of the Kelsey name in America, was born in 1600, Chelmsford, Essex County, England. He was the son of George Kelsey Jr. and Elizabeth Hammond and had 2 brothers: John and Henry.

William Kelsey was one of the original "Braintree Company" followers of the Reverend Thomas Hooker, who came to America and they were the first settlers of "New Towne" (now Cambridge) Massachusetts in 1632. Reverend Hooker joined them the following year.

In June, 1636, Mr. Hooker and Mr. Stone, with more than 50 families of the "first church" (Mr. Hooker's) removed to Connecticut where, in the valley of the same name, they established another "New Towne" which was changed to "Hartford" on February 21, 1637. Among these were William Kelsey.

Coming to "Hartford" with the Hooker Company, William Kelsey was one of the "original proprietors" and, as such, his name appears on the "Founders Monument" in the "ancient burying ground" of the First Congregational Church of that city, presently known as "Center Church". His name is also found on the "Adventurers Boulder" located at City Hall, Hartford, CT.

In March 1663, William Kelsey and 26 others migrated to the "Hammonasset Plantation" and founded the Town of "Kenilworth", later changed to "Killingworth". In 1838, the town was separated into North and South parts. The South part called "Clinton" and the North, "Killingworth".

William Kelsey had 9 children: (his wife or wives have not been verified). Mark, Bethia (recent data questions this daughter's name; and, it is thought that it may be either Hester or Esther), Priscilla, Mary, John, Abigail, Stephen, Daniel, and William Jr.

Note: The long tradition that assumes that William Kelsey's wife's name was "Bethia Hopkins" is based on Hinman's misreading the 1663 record regarding William Kelsey's daughter Bethia "Kelly", the wife, then widow, of John Kelly who later married David Phillips. This confusion was further compounded by attempts by zealous genealogists to link this "Bethia Hopkins" to the pilgrim Stephen Hopkins. There is no reliable record of William Kelsey's wife. The name of William Kelsey's wife is not known but her birth is shown to be about 1613 when Winthrop records her age at forty-six years when he treats her in 1659 for a sore "right elboe". However, that her given name may be Hester might be inferred from from the fact that William's oldest daughter is named Hester and his sons, Mark and John, and daughters, Priscilla Gillett and Abigail Hull, all had elder daughters named Hester.

-- researched by http://www.geni.com/people/Jeff-Gentes/5685693775440034593 (see http://www.angelfire.com/music2/greggwager/wager2528.html or http://www.thekelseykindred.org/ or http://www.bankert.org/genreport/p53.htm)

Mark Kelsey lived in Windsor and Wethersfield. He first married Rebecca Hoskins, second Mrs. Abigail Atwood. Rebecca was the daughter of John Hoskins and his wife, Ann Filer. John Hoskins came to New England on the "Mary & John" in 1630. Mark and Rebecca had 8 or more children.

Priscilla Kelsey lived and died in Windsor, CT. She married Cornelius Gillette. They had 9 children.

Mary Kelsey lived and died in Windsor, CT. She married Jonathan Gillette (brother of Cornelius Gillette). They had 10 children.

John Kelsey removed to Killingworth with his father, William Kelsey, at the age of 27. He married Hannah Disborough 2 years later in Hartford, CT. They had 9 children. John and his father are noted as two of the first settlers of Kenilworth.

Abigail Kelsey also accompanied her father, William Kelsey, to Killingworth at the age of 18. She married Lieutenant John Hull. They had 4 children.

Stephen Kelsey lived and died in Hartford, CT. He married Hannah Ingersoll. They had 10 children.

Daniel Kelsey also removed to Killingworth with his father, William Kelsey, at the age of 13. He later married first Mary Stevens. They had 5 children. He married second, Jane Chalker. They had 5 children.

William Kelsey Jr. was born 3/23/1654. It is supposed that he died young before the family removed to Killingworth, CT.


Their children were:

1. Priscilla Kelsey Abt 1632 - 1711 +Cornelius Gillett 1636 - 1711

2. Mark Kelsey Abt 1634 - +Rebecca Hoskins

3. Hester Kelsey 1635-1720 +James Eggleston *2nd husband of Hester Kelsey +James Eno *3rd husband of Hester Kelsey+John Williams

4. Mary Kelsey 1644-1676 +Jonathan Gillett, Jr

5. Abigail Kelsey 1645 -

6. Stephen Kelsey 1647 - 1710 +Hannah Ingersoll

7. Daniel Kelsey 1650 - 1727 +Mary Stevens

8. William Kelsey 1653/54 -

9. John Kelsey Abt 1638-1709 +Phebe Disborough *2nd wife of John Kelsey+Hannah Disborough --------------------

Biographical Summary:

William Kelsey, born about 1600; Cambridge, 1632; freeman, Massachusetts, March 4, 1635; removed to Hartford, where he was an original proprietor; his home-lot in the distribution of 1630 was on the road from Centinel Hill to the North Meadow (now Village St.); removed to Killingworth, about 1663; rep. in 1671 from Killingworth; he was living in June, 1674.


i. John; Killingworth

ii. Abigail, born April 19, 1645.

iii. Stephen, baptized November 7, 1647; married November 15, 1672, Hannah, daughter of John Ingersoll; his father gave him his dwelling-house, and he remained in Hartford; died November 30,1710.

iv. Daniel, born July, 1650.

SOURCE: James Hammond Trumbull, editor, The memorial history of Hartford County, Connecticut, 1633-1884, Volume 1 (Boston, Massachusetts: Edward L. Osgood, 1886), page 248. Retrieved: 3 May 2011 from Google Books

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William Kelsey's Timeline

Age 25
Age 28
Age 30
Milford, New Haven, Connecticut, USA
Age 32
Age 32
Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA
Age 34
New Towne (Present Cambridge), (Present Middlesex County), Massachusetts Bay Colony, (Present USA)
Age 34
Cambridge, Middlesex, MA, United States
October 16, 1636
Age 36
Cambridge, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA
April 19, 1645
Age 45
Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut