THERE was a song in the old music hall days 'Has Anybody Here Seen Kelly?'
It turns out that we will be seeing plenty of Kellys later this year. Jean Kelly has been in touch from Tipperary to say that she will be in Enniscorthy next month. Then scores of members of the clan are due to follow in summer for a family gathering in Wexford.
In the meantime, anyone who can assist her in tracking down her roots should step forward, lámh suas. Jean believes that her great-grandparents and their son Walter were buried in Enniscorthy and she would like to locate their graves.
'My great grandfather - Nicholas Joseph Kelly - according to the 1901 Census was 42 yrs old and was living with his wife Ann, then 40 yrs old, at 83 The Shannon, Enniscorthy. He was a master carpenter. They had 12 children in total. On the night of the Census, 9 children were alive. Present in the house on that night along with my great-grandparents were some of the children: Mary Ann Kelly (14), Nicholas Clement (known as Clem, our grandfather, 13), Mary Jo (9) and James Christopher (7)
In 1911, the Census showed the family moved from No. 83 to No. 46. Our great grandfather Nicholas Joseph Kelly had remarried. His first wife Ann died and he re married Annie (We don't have either wife's last name yet.) Present in the house that night was the great-grandfather Nicholas Joseph Kelly, his second wife Annie, our grandfather (now 23) and his half-brother Walter Daniel Kelly (aged one year)...
We know our grandfather Clement stayed and at age 23 he was a printer compositor for the local papers (not sure which one yet). He joined the IRB (Irish Republican Brotherhood) and his photograph was in a book called 'Wexford has Risen', by Henry Goff. The local museum has the photo in their archives. Some of us are fortunate to have copies. We also think that Walter Daniel Kelly remained in the area. We have no further info. If he were alive today he would be 103, so possibly someone local will remember him.'
Jean continues that Clem married Anastacia Cullen from Killegney in Clonroche, remaining in Enniscorthy before moving to Dublin with their five children – Christy, Tom, Patrick (my father), and the twins Peggy and May, settling in Marino. Clem and Anastacia Kelly went on to have a total of nine children, adding Clem junior, Peter, Gerald, and Lilian. The nine - Jean Kelly's dad, her uncles and her aunts - became scattered and are now all deceased, so that many of their offspring have never met each other. That is about to change. The Ferrycarrig Hotel in Wexford has been booked for a grand re-union on May 16 and 17. The Kelly cousins from far and wide, many of them coming from the United States, will enjoy a barbecue, some Irish music, and a visit to Enniscorthy where they will visit the local tourist attractions, the castle and the 1798 Centre, as well as Vinegar Hill and a few pubs !
'So far we have around 80 attending,' says Jean. 'They are coming from Dublin, Tipperary, Cork, London, France, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit, Florida, Texas and Georgia. I think as time goes on the list will get longer.'
Anyone who can help her piece together the family tree, please mail firstname.lastname@example.org