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 William Kelsey

Photo added by Jerri Eoff Sudderth

William Kelsey

  • Birth 1600 Chelmsford, Chelmsford Borough, Essex, England
  • Death 1680 Killingworth, Middlesex County, Connecticut, USA
  • Burial Clinton, Middlesex County, Connecticut, USA
  • Memorial ID 18761806

This marker is one of a series of reproduction stones placed in a row in an area of Kelsey family stones. With two exceptions, each is marked only with a first name and date. This is one of those exceptions. These stones correspond to the names and dates of second and third generation Kelsey family members who died in Killingworth, now Clinton.

This stone may have been placed for the William (1673-1718) who married Elizabeth SHEATER and who was the father of William, Ephrain, Jehiel, Matthias, Mary, Deborah, and Gamaliel.

However, according to descendant Lucia Finley, "As both his son John and grandson John are buried here, this is likely for William Kelsey born about 1600 Chelmsford, Essex, England and died 1680 Killngworth, Middlesex, CT. This William was the son of George & Elizabeth Hammond Kelsey. He married Bethia Hopkins and had the following children: Mark, Bethia, Priscilla, Anna, Hester, John, Abigail, Stephen, Daniel & William Kelsey."
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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 "Hammonossit Plantation" and founded the Town of "Kenilworth", later changed to "Killingworth". In 1738, 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.

(The above is a direct quote from the Kelsey Kindred website. The Kindred is a genealogical organization of people directly descended from William Kelsey and his wife)

According to the Kelsey Kindred website, in 1940 the group restored the Kelsey family burial lot in Clinton, which was granted to William Kelsey when the town was established in 1664. Part of this restoration included installing a memorial headstone for William, as the original headstone had disappeared or weathered away by that time. Memorial headstones were also installed for other family members at the same time William's was.

It probably would have been difficult for William and his wife to imagine the thousands of descendents they'd someday have, both those who carry the name Kelsey and those who don't but are still of their bloodline. This memorial is a small way to honor their memories and to thank them for their brave journey across the wide blue seas to a new land where those who came after them thrive and prosper to this day.

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  • Created by: Jerri Eoff Sudderth
  • Added: 3 Apr 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 18761806
  • Vickye Blatherwick
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for William Kelsey (1600–1680), Find A Grave Memorial no. 18761806, citing Indian River Cemetery, Clinton, Middlesex County, Connecticut, USA ; Maintained by Jerri Eoff Sudderth (contributor 46802678) .