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Archibald Kelly
By Lu Hickey

1. ARCHIBALD KELLY b. ABT. 1740, Scotland, (son of JAMES? KELLY and MARGARET STUART?) m. c1759, in Scotland, EUPHEMIA KELLIE, b. c1740, Scotland, d. c1812-13, Bladen County, NC. ARCHIBALD died ABT. 1813, Bladen Co. The following letter was given to Archibald and Euphemia Kelly by their minister upon their departure for America. The original was held in the Brown Marsh Presbyterian Church, Bladen County, NC, for for well over 100 years.

"That the bearer, Arch'd Kelly, Eupham Kelly his spouse, Catherine, Florence, James, and Mary Kelly their children lived from their infancy in the united parishes of Kilian and Kilchenzie and behaved themselves soberly, honestly, and inoffensively free of scandal or church censure, and may be received into any Christian Society or congregation whom God in His providence may order his lot, is attested in name & by appointment of session at Rosehill the 13th day of August 1770 year by - Robert Thompson (minister) - Donald Clark (Clerk)"

This appears to be solid evidence that Archibald and Euphemia "lived from their infancy" on the Kintyre Peninsula of Scotland. We know of no other evidence of their earlier years. However, there is some evidence that they may have lived on a farm near the community of Dalrioch, a few miles west of Campbelltown.

Archibald first appeared on the 1784 Tax List for Bladen County with 200 acres, one white and one black poll.

On the 1788 Tax List he shows 450 acres, one town lot, and one free poll.

In the 1790 Census he shows with three white males 16 and over, three free white fenales, and one slave. If his older daughter married and left home before 1790 the numbers would account for his five other known children.

The following document indicates Archibald's conversion to loyalty to the "New World" from his former allegiance to the Crown.

"State of North Carolina, Bladen County: This day Archibald Kelly personally appeared before me and made oath that he and nine other men together in a class in the year 1779 furnished the Continental Army with a substitute by the name of John Dailey who was to serve as a soldier during the war and that the cost thereof to him was ten pounds current money. Signed and sworn to before me this 30th day Sept. 1791. J. Lewis Arch'd Kelly"

Will dated June 12, 1813: Archibald Kelly, Sr. (Stabler). Calls out sons James Kelly, Sr., Archibald Kelly, Jr.; dau. Catherine Taylor, Flora Campbell, and Mary Ray; and sons-in-law Daniel Taylor, A. Campbell, Duncan Ray and Duncan Currie. Executor: James Kelly, Sr. (son). Witnesses: John Taylor, Jr., Jean Ray.

As the will fails to name Euphemia, it is thought that she may have predeceased Archibald. There is no other evidence of her death date, and no indication of their place of burial.

A cogent point is, while Kelly is the second most frequently found surname in Ireland, THESE Kellys came from Scotland where they, apparently, had remained for generations.  In North Carolina they were active members of the Brown Marsh Presbyterian Church where services were conducted in Gaelic until early in the 20th Century.  For several generations they were vestrymen in the church.  My great grandfather, John Archibald Kelly, was probably the first family member to become a Baptist when he married Abigail Lennon, the daughter and grand daughter of Baptist ministers.



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