Search billions of records on

KELLEY/KELLY Families in Guilford Co.,North Carolina,1770-1790

Raymond A. Kelly Jr.
18703 Lakeshore Dr.
Lutz.Florida 33549
(813) 949-2017

I am trying to find the identity of the parents of John KELLY, born c.1765. My first record of John KELLY is in Guilford Co.,NC, in 1782. John was living in the area of Moon Creek, a branch of Reedy Fork Creek. I do not know whether his parents were living there or not. John married Hannah MOON there about 1786 and they migrated with her parents to Wilkes Co.,Ga. About 1788. I have identified four or five KELLY/KELLEY households in Guilford Co. during the period 1780-1790. They are John KELLY, Daniel KELLY, Thomas KELLYand William KELLY. There is a William KELLY living on Polecat Creek in 1789 that may be different from the William KELLY in Capt. Tate's District in 1787. In tracking my ancestors from that period until today I have found the surname to be spelled CALLEY, KELLEY,KILLEY, and KELLY. Since most of the citizens could not read or write it was the Tax Collector who determined the spelling of your name. In this document I have retained the spelling from the original Record. John and Daniel KELLEY appear to be related since Daniel KELLEY gave himself as Special bail for John KELLEY in a suit in 1787. Details of these interactions are given below. William and Thomas KELLEY may be related since they were both recorded as insolvent in Capt. Tate's District in 1787.

John KELLY's father-in law Richard MOON came into the Reedy Fork area in 1762 when it was in Rowan Co .
August 27,1762: Richard and Susannah Moon purchased 320 acres on Moons Creek a branch of Reedy Fork Creek., about 8 miles west of the Guilford Co. Courthouse.(1) Richard MOON and his family lived there until1788 when they moved to Wilkes Co.,GA. Richard MOON'S neighbors were Simon MOON, Jacob HUNT, Isaac HUNT, and Joel SANDERS. This area was in Rowan Co.,NC until 1770. I find no Granville Land Grants to KELLY's in Rowan Co., NC.

Richard MOON was a Quaker but was disowned in 1748 by the Hopewell (VA) MM. Two of Richards children were married in the New Garden MM,Guilford Co., NC in 1781 and 1782 but there is no marriage record there for John KELLYand Hannah MOON. Richard MOON's brother James MOON during this time period lived in the Brush Creek area of Chatham Co.,NC. Perhaps John KELLY lived in this area also.

In searching for a marriage record for John KELLY and Hannah MOON I discovered the Cross Roads Baptist Church which is not far from Moon's Creek.. The Church was located on Bruces Road (CR 1002) about 1 mile west of the junction of CR2305 at Scalesville. Thomas WINCHESTER deeded the land for the use of the "Baptist Church of Christ at Haw River Cross Roads"on June 13, 1784.
The Pastor from 1784 until 1792 was John TATUM. (2) The Church minutes available in the Guilford Co. Library go back to 1822. It is possible that the records dating back to 1784 may have gone to Stokes Co. in 1792 when John TATUM moved there.

There is a John KELLEY that is listed as a member of Col. Abraham Penn's Unit from Henry Co.,Virginia that participated in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in 1781. Perhaps the Parents of John KELLEY lived in Henry Co.,Virginia.

In the Court Records of Guilford Co., NC on August 22, 1782, I find John KELLEY filing suit against Jeremiah CUNNINGHAM and John ENDSLEY because he was illegally interred in the Continental Service. (3) This might be because he was under age when he was interred. I believe John KELLEY was born about 1765. John KELLEY was represented by John WILLIAMS, Esq.
November 1784: Jeremiah CUNNINGHAM and John ENDSLEY vs. John KELLY and Others. Case No. 35 (Dissmissed)

On February 16,1785 William DAVIS filed suit against John and Daniel KELLEY. DAVIS was awarded a little more than 19 pounds. There was no notation to provide the subject of the suit.
February 21,1786 Robert GULBREATH vs. John KELLY. Find for the plaintiff. 10 pounds
May 20, 1786: Ordered that Henry DAVIS and Henry JOHNSTON be fined 50 pounds each for contempt in not answering a subpoena in the suit, Christopher BOLLINGHAM vs. Daniel KELLY and Others.
February 19,1787: fifa issued against Henry DAVIS, Henry JOHNSTON, Daniel KELLEY and Others. Robert GULBREATH delivered up John KELLEY in the Suit, BOLLINGHAM vs. KELLEY Sen. Custody of the Sheriff.
On May 20,1787, Christopher BOLINHAM vs. Daniel KELLY and Others. No.7. Find for the plaintiff, 11 pounds and cost. Daniel KELLEY offered himself as special bail and asked for a stay of execution 3 months , 3.1 pounds in part of costs paid to Thomas HENDERSON, in the suit of Robert GULBREATH against John KELLEY.

For the Tax Year 1787 John KILLEY(1 Poll) was listed as an insolvent by Nathaniel PEEPLES. Analyzing the data given in the Appendix from the "Land Entry Book" (4), indicates that Nathan PEEPLES lived on the Dan River Road, Jacobs Creek area about 5 miles north of Reedy Fork Creek. This is in Sector A2 of the Guilford Co. Map by Fred Hughes and is adjacent to the Rockingham Co. line.

For the Tax Year 1787, Daniel KELLEY, 1 Poll and 88.75 acres was listed as an insolvent in the District of Robert LINDSEY.
I have not yet found a record of how Daniel KELLEY acquired or disposed of this land. Robert LINDSAY lived on the western border of Guilford Co. near the junction of Salisbury Road with the Virginia Road. This is in Sector D1 of the Map by Fred Hughes.

In November of 1787, William KELLEYand Thomas KELLEY were listed as insolvents in Capt. TATE's District. I believe this is Zepheniah TATE who lived on High Rock Road in the Northeast corner of Guilford Co. just south of the Rockingham Co. line. This is in Sector B6 of the Map by Hughes. These four KELLEY families were all listed as insolvents in 1787 which normally indicates that they left the county sometime during the Tax Year 1787. Jesse KELLY the son of my ancestor John KELLY was born in Georgia in 1788.

William KELLEY, Polecat Creek
The following land transactions are for William KELLEY who lived on Polecat Creek from 1784 until 1789. The Polecat Creek area is about 10 miles south of the Historical Guilford Courthouse. This is in Sector E4 of the Map by Hughes.
April 29,1784: Grant from the State of NC to William KELLY, #2355. 150 acres on the waters of Pole Cat Creek, bounded W. by John HALL, N. by Aarons MANSHIF, E. by John STEWART.
May 16,1787: Grant from the State of NC to William KELLEY, #1306. 150 acres on the waters of the Pole Cat, beginning at John HALL's corner.
August 7,1789: William KELLY to Daniel SULLAVEN for 70 pounds that land granted to William KELLY(#1306), 150 acres. Signed: William KELLY, Witnesses: Joseph JACKSONand John JACKSON. Since this William KELLEY still owned land in 1789 it is likely that he is not the William KELLEY that was recorded as an insolvent in Capt. TATE's District.

There were no KELLEY's listed in the 1790 or 1800 Census of Guilford Co.,NC. If anyone has any additional information on these families I would appreciate hearing from you.
1." The Granville District of North Carolina, 1748-1763", by Margaret M. Hoffmann, Vol.3, p91
2. "John Asplund's Register"
3. "Guilford Co.,North Carolina, County Court Minutes, 1781-1811"
4. "Guilford Co., North Carolina, Land Entry Book A. 1779-1795"
5. Guilford Co.,NC formed from Rowan and Orange in 1771.
6. The northern 1/3 was split off to form Rockingham Co., in 1785.
7. Henry Co.,Va adjoins Rockingham Co., NC on the north.

Appendix: Selected Entries from Guilford Co.,NC Land Entry Book A, 1779-1795.

p.10, No.1920: 12/6/1779: Nathan Peeples, 350 acres, Jacobs Creek, joining David Peeples.
p.23, No.2021: Charles Bruce, 40 acres, waters of Reedy Fork and Haw River on both sides of Bruce's Road, bounded by Nathan Peeples and David Peeples .
p.39, No.2109: 5/17/1780: David Peeples, 20 acres, Jacobs Creek adj. his own and Thomas Allen.
p.49, No.2305: 11/9/1783: Joseph Lovet, 200 acres, Polecat Creek, adj. William Williams, Henry Porters, William Burnham and William KELLY.
p.54. No.2355: 4/29/1784: William KELLY, 150 acres on waters of Polecat Creek, bounded by John Hall, N. by Aarons Manshif, E. by John Stewart.
p.71. No.2520: Zepheniah Tate, 10 acres, bounded by Haw River on the south and County Line on the east.
p.82, No.2637: 4/6/1789: Daniel Sullivan, 100 acres, Polecat Creek beg. At NW corner of William KELLEY, George Kirkman, John Stewart.