Fifteen years ago there were not a great many genealogical records to be accessed
by the internet, particularly English records. So John and I would visit Local Family
History Societies and searched through census records. Many did not have an index,
so you just sat at a micro film reader and scrolled through a whole “area” where
you thought your relatives may have been. We have also spent many hours at firstly,
St. Catherine’s House, Central London, then Myddleton Place, Islington, London and
also The Record Office, Kew, London, lifting down and checking the huge Index Ledgers
for the Births, Marriages and Deaths in England and Wales after 1837. It was often
so busy it was rather like a scrum trying to get to the books and then to try and
find somewhere to be able to open them and check for whomsoever we were searching
for at that time. We used to say that if we found just one piece of information
then we had had a successful day! We didn’t even have a computer when we first started
doing our research.
Trying to find people in America was going to be very difficult. Where to begin?
We were members of our Local History Society and they put a message on the Internet
asking if anyone in America would kindly help with our search for “The Kellands”.
A very kind lady in Wisconsin responded, Mary Price, and it is mainly due to her
that I managed to get my search off the ground. We got our son Peter’s old computer,
linked to the Internet, and then waited with great excitement for Mary’s emails telling
us what new information she had uncovered.
Needless to say nowadays there is so much information available on the web it is
easier to find things quicker, but one still has to take great care not to take a
wrong turn and finish up researching a completely wrong family.
Along the way while doing my research I discovered that there existed a Family Bible!!
Below is a copy of the entry in the front of the Kelland Family Bible which belonged
to George Kelland Snr. A copy of this entry was made by Milda Kelland many years
ago and although I have not definitely located the Bible I am led to believe it is
in the possession of Grace Marie Tycksen at this moment in time. (Written in 2000.)
(2009). Since the above was written we have visited Grace Marie and seen the actual
Bible, but sadly the entry with the Kelland data is now missing. There is just some
small confusion as to whether the Bible we saw was the original Bible or one that
belonged to George’s daughter Hannah (Annie). But what a wonderful job Milda did
copying out the information written in the front of it, all those years ago.
You will note that the only children entered in the Bible are those who survived
to adulthood; there is no mention of any of the children born to George and Mary
Kelland who died in infancy.
Written by Milda Kelland
Kelland Family History
George Kelland born April 7, 1813
Mary Kelland born Jan 9, 1813
1. George born Nov 11, 1834
2. John born June 14, 1838
3. Mary Ann born Dec 1, 1841
4. Robert born Nov 13, 1843
5. Eliza ` born April 4, 1846
6. Annie born May 19, 1848
7. Thomas born July 15, 1854
This much I copied out of the Kelland Family Bible which Annie kept and then her
son Fred Johnson brought it out from the East to his brother Wallace Johnson at Tillamook.
“We went to visit them and I asked Minnie if I ………………………Wallace”
This is all I have that was written by Milda Kelland.
The children, that I am aware of, who did not survive infancy are:-
8. Mary born May 1837 died April 13 1838
9. Edward born Sept ¼ 1840 died Sept ¼ 1840
10. Thomas born June ¼ 1852 died Dec ¼ 1852
Just looking at these dates, it is interesting to wonder if they are all there. George
and Mary married on Christmas Day 1832 and yet their first child is not born until
two years later. I think it is not unreasonable to surmise that perhaps there was
a child before George who did not survive infancy. There is also a gap of nearly
three years between the birth of George (1834) and Mary (1837) and again it is not
unreasonable to wonder if there was a child between these two who did not survive.
Another interesting point to notice is that George and Mary had a daughter born in
1837 that they named Mary, who sadly died in 1838. They had another daughter born
in 1841 whom they also named Mary (plus Ann) – my Great Grandmother. Similarly they
have a son in 1852 that they named Thomas who also sadly died the same year. Their
next child, born in 1854 was a boy and so they named him Thomas. This was not an
unusual practice at that time.
These are the members of the Kelland family that I intend writing about, together
with any of there descendants that I have traced. I shall give each family member
their own heading or chapter, I hope anyone who reads their stories find them interesting
and any contributions would be very welcome.