In this issue:
Letter from the Editor
Ned Kelly, Submitted by John Kelly
John “Red” Kelly
The Clans of Ireland Summit
Searching for Family
Programme for Kelly Clan Gathering
Programme for Battle of Aughrim Outing
Sites of Interest local to Gathering
Subscriptions to Kelly Clans
General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)
Copy of Flyer for 2019 Gathering
Letter from your Editor – Judy Kelly Fausch
Plans are being finalized for our biennial Kelly Clan Gathering on 17-19 May, 2019 at the Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone, on the border of Counties Roscommon and Westmeath. There is still time to reserve a room at the hotel if you haven’t done so. You’ll find information about reserving your room and the Gathering itself on p. 9-10.
We wish to thank The Roscommon County Council for their grant to help defray expenses for this Gathering.
Members – Thank you to all who have paid their membership fees.
New Members – Failte Ui Cheallaigh (O’Kelly Welcome) to these new members:
William Dodd, Ireland
Gordon Kelly, Co. Offaly
Josephine Kelly, Ireland
Contact us with comments, questions, information to share.
If anyone is having difficulty logging onto the site or accessing/using the forum, please e-mail Gerry Hegarty at email@example.com
Taken from the booklet published by the Fethard Historical Society. Kindly shared with us by John Kelly of Tipperary, former Kelly Clan Council member.
Ned Kelly is Australia’s greatest folk hero. A flamboyant, larger than life figure whose exploits caused controversy during his own short lifetime (1855-1880) and still continue to do so today. Hero or anti-hero? ‘Robin Hood’ type bushranger or pernicious criminal? The arguments rage on and in this booklet we do not attempt to try and resolve the conflict. We merely present an outline of Ned Kelly’s life that will satisfy the casual reader, and also to recount the story of his father, John ‘Red’ Kelly from Moyglass. –Maria Crean, Mary Hanrahan, Terry Cunningham
Ned Kelly was born around June 1855, the first son, of John and Ellen Kelly, poor selectors (farmers) near Beveridge in what is now Victoria, Australia. The exact place and date of birth is not known as the birth was not registered – a not uncommon occurrence in those frontier days.
The Kelly’s already had a daughter, Ann, and during the following years five more children were born, Margaret, James, Daniel, Catherine (Kate) and Grace.
In 1864 the Kellys moved to Avenel, further inland, where they continued with their dairy farming. They were remembered in the locality as “poor strugglers”.
Between 1864 and 1866 an incident occurred which enhances the Ned Kelly legend. On their way to school the Kelly children, along with the rest, crossed a river, ‘Hughes Creek’, and one day a young boy called Richard Shelton slipped and fell into a deep waterhole. He was on the point of drowning when Ned Kelly, aged ten or so, risking his own life, dived in and saved the young boy.
The boy’s parents, proprietors of the Royal Mail Hotel presented Ned with a valuable ‘green silk sash, with a heavy bullion fringe’.The sash was with Ned when he was captured after his last stand in Glenrowan.
Father Dies and Kellys move to Greta
John Kelly died on 27th December 1866, and Ellen was left to support seven children, and at 11. years of age Ned had become the man of the family.
In 1867 Ellen decided to move from Avenel to Greta to be near her own family, the Quinns, who were squatters (large landowners) in that area. In 1869 she moved again to Eleven Mile Creek, near Greta, and Ned left school to help her as best he could. They eked out a living selling ‘sly grog’ (illegal alcohol) and providing acc-ommodation for passing carriers, hawkers, seasonal workers and baptized of all sorts.
Home was now an unofficial public house and the family was without the steadying influence of a father. This period is seen as the turning point in the lives of the young Kelly boys. The Quinn uncles, Ellen’s brothers, began to play a major part in their lives and this influence was largely detrimental. They were known as a ‘wild 4
lot’, expert horsemen who delighted in drinking and brawling and who had several brushes with the law. The charges against them included horse stealing and cattle rustling. Their example, plus continuous contact with the rough and ready that frequented Mrs. Kelly’s ‘Bush’ lodging house soon took effect.
Ned Kelly turns to crime
When Ned was fourteen years of age he joined up with Harry Power, a noted bushranger and outlaw. He acted merely as a look-out for Power and from him Ned learned the secrets of surviving while ‘on the run’. His career as an outlaw had begun. In 1870 Ned, at the age of fifteen, got three months in jail for assault. In August 1871 he got three years for being in the possession of a stolen horse.
After his release in 1874 he worked in the sawmills for three years, staying out of trouble all that time. But he still had the reputation for leading a wild and reckless life and he was a noted horseman and boxer.
After three trouble free years – and for reasons unknown, Ned returned to a life of crime. He formed his first ‘gang’ in late 1876 and they engaged in much horse and cattle stealing. By this time, members of his own family and various relations –the Quinns and the Lloyds (brothers-in-law) had convictions ranging from drunk and disorderly, arson, cattle rustling to violent assault. The Kelly’s claims of police persecution were countered by conviction after conviction on the substantial charges brought against them. Harsh the sentences may have been but the crimes were undoubtedly real as well.
The Pace Hots Up
In person, Ned Kelly aged 23 was an imposing figure, six feet tall with an athletic build. He sported an “old fashioned” beard – full and bushy. He looked older than his years and dressed well and soberly for a bushranger, most of whom favoured a flamboyant style of dress. In all, his respectable almost biblical appearance was at variance with his ‘chosen lifestyle’.
In October 1878 Ned’s mother Ellen Kelly was sentenced to three years hard labour for attempting to murder a policeman – a charge vehemently denied by the Kelly Clan. It was the sentencing of his mother, with a small baby at her breast, that finally sent Ned into a rage against the Law – a Law which he regarded as crooked and oppressive.
Ned and his gang were at this time being sought by the police. The gang comprised himself, his younger brother Dan Kelly, Steve Hart and Joseph Byrne and rewards of £100 each had been offered for the capture of Dan and Ned Kelly.
A team of four policemen – Lanigan, Scanion, Kennedy and Mcintyre – all Irish, were trailing the Kelly Gang when Ned turned the tables on them. He ambushed them at Stringybark Creek, near the town of Mansfield, on 28th October 1878 and killed three of them. Only Mcintyre escaped to tell what had happened.
The Public reaction was one of outraged alarm. The area was flooded with police reinforcements and by December 1878 a hundred mounted police were engaged in the Kelly pursuit.
The Kellys were outlawed and the reward was raised to a £1,000 each for the capture of the four – and then raised again to £2,000.
Instead of going to ground in the face of such strong official reaction, Ned Kelly boldly seized the initiative once again and carried out an amazingly daring bank raid in the township of Euroa on 9th December 1878. During the raid they seized the local railway station, imprisoned all there and stayed overnight. Next day they robbed 5
the bank, taking twelve more prisoners and then took them back to the station and locked them up also. Only those involved knew what was going on and before leaving town they even gave a display of horsemanship. The prisoners subsequently reported that they had been well treated and suffered no physical violence.
The sheer effrontery of this daring hold up gripped the public imagination and public opinion began to change in their favour. The newspapers condemned the Kelly’s crimes but equally lashed out at police inefficiency and ineptness.
During the hold up in Euroa the Outlaws had avoided violence, were courteous and well behaved and even proffered an explanation for their actions to their captives.
This ‘reasoned’ approach contradicted the ‘Official’ view of them and a seed of sympathy was planted in the public mind.
The Kellys struck again at Jerilderie, in New South Wales, on Saturday 8th February 1879, just two months after the raid in Euroa. Here they took over the police barracks, stayed there all day Sunday and on Monday, in police uniform, proceeded to the Roayl Mail Hotel where they locked up everyone who came in. They then robbed the bank, taking the staff prisoner and returned with them to the Hotel where Kelly made a speech vindicating his actions and proclaiming his innocence. News of this outrage pushed the price on the Outlaws heads to £8,000, the highest reward ever offered in the Colonies.
The Quiet Before the Storm
After those four months of hectic activity the Outlaws dropped out of sight for almost a year and a half – from February 1879 to June 1880. Life on the run was far from easy but they survived on sheer skill and endurance, frequently riding sixty to seventy miles in one night. Help from family, friends and supporters was their strongest asset in their flight from the police.
On Saturday 26th June 1880 the Kelly gang struck again – executing a police informer, Aaron Skerritt, who had previously worked with them. This murder was the lure by which they hoped to bring police reinforcements to Glenrowan, as Kelly planned to ambush the train on which they would travel. Following the pattern already established, the Gang took over Glenrowan Hotel, holding up sixty two people. However, the police train did not arrive on Sunday as expected but early one Monday morning by which time the Outlaws were befuddled from drink and near exhaustion from lack of sleep. The police surrounded the hotel and the battle commenced. Four newspaper reporters and an artist were present, so the event was well recorded.
One of the reporters gave this account of Ned Kelly’s final stand. “Suddenly we noticed one or two of the men, with their backs turned to the hotel, firing at something in the bush. Presently we noticed a very tall figure in white stalking slowly along in the direction of the hotel. There was no head visible and in the dim light with the steam rising from the ground it looked for all the world like the ghost of Hamlet’s father with no head, only a very long thick neck. Those who were standing with me did not see it for a time and I was too intent on watching its movements to point it out to others. The figure continued gradually to advance, stopping every now and then, and moving what looked like its headless neck slowly and mechanically round, and then raising one foot onto a log and aiming and firing a revolver. Shot after shot was fired at it, but without effect, the figure generally replying by tapping the butt end of its revolver against its neck, the blows ringing out with the clearness and distinctiveness of a bell in the morning air. It was the most extraordinary sight I ever saw or read of in my life”.
The Kelly Gang had prepared well for the battle. They had made four complete suits of armour from the mould boards of ploughs and each suit weighed nearly 100 lbs. Ned Kelly, his long grey overcoat concealing his homemade armour, his face hidden by his helmet seemed at first invincible. But he was wounded in the legs and taken prisoner. The prisoners in the hotel escaped, the hotel was fired by the police and later the charred bodies of Dan Kelly (19 years) and Steve Hart (21 years) were recovered, so badly burned as to be unidentifiable. Joseph Byrne had been shot earlier on.
The Last Stand was over but defiant to the last Kelly exclaimed “it was as good as Waterloo wasn’t it? As good as ———–“ Ned’s wounds were attended to and he was taken by train to Melbourne gaol. He was tried in Melbourne on 18th October 1880 before Sir Redmond Barry. He was hanged on November 11th, 1880 aged 25 years, his last words being—“Such Is Life”.
John “Red” Kelly
John Kelly, father of Ned Kelly, was baptized on 20th February 1820 in Moyglass Church in the Parish of Killenaule in the County of Tipperary, Ireland. This entry in the Parish register in Moyglass Church tells us that his father was Thomas Kelly and that his mother was Mary Cody, and that they lived in the townland of Clonbrogan, which is about one mile west from Moyglass village.
The Marriage Register tells us that Thomas Kelly and Mary Cody had been married in the same church in the previous year, on lst February 1819, when Thomas Kelly was 18 years of age. (Going back further still we find that Thomas Kelly’s parents, John Kelly and Ellen Head had also been married in Moyglass Church on 16th June 1799).
Thomas Kelly and Mary Cody reared their family of five boys and two girls on a very small plot of ground, less than half an acre, which looked across on Slievenamon mountain. The Kelly homestead in Clonbrogan, marked on the maps of the 1840’s, is long gone, but the Kelly story still arouses great interest both here in Ireland and in Australia where, later on, six of the seven Kelly children journeyed when they left their Tipperary home.
‘The Two Pigs’
John, the eldest son was the first of the Kelly’s to go to Australia. The truth is – he was sent, because on 4th December 1840 he stole two pigs –value about six pounds from a James Cooney of Ballysheehan, near the famous ‘city’ of Cashel, and then went and sold them at Cahir market about 14 miles further on.
So the police records tell us anyway and the authorities seem to have trusted the police reports because on 7th January 1841, John Kelly was found guilty at Cashel Court and sentenced to 7 years transportation for pig 7
stealing. The police and court reports further indicate that our John was also involved in the stealing of ‘seven fat cows’ belonging to a neighbouring farmer, a Mr. Ryall from Moyglass. He seems to have been ‘helping out’ a Patrick Regan on that occasion, and Patrick Regan got 10 years transportation for his cattle rustling efforts. It must be mentioned here also that the court reports also state that “it was he (i.e. John Kelly) that gave information respecting Regan”, which would seem to indicate that John Kelly had ‘squealed’ on his friend. However, the reports do not tell us what pressure was applied to elicit the said ‘information’ or whether his reduced sentence was a reward for his co-operation.
It is pertinent to remember that in the 1840’s we are dealing with the most wretched period in modern Irish history. The majority of the Irish population of over eight million people (1841) were chronically poor tenant farmers and cottiers. The Kelly’s, it would appear, were just another poor, near landless family whose plight was of little concern to the alien administration in control at that time.
The GREAT FAMINE of 1845 – 1847 left over one million dead and another million gone on the ‘coffin ships.’ Such was the background to the offences committed by the likes of John Kelly, Patrick Regan and countless others.
John Kelly’s Tipperary
John Kelly sails on—The Prince Regent
John Kelly was kept in Jail until 31st July 1841 when he was placed on board the convict ship – ‘The Prince Regent’ in the port of Dublin.
On the 7th August the Prince Regent sailed from Dublin with 182 convicts on Board. There was one port of call – Cape Town, and the ship arrived in the Derwent River, Van Diemens Land, now Tasmania, on 2nd January 1842. By this time John Kelly had already served one year of his sentence and the next six years were spent at convict and baptized jobs in Tasmania. He was granted his ticket of leave on 11th July 1845 and on 11th January 1848 he was granted his Certificate of Freedom. He was a free man again – but in a different country at the other side of the world.
John Kelly in Victoria
Sometime during 1848/49 John Kelly crossed the Bass Strait to Port Philip Colony now Melbourne and he headed inland along the old Sydney road and worked as a carpenter around Donnybrook and Kilmore, an area with many Irish settlers.
In 1850 he met Ellen Quinn, who had come out from County Antrim, with her family, as a young girl. They were married on 18th November 1850 in St. Francis’s Church, Melbourne by Fr. Gerald Ward.
For the next fourteen years or so John Kelly made a living from horse dealing, dairy farming and even some gold mining. During this time seven children were born, including Edward, who subsequently became the famed ‘Ned Kelly.’
Last Move to Avenel
John and Ellen Kelly bought and sold a number of farms around the township of Beveredge, but their fortunes seem to have been declining over time. In 1864 John Kelly sold his farm for £80 and headed further inland with his family, and they rented 40 acres near Avenel, Victoria.
The Kelly family was very poor at this stage and the drought of 1865 made things even worse.
In 1865 John Kelly was charged with stealing a calf from a Mr. Morgan and on 29th May 1865 he was in Court for this offence. The charge of cattle stealing was dismissed, but the charges of “unlawful possession of a hide” was upheld and he was fined £25 or 6 months in Jail. He seems to have served 4 months in jail because on 3rd October 1865 John Kelly himself registered his eighth and last child, Grace, in Campions store in Avenel.
In the birth register he lists his home area as “Macglass, Co. Tipperary, Ireland- and his age as “45”. 8
It is this entry, signed by John Kelly himself that confirms that he and the John Kelly baptized on 20th February 1820 in Moyglass are one and the same person.
Death of John Kelly
John Kelly’s health was breaking down and he got seriously ill in November 1866. A Doctor Healey, came from Seymour one week before Christmas of that year but John Kelly was dying of Dropsy for which there was no cure.
John Kelly died on 27th December 1866, aged 46 years. His death was reported and signed by his son Edward Kelly who was not yet 12 years of age at this time.
John Kelly was buried in an unmarked grave in Avenel Cemetery, Victoria, on 29th December 1866 – far from his native home of Clonbrogan in the heart of County Tipperary.
Aeron Skerritt – “Ned Kelly an extraordinary man, there is no man in the world like him, he is superhuman. I look on him as invulnerable, you can do nothing with him”
(Editor’s Note: The authors had listed a number of references for Further Reading, but upon seeing their Note (below) I have chosen not to include those references.)
Note: The account of John Kelly’s earlier life as recounted in the above books and other pub-lications to date, is incorrect. Prior to our research (1988) the John Kelly story was based on the writings of Frank Clune, who published his – “The Kelly Hunters” – in the early 1950’s and we now know this version to be faulty in many respects.
Information and Comments to:
Tourist Information – The Secretary, Tirry Centre, Fethard, Co. Tipperary, Ireland
Tourist Information Office, Town Hall, Cashel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland
The Clans of Ireland Summit
The Clans of Ireland (Fintan na hEireann) have announced their Cultural Summit and AGM of 2019 which will be held on Saturday 13th April in the St. Stephens Green Hibernian Club, Dublin. Those interested can find more complete information at: http://www.clansofireland.ie/baile/
The Kelly Clan is affiliated with this group.
Searching for Family
Cath Madden Trindle, Genealogist, has shared some information about her family ancestry search and experience with the Kelly DNA Project. Cath will be presenting at our Kelly Clan Gathering in May.
I have been searching for my father’s ancestors for nearly forty years. When I started, little was known beyond the fact my grandfather was orphaned at 14 when his mother died. His father had died, 8 years earlier. My grandfather and his two brothers were left with a house and a thriving shipping business, moving lumber on the Great Lakes. Thomas Madden, my great grandfather, was born in Albany, New York a few short years after his father, James Madden arrived on the Lady Peel from Limerick in October of 1850. According to naturalization documents, James was from Limerick as well as sailing from there.
And there we were stuck. We know that James married Anna Fitzsimmons sometime before 1852, and we believe it was in Ireland before 1846. We do know that Anna was from the Shannagolden area of County Limerick. Family tradition said that James was from County Clare, not County Limerick but there was no 9
documentation of that. I was quite excited to find that there were Maddens in the Parteen area of Limerick (which was in County Clare) as that could fit both records and tradition….but again there is no proof that that is his family.
So, you are saying, what does that have to do with the Kelly Clan? Well, completely stuck, it seemed time to try DNA to see if a match might offer possibilities for finding James’ family. My brother agreed to provide the Y-DNA sample and we were off and running, anxiously waiting for that Madden match. BUT.. it didn’t happen. I joined the Madden DNA group and watched and waited as more and more matches appeared, without a Madden in the lot. Since there weren’t going to be any easy answers, it appeared, I upped the number of markers to 111 and hoped that a pattern might appear in the matches that were there. And yes, a pattern did emerge. Nearly every match was a Kelly.
My first thought was that this might be proof that my Maddens were the descendants of Eoghan Buac, progenitor of the Hy-Many Madden’s, brother of Eoghan Finn who was progenitor of the Hy-Many Kellys. They would have passed similar Y-DNA to their descendants. But that was centuries ago, and still didn’t explain why there were no Madden matches.
The Madden DNA Project coordinator suggested that I join the Kelly DNA Project. Since then my ancestral search has taken a new turn! Our DNA shows a connection to William Boye O’Kelly, a much later break connection than Eoghan Buac. Working with Aidan and others (well, mainly benefiting by their great understanding of DNA,) my search for my ancestors now suggests a name change somewhere between the sixteenth century and the arrival of James in Albany in 1850.
A big gap, yes. But with continued research and refinement of the DNA process, the gap might yet be bridged. And in the meantime, I am delighted to have found a whole new set of relatives!!
–Cath Madden Trindle
Programme for Kelly Clan 2019 Gathering
Programme for Visit to Aughrim Sat 18 May 2019
Kelly Clan Gathering: 17-19 May 2019
The Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone, Co.Roscommon will host Kellys, Kelleys, O’Kellys and Ó Ceallaighs at their 13th biennial gathering
The weekend’s programme will include:
- Presentation: latest analysis of the Kelly “Y-DNA” Study
- Talk on “A Border Kelly during the Civil War”
- Genealogy presentation with workshop/discussion groups
- Re-Enactment – Aughrim Interpretive Centre
- Guest of honour : Chieftain: Robert, the Count O Kelly
- Gala Dinner
Reconnect with old family and friends and make new ones.
Join us for this festive weekend.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 087 6739724
Gathering – Places of Interest
Below are a few suggestions for some more interesting places to visit when you’re in Roscommon County for the 2019 Kelly Clan Gathering.
Strokestown Park House and Famine Museum
Strokestown, Co Roscommon, Ireland Strokestown Park was the family home of the Pakenham Mahon family from the 1600s until 1979. The house retains virtually all of its original furnishings. The Irish National Famine Museum is also housed here.
Click Here to visit their website
Co. Roscommon Heritage & Genealogical Centre
Church St, Strokestown, Co. Roscommon, Ireland This Centre houses an Interpretative Display on Pagan Celtic Society in Pre-Christian Ireland, on the monuments of Rathcroghan and the Display also focuses on the epic tale of the Tàin Bò Cuailgne, and also a Genealogical Centre.
Click Here to visit their website
Roscommon Arts Centre
Circular Road, Roscommon Town, Co. Roscommon, F42 YX61
Click Here to visit their website
Windmill Road, Elphin, Co. Roscommon, Ireland This 18th Century windmill was perfectly located to harness the winds sweeping over the plains of Boyle. Unusual features are a thatched revolving roof and sails that are turned into the wind using cartwheels on a circular track.
Lough Key Forest Park
Boyle, Co. Roscommon, F52 PY66
Main Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon, Ireland, F52 WR26 This restored 18th Century mansion is now home to an award winning interpretative centre where the visitor can step back in time to the ancient kingdom of Connacht.
Sacred Heart Church
Abbey Street, Roscommon Town, Co. Roscommon
Arigna Mining Experience
Enterprise Centre, Argina, Co Roscommon, N41 YP78 10
Castlerea, Co. Roscommon, Ireland This 45 room mansion was built in 1878 and contains a priceless collection of over 10,000 archival documents illustrating a tradition going back 60 generations. Also preserved in Clonalis is O’Carolan’s harp.
The County Museum
Roscommon Town, Co. Roscommon, Ireland, F42 KT02 The County Museum houses several original artifacts including a 9th Century inscribed slab and a dug-out canoe as well as Dominican Priory and Old Jail Histories.
Boyle, Co. Roscommon, Ireland
An impressive and well preserved Cistercian Monastery which was founded in the 12th century under the patronage of the local ruling family, the MacDermotts.
Tulsk, Co. Roscommon
Rathcroghan Visitor Centre is located in the medieval village of Tulsk, within the royal complex of Cruachan, the oldest and largest unexcavated Royal Complex in Europe.
SUBSCRIPTIONS TO THE KELLY CLAN
Family – €30.00 Single – €25.00 Lifetime – €250.00
Payment can be made by PayPal at email@example.com
New members can join Kellyclans.ie here
Existing members; we will be in contact with you shortly with information on how you are able to renew via the website.
with a cheque, in the currency of your country, to:
Bernie Kelly, Aisling, Tyrone, Kilcolgan, Galway, IR H91AD78
Check Exchange rates: www.xe.com/currencyconverter/
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Individuals have privacy rights in relation to the processing of their personal data.
This is a European Union-wide framework which changes the rules on data protection. It provides for a more uniform interpretation and application of data protection standards across the EU.
The Data Protection Act 2018, which was signed into law on 24 May 2018, changes the previous data protection framework, established under the Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003. Its provisions include:
–Establishing a new Data Protection Commission as the State’s data protection authority
–Transposing the law enforcement Directive into national law
–Giving further effect to the GDPR in areas where member states have flexibility (for example, the digital age of consent)
The above is taken from http://www.citizensinformation.ie
Sites of Interest (especially for those involved in Irish genealogy):
Ireland Reaching Out www.irelandxo.com
Irish Lives Remembered www.irishlivesremembered.ie
2019 Gathering Flyer.
Click here for a copy of a flyer giving basic information about the 2019 Kelly Clan Gathering.
Please share with anyone you think may be interested.
Click on the download link to copy flyer to your computer and share on Social Media.
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