Kelley Family History & Genealogy

Updated Apr 16, 2015

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Kelley Surname History

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Kelley Discussion

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Aaron Hawkins This is a story told by my late great-uncle, Robert Kelley of Greenwood, Mississippi, that supposedly took place around the turn of last century on the banks of the Yazoo River in the Mississippi Delta. So the story goes: The family (all but my great-grandmother, Sara Emily "Emma" Kelley and the infant baby of the family at that time) was down in the cotton fields chopping cotton (whatever that means). "Emma" prepared the lunch and left the infant asleep in the house to take the lunch down to the rest of the family in the fields. The windows were all left open and there were no screens at that time for the dirt-poor, delta cotton farmers. As she returned to the house, the family heard her screaming and ran to see what was the matter. The baby was gone and there were panther tracks leading up to and away from one of the windows of the house. Fearing for the baby's life, my great-grandfather, Richard J. Kelley, grabbed his rifle and followed the tracks. They led him to the river, whereupon he looked out over its surface and saw the panther swimming across with the baby in its mouth. He dare not shoot the panther in the middle of the river, lest the baby drown before they could get out to it. Knowing that the creature would, of habit, drop its prey to shake the water from its fur, Richard waited for this moment, then put his bullet right between the panther's eyes as it looked back across the river at them. They launched their boat and hurriedly rowed across the river to find the baby unharmed as the panther had grabbed the baby by its swaddling blanket.
I would love to know more about my family, the Kelley’s, but unfortunately, my information of them dead-ends at my great-grandfather, Richard J. Kelley, as his parents died at an early age and he was subsequently raised by an uncle (McDonald, I think, possibly Angus McDonald) who was a professor at Georgia Tech. I can't seem to find any Georgia Tech records that go back beyond 1899. Richard was born June 8,1880 (I don't know where) and died May 27,1918 somewhere near Itta Bena, Swiftown, or Belzoni, Mississippi, and is buried in Belzoni, Mississippi. If you have any information about Richard's parents or his uncle that taught at Georgia Tech in the 1880's or 1890's, please let me know via an email with "Richard Kelley" in the subject line at: [contact link]. Thank you and I hope you enjoyed the "supposedly true" story.

Aaron W. Hawkins
[contact link]
Feb 12, 2009 · Reply
Gretchen Kelley Hi my name is Gretchen maza Kelley and I'm 15 years old, im really curious about my last name, kelley because i barely know anything about it. SO can someone help me please?
Feb 13, 2009 · Reply

Kelley Country of Origin, Nationality, & Ethnicity

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Kelley Meaning & Etymology

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Kelley Life Expectancy

According to our database of 56,759 people with the last name Kelley that have a birth and death date listed:

Life Expectancy

71.1
years

Kelley Family Tree

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Famous People named Kelley

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Most Common Kelley First Names

According to our database of 85,686 people with the last name Kelley that have a first name listed, these are the most common first names:

  • John 4.0%
  • James 3.6%
  • William 3.1%
  • Mary 2.3%
  • Robert 2.0%
  • Charles 1.6%
  • Thomas 1.6%
  • George 1.2%
  • Joseph 1.0%
  • Edward 1.0%
  • Michael 0.9%
  • Margaret 0.8%
  • Richard 0.7%
  • Patrick 0.7%
  • Helen 0.7%
  • David 0.6%
  • Dorothy 0.6%
  • Donald 0.6%
  • Frank 0.5%
  • Walter 0.5%
  • Elizabeth 0.5%
  • Paul 0.5%
  • Henry 0.5%
  • Harold 0.5%
  • Francis 0.5%
  • Ruth 0.5%
  • Arthur 0.4%
  • Daniel 0.4%
  • Anna 0.4%
  • Alice 0.4%
  • J 0.4%
  • Raymond 0.4%
  • Kenneth 0.3%
  • Albert 0.3%
  • Frances 0.3%
  • Willie 0.3%
  • Roy 0.3%
  • Marie 0.3%
  • Mildred 0.3%
  • Clarence 0.3%
  • Lawrence 0.3%
  • Howard 0.3%
  • Ralph 0.3%
  • Catherine 0.3%
  • Harry 0.3%
  • Samuel 0.3%
  • Virginia 0.3%
  • Florence 0.3%
  • Eugene 0.3%
  • Patricia 0.3%

Kelley Pronunciation & Spelling Variations

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