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James Kelly's life

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James Kelly's life

Postby Mariner Aus » Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:13 pm

Hi there

I'm doing some research on my wife's side of the family

She has a 3xgreat grandfather called

James Kelly
b. approx 1832 to Kildare - Ireland

married to Jane Smith

He is listed from the 1881 to 1901 census as being a bricklayer and a bricklayers apprentice living in Stratford - Essex.

I did however note that in the 1871 census he was listed as a "Private" in Colchester at somewhere known as "The Camp". Other men are listed with their wives + children as being "Sergeant" or "Private" so it leads me to believe that it is a Army camp of sorts.

How do I find out more about James' military career and when he passed away?

Thank you for any help you may give

Kind regards

Pieter
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Re: James Kelly's life

Postby SoozOne » Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:52 pm

There's an interesting Wikipedia on Colchester Camp. May help your research.


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Re: James Kelly's life

Postby Mariner Aus » Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:01 am

Thank you SoozOne for your tip
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Re: James Kelly's life

Postby AdrianB38 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 7:17 am

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/british-army-soldiers-up-to-1913/

The above link is to the basic guide from the National Archives about researching British Army soldiers. Basic problem 1 is that until 1883, soldiers' papers were only kept if they were discharged to a pension - which needed 20 odd years of service. If he wasn't discharged to pension, you will find his name in Musters for his unit, but the problem then is that there's virtually no detail other than his name, so you can't tell your chap from someone else of the same name. And you're looking for a fairly common name....

You might be lucky and find that he had a pension.

If not, about the only possible way forward is to use FindMyPast's 1871 Worldwide British Army Index and see if you can match his details at Colchester in 1871 census to those in the 1871 Army Index. If there are only 1 or 2 candidates, you could try looking for the same name in other Worldwide British Army Indexes in the same unit but as there's no guarantee that it's either the same chap or your chap you'd need extensive visits to Kew to fill in the gaps and hopefully find some bits of information to tie them to your chap.

In other words, for a common name like yours, without a pension, you're on a loser. Sorry. Let's hope that he got a pension for long service.

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Re: James Kelly's life

Postby Mariner Aus » Mon Mar 26, 2018 9:22 am

Hi Adrian

Thanks for your great message.

I did manage to find a link on fold3.com showing a James Kelly b. 1834 to Kildare at the Chelsea pensioner hospital being admitted/pensioned in 1863. He was a member of the 87th regiment of foot...maybe this is our man? Living far away in Perth - Australia may make visits to the national archive a bit tricky! :-)

UK, Royal Hospital Chelsea Pensioner Admissions and Discharges, 1715-1925
View Record
Name James Kelly
Pension Admission or Examination Age 29
Birth Year abt 1834
Birth Place Kildare
Pension Admission or Examination Date 17 Nov 1863
Regiment 87th Foot
Rank Private

Kind regards

Pieter
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Re: James Kelly's life

Postby AdrianB38 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:23 am

Yes, I thought from your identity that multiple trips to Kew might not be easy...
:-(


The Fold3 stuff that you mention may be available in FindMyPast (also possibly through downloads from the TNA Discovery catalogue). My concern with that chap is that it doesn't easily tie up with him still being in the Army in the 1871 census.

Army careers are like jigsaw puzzles. That 1871 census gives you a single piece but no more. Somewhere, we hope, is the clue to what his unit was - that would be a nice, big piece of the jigsaw.

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Re: James Kelly's life

Postby ianbee » Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:00 am

If in 1871, Colchester, he is the James Kelly with wife Jane and children Elizabeth, 3, and John J., 1, born Chatham -
Birth
Dec 1869 Chatham 2a 459
Kelly, John James
mother Halbert

There is then a birth
June 1871 Colchester 4a 284
Kelly, Mary Ann
mother Halbert

Possible marriage in 1866, Dublin North
James Kelly + Jane Halbert
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Re: James Kelly's life

Postby ianbee » Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:15 am

Whereas in West Ham there are possibles for the family in 1881

Dec 1866 West Ham 4a 17
Kelly, Lizzie
mother Smith

June 1869 West Ham 4a 9
Kelly, John
mother Smith

March 1873 West Ham 4a 8
Kelly, Mary Ann
mother Smith

March 1876 West Ham 4a 9
Kelly, Michael Francis
mother Smith

Which suggests that the James and Jane Kelly in Colchester in 1871 are a different couple.
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Re: James Kelly's life

Postby ianbee » Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:17 am

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Re: James Kelly's life

Postby AdrianB38 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:22 pm

I presume that this is the James & Jane Kelly family at "The Camp":
Name: James Kelly
Age: 38
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1833
Spouse's Name: Jane Kelly
Where born: Ireland
Civil Parish: St Botolph
County/Island: Essex
Registration district: Colchester
Sub-registration district: Colchester First Ward
ED, institution, or vessel: The Camp
Household schedule number: 1
Piece: 1685
Folio: 87
Page Number: 44

I had hoped that the enumerator would have listed which regiment this was. In fact, there's a rather grumpy note on the front page of the enumeration book saying "This enumeration is presumed to belong to 4/60th KRR. No mention is made anywhere as to which regiment it represents."

I presume that this is meant to refer to the 4th Battalion of the Kings Royal Rifle Corps, which counted as the 60th Regiment of Foot. I am unsure how much we can trust that presumption as there seems a rather odd date by the side of it - 31/1/35!

So this isn't much use for working out an Army career.


As Ian indicates though (at last, I think he does!), if this is your family in 1881:
Name: James Kelly
Age: 49
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1832
Relationship to Head: Head
Spouse: Jane Kelly
Where born: Kildare, Ireland
Civil Parish: West Ham
County/Island: Essex
Country: England
Street address: 18 South St
Marital Status: Married
Occupation: Bricklayers Laborer
Registration district: West Ham
Sub registration district: Stratford
ED, institution, or vessel: 26
Neighbors: View others on page
Piece: 1708
Folio: 122
Page Number: 33
Household Members:
Name Age
James Kelly 49
Jane Kelly 47
Margaret Kelly 19
Elizabeth Kelly 14
John Kelly 12
Mary Kelly 8
Francis Kelly 5


then this is probably them in 1871
Name: James Kelley
Age: 38
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1833
Relation: Head
Spouse's Name: Jane Kelley
Where born: Ireland
Civil Parish: West Ham
Ecclesiastical parish: St Paul
Town: Stratford
County/Island: Essex
Country: England
Registration district: West Ham
Sub-registration district: Stratford
ED, institution, or vessel: 11
Household schedule number: 384
Piece: 1624
Folio: 181
Page Number: 63
Household Members:
Name Age
James Kelley 38
Jane Kelley 37
Patrick Kelley 11
Margerett Kelley 9
James Kelley 7
Elizabeth Kelley 5
John Kelley 2


Just compare these children from 1881
Margaret Kelly 19
Elizabeth Kelly 14
John Kelly 12

to these from 10y earlier and see the match on the bolded names and ages.
Margerett Kelley 9
James Kelley 7
Elizabeth Kelley 5
John Kelley 2


Just your luck that they spelled the name differently.

So unless my identification of which 1871 family were talking about is wrong, then the Army family in 1871 is a red herring.
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